Vrindavan, 2016.06.16 (VT): The Nirjala Ekadashi observed amid various religious celebrations in Vrindavan. The sanctum sanctorum, walls, pillars of the temples were heavily decorated with mogra flowers, which abound in the season. The beautiful scent and the snow white artistry in the flower decorations create an ethereal atmosphere and fill every heart with sublime joy. The premises of the different temples were filled with the fragrance of mogra, bela, juhi, champa and other flowers.
Thakur Banke Bihari gave darshan to his devotees from inside the ‘Pushp Nikunj’, or flower grove. The devotees were mesmerized by the darshan of Thakur Radha Ballabh on Nauka Vihar, riding a boat full of mangoes. Hundreds of devotees gathered in the Radha Raman Temple to have a glimpse of their adored Radha Raman Lal decorated with flowers. The fountains in front of the deities were sending a thin spray of water into the air to give the deities and the devotees relief from the scorching heat.
The devotees kept fast with complete faith and celebrated the fasting by donating fruits, water pitchers, hand fans, clothes etc. The ‘Panchkosi’ Parikrama began early in the morning, where devotees were chanting, dancing and performing the Parikrama. The Saptadevalaya Temples also attracted large crowds from early in the morning. Water and cold drinks were being distributed from the temples and every square of the temple town.
Nirjala Ekadashi is also known as Pandava Bhima Ekadashi, or Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi. The name is derived from Bhima, the second and strongest of the five Pandava brothers. The Brahma Vaivarta Purana narrates the story behind the Nirjala Ekadashi vrata. Bhima, a lover of food, wanted to observe all ekadashi fasts, but could not control his hunger. He approached the sage Vyasa, author of the Mahabharata and grandfather of the Pandavas for solution. The sage advised him to observe Nirjala Ekadashi, one day in the year fasting absolutely. Bhima attained the virtue of all 24 ekadashis, by observing Nirjala Ekadashi.