Nirjala Ekadasi is observed the next day after Ganga Dusshera, a ten days period of self confession to remove the guilt acquired over the lat year.
As per mythology observing Nirjala Ekadasi fast which falls during the waxing phase (Shukla Paksha) in Jyeshta month has the benefits of observing all the 24 Ekadasis. Nirjala Ekadasi is one of the strictest fast in Hindu religion and among all Ekadasis. Nirjala means ‘without water.’ Devotees who undertake this fast does not drink water while fasting on the day. No food is also consumed on the day. The fast begins on Ekadasi sunrise and ends on next day (Dwadasi) sunrise.
Observing it is also equal to going on pilgrimage. During the month of Jyestha the day is longer and one after feels thirsty. As a result it is difficult to observe this vow without drinking water. This vow can only be fulfilled by meticulously observing this vow.
But why fast on the third day before the new and full moons – why not fast on the new and full moon days themselves? Scientists have shown that emotional disturbance starts three days before, so we must counteract this effect from the very beginning, before it has a chance to greatly upset our bodies and minds. British scientists have shown that there are two days during the month when the electron-magnetic vibration of the body radically changes – three days before the new and full moons. On these two days during the month there is a marked difference in the electrical potential between the body’s electromagnetic vibration at the navel and in the brain.
Even though many people during these periods may become irritable, restless and upset, those who fast without water will find that their minds remain balanced and calm. Nirjala Ekadashi therefore prevents al the ill effects likely to come on the day of full moon. The dehydration produces on ekadashi will compensate the water retention occurring on the day of full moon. Rice or carbohydrates are not eaten in this fast. If worms are present in the GI tract they cannot tolerate dehydration and gets attracted towards carb diet and can migrate in gall bladder or appendix causing obstructions.