Nirjala Ekadasi significance and health benefits are many. It is the most important and significant Ekadasis out of all twenty four Ekadasis in a year. Nirjala means without water and this dry fasting is observed without water or any type of food.
Staunch Devotees observe this dry fasting for 24 hours. This dry fasting ritual has been followed since vedic age. Only difference between Nirajala Ekadasi Vrat and Roza observed by muslims during the month of Ramzan, is that dry fasting on Nirjala Ekadasi goes on for 24 hours from sunrise till next sunrise.
Those who are unable to observe all twenty fours Ekadasi fasting in a year should observe single Nirjala Ekadasi fasting , which brings all benefits of twenty four Ekadasi fastings in a year.
Nirjala Ekadasi is observed in Jyeshta Sukla Ekadasi according to vedic panchang. This day almost coincides with Summer Solstice.
comes when waning or waxing moon is in its 11th day of its 15 days cycle.
Why did sages and our ancestors insist fasting only on this day? Why not on any other day like 7th or 8th ?
Astrologically moon revolves around earth at the rate of 12 degrees per every 24 hours.
This period of 12 degree travel is called a tithi.
Moon when at 180 degrees away from Sun forms Fullmoon day and when conjoint with Sun forms Newmoon day.
During these 2 cycles we have already seen many instances where newmoon and fullmoon shows its impact and magnetic power of sea tides and human minds.
Because human body is 80% water, its always under the influence of moon.
It is also stated in Garuda Purana that all 7 oceans are in human body itself.
That is the reason behind moon being treated as mind controller in astrology.
Russian Scientist V.Yalinko did some research on this aspect and expressed his opinion :
…. After collecting statistics on planes, I saw that the moments at which they had disappeared as distinct from ships, these are established with a precision of one – had something regularly about them.
Related to astrolomical phenomena or more precisely to the position in regard to each other of the Earth the Moon and the Sun.
It is known that the Sun and the Moon do not always exert the same influence on the Earth …
“ (Dt. 9-1-1977)
On 11th day of each cycle moon forms trine with earth or sun.
From this day moon’s influence on liquids in our body and mind starts rising.
As long as important organs such as brain, digestive system function properly our body will never get any disease.
All diseases start with indigestion.
But from this 11th day our body gets into the magnetic pull of moon heavily and our digestive system doesnt secrete proper fluids that will help us digest our food.
From this 11th day till 5th day after newmoon or fullmoon day, moon will influence us maximum and imbalance our digestive system.
This will also cause decrease in brain’s functioning and cause weakness in memory, thought and decision making.
So, to avoid all these complications , its important to clean our digestive system on every 11th day of lunar cycle.
This helps our digestive system to clean up all the food and mess in our body till 10th day and adjust itself for the next 10 days of lunar influence.
Dry Fasting on Summer Solstice or Nirjala Ekadasi Significance and Health Benefits
Ayurveda suggests that one should clean their stomach, intestines, kidneys and also give rest to entire digestive system whenever season changes.
This is because of varying tridoshas (kapha, pitta, vaata) in body in every season. During summer, kapha melts down and slows our digestion. This has to be cleaned up.
In tropical countries close to equator, Summer almost ends around the date of Summer Solstice.
In countries close to North Pole, Summer starts and in countries close to South Pole, Winter ends around this time.
When season changes, one has to observe fasting and clean their digestive system.
Dry fasting in a powerful tool used to fight premature aging, disease and promotes prolonging life.
There is a reason animal and human beings lose their appetites when sick. Unlike human beings animals instinctively use dry fasting when injured or sick.
When wounded or very sick most animals find a secluded place and create a sanctuary. They rest and refuse food and water until they get better.
It sounds counterproductive but the Creator does not make mistakes and we need to pay more attention to his infinite wisdom.
In a dry fast, the body eliminates toxins in different ways than normal. Instead of removing toxins from urine, bowels, kidneys, liver, and skin, the body turns each into a high power incinerator. The toxins are burned up inside of each and every cell.
The body is able to self-regenerate and self-rejuvenate directed by stem cells. The number of stem cells the body possesses decrease as we age.
A newborn baby has one stem cell per 10,000 cells, that ratio in a 50-year old drop to 1 per 500,000 cells.
When dry fasting, even more, stem cells are released into the blood than usual, a fact that has been proven scientifically. During dry fasting, the body begins a cleansing process that rids itself of old and sick cells.
This creates vacated space in tissues for new stem cells. Stem cells are released into the blood in higher volume, occupying this vacated “space” and promoting regeneration and rejuvenation processes. The regular practice of dry fasting can extend life, youth, and vitality by 15 – 25 years
Inflammation cannot exist without water. Harmful microorganisms need water to survive. Dry fasting is an amazing tool that can address many acute health issues and degenerative conditions.
Fasting helps the body stimulate the immune system, activates the body’s anti-inflammatory mechanisms, purifies the blood, clears the blood vessels, cleanses the GI tract and renews its mucosal lining.
Dry fasting forces the body to obtain water from the cells. That is why damaged tissues (fat deposits, edemas, tumors) are eliminated faster.
The body knows exactly what to do. It starts by burning everything that is non-essential and harmful to the body.
Fat, tumors, ganglions and inflamed tissues. During dry fasting, cells split faster as the body needs not only nutrients but also water.
Dry fasting also eliminates parasites and promotes regeneration of healthy tissues. Dry fasting creates a hostile environment where every cell of the body can clean house. Only the strongest and healthiest of cells survive in such extreme conditions.
Irregularities like cysts and benign tumors dissolve as a result of autolysis. The process by which the body sacrifices its sickest cells for its own survival.
Dry fasting helps the body protect against harmful environmental influences, including radiation.
In traditional fasting, this radiation is eliminated in 2 weeks and during dry fasting, the same negative effects of radiation are eliminated in 5 to 7 days.
During dry fasting, a process of intense cleansing begins as toxins are eliminated. But purification takes place not due to external water, but by the cleaner, high-quality metabolic water synthesized by the body.
During a dry fast on Nirjala Ekadasi, the body survives on what is called endogenous or metabolic water. This ounce external water is like super water the body has used, filtered and fortified.
Unlike any external water, this metabolic water is of super quality, produced by the body’s cells after cleansing. This water had all imprinted negative information erased, allowing cells to experience a revitalization.
All the body’s tissues through which blood and lymph circulate are purified of external content.
To compensate for the lack of available water during a dry fast the body begins absorbing atmospheric water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen from the air. It also begins to manufacture its own amino acids.
For most people who practice dry fasting, they use it as a way to feel younger, renewed and invigorated.
Body will lose some weight by end of this day.
Astrologically, this is the time when Sun enters Arudra Nakshatra (Daruna Sangyaka) in Gemini and Moon is at Trine to Sun.
Earth is said to entering its yearly mensus on this days (annual cleaning process) and every living being on earth will have slower digestion.
So, ideally this is the day for dry fasting and meditation.
Bheema, the second Pandava brother and voracious eater, was not able to control his desire of having food and was not able observe Ekadasi fasting. Except Bheema, all Pandava brothers and Draupadi used to observe all Ekadasi fasting. Bheema, being upset due to his weak determination and doing a dishonor to Lord Vishnu, met Maharishi Vyasa to find some solution. Sage Vyasa advised Bheema to observe single Nirjala Ekadasi fasting to compensate for not observing all Ekadasi fasting in a year.
Due to this legend Nirjala Ekadasi is also known as Bhimseni Ekadasi or Pandava Ekadasi.
Lord Vishnu is said to be ever young and promised that his devotees who observe all ekadasi fastings throughout their lives will retain vitality and will not age prematurely.
Dry fasting on 1 day can give you health benefits of 3 days water fasting or 24 days of regular ekadasi fastings, where you have milk and seedless fruits.
This is the reason why Veda Vyasa mentioned that dry fasting on 1 Nirjala Ekadasi will be equivalent to fasting on all remaining 23 ekadasis in an year.
Fasting will detox your body, reduce mind frequency, control heart beat and increase your focus.
After the dry fast, you should plan the rebuilding time to be twice the length of the fast. If you dry fast for 1 day you should plan to recover for 2 days.
On next morning, start by drinking water slowly. If possible add juice from a lime slice to 500 ml of water and drink it on empty stomach.
Your breakfast should be gluten free. It can include fats, carbohydrates. Having lots of fresh fruits is best option.
Slowly increase your diet in lunch and again reduce it by dinner time.
Continue this for 1 more days and then your body will start craving for the right amount of food it needs from day 3.