It is considered as the most austere and hence, most sacred of ekadashis. If observed religiously, it is said the most rewarding and granting the virtue gained by the observance yajurveda sandhyavandanam pdf in tamil all 24 ekadshis in the year.
Bhima, a lover of food, wanted to observe all ekadashi fasts, but could not control his hunger. The sage advised him to observe Nirjala Ekadashi, when for one day in the year, he should observe an absolute fast. Bhima attained the virtue of all 24 ekadashis, by observing Nirjala Ekadashi. Nirjala Ekadashi, an absolute fast is observed, without partaking even water.
The water-less fast is considered extremely difficult to follow as the day falls in the hot Indian summer and thus, it is deemed as very pious austerity. The fast is observed 24 hours from sunrise on Nirjala Ekadashi to sunrise the next day. Some observe it from sunrise to sunset. Water more than that equals breaking the vow. It is then washed with water and then dressed in royal finery. A hand-fan is also offered. Devotees meditate on the image of God.
Devotees remain awake the whole night and sing praises of Vishnu or meditate on his image. Clothes, food grains, umbrellas, hand-fans, pitchers filled with water, gold etc. Ekadashi is itself a form of Vishnu. Nirjala Ekadashi is mentioned to gain the favour of Vishnu, who grants him happiness, prosperity and forgiveness for sins. The devotee is described to receive the merit gained by the observance of all 24 ekadshis in the year.