Sunday 24th June 2018 is Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi. “Pandava” refers to the Pandavas, the sons of Emperor Pandu. One such son was Arjuna, to whom Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita. Another son of Pandu was Bhima, a most powerful warrior and a most voracious eater. Bhima was also known as “Vrikodara,” or “wolf-belly.” He was not one who welcomed fasting, and admitted to not being able to follow Ekadasi. However, he was told that if he observed complete fasting on one particular Ekadasi day annually, he would get all the spiritual benefits of having followed every Ekadasi fast of the year. He and his brothers thus all agreed to fast on that day, which is today.
“Nirjala” means “no water.” Strict followers of Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi observe a total fast today, even from water.
Some fast completely on Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi to atone for breaking Ekadasi during the previous year. Certainly there are benefits for observing a total fast, but none of our information supports fasting on Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi to make up for breaking other Ekadasis.