Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi

On Saturday I successfully observed the fasting day known as Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi.

Ekadasi is a fasting day that falls approximately every two weeks on the Hare Krishna Calendar. But Nirjala Ekadasi (nirjala means no water) falls only once a year. On this day one is recommended to fast even from water.

It was a bit hard since while fasting I spent 13 hours in the kitchen preparing the feast for my family get-together. But I made it through without a hitch, and with tons of energy.

When I read the blog posting below from Iraq, I realised my paltry austerities were nothing much at all:

Sergeant Partha Sarathi:

Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi, by Partha Sarathi

After much debate, I decided this year to again follow Pandava Nirjal Ekadasi. Nirjala is already difficult and an austerity but to follow in Iraq, is added intensity. I make some goals for this, I wanted to chant 64 rounds, offer 5 verses to my Deities and also increase my reading. But this is all with also pulling 12-14 hours of combat missions.

So this was going to be a hard day. So up at 12 am, and chanted, and worshipped my Deities, offered Them some new verses, and then off to work at 7am. While on missions was difficult, driving the wrong way down the Iraqi streets at 60 mph, the IEDs and kicking in the occasional door; and lets not forget the heat, which was over 125F in the vehicle.

I was wondering if following this so strictly was worth it, but when doubts entered my mind I would take Sri Ugra Narsimha that sits in a pouch on my body armor and feel better about the situation. By his grace we ended missions early on 11 hours out – great – more time to chant and read. This morning when I broke fast I was thinking, ‘this Lord of ours is so kind, He sees we are trying, He sees we are making some endeavor and He is pleased and removes all our anxieties’.”

Yes, you heard right, a Hare Krishna fighting in Iraq. It’s a fascinating story. Check out Partha Sarathi’s blog…
Posted by Kurma on 16/6/08; 7:20:33 AM

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