Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Nirjala ekadashi/ Neerzala kah

"Today is Neerzala kah," my father shouted into the mobile handset.
At the other end, my grandfather replied, "I just had a watermelon! Ha!"

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Ekadashi, every eleventh of lunar month, is meant for fasting but on Nirjala Ekadashi or the 'waterless' eleventh lunar day, falling in the month of Jyestha(may-June), a day associated with Vishnu, even water is not consumed. And water is offered in charity.

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There is a rock on the top of a hillock called Haldar, over-looking the Manasbal lake towards its north-east. From underneat this rock a little water is ozing out. Every year on the Nirjala Ekadashi day a fair is held here. The pilgrims sing in chorus:

'Balabhadra haldaro palah talah poni trav'

(O Balabhadra Haldara (Krishna's elder brother) allow water to flow out from this rock!)

then suddenly water flows out in a large volume from underneath of this rock which suffices for the bathing of the pilgrims assembled.

At this spot there was a stone image of cow from whose four Udders water used to come out in drops. It is said that about one hundred years ago this image was removed by Zamidars of the neighboring villages and buried somewhere under the rocky earth nearby.


- Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh by Desh Bandhu


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Cartoon is by my friend Sandeep Bhat.

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