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Believer
20 June 2013, 11:21 AM
Namaste,

Today is(was) Nirjala Ekadasi, the most important Ekadasi of the year.

http://www.drikpanchang.com/ekadashis/nirjala/nirjala-ekadashi-date-time.html
http://www.astrospeak.com/astrology/vedic-astrology/festivals/Nirjala-Ekadashi--20th-June-2013/articleshow/20661137.cms

In Delhi and Punjab, there are so many stands in the cities where organized groups offer a cold drink made from milk, water and some sugared flavors. My questions,

1. How do people keep from drinking any water on this Nirjala ekadasi in the 105 degree heat.

2. What does this tradition of offering the free cold drink to everyone passing by signify?

3. Why do sikhs also observe this day and offer the same cold drink through many stands?

Pranam.

smaranam
25 June 2013, 01:14 AM
praNAm

1. How do people keep from drinking any water on this Nirjala ekadasi in the 105 degree heat.

Sheer protection and grace from BhagvAn VishNu, plus not wandering outdoors in the heat as far as possible. SamarpaN (surrender) does it.
"I am not this body so I don't worry about what will happen to it. It belongs to KRshNa, and it works for Him, so it is His problem not mine."



2. What does this tradition of offering the free cold drink to everyone passing by signify?

Compassion for fellow jivas? Seeing KRshNa in their heart? Ekadashi daan is a common concept, so some act of kindness.
It does not take time to turn into a local tradition.


3. Why do sikhs also observe this day and offer the same cold drink through many stands?

Community spirit rules. Just a guess.
Local tradition, once started, crosses Hindu-Sikh or any other boundaries (like Muslims participating in local GaNesh Utsav)

Sikhs love the Hindu ways. They have their roots in our Dharma, worship Ram, KrshNa, DurgA like their founders.

om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya