Kamika Ekadashi is the eleventh day from the Pournami day (Krishna Paksha Ekadashi) which occurs on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi Tithi of the Ashada month as per Amantha and the Shravan month as per Purnimantha Calendars.
In the year 2022, it occurs on Sunday, 24th July 2022. The exact duration of the Ekadashi Tithi has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendars.
As per the legend, Bhagwan Sri Krishna Himself had described the aspects of Kamika Ekadashi, the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi of Shravan month to Yudhisthra.
It is believed that Sri Brahma had told His son the Sage Narada about this Vrat. As per belief, observing of this Vrat by invoking Bhagwan Sri Maha Vishny is equal to visiting the holy place Kashi and taking a holy dip in river Ganga.
A valorous man and a noble person were living in a village. The valorous man was very brave and mighty. The noble man was very pious. Once there was a discussion among the two. The warrior had lost his cool and had attacked the noble man in anger. His anger turned out to be fatal.
The warrior regretted his mistake. He repented his mistakes. He wished to participate in the last rites of the noble man as mark as respect. However, the villagers did not forgive him.
The guilty warrior sought the advice of the learned sages. They advised him to observe vrat on the Krishna Paksha Ekadashi of Shravan month to alleviate his sins caused by the death of an innocent noble person. They also advised him to sincerely worship Bhagwan Sri Vishnu.
The guilty warrior did observe the Vrat as advised and was alleviated of his sins.
The general rituals followed for Ekadashi Vrats are given below:
-The exact time of dawn of Ekadashi tithi is ascertained either from family elders / astrologers. It is mentioned in the Holy Almanac (Panchang) as well. Even daily Calendars provide the information.
-The idol or picture of Sri Vishnu is decorated with flowers. Incense sticks are lit. Diyas are lit with ghee. Pujas are done with tulsi leaves.
– The items such as Jambira fruit (goose berry), Pomegranate, Mangoes, Guava, Betal nuts and leaves, Coconut, Varieties of nuts and Cloves and other aromatic spices are offered in Puja subject to availability.
Slokas or stotras of Sri Maha Vishnu including Sri Vishnu Sahasra Nama are recited with devotion. Srimad Bhagavad Gitaa is also recited.
-Special Puja is done for Sri Lakshmi Devi as well.
-The Vrat Katha is read and recited.
-At the end of the puja, aarti is done. Prasad is distributed to the family members.
-Devotees of Bhagwan Maha Vishnu observe strict fasting from the dawn of Ekadashi.
-They do not sleep on the night of Ekadashi. At this time, tales of Sri Maha Vishnu are recited by the elders. Others listen to the stories.
-Various bhajans and kirtans are held.
-The fast shall continue till the sunrise of the next day, i.e., Dwadashi.
-Those devotees who cannot do fasting due to medical or other reasons can take sattvic food. Mostly prasadams and fruits are partaken.
-Making daan / donation to the needy on Ekadashi day is believed to please Sri Maha Vishnu.
-On Dwadashi day, unless it happens to be another Vrat day, a nutritious meal is partaken to balance the internal physical effects of fasting on the previous day. It is considered pious to forego eating of brinjal on Dwadashi day.
Especially for Kamika Ekadashi, the picture / idol of Sri Maha Vishnu in Sridhara form is worshipped. The form of Sri Vishnu is to have four hands holding Chakra, Shank, mace and lotus. It is considered auspicious to light ghee / gingelly oil lamps in Sri Vishnu / Sri Krishna temples.
-Alleviation of all the sins both intentional and unintentional.
-Fulfillment of the wishes
-Attainment of moksha.
-Virtuous benefits equal to taking holy dip in the river Ganga at Kashi.
Importance should be given to the sincere prayers to Sri Maha Vishnu.