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 2021, it occurs on Wednesday, 4th August 2021. The exact duration of the Ekadashi Tithi has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendars.
As per the legend, Lord 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 Lord 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 Lord Sri Vishnu.
The guilty warrior did observe the Vrat as advised and was alleviated of his sins.
Kamika Ekadashi – rituals
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 burned. Diyas are lit. Pujas are done with tulsi leaves. Slokas or stotras of Sri Maha Vishnu including Sri Vishnu Sahasra Nama are recited with devotion. Srimad Bhagavad Gitaa is also recited.
-The Vrat Katha is to be read and recited.
-At the end of the puja, aarti is done. Prasad is distributed to the family members.
-Devotees of Lord 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.
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.
The synopsis of Kamada Ekadashi, Varuthini Ekadashi, Mohini Ekadashi, Apara Ekadashi, Nirjala Ekadashi, Yogini Ekadashi and Devshayani Ekadashi are narrated in the previous articles. The rest of the Ekadashi Vrats shall be dealt with in the subsequent articles of the series.