The name of Ekadashi falling on Krishna Pakchya of the month of Shravan is known as Kamika Ekadashi. Lord Narayan is the worshiped god on this Ekadashi. There is a mythological context in which Lord Krishna shows the importance of this Ekadashi by soothing the curiosity of King Yudhisthir regarding Kamika Ekadashi. Respecting the humbleness of the inquisitive Yudhisthir, Lord Krishna said: O Maharaj Yudhisthir, the importance of this Ekadashi was once told by lord Brahmaji himself to Narad, that is what I am telling you. So please do listen.
Kamika Ekadashi – Context
Krishna says – the time when Naradaji asked lord Brahmaji – O grandfather, I want to hear the story of Krishna Pakchya Ekadashi of the month of Shravan, what is its name? Please do tell, what is the story of this ekadashi and its methods etc. Hearing Naradaji’s inquiries, Brahmaji said: O Narad, you have asked a very good question for the welfare of the people. The name of Krishna Ekadashi of Shravan month is called Kamika Ekadashi. Just hearing the name of this Ekadashi brings the fruits of Vajpayee Yagya. On this day, Shrihari Bishnu is worshiped wearing a conch shell, wheel and mace. He is called with various names as Sridhar, Hari, Bishnu, Madhav, Madhusudan etc. I will tell you what is the fruit obtained by worshiping him, Listen-
O Narada, the fruit which is obtained by bathing in Ganga, Kashi, Naimisharanya and Pushkar, is obtained by worshiping Lord Bishnu on this Ekadashi. This fruit is difficult to obtain by bathing in Kurukshetra and Kashi during solar and lunar eclipses, donating earth and pregnant cows along with sea and green forest, bathing in Godavari and Gandaki rivers when Jupiter is in Leo zodiac sign. That fruit is obtained by worshiping Lord Srihari on this Ekadashi. People who worship God in Shravan month are also worshipping gods, Gandharva, Sun, Navagraha (nine planets) and holy even snakes. Therefore, people who are afraid of sin must fast on Kamika Ekadashi and worship Lord Bishnu. Because for people drowned in sinful mud and worldly sea, fasting on this Ekadashi by worshiping Lord Srihari Bishnu is very necessary. There is no better way to destroy sins than by this way.
O Narada, God Himself has commanded that a person fasting on Kamika Ekadashi will not be born in Kuyoni (low realm), should not see the terrifying Yamaraj, the god of death and one does not even have to suffer the torment of hell. Therefore, a person who fasts on Ekadashi gets more merit than a person who is engaged in spiritual contemplation. Apart from this, those who devotionally offer Tulsi Dal (basil leaf) to Lord Srihari, on the Ekadashi date, are free from all the sins of this world. Because there are no gems, pearls, and ornaments dear to Lord Bishnu like Tulsi.
On this day, Tulsi flowers and leaves are used to worship God Shri Hari. Before the offering, Tulsi, the beloved of god Bishnu should be specially worshiped with the following mantra:
या दृष्टा निखिलाSघसंघशमनी स्पृष्टा वपुः पावनी।
रोगाणामभिवन्दिता निरशनी सिक्तान्तकत्रासिनी।।
प्रत्यासन्नविधायिनी भगवतः कृष्णस्य सारोपिता।
न्यस्ता तच्चरणे विमुक्तिफलदा तस्यै तुलस्यै नमः।।
(That is, with just a vision of whose destroys all sins, when one touches it purifies the body, when one bows down get cured of all diseases, when whose water is sprinkled on one’s head, even Yamaraj gets frightened, one who wears the leaf on his head attains nearness to Lord Krishna, bow down to Tulsi, who saves when offered at the feet of God.)
In this way, offering water at the base of the basil destroys all the sins one has committed intentionally. God is very pleased when worshiped with Tulsi leaf. One leaf of Tulsi is more rewarding than worshiping God with heaps of gold and four heavy heaps of silver donations. O Narada, by planting and worshiping the beloved Tulsi of such a God, Yamaraj stays away from such a person and one even gets an opportunity to live in the near presence of Lord Srihari.
The special significance of staying awake, donating lamp has been mentioned in Kamika Ekadashi. It is said that even Chitragupta himself finds it difficult to assess the merits of one who burns sesame oil or ghee lamp beside God day and night on this Ekadashi. The scriptures say that, by lighting a lamp in the presence of God on this day, one’s for-fathers in heaven get the opportunity to drink nectar and in the same manner one performing this merit also will have the opportunity to live happily hereafter in the company of Suryanarayan.
It is said that all sins are accumulated and exist in the grains on the day of Ekadashi. Physical condition should be considered mainly while fasting. Therefore, Satvik Falahar including Havishyanna during the evening is also considered as a forbidden observance on Ekadashi. Complete fasting is considered excellent in this kamika Ekadashi. But, if one can not stay without eating for a long time, one can observe the fasting by eating fruits, flowers, sesame, milk, curd, whey, water, ghee etc. Grain should not be eaten during Ekadashi fast. It is said that all sins are accumulated and exist in the grains on the day of Ekadashi.
As Ekadashi fast is a celebration of God, it should be observed as a regular karma (deed). There is a scripture saying that if one does not observe Ekadashi fast, one will disregard the festival of God, disobeying the scriptures and if one fasts methodically, one will get various merits. Therefore, there is a belief that special worship of God on all Ekadashi from the time of Shrihari’s sleep to the time of his awakening a duration of four months destroys all sins and one receives God’s blessings and mercy. Lord Hrishikesh is pleased, when one observes the fast in a methodical manner and all the desires of the fasting person are fulfilled. According to the Bhavishya Puran, those who fast during Chaturmas contemplating on Lord Narayana, shall board the plane as bright as the sun after death and live happily in Bishnulok until the great flood.
Lord Bishnu is worshiped on all Ekadashis. But, it is customary to worship God in a special way while he is asleep. While worshiping in this way, the idol of God should be bathed with Panchamrit, conch water and must be seated in a special position. After that, the figure must be adorned with sandalwood paste and worshiped/ treated with 16 acts of homage, then onwards the hands must be adorned with conch shells, chakras, maces and padmas with the body adorned with yellow cloth and ornaments. One should worship God during the day and stay awake at night listening to his hymns and stories. In the morning, concluding the fasting, one should give alms to the Brahmins and provide them with food, then one can consume food. To Read this article in the Nepali Language please click here.