Kamada Ekadashi is considered to be an extremely auspicious day in the Hindu astrological calendar. It is the first ekadashi after the Hindu New Year and thus assumes epic proportions in terms of importance.
- When is Kamada Ekadashi
This is a day if observed correctly and diligently, fulfills all ones wishes and desires. Kamada Ekadashi is observed on the 11th day of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra according to traditional Hindu calendar, which coincides with April- May according to Gregorian calendar.
- Legend behind the Kamada Ekadashi
The legend of Kamada Ekadashi is described in great detail by Lord Sri Krishna to Yudisthira, the eldest Pandava,in the Varaha Purana. This was first recounted by the Vasistha Muni, or the sage to King Dilipa, the great grandfather of Lord Ramachandra of Ayodhya.
Long back a young Gandharva couple, or celestial beings used to reside in the city of Ratanpura, which was a prosperous town with precious metal work of gold and silver decoration. The city was ruled by King Pundarika. Lalit, the Gandharva was a singer in the court, while the beautiful Lalita, was dancer in the king’s court. They were extremely famous as a dancer and a singer. But one day, while Lalit was performing in the court, his attention wavered to the thoughts of his wife who was not present in the court, and he missed certain rhythm and beats, resulting into a flawed performance. There was an angry serpent, who at once brought this to the attention of the king, whose eyes turned crimson in rage as he heard this. He shouted at Lalit and said that he had dared to think of his wife, without thinking of his King while he was performing in front of the sovereign. Enraged as a punishment he cursed the handsome Lalit to become a monstrous cannibal. Immediately Lalit became a sixty four foot tall monster. His arms were 8 foot long, neck looked like a mountain and his mouth resembled huge caves. He was a terrifying sight to all that laid eyes on him.
The greatly distressed Lalita now started following her monstrous husband around the jungles, where Lalit took part in all kinds of amoral, beastly and sinful activities. While she was listlessly following Lalit around the Vindhyachal region, she came across the great sage Shrigi and appealed to him tearfully to suggest her remedy out of this ghastly situation.
Sage Shringi told her to follow the vrat of the Kamada Ekadashi which will bring her out of misery. To pay for the sins of her husband, Lalita prayed and kept the vrat or vow for the Kamada Ekadashi with great devotion. She again visited the sage and prayed to the Lord Krishna for his blessings and benevolence and prayed to him that he freed Lalit from the king’s monstrous curse. Krishna granted her wish and at once Lalit in front of her eyes turned into the handsome Gandharva singer that he was. They were then taken to heaven in celestial airplane or flying chariot.
- Procedure of Kamada Ekadashi fast
After having a cleansing bath in the morning of this Ekadashi, the devotee must keep a fast. A simple meal can be taken of fruits, dried fruits, vegetables, nuts or milk products only once during the day. But one should avoid taking moong dal, wheat or barley. Then Lord Krishna or Vishnu must be worshipped in the nearby temples with flowers, incense etc.
- Benefits that Kamada Ekadashi yields
Kamada Ekadashi is said to yield wonderful results. It is said to fulfill all desires of the devotees, free the devotees from all types of terrible curses and is even said to relieve one of sins like that of killing a Brahmin, helps in being virtuous and is believed to bless an aspiring family with a son.