Kamika Ekadashi is one of the most important ekadashis to be observed in the month of Shravan. It is celebrated on the Krishna paksha ekadashi or the month of shravan as per the traditional Hindu calendar.
According t the Gregorian calendar, this falls on the month of July August and in the waning phase of the moon. Kamika Ekadashi is considered to be the most auspicious time that Lord Vishnu can be worshipped and beneficial blessings can be sought.
It is further believed that an observance of kamika Ekadashi frees the devotees of all problems and blesses him with prosperity. In 2017 the date for Karmika Ekadashi is on 19th of July, Wednesday.
Legend of Kamika Ekadashi
Long ago, there lived a landlord in a small village. This landlord once had a major fight with a Brahman, and in a fit of rage killed him. The landlord realized the extent of his crime and wanted to be a part of the murdered man’s last rites and cremations. However, the Brahman’s family members disagreed and thus he remained cursed for killing a Brahman. Then he met a saint, to whom he sought the advice for the remittance of his sins of killing a Brahman. The sage suggested that he needed to observe Kamika Ekadashi and keep a fast on that day. The landlord observed the vrat or the ritual and at night had the vision that Lord Vishnu had arrived and had freed him from his offence and sin of killing the Brahman.
Observance of Kamika Ekadashi
On the day of the Kamika Ekadashi, holy bath should be taken in rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, Sindhu, Cauvery, Godavari etc for a cleansing ritual bath. Then a prayer should be made to Lord Vishnu. The devotee must not have any intake of water throughout the day. Flowers, fruits, milk, panchamrit, sesame etc should be offered to the Lord. Lamps of ghee or sesame oil can also be lit in the Krishna temples as part of the ritual. Lord Vishnu should be particularly worshipped with Tulsi leaves on this day as it is believed to wash away all the sins of the devotees. It is also believed to be extremely beneficial to feed Brahmans and do charity on this auspicious day for the fulfillment of wishes.
Merits of Kamika Ekadashi
The importance and merits of the Kamika Ekadashi was narrated by Lord Krishna to the eldest Pandava, Yudhisthira. However this was originally narrated to the Maharishi Narada by Lord Brahma. It is believed that observing kamika Ekadashi is equivalent to chanting of all the scriptures written for Lord Vishnu. The greatest merit of observing the Kamika Ekadashi is probably achieving salvation by being promised Vaikunthalok, or the abode of Lord Vishnu post death. Observing Kamika Ekadashi also gives equivalent results to bathing in all the sacred rivers and it is also equivalent to having performed various Yajnas.