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Kamada Ekadashi

Time – Chaitra Shukla Paksha Ekadashi is known as Kamada Ekadashi. It is next Ekadashi after Chaitra Navrati and Rama Navami. Currently it falls in month of March or April in English calendar.

Benefits – One can get rid of all type of sins by observing Kamada Ekadashi fasting. In Hinduism killing a Brahman or Brahmin is the most deadly sin one can commit. It is believed that even sin of Brahmin killing is purged by observing Kamada Ekadashi fast.

Parana means breaking the fast. Ekadashi Parana is done after sunrise on next day of Ekadashi fast. It is necessary to do Parana within Dwadashi Tithi unless Dwadashi is over before sunrise. Not doing Parana within Dwadashi is similar to an offence.

Parana should not be done during Hari Vasara. One should wait for Hari Vasara to get over before breaking the fast. Hari Vasara is first one fourth duration of Dwadashi Tithi.

The most preferred time to break the fast is Pratahkal.

One should avoid breaking the fast during Madhyahna. If due to some reasons one is not able to break the fast during Pratahkal then one should do it after Madhyahna.

At times Ekadashi fasting is suggested on two consecutive days. It is advised that Smartha with family should observe fasting on first day only.

The alternate Ekadashi fasting, which is the second one, is suggested for Sanyasis, widows and for those who want Moksha. When alternate Ekadashi fasting is suggested for Smartha it coincides with Vaishnava Ekadashi fasting day.

Ekadashi fasting on both days is suggested for staunch devotees who seek for love and affection of Lord Vishnu.

Introduction to Kamada Ekadasi

Ekadasi is the 11th day of the Moon’s lunar phase, and Kamada Ekadasi falls on the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase) in the month of the Chaitra (March–April).

This day is also called ‘Chaitra Shukla Ekadasi.’

Story of Kamada Ekadasi

Lord Krishna narrated the legend behind the Kamada Ekadasi Vrat to King Yudhishthira, eldest of the Pandavas, during Mahabharata.

There was a young couple, Lalit and Lalita, who lived in a very prosperous city ruled by King Pundarika. Lalit was a famous singer, and Lalita was a talented dancer at the royal premises.

One day Lalit was asked for a solo performance, and he got distracted due to the absence of his wife and made few mistakes.

This infuriated the King and made him curse Lalit to turn into a giant monster.

Lalita, with her giant husband, wandered in the forest to absolve the sins and met with sage Shringi. She asked Lalita to observe the Kamada Ekadasi Vrat for Lord Vishnu.

Lalita nullified her husband’s sins and made him regain his human form upon fervently completing the Vrat.

Significance of Kamada Ekadasi

‘Kamada’ means fulfillment of desires and observing rigorous fast for Lord Vishnu on this day fulfills one’s worldly desires. This vrat is observed across India and especially in Bangalore, Karnataka in South India.

Rituals of Kamada Ekadasi Vrat

The day is commenced with a holy bath and worship of Lord Vishnu in the form of Krishna. Sandalwood paste, fruits, flowers, betel leaves, and nuts are offered to the idol with a special Pooja. The observer of the fast must refrain from consuming meat, grains, pulses, and spices.

One should begin the fast on the preceding day, i.e., Dasami (10th Moon) and break the fast at the sunrise of the following day, i.e., Dwadasi (11th Moon), by offering food to a pious Brahmin. Vishnu Sahasranamam (1000 names of Vishnu) and Vedic mantras are chanted all through the night in praise of Lord Vishnu.

Benefits of Kamada Ekadasi Vrat

As per sacred texts, observing Kamada Ekadasi Vrat can bestow the following blessings:

  • Remove all your sins and evil forces.
  • Bless with progeny.
  • Bestow health, happiness, and prosperity.
  • Help attain salvation and liberation from the cycle of life and death.

Kamada Ekadashi is an auspicious fasting day for Hindus. It is dedicated to Shri Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the country.

According to the Hindu calendar, Kamada Ekadashi is celebrated on the Ekadashi of the Shukla Paksha, i.e. the 11th day of the waxing phase of the moon, in the month of ‘Chaitra’.

It is an important day for the Hindus because it is the first Ekadashi after the Hindu New Year. Kamada Ekadashi is also commonly known as ‘Chaitra Shukla Ekadashi’ as it falls after the Chaitra Navratri celebrations.

Vishnu Pooja

Any form of ceremonial or organized worship can generally be termed a pooja. Rituals like an abhishekam, alankaram, archana, etc. can qualify to be so called. A pooja, in the present context, can be taken to specify an archana.

Vishnu Homa

Lord Vishnu is the preserver and protector of the universe and one among the Trinity. Performing a sacred homa to Lord Vishnu can bestow you with wealth, good health, happiness, and prosperity.

Maha Vishnu Yantra

Maha Vishnu is the protector of this Universe; he guards all the living beings on this earth plane. When you worship him, you will be gifted with long life, prosperity, peace, happiness and success. Impediments will no longer stand on your way of achievements.

Significance Of Kamada Ekadashi:

The word ‘Kamada’ signifies ‘fulfillment of desires’ and thus, Kamada Ekadashi is believed to be a spiritual observance that fulfills all the worldly desires. The significance of Kamada Ekadashi is mentioned in several Hindu scriptures and Puranas like the ’ Varaha Purana’.

In addition, during Mahabharata, Shri Krishna had explained the importance and benefits of Kamada Ekadashi to King Yudhishthira. It is believed that the vrat of Kamada Ekadashi helps one to regain and improve their virtues. Moreover, it protects devotees and their families from all the curses.

All the sins including even the killing of a Brahmin, can be pardoned, if the devotee keeps a fast on this day. It is also believed that if married couples keep the Kamada Ekadashi vrat, they can be blessed with a child.

This vrat helps the devotee to attain salvation and reach Vaikunth Dham, the abode of Lord Krishna.

Rituals For Kamada Ekadashi

  • Devotees wake up early in the morning, i.e. before sunrise, take an early bath and start the preparations for worshipping Lord Krishna. They worship the idol of Lord Krishna with sandalwood, flowers, fruits, and dhoop to invoke his blessings.
  • Devotees observe a fast of Kamada Ekadashi where they can eat only one simple meal which includes milk products, fruits, vegetables, and dry fruits. Besides, the food prepared should be Saatvik and purely vegetarian. On this day, they also avoid eating rice, moong dal, wheat, and barley.
  • The fast of Kamada Ekadashi begins from the ‘Dashami’ of the Chaitra Shukla Paksha. On this tithi, the person should consume only one meal before sunset. The fasting continues for a period of 24 hours from the sunrise of Ekadashi to the sunrise of the following day, that is, Dwadashi. The fast is broken on the next day, after offering food and some ‘Dakshina’ to a Brahmin.
  • Devotees chant Vedic mantras and bhajans of Lord Krishna as well. Reading religious books like ‘Vishnu Sahastranaam’ is considered to be very auspicious.
  • Also, special yagnas, discourses, and speeches are held in Lord Vishnu temples all over India.
  • Devotees must listen to the Kamada Ekadashi vrat Katha. This Katha was formerly narrated by Saint Vasistha to Maharaja Dilip, who was the great grandfather of Sri Ram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Kamada Ekadashi Vrat Katha

Shri Krishna’s dear friend Arjun said, “O Kamalnayan! I bow to you a million times. O Jagdishwar! I request you to please narrate the story of Ekadashi of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month.

What about this Ekadashi?

What is its name?

Who observed this fast first and what results are obtained by observing it?”

Shri Krishna said, “O Arjun! Once King Dilip had asked the same question to Guru Vashishtha I will narrate that story to you. King Dilip asked Guru Vashishtha, “O Gurudeva! What is the name of Ekadashi of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month? Which deity is worshiped there and what is its rule? Please tell me that.”

Sage Vashishtha said, “O King! The name of Ekadashi of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month is Kamada Ekadashi. It is the destroyer of all sins. Just as fire burns wood and reduces it to ashes, in the same way, due to the virtue of Kamada Ekadashi, All sins are destroyed and a bright son is born. By fasting through this, one becomes free from the lower world and finally he attains heaven.

Now I tell you the greatness of this Ekadashi, listen carefully – In ancient times There was a city named Bhagipur It was ruled by a king named Pundarika. King Pundarika was blessed with many opulences. Many Apsaras, Gandharvas, Kinnars etc. lived in his kingdom. In the same city, two Gandharva named Lalit and Lalita used to live in a very magnificent house.

Lalit and Lalita were proficient in singing. There was so much love between them that they used to get distressed at the mere thought of separation.

Once King Pundarika was sitting in the court along with the Gandharvas. There the Gandharvas Lalit was also singing along with him. At that time his beloved Lalita was not present there. While singing, he suddenly remembered Lalita, due to which he started doing mistakes in singing. Nagraj Karkotaka complained about Lalit to King Pundarika.

On this, the king got very angry and in anger he cursed Lalit – “Oh wretch! You are remembering your wife even while singing in front of me, because of this you become a cannibalistic demon and suffer the consequences of your deeds.”

At the same time, Lalit Gandharva was transformed into a fierce demon due to the curse of King Pundarika. His face became monstrous.

His eyes started glowing like the sun and moon. Fierce flames of fire started coming out of his mouth, his nose became as big as a mountain cave and his neck started appearing like a mountain. His arms became two Yojanas long.

In this way his body became eight Yojanas long. After becoming a demon in this way, he started suffering many sorrows. Seeing this condition of her beloved Lalit, Lalita became distressed with immense sorrow.

She started thinking about where should I go and what should I do for the salvation of her husband?

By what means should I free my husband from this hell-like suffering?

Lalit became a demon and started committing many types of sins while living in the dense forests. His wife Lalita also followed him and started mourning after seeing his condition.

Once she followed her husband and reached Vindhyachal mountain. At that place he saw the Ashram of Shringi Muni.

She quickly went to that ashram and after reaching the sage, bowed down and started praying in a humble manner, “O Maharishi! I am Lalita, daughter of a Gandharva named Veerdhanva, my husband has become a terrible demon due to the curse of King Pundarika. I am feeling immense pain.

I am very sad because of my husband’s suffering. Oh great sage! Please tell him some good solution to get rid of the demon form.”

Hearing the entire story, Sage Shringi said, “O daughter! The name of Ekadashi of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month is Kamada Ekadashi. By observing its fast, all the desires of the living being are soon fulfilled.

If you give the virtue of his fast to your husband, he will easily be freed from the demonic form and the king’s curse will be calmed.”

As per the advice of the sage, Lalita fasted with devotion and on the day of Dwadashi, she gave the result of her fast to her husband in front of the Brahmins and started praying to God, “O Lord! May my husband get the fruits of the fast I have observed, So that they can soon be freed from their demonic form.”

As soon as she gave the results of Ekadashi, her husband was freed from the demon form and attained his divine form. He adorned himself with many beautiful clothes and jewellery and started walking with Lalita like before.

Due to the influence of Kamada Ekadashi, he became as beautiful as before and after death, both of them went to Vishnu Loka sitting on Pushpaka Vimana.

Hey Arjun! By observing this fast regularly, all sins are destroyed. By the virtue of this fast, man becomes free from the sins of Brahmahatya etc. and from the worldly life of demons etc. There is no other fast in the world better than this. By listening and reading its story and greatness one gets infinite results.

Synopsis (Katha-Saar)

It is not bad for a living being to think about his happiness, but sometimes such thinking diverts the living being from his responsibilities, due to which he has to suffer terribly. Gandharva Lalit also became a demon and did condemnable deeds and suffered, but there is no end to the mercy of Lord Shri Hari.

Vrat Katha of Kamada Ekadashi

Once Yudhishthira requested Lord Krishna to tell him the glory of Chaitra Shukla Ekadashi as stated in the Varaha Purana. While answering the question, lord Krishna told him that Chaitra Shukla Ekadashi is also known as Kamada Ekadashi. He narrated the story to the Yudhishthira.

As per the religious texts, once a young couple, Lalit and Lalita lived in the city of Ratnapura which was ruled by King Pundarika. Lalit was a renowned singer at that time while Lalita was a dancer at royal court. Once during his performance, Lalit missed some beats due to his divided attention on his wife who was missing from the court.

King Pundarika got angry at him for not serving his master with an undivided attention. He cursed Lalit to become a demon and suffer the consequences of his crime.

Due to his influence, Lalit became a huge monster- 64 miles in height and started suffering while wandering in the forest with his wife. Lalita became sad and one day she went to Shringi Rishi’s ashram and told him about her problems.

Rishi Shringi asked her to keep a fast on Kamada Ekadashi and give its virtue to your husband Lalit. This will free him from the demonic form and the king’s curse will also become ineffective. On the suggestion of the sage, Lalita observed a fast on Kamada Ekadashi and worshipped Lord Vishnu as per the rituals. After the fast, lord Vishnu rewarded Lalita for her devotion and freed her husband from the demonic form.

Spiritual Significance of Kamada Ekadashi:

Observing the Kamada Ekadashi fast is believed to purify the soul and accelerate spiritual progress. It offers numerous spiritual advantages, such as forgiveness of sins, surmounting life’s hurdles, and attaining inner peace and contentment.

This day underscores the significance of self-restraint, empathy, and transcending worldly desires to elevate one’s spiritual essence.

Devotees hold that fasting on Kamada Ekadashi initiates a pathway to divine love and ensures a harmonious journey in the afterlife, inviting the benevolent grace of the divine into their lives.

Rituals followed during the vrat:

On Kamada Ekadashi, devotees rise early, ideally before dawn, and partake in a purifying bath followed by the Mangal Arotika ceremony. They meticulously clean and adorn their altar with flowers and incense, creating a tranquil atmosphere for worship. Lighting a lamp before the deity symbolizes the dispelling of darkness or ignorance from one’s life.

Throughout the day, devotees engage in reciting the Vrat Katha (fasting story) associated with Kamada Ekadashi and fervently worship Lord Hari by chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra and singing devotional bhajans dedicated to Lord Krishna. Many devotees also visit nearby temples to offer prayers or partake in community service activities.

The central focus remains on cultivating a pure and reflective mindset, dedicating the day to spiritual elevation and establishing a deeper connection with the divine.

How to observe Vrat:

1. Begin the fast from dawn on Ekadashi till the dawn of the following day, Dwadashi.

2. Abstain from eating grains, pulses, garlic, and onions as these are considered tamasic, potentially disturbing spiritual practices.

3. Engage in chanting HareKrishna Mahamantra, recitation of Vishnu Sahasranamam (a thousand names of Lord Vishnu), and reading of sacred texts like       Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.

4. Offer fruits, tulsi leaves, and sweets to Lord Krishna, seeking his blessings for longevity and redemption of sins.

Foods to be consumed on vrat:

Fruits and roots, Milk and dairy products like paneer, Nuts and dried fruits, and Sendhanamak (rock salt).

Foods to be avoided:

All types of grains and pulses, onions, garlic, and leeks, meat and poultry, table salt and any tamasic food that disrupts spiritual practices.

The fasts and rituals of Kamada Ekadashi are regarded as purifying acts that cleanse the soul, absolving sins, and drawing the devotee nearer to eligibility for engaging in loving devotional service to the Lord.

Kamada Ekadashi

The untold glories of Kamada Ekadasi are described in the Varaha Purana in a delightful conversation between Maharaj Yudhistira and Sri Krsna.The king asked: “My dear Lord, crowning jewel of the yadu dynasty. Please enlighten me about the nature of this most auspicious day.

Kamada Ekadasi. Please accept my humble obeisances and advise me how one should observe this Ekadasi that falls during the month of Chaitra while the moon is waxing. Please also describe what the benefits of such observance are and advise me how to reap the result.”

“Sri Krsna replied: “My dear maharaja Yudhisthira, please hear attentively the description of this Ekadasi day which has been recorded in the ancient Purana.

One time Maharaja Dilip, the great grandfather of Sri Ramacandra, asked his dearly beloved and most magnanimous spiritual master Vasistha, about the name and procedure for observing this Ekadasi, ‘Kamada’ which occurs during the month of Chaitra (March/April.)

“The saintly & sagacious Vasistha replied, ‘O my dear King, naturally i will fulfill your desire to hear the glories of this Ekadasi day.

The name of this inscrutably alligned, constellatory opportunity is Kamada. The essence of such a day is the realisation of the delineation of lust and love; and knowing the difference between the two.

This sacred Ekadasi burns all one’s sinful reactions to ashes and awards the observer the privelege of having an intelligent and confident son. Now, please hear the glories of this Ekadasi.”

“Once, in the city of Ratnapura (Bhogipura) there was a great and venerable king known by the name of Pundarika. He was accompanied by his joyful and kindly munificent subjects which included the Gandharvas, Kinnaras and the Apsaras. In that sweetly opulent city there lived a fantastically beautiful Apsara named Lalita and a handsome, regal Gandharva known as Lalit.

They lived happily as husband and wife and were consistently overwhelmed by each other’s love; to the point of madhness. They were constantly engaged in sporting activities and relished each others company until their association burned at the heartstrings and knarled their brains to the point of exhaustion.”

“One time in the court of King Pundarika many Gandharva’s were engaged in blissful frivolities,  they were singing and dancing and covorting in great bliss. Lalit sang with the Gandharvas although his wife did not, rather she danced in great ecstacy with the many joyous Apsaras.

Due to the pangs of separation that Lalit was experiencing in separation from his devoted wife, he felt intense hankering and dove into an ocean of tears. His innunciation during his singing grew weaker and he forgot the words to many songs that he knew off by heart.”

“Oh king, in that assembly there was one serpent from the Patala Region, he went by the name of Karkotaka and knew well the mystery of this situation.

He complained in a greatly thunderous voice, “O lalit you have spoiled the perfomance here by your attachment to your wife, you have upset the taal (rhythm) of the piece and distracted the singers. Therefore i curse you to be a man-eater cannibal.’

“Being thus cursed by such a serpentine character, Lalit immediately transformed into a great demon and all could see there was fearsome fire in his eyes. When lalita saw her husband’s terrifying form she was extremely hurt and distressed. In intense pain and distress she spent her days and nights simply thinking of where to go, what to do and who to see.

However, her fears allayed she felt no understanding of where she was, what she was doing and who she was seeing. She was simply lost on an ocean of delinquent separation. Surrendering all embarrassment she lived with her husband in the forest.”

“Once, while wandering within the dense forest with her husband, Lalita saw the most sacred ashrama of the sage and Sringi situated at the peak of the Vindhiya Mountain.

Lalita immediately went there and offered her respectful obeisances to the sage. Upon seeing this lady, the sage inquired, ‘O beautiful one, who are you and where do you come from? Why have you come here and what duty will you perform here?’

“Lalita replied: “O great soul, I am the daughter of the great and kind hearted Gandharva named Viradhanva. My name is Lalita and I live in this forest with my husband. He has been cursed by a ferocious serpent and is now in the form of a demon.

O brahmana! I am greatly indebted to you for your kind darshan and have no means of rescuing my husband myself. Please, as a great brahmana you must surely have the ability to help. If there is at all some way of atonement that will remove this horrendous afflication, then please; tell me!”

“After hearing Lalita’s pathetic request, the sage Sringi said, ‘O daughter of the Gandharva, in a few days time during the waxing Moon of the Chaitra month.

There is a munificent Ekadasi day, known as Kamada. By observance of this day all one’s sinful reactions can be completely annhiliated. By following this (vow) and giving the entire merit to your husband, all one’s desire’s will be fulfilled. Then, by the influence of this merit your husband will immediately become freed from the curse.”

“O King! Being instructed in this way by the sage, Lalita gladly observed the vow of this Ekadasi. On the day of Dvadasi, Lalita gladly sat in front of the brahmanas and the Supreme Lord Vasudeva and announced: “I have observed the Ekadasi vrata as you reccomended, I have abstained from food and water for the duration and am now gladly offering my results unto my dearest husband. I pray that my piety will remove his demoniac condition and alleviate our suffering.”

“As soon as Lalita had finished her prayer, her husband-turned-demon, ‘Lalit’ became freed from the reactions of his sins and regained his divine Gandharva form. From that time on Lalit and Lalita lived happily together.”

“Lord Krsna concluded, “O Maharaja Yudhisthira! O best of kings! Anyone who hears the narration of this most charmingly blissful day should certainly observe it to the best of his ability. There is no better vow as it can eradicate even the sin of killing a brahmana and easily counteracts demoniac curses.” 

Significance of Kamada Ekadashi

Occurring at the start of the Hindu New Year, Kamada Ekadashi is the very first Ekadashi of the year. Various Puranas, Vedas and Hindu scriptures describe the significance of this Ekadashi. Observing a fast on Kamada Ekadashi safeguards devotees from all kinds of curses. Fasting on this day rids devotees of their sins and helps attain salvation by freeing them of the cycle of birth and death. It is believed that if a childless couple observes this fast, they are blessed with a male child.

Rituals Of Kamada Ekadashi

  • On Kamada Ekadashi, devotees wake up early and take a holy bath. Thereafter, they offer prayers to Lord Vishnu.
  • Devotees apply sandalwood paste, offer dhoop, fruits, flowers and burn incense sticks in front of the idol of the deity.
  • One must refrain from consuming meals on ekadashi. If at all, they should consume a meal comprising only Satvik food — milk-based products, fruits and dry fruits, etc.
  • Kamada Ekadashi fast begins a day earlier, on Dashami. Devotees should take only a single meal before sunset on the Chaitra Shukla dashami day.
  • The Vrat lasts for a period of 24 hours, beginning from sunrise on Ekadashi and ending after sunrise on Dwadashi.
  • One should end the fast with donation of food, clothes and other essentials to a Brahmin.
  • Devotees chant sacred mantras and recite songs in honor of the deity. In addition, they should listen to the Kamada Ekadashi Vrat story.
  • People also read ‘Vishnu Sahastranaam’ to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu.

Kamada Ekadashi Vrat Katha (Story)

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna narrated the legend of Kamada Ekadashi to King Yudhishthira. It is the tale of a couple — an apsara named Lalita, and a Gandharva named Lalit — who served in the court of King Pundarika, the ruler of Bhagipur.

Once, as Lalit sang in the king’s court with all the Gandharvas, his thoughts wandered to his beloved, who was not present in court. The absence of his beloved affected his singing as well. A serpent informed the King about Lalit’s actions, which infuriated Pundarika. He set a curse upon Lalit to transform him into an ugly demon. The gandharva immediately took a ghastly form, which saddened Lalita as she got to know of his disposition. As the now-fiendish Lalit wandered amidst the forests, a distraught Lalita kept following him. At Vindhayachal mountain, Lalita chanced upon the ashram of Sage Shringi and narrated her plight. Sage Shringi then advised her to observe a fast for Kamada Ekadashi in Chaitra month to rid Lalit of the king’s curse.

Going by the sage’s advice, Lalita observed the fast in keeping with rituals and sought the deity’s blessings to free her husband of the curse. After Lalita religiously completed the fast, Lalit regained his true form. Ever since, devotees have been observing a fast on Kamada Ekadashi in order for fulfillment of their desires.

Story of Kamada Ekadashi

The Ekadashi that falls in the waxing phase of the moon, or the Shukla Paksha of the moon in the Chaitra month is known to be the most auspicious, a period of repentence, a period to seek redemption.

As per the legend in Padma Purana, in the kingdom of Nagapura, lived the King Pundarika along with the nagas, gandharvas, kinnaras, and celestial nymphs. Among them, was a celestial nymph by the name Lalitha, and a gandharva by the name Lalith, who grew in love with time. They rejoiced in a world of their own, with love, passion, beauty and wealth.

Once, when King Pundarika was sporting, Lalith was singing and dancing in praise of the King, when in a moment’s relapse, he slipped and stumbled upon words being overpowered by love in the mere memory of his wife, Lalitha. This infuriated the King who cursed the gandharva into deforming into a fierce demon who ate ‘raw flesh that eats human beings.’ This upset Lalitha who sought repentence and solace from a sage in an impassable, dense forest.

The sage, who was touched by her solicitude, advised her to observe a fast, or Ekadashi Vrat, do ‘destroy sins’ and to gain ‘religious merit.’ Lalitha observed the fast on Ekadashi (the eleventh day) and on Dvadashi (the twelfth day) to help her husband strip off his goblinhood with the blessings of Lord Vishnu. Lalith was cured of his demon form and he received his gandharvahood following her steadfast devotion and faith in the vrat. The couple rejoiced in the religious merit of Kamada.

Rituals during Kamada Ekadashi:

  • The day of Kamada Ekadashi starts at sunrise with an early bath. The devotees then make preparations for worshipping Lord Vishnu. On this day, the idol of Lord Krishna is worshipped with sandalwood, flowers, fruits and dhoop. This ritual is meant to invoke the blessings of Lord Krishna.
  • The fast of Kamada Ekadashi must be observed with devotion and by following certain rules. The observer of this fast can eat one simple meal that comprises of milk products, fruits, vegetables, nuts and dried fruits. The food should be ‘saatvik’ and purely vegetarian. Even for those not keeping a fast, eating rice, moong dal, wheat and barley is not allowed on the day of Kamada Ekadashi.
  • The fast of Kamada Ekadashi begins from the ‘dashami’ of the Chaitra Shukla Paksha. On this tithi the person should take only one meal before sunset. The fasting continues for a period of 24 hours from the sunrise of ekadashi to the sunrise of the following day, Dwadashi. During this period, the person must abstain from eating food and drinking a sip of water. The fast is broken on the next day, after offering food and some ‘dakshina’ to a Brahmin.
  • On this day devotees do not sleep during the afternoon as well as night. They chant Vedic mantras and bhajans in praise of Sri Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Reading of religious books like ‘Vishnu Sahastranaam’ is considered to be very auspicious. On this occasion special yagyas, discourses and speeches are held in Lord Vishnu temples all over India.
  • The observer of the vrat must also listen to the Kamada Ekadashi vrat katha. This katha was formerly narrated by Saint Vasistha to Maharaja Dilip, who was great grandfather of Sri Ram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

According to the Narad Puran, the following rituals must be done:

  • The devotees must carefully follow the injunctions of the holy rites of the Shukla Paksha of Asadha. They should observe a fast and install a picture of Lord Vishnu on an arranged pavilion, ornamented with gold and silver, with a yellow cloth silk wound around it.
  • Devotees must bathe the picture of the deity with panchamrita and pure water as they chant mantras and recite the hymn ‘Purusa Sukta’.
  • The Upacharas begin with Padya and end with Nirajana (ceremonial waving of lights around an object of worship).
  • On the morning of Dvadashi, devotees must worship Lord Vishnu, or Sheshashayin (the one who sleeps on the Shesha Naag), with the sixteen Upacharas as mentioned in the Narad Puran. They should pay offerings to Brahmanas as Dakshinas.

Upacharas are customs followed in observing a ritual, and the Narad Puran mentions of sixteen upacharas: avahana (invitation), asana (offering a seat), Padya (water for washing feet), arghya (respectful offering of water with or without grains of rice, durva grass, flowers mixed in it), acamaniya (offering spoonfuls of water for sipping), snana {bath), vastra (cloth), yajnopavita (the sacred thread). anulopana or gandha (sandal paste or some fragrant paste), puspa (decoration with flowers) dhupa (burning of incense), dipa (waving of light), naivedya (offering of eatables, food) tambula (offering betel-leaves, just after dinner or naivedya), dakshina (religious fee or monetary gift), pradakshina (clockwise circumambulation).

Significance of Kamada Ekadashi:

Kamada Ekadashi is the first ekadashi observance of the Hindu year, making it the most revered of all the Ekadashi rituals. The greatness of Kamada Ekadashi has been described in several Hindu religious scriptures and puranas like ‘Varaha Purana’. During Mahabharata, Sri Krishna explained the virtues and benefits of Kamada Ekadashi to Pandava King Yudhishtira. The Kamada ekadashi vratam helps a person to regain and improve their virtues. It also protects the devotees and their family members from all the curses inflicted on them. Even the most heinous sins like killing of Brahmin cab ne pardoned if a person keeps the Kamada Ekadashi vrat with full commitment. It is also a popular belief that by observing the Kamada Ekadashi fast with dedication, childless couples are blessed with a male progeny. People observing this sacred fast will also get liberated from the cycle of birth and death and ultimately reach to ‘Vaikunth’ the adobe of Lord Vishnu.

Significance of Kamada Ekadashi

The significance of Kamada Ekadashi is deeply rooted in Hindu mythology, particularly expounded in the Padma Purana. It is believed that observing fast on this day and earnestly worshipping Lord Vishnu can yield merits equivalent to performing a thousand yajnas (ritual sacrifices). Additionally, Kamada Ekadashi is revered for its ability to absolve devotees of sins such as Brahmanicide and possession by evil spirits. The name “Kamada” itself suggests that this Ekadashi fulfills the desires of devotees who observe it with sincerity and devotion.                   

Auspicious Timing for Kamada Ekadashi 2024

In the year 2024, Kamada Ekadashi is slated to commence at 5:31 PM on April 18th and conclude at 8:04 PM on April 19th. Devotees eagerly await this auspicious occasion to engage in prayers, fasting, and acts of charity to seek divine blessings and spiritual upliftment. The sunrise time on April 19th marks the commencement of Kamada Ekadashi rituals.                        

Rituals to Follow

1. Morning Rituals:

  • Begin the day by waking up during the Brahma Muhurta, the auspicious time before sunrise.
  • Purify the body and mind by taking a ritualistic bath.
  • Adorn clean attire and offer prayers to the Sun God, expressing gratitude for life and light.
  • Close your eyes and immerse yourself in meditation, focusing on Lord Vishnu and seeking his divine grace for the day ahead.

2. Preparation of Puja Area:

  • Prepare the puja area by thoroughly cleaning and sanctifying the space.
  • Place a wooden platform or altar and adorn it with a red cloth, symbolizing auspiciousness.
  • Install an image or idol of Lord Vishnu, the central deity of Kamada Ekadashi.
  • Perform Abhishek (ritualistic bathing) of the deity with water, symbolizing purification and devotion.
  • Dress the deity in yellow garments, signifying prosperity and auspiciousness.

3. Offerings and Aarti:

  • Light a ghee lamp, symbolizing the dispelling of darkness and ignorance, and offer it to the deity.
  • Offer flowers, incense, and other auspicious items as a mark of reverence and devotion.
  • Prepare bhog (offerings) consisting of fruits, sweets, and other vegetarian delicacies.
  • Conclude the puja by performing Aarti to Lord Vishnu, accompanied by melodious bhajans and hymns.

Things to Remember on Kamada Ekadashi

  • Cultivate positive virtues such as compassion, honesty, and humility while refraining from negative emotions like envy, greed, and anger.
  • Avoid wearing dark-colored clothes, symbolizing purity and spiritual enlightenment.
  • Abstain from consuming rice and heavy foods, opting instead for light, sattvic meals that nourish the body and soul.
  • Utilize few hours for deep introspection, prayer, and meditation, fostering a deeper connection with the divine.

Significance of Charity

Charity, or Dana, occupies a central role in Hindu philosophy and is particularly emphasized on auspicious occasions like Ekadashi. It is believed that offering donations on Kamada Ekadashi pleases Lord Vishnu and attracts his divine blessings upon the donor. The Bhagavad Gita extols the virtues of selfless giving, emphasizing the importance of donating without expecting anything in return.

Things to Donate on Kamada Ekadashi

  • Food and meals are considered the most meritorious donations on Kamada Ekadashi, as they alleviate hunger and nourish the needy.
  • Providing clothing and education to the underprivileged is also highly valued, as it empowers individuals and uplifts communities.
  • Consider taking a pledge to sponsor the education of underprivileged children or support charitable organizations dedicated to serving the less fortunate.
  • Participate in philanthropic projects such as feeding programs, clothing drives, and educational initiatives organized by some NGOs to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.      

Kamada Ekadashi is not merely a day of religious observance but a sacred opportunity for spiritual growth, purification, and selfless service. By observing the prescribed rituals with sincerity and devotion, and engaging in acts of charity and compassion, devotees can seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu and progress on the path of righteousness. Let us embrace the spirit of Kamada Ekadashi to purify our hearts, deepen our spiritual connection, and contribute to the welfare of society.      

Importance of Kamada Ekadashi Vrat Katha

In the great epic of Mahabharata, there is mention of Kamada Ekadashi Vrat Katha. People believe that Lord Krishna shared the importance and benefits of Kamada Ekadashi Katha to the eldest Pandava and King of Indraprastha, Yudhisthir. The Varaha Purana also mentions the Kamada Ekadashi story. Kamada means the accomplishment of all the wishes. Therefore, people say that Kamada Ekadashi Vrat is observed to fulfil all the wishes in life.

Many other Hindu scriptures talk about Kamada Ekadashi Vrat. This Vrat can help to regain the lost virtues of life. Many people keep fasting on this day to seek forgiveness for their past wrongdoings. Married Couples observe fast on Kamada Ekadashi to get the blessing of a child. It is nothing less than a pathway that leads people to the Vaikuntha, the abode of Lord Vishnu.

Dos and Don’ts of Kamada Ekadashi Vrat

People should consider following the Dos and Don’ts of Kamada Ekadashi Vrat. It will help them complete the Vrat in its authentic way and receive the benefits in life.

Rituals to be Followed on Kamada Ekadashi Vrat

  • Wake up before sunrise and take a bath.
  • Begin the puja by worshipping Lord Krishna.
  • The ideal way to honour him is by offering sandalwood, fruits, and flowers to receive the Kamada Ekadashi Vrat puja’s benefits.
  • Whosoever performs the Kamada Ekadashi Vrat is not allowed to eat things like rice, moong dal, wheat and barley.
  • However, they may consume food like milk, fruits and veggies and dry fruits.
  • Non- vegetarian food is strictly prohibited from eaten on this day.
  • The devotees should note that the fasting for Kamada Ekadashi Vrat starts from the night before on the day of Dashami in the month of Chaitra during Shukla Paksha.
  • A single meal is allowed to eat before the sunset.
  • It is a 24-hour fasting Vrat, starting from the sunrise, and it ends on the following day, the dawn of Dwadashi.
  • People also donate grains and money to Brahmins before concluding the fasting.
  • On this day, devotees recite a thousand names of Lord Vishnu while doing Vishnu Puja also known as Vishnu Sahasranama.
  • Many people recite Krishna Bhajans and other Vedic mantras to receive the blessings of Lord Krishna.
  • In our country, people organise Yagnas in the temples of Lord Vishnu on this day.
  • It is advised to listen to the interesting Kamada Ekadashi story.
  • People also believe that Great Sage Vashishtha narrated this story to King Dilip, the father of Raghu, the mighty ruler of the Ikshvaku dynasty.
  • Lord Rama, the avatar of Lord Vishnu, belonged to the lineage of Raghu.

The Vrat Story Of Kamada Ekadashi:

Lord Krishna narrates the story of Kamada Ekadashi to the Pandava King Yudhishthira as the sage Vasishtha told it to King Dilip in the Varaha Purana.

A long time backs, a young Gandharva couple named Lalit and Lalitha are the main protagonist of this story. Lalit was a Gandharva and trained singer, and his wife Lalitha was an apsara and trained dancer. And they used to perform in the court of King Pundarika in Ratnapura.

One day Lalit was delivering a solo performance in the court, but his mind could not focus like usual days because of his beloved wife’s absence in the palace. His half-focused mind affected his performance, and Lalit made numerous mistakes in his performance. This incident made the king furious, and to punish him for his behavior, he cursed Lalit and turned him into a hideous demon.

Lalitha got devastated, and to answer back the king, she went to the court and broke the king’s misconception about her abandoning her husband, Lalit, due to his demon form. So the couple wandered apprehensively into the forests to find a solution to their misery.

After few days, they arrived at an ashram of Sage Shringi in the Vindhyachal mountain. Lalitha explained their dilemma and asked for an effective panacea. In response, sage Shringi suggested the couple a fast on Kamada Ekadashi Vrat of Chaitra month. So as per the sage’s advice, the couple observed the fast meticulously, and as a result, Lalit was relieved from the curse and gained his normal appearance.

So since then, the Kamada Ekadashi Vrat holds immense importance in the Hindu calendar as a dedicated religious day to offer prayers and devotion to Lord Krushna to seek blessings and fulfillment of desires.

Significance Of Kamada Ekadashi:

Kamada Ekadashi is the very first Ekadashi of the Hindu new year; that’s why it is believed to be the most auspicious Ekadashi of the year. The significance of this Ekadashi lies in its divine power of protecting devotees from all types of curses. Various Vedas, Puranas, and Hindu scriptures have described the significance of this Ekadashi by mentioning the gains of observing a fast on this holy day. Fasting on this day aids devotees in getting rid of their sins and leads them towards liberation by freeing them of the cycle of death and rebirth. Moreover, it is believed that if a couple holding a desire for a child observes this fast, they will be blessed with a male child.

Rituals And Celebration:

The rituals of this auspicious Ekadashi are very simple and manageable. The Kamada Ekadashi fast begins a day before the Ekadashi, on Dashami. Devotees are supposed to take only a single meal before sunset on the Chaitra Shukla Dashami day. Beginning from the sunrise of Ekadashi and ending after sunrise of Dwadashi, this Vrat lasts for a period of 24 hours.

On Kamada Ekadashi’s day, devotees wake up early before sunrise and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna after taking a holy bath and practicing meditation. Then they visit temples and apply sandalwood paste, fruits, flowers, Prashad, and burn incense sticks and dhoop as well in front of the idol of the deity.

Devotees are not allowed to consume meals on Ekadashi. But in today’s time, people observe this fast by consuming only Satvik food, including milk-based products, fruits, dry fruits, etc.

People also hold various charity events on this day by donating food, clothes, and other essentials to a Brahmin and all the needy people of society. Moreover, people gather around and read Kamada Ekadashi Vrat’s story along with chanting sacred mantras and spiritual songs in honor of the deity.