|| Kamika Ekadasi/Ekadashi ||

|| Om namo Narayana namah ||

|| Om namo bhagwate vasudevay namah ||

Ekadashi is the 11th lunar day (thithi) of Hindu calendar that occurs twice in a lunar month both in Sukla paksha (bright fortnight) as well as in Krishna paksha (dark fortnight). That means we get two Ekadashi days in a lunar month and in a year there will be 24 Ekadashi days; sometimes even more whenever there is Adhika maasam as per lunar calendar.

Ekadashi is the most favourite day of Lord Vishnu and that’s why it is also known as Hari-Dina the day dedicated to Lord Sri Hari (Vishnu). Ekadashi has attained lot of prominence in Hindu religion as it is the most sacred day prescribed for worshiping Lord Vishnu.

We find devout Hindus observe fasting on Ekadashi and spend the whole day in spiritual pursuits. It is said that there is no austerity that is equivalent to Ekadashi Vratha in terms of merits. Including Padma Purana several sacred scripts have eulogized the significance and merits of Ekadashi Vratha. There is no Vratha (austerity) that is more meritorious than that of Ekadashi Vratha.

Kamika Ekadasi

Significance of Kamika Ekadashi is that by observing fast and do ritualistic worship, it removes your sins and helps in attaining salvation

The greatness of this Ekadashi was explained to Yudhishtira by Lord Krishna and is found in the Bhavisyotara Purana.

अश्वमेधसहस्राणि राजसूयशतानि च ।

एकादश्युपवासस्य कलां नार्हन्ति शोडशीम् ।।

Meaning: Not even thousand Ashvamedha Yagas or hundred Raja Suya Yagas would match the fast on an Ekadashi Day.

The Mythology Behind Kamika Ekadashi

The saintly king Yudhisthira maharaj said, “Oh Supreme Lord, I have heard from You the glories of fasting on Deva-sayani Ekadasi, which occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Ashadha.

Now I would like to hear from You the glories of the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight (krishna paksha) of the month of Shravana (July -August).

Oh Govindadeva, please be merciful to me and explain its glories.

Oh Supreme Vasudeva, I offer my most humble obeisances unto You.

The Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, replied, “Oh King, please listen attentively as I describe the auspicious influence of this Holy fast (vrata) day, which removes all sins. Narada Muni once asked Lord Brahma about this same topic. ‘Oh regent of all beings,’ said Naradji, ‘Oh you who sit upon a water born lotus throne, please tell me the name of the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the sacred month of Shravana. Please also tell me which Deity is to be worshipped on that Holy day, the process one must follow to observe it, and the merit it awards.’

Lord Brahma replied, ‘My dear son Narada, for the benefit of all humanity I shall happily tell you everything you wish to know, for just hearing the glories of the Kamika Ekadasi bestows merit equal to that obtained by one who performs a horse sacrifice. Certainly, great merit is attained by one who worships, and who also meditates on the lotus feet of the four-armed Lord Gadadhara, who holds conchshell, disc, club and lotus in His hands and who is also known as Shridhara, Hari, Vishnu, Madhava, and Madhusudana. And the blessings achieved by such a person / devotee, who worships Lord Vishnu exclusively are far greater than those achieved by one who takes a sacred bath in the Ganges at Kashi (Varanasi), in the forest of Naimisharanya, or at Pushkara, which is the only place on the planet where I am formally worshipped. But one who observes this Kamika Ekadasi and also worships Lord Shri Krishna achieves greater merit than one who has darshan of Lord Kedaranatha in the Himalayas, or one who bathes at Kurukshetra during a solar eclipse, or one who donates the whole Earth in charity, including its forests and oceans, or one who bathes in the Gandaki River (where the sacred Shaligrams are found) or the Godavari River on a full moon (purnima) day that falls on a Monday when Leo (Simha) and Jupiter (Guru) are conjoined (conjunct).

‘Observing Kamika Ekadasi bestows the same merit as donating a milk-cow and her auspicious calf, along with their feed. On this all auspicious day, whosoever worships Lord Sri Shridhara-deva, Vishnu, is glorified by all the devas, Gandharvas, Pannagas, and Nagas. ‘Those who are afraid of their past sins and completely immersed in sinful materialistic life should at least observe this best of Ekadasis according to their ability and thus attain liberation.

This Ekadasi is the purest of all days and the most powerful for removing sins of the native. Oh Narad ji, Lord Shri Hari Himself once said about this Ekadasi, “One who fasts on Kamika Ekadasi attains much more merit than one who studies all the spiritual literatures. Anyone who fasts on this particular day remains awake throughout the night will never experience the anger of Yamaraja, the king of death personified. It has been seen that whoever observes Kamika Ekadasi will not have to suffer future births, and in the past too, many Yogis of devotion who fasted on this day went to the spiritual world.

One should therefore follow in their auspicious footsteps and strictly observe a fast on this most auspicious of Ekadasis.

‘Whosoever worships Lord Shri Hari with Tulsi leaves is freed from all implication of sin.vIndeed, he lives untouched by sin, as the lotus leaf, although in the water, is untouched by it. Whosoever offers Lord Shri Hari but a single leaf from the sacred Tulsi tree (occillium basilcum sanctum) attains as much merit as one who gives away in charity two hundred grams of gold and eight hundred grams of silver. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is more pleased by one who offers Him a single Tulsi leaf than by one who worships Him with pearls, rubies, topaz, diamonds, lapis lazuli, sapphires, gomeda stones (gomaz), cat’s eye gems, and coral.

One who offers Lord Keshava newly grown manjari buds from the Tulsi plant gets rid of all the sins he has committed during this or any other lifetime. Indeed, mere darshana of Tulsi on Kamika Ekadasi removes all sins, and merely touching her and praying to her removes all kinds of disease. One who waters Tulsi devi need never fear the Lord of death, Yamaraja. One who plants or transplants Tulsi on this days will eventually reside with Lord Shri Krishna in His own abode. To Srimati Tulsi devi, who awards liberation in devotional service, one should therefore daily offer one’s full obeisances.

‘Even Chitragupta, Yamaraja’s secretary, cannot calculate the merit obtained by one who offers Shrimati Tulsi-devi a perpetually burning ghee lamp. So dear is this sacred Ekadasi to the Supreme Personality of Godhead that all the forefathers of one who offers a bright ghee lamp to Lord Shri Krishna on this day ascend to the heavenly planets and drink the celestial nectar there. Whoever offers a ghee or sesame oil lamp to Shri Krishna on this day is freed from all his sins and enters the abode of Surya, the Sun-god, with a body as bright as ten million lamps. This Ekadasi is so powerful that if one who is unable to fast simply follows the practices as mentioned herein, s/he is elevated to the heavenly planets, along with all their forefathers.

‘Oh Maharaj Yudhisthira,Lord Shri Krishna concluded, “…these were the words of prajapathi Brahma to his son Narad Muni concerning the incalculable glories of this Kamika Ekadasi, which removes all sins. This sacred day nullifies even the sin of killing a brahmana or the sin of killing an unborn child in the womb, and it promotes one to the spiritual world by making one supremely meritorious. One who kills the innocent, i.e., a brahmin (brahmana), a child in the womb, a pious and spotless woman, etc., and then later hears about the glories of Kamika Ekadasi will be relieved of the reaction to one’s sins.

However, one should NOT think beforehand that one can kill a Brahmin or other innocent folk and then go unpunished simply by hearing of this Ekadasi. Such knowing commission of sin is an abomination. Whosoever hears these glories of the Kamika Ekadasi with faith becomes free of all sins and returns home, back to Godhead – Vishnu-loka, Vaikuntha.

Thus ends the narration of the glories of the Shravana-krshna Ekadasi, or Kamika Ekadasi, from the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana.

What can be done on this day?

Worshiping Lord Vishnu (according to ones’ sampradaya) along with Goddess Lakshmi on this day as well as on the next day (Dwaadasi) during Arunodaya kaala (early hours between 4-6 am) is prescribed.

Total fasting is prescribed on any Ekadashi day. One can undertake fasting according to one’s physical fitness. Fasting becomes futile if it is not accompanied by sincere prayer and meditation.

Prayer & Parayana

According to one’s sampradaya one may chose any of the Vishnu related prayers like Vishnu Sahasranama Stothram etc. Those who cannot read can chant at least, Narayana Ashtakshari or Dwadasaakshari or Raama Naama or Naama

“Ashvmedhsahastrani Rajsuyashtani ch, Ekadashyupavasasya kalaam naharnti shodshim”.

This mantra means that not even a thousand ‘Ashvamedha Yagya’ or a hundred ‘Raja Suya Yagas’ would match the blessing one will receive if he/she observes a fast on the Ekadashi day.

Fasting

Ekadasi/Ekadashi, is an important Upvaas (fast) dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Millions of Hindu devotees observe Ekadashi, which is considered highly auspicious by Lord Vishnu devotees.

It is believed that demon Mura found a dwelling place in the rice and Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Ekadashi to annihilate Mura. Therefore devotees who fast on the Ekadashi day avoid food made from grains. Many devotees due to several reasons – like health and job commitments – observe partial fast on the day. Such people avoid non-vegetarian and food items made from beans, pulses and grains, especially rice.

As this is the most important and toughest Ekadashi of all, some strict rules have to be followed by devotees, while performing the Nirjala Ekadashi Vrat. Read out these points before observing Nirjala Ekadashi fast in 2016.

• Complete fasting involves total abstinence from food and water for 24 hours.

• People with health problems can opt for partial fasting after consulting with their doctors.

• Some people take only a single meal on the Dasami day, the day before Ekadashi.

In Hinduism, Upvaas is meant to bring a person close to God. Spend the day in purifying the mind and body.The fasting comes to an end on the Dwadashi day with the consuming of food cooked in one’s house.

Benefits of Fasting

Fasting gives the system a rest: The physiological system may become overworked due to a little overeating or indiscrimination in diet. Fasting gives the system a chance to catch up.

Fasting helps us practice self-discipline in eating and concentrate more on pleasing God.

Fasting helps keep the body light and the stomach free so that one can meditate better. The digestive system draws the blood circulation towards the digestive organs. Therefore blood circulation to the head is decreased once food is taken: so we feel sleepy.

Observing Ekadashi increases spiritual advancement.

Ekadasi Aarti

Om Jai Ekadashi is the most famous Aarti of Ekadashi Mata. This famous Aarti of Ekadashi Mata is recited mostly on Ekadashi Day.

एकादशी माता की आरती

ॐ जय एकादशी, जय एकादशी, जय एकादशी माता।
विष्णु पूजा व्रत को धारण कर, शक्ति मुक्ति पाता॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

तेरे नाम गिनाऊं देवी, भक्ति प्रदान करनी।
गण गौरव की देनी माता, शास्त्रों में वरनी॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

मार्गशीर्ष के कृष्णपक्ष की उत्पन्ना, विश्वतारनी जन्मी।
शुक्ल पक्ष में हुई मोक्षदा, मुक्तिदाता बन आई॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

पौष के कृष्णपक्ष की, सफला नामक है।
शुक्लपक्ष में होय पुत्रदा, आनन्द अधिक रहै॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

नाम षटतिला माघ मास में, कृष्णपक्ष आवै।
शुक्लपक्ष में जया, कहावै, विजय सदा पावै॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

विजया फागुन कृष्णपक्ष में शुक्ला आमलकी।
पापमोचनी कृष्ण पक्ष में, चैत्र महाबलि की॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

चैत्र शुक्ल में नाम कामदा, धन देने वाली।
नाम बरुथिनी कृष्णपक्ष में, वैसाख माह वाली॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

शुक्ल पक्ष में होय मोहिनी अपरा ज्येष्ठ कृष्णपक्षी।
नाम निर्जला सब सुख करनी, शुक्लपक्ष रखी॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

योगिनी नाम आषाढ में जानों, कृष्णपक्ष करनी।
देवशयनी नाम कहायो, शुक्लपक्ष धरनी॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

कामिका श्रावण मास में आवै, कृष्णपक्ष कहिए।
श्रावण शुक्ला होय पवित्रा आनन्द से रहिए॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

अजा भाद्रपद कृष्णपक्ष की, परिवर्तिनी शुक्ला।
इन्द्रा आश्चिन कृष्णपक्ष में, व्रत से भवसागर निकला॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

पापांकुशा है शुक्ल पक्ष में, आप हरनहारी।
रमा मास कार्तिक में आवै, सुखदायक भारी॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

देवोत्थानी शुक्लपक्ष की, दुखनाशक मैया।
पावन मास में करूं विनती पार करो नैया॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

परमा कृष्णपक्ष में होती, जन मंगल करनी।
शुक्ल मास में होय पद्मिनी दुख दारिद्र हरनी॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

जो कोई आरती एकादशी की, भक्ति सहित गावै।
जन गुरदिता स्वर्ग का वासा, निश्चय वह पावै॥
ॐ जय एकादशी…॥

Temple Connect wishes you a blessed Kamika Ekadashi ! May the Supreme Lord Sri Lakshmi Narayana Bless the humanity with his grace and save the Mankind from all the evils.

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