King Yudhisthira Maharaj, a pious man, said: “Oh Supreme Lord, You have told me about the virtues of fasting on Deva-sayani Ekadashi, which falls during the month of Ashadha’s light fortnight.
Now I want to know about the Ekadasi’s splendours, which take place during the dark fortnight (Krishna paksha) of the Shravana month (July -August). Kamika Ekadashi, this year observed on 13 Jul 2023, is a sacred day for Hindus, marked by fasting and devotion, seeking blessings for spiritual growth and protection.
Oh Govindadeva, pity me and tell me about your splendours.
I bow down to You in the utmost humility, Supreme Vasudeva.
Lord Krishna, the Supreme Lord, responded, “Oh King, pay close attention as I explain the blessings associated with this Holy Fast (vrata) day, which purges all sins.
Tale of Kamika Ekadashi
Lord Brahma was once questioned on this subject by Narada Muni.
Kindly tell me all about Ekadasi, which takes place during the dark fortnight of the holy month of Shravana; asked Naradji, “Oh regent of all beings,” “Oh you who sit upon a water born lotus throne.”
Also, please let me know which Deity is to be worshipped on that Holy Day, how to observe it, and what benefits it confers.
Lord Brahma retorted for the benefit of all humanity, “My darling son Narada, I shall cheerfully give you anything you wish to know. After all, just hearing of the splendours of the Kamika Ekadasi bestows merit equivalent to that attained by one who sacrifices a horse.
One who worships and meditates on the lotus feet of the four-armed Lord Gadadhara, also known as Shridhara, Hari, Vishnu, Madhava, and Madhusudana, and who holds conchshell, disc, club, and lotus in His hands, undoubtedly achieves immense merit.
And the benefits of Ekadashi attained by such a person or devotee, who worship only Lord Vishnu, are far greater than those attained by someone who takes a holy bath in the Ganges at Kashi (Varanasi), in the Naimisharanya forest, or at Pushkara, which is the only location on Earth where I am officially worshipped.
But one who observes this Kamika Ekadasi and also worships Lord Krishna gains more merit than someone who sees Lord Kedaranatha in the Himalayas, takes a bath at Kurukshetra during a solar eclipse, gives the entire Earth to charity, including its oceans and forests, or takes a bath in either the Godavari or Gandaki rivers on the day of the full moon (Purnima), which falls on a Monday when Leo (Simha) and (conjunct).
Glories of this Ekadashi
If a person kills an innocent person—a brahmin (brahmana), a kid in the womb, a devout and pure woman, etc.—and then learns of Kamika Ekadasi’s virtues, they will not be punished for their transgressions.
However, one should NOT assume that just because they hear of this Ekadasi, they may kill a Brahmin or another innocent person and thus escape punishment.
Such deliberate sin-commitment is abhorrent.
Anyone who confidently hears the Kamika Ekadashi’s praises is purified of all sins and returns to Godhead—Vishnu-Loka, Vaikuntha—where they belong.
Thus concludes the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana’s description of the Shravana-Krishna Ekadasi, also known as the Kamika Ekadashi, and its virtues.
Which God Should We Worship On This Day?
On this extremely auspicious day, whoever worships Lord Sri Shridhara-deva, Vishnu, is praised by all the gods, including the Gandharvas, Pannagas, and Nagas. Those who live a sinful, materialistic lifestyle out of fear of their past transgressions should at the very least adhere to this Ekadasis to the best of their ability to achieve release.
The most effective day for atoning for a native’s misdeeds is this Ekadasi because it is the purest of all days.
Why Observe a Fast on Kamika Ekadashi?
Compared to someone who studies all the spiritual literature, someone who fasts on Kamika Ekadasi gains a lot more virtue. Anyone who fasts on this specific day and stays awake all night won’t ever feel Yamaraja’s wrath, the personification of death.
It has been observed that those who observe Kamika Ekadasi will not experience subsequent births, and in the past, many devoted Yogis who observed a fast on this day passed into the spiritual realm.
Therefore, one should firmly observe a fast on this most auspicious Ekadasi to follow in their auspicious footsteps.
Anyone who worships Lord Shri Hari with tulsi leaves is absolved of all sin.
He truly lives without the influence of sin, just as the lotus leaf does despite being submerged in water.
One leaf from the holy tulsi tree, offered to Lord Shri Hari, is equivalent to giving away 200 grammes of gold or 800 grammes of silver in charitable donations.
A single Tulsi leaf is more pleasing to the Supreme Personality of Godhead than pearls, rubies, topaz, diamonds, lapis lazuli, sapphires, gomeda stones (gomaz), cat’s eye gems, coral, and other precious stones.
Indeed, a simple darshan of Tulsi on Kamika Ekadasi purges all sins, and a simple touch and prayer to her heal any illness.
Yamaraja, the Lord of Death, need never be feared by one who waters Tulsi Devi.
These days, everyone who plants a tulsi will eventually live with Lord Shri Krishna in His abode.
The daily offering of one’s full obeisances to Srimati Tulsi Devi, who grants emancipation via devotional service, is hence appropriate.
Even Chitragupta, Yamaraja’s secretary, cannot determine the merit attained by a person who presents Shrimati Tulsi-Devi with a ghee lamp that never goes out of the flame.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead holds this sacred Kamika Ekadashi in such high regard that all the ancestors of someone who presents Lord Shri Krishna with a beautiful ghee lamp on this day ascend to the heavenly planets and partake of the celestial nectar there.
On this day, anyone who presents Lord Krishna with a ghee or sesame oil lamp gets absolved of all their sins and enters Surya’s abode with a body as bright as ten million lamps.
For more such related stories, keep reading our blogs. Hare Rama Hare Krishna!! The next day, the parana time from 05:32am to 10:09am allows devotees to break their fast, concluding the observance with gratitude and renewed energy.