Kamada Ekadashi

6 min read
Posted on April 28, 2022

Kamada Ekadashi is a significant Hindu festival that falls on the eleventh lunar day of the fortnight of the waxing moon, in the Chaitra masa. It is observed as the first Ekadashi after the Hindu new year. As the name suggests, Kamada means it fulfils all desires and wishes of a devotee. On this day, Devotees worship Bhagawan Vishnu with great devotion and dedication all over the world in the aspiration of getting their desires manifested.

Kamada Ekadashi

Kamada Ekadashi comes on the eleventh day in the Shukla Paksha of Chaitra masa, as per Hindu Lunar calendar. It mainly occurs during the chaturmaas period, dedicated especially to Bhagawan Krishna, an avatar of Bhagawan Vishnu. On the Day of Kamada Ekadashi, devotees observe a strict fast throughout the day and break the fast after the sunrise on the next day. Devotees can either do a nirjala vrat (fast without water) or jal vrat (fast with water). Some also consume fruits during the vrat. People who observe Kamada Ekadashi are said to be relieved from pain and stress due to planetary influence mainly called as graha dosha.

ORIGIN AND SIGNIFICANCE:

As per Varaha Purana, the origin of Kamada Ekadashi is narrated by Bhagawan Krishna to Pandava king Yudhishtir in the manner narrated by Saint Vashishtha to King Dilip. Once there was a Prastha couple (gandharv) Lalit and wife Lalita, who used to live in the city of Ratnapura which was a very affluent city decorated with gold and silver and ruled by king Pundarika. One day, when Lalit was offering a melody in the king’s court his thoughts diverted to his wife who was not there in the court and thus, he missed some beats and mistakenly ended his performance. A serpent named Karkotaka knew the whole story about his follies and complained the same to the king. The King got angry with this and cursed Lalit to become a violent cannibal with a huge mountain-like neck, cave-like mouth and sixty four miles in height. Lalita and her monstrous husband Lalit, started wandering in the forest with sinful actions. Once Lalita came across a saint, Shringi. She expressed her gratitude towards him and asked him to provide a solution to get rid of this situation. Saint asked Lalita to observe Kamada Ekadashi vrat to get rid of all the sins and dreadful situation. She observed the Ekadashi vrat in the same manner as told by sadhu and worshiped Bhagawan Krishna with great dedication and devotion. Bhagawan Krishna was pleased with her devotion and blessed her husband to get released from the curse. In the end, they attained moksha and got into heaven in the flying vehicle.

DEITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE FESTIVAL:

Bhagawan Vishnu is worshipped on this day as Bhagawan krishna, who is known to fulfil all wishes and remove all sorrows.

CUSTOMS, TRADITIONS AND RITUALS:

According to Hinduism Bhagawan Krishna narrated the importance and rituals associated with Ekadashi to Dharmraj Pandav Yudhishthir. Fasting on this day eradicates all griefs and guide us towards the path of salvation.

The customary practices and rituals followed on this day include strict fasting, jagarata or staying awake the whole night and worshiping Bhagawan Vishnu. Some people perform partial fasting by not eating food made of rice. The day of Kamada Ekadashi starts at sunrise followed by a holy bath followed by chanting the Shri Hari mantra throughout the day. The worshippers then make preparations to worship Bhagawan Vishnu with offerings like flowers, sandalwood, fruits and dhoop to gain the blessings of Bhagawan Krishna. One should avoid items like garlic and onion on this day and stick to satvik food, if not observing vrat. Married couples should live in isolation on the day of Kamada Ekadashi.

PUJA VIDHI AND KATHA:

Worship of Bhagawan Vishnu is done in a proper and organised way to reap maximum benefits of the vrat.

  • Wake up early in the morning, take a holy bath.
  • Chant and recite Bhagawan Vishnu’s bhajans and mantra throughout the day and night.
  • Moola virat of Bhagawan Vishnu should be well washed and offerings like fruits, flower, dhoop, sandal wood should be given.
  • Listen to Bhagawan Satyanarayan katha on the day of Kamada Ekadashi.
  • Brahmins should be invited for bhojan prasadi and Dakshina should be given at last.
  • One should break the fast on the next day –Dwadashi after taking a bath.
  • One can also donate yellow clothes in any Narayana temple. It is also said that offerings like peacock feather, Haldi and flute makes Bhagawan Vishnu really happy on this day.

There are five chapters associated with Shri Satyanarayn katha:

  1. Once, Naradmuni went to earth and saw people suffering in different ways. He then visited Bhagawan Vishnu, the preserver of all, and enquired him about a solution to get rid of all these sufferings. Shri Hari then informed Naradmuni, that, observing Satyanarayan vrat and listening to Satyanarayana Katha can help people to become free from all the sufferings. For this, one needs riped banana, ghee, choori and milk. He should chant Shri Hari mantras and have the Prasad before meal. This Vrat gives you immediate result in kalyug.

 

  1. Bhagawan then narrated a story to Naradamuni. This was the story of first person who observed this fast. Once, there was a Brahmin who roamed around the town, begging and sulking. Bhagawan asked him to perform Shri Satyanarayana vrat and katha to get rid of all his sufferings and he performed the worship in the same way. Soon the Brahmin acquired wealth and became a rich person. Once a wood cutter passed by while the Brahmin and his family were offering prayers to Sjri Hari. Seeing this, he asked the process of worship and decided to perform the same. He decided to dedicate the earnings of that day to the worship. He did the same vrat and katha and with god’s grace his wishes got fulfilled.
  2. Then Narad Muni told that once there was a king Ulkamukh who was a very generous man. One day, when he was offering prayers to Shri Hari, a wealthy man came and anchored his boat and asked what they were doing and learnt the details of vrat from him. After that he went home and made a wish to observe this fast once he is blessed with a child. By the grace of Shri Satyanarayana, his wife got pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Kalawati, Unfortunately, he forgot to do the vrat, as promised. On being reminded, he postponed the vrat saying that he will observe it at the time of marriage of his daughter. He again forgot his oath. Shri Satyanarayana got angry with the false promise. One day when the merchant and his son-in-law were travelling, the thieves robbed things from the king’s palace and hid them in the merchant’s boat. The guards thought them to be thieves and took them to the king’s palace and arrested them. Leelawati and Kalawati were left alone to beg for survival. Kalawati reached a Brahmin’s house where prayers of Shri Hari were organised. She heard it and decided to do the same. Bhagawan Vishnu got pleased with the prayers and freed her family from jail.

 

  1. When the merchant was returning back with the boat , Shri Hari decided to test again and asked them what was filled in their boat. Merchant, with ego and pride, told that she was leaving. On hearing this, Bhagawan got angry and his boat started drowning. Leelawati had just finished the prayer and told Kalawati to complete the fast but Kalawati in hurry forgot to take the prasadi due to which her husband fainted. Bhagawan Vishnu made an announcement to Kalawati and instructed her to take the prasadi. Her husband then gained his consciousness and finally she had all the pleasures and went to heaven.
  2. A king named Tungadhwaj was very proud and arrogant. One day, he disrespected Shri Satyanarayn puja. One day, while he was roaming in the forest, villagers were performing the same puja but he ignored and did not take the prasad. When he got back to his kingdom, he witnessed that everything got ruined. After that he again went to villagers and offered prayers to Shri Satyanarayan ji and regained his wealth and prosperity.

There is also one more story associated with the Kamada Ekadashi vrat- Once there lived a Brahmin and Thakur who always fought with each other. One day, the fight goes so violent that Thakur kills Brahman due to which all the Brahmins of the city get upset with him. He started regretting his mistake and decided to do the last tervi ceremony of Brahmin but the Brahmins of town did not accept his invitation. He was left alone and started feeling guilty of what he had done. He lived a mentally disturbed and non-peaceful life. Soon, he came across a saint and asked him for a solution. Saint advised him to observe Kamada Ekadashi vrat. He did the vrat in the same manner and worshiped. One night when he was fast asleep near Bhagawan Vishnu’s murti, Shri Hari came in his dreams and said to him that because of his observance of Kamada Ekadashi vrat, he got free from all the sinful activities and can live happily now. After that Thakur propagated the importance of vrat and katha to the people of the town.

CELEBRATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY:

Kamada Ekadashi is observed as the first Ekadashi of Hindu new year all over the world, and celebrated after Chaitra Navratri and Ram Navami. Bhagawan Krishna, an Incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu, is worshipped with most dedication and sincerity on this day in many parts of the country, along with observance of a fast with strict rules and regulations.

BENEFITS OF CELEBRATING THE FESTIVAL:

During Mahabharata, Bhagawan Krishna explained the integrity, morality and uprightness of the Kamada Ekadashi celebration. Worshipping Bhagawan Vishnu on this day and keeping fast in observance of him, helps regain dignity and resolves conflict in one’s life. It frees devotees and their family from the curses that are imposed on them.

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