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Kamika Ekadashi 2017: The Most Holy Day of Shravan
Kamika Ekadashi 2017 date 19 July. Kamika Ekadashi is celebrated in the most sacred month of Shravan. Kamika Ekadashi takes place during the mid part of Krishna Paksha (Lunar calendar)of Shravan. On Kamika Ekadashi devotees observe Kamika Ekadashi Vrat. This Vrat is dedicated to the Supreme Lord Vishnu. Through this article we will tell you all about Kamika Ekadashi and Kamika Ekadashi Vrat.
Why do we need to celebrate Kamika Ekadashi?
While celebrating Kamika Ekadashi, it is a good idea to know why we celebrate this
festival. When you do anything wrong, it pains the heart. Guilty conscious keeps
bubbling within you and this naturally would make anyone very uncomfortable. This
wrong deed could be a simple harmless lie. You could have hurt someone's sentiments
or it could even be a huge crime like theft, murder, etc. People make mistakes in
their lives. Some crimes are heinous, intentional and irrevocable. Whereas some
offences are unintentional. In such cases, criminals or the wrong doers are often
condemned by the society, friends and even families. Most people then draw a conclusion
that their life is doomed and there is no way that they can get out of it.
Well, Kamika Ekadashi is the day when you can relieve yourself from the burden. Kamika Ekadashi is the day of deliverance. It is that ONE day when you could be released from the shackles. Even if you have not done any wrong then this day is equally important for you. Kamika Ekadashi blesses every individual with a pure heart. Prayers of this day are definitely heard and the worshippers are mightily blessed.
Story of Kamika Ekadashi
Celebration of Kamika Ekadashi will be more fruitful if you know the legend associated with it. There once lived a monarch by the name of Yudhisthira. He was a very pious and noble king. He would very faithfully observe all rituals. King Yudhisthira was wise and always craved for more and more knowledge. He longed to know about Kamika Ekadashi as this was the most important Vrat. He approached Lord Krishna and asked him all about Kamika Ekadashi and Kamika Ekadashi Vrat.
Lord Krishna then narrated the story of Narad Muni and Brahma, in order to explain to him the concept of this great day.
Just as King Yudhisthira had questioned Lord Krishna about Kamika Ekadashi Vrat, similarly, Narad Muni had put forward this doubt to his father Brahma. Brahma was very delighted that his son had asked him such a pertinent question. Brahma told Narada that Kamika Ekadashi was a festival that was dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This is beneficial for the entire world as it serves humanity. According to Brahma, whosoever observed fast on this day would not only be blessed, but he/ she would also be free from the sins and iniquities. Kamika Ekadashi Vrat is a direct way through which one can attain salvation. This is the most important Ekadashi. Brahma went on to narrate the entire process of observing this fast. He also made it clear that if a person observes Kamika Ekadashi Vrat and has committed major sins like killing a Brahman or a fetus, too would be forgiven. But one must not intentionally commit such crimes, and then keep the fast and try to achieve redemption. Kamika Ekadashi Vrat is observed with a pure and contrite heart.
Main ingredients used in Kamika Ekadashi Vrat
Since this is such an important event in the Hindu calendar, you must prepare yourself to observe the fast. Below are the main ingredients that you will require during the rituals that are carried out in Kamika Ekadashi.
- Tulsi Leaves (Basil leaves)
- Ghee Lamps/ Diyas
- Sesame seeds
Importance of Tulsi (Basil) leaves in Kamika Ekadashi Vrat
The most important of all these ingredients is Tulsi (Basil)leaves. Lord Vishnu is very pleased by people who worship him with this precious plant. It is believed that offering Tulsi leaves to the deity of Lord Vishnu is equivalent to donating hundreds of gold and silver coins. Tulsi leaves weigh more in value than the precious gems and all the other sacrifices that one could make for the gods. Lord Vishnu fulfills the desires of the devotee who uses Tulsi. Moreover, in Kamika Ekadashi Vrat, Lord Krishna is also worshipped. The one who worships Lord Krishna along with Lord Vishnu on Kamika Ekadashi, pleases the gods even more and conquers their heart. Lord Krishna too adores Tulsi hence, once again Tulsi plays a prominent role in the rituals carried out in Kamika Ekadashi Vrat.
How to observe Kamika Ekadashi Vrat?
If you observe Kamika Ekadashi with proper rituals, you will reap great results. It is very essential that you observe Kamika Ekadashi Vrat in the manner that it is supposed to be observed. All the pujas on this day too must be in accordance with what is mentioned in the scriptures.
On Kamika Ekadashi the devotee must first of all have a bath. Use of sesame seeds for bathing would be preferable. Kamika Ekadashi is an auspicious time for people to go on pilgrimage and have a bath in the holy rivers of Ganga, Krishna, Kaveri and Yamuna. If that is not possible, then bathing at home would suffice. Then fruits, milk, tulsi leaves, etc must be offered to both Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna. You must use incense sticks, sandalwood, etc, while performing the worship. Hymns of praise are joyfully sung by the worshippers. During Ekadashi Vrat, people cannot consume anything. This includes water. On this day, those who observe this fast must not allow negative or vicious thoughts to come across their minds. Their mind must be at peace. Kamika Ekadashi Vrat is broken in the following morning, after sunrise. One must not break it beforehand as the fast wouldn't be counted then.
Importance of Kamika Ekadashi Vrat
People go to many religious places, observe various fasts and perform rituals, just so that they can get salvation. Salvation is the eternal goal of all human beings. Well, if you observe Kamika Ekadashi Vrat, then you are blessed in Lord Vishnu's sight. He will grant you salvation. After your tenure on Earth is up, you will peacefully settle in your spiritual abode. What can be more beautiful than this. Kamika Ekadashi Vrat is worth all the fasts that people observe in the year. This day is worth all the donations people make round the clock.
There were once two men who were fighting with each other. One of the men killed the other in anger. Now the dead man was a Brahmin and the one who survived was a thakur. The thakur was really guilty for what he had done. He was not a murderer but just a victim of his anger. He sought for forgiveness, but to no avail. He was condemned by the other Brahmins and was not consoled for his remorse. But one of the Brahmins felt sorry for him and told him to observe Kamika Ekadashi Vrat. He took the advice. That night while he was asleep, he dreamt that Lord Vishnu has approached him and forgiven him. The following day, he felt very light from within. It was like a dense fog had been lifted. When he went out he realized that even the Brahmins had forgiven him.
From then on every person in his district observed this fast.
The Power of Kamika Ekadashi
Kamika Ekadashi Vrat has a power to it. It gives a person a peaceful mind and a pure heart. Kamika Ekadashi is a very holy day. When one observes its fast then he/she becomes eligible to acquire all the happiness. That person strengthens the bond between god and himself/herself. Kamika Ekadashi fast can be performed by anyone. If you do not observe any fast, it will give you unlimited benefits to fast at least on this particular day.
Do you bear a heavy heart? Is there something that you have done for which you have been repenting for years? Have you been longing for happiness and peace in your life? Do you seek salvation? Well here's your chance to be favored by the gods. Observe Kamika Ekadashi Vrat with sincerity and your dreams will turn into reality. May God bless you and give you the strength to keep this day holy. For those who will observe Kamika Ekadashi Vrat, may you be blessed and all your desires fulfilled. Happy Kamika Ekadashi..!