Rituals of Kamika Ekadashi
On this day people take bath early in the morning and then pray to Lord Vishnu. Panchamrut Abhishek is done to Lord Vishnu on this day. He is also worshiped with colorful and fragrant flowers. Worshiping Lord Vishnu with Tulsi leaves is considered as the most auspicious deed. Fruits, milk and sesame seeds are offered to Lord Vishnu. People fast on this day, do deepdan (light lamps) and donate clothes and money to Brahmins. They do Jagaran on Ekadashi night and spend their time in singing bhajans and reading Holy Scriptures. On Dwadashi, which is the next day of the Ekadashi people break their fast.
Visiting various pilgrim centers and taking bath in Tirthas are also witnessed on this day. It’s an important day in the temples of Lord Vishnu. Abhishek, puja, aarti and bhajans are performed here throughout the day. Lamps are lighted using cow ghee and a variety of Bhog is offered to Lord Vishnu in these temples.
Kamika Ekadashi has a lot of significance in one’s life. A person worshiping Lord Vishnu on this auspicious day is immensely blessed and his desires are fulfilled. This worship relieves one from Pithru Dosha. It also frees oneself from all worldly desires and help in attaining moksha or salvation.
Worshiping Lord Vishnu with Tulsi leaves clears all diseases and sins acquired by a person. It is believed that the person, who fasts and does jagaran on this day, would never experience the anger of Yamaraj, the God of Death.
Legends of Kamika Ekadashi
There is an interesting story that depicts the glory of Kamika Ekadashi. There lived a landlord in a small village. Once he had a fight with the Brahmin of that village and accidentally killed him. Then he repented and wanted to be a part of his last rites. But the villagers refused his request. Later the landlord approached a saint to get rid of the sin that he had acquired by killing a Brahmin. The saint advised him to keep a fast and worship Lord Vishnu on Kamika Ekadashi. That night when he slept beside Lord’s idol, the Lord appeared in his dream and relieved him of his sins.
The importance of Kamika Ekadashi was told by Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, to his son sage Narada. He told his son that this sacred day even eradicates the sin of killing a Brahmin. He also told him that the one who performs Ekadashi Vrat or atleast listen to the glory of it, straight away goes to Vaikhunta. The same thing is narrated by Lord Krishna to Yudhister when he wanted to know the importance of Ekadashi that falls during Krishna Paksha of Shravana month.