The Ekadashi (11th lunar day) that falls in the month of Chaitra right after the Vedic New Year is called as Kamada Ekadashi. In 2023, it falls on 1st or 2nd of April based on where you live. For local timings download the Cosmic Insights app.
As the name suggests this Ekadashi is all about fulfilment of desires. Lord Vishnu is worshipped in HIS glorious form of Krishna on this day.
Kamada Ekadashi Rituals
- Ekadashi fasting, You can keep a simple fast by avoiding grains, salt, meat etc.You can have water, fruits, milk, juices etc. There are some people who do Nirjala fasting (no water, no food). You can do as much you can without hurting your body.
- Chant or listen to Vishnu Sahasranama
- Chant the mantra – Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya 108 times.
- Offer rice to Lord Krishna.
- Bow down in the South East direction after lighting a lamp. While bowing down you can bring to your attention all that you desire and ask the divine.
Kamada Ekadashi Story
The legend about Kamada Ekadashi is narrated by Lord Krishna to the Pandava King Yudhishthira. Once, a young gandharva couple, Lalit and his wife Lalita, lived in the city of Ratnapura which was ruled by the King Pundarika. Lalit was a famed singer, while Lalita was a renowned dancer at the royal court.
One day when Lalit was singing in the royal court, his attention fluttered from the song to his wife, who was absent from the court. As a result, he missed some beats and incorrectly ended his performance. A serpent from the Patala Region, he went by the name of Karkotaka complained to the king of the folly and said that Lalit considered his wife more important than his master, the king. Infuriated, the King Pundarika cursed Lalit to become a monstrous cannibal.
This greatly distressed Lalita who wandered around the forests with her monstrous husband who dealt in sinful activities. While wandering around the Vindhyachal Hills, Lalita came across the sage Shringi. Paying her respects to the sage, she appealed to him to provide a solution to her problem. Sage Shringi told her to observe the vrata (vow) of Kamada Ekadasi, to atone for the sins of her husband.
Lalita observed the ekadashi fast with great devotion and the next day again visited the sage and bowed to the God Krishna. She requested God to free her husband from the king’s curse as a reward of the religious merit gained by the fast.
With the blessings of Krishna, Lalit was restored to his original gandharva form. Thereafter, they were taken to heaven on a celestial flying chariot.