‘This Ekadasi is so powerful that if one who is unable to fast simply follows the practices as mentioned herein, they are elevated to the heavenly planets, along with all their forefathers.’
There lived a brave Kshatriya in a village, one day due to some reason he got into a scuffle with his Brahmin and the Brahmin died. He wanted to participate in the cremation ceremony of the Brahmin, but the pandits did not allow him to join. Hearing this, the Kshatriya asked what are the ways to get rid of this sin, then the Brahmins told that on the Ekadashi of Krsna Paksha of the month of Shravan, by fasting and worshiping Lord Sridhar (Lord Vishnu) with devotion, he would receive blessings from the Brahmin by giving him a Saddakshina. If you do, you will get freedom from this sin. Then after the method of worship told by the pandits, that night Lord Sridhar came in his dream and told him that he has become free from his sin.
To learn more about the benefits of following Kamika Ekadasi, continue reading!
The saintly king Yudhisthira Maharaj said, ‘Oh Supreme Lord, I have heard from You the glories of fasting on Deva-sayani Ekadasi, which occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Ashadha. Now I would like to hear from You the glories of the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight (krishna paksha) of the month of Shravana (July -August). Oh Govindadeva, please be merciful to me and explain its glories. Oh Supreme Vasudeva, I offer my most humble obeisances unto You.’
The Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna, replied, ‘Oh King, please listen attentively as I describe the auspicious influence of this Holy fast (vrata) day, which removes all sins.
Narada Muni once asked Lord Brahma about this same topic.
“Oh regent of all beings,” said Naradji, “Oh you who sit upon a water-born lotus throne, please tell me the name of the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight of the sacred month of Shravana. Please also tell me which Deity is to be worshipped on that Holy day, the process one must follow to observe it, and the merit it awards.”
Lord Brahma replied, “My dear son Narada, for the benefit of all humanity I shall happily tell you everything you wish to know, for just hearing the glories of the Kamika Ekadasi bestows merit equal to that obtained by one who performs a horse sacrifice.
Certainly, great merit is attained by one who worships, and who also meditates on the lotus feet of the four-armed Lord Gadadhara, who holds conch shell, disc, club and lotus in His hands and who is also known as Sridhara, Hari, Vishnu, Madhava, and Madhusudana.
And the blessings achieved by such a person/devotee, who worships Lord Vishnu exclusively are far greater than those achieved by one who takes a sacred bath in the Ganges at Kashi (Varanasi), in the forest of Naimisharanya, or at Pushkara, which is the only place on the planet where I am formally worshipped.
But one who observes this Kamika Ekadasi and also worships Lord Sri Krsna achieves greater merit than one who has darshan of Lord Kedaranatha in the Himalayas, or one who bathes at Kurukshetra during a solar eclipse, or one who donates the whole Earth in charity, including its forests and oceans, or one who bathes in the Gandaki River (where the sacred Shaligrams are found) or the Godavari River on a full moon (purnima) day that falls on a Monday when Leo (Simha) and Jupiter (Guru) are conjoined (conjunct).
Observing Kamika Ekadasi bestows the same merit as donating a milk cow and her auspicious calf, along with their feed. On this all auspicious day, whosoever worships Lord Sri Sridhara-deva, Vishnu, is glorified by all the devas, Gandharvas, Pannagas, and Nagas.
Those who are afraid of their past sins and completely immersed in sinful materialistic life should at least observe this best of Ekadasis according to their ability and thus attain liberation.
This Ekadasi is the purest of all days and the most powerful for removing sins of the native. Oh Narad ji, Lord Sri Hari Himself once said about this Ekadasi, “One who fasts on Kamika Ekadasi attains much more merit than one who studies all spiritual literature.
Anyone who fasts on this particular day and remains awake throughout the night will never experience the anger of Yamaraja, the king of death personified. It has been seen that whoever observes Kamika Ekadasi will not have to suffer future births, and in the past too, many Yogis of devotion who fasted on this day went to the spiritual world.
Therefore, one should follow in their auspicious footsteps and strictly observe a fast on this most auspicious of Ekadasis. Whosoever worships Lord Sri Hari with Tulsi leaves is freed from all implications of sin. Indeed, he lives untouched by sin, as the lotus leaf, although in the water, is untouched by it.
Whosoever offers Lord Sri Hari but a single leaf from the sacred Tulsi tree attains as much merit as one who gives away in charity two hundred grams of gold and eight hundred grams of silver.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is more pleased by one who offers Him a single Tulsi leaf than by one who worships Him with pearls, rubies, topaz, diamonds, lapis lazuli, and sapphires, gomeda stones (gomaz), cat’s eye gems, and coral.
One who offers Lord Keshava newly grown manjari buds from the Tulsi plant gets rid of all the sins he has committed during this or any other lifetime. Indeed, mere Darshana of Tulsi on Kamika Ekadasi removes all sins, and merely touching her and praying to her removes all kinds of disease. One who waters Tulsi Devi need never fear the Lord of death, Yamaraja.
One who plants or transplants Tulsi on this day will eventually reside with Lord Sri Krsna in His own abode. To Srimati Tulsi devi, who awards liberation in devotional service, one should therefore daily offer one’s full obeisances. Even Chitragupta, Yamaraja’s secretary, cannot calculate the merit obtained by one who offers Srimati Tulsi-devi a perpetually burning ghee lamp.
So dear is this sacred Ekadasi to the Supreme Personality of Godhead that all the forefathers of one who offers a bright ghee lamp to Lord Sri Krsna on this day ascend to the heavenly planets and drink the celestial nectar there.
Whoever offers a ghee or sesame oil lamp to Sri Krsna on this day is freed from all his sins and enters the abode of Surya, the Sun-god, with a body as bright as ten million lamps. This Ekadasi is so powerful that if one who is unable to fast simply follows the practices as mentioned herein, s/he is elevated to the heavenly planets, along with all their forefathers.”
‘Oh Maharaj Yudhisthira,’ Lord Sri Krsna concluded, ‘…these were the words of prajapathi Brahma to his son Narad Muni concerning the incalculable glories of this Kamika Ekadasi, which removes all sins.
This sacred day nullifies even the sin of killing a brahmana or the sin of killing an unborn child in the womb, and it promotes one to the spiritual world by making one supremely meritorious.
One who kills the innocent, a brahmin (brahmana), a child in the womb, a pious and spotless woman, and then later hears about the glories of Kamika Ekadasi will be relieved of the reaction to one’s sins.
Whosoever hears these glories of the Kamika Ekadasi with faith becomes free of all sins and returns home, back to Godhead — Vishnu-loka, Vaikuntha.’
Thus ends the narration of the glories of Shravana-krshna Ekadasi, or Kamika Ekadasi, or Deva-sayani Ekadasi, from the sacred ‘Brahma-Vaivarta Purana’.