An important fasting ritual of the Hare Krishna followers, the Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi is observed on the ‘ekadashi’ (11th day) of the Krishna Paksha (the dark fortnight of moon) in the ‘Sridhar’ month of the Vaishnava calendar. In the Hindu calendar it falls in the ‘Shravana’ month while it is observed between the months of July to August. The Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi vrat helps in removing all the sins of the person, from his/her current life as well as past lives. Besides, this ekadashi also helps in removing ‘Pitru Dosh’, if any. On this day devotees meditate and worship Lord Vishnu, also fondly called as ‘Lord Gadadhara’, ‘Madhva’, ‘Shridhara’ or ‘Madhusudhana’. The Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi is one of the most purest and significant ekadashi observances for Vaishnavas as it is observed during the ‘chaturmas’, which is auspicious 4-month period, devoted to Lord Krishna.
There is no Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi in 2019
Rituals during Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi:
- Fasting on the Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi is important for all Vaishnavas. They completely abstain from eating beans and grains on Ekadashi and consume only water, fruits or dairy products. Some of the devotees keep a complete fast on Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi. The fast of the Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi begins from the time of getting up on ekadashi and continues till the time of sunrise on ‘dwadashi’ (12th day). The observer of this vrat must keep a jagaran all night in the honour of Lord Krishna.
- Devotees worship devotedly Sri Krishna on Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi. The main purpose of ekadashi observance is to engage in spiritual practices and spend time reading ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ and chanting Krishna Kirtans. It is considered auspicious to light ghee lamps in front of the lord on Vaishnava Kamika ekadashi. Devotees also visit the temples of Lord Vishnu in the evening and join in the special events organized for the day. Special Abhishek and puja rituals are performed and a variety of ‘Bhog’ is prepared and offered to the lord.
- On the day of Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi the sacred Tulsi tree holds special significance. It is believed that even sighting of Tulsi tree on this ekadashi will remove all the sins and by offering prayers to Goddess Tulsi, all the diseases or body ailments will be cured. On Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi, one must offer Tulsi leaves to Sri Hari Vishnu as it equivalent to offering precious stones to the lord. A person who waters Tulsi tree will never have the fear of Yamaraja, who is the God of death.
Significance of Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi:
The greatness of Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi has been mentioned in various Hindu religious scriptures like ‘Brahma Vaivarta Purana’. The untold glory of this auspicious ekadashi was first explained to Narad Muni by Lord Brahma and later to King Yudhisthira by Sri Krishna. It is believed that by observing the Vaishnava Kamika Ekadashi one can get the same merits as those obtained by performing a horse sacrifice, donating 1000 cows in charity or taking a holy dip in the Hindu pilgrimages. The observer of this vrat will get unlimited happiness and will be ultimately united to the Supreme Lord.