Kamada Ekadasi is observed on Chaitra Shukla Paksha Ekadashi, eleventh day in bright half of Chaitra month. In 2012, Kamada Ekadasi date is April 3. This day is dedicated to worship Lord Sri Maha Vishnu and to observe Ekadasi fasting to get rid of all sins. Kamada Ekadasi has its reference in Varaha Purana. Kamada Ekadashi is also known as Damana Ekadashi or Avaidhavya Ekadasi.
Importance and Significance of the Main Ekadashi Ritual – Ekadasi Fasting
According to the Hindu scriptures, Lord Sri Krishna narrated the importance and significance of Ekadashi fasting to Pandava agraja, Dharma Raja (Yudhishtira). Ekadashi fasting eradicates the devotees sins and makes the devotee free from all his sorrows. Ekadashi fasting leads the devotee to Moksha (salvation).
Legend or the Story of Kamada Ekadasi Fasting – Greatness of Kamada Ekadashi
Once, a Gandharva was married to a beautiful woman. After his marriage, he was unable to do his regular works or duties with dedication because of his attraction towards his wife. The King of Gandharvas realized the fact and cursed him to become a cannibal. Gandharva with his wife wandered many holy places to get rid of the curse.
While they were passing by an Ashrama (hermitage), they met a Sage and asked about a remedy to get rid of their curse. That Sage advised them to perform the rituals and customs associated with Kamada Ekadashi. He suggested them the only and ultimate remedy to get rid of any sin or curse is Ekadasi fasting. As suggested by the Sage, the Gandharva couple observed the Kamada Ekadasi fasting and got rid of the Gandharvas curse.
Rituals and Customs of Kamada Ekadashi
The rituals, customs and traditions of Kamada Ekadashi include – Lord Sri Maha Vishnu puja (worship of Lord Narayana) and observance of fasting. Some people perform vigil at Kamada Ekadasis night. Some people perform partial fasting as they refrain themselves from taking the food made up of rice.