Observing a fast on Kamika Ekadashi has a prominent significance in Hindu mythology. The verses of Mahabharata narrate the path to salvation, says that when a human commits a mistake, the remedy to relieve him of the sin is to donate land. This donation has the power to wash away the sin, along with other sins of the past. But dealing with the practicality of present times, where humans are bound with the infinite hustle of modern life, they tend to make mistakes victimised by the ignorance of true virtues even without realising it. Donating land for every mistake seems unaffordable. Hence, besides donating land, scriptures have mentioned another remedy to wash away the sins. Observing a fast on Kamika Ekadashi can have the same influence on one’s life.
Kamika Ekadashi 2018
Ekadashi applies to the eleventh day of the fortnight. Since a month has two fortnights, there are two Ekadashis each month. Both the Ekadashis are named differently. The one that falls on the eleventh day in Shravana masa (month) during Shukla Paksh is the Kamika Ekadashi. People worship Lord Vishnu with a conch shell, Sudarshan Chakra, and lotus in his hands. Kamika Ekadashi fast in 2018 will be observed on 7 August.
Benefits and procedure for observing Kamika Ekadashi
Lord Krishna had narrated that any person will be benefitted of a thousand virtuous deeds, by lighting a lamp in ghee before the God. The preparations for Kamika Ekadashi begin with the tenth day of the fortnight (Dashmi tithi). People observing fast on this day are supposed to consume Satvika food. Satvika foods sigh that one cannot eat anything that contains onion, garlic, fried items and non-vegetarian food. The fast begins on the evening of the tenth and continues until the morning of the twelfth day.
Those who observe a fast on this day are not supposed to eat grains. They offer their prayer by performing puja in a temple. There is a ritual of offering yellow cloth to the deity, which is believed to bring great benefits. Parikramas should also be performed around the temple on this day.
There is a tradition that devotees are not allowed to get a haircut or cut their nails on Kamika Ekadashi day. Many women do not wash their hair as well.
Parana is performed on Dwadashi tithi (twelfth day of the fortnight). People observing this fast are supposed to take bath during the Brahma Muhurta on the Dwadashi tithi, after which they offer prayers to Shri Vishnu. The fast concludes by offering a feast to a priest. If somebody is not able to afford a feast, they can donate grains equivalent to one person’s meal, to a poor person.