(10) KAMADA EKADASI
( as told by Sri Krishna to Yudhishthira (Dharmaraja ))
Once Yudhishthira Maharaja said, ‘Oh Lord Krishna, Oh Vasudeva, please accept my humble obeisance’s. Please describe to me the Ekadashi that occurs during the light part of the month of Chaitra. What is its name, and what are its glories?’
Lord Shri Krishna replied, ‘Oh Yudhishthira, please listen to Me attentively as I relate the ancient history of this sacred Ekadashi, a history Vasishtha Muni once related to King Dilipa, the great-grandfather of Lord Ramachandra.
King Dilipa asked the great sage Vasishtha, “Oh wise brahman, I wish to hear about the Ekadashi that comes during the light part of the month of Chaitra. Please describe it to me.”
Vasishtha Muni replied, “Oh king, your inquiry is glorious. Gladly shall I tell you what you wish to know. The Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of Chaitra is named Kamada Ekadashi. It consumes all sins. It is very purifying, and it bestows the highest merit upon one who faithfully observes it. Oh king, now hear an ancient history which is so meritorious that it removes all one’s sins simply by being heard.
Once, long ago, there was a city named Ratnapura and King Pundarika was its ruler. It had mostly Gandharvas, Kinnaras, and Apsaras among its citizens.
Among the Gandharvas were Lalit and his wife Lalita, who was an lovely couple. These two were intensely attracted to each other. Lalita loved her husband dearly, and likewise he constantly thought of her within his heart. They were inseparable.
Once, in the court of King Pundarika, many Gandharvas were singing, Lalit was one among them. While singing Lalit could not help thinking about his beloved, and because of this distraction he lost track of the song’s melody. Lalit sang the song improperly, and one of the envious snake named kakort who was in attendance at the king’s court complained to the king that Lalit ws lost in the thought’s of his wife that’s because he lost track and sang improperly. The king became furious upon hearing this, and he shouted, ‘Oh foolish knave, because you were lustfully thinking of a woman instead of reverently thinking of your king as you performed your court duties, I curse you to at once become a Demon , a man-eating demon with a terrified apperance.
Lalit immediately became a fearful Demon. His arms were eight miles long, his mouth was as big as a huge cave, his eyes were as awesome as the sun and moon, his nostrils resembled enormous pits in the earth, his neck was a veritable mountain, his hips were four miles wide, and his gigantic body stood a full sixty-four miles high. Thus poor Lalit, the Gandharva singer, had to suffer the reaction of his offense against King Pundarika.
Seeing her husband suffering as a horrible monster, Lalita became overwhelmed with grief. She thought, ‘Now that my dear husband is suffering the effects of the kings’ curse, what is left for me? What should I do? Where should I go?’ In this way Lalita grieved day and night. Instead of enjoying life as a Gandharvas wife, she wandered everywhere in the thick jungle with her husband, who had fallen completely under the spell of the king’s curse. He wandered fitfully across forbidding region, a once-beautiful Gandharva now reduced to the behavior of a man-eater.
One day, while wandering in the jungle, Lalita met the sage Shringi . He was sitting on the peak of the Vindhyachala Hmountain. Approaching him, she immediately offered the ascetic her respectful obeisance’s. The sage noticed her bowing down before him and said, ‘Who are you and why have you come here? Why you look so gloomy. Please tell me everything in truth.’
Lalita replied, ‘Oh Brahmana, my name is Lalita. I wander in the jungle with my dear husband, whom King Pundarika has cursed to become a man-eating demon. I am greatly aggrieved to see him like this. Oh Saint, please tell me how I can perform some act of atonement on behalf of my husband. How can I free him from this demonic form, please help me. The sage replied, ‘There is an Ekadashi named Kamada that occurs in the light fortnight of the month of Chaitra. It is coming up soon. Whoever fasts on this day has all his desires fulfilled. If you observe this Ekadashi fast according to its rules and regulations and give the merit you thus earn from your fast to your husband, he will be freed from the curse at once.’
Lalita faithfully observed the fast of Kamada Ekadashi according to the instructions of the sage Shringi, and on Dvadasi she appeared before him and the Deity of Lord Vasudeva and said, ‘I have faithfully observed the fast of Kamada Ekadashi. By the merit earned through my observance of this fast, let my husband be free from the curse that has turned him into a beast. May the merit I have gained thus free him from his misery.’
And Lalita’s husband, who stood nearby, was at once freed from the king’s curse. He immediately regained his original form as the Gandharva Lalit, a handsome heavenly singer adorned with many beautiful ornaments. All this was accomplished by the power and glory of Kamada Ekadashi. At last the Gandharva couple boarded a celestial airplane and ascended to heaven.
Lord Sri Krishna continued, ‘Oh Yudhishthira!, anyone who hears this story should certainly observe holy Kamada Ekadashi to the best of his ability, such great merit does it bestow upon the faithful devotee. I have therefore described its glories to you for the benefit of all humanity.
(1) EKADASI RECEIPS – THE FOODS TO BE PREPARED ON EKADASI CAN BE READ HERE
(2) THE LIST AND LINKS OF 26 EKADASIS IN SEQUENCE CAN BE READ HERE
(3) How to offer worship and prayers on Ekadasi? Read Here.
(4) A-Z Tips on Ekadasi Fasting with practical considerations can be read here.