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Kaamda Ekadashi - Sunday 17th April

Kaamda Ekadashi - Chaitra Sud Ekadashi

King Yudhishthir once asked Bhagwan Shree Krishna, "O Vaasudev! I bow down to You. Please tell me about the Ekadashi which falls in the Sud fortnight of the month of Chaitra."

Bhagwan Shree Krishna replied, "O king! I shall reiterate the Katha of significance of this Ekadashi which Rishi Vashishtha had narrated to King Dilip in bygone era. Listen to it attentively."

Sage Vashishtha said, "O King Dilip! The Ekadashi falling in the bright fortnight of Chaitra is called 'Kaamda Ekadashi'. Observing this Ekadashi not only washes away one's sins but also fulfils his desire to have a son.

 A long time ago, King Pundrik ruled over a kingdom whose capital city was called Bhogvati. Gandharvas, Kinnars and Apsaras were at his service. A Gandharva called Lalit and an Apsara named Lalita, who were deeply in love lived in Bhogvati. They loved each other more than one can even imagine. Once, King Pundrik was seated in an assembly to showcase singing, dancing and musical expertise of his subjects. Gandharva Lalit was also present to exhibit his talent of singing. As his mind was preoccupied with thoughts of his paramour Lalita, he started making mistakes in his rendering. When one of the courtier present there pointed out Lalit's mistakes to the King Pundrik, he became very angry and cursed Lailit, 'O vile Gandharva! Your mind was engrossed in lascivious thoughts about a woman while rendering the pious skill of singing, therefore, I curse you to turn into a demon.' O King Dilip! Pundrik's curse took effect immediately and handsome Gandharva Lalit was turned into a horrendous looking giant ogre. Lalita was very sad to see her handsome beloved metamorphosed into an ugly ogre. She tried in vain to free her lover from the curse of King Pundrik and eventually, she decided to forsake all worldly pleasures follow her lover in the dense forest."

Sage Vashishtha continued, "O king! Whilst wandering in the forest, Lalit and Lalita arrived at the peak of Mountain Vindhya, where Lalita noticed a hermitage belonging to great Sage Rhushyashrung. Lalita went to the hermitage and very humbly approached the sage with folded hands and bowed head. Her eyes welled up with a long period of agonising torment. The merciful sage asked, 'O daughter! Who are you, why have you come here and why are you looking so miserable?' Lalita narrated her travails to Sage Rhushyashrung as how her lover Lalit was turned into an ogre. Compassionate sage said, 'O daughter! Today is Kaamda Ekadashi. Observing the Vrat of this Ekadashi fulfils one's all desires. You must observe this Vrat faithfully as I guide you and offer the Punya earned by it to your beloved. With the blessings of Bhagwan Narayan, he will be freed from curse and become Gandharva once again.' Lalita was overjoyed with soothing and reassuring words of the great sage. She fasted on the day as advised by the sage. She, in the presence of Sage Rhushyashrung, offered the Punya earned by observing the Vrat of Kaamda Ekadashi to Lalit and prayed Bhagwan to free him from the curse. Lalit was transformed from an ugly ogre into his previous self right in front of her eyes. Both of them were very happy at the outcome and bowed down humbly to sage and thanked him for freeing him from the curse."

Bhagwan Shree Krishna said, "O King Yudhishthir! I have narrated to you the Katha of significance of Kaamda Ekadashi. The Vrat of this Ekadashi is capable to free one from the grave sins such as Brahamhatya (murder of a Brahmin) and relieve one from the life of Pishach (ogre). Whoever reads, narrates or listen to this Katha earns the Punya equivalent to performing a Vajpeyi Yagna."

This Mahtmya of Kaamda Ekadashi is narrated in the Varah Puran.