Yudhishtira asked, “Govind! Vasudeva! My salutations to you. Which Ekadashi falls in the dark half of Shravan? Please describe it to me.”
Lord Sri Krishna said, “O King! Listen, I shall now narrate to you the account that removes sins, which Brahmaji previously told Naradaji upon being asked by him.”
Naradji asked, “O Lord! O Lotus seated! I wish to hear from you the name of the Ekadashi that falls in the dark half of Shravan. Who is the presiding deity of that Ekadashi, and what punyas (religious merits) does one gain from observing it. Please tell me all this.”
Brahmaji said, “Narad, listen. With the desire for the good of all people, I am answering your question. The Ekadashi that falls in the dark half of Shravan is called Kamika. Merely by hearing about it one attains the fruit of having performed VajapayeYagna. On this day, one should worship the Lord by the names Hari, Visnu, Madhusudana, and Shridhar.
The fruits obtained that day by one worshipping Lord Sri Krishna cannot be obtained even by bathing in the Ganga, Kashi, Naaimisha, or Pushkara. By worshipping Lord Sri Krishna one obtains the fruits that are acquired by bathing in the Godavari when Jupiter is in Leo and in the astronomical yogas of vyatipat and dandyoga.
One who gives away the earth along with its oceans and forests in charity, and one who observes the vow of Kamika Ekadashi, are both said to obtain the same fruits.
One who observes Kamika Ekadashi also obtains the fruits obtained by one who gives away a milch cow, along with other things, in charity. The excellent man, by worshipping Lord Vishnu in Shravan, has worshipped the Gandharvas and all Devas including the serpents.
Therefore, sin-fearing men should make all efforts to worship Sri Hari on the day of Kamika Ekadashi. This vrata of KamikaEkadashi is the best observance for the emancipation of those who are drowning in the ocean of samsara (the world) full of the mud of sins. The fruits obtained by one who observes KamikaEkadashi are much greater than the fruits attained by those who are devoted to Knowledge of the Self.
One who observes Kamika Ekadashi and remains awake during the night never sees the fearful Yama and never faces calamity.
Lord Vishnu is not as pleased by being worshipped with red gems, pearls, lapis lazuri, corals, etc, as by being worshipped with Tulsi leaves. The life-long sins of one who has performed worship of Sri Keshav with Tulsi leaves are definitely destroyed.
या दृष्टा निखिलाघसंघशमनी स्पृष्टा वपुष्पावनी
रोगाणामभिवन्दिता निरसनी सिक्तान्तकत्रासिनी ।
प्रत्यासत्तिविधायिनी भगवत: कृष्णस्य संरोपिता
न्यस्ता तच्चरणे विमुक्तिफलदा तस्यै तुलस्यै नम: ॥
‘Salutations to Tulsi Devi, by whose darshan all sins are destroyed, by whose touch one’s body is purified, by paying obeisance to which one is cured of all illnesses, by sprinkling water upon which even Yama is frightened, planting of which brings about the vicinity of Lord Krishna, and offering of which at the feet of the Lord, bestows one with the fruit of liberation.’ (Padma Purana, Uttarakhanda: 56.22)
Even Chitragupta is unable to know the measure of punyas attained by one who performs deep-daan (offering of light) throughout the day and night on the day of Ekadashi. The dead ancestors of one, who keeps a lamp burning in front of Lord Sri Krishna on this day of Ekadashi, remain in heaven and are gratified with divine nectar. One who burns the lamp using ghee or sesame oil is worshipped with crores of lamps after his death, and goes to heaven.”
Lord Sri Krishna said, “Yudhisthira, I have described the importance of Kamika Ekadashi before you. The observance of KamikaEkadashi destroys all sins. Therefore, everyone should most definitely observe this vrata. The observance of this Ekadashi bestows heaven and great punyas. One who listens to the importance of this vrata with faith is freed from all sins and obtains the abode of Lord Vishnu. *