DAMODARA – KARTHIKA MONTH GLORIES AND DAMODARASHTAKAM
Devotees Please don’t forget, Just as there is no yuga equal to Satya-yuga, no scripture equal to the Vedas, and no place of pilgrimage equal to the Ganges, so there is no month equal to Kartika.
Damodara lilas are the most blissful lilas in the pastimes of Krishna on earth when He descended.
Can anyone forget the lila of getting controlled by His mother’s ropes? Can anyone fail to enjoy the Yogurt stealing lila of Krishna?
How to worship Krishna during Damodara month?
During the Kartika month we should worship Damodara with ghee lamps and bhajans, particularly glorifying His playful childhood pastime of stealing yogurt.
Srila Bhaktivinod Thakura explains about how to worship Damodara during Damodara month:
“In Kartik month, after bathing in the morning, one should worship Lord Damodara. At night, one should light brilliant lamps filled with either ghee or sesame-seed oil, and place them in these places – in the Lord’s temple, around the base of tulasi plants, and in the sky. During the month of Kartika, one should eat only vegetarian foodstuffs and Bhagavan’s prasad remnants. There should be incessant harinama-kirtana and smarana. The sole activity to be done during the observance of Damodara-vrata is the worship of Sri Sri Radha-Damodara.”
Reciting / singing the Damodarashtaka during the Damodara month wil be very auspicious and effective.
Before reading Damodarashtaka read the glories of the Damodara month.
How to Offer Ghee lamp to Damodhara?
GLORIES OF DAMODARA MONTH
“O Tiger among sages! For a person who thus offers a lamp burning with ghee or sesame oil, what is the use of performing an asvasmedha-yajna? “
“Please hear the glories of offering a lamp during pleasing to Lord Kesava. O King of brahmanas, a person who offers a lamp in this way will not take birth again in this world.”
“When one offers a lamp during the month of Karttika, his sins in many thousands and millions of births perish in half an eye blink.”
“A person who during the month of Karttika offers a lamp to Lord Kesava has already performed all yajnas and bathing in all holy rivers. “
“The ancestors say: When someone in our family pleases Lord Kesava by offering to Him a lamp during the month of Karttika, then, by the mercy of the Lord who holds the Sudarsana-cakra in His Hand, we will all attain liberation.”
“By offering a lamp during the month of Karttika one attains a pious result ten million times greater than the result obtained by bathing at Kuruksetra during a solar eclipse or by bathing in the river Narmada during a lunar eclipse.”
“Even if there are no mantras, no pious deeds, and no purity, everything becomes perfect when a person offers a lamp during the month of Karttika.”
“A person who offers a lamp during the month of Karttika attains a result that cannot be obtained with even a hundred yajnas or a hundred pilgrimages.”
“Even a person addicted to all sins and averse to all pious deeds who somehow offer a lamp during Karttika becomes purified. Of this there is no doubt.”
“By offering a lamp during the month of Karttika one burns away a collection of sins as big as Mount Meru or Mount Mandara. Of this there is no doubt.”
“O Narada, no sin exists anywhere in the three worlds that will not be purified by offering a lamp to Lord Kesava during Karttika.”
“As fire is present in all wood and may be extracted by friction, so piety is always present in the offering of a lamp during the month of Karttika. Of this there is no doubt.”
“A person who offers a lamp to Lord Krishna during Karttika attains the eternal spiritual world where there is no suffering.”
“O King of brahmanas, when someone offers Him a lamp on the full-moon day of the month of Karttika, Lord Krishna, finding that He does not have sufficient money to repay that gift, gives Himself in exchange for that lamp.”
“All the results acquired by donating grains during pitri-paksha or by distributing water in the hot months of Jyeshtha or Ashadha are easily gained in the course of Kartika merely by reviving (relighting) a dipa offered by someone else.”
“Even one who never performs religious rituals or even the worst sinner will surely be purified by this offering. O Narada, in the three worlds there is no sin that can stand before this Kartika dipa. In fact, by presenting this dipa before Lord Vasudeva, the eternal abode can be reached without obstruction.”
“One who offers a steady lamp to Lord Hari during the month of Karttika enjoys pastimes in Lord Hari’s splendid spiritual world.”
lasat-kuṇḍalam gokule bhrājamanam
parāmṛṣṭam atyantato drutya gopyā
rudantam muhur netra-yugmam mṛjantam
sthita-graivam dāmodaram bhakti-baddham
itīdṛk sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe
sva-ghoṣam nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam
tadīyeṣita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvam
punaḥ prematas tam śatāvṛtti vande
varam deva mokṣam na mokṣāvadhim vā
na canyam vṛṇe ‘ham vareṣād apīha
idam te vapur nātha gopāla-bālam
sadā me manasy āvirāstām kim anyaiḥ
idam te mukhāmbhojam atyanta-nīlair
vṛtam kuntalaiḥ snigdha-raktaiś ca gopyā
muhuś cumbitam bimba-raktādharam me
manasy āvirāstām alam lakṣa-lābhaiḥ
namo deva dāmodarānanta viṣṇo
prasīda prabho duḥkha-jālābdhi-magnam
gṛhāṇeṣa mām ajñam edhy akṣi-dṛśyaḥ
kuverātmajau baddha-mūrtyaiva yadvat
tvayā mocitau bhakti-bhājau kṛtau ca
tathā prema-bhaktim svakām me prayaccha
na mokṣe graho me ‘sti dāmodareha
namas te ‘stu dāmne sphurad-dīpti-dhāmne
tvadīyodarāyātha viśvasya dhāmne
namo rādhikāyai tvadīya-priyāyai
namo ‘nanta-līlāya devāya tubhyam
MEANING OF DAMODARASHTAKAM
To the supreme controller, who possesses an eternal form of blissful knowledge, whose glistening earrings swing to and fro, who manifested Himself in Gokula, who stole the butter that the gopis kept hanging from the rafters of their storerooms and who then quickly jumped up and ran in retreat in fear of Mother Yasoda but was ultimately caught – to that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.
Upon seeing His mother’s whipping stick, He cried and rubbed His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes were fearful and His breathing quick, and as Mother Yasoda bound His belly with ropes, He shivered in fright and His pearl necklace shook. To this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.
Those superexcellent pastimes of Lord Krishna’s babyhood drowned the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy. To the devotees who are attracted only to His majestic aspect of Narayana in Vaikuntha, the Lord herein reveals: “I am conquered and overwhelmed by pure loving devotion.” To the Supreme Lord, Damodara, my obeisances hundreds and hundreds of times.
O Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to You for liberation, nor eternal life in Vaikunta, nor any other boon. My only prayer is that Your childhood pastimes may constantly appear in my mind. O Lord, I do not even want to know your feature of Paramatma. I simply wish that Your childhood pastimes may ever be enacted in my heart.
O Lord, the cheeks of Your blackish lotus face, which is encircled by locks of curling hair, have become reddened like bimba fruits due to Mother Yasoda’s kisses. What more can I describe than this? Millions of opulences are of no use to me, but may this vision constantly remain in my mind.
O unlimited Vishnu! O master! O Lord! Be pleased upon me! I am drowning in an ocean of sorrow and am almost like a dead man. Please shower the rain of mercy on me; uplift me and protect me with Your nectarean vision.
O Lord Damodara, in Your form as a baby Mother Yasoda bound You to a grinding stone with a rope for tying cows. You then freed the sons of Kuvera, Manigriva and Nalakuvara, who were cursed to stand as trees and You gave them the chance to become Your devotees. Please bless me in this same way. I have no desire for liberation into Your effulgence.
O Lord, the entire universe was created by Lord Balarama, who was born from Your abdomen, which was bound with a rope by Mother Yasoda. To this rope I offer my humble obeisances. I offer my obeisances to Your most belovedSrimati Radharani to Your unlimited pastimes.
ALL GLORIES TO LORD DAMODARA! LET LORD BLESS ALL!