BY: SUN STAFF
Oct 14, USA (SUN) Damodar, He who can only be bound by the ropes of love
October 18th marks the beginning of the most auspicious month of Damodhara. All the devotees will observe fasting from urad dahl, and many will perform austerities by chanting extra rounds, eating more frugally, and increasing the level of their devotional activity as much as possible.
During the period of Damodhara, devotees will offer lighted lamps and chant the Damodharastakam to lord Damodhara, both morning and evening, to obtain His special mercy. To glorify the Lord congregationally at the temple, in the association of the Vaisnavas, is most purifying.
Many devotees go on pilgrimage to Vrindavan during Damodhara to perform their vrata in the Holy Dhama. For those unable to go to Vrindavan, Srila Prabhupada's temples are non-different.
The following verse from Gopala-vimsati of Sri Vedanta Desika (vs 4), describes Sri Damodara's delight in "navanItam, which is freshly churned butter mixed with sugar:
Akuncitaika caraNam. NibrUtanyapAdam
nAthasya nandabhAvane navanItanATyam
"At the house of his parents, Yasodha was strenuously churning milk to produce butter as part of the daily chore. Krishna, the bhAgyam of Yasodha, heard these rhythmical sounds coming from her efforts and began a special dance to amuse her and to receive gobs of butter as a reward. He planted one of his feet firmly and he moved the other foot around in different directions, the gold necklaces, jewelry and the ankle bells on His holy feet producing a most delightful musical sound, which matched the laya patterns emanating from his mother's efforts at churning milk. May that vision of this sweet, butter dance of Lord Gopala appear before my eyes!
Lord Damodhara Ki Jaya!
In Sanatana Goswami's commentary on the Damodarastakam bhajan, we read the following:
Kartik Vrata: What day was Damodara bound by Yasoda's rope? It
was the day of Govardhana Puja (Krsna sukla pratipat, the first day after
Divalli, which falls on Amavasya) when Krsna was four years old in Gokula
lila. Later on when Krsna was seven years old, He lifted Govardhana Hill
on this same day (Kartika month Krsna sukla pratipat). Hari Bhakti Vilas
says its a rule that one must daily worship Radha Damodara with ghee lamp
and chant the Damodarastakam. HBV 16.95-96- "One who worships a deity of
Radha Damodara for purpose of Radhika's happiness, then Damodara Hari becomes
very satisfied. One worships Damodara by daily chanting Damodarastakam
attracts the Supreme Lord Damodara Himself."
Introduction: The Prayer--- The stotra named Sri Damodarastaka
is found in the Padma P., spoken by Satyavrata Muni during conversation
with Saunaka and Narada. Sanatana Gosvami, "This prayer is nitya-siddha,
eternally perfect. It manifested through Satyavrata Muni and is capable
of attracting Damodara Krsna."
Verse 1: Mula sloka, opening prayer defines the spiritual position
of God-His transcendental form, sweet beauty and sweeter still pastime
of breaking Mother Yasoda's butter pot.
Namam== I bow down with love and devotion before commencing description
of the Supreme Lord's excellences (visesa) or attributes of tattva visesa,
lila visesa, guna and rupa visesa. When starting any function it is customary
to offer respects to the Isvara. This word serves as the Mangalacaran.
Isvara== an individual attributes or characteristics. This indicates
tattva visesa, an excellence of the truth of the Supreme Lord. Obeisances
are offered to the Supreme Controller in order to get the power to offer
this prayer and prove that only the Supreme Lord is worthy of such glorification.
Sac-cid anandam rupam==defines the Supreme Lord as one with a transcendental
form of eternity, knowledge, and bliss (rupa visesa) or a description of
the excellence of His beauty.
Lasanti Kundalam== Swinging earrings running in fear of Yasoda. Earrings
have a position above all other ornaments because always kissing Damodara's
cheeks. Lasanti=glistening because reflect the splendorous effulgence of
Krsna's bodily complexion. Therefore, Krsna's body is the ornament of all
ornaments. See Subala 3.2.12 vismapanam
Gokule Bhrajamanam== Parivara visesa, excellence of His family, the
Vrajavasis. Gokula, which is filled with gopas, gopis, cows, calves, Yamuna
and Govardhana Hill, is a befitting place wherein Krsna can manifest His
Yasoda Bhiya== Lila visesa, excellence of Krsna's pastimes. Krsna displays
great fear of Mother Yasoda punishment for breaking her yogurt pots and
stealing the fresh butter.
Ulukhalat== Krsna stood on a large wooden grinding mortar to steal butter
hanging from the rafters.
Dhavaman==Krsna jumps down and runs away.
Details see SB 10.9.8-9
Paramrstam== saundarya visesa, excellence of Yasoda's beauty.=caught
by the back
Atyantato Drutya==Mother Yasoda running swiftly behind Krsna. Her beautiful
hips, full breasts, flowers falling from loosened hair, perspiring.
Gopya== Mother Yasoda.
Verse 2: Description of details of Damodara lila. The Supreme
Lord, crying in fear, can only be bound Mother Yasoda's love. Shows lila
Rudantam==Crying. Upon seeing the whipping stick of Mother Yasoda, Krsna
becomes terrified and starts crying.
Netra Yugmam Mrjantam== rubbing two lotus eyes again and again
Karambhoja Yugmena==with His lotus hands fearful Krsna rubs His eyes
to make the tears fall out.
Satanka Netram==fearful eyes glancing here & there
Muhuh Svasa==crying again and again
Tri-rekhanka Kanta== three lines on His conchshell neck
Sthita Graivam== pearl necklace situated there
Bhakti Baddham==Bound by love. Bhakta vatsalya, Krsna's quality of coming
under control of His devotees. God can only be bound by a devotee's love
and nothing else.
Krsna was bound by the pure parental love of Yasoda. Damodara willingly
accepted the binding, although no rope has the power to bind the Supreme
Absolute Truth. The Srimad Bhagavatam 10.9.18-21 sva matuh gives proof
that Krsna is controlled by His devotees. Krsna performs this Damodara
lila and all His other pastimes because of His devotees's love.
Verse 3: This sloka glorifies Vraja madhurya maya bhakti over
aisvarya jnana bhakti. It describes Krsna's
Guna Visesa, the excellence of His qualities.
Itidrk==Srimad Bhagavatam 10.11.7-8 Damodara lila shows how Krsna under
control of His devotees.
Sva Lilabhir==His own transcendental sportive pastimes like this
Ananda Kunda==pool of ecstasy, full of deep mellows and rich rasas.
Sva Ghosam==His own family in Gokula; ghosh also means loudly proclaims
His glories and the sweet glories of His eternal Vraja bhaktas by this
Nimajjantam==immersed personally in pools of bliss
Akhyapayantam==let everyone see and understand My position by seeing
this lila of Me coming under the control of My pure madhurya bhaktas.
Tadiyesita Jnesu==tadiya (opulence, majesty) Isa= the master, controller.
Aisvarya jnana bhaktas who are the Vaikuntha vasis. Those attached to knowledge
of the Lord's majestic opulences (aisvarya).
Bhaktair Jitatvam==Krsna only conquered by love and devotion of His
Line three means: "I willfully submit to the control of My bhaktas,
but I never submit Myself to those fond of jnana.
Prematah== with an excellence of love and devotion
Tam==unto that Isvara, Lord Sri Krsna.
Line four means: "I offer my obeisances hundreds and hundreds of times
to the process of pure devotion, Vraja bhakti. This type of divine love
puts the Supreme Lord Krsna under the control of His devotees.
Verse 4: Verse 4 & 5 mention Satyavrata Muni's cherished
desire-to see the transcendental form of Gopal manifested within his heart.
He wants no other boon than this. The muni is thinking, "Oh! If Your divine
form of a bala gopal would be manifested in my heart, then I would feel
very very pleased; nothing short of this will satisfy me." Verse four shows
that the longing for inner darsan of Krsna is the best of all goals.
Deva== effulgent Supreme Lord
Moksam== Brahman liberation
Na== not want, reject
Moksavadhim== highest type of liberation to Vaikuntha planets
Na Canyam anya== reject all other things, not want anything else.
This verse rejects three Boons: 1-moksa=Brahman liberation 2-moksavadhim=Vaik.
Liberation which is the zenith of all liberations 3-na canyam= boons achieved
by following nava vidha bhakti
Vapur== vani/vapuh divine form and words; instructions.
Natha==Lord. The are four famous Nathas that if one sees all then gets
liberation. Badri in north, Jagan in east, Dvaraka in west, Ranga in south
and Gopal Nathji in center. But if see only one Natha, Sri Nathji or Gopal
Nathji get full benefit of seeing other 4.
Gopal Balam== young cowherd boy
Avirastam==ever manifested (avirbhava)
Kim Anyaih==What good are they? What is the use of any other thing such
as moksa or the boons gained by performed devotional service?
Summary: This attitude, as stated by Sat. Muni above, comes from one
absorbed in thinking of Krsna's name, form, qualities and pastimes. If
one attains Krsna, then everything else in automatically and perfectly
attained. If Krsna is not attained, then all other boons are useless
Verse 5: This verse, describing the beauty of Krsna's face, is
a prayer to see the sweet lotus face of Krsna.
Mukhambhojam==lotus face. Krsna's face resembles a fully blossomed lotus
Avyakta==un manifested , dark
Vrtam==surrounded; lotus face surrounded by bumblebee like curly locks
Kuntalaih==curly dark blue hair
Gopya==a gopi, = that face kissed by either Radhika or Yasoda
Muhuh==again and again
Bimba==like a bimba fruit
Raktadharam==lips cherry red
Avirastam==avirbhava, manifested. May this lotus face that is kissed
by that fortunate gopi, Srimati Radhika, be manifested within my mind.
Labhaih==greed; attainment of other boons and benedictions
Summary## IN deep meditation on the Damodara lila, one will see the
divine lotus face of Krsna as described in this verse five.
Verse 6: Is a prayer for saksat darsan; the boon of seeing Krsna
face to face
Deva==divine, beautiful Supreme Lord
Damodara==bound by the affection of Yasoda. Indicates his param bhakti
vatsalya visesa. Therefore, there is nothing He cannot do
Ananta==Full of inconceivable sakti and unlimited mercy
Visno==all-pervading Supreme Lord Visnu is living everywhere
Prasida==show mercy, be pleased with one
Prabho==master, controller, astonishing power to reveal Yourself to
Dukha==suffering, natural miseries
Ati Dinam==very fallen
Esa==independent Lord, controller
Aksi Drsyah==give Your darsana, become visible to me
Summary Verse Six: Explains how to see Krsna?
1. Must fix Krsna in the mind and by pure bhakti will see Him
2. Attain pure bhakti by chanting Nama Sankirtan with love and devotion
and sorrowful prayers. (verse six full of Krsna's names-Deva, Prabho, Damodara,
3. There are no fixed rules governing the appearance of the Lord. It
is His free will only.
What happens if one gets the direct darsana of Supreme Lord Krsna?
In Hari-bhakti Sudhodaya says Prahlada M. Saw the Lord by the sea one
day. Narada, Dhruva, Kardama Muni and Bilvamangala all received direct
darsana, saksat darsana, of the Lord.
BRHAD BHAGAVATAMRTA chap. 3 179-182: "1. Seeing Lord Krsna in person
direc tly with the eyes is the final reward for practicing nava vidha bhakti.
One will experience profound bliss that surpasses all other forms of darsana
such as seeing the Lord in meditation. 2. The ignorance and Maya covering
the soul is destroyed. 3. Bhava increases 4. Devotee becomes overwhelmed
with bliss and exhibits different sattvika bhavas, such as shivering, crying,
hair standing erect. Prema vikaras, ecstatic symptoms.
Verse 7: Describes Prema visesa, the excellence of Krsna prema.
It is a prayer to attain prema bhakti, which is the only means for attaining
darsana of Lord Krsna as described in verse 6. Verse 7 also rejects moksa,
Kuveratmaja==sons of Kubera, Nalakuvara, Manigriva
Baddha==bound with ropes
Murtyaiva==Sri Vigraha, divine form
Yat vat== curse birth as trees
Bhakti bhajau==performance of devotional service. Never give up practice
Krtau==gave, made them, Krsna awarded them prema bhakti
Prema bhaktim==pure devotion
Svakam==Your own, shelter Your lotus feet
Prayaccha==give intense, profuse
Graho==enthusiasm, have no eagerness for any other type of liberation
Damodara==Lord Damodara who is bhakta vatsala
Iha==this or here in Vrndavana, please bestow prema bhakti.
Verse 8: This verse summarized things the prayer stands for
Dipti dhamne==effulgent abode
Tvadiya-udaraya==unto your belly
Radhikayai priyayai==dearest beloved Radha
Nanta lila==unlimited sportive pastimes
Summary: The rope around Krsna's belly represents the Brahman
effulgence surrounding the spiritual world. His belly supports all the
universe in creation. One lotus flower growing from His navel or belly
sustains the 14 worlds (planetary systems). Krsna showed His universal
form to Mother Yasoda. By binding this waist Mother Yasoda has single-handedly
bound the whole universe and brought the entire creation under her control
by the strength of Her vatsalya prema. For anyone else it would be totally
impossible to bind the all pervading unlimitedly potent Supreme Lord; but
He willingly accepts Mother Yasoda's binding as an attribute of His bhakta
vatsalya visesa, excellence of His being controlled by the love of His
Radhika is also engaged in Krsna's aradhana or worship only for His
pleasure. Eternally Radhika is Krsna's dearmost beloved nitya priya or
Namo Nanta Lilaya==Satyavrata Muni is herein glorifying the topmost
unlimited pastimes of Krsna such as rasa lila which Krsna performed with
His beloved Priyaji, Sri Radhika. Such confidential pastimes are hinted
at and offered respects to with the word (Namo). Namo nanta lilaya refers
to ananta lila, Ananta Bhagavan Sri Krsna who continually enjoys limitless
pastimes. Satyavrata Muni is offering obeisances to Radha-Krsna unlimited
pastimes of rasa lila.
Word LILA== root L i means lingita or embrace. La means to accept. Therefore,
word lila means those playful pastimes wherein Krsna accepts the embraces
of the gopis. Thus Satyavrata Muni is ending his prayer on a sweet note
(madhurena samapayet, a sanskrit rule of drama meaning that everything
should end on a sweet note) by offering respectful obeisances unto the
topmost transcendental pastime of Krsna's rasa lila and other such confidential
pastimes in Vraja Dhama.