Kartik Vrata

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:

AvirbhAvAtvANibhrUtAbharaNam purastAt
Akuncitaika caraNam. NibrUtanyapAdam

dadhnAnimantamukareNa nibaddhatAlam
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.

Words:
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 topmost pastimes.

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.

Anvancamana

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 visesa.

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

Kampa== trembling

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 lila

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 devotees.

Line three means: "I willfully submit to the control of My bhaktas, but I never submit Myself to those fond of jnana.

Punah== repeatedly

Prematah== with an excellence of love and devotion

Tam==unto that Isvara, Lord Sri Krsna.

Satavrtti==100 times

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.

Varam== boon

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.

Vrne== pray

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

Idam== this

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

Sada==always sac-cid-ananda

Me==mine

Manasy==mind, heart

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.

Idam==this

Mukhambhojam==lotus face. Krsna's face resembles a fully blossomed lotus flower.

Avyakta==un manifested , dark

Nilair==blue

Vrtam==surrounded; lotus face surrounded by bumblebee like curly locks of hair

Kuntalaih==curly dark blue hair

Snigdha==soft, glossy

Raktais==red tint

Gopya==a gopi, = that face kissed by either Radhika or Yasoda

Muhuh==again and again

Cumbitam==kissed

Bimba==like a bimba fruit

Raktadharam==lips cherry red

Manasy==mind

Avirastam==avirbhava, manifested. May this lotus face that is kissed by that fortunate gopi, Srimati Radhika, be manifested within my mind.

Alam==useless

Laksa==millions

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

Namo==obeisances

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 me

Dukha==suffering, natural miseries

Jala==network

Abdhi==ocean

Magnam==immersed

Krpa==mercy

Drsti==glance

Vrsti==rain

Ati Dinam==very fallen

Batanu==please

Grhana==uplift, accept

Esa==independent Lord, controller

Mam==me

Ajnam==ignorance

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, Visnu, Ananta)

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, liberation.

Kuveratmaja==sons of Kubera, Nalakuvara, Manigriva

Baddha==bound with ropes

Murtyaiva==Sri Vigraha, divine form

Yat vat== curse birth as trees

Tvaya==you

Mocitau==liberated

Bhakti bhajau==performance of devotional service. Never give up practice of bhakti

Krtau==gave, made them, Krsna awarded them prema bhakti

Tatha==then

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

Sti==this

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

Damne==rope

Sphurad==splendrous

Dipti dhamne==effulgent abode

Tvadiya-udaraya==unto your belly

Visvasya==universe

Radhikayai priyayai==dearest beloved Radha

Dhamne==shelter

Nanta lila==unlimited sportive pastimes

Devaya==transcendental

Tubhyam==you

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 devotees.

Radhika is also engaged in Krsna's aradhana or worship only for His pleasure. Eternally Radhika is Krsna's dearmost beloved nitya priya or Priyayai.

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.


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