Sri Sri Damodarastakam - Part 8
BY: SUN STAFF
Oct 24, USA (SUN) Eight Prayers to Lord Damodara Whose Belly is Bound by a Rope
Sri Sri Damodarastakam - Text 7
kuveratmajau baddha-murtyaiva yad-vat
tvaya mocitau bhakti-bhajau krtau ca
tatha prema-bhaktim svakam me prayaccha
na mokse graho me 'sti damodareha
O Damodara! Although You were bound to the mortar with ropes tied by mother Yasoda | You mercifully liberated the sons of Kuvera who were cursed by Narada Muni to stand as trees and You gifted them with Your own devotional service | Therefore please also bestow upon me Your own prema-bhakti in the most profuse way | This is my exclusive longing - I have no desire to any other type of liberation
Dig-Darsini-Tika by Srila Sanatana Gosvami:
In this way, by the attributes of pure ecstatic love (prema-visesa) one becomes infused with supreme longing and prays for direct audience with the Lord (saksat-darsana). From the attributes of that prayerful longing arises ecstatic loving service (prema-bhakti), which demonstrates the supreme rarity of saksat-darsana. This prema-bhakti is verily the only means for attaining His darsana; first establishing this as a fact, prayer is then offered to Him. Or else - if one does receive His vision but once, the mind is unsatisfied, and (due to not seeing Him the very next second) the agony of separation sets in.
Holding an apprehension like this, which perpetually brings the Lord under one's sway, is a feature of prema-bhakti - which is the one and only means of maintaining such a condition. This being declared the case, then how could it possibly be accomplished by such an utmost offender like me? The answer to this concern is that Sri Bhagavan's quality of bhakta-vatsalya (affection for His devotees) makes the impossible quite possible. In order to resolve this for certain, the proposal of moksa is again rejected here in the seventh verse beginning with kuveratmajau, where the prayer is made purely for attaining prema-bhakti.
The words baddha-murtya indicate that His sri vigraha (divine bodily form) was bound with ropes tied to the grinding mortar by Sri Yasoda; by that sri vigraha (He liberated the two sons of Kuvera). Thus by His dragging the mortar between (the two trees known as yamalarjuna) Bhagavan personally demonstrates the supreme fortune that comes in the form of saksat-darsana (seeing His form), personally touching His form, and so forth, which are integral attributes of His supremely beautiful pastimes. (Even though He Himself was tied up, now it is described how he liberated Nalakuvara and Manigriva:) The word mocitau denotes that they were liberated not just from the curse of Sri Narada, but from samsara (the material world) as well; they were not awarded with kevalam or impersonal liberation of merging into His all-pervading effulgence, but it is definitely stated that they were gifted with prema-bhakti. These two boys are described as bhakti-bhajau - they took shelter of bhakti as the supreme goal. Those who cannot give up the shelter of devotion in any way, shape or form are called bhakti-bhajam. (Krsna personally transformed them in this way). Thus it is the intention of the author to specifically declare that not only were they liberated, but that they were also awarded with prema-bhakti. In this regard, the Lord has declared to these two boys in the Bhagavatam (10.10.42):
“The sprout of prema for Me, which was your most supremely cherished goal, has now fully arisen in both of you. From this ecstatic mood, you will never take birth in the material world again.”
(Srila Sanatana Gosvami has elucidated upon this verse in his own commentary on the Bhagavatam). The purport is - The word vam (“You two”) indicates that Lord Krsna was addressing the two boys thusly: “The most desired thing you have prayed for is parama-bhava and you both have fully developed this prema for Me. Therefore you will never again experience bhava, the repeated birth and death in the material world, nor will you feel the misery of samsara even while living here.”
Then, he damodara! tatha - just like that - svakam - the exclusive shelter (asraya) of Your own lotus feet, or else - the exclusive objective (visaya) of such a beautiful form as Yours; namely prema-bhakti - me - unto me - prayaccha - please bestow it unto me in the most lavish way. (yaccha means “please give” and the prefix pra indicates prakarsena or “with profusion or intensity”).
Verily, it is just like Lord Sri Krsna is saying, “O he! Why are you so enthusiastic for prema-bhakti? Just accept liberation like the two sons of Kuvera, whereby the miseries of birth and death in the material world are finished.” To that, the answer remains the same - neti - no, thank you. Other than iha, this goal named prema-bhakti - na mokse graho me asti damodara - I have no eagerness for any other type of liberation, O Damodara! The purport of this is: one may think, “If the samsara is destroyed by engaging in prema-bhakti, let it be.” Or, “If prema-bhakti doesn't destroy the samsara, then let me not develop it.” I truly have no inclination for either mentality. The confidential mood is thus - if a cintamani lies in the palm of your hand, then all activities you undertake will be perfect; therefore what is the value of grasping a tiny, insignificant thing (like moksa)?
Or else, the phrase he damodara! prema-bhaktim svakam me prayaccha means - this Bhagavan's belly is bound with ropes, so from Him one prays for prema-bhakti in order to perpetually bind His belly; the eagerness for this reciprocation makes it actually possible. Apprehending such, the prayer continues (na mokse grahah, etc.), wherein the alarmed devotee offers - “Do I not have eagerness for You to become liberated from the ropes?” The purport is: “Yes, I certainly care.” This is precisely the meaning. But all I want from You (in Your bound up form) is that You bestow my most cherished benediction of prema bhakti.
Or else,, yet another meaning is - the word iha indicates “please bestow prema-bhakti here in Vrndavana” - this intention also follows. To interpret further,, one prays thus because Sri Vrndavana is the exclusive agent for the arising of prema-bhakti's unique happiness, also, only in Vrndavana Sri Krsna especially appears; also, the attributes of His saksat-darsana are found there in that form) with His belly bound); and further, one prays for perpetual residence in Vrndavana because only there does Sri Bhagavan desire to especially manifest as the enjoyer of the forest - Vrndavana-Vihari. All this is additionally evidence. Further details of these topics could be ascertained as we have been doing herein.
Thus ends Sanatana Gosvami's Dig-Darsini-Tika
on the seventh sloka of Sri Damodarastakam