Sri Sri Damodarastakam - Part 9
BY: SUN STAFF
Oct 25, USA (SUN) Eight Prayers to Lord Damodara Whose Belly is Bound by a Rope
Sri Sri Damodarastakam - Text 8
namas te 'stu damne sphurad dipti-dhamne
tvadiyodarayatha visvasya dhamne
namo radhikayai tvadiya priyayai
namo 'nanta-lilaya devaya tubhyam
O Lord Damodara! I offer my obeisances unto the exalted rope binding Your waist which is the source of splendrously brilliant effulgence | I offer my obeisances unto Your belly which is the support of the entire universe | I offer my obeisances unto Radhika, Your dearmost beloved | And I offer my obeisances unto Your wondrous, uncommon pastimes
Dig-Darsini-Tika by Srila Sanatana Gosvami:
Now at the conclusion of the prayer, in order to summarise the presentation of topics that are being prayed for, and also to arouse the attributes of bhakti, obeisances are given separately unto Bhagavan's unique binding,, bodily limbs, associates, and so on in the verse beginning with namas te 'stu. It is stated te damne namo 'stu - I bow to the maha-pasa, the magnificent rope that binds Your belly. What is this grand rope like? It is sphurantya dipte dhama - the source or shelter of a splendrous effulgence. In this regard, it is suggested by the author that such a maha-pasa is the very abode of the (endlessly radiant) concentrated brahma-teja, or all-pervading brahman effulgence.
After that, tvadiyaya udaraya namo 'stu - I bow to Your belly. The reason for this is because while bound with ropes, You especially manifest the beauty and other qualities of Your belly as well as the glorious characteristics of vatsalya-lila and other pastimes. What is that belly like? It is stated visvasya dhama - that belly is the support for all the universes in creation, including all the stationary and moving beings contained therein. From the lotus navel on His abdomen has sprouted a gigantic lotus flower that sustains the fourteen worlds. Additionally, (during His childhood pastimes in Vrndavana) He bodily displayed the visva-rupa or universal form to His mother on two occasions. This is another indication. Therefore, in such a pastime of binding Him by the waist, mother Yasoda bound up the whole universe, indeed, she brought the entire creation under her control. This is the proclamation.
It is never possible to factually bind the (all-pervading, limitlessly potent) Lord, Who is Isa (the supreme controller), but He willingly accepts binding as an attribute of His superexcellent affection for His devotees (bhakta-vatsalya-visesa). And by that acceptance of binding we are informed that such pastimes are imperceptible to all the logic and reasoning available within all the material universes. This is an intimation of His aisvarya-visesa or attributes of majesty.
The reason for offering obeisances first unto the rope (dama) and then unto the Lord's belly (udara) is - because the rope is situated upon His belly. Or furthermore, to indicate the ascending superiority in the significance of different things, (respects are first offered to the rope, then to His belly).
Now, namo radhikayai - obeisances are offered unto His beloved, Bhagavati Sri Radhika. This is done in order to show that the mercy of His beloved enables one to fully attain the desire objective - including objectives that are even beyond the range of desire. By offering obeisances unto Sri Radhika, it is implied that obeisances are also being offered unto all the gopis. Or else, since Sri Radhika is the foremost of them all, obeisances are offered only unto Her.
The word radhika is used here to denote the attributes and excellence of one who is always engaged in Sri Bhagavan's aradhana or worship (arranging only for His pleasure); this is the purpose of using Her specific name “Radhika” in this text. Therefore - tvadiya-priyayaih - obeisances unto Your beloved. Or else, this name “Radhika” indicates rudhi (in grammatical terms, it is capable of conveying a meaning not supported by derivation). Therefore, regardless of Her aradhana or worship of You, She is still Your eternally dearmost beloved (nitya-priya). In this connection also, the word tvadiya indicates that not only is She dear to Yourself, but to all Your other devotees as well; what more, then, could be said about how dear She is to You? Additionally, this statement implies that You are also Her nitya-priya (eternally dear beloved). By such the excellence of Sri Radhika's love for Sri Krsna (prema-visesa) is suggested. This the words priyayaih namah in this verse can either mean - my obeisances unto You, Radhika's beloved; or, my obeisances unto Radhika, Your beloved. Whoever is beloved to You, such a person is certainly worshipable for the entire universe. Therefore, since Radhika is Your own dearmost beloved, namo 'stu - I bow before Her.
And finally at the conclusion of the prayer, the author desires to describe the supreme superexcellence of the rasa-lila and other transcendental pastimes that Lord Sri Krsna performs with Sri Radhika, but since these are the topmost of confidential topics, they are not mentioned directly. The logic of madhurena samapayet - “all undertakings should be completed sweetly” - applies here. Therefore such confidential pastimes are referred to only by a mere dint as they are offered obeisances with the words namo 'nanta-lilaya (obeisances unto Your limitless pastimes)
The word devaya indicates that obeisances are offered unto Bhagavan Who is lokottara - supernatural, divine, transcendental. With this it is intimated that by Damodara Krsna's divinely supernatural quality, then all the lilas performed by Him are also similarly transcendental. Or else, it could also be interpreted to mean - my obeisances unto You Who are continuously engaged in pastimes along with Sri Radhika. Therefore, ananta-lilaya tubhyam namah - I offer my respectful obeisances unto You Who are thus performing limitless pastimes. By the words ananta-lila, it is suggested to include all the pastimes associated with the realm of Gokula Vrndavana. I offer my obeisances unto all those lilas, such a mood is most certainly expressed in this verse.
Thus ends Sanatana Gosvami's Dig-Darsini-Tika
on the eighth sloka of Sri Damodarastakam