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Deepostva2017

Deepotsava, also known as the festival of lights, is celebrated in the month of Kartika (October – November) every year. It is a month-long festival commemorating Damodara-lila, the sweet pastime of baby Krishna stealing butter and consequently being tied to a mortar by His dear mother Yashoda. In Sanskrit, “dama” means rope and “udara” means belly. Damodara refers to Krishna who was bound with a rope by His mother Yashoda.

It is not possible to describe the glories of Kartika month. In this month devotees observe strict vows (Damodara Vrata) and worship Lord Damodara by offering a ghee lamp every day. It is said that by offering a lamp to Lord Hari in the month of Kartika one gets unlimited prosperity, beauty and wealth. All the sins committed in thousands and millions of births perish; and one attains the eternal spiritual world where there is no suffering.

In this month, every day the temple is decorated with thousands of lamps. Light from hundreds of lamps placed before the altar spread transcendental radiance across the main temple hall, elevating the spirit of devotion. The grandeur with which the festivities are carried out captivates everyone’s realm of devotion.

This year we are celebrating Deepotsava from October 5 to November 4, 2017.

Sri Damodarashtaka

(found in the Padma Purana of Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa,
spoken by Satyavrata Muni in a conversation with Narada Muni and Saunaka Rishi)


"In the month of Kartika one should worship Lord Damodara and daily recite the prayer known

as Damodarashtaka, which has been spoken by the sage Satyavrata and which attracts Lord Damodara."
(Sri Hari-bhakti-vilasa 2.16.198)

(1)

namamisvaram sac-cid-ananda-rupam
lasat-kundalam gokule bhrajamanam
yasoda-bhiyolukhalad dhavamanam
paramrishtam atyantato drutya gopya

(2)

rudantam muhur netra-yugmam mrijantam
karambhoja-yugmena satanka-netram
muhuh svasa-kampa-trirekhanka-kanthasthita-
graivam damodaram bhakti-baddham

(3)

itidrik sva-lilabhir ananda-kunde
sva-ghosham nimajjantam akhyapayantam
tadiyeshita-jneshu bhaktair jitatvam
punah prematas tam satavritti vande

(4)

varam deva moksham na mokshavadhim va
na canyam vrine ’ham vareshad apiha
idam te vapur natha gopala-balam
sada me manasy avirastam kim anyaih

(5)

idam te mukhambhojam atyanta-nilair
vritam kuntalaih snigdha-raktais ca gopya
muhus cumbitam bimba-raktadharam me
manasy avirastam alam laksha-labhaih

(6)

namo deva damodarananta vishno
prasida prabho duhkha-jalabdhi-magnam
kripa-drishti-vrishtyati-dinam batanu
grihanesha mam ajnam edhy akshi-drisyah

(7)

kuveratmajau baddha-murtyaiva yadvat
tvaya mocitau bhakti-bhajau kritau ca
tatha prema-bhaktim svakam me prayaccha
na mokshe graho me ‘sti damodareha

(8)

namas te ’stu damne sphurad-dipti-dhamne
tvadiyodarayatha visvasya dhamne
namo radhikayai tvadiya-priyayai
namo ’nanta-lilaya devaya tubhyam


Translation:

(1) To the Supreme Lord, whose form is the embodiment of eternal existence, knowledge, and bliss, whose
shark-shaped earrings are swinging to and fro, who is beautifully shining in the divine realm of Gokula, who
[due to the offense of breaking the pot of yogurt that His mother was churning into butter and then stealing
the butter that was kept hanging from a swing] is quickly running from the wooden grinding mortar in fear
of mother Yasoda, but who has been caught from behind by her who ran after Him with greater speed—to
that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.

(2) Seeing the whipping stick in His mother’s hand,] He is crying and rubbing His eyes again and again with
His two lotus hands. His eyes are filled with fear, and the necklace of pearls around His neck, which is
marked with three lines like a conchshell, is shaking because of His quick breathing due to crying. To
this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, whose belly is bound not with ropes but with His mother’s pure love, I offer
my humble obeisances.

(3) By such childhood pastimes as this He is drowning the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy, and
is revealing to those devotees who are absorbed in knowledge of His supreme majesty and opulence that He is
only conquered by devotees whose pure love is imbued with intimacy and is free from all conceptions of awe
and reverence. With great love I again offer my obeisances to Lord Damodara hundreds and hundreds of times.

(4) 0 Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to You for the boon of
impersonal liberation, nor the highest liberation of eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor any other boon [which may
be obtained by executing the nine processes of bhakti]. O Lord, I simply wish that this form of Yours as
Bala Gopala in Vrindavana may ever be manifest in my heart, for what is the use to me of any other boon
besides this?

(5) 0 Lord, Your lotus face, which is encircled by locks of soft black hair tinged with red, is kissed again and
again by mother Yasoda, and Your lips are reddish like the bimba fruit. May this beautiful vision of Your lotus
face be ever manifest in my heart. Thousands and thousands of other benedictions are of no use to me.

(6) 0 Supreme Godhead, I offer my obeisances unto You. O Damodara! O Ananta! O Vishnu! O master! O my
Lord, be pleased upon me. By showering Your glance of mercy upon me, deliver this poor ignorant fool who
is immersed in an ocean of worldly sorrows, and become visible to my eyes.

(7) 0 Lord Damodara, just as the two sons of Kuvera—Manigriva and Nalakuvara—were delivered from the
curse of Narada and made into great devotees by You in Your form as a baby tied with rope to a wooden
grinding mortar, in the same way, please give to me Your own prema-bhakti. I only long for this and have
no desire for any kind of liberation.

(8) 0 Lord Damodara, I first of all offer my obeisances to the brilliantly effulgent rope which binds Your belly.
I then offer my obeisances to Your belly, which is the abode of the entire universe. I humbly bow down to
Your most beloved Srimati Radharani, and I offer all obeisances to You, the Supreme Lord, who displays
unlimited pastimes.