Kartik – The best of all months (Oct. 18 – Nov. 17, 2013 )


Cont. from previous post

Srila Prabhupada, founder acharya of ISKCON, discusses in Nectar of Devotion: 
The execution of devotional service during Ūrja-vrata in the month of Kārttika is especially recommended to be performed at Mathurā. This system is still followed by many devotees. They go to Mathurā or Vrndavana and stay there during the month of Kārttika specifically to perform devotional services during this period.”

“Urja-vrata” refers to the acceptance of special vows during Kārttika. Devotees often take vows to increase their hearing, chanting, worship, or to observe restrictions in their eating. Making and keeping such vows during the month of Damodara guarantees compounded benefits.

Prabhupada further quotes from Padma Purana:

“…the Lord does not award devotional service to ordinary persons who are not serious about it. But even such unserious persons who execute devotional service according to the regulative principles during the month of Kārttika, and within the jurisdiction of Mathurā in India, are very easily awarded the Lord’s personal service.” (N.O.D., Chapter 12)

Importance of offering a ghee lamp to Lord Krishna (Skanda Purana, Padma Purana & others): 

§ When one offers a lamp during the month of Kartika, his sins of many thousands and millions of births perish in half an eye blink.

§ Even if there is no mantras, no pious deeds,and no purity, everything becomes perfect when a person offers a lamp during the month of Kartika.

§ A person who during the month of Kartika offers a lamp to Lord Keshava has already performed all yajnas (sacrifice for the pleasure of the Lord) and bathing in all the holy rivers.

§ The ancestors say “when someone in our family pleases Lord Keshava by offering Him a lamp during the month of Kartika, then by the mercy of the Lord who holds the Sudarshan-Chakra in His hand, we will all attain liberation’.

§ To one who either at home or in a temple offers a lamp during the month of Kartika, Lord Vasudeva gives a great result.

§ A person who offers a lamp to Lord Krishna during the month of Damodara (Kartika) becomes very glorious and fortune.

§ No sins exist anywhere in the three worlds that will not be purified by offering a lamp to Lord Keshava during Kartika.

§ “Anybody who offers the Lord a ghee lamp in the month of Kartik, O brahmana, becomes free from all kinds of sins, such as killing a brahmana, and he goes to the abode of Lord Hari.”

§ “By offering a lamp during the month of Karttika one attains a pious result ten million times greater than the result obtained by bathing at Kuruksetra during a solar eclipse or by bathing in the river Narmada during a lunar eclipse.”

§ “O Tiger among sages! For a person who thus offers a lamp burning with ghee or sesame oil, what is the use of performing an asvasmedha-yajna? ”

§ “A person who offers a lamp during the month of Karttika attains a result that cannot be obtained with even a hundred yajnas or a hundred pilgrimages.”

§ “Even a person addicted to all sins and averse to all pious deeds who somehow offer a lamp during Karttika becomes purified. Of this there is no doubt.”

§ “O King of brahmanas, when someone offers Him a lamp on the full-moon day of the month of Karttika, Lord Krishna, finding that He does not have sufficient money to repay that gift, gives Himself in exchange for that lamp.

§ A person who offers a lamp to Lord Damodara during Kartika attains the eternal spiritual world where there is no suffering.

§ “One who offers a steady lamp to Lord Hari during the month of Karttika enjoys pastimes in Lord Hari’s splendid spiritual world.” 


Importance of offering tulasi leaves (Hari Bhakti Vilasa 7.335):  
“The result one obtains by giving ten thousand cows in charity can be obtained by offering only one tulasi leaf to the Supreme Lord during the month of Kārttika.”

Importance of offering malati flowers (Hari Bhakti Vilasa 7.90-92): 

“It is better to offer malati flowers to Lord Kesava in the month of Kārttika than to donate gold, cows, or land to worthy recipients.

Malati flowers are pleasing to Lord Kesava (Krishna) in whatever month they are offered. In the month of Kārttika, the offering of malati flowers awards one the merit of performing a horse sacrifice. “

“For a devotee who worships Lord Vishnu with offerings of malati flowers in the month of Kārttika, Yamaraja orders the removal of all his sinful reactions from the account book.”

Importance of giving up chosen food items (Skanda Purana):
pravrttanam ca bhaksanam kartike niyame krte
Avasyam Krishna rupatvam prapyate muktidam subham

Whatever one usually eats if he gives up some of the ingredients of it in the month of Kartika, then he achieves the same aupicious form as Lord Sri Krishna undoubtedly. Srila Sanatana Gosvami comments upon this specific verse in his Digdarsini-tika, “Those who are engaged in eating daily and following the rules of Kartika, they should try to minimize and give up certain ingredients in eating. Obtaining the same form as Krishna means that it liberates one from the miseries of this material world and gives all auspiciousness and happiness.”

Reciting Damodarashtaka is recommended in scripture:

“In the month of Kartika one should worship Lord Damodara and daily recite the prayer known as Damodarastaka, which has been spoken by Sage Satyavrata and which attracts Lord Damodara. (Sri Hari Bhakti Vilasa 2.16.198)”

Damodarastakam : Eight verses glorifying Lord Damodar (Krishna)

(1) namāmīśvaraḿ sac-cid-ānanda-rūpaḿ , lasat-kuṇḍalaḿ gokule bhrājamanam
yaśodā-bhiyolūkhalād dhāvamānaḿ, parāmṛṣṭam atyantato drutya gopyā

(2) rudantaḿ muhur netra-yugmaḿ mṛjantam, karāmbhoja-yugmena sātańka-netram
muhuḥ śvāsa-kampa-trirekhāńka-kaṇṭha-, sthita-graivaḿ dāmodaraḿ bhakti-baddham

(3) itīdṛk sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe, sva-ghoṣaḿ nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam
tadīyeṣita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvaḿ , punaḥ prematas taḿ śatāvṛtti vande

(4) varaḿ deva mokṣaḿ na mokṣāvadhiḿ vā , na canyaḿ vṛṇe ‘haḿ vareṣād apīha
idaḿ te vapur nātha gopāla-bālaḿ , sadā me manasy āvirāstāḿ kim anyaiḥ

(5) idaḿ te mukhāmbhojam atyanta-nīlair , vṛtaḿ kuntalaiḥ snigdha-raktaiś ca gopyā
muhuś cumbitaḿ bimba-raktādharaḿ me , manasy āvirāstām alaḿ lakṣa-lābhaiḥ

(6) namo deva dāmodarānanta viṣṇo , prasīda prabho duḥkha-jālābdhi-magnam
kṛpā-dṛṣṭi-vṛṣṭyāti-dīnaḿ batānu , gṛhāṇeṣa mām ajñam edhy akṣi-dṛśyaḥ

(7) kuverātmajau baddha-mūrtyaiva yadvat , tvayā mocitau bhakti-bhājau kṛtau ca
tathā prema-bhaktiḿ svakāḿ me prayaccha , na mokṣe graho me ‘sti dāmodareha

(8) namas te ‘stu dāmne sphurad-dīpti-dhāmne, tvadīyodarāyātha viśvasya dhāmne
namo rādhikāyai tvadīya-priyāyai , namo ‘nanta-līlāya devāya 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 I (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 Yashoda, 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 conch shell, 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 imbues 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) O 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 Vrndavana may ever be manifest in my heart, for what is the use to me of any other boon besides this?

5) O Lord, Your lotus face, which is encircled by locks of soft black hair tinged with red, is kissed again and again by mother Yashoda, 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) O 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) O 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) O 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

Sri Sri Rukmani Dwarikadheesh Temple,
ISKCON Land, Plot No-4, Opposite Radisson Hotel,
Sector-13, Dwarka, New Delhi

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