Friday, October 9, 2009

SRI DAMODARASTAKAM Tika by Sri Sanatana Gosvamipada

Srila A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's sannyasa guru, Srila Bhaki-prajnana Kesava Maharaja said, "Due to the eternal nature of Sri Sri Damodarastaka, it is necessary to study it every day during the month of Karttika (or Damodara)." The following passages describing this bhajan are taken from Sri Sanatana Gosvamipada's commentary on the DAMODARASTAKAM:
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.
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.
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
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.
Mukhambhojam==lotus face. Krsna's face resembles a fully blossomed lotus flower.
Avyakta==un manifested , dark
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
Bimba==like a bimba fruit
Raktadharam==lips cherry red
Avirastam==avirbhava, manifested. May this lotus face that is kissed by that fortunate gopi, Srimati Radhika, be manifested within my mind.
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
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
Ati Dinam==very fallen
Grhana==uplift, accept
Esa==independent Lord, controller
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
Bhakti bhajau==performance of devotional service. Never give up practice of bhakti
Krtau==gave, made them, Krsna awarded them prema bhakti
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
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
Dipti dhamne==effulgent abode
Tvadiya-udaraya==unto your belly
Radhikayai priyayai==dearest beloved Radha
Nanta lila==unlimited sportive pastimes
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.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Value of Vaishnava Association (a short story from the Puranas)

Hare Krishna,
I just thought I should share one of my favourite stories from the Puranas with you...

Once the great sage Narada was intrigued by a doubt. He was sure that Lord Vishnu would clear it for him. He proceeded to the Ocean of Milk and found his Lord reclining on the giant hooded serpent-bed Shankarshana, His beautiful consort, Lakshmi devi beside Him.

Sage Narada made his obeisance to Lord Vishnu and put his question to Him.
“Oh Lord, what is the value of Vaishnava Satsang, the Association of Vaishnava Devotees?”
Lord Vishnu smiled charmingly and said, “I will answer your question. But first you must do something for me. Look at that village on planet Earth. Can you see a small worm crawling on the ground over there?”
With his yogic vision, Sage Narada perceived it and nodded.
“Go over there and ask your question of that worm. I’m sure you’ll get your answer.”

Sage Narada was puzzled, but he nevertheless did as instructed. In response, the worm looked up at him, promptly rolled over and died.
Sage Narada was shocked. He hurried back to Lord Vishnu and told Him what had happened.
Lord Vishnu merely smiled and told him, “Oh, is that so? Never mind. Now do one more thing. Go over to that cow-shed you see over there, in that town. A calf was born there a while ago. Please ask the same question of that calf.”
Sage Narada was still recovering from what had happened earlier.
“Oh no, my Lord! What if that calf dies as well? I cannot risk committing the unforgivable crime of ‘go-hatya’!”
Lord Vishnu however, was able to persuade him and sage Narada left on his new mission. Warily, he made his way into the cow-shed. It was in the middle of the night and he approached the calf unnoticed. He put the same question to the calf. In response, the calf looked at him with its large brown eyes. And then rolled over and died!
Sage Narada was horrified. Using all the yogic powers at his disposal, he fled the scene and arrived at the abode of Lord Vishnu, shaking with fear.
“Oh my Lord! What have I done! The worst sin expected of anyone; the killing of the animal most dear to you!”
Lord Vishnu pacified the trembling sage and assured him that no sin would accrue to him.
“And in the bargain, my Lord, I haven’t even got the answer to my question?!” sage Narada complained.
Lord Vishnu smiled and told him that he would have to do just one last thing for him.
“You see that vast kingdom over there? The Queen has just given birth to her first child. All you have to do is ask that child your question and you will get your answer.”
“No, my Lord! Please don’t ask me to go there. I have no doubt that some harm will befall that child as well. I simply cannot take that chance.”
But Lord Vishnu remained adamant. What could the sage do? Nervously, he set forth towards planet Earth.
Arriving on the balcony where the young prince was lying unattended, sage Narada cautiously approached him. The baby looked at him and gurgled with joy.
Hesitatingly, the great sage asked the child, “What is the value of Vaishnava Satsang?’
The child looked at sage Narada, and to his surprise, began to speak.

“O great Sage. Your question has already been answered. When you, the greatest of Vaishnavas, had first granted me your association, I was an insignificant worm. As a result of my contact with you, I left that body and was awarded the body of the most pious animal, the calf.
You graced me with your association once more, and I left that body to gain the birth of the prince and heir of this vast kingdom. And by your causeless mercy, you have granted me your exalted association yet again.
Now I have no doubt that this is my last birth on this Earth. Your association will help me attain that Supreme Destination; the abode of Lord Hari Himself!”

And this is the value of Vaishnava Association. We develop in all ways; spiritual as well as material. Hari~~~ibol!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Damodar Month: Special Message From HH Jayapataka Swami

Damodar Month: Special Message From HH Jayapataka Swami
By Shyamagopika dd on Wed, 2009-10-07 11:13.
Now we are approaching that time of the year where we need to prepare for the Damodar Vrata Month. Once I asked Prabhupada whether we needed to do something special in this month. And he was saying that the month is specially to attract the new devotees, non-devotees. How?
Because the regular devotees, they are doing all the devotional services in all the months, therefore they get all the benefit.
I have been thinking about this and for the past many years we have been trying to give this opportunity to the non-devotees, to the new devotees to take advantage of the month of Damodar. In this way we can also reap many different blessings ourselves. Of course I was a Sannyasi living in Mayapur dham, so I was getting the benefit of living in Vrindavan in the month of Damodar but others may not have this same opportunity, so we are giving them the opportunity to chant Damodarashtakam. So in this way one can attract Krishna even if you don’t perform other rituals, similarly, by simply offering a lamp to Damodar we are giving the people an opportunity to get the mercy of the Lord.
So, like this the month of Damodar is described in the Padma Purana as being one hundred times more than the normal days, but, any activity offered on this month will bring a hundred times benefit. But that’s nothing compared to what some of the mercy one gets by performing the specific activities meant to satisfy Lord Damodara.
Lord Damodar unconquerable, but he was conquered by the love of His mother. This is the message that comes loud and clear from the Damodara month, that mother Yashoda tried to tie Lord Damodar thinking that He was her son. She didn’t realize that He is the unlimited Lord. And so she tried again and again to tie Him, but every time the rope was two fingers too short. So what did these two fingers mean? So one is the desire of a pure devotee and the second is the causeless mercy of the Supreme Lord. That Yashoda had a pure desire and when Krishna agreed He could be tied. That without Krishna’s assent, no one can tie Him. So He was conquered by love of His mother. That’s the message we get.
So this is an opportunity for people to get the mercy of the Lord. It is mentioned in the Hari Bhakti Vilas and Bhakti Rasamrta Sindu and many other places about the importance of following the Damodar month; offering a lamp, offering your prayers, offering your offerings to the Lord. these are some of the normal things we do.
Now what we’ve done is, we’ve marketed in such a way that we give pictures of Lord Damodar to the houses and get them to offer arati to Damodar during the Damodar month. We get them to give some prayers to Lord Damodar. In this way they are getting unlimited mercy; they may not realize it. So Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that those who are getting the people to involve, to engage in His devotional service, they are the most dear of all the devotees. So this is the way we can become very dear to Krishna; engaging everyone into devotional service in this month of Damodar.  I remember one time we were in a city hall in Guayaquil of Equador and we had about three/four hundred people there for the program. So it was during the month of Damodar. So we had the picture of Damodar, we had a plate with sand in it and many candles. Of course we couldn’t offer a ghee lamp or sesame lamp, but anyway, we could light candles. So when we asked the people to offer their lamps to Damodar, although these people were basically from another religious background and they had no experience with the offering arati to Lord Damodar, but they lined up and one by one they all offered a lamp to Damodar and they were feeling so blissful by having done this service. So I had a personal experience how this service gives extreme bliss to the participants.
Of course in Mayapur, apart from the devotees, the visitors are all requested to come and thousands of visitors storm in that month and they also offer lamps, ghee wicks to the different deities, and to the picture of Radha and Yashoda and Damodar.
So this Damodar month is an unparalleled opportunity to get people to engage in devotional service in such a way they’ll never forget and they will never be forgotten by Krishna. So I hope that the devotees would take this up with full enthusiasm.
Our Uttama Caitanya Das from Kuala Lumpur, ISKCON in Malaysia, he had gradually built up this program; he collected many quotations from the different scriptures which tell how wonderful the month of Damodar is. So unfortunately for us, that he had to go back to Godhead very suddenly and, so we just hope now that in memory of his commitment to this Damodar month, we can also make it bigger and a more glorious affair, every year and think of new ways to engage the people in Krishna’s service. If we take the contacts from the different people who are engaged in the Damodar month, then it’s easy for us later to follow up and get them to be part of the congregation.

So in this way we are doing an out-reach program which is very simple, sublime and is very effective. So we do hope that everyone takes this up very seriously. 

Thank you very much. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Why Radharani Created Sri Navadvipa-Dhama

The holy dhama descends with Sri Krsna and His associates and paraphernalia. Sri Mayapur-dhama, however, was Srimati Radharani’s own creation, to lure Krsna away from another lover. In the Ananta-samhita, Siva explains to Parvati why Srimati Radharani created merciful Sri Mayapur-dhama.

Lord Siva told Parvati, “As a bee plays in a lotus, Krsna was enjoying with Viraja in the pleasant forest groves of Vrndavana. Moon-faced, doe-eyed Radhika heard this news from one sakhi and hastily ran to find Krsna. Seeing that Radha was coming, Krsna suddenly disappeared and Viraja became a river. When Srimati Radharani arrived there, She could not find them. Absorbed in thoughts of Krsna, Radha began to think of how to attract Him away from Viraja.

“She gathered her sakhis together between the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers. She created a beautiful place, decorated with creepers and trees and filled with male and female bumblebees. Deer and bucks were happy enjoing as they wandered about, and the whole area was filled with the fragrance of jasmine, mallika, and malati flowers. That transcendental abode was adorned with tulasi forests and decorated with varous groves. On Radha’s order, the Ganga and Yamuna, with their pleasant water and banks, acted as a moat to protect the garden. Cupid himself, along with springtime, eternally resides there, and the birds constantly sing the auspicious name of Krsna.

“Radha, dressed in colorful cloth, then began to play a beautiful melody on a flute in order to attract Krsna. Attracted by that melody, Krsna appeared in that enchanting place. Radha, the attractor of Krsna’s mind, seeing that Krsna had come, held His hand and experienced ecstatic delight. Then Krsna, understanding Radha’s mood, spoke in a voice choked with love.

“O lovely-faced Radha, You are My very life. There is no one more dear to Me than You. Therefore I will never leave You. Just for Me You have created this wonderful place. Staying with You, I will transform this place, filling it with new sakhis and groves. The devotees will glorify this place as New (nava) Vrndavana. As this place is like an island (dvipa), the wise will call it Navadvipa. By My order, all the holy places will reside here. Because You have created this place for My pleasure, I will live here eternally. Those people who come here and worship us will eternally attain our eternal service in the mood of the sakhis. O dear Radha, like Vrndavana, this place is extremely pure. If anyone comes here just once, he will obtain the results of going to all sacred places. He will quickly attain devotional service, which satisfies us.’

“O Parvati, “Lord Siva continued, “I have described to you the reason for the appearance of Navadvipa. When heard by mankind, this narration removes all sins and bestows devotional service. Whoever rises early in the morning and with devotion to Gaura recites or hears this story of Navadvipa’s creation will certainly attain Gauranga.”

( from the book ‘The glories and pastimes of Srimati Radharani by HH Bhakti Purusottama Swami)


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