Kartik, or the month of Damodar, is considered the best of months and is most auspicious for spiritual advancement. In the Skanda Purana it is stated:
“As Satya-yuga is the best of yugas, as the Vedas are the best of scriptures, as Ganga is the best of rivers, so Kartik is the best of months, the most dear to Lord Sri Krishna.”.
Also in the Skanda Purana it is stated:
“A person who offers a ghee lamp to Lord Krishna during Kartik burns away a collection of sins as big as Mt. Meru or Mt. Mandara, will not take birth again in this world and attains to the eternal spiritual realm where there is no suffering. Even if there are no mantras, no piety, and no purity, everything becomes perfect by such an offering.”
The Padma Purana describes the month of Kartik as Krishna’s favorite month. Devotional activities performed during this holy month are rewarded with greater spiritual results than usual so devotees often take vows to increase their spiritual practices or to simplify their material needs for the entire month. It is a way that they can remember Krishna more and increase their service to Him.
We sing the following song morning and evening and offer a ghee lamp.
By Sri Satyavrata Muni
From the original 1974 “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas” songbook
This eight sloka prayer is sung morning and evening during the month of Damodara, which begins Friday Oct. 19, 2013
lasat-kuṇḍalaḿ gokule bhrājamanam
parāmṛṣṭam atyantato drutya gopyā
1) To the supreme controller who possesses an eternal form of blissful knowledge, whose glistening earrings swing to and fro, who manifested Himself in Gokula, who stole the butter that the gopis kept hanging from the rafters of their storerooms and who then quickly jumped up and ran in retreat in fear of Mother Yasoda, but was ultimately caught-to that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.
rudantaḿ muhur netra-yugmaḿ mṛjantam
sthita-graivaḿ dāmodaraḿ bhakti-baddham
2) Upon seeing His mothers whipping stick, He cried and rubbed His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes were fearful and His breathing quick, and as Mother Yasoda bound His belly with ropes, He shivered in fright and His pearl necklace shook, To this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, who is bound with His devotee’s love, I offer my humble obeisances.
itīdṛk sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe
sva-ghoṣaḿ nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam
tadīyeṣita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvaḿ
punaḥ prematas taḿ śatāvṛtti vande
3) Those superexcellent pastimes of Lord Krsna’s babyhood drowned the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy. To the devotees who are attracted only to His majestic aspect of Narayana in Vaikuntha, the Lord herein reveals: “I am conquered and overwhelmed by pure loving devotion.” To the Supreme Lord, Damodara, my obeisances hundreds and hundreds of times.
varaḿ deva mokṣaḿ na mokṣāvadhiḿ vā
na canyaḿ vṛṇe ‘haḿ vareṣād apīha
idaḿ te vapur nātha gopāla-bālaḿ
sadā me manasy āvirāstāḿ kim anyaiḥ
4) O Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to You for liberation, nor eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor any other boon. My only prayer is that Your childhood pastimes may constantly appear in my mind. O Lord, I do not even want to know Your feature of Paramatma. I simply wish that Your childhood pastimes may ever be enacted in my heart.
idaḿ te mukhāmbhojam atyanta-nīlair
vṛtaḿ kuntalaiḥ snigdha-raktaiś ca gopyā
muhuś cumbitaḿ bimba-raktādharaḿ me
manasy āvirāstām alaḿ lakṣa-lābhaiḥ
5) O Lord, the cheeks of Your blackish lotus face, which is encircled by locks of curling hair, have become reddened like bimba fruit due to Mother Yasoda’s kisses, What more can I describe than this? Millions of opulences are of no use to me, but may this vision constantly remain in my mind.
namo deva dāmodarānanta viṣṇo
prasīda prabho duḥkha-jālābdhi-magnam
gṛhāṇeṣa mām ajñam edhy akṣi-dṛśyaḥ
6) O unlimited Visnu! O master! O Lord! Be pleased upon me! I am drowning in an ocean of sorrow and am almost like a dead man, Please shower the rain of mercy on me; uplift me and protect me with Your nectarean vision.
kuverātmajau baddha-mūrtyaiva yadvat
tvayā mocitau bhakti-bhājau kṛtau ca
tathā prema-bhaktiḿ svakāḿ me prayaccha
na mokṣe graho me ‘sti dāmodareha
7) O Lord Damodara, in Your form as a baby, Mother Yasoda bound You to a grinding stone with a rope for tying cows, You then freed the sons of Kuvera, Manigriva, and Nalakuvera, who were cursed to stand as trees, and You gave them the chance to become Your devotees. Please bless me in this same way, I have no desire for liberation into Your effulgence.
namas te ‘stu dāmne sphurad-dīpti-dhāmne
tvadīyodarāyātha viśvasya dhāmne
namo rādhikāyai tvadīya-priyāyai
namo ‘nanta-līlāya devāya tubhyam
8) O Lord, the entire universe was created by Lord Brahma, who was born from Your abdomen, which was bound with a rope by Mother Yasoda. To this rope I offer my humble obeisances. I offer my obeisances to Your most beloved Srimati Radharani, and to Your unlimited pastimes.