The Month of Kartika -
10/9 - 11/8 2003
Posted October 9, 2003
** The Month of Kartika: Damodara Festival @ Sri Sri Radha Govinda Mandir **
Thursday October 9 thru Saturday November 8, 2003
Dear Devotees and Friends,
Throughout this special month, devotees commemorate the pastime of naughty Lord Krishna's being bound with ropes by mother Yasoda. Devotees offer lamps daily and sing the Damodarastakam prayers. It is also the final month of Caturmasya, and many saintly persons perform different austerties to increase their hearing and chanting of Lord Krishna's names and activites, while minimizing bodily needs. Furthermore, this month is also festival month, as many special days related to the pastimes of Lord Krishna in Vrindavan occur.
Here @ Sri Sri Radha Govinda Mandir, we invite all of you to visit the temple to celebrate this most intimate of festivals where we worship the sweet childhood pastimes of Lord Sri Damodara (Krishna).
The Offering of Lamps to Lord Damodara will take place @ Sri Sri Radha Govinda Mandir as follows:
Daily @8:00am, Wednesdays @ 7:00pm, Sundays @ 6:00pm
"One of the most important of these ceremonial functions is called Urja-vrata. Urja-vrata is observed in the month of Karttika (October-November); especially in Vrndavana, there is a specific program for temple worship of the Lord in His Damodara form. "Damodara" refers to Krishna's being bound with rope by His mother, Yasoda. It is said that just as Lord Damodara is very dear to His devotees, so the month known as Damodara or Karttika is also very dear to them.
The execution of devotional service during Urja-vrata in the month of Karttika is especially recommended to be performed at Mathura. This system is still followed by many devotees. They go to Mathura or Vrndavana and stay there during the month of Karttika specifically to perform devotional services during this period. In the Padma Purana it is said, "The Lord may offer liberation or material happiness to a devotee, but after some devotional service has been executed, particularly in Mathura during the month of Kartika, the devotees want only to attain pure devotional service unto the Lord." The purport is that 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 Karttika, and within the jurisdiction of Mathura in India, are very easily awarded the Lord's personal service." (Srila Prabhupada in Nectar Of Devotion - Chapter 12)
"Therefore Rupa Gosvami says, utsaha. We shall be always enthusiastic. But
we cannot become enthusiastic artificially. There must be
bhagavad-bhakti-yoga. Just like these visitors in the temple, see how much
enthusiastic they are. They are rising early in the morning, going to take
bath in the Yamuna, and they are visiting so many temples, especially this
Damodara temple, because it is Damodara month. And from five o'clock or
before that, three o'clock, they are enthusiastic.
(Lecture - Vrindavan, 10-31-72)