Kartik (Damodar) is the best, the purest of purifiers, and most glorious of all months. Kartik month is particularly dear to Lord Sri Krishna. This month is full of bhakta vatsalya. Any vrata, even the smallest, will yield huge results. The effect of performing a Kartik Vrata lasts for one hundred lifetimes, Kartik or the festival of offering lamps to Lord Krishna, glorifies Lord Krishna’s pastime of being bound with ropes by Mother Yashoda.
“Pure devotional service to Me which, because it places Me under My devotee’s dominion, is very difficult to attain, is easily attained by following this vow in Mathura during Karttika. (Lord Sri Krishna)”
Although devotional service can be performed at any time, in any place, devotees know well that devotional service performed during this month is especially pleasing. Therefore they perform additional austerities and devotional practices during Kartika. The Vedic scriptures describe in detail the material benefits one derives by performing devotional service during Kartika. However, pure devotees of Lord Krishna have no interest in material benefits. Rather, they are interested only in pleasing the Lord. ISKCON devotees eagerly await the arrival of Kartika every year, when they can sing the Damodarastakam prayers in the evenings and offer their heartfelt love and devotion as they circle ghee lamps before their Lord. Throughout the month they are so immersed in the childhood pastimes of Krishna as Damodara that they constantly sing and hear about them.
The Damodarashtakam prayers, composed by Satyavrata Muni, beautifully explain God, His devotee, and the science of devotional service that the all-pervading, all-powerful Lord is easily conquered by the love of His devotee and that the love-saturated devotees do not desire anything except to constantly hear and glorify the pastimes.
“In the month of Kartik, which is very dear to Sri Hari, one who bathes early in the morning attains the merit of bathing in all places of pilgrimage. 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.” (Brahma Khanda).
Here are some suggestions/inspirations what type of spiritual activities you can adopt during Kartika-masa:
1. Daily sing the Damodarastakam-prayer and meditate on its meaning.
2. Daily offer a pure ghee-lamp (lit with a Tulasi-stick from a departed Tulasi-bush) to Radha-Damodara with love & devotion
3. Daily worship, water, circumambulate (min. four times) and chant in front of Tulasi Devi and pray for eternal residence in Sri Vrindavana-Dhama.
4. Daily hear Hari-Katha from elevated Vaishnavas (esp. the story about Gajendra, the elephant, from Srimad Bhagavatam)
5. Chant extra rounds of Hare Krishna maha-mantra on your beads and perform extra Harinama-sankirtana (“jagaran” – try to stay up on certain nights, e.g. Ekadasi)
6. Practise brahmacarya all month and sleep on the floor.
7. Visit holy places such as Vrindavana-Dhama, Sridhama Mayapur and Jagannatha Puri and take bath in sacred waters (Radha-Kunda, Ganges, etc.)
8. Observe all the festivals during the Kartik-masa such as Goverdhana Puja, Diwali, etc. (“Festivals are the mother of devotion.”)
9. Give in charity to deserving Vaishnavas/Brahmanas.
10. Daily recite Sri Siksatakam and Upadesamrita and deeply meditate on the meaning of the verses.
In the month of Karttika, one should daily worship Lord Damodara and sing the Damorashtaka (the eight prayers of Lord Damodara) which pleases Lord Damodara, written by the sage named Satyavrata. – (HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/198)
|Festival Name||Date||Program Time|
|Diwali||19th October 2017||7 PM Onwards|
|Govardhan Puja||20th October 2017||( Undecided)|
|Srila Prabhupada Dissap. Day||23rd October 2017||10 AM Onwards|
|Gopastami||28th October 2017||Special Darshan All Day|
|Tulsi Salagram Vivah||5th November 2017||6 PM Onwards|
Host A Program
Damodar Month Programs are one of the most popular activities carried out by ISKCON. The program is usually for 20-30 mins including a small Aarati to Sri Sri Yasoda Damodara.Temple devotees Bring Murtis/ Photos of Their Lordships and Begin the program with a small discourse on this wonderful pastime of Lord Sri Krishna, which is then followed by an arati where Everyone is given the opportunity to offer Lamps, which is then concluded with some delicious Mahaprasadam.
This program is conducted completely for free as service to the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna.
Those who are interested can fill the form on the right side of this page, We will get back to you as soon as possible.
The Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, is not in need of anything from us; but when we offer Him something according to our own capacity, He blesses us with everything that we need to progress in achieving the ultimate goal of our life. Let us pray to the Supreme Lord for a healthy, prosperous life and the ability to serve Him all the time. With love and affection, one should try to give something to Krishna from one’s source of income. Then one’s life will be successful. Krishna is full in all opulences; He does not need anything from anyone. But if one is prepared to give something to Krishna, that is for one’s own benefit.
- Offer 108 Lamps to Lord Damodara: 108 Ghee Lamps will be offered on your behalf to Lord Damodar during Damodara Arati.
- Offer Abhiseka to Srila Prabhupada: ISKCON Founder Acarya HDG A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada left his body during the auspicious damodar month. On his disappearance day, Abhiseka will be offered to Srila Prabhupada on behalf of you.
- Diwali Lamps Offering: Diwali is the day when Lord Rama had Returned to Ayodhya, During this day, Lord Ram will be taken from the Kitchen altar and Placed on the Altar, with Mother Sita, Lord Lakshman and Lord Hanuman. In the evening, not a single Electric light would be lit, the entire temple would be illuminated only by the light of ghee lamps, Your Offering will go to light these countless lamps.
- Damodara Arati Sponsorships: We have Planned to organise around 500 Damodar Month Programs this year and this would be possible only by your financial support.
- Offer Annakut: During govardhan puja, heaps of Grains would be made in the shape of Govardhan Hill, Your Offering would be in the form of a heap of Cooked grains and lentils which would then be distributed among the general public.
- Gopastami Seva: Gopastami is the day when Srimati Radharani and all the Gopis decided to dress up as Gopas to impress krishna. On this day, The entire altar would be specially decorated for the occasion. Your Offering will be used to Decorate the entire altar, especially Srimati Radharani
- Vivah Seva: Sponsor the Eternal Bridegroom’s marriage. On The last day of Damodar month, Devotees celebrate the festival of Tulasi Salagrama Vivah, On this Day, Devotees Dress up a Tulasi Plant as a bride and Parade her into the Temple hall, where her groom, Lord Krishna awaits, The Four hour long marriage ceremony concludes with the Lord and his eternal bride sitting side by side blessing all those who have been a part of their marriage. Only Two slots left for offering seva to their lordships. Interested devotees should redeem this opportunity as it is valid for a limited number of slots.