Kartika

November 15, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Posted in Bhakti Yoga, Festivals | 1 Comment
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It’s Kartika my fave time of year, other than Halloween of course and they always overlap. In honor of the month of Kartika I wanted to post the Damodarastikam with lyrics to help us all learn the words.

This song describes the wonderful pastime of Lord Krishna where His mother tries to punish Him for stealing butter from the gopis.

For this special month of Karttika, devotees around the world sing these prayers every day. Each verse describes wonderful qualities or features of the Lord.

This year, Karttika starts on October 22nd and ends on November 21st.

TRANSLATION

1) To the supreme controller, who possesses and eternal form of blissful knowledge, whose glistening earrings swing to and fro, who manifest 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.

2) Upon seeing His mother’s 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, I offer my humble obeisances.

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.

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.

5) O Lord, the cheeks of Your blackish lotus face, which is encircled by locks of curling hair, have become reddened like bimba fruits 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.

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.

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 Nalakuvara, 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.

8) O Lord, the entire universe was created by Lord Brahma, who was born from Your abdomen, which was bound by 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.

Chaturmasya is the four-month period, consisting of the rainy and autumn seasons in India, during which Vaishnavas perform austerities to invoke the mercy of the Lord.

Traditionally, itinerant priests and preachers would take a break from their travels during this time. Nowadays, observers refrain from eating certain foods. The last month of Chaturmasya is known as Karttika, and is the holiest month of the year for Vaishnavas.

Two major festivals during Karttika are Diwali and Govardhan Puja.

Itinerant priest and preacher Sacinandana Swami has this to say about Karttika:

“During the month of Karttika, which falls across October and November in the lunar calendar, devotees of Lord Krishna are advised to increase their concentration on His worship by dedicating their daily devotional hearing and chanting to Srimati Radharani, His eternal consort. . . anyone can apply this principle anywhere by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, which addresses both Radha and Krishna: ‘O energy of the Lord (Radha), O Lord (Krishna), please engage me in your service.'”

—an excerpt from the article
Kanai Natashala: Where Sri Chaitanya’s Ecstasy Awakened

For more information please visit http://www.krishna.com/

HH Lokanatha Swami Kirtan in New Dwarka (LA, CA)

October 4, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Posted in Bhakti Yoga, Festivals, Life | Leave a comment
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Holi Festival, Utah 2010

March 30, 2010 at 6:00 am | Posted in Bhakti Yoga, Festivals, utah | Leave a comment
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The Utah Spanish Fork Hare Krishna Temple annually hosts the country’s largest Holi Festival. It keeps growing every year and is the unofficial BYU Spring Break Party. This year we must have had 20-25,000 guests attend and the temple sold 50,000 bags of colors. Here are some pictures of the party. If you missed it this year come next year! (I didn’t take these pictures, my fiance Tota-gopinath das took them.)

Katie and I having a good time.

Even the llamas were'nt safe from the crowds enthusiasm.

The witch Holika.

And here are some pictures from the following day when we stopped by to help with the cleanup. (I took these.)

India Fest

September 19, 2009 at 9:29 pm | Posted in Festivals | Leave a comment
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Last weekend was the annual India Fest and Duseera Festival at the Spanish Fork Temple, Utah. It was interesting to be one of only a few devotees at the festival while the temple and grounds were packed with mainly LDS and Christians of all faiths. The festival was a great success, a lot of money was raised and the guests enjoyed great food and entertainment. I had a lot of fun and took some pictures of the festivities.

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