Kartik or Damodara Deepotsav festival is celebrated all over the world but is especially sweet in the land of Braja where Krishna enacted His glorious pastimes.
In Sanskrit, “dama” means rope and “udara” means belly. Damodara refers to Krishna who was bound with a rope by His mother Yashoda.
This month commemorates how mother Yashoda was able to bind the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna with the ropes of her love and affection. The same Supreme Lord, whom neither Lord Brahma, nor Lord Shiva, and not even the Goddess of Fortune, Laxmi devi, can ever bind, was bound by the selfless pristine parental love of Mother Yashoda.
It is said that by offering a lamp to Lord Hari in the month of Kartika all the sins committed in thousands and millions of births perish, and one attains the eternal spiritual world where there is no suffering.
Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir is pleased to announce that the doors of the temple will be reopened to public after its closure due to corona pandemic on the auspicious Kartik month. Devotees are bubbling with energy to have a great celebration of Kartik month starting from 31st Oct 2020 until 30th Nov 2020.
Every evening the devotees will offer Deepdan, (lamp offering) and recite Damodarashtakam, as congregational prayer.
On the 15th of November, the devotees will celebrate Govardhan puja which commemorates the day when Lord Sri Krishna lifted the Govardhan hill on His little finger and held it for seven consecutive days to save the inhabitants of Vrindavan from the wrath of Lord Indra. The residents of Braja perform the parikrama of Giriraj Govardhan who is also known as Haridasavarya or the best of the Vaishnavas. Following in their footsteps the Chandrodaya Mandir devotees also will perform parikrama of Giriraj maharaj and offer anakut to the deities.
On the 18th November the Disappearance Day of His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder-acharya of world-wide Hare Krishna movement will be observed. The disappearance day of Srila Prabhupada is a solemn festival to organize meetings of remembrance and offer Abhishekam to his Deity.
For the pleasure of Their Lordships and devotees, there will be a three days special celebration from 20th Nov to 22nd Nov, 2020. The program highlights are:-
20th Nov – Kirtan mela
21st Nov – Yamuna vihar
22nd Nov – Shobha yatra
Gopashtami will be celebrated on the 22nd of November. The cows, calves and bulls will be decorated nicely and ecstatic kirtan will be performed at the Goshala.
Apart from the daily offering of ghee lamp, another important facet of Kartik month celebrations is the Braj Mandala Yatra. Every year devotees from all over the world come to Vrindavan during this month to spiritually surcharge themselves so that they may continue to preach Krishna Consciousness all over the world. They participate in Vraj mandal parikrama, Krishna katha, Deep daan, etc. This year we are organizing online Braj Mandala yatra so that no one will miss and all people of the entire world can take part and receive the mercy.
This month is truly glorious not only due to the aforementioned reasons, but also because of various other prominent pleasing pastimes of the Lord which were also performed in this month of Kartik. The first day of the month, Sharad Purnima, is when the Sharad raas was performed. It was in this month that the demon Arishtasura was killed, which led to the appearance of Radha kund and Shyam kund.
On the Amavasya of this auspicious month is the Dipavali, the festival of lights. This festival is celebrating the long awaited return of Lord Ram to his kingdom Ayodhya after the 14 years banishment and the war that was waged between Ram and Ravan. Vishwanath Chakravarti Thakura, a renowned Vaishnava saint, states that the Damaodara lila also occurred on the day of Dipavali. Still the entire month of Kartika is celebrated as Damodara Deepotsava and is an intense period of devotional contemplation and transcendental austerity for the devotees of Lord Krishna. It is a time when devotees seek to invigorate their practice and rededicate themselves to the pure selfless principles of bhakti. It is a most inspirational, blissful time of the year!