Diwali the most important and significant festival world-wide. In ancient times, Diwali was first observed by the citizens of Ayodhya to celebrate the joyful return of King Rama. Diwali thus signifies the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. The festival also symbolizes a time for spiritual renewal by lighting a lamp within our own hearts for spiritual enlightenment and by welcoming the Lord into our lives. The festival is often celebrated with elaborate firework displays, lighting Diwali lamps and feasting.In another era, this was also the day when Lord Krishna performed His Damodara childhood pastime of breaking the pots of yogurt and letting Himself be bound by Mother Yashoda. Devotees remember these pastimes during this auspicious month known as Karttika.
Diwali ceremony can be observed by illuminating 100's of candles, and offering special Prasad to the Deity. means the same thing—Dipa means candles, and bali means numerous. When numerous candles are lighted it is called Dipabali. In India, this Dipabali function is celebrated in a special auspicious occasion. Also it becomes more auspicious because it falls in karttik month, the holiest month of the year.
Let us know about the glories of Kartika month and how to observe it. During the month of Damodara, or Kārttika (October/November), rewards for service to Krishna are greater than at any other time of year. For instance, Krishna always likes tulasi leaves, so it's always a good time to offer tulasi leaves to Krishna. Kārttika could be thought of as the ultimate "buy one, get a-whole-lot-more free" sale, or the equivalent of a "super, multi-triple word score" for those familiar with the game of Scrabble. It was during Kārttika that Krishna allowed Himself to be bound with ropes by His mother, Yasoda. Out of loving anger at her transcendentally naughty Child, she tied him —dama— around the abdomen—udara—with ropes. Thus the month of Kārttika is also known as the month of Damodara, "He Who was bound around the abdomen".
During the month of Karttika, 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 doing harinamkirtan- hare krsna hare krsnakrsnakrsna hare hare, hare rama hare ramaramarama hare hare, which addresses both Radha and Krishna: 'O energy of the Lord (Radha), O Lord (Krishna), please engage me in your service.’ In kartik month the following are recommended to follow:
i) Daily offer a ghee lamp to Krishna and sing the Damodarastakam (very beautiful prayer by Satyavrata muni mentioned in Padma Puran), meditating on meaning
ii) Daily offer lamp to Tulsidevi and pray for eternal residence in Vrndavana and eternal service of the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna. Do 4 parikrama (circumbulation) of Tulasi.
iii) Performing harinamkirtan at ones home
iv) Hear SrimadBhagavatam, daily in association of exalted Vaisnavas, if possible.
Following are excerpts from some scriptures (Puranas) describing the glory of the pious Kartik month:
“If somebody performs even a little worship of Lord Shri Hari in this month, He offers that devotee His own abode.”
“A person who happily reads the Bhagavad Gita in the month of Kartik does not return to the world of birth and death.”
“Of all gifts, the gift of a lamp during the month of Kartik is the best. No gift is its equal.”
Damodarastakam : Must sing during Kartik month
(1) namāmīśvaraḿ sac-cid-ānanda-rūpaḿ , lasat-kuṇḍalaḿgokulebhrājamanam
(2) rudantaḿmuhurnetra-yugmaḿmṛjantam, karāmbhoja-yugmenasātańka-netram
muhuḥśvāsa-kampa-trirekhāńka-kaṇṭha-, sthita-graivaḿdāmodaraḿ bhakti-baddham
(3) itīdṛksva-līlābhirānanda-kuṇḍe, sva-ghoṣaḿnimajjantamākhyāpayantam
tadīyeṣita-jñeṣubhaktairjitatvaḿ , punaḥprematastaḿśatāvṛttivande
(4) varaḿ deva mokṣaḿnamokṣāvadhiḿvā , nacanyaḿvṛṇe ‘haḿvareṣādapīha
idaḿtevapurnāthagopāla-bālaḿ , sadā me manasyāvirāstāḿkimanyaiḥ
(5) idaḿtemukhāmbhojamatyanta-nīlair , vṛtaḿkuntalaiḥsnigdha-raktaiś ca gopyā
muhuścumbitaḿbimba-raktādharaḿ me , manasyāvirāstāmalaḿlakṣa-lābhaiḥ
(6) namo deva dāmodarānantaviṣṇo , prasīdaprabhoduḥkha-jālābdhi-magnam
kṛpā-dṛṣṭi-vṛṣṭyāti-dīnaḿbatānu , gṛhāṇeṣamāmajñamedhyakṣi-dṛśyaḥ
(7) kuverātmajaubaddha-mūrtyaivayadvat , tvayāmocitau bhakti-bhājaukṛtau ca
tathāprema-bhaktiḿsvakāḿ me prayaccha , namokṣegraho me ‘stidāmodareha
(8) namaste ‘studāmnesphurad-dīpti-dhāmne, tvadīyodarāyāthaviśvasyadhāmne
namorādhikāyaitvadīya-priyāyai , namo ‘nanta-līlāyadevāyatubhyam
1) To the Supreme Lord, whose form is the embodiment of eternal existence, knowledge, and bliss, whose shark-shaped earrings are swinging to and fro, who is beautifully shining in the divine realm of Gokula, who I (due to the offense of breaking the pot of yogurt that His mother was churning into butter and then stealing the butter that was kept hanging from a swing) is quickly running from the wooden grinding mortar in fear of mother Yasoda, but who has been caught from behind by her who ran after Him with greater speed--to that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.
2) (Seeing the whipping stick in His mother's hand) He is crying and rubbing His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes are filled with fear, and the necklace of pearls around His neck, which is marked with three lines like a conch shell, is shaking because of His quick breathing due to crying. To this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, whose belly is bound not with ropes but with His mother's pure love, I offer my humble obeisances.
3) By such childhood pastimes as this He is drowning the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy, and is revealing to those devotees who are absorbed in knowledge of His supreme majesty and opulence that He is only conquered by devotees whose pure love is imbues with intimacy and is free from all conceptions of awe and reverence. With great love I again offer my obeisances to Lord Damodara 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 the boon of impersonal liberation, nor the highest liberation of eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor any other boon (which may be obtained by executing the nine processes of bhakti). O Lord, I simply wish that this form of Yours as Bala Gopala in Vrndavana may ever be manifest in my heart, for what is the use to me of any other boon besides this?
5) O Lord, Your lotus face, which is encircled by locks of soft black hair tinged with red, is kissed again and again by mother Yasoda, and Your lips are reddish like the bimba fruit. May this beautiful vision of Your lotus face be ever manifest in my heart. Thousands and thousands of other benedictions are of no use to me.
6) O Supreme Godhead, I offer my obeisances unto You. O Damodara! O Ananta! O Vishnu! O master! O my Lord, be pleased upon me. By showering Your glance of mercy upon me, deliver this poor ignorant fool who is immersed in an ocean of worldly sorrows, and become visible to my eyes.
7) O Lord Damodara, just as the two sons of Kuvera--Manigriva and Nalakuvara--were delivered from the curse of Narada and made into great devotees by You in Your form as a baby tied with rope to a wooden grinding mortar, in the same way, please give to me Your own prema-bhakti. I only long for this and have no desire for any kind of liberation.
8) O Lord Damodara, I first of all offer my obeisances to the brilliantly effulgent rope which binds Your belly. I then offer my obeisances to Your belly, which is the abode of the entire universe. I humbly bow down to Your most beloved SrimatiRadharani, and I offer all obeisances to You, the Supreme Lord, who displays unlimited pastimes.