This song is sung during the Month of Kartik, also known as the month of Damodara. As quoted in the Sri Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa, “In the month of Kartika one should worship Lord Damodara and daily recite the prayer known as Damodarastaka, which has been spoken by the sage Satyavrata and which attracts Lord Damodara. (Sri Hari-bhakti-vilasa 2.16.198).”
श्री श्री दामोदराष्टकं
लसत्-कुण्डलं गोकुले भ्राजमनम्
परामृष्टम् अत्यन्ततो द्रुत्य गो
lasat-kuṇḍalaṁ gokule bhrājamanam
parāmṛṣṭam atyantato drutya gopyā ॥ 1॥
रुदन्तं मुहुर् नेत्र-युग्मं मृजन्तम्
स्थित-ग्रैवं दामोदरं भक्ति-बद्धम् ॥ २॥
rudantaṁ muhur netra-yugmaṁ mṛjantam
sthita-graivaṁ dāmodaraṁ bhakti-baddham ॥ 2॥
इतीदृक् स्व-लीलाभिर् आनन्द-कुण्डे
स्व-घोषं निमज्जन्तम् आख्यापयन्तम्
तदीयेषित-ज्ञेषु भक्तैर् जितत्वं
पुनः प्रेमतस् तं शतावृत्ति वन्दे ॥ ३॥
itīdṛk sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe
sva-ghoṣaṁ nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam
tadīyeṣita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvaṁ
punaḥ prematas taṁ śatāvṛtti vande ॥ 3॥
वरं देव मोक्षं न मोक्षावधिं वा
न चन्यं वृणे ‘हं वरेषाद् अपीह
इदं ते वपुर् नाथ गोपाल-बालं
सदा मे मनस्य् आविरास्तां किम् अन्यैः ॥ ४॥
varaṁ deva mokṣaṁ na mokṣāvadhiṁ vā
na canyaṁ vṛṇe ‘haṁ vareṣād apīha
idaṁ te vapur nātha gopāla-bālaṁ
sadā me manasy āvirāstāṁ kim anyaiḥ ॥ 4॥
इदं ते मुखाम्भोजम् अत्यन्त-नीलैर्
वृतं कुन्तलैः स्निग्ध-रक्तैश् च गोप्या
मुहुश् चुम्बितं बिम्ब-रक्ताधरं मे
मनस्य् आविरास्ताम् अलं लक्ष-लाभैः ॥ ५॥
idaṁ te mukhāmbhojam atyanta-nīlair
vṛtaḿ kuntalaiḥ snigdha-raktaiś ca gopyā
muhuś cumbitaṁ bimba-raktādharaṁ me
manasy āvirāstām alaṁ lakṣa-lābhaiḥ ॥ 5॥
नमो देव दामोदरानन्त विष्णो
प्रसीद प्रभो दुःख-जालाब्धि-मग्नम्
गृहाणेष माम् अज्ञम् एध्य् अक्षि-दृश्यः ॥ ६॥
namo deva dāmodarānanta viṣṇo
prasīda prabho duḥkha-jālābdhi-magnam
gṛhāṇeṣa mām ajñam edhy akṣi-dṛśyaḥ ॥ 6॥
कुवेरात्मजौ बद्ध-मूर्त्यैव यद्वत्
त्वया मोचितौ भक्ति-भाजौ कृतौ च
तथा प्रेम-भक्तिं स्वकां मे प्रयच्छ
न मोक्षे ग्रहो मे ‘स्ति दामोदरेह ॥ ७॥
kuverātmajau baddha-mūrtyaiva yadvat
tvayā mocitau bhakti-bhājau kṛtau ca
tathā prema-bhaktiṁ svakāṁ me prayaccha
na mokṣe graho me ‘sti dāmodareha ॥ 7॥
नमस् ते ‘स्तु दाम्ने स्फुरद्-दीप्ति-धाम्ने
त्वदीयोदरायाथ विश्वस्य धाम्ने
नमो राधिकायै त्वदीय-प्रियायै
नमो ‘नन्त-लीलाय देवाय तुभ्यम् ॥ ८॥
namas te ‘stu dāmne sphurad-dīpti-dhāmne
tvadīyodarāyātha viśvasya dhāmne
namo rādhikāyai tvadīya-priyāyai
namo ‘nanta-līlāya devāya tubhyam ॥ 8॥
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 Srimati Radharani, and I offer all obeisances to You, the Supreme Lord, who displays unlimited pastimes.
The eight-verse prayer on the following page is chanted daily by devotees during the Krsna conscious month of Damodara (November).
When Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appears on earth, He performs extraordinary pastimes as a transcendental cowherd boy. As a child, Lord Krsna lived with His pure devotees in the village of Vrndavana, or Gokula. In the spiritual world (Vaikuntha) the Lord, in His form called Narayana, is worshiped with great awe and reverence, but the devotees in Vrndavana have such great love for the Lord that they even forget that He is the Lord. Because of their intense love for Him, they think of Him as their friend, son or lover. And the Lord, to please His devotees, responds in the roles in which the devotees think of Him.
As a transcendental pastime, Lord Krsna used to steal butter from the gopis, the ladies of Vrndavana. Once, however, His mother caught Him, bound His waist with a rope, and tied Him to a grinding mortar to punish Him. The Lord is therefore also known as Damodara (dama means “rope,” and udara means “waist”).
In Lord Krsna’s courtyard were two trees, who were actually sons of the demigod Kuvera but had been cursed to stand as trees. By His mercy, Lord Krsna crawled between these trees, dragging the heavy mortar behind Him, and pulled the trees down, thus liberating Kuvera’s two sons. The details of these pastimes are described in Srila Prabhupada’s book entitled Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
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