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Thursday 19 July 2018
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Sri Damodarashtaka

This song vividly describes the childhood pastime of Lord Krishna because of which He came to be known as Damodara. Watch video.

“In the month of Kartika one should worship Lord Damodara and daily recite the prayer known as Damodarashtaka, which has been spoken by the sage Satyavrata and which attracts Lord Damodara.” (Sri Hari-bhakti-vilasa 2.16.198)

Damodarashtaka consists of eight verses in praise of Lord Krishna in His form as Damodara. 

This is described  in the Padma Purana of Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa, spoken by Satyavrata Muni in a conversation with Narada Muni and Saunaka Rishi.

Verse 1

namamisvaram sac-cid-ananda-rupam
lasat-kundalam gokule bhrajamanam
yasoda-bhiyolukalad-dhavamanam
paramrstam atyantato drutya gopya

“I bow down to the supreme controller, Sri Damodara, whose form is the embodiment of eternity, knowledge, and bliss. His glistening earrings swing playfully to and fro upon His cheeks. He manifests super-excellent pastimes in Gokula, stealing fresh butter suspended from the rafters of the gopis’ storerooms. In fear of Mother Yashoda, He jumps down from a wooden grinding mortar and quickly runs away. She runs swiftly after Him and finally catches Him from behind.”

Satyavrata Muni begins with the offering of obeisances (namami) as an auspicious invocation, mangalacarana. He invokes the mercy of Lord Damodara to empower him to offer this prayer by the word isvara, the supreme controller.

Verse 2

rudantam muhur netra-yugmam mrjantam
karambhoja-yugmena satanka-netram
muhuh svasa-kampa-tri-rekhanka-kantha-
sthita-graivam damodaram bhakti-baddham

“He cries and rubs His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes are fearful and His breathing quick. As Mother Yashoda binds His belly with ropes, He shivers in fright and the pearl necklace shakes upon His neck, which is marked with three lines like a conch shell. To the Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, whose belly is bound by His mother’s pure love, not by rope, I offer my humble obeisances.”

Verse 3

itidrk-sva-lilabhir ananda-kunde
sva-ghosam nimajjantam akhyapayan
tamtadiyesita-jnesu bhaktair jitatvam
punah prematas tam satavrtti vande

“O my Lord, by Your own childhood pastimes, You continually immerse the residents of Gokula in pools of ecstasy. You reveal to those who are attracted to Your majesty and opulence, that You are only conquered by the love of Your pure devotees. Again I offer my obeisances with love and devotion hundreds and hundreds of times.”

Verse 4

varam deva moksam na moksavadhim va
na canyam vrne ’ham varesad apiha
idam te vapur natha gopala-balam
sada me manasy avirastam kim anyaih

“O Lord Damodara, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to You for liberation, nor the supreme goal of eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor for any other boon. My only desire, O Lord, is that Your form as Bala Gopal in Vrindavana may constantly remain in my heart. I have no use for any other boon besides this.”

Verse 5

idam te mukhambhojam atyanta-nilair-
vrtam kuntalaih snigdha-raktais ca gopya
muhus cumbitam bimba-raktadharam me
manasy avirastam alam laksa-labhaih

“Your supremely enchanting face, encircled by shining locks of dark blue curling hair, resembles the fully blossomed lotus, tinged with a reddish luster, due to being kissed again and again by Mother Yashoda. May this vision of Your lotus face, with lips as red as bimba fruit, remain forever in my heart. Millions of other benedictions are of no benefit to me.”

Verse 6

namo deva damodarananta visno
prasida prabho duhkha-jalabdhi-magnam
krpa-drsti-vrstyati-dinam batanu-
grhanesa mam ajnam edhy aksi-drsyah

“O Damodara! O Lord of divine beauty and unlimited mercy! O all pervading Vishnu! I offer my obeisances unto You. May You be pleased with me. I am drowning in an ocean of sorrow and feeling almost dead. Shower Your nectar laden glances upon me, thereby uplifting me and enthusing me with life. Please accept me, O Lord, and become visible before my eyes.”

Verse 7

kuveratmajau baddha-murtyaiva yad-vat
tvaya mocitau bhakti-bhajau krtau ca
tatha prema-bhaktim svakam me prayaccha
na mokse graho me ‘sti damodareha

“O Lord Damodara, although Mother Yashoda bound Your divine form to a wooden grinding mortar, You mercifully delivered the sons of Kuvera, Manigriva and Nalakuvara, who were cursed to stand as trees, and You gave them the gift of devotional service. Please bless me in this same way with Your most wonderful prema bhakti. I have no eagerness for any other type of liberation.”

Verse 8

namas te ‘stu damne sphurad dipti-dhamne
tvadiyodarayatha visvasya dhamne
namo radhikayai tvadiya priyayai
namo ‘nanta-lilaya devaya tubhyam

“O Lord, I offer respectful obeisances unto Your belly, the abode of the entire universe, which is bound by Mother Yashoda with a brilliantly effulgent rope. To this rope I offer my humble obeisances. I offer repeated obeisances to Your dearmost beloved Srimati Radharani, and I bow before You, who are performing unlimited super-excellent pastimes.”

Related Links: Deepotsava | Damodara Lila | Damodara Vrata |  Govardhana Puja