Last Thursday we celebrated Damodara puja in our Goloka Education office located within Gokul Kidz, Nerul, Navi Mumbai. During the month of Damodara (Kartika masa), Gaudiya Vaisnavas in particular remember the pastime of Mother Yashoda binding Lord Krishna. It is from this pastime which Damodara receives one of His unlimited names. The name Damodara means one who is bound by rope around his belly.
Krishna is unlimited and fully satisfied and can achieve whatever He desires in an instant. The transcendental paradox which plays out in this pastime, depicts Krishna as if He is in need of butter, as if He is afraid of His mother, as if He is caught by a superior, as if He, who is unlimited, is bound by the ropes of Mother Yashoda, as if the very person who is the husband of the Goddess of Fortune is stealing butter like a common thief. Indeed, the pastimes of Krishna in Vrindavan are difficult to fathom from a mundane perspective.
The entire month of Damodara is celebrated as deepotsava, a festival of lights. Just as in the Hindu calendar the festival of Deepavali is celebrated in this month, so the Gaudiyas celebrate Deepavali every night with offering of lamps and the recitation of the melodious Damodarashtakam of Satyavrata Muni, found in the Skhanda Purana. The staff at Goloka enjoyed kirtan, katha, offering lamps and maha prashadam on the last day of the Damodara month.
namo ‘nanta lilaya devaya tubhyam – We offer our obeisances to the unlimited glorious pastime of Lord Krishna in the form of Damodara.