Discourse by His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj on 10th Nov. 2002 at Chittaranjan Bhawan, New Delhi
The month of Kartika is considered to be the most auspicious month for Vaishnavas as this is the month when Lord Sri Hari enjoyed His Damodara pastimes in Vrindavan with mother Yashoda.
The Lord was tied around the waist with a rope by mother Yashoda and thus got the name “Damodara”. The “Damodarashtakam” prayer should be recited and deeply meditated upon daily during the month of Kartika.
Various pious activities such as offering of tulasi arati, lighting of ghee lamps in front of Sri Krishna and chanting the Damodarashtakam, bathing in the Yamuna if possible and giving charity to pure devotees should be performed.
Kartika month is the best, the purest of purifiers and the most glorious of all months. It is mentioned in the Padma Purana that of the twelve months, Kartika is the most dear to Lord Krishna.
Anyone who even slightly worships Lord Vishnu during the month of Kartika finds residence in Lord Vishnu’s transcendental abode, Vaikuntha.
Simply by hearing the glories of the Kartika vow, one attains the result of fasting and bathing at the sacred Akrura Tirtha.
Srila Rupa Goswami refers to Srimati Radharani as the Kartika Devi, in other words, Radhika is the presiding Deity of the month of Kartika. This is the most auspicious month to worship Sri Radha Damodara and obtain the mercy of Srimati Radharani. She is very easily pleased during this month if one worships Her along with Her beloved Damodara.
Srila Vishwanath Chakraborty in his book “Prem Samputa” relishes the nectar of Radharani’s description of Her beloved Krishna’s sweetness, hearing which one can attain supreme devotion of Lord Krishna and become free from lust, becoming fixed in Krishna consciousness.
Once in the morning, Sri Krishna came to Sri Radhika’s kunja, beautifully dressed as a woman and sat down bashfully covering His head and face with a veil. When Sri Radha saw Him from a distance, she said, “O Lalite! How wonderful!! Look there, who is that beautiful lotus-faced girl, whose clothes and ornaments are so captivating and who illuminates my courtyard with her divine lustre?”
Hearing this, the two dear-most sakhis, Lalita and Vishakha came before the disguised Krishna and said: “O slender girl, who are You? Where are You from? What do you want here?”
But Sri Hari did not answer. Then Vrishabhanunandini Shrimati Radharani came to the Krishna ‘girl’ in a thoughtful mood and asked Him: “Who are You? Your lustre enthralls My mind. Are you a goddess? Your form is so splendidly beautiful!”
Krishna squirmed, lowered ‘his’ head even more and remained silent again, so Radha said: “O beautiful, gracious girl. Please satisfy our curiosity quickly by introducing yourself to us. Know yourself to be our intimate friend. O dear girl with your head held low, why should you be bashful or frightened in front of us?”
Upon hearing this, the disguised Krishna partly uncovered His face. Seeing this Radharani said: “O beautiful girl. I think that you must have some great anguish; otherwise you wouldn’t be in such a state. O lotus-faced one, do tell us of your troubles. Trust me absolutely, and I will try to remove your distress. Are you now estranged from your beloved? Are you sad to see some faults in him? Perhaps you are afraid, because you offended him in some way? Or maybe, some of your enemies have talked ill about you to your lover? Or could it be that Your husband is not so great, and because of this You have become attached to some other, rare man, for which, like Me, you are chastised by Your superiors with harsh words. That must be why you are so sad.”
“O Chandramukhi, I have heard the story of Mohini who could enchant even Lord Shiva. But even when he was captivated, you were not! But now, when Lord Hari will cast His glance at you, even you will be enchanted. It will be very amusing to see you enchant each other!”
Hearing these words, the veiled Krishna pulled the veil over his whole body to cover the goose pimples of rapture that appeared on His skin.
Seeing this, Radharani said: “O sakhi! Are you suffering from some ailment? Do you have pain in your chest, your back or head? O Vishakha, please quickly get the valuable oil my father lovingly gave me and that can cure all diseases. I will gently rub the body and head of this beautiful girl with it with my own hand. Then all the pain will go from Her limbs, which will cure Her and make Her happy. Then She will be able to talk to us.”
After some time of rubbing the girl with the oil, Shri Radhika noticed that Her condition had not changed. She told Her friends: “I was enthusiastic to speak charming words and cure Her by massaging Her carefully and lovingly with oil, but still this girl just sits there, saying nothing. She might be a pretender. Maybe She isn’t in any pain. Again by applying the elixir obtained from Dhanvantari, nourish Her.”
Hearing these sweet words of Shri Radhika, gorgeous Krishna covered the smile that appeared on his lotus-like face with His veil, which He pulled over His curly locks with His delicate fingers.
Smt Radharani and Her friends were dumbfounded by her beauty. As He began to talk with a perfectly imitated woman’s voice, they listened with rapt attention.
He said: “I am a goddess and I live in the heavenly planets. I came to you because I am very sad. Listen, O fair-faced girl, I want to know something. No one else but you can help me.”
“O beautiful damsel. Your identity as a goddess cannot be false” said Sri Radhika. “There is no comparison to your enchanting radiance! You can only be compared to yourself. O girl with a face like an autumn lotus, Are you separated from your husband? Don’t feel offended, I’m not trying to make fun of You, I’m just wondering what’s troubling you. If you love me, then consider Me Yours and disclose your mind to me.”
Lord Sri Hari replied: ‘Why do you doubt that I am your friend? Although I am a goddess, I am yours! I want to become your maidservant, having savored a drop of the ocean of your love, your form and your qualities. Please listen to me now. You must remove the intense heartache I feel. “O sakhi! There is a flute sound which resonates in Vrindavan, and which enters our heaven so powerfully that the heavenly girls lose the desire to embrace their husbands. When that flute sound enters the ears of the demi-goddesses it overwhelms them so much that their bodies look like they are
“O sakhi! Everyone in heaven is young, so who will rebuke whom? After hearing this flute sound everyone ends up in the same state. No one can ridicule anyone else! That sound destroys the goddesses’ vows of chastity. When I heard its sound every day I thought to myself: ‘Where does it come from?’ Following the sound I came down from heaven to earth and happily stayed at Vamsivata for some days, seeing your matchless pastimes with Lord Sri Krishna. ”
Hearing this, Srimati Radharani said in a sweet and teasing voice: “O auspicious girl. You are the most gifted girl in heaven. Although I can see your mind is cut by the sword of eagerness.”
Hearing Srimati Radharani’s sweet jokes, Krishna said with slightly knitted eyebrows: “O Radhe! I am not aware of anyone who is your equal in protecting me from any other man seeing me.”
Radharani replied: “Is there any requirement of any other man after You have enjoyed with Krishna, for Whom You have come here? Tell me what you want to ask me. I only teased you because I consider you to be my girlfriend.”
Lord Krishna said: “Sakhi, who can beat you in joking? O Radhe, You are my friend. Although you are only a human being, all the goddesses want to purify themselves by singing your glories and bowing down to you. I can never lie to you. Even Sri Lakshmi and Devi Parvati are not equal to you in auspicious qualities! There is no girl in the three worlds or beyond with so much love as you. I have heard this in Parvati’s assembly on the peak of Mount Kailash. Hearing of your glories I wanted to see you, but then I became upset.”
Hearing this, Srimati Radharani asked: “Why are you upset? Come now, let me know the cause of your disress”. But Krishna could not reply, for His voice was choked with tears, so He remained silent as tears streamed down His face. Radha personally wiped the tears from His eyes with Her sari.
After remaining silent for a moment, Lord Krishna said, “How did you develop this strong, causeless, unsurpassed love for this lusty boy, Krishna? How can you give yourself so much misery by trusting such a deceitful boy as Him? Although He is adorned with qualities like beauty, heroism, incomparable fortune and reputation, Krishna also has one fault, by which all these qualities are spoiled.’ That is, He does not consider someone else’s love, and that He is very lusty. Therefore He is not fit to take shelter of you.”
“One day Krishna plays many games with you, showring you with fake love, taking a naive girl like you to some isolated place at night. But then He leaves you to go off with some other girl. Hearing your weeping, all your girlfriends and even the flowering vines and birds begin to cry. I have been watching all this, hiding at Vamsivata, feeling much pain over it. During the rasa dance, Krishna left all the gopis to show singular feelings for you. But after enjoying with you in the forest for a while He suddenly left you alone and disappeared!”
“I cannot fail to remember your loud lamentations at that time, as you fainted from misery. Through all eight stages of life until death these lamentations of yours will remain seared into my heart.”
“I am a goddess, O illustrious girl. I never feel any pain. But alas! A spear of pity suddenly pierced even my heart after seeing you like that. There seems to be no way to take that spear out. My heart is so attached to you that it has no desire to know anything about heaven, and it is not able to remain here for even a second. My mind is spinning and is unable to regain its composure.”
“Now, after a long time, I am revealing my feelings to you. I have become afraid of Krishna, because He is simply devoid of any goodness or shame, and He never crosses the path of kindness. As baby He killed a woman (Putana); in his childhood he slew a calf (Vatsasura) and in His youth he killed a bull (Aristasura)!”
Srimati Radharani answered: “O beautiful girl. You have the same inexpressible potency as Krishna. Although you are condemning Him so much, my mind is still much attached to you. You are my friend. Don’t go back to heaven, but always stay with me in Vraja. I will unlock the treasure chest of my love (prema samputa) and show you all the brilliant gems in it.”
Lord Krishna said: “Alas! You still don’t trust Me. Don’t just ask me to be your friend. I want to be your maidservant. Be pleased with me and order me. I swear to you on the name of Lord Vishnu, be pleased with me. I have no other shelter than you.”
Hearing this, Srimati Radharani said: “O Sakhi if you want to understand my love for Krishna then listen. Prema is so great that even the knower of the Vedas cannot know it, or others who assert that they know it do not Know. O Sakhi! One who teaches prema to a questioning person cannot know it, nor can the hearer know it, It’s all just fake! Prema vanishes before both the discriminate and indiscriminate persons, but that pure-hearted soul who is free from I discrimination and who is full of sacred greed is able to approach the throne of natural love. That is shown through the lover’s activities, which are only committed to the happiness of the beloved.”
“Just as a lion feeds himself on elephants, prema feeds itself, defeating all miseries that are as big as mountains and are caused by affairs of this world, the next world, one’s own family, one’s enemies or one’s most beloved one. That prema is fearless. What worries will the lion have when the dogs of unfavorable attachments bark? Prema shines like a light in the darkness.”
“Prema is always fresh and intoxicating; it gives joy to the three worlds like the cool moon (during union) and heat like the blazing sun during separation.”
“My dear sakhi! In whom else in all the three worlds or beyond them is this prema to be found except in Krishna, the Prince of the cowherds? Only the doe-eyed gopis of Vrindavan can relish this, according to their individual love for Him.”
“At times this prema, which gives Krishna unlimited bliss, appears to be lust. Krishna, the crown jewel of clever artists, knows this, but that lust does not make Him happy. And when one gopi says: ‘O my friend, I’m deeply affected by feelings of separation. Quickly bring Krishna!’, then you should not think that is lust, because she is only interested in Krishna’s happiness then.”
“Krishna is an ocean of love, a goldmine of jewel-like qualities, and He is most attractive to the girls. For this He shows symptoms of lust like deceitfulness, naughtiness and crookedness, but this is actually prema. Can a hundred thousand girls, even with great effort, satisfy Krishna’s wishes? None of them can. So it must be their causeless love for Him that makes Him interested in them.”
To be continued…
Source – Sri Chatanya Institute of Vaishnavic Culture