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Monday, October 27, 2008

Diwāli 2008


Bhakta: ‘ What is the origin of Diwālī?”

Advaitadas: “Originally it celebrates Lord Rāma’s return from exile. But it is also celebrated in connection with other deities.”

Bhakta: ‘ How is it connected with Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism?

Advaitadas: ‘ Dāmodar month in general is connected with one līlā:

saṅketāvasare cyute praṇayataḥ saṁrabdhayā dhārayā

prārabhya bhrukuṭim hiraṇya rasanā dāmnā nibaddhodaram
kārtikya jananī kṛtotsava vare prastāvanā pūrvakam
cāṭūni prathayantam ātma pulakaṁ dhyāyema dāmodaram


‘’Once, in the auspicious month of Kārtika, Kṛṣṇa could not meet His beloved Rādhārāṇī in the kuñja on time, so Śrīmatī frowned Her eyebrows out of loving anger and bound Kṛṣṇa around the belly with a golden rope. Śrī Kṛṣṇa then explained to Her that He was too late for his appointment because He had been held up in Ma Yaśomatī’s festival so Śrīmatī released Him again. We meditate on Śrī Dāmodara, who is studded with goosepimples of loving ecstasy!’’ Here Kṛṣṇa is sometimes called Nīvi Dāmodar, who is bound by the strings of Śrī Rādhikā. The pearl-līlā (Mukta Carita by Śrī Raghunātha Dāsa Goswāmī) also takes place on Diwāli, so Diwāli reminds rāgānuga bhaktas of that.”

Bhakta: “ How does a practitioner of mañjarī bhāva experience Dāmodar-līlā?”

Advaitadas: “When one is deeply committed to mañjarī bhāva, one can skip the daily singing of Dāmodarāṣṭakam. The līlā itself can still be appreciated by some  mañjarī bhāva-practitioners as observers of mother Yaśoda’s motherly love for her son. Speaking of vātsalya bhāva, Sādhu Bābā's Pitṛdev, the renowned rasik pāṭhak (lecturer) Śrīla Ānanda Gopāl Goswāmī Prabhupada, was, during one of his pāṭhs, requested to speak on bālya līlā. Hearing this, he stood up from the vyāsāsana at once and left the assembly hall. Such was his niṣṭha in mañjarī bhāva. It is a very famous story that I heard outside of the family. Such niṣṭha is very rare, though - most devotees will just sing Dāmodarāṣṭakam daily during the Kārtik month.

Bhakta: ‘There seems to be disagreement on when to start Kartik vows – some Vaiṣṇavas start on Ekādaśī and others on Pūrṇimā.”

Advaitadas: “Haribhakti Vilāsa (16.80) says:

āśvinasya tu māsasya yā śuklaikādaśī bhavet
kārtikasya vratānīha tasyāh kuryād atantritaḥ

Kārtik-vows are observed from (Āśvin śukla) Ekādaśī to (Kārtik śukla) Ekādaśī.

9 comments:

  1. Did the lila of Radhika binding Krsna also happen on Divali?

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  2. I don't know - that is not mentioned in the verse. I added the word 'general' to the preceding text, to indicate that this is an example for Kartik month in general. The particular uddeepan is Mukta lila.

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  3. Sanketavasare cyute pranayatah samrabdhaya dharaya
    Prarabhya bhrukutim hiranya rasana damna nibaddhodaram
    Kartikya janani krtotsava vare prastavana purvakam
    Catuni prathayantam atma pulakam dhyayema damodaram

    Nice verse - where's it from?

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  4. Your health is getting better?
    We still haven't chatted in person.
    Radhe Radhe!

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  5. Dipavali is generally thought of by hindus as a celebration of light over darkness, and the celebration of the return of Rama to Ayodhya.

    As Krishna devotees, chanting Hare Krishna Hare Rama every day, we'd better understand that Krishna and Rama are Hari.

    Damodarashtakam...Damodarashtakam is the core of kartik. Everything is in Damodarashtakam. It's a concentration of absolute love and surrender, it's an absolute expression of how that love is everything. Everything is there.

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  6. Sanketavasare cyute pranayatah samrabdhaya dharaya
    Prarabhya bhrukutim hiranya rasana damna nibaddhodaram
    Kartikya janani krtotsava vare prastavana purvakam
    Catuni prathayantam atma pulakam dhyayema damodaram

    Nice verse - where's it from?


    Here in India I don't have easy access to my archives, but it's a verse from shastra for sure.

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  7. 29 October 2008
    Minor Govardhan Puja this year. To avoid sevAparAdha (not conducting anusthanas) I ask Preety to take Giridhari early in the morning so He can receive the Govardhan Puja. At noon she makes a traditional cowdung Giriraj in the gardenpath. Since I also have a cold now (normal for this time of the year) I cannot take any Girraj prasad but just the usual boiled subji, roti and daal in the restaurant.

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  8. Advaita! :-) green chillies - blast the cold out! clear the mucus out.

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  9. Yes and make my liver swell like a balloon - don't forget I have hepatithis too. Anyway, the cold is gone, I'm just left now with a 75-day ear-infection, 43-days hepatithis and 90-days sprained knee. I'm heading for a triple entry into the Guinness Worldrecord book!

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