Damodara Month – Why Kartika Month called as Damodar Month?
There is a statement in Padma Purana describing the ritualistic function during the month of Karttika (October-November). During this month, in Vrindavana it is the regulative principle to pray daily to Lord Krishna in His Damodara form.
The Damodara form refers to Krishna in His childhood when He was tied up with rope by His mother, Yashoda. Dama means ropes, and udara means the abdomen. So Mother Yashoda, being very disturbed by naughty Krishna, bound Him round the abdomen with a rope, and thus Krishna is named Damodara.
During the month of Karttika, Damodara is prayed to as follows: “My dear Lord, You are the Lord of all, the giver of all benedictions.” There are many demigods like Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva who sometimes offer benedictions to their respective devotees. For example, Ravana was blessed with many benedictions by Lord Shiva, and Hiranyakashipu was blessed by Lord Brahma. But even Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma depend upon the benedictions of Lord Krishna, and therefore Krishna is addressed as the Lord of all benefactors. As such, Lord Krishna can offer His devotees anything they want, but still, the devotee’s prayer continues, “I do not ask You for liberation or any material facility up to the point of liberation. What I want as Your favor is that I may always think of Your form as I see You now as Damodara. You are so beautiful and attractive that my mind does not want anything else besides this wonderful form.”
In this same prayer, there is another passage in which it is said, “My dear Lord Damodara, once when You were playing as a naughty boy in the house of Nanda Maharaj, You broke the box containing yogurt, and because of that Mother Yashoda considered You an offender and tied You with rope to the household grinding mortar. At that time You delivered two sons of Kubera, Nalakuvara and Manigriva, who were staying there as two arjuna trees in the yard of Nanda Maharaj. My only request is that by Your merciful pastimes You may similarly deliver me.”
The story behind this verse is that the two sons of Kubera (the treasurer of the demigods) were puffed up on account of the opulence of their father, and so once on a heavenly planet they were enjoying themselves in a lake with some naked damsels of heaven. At that time the great saint Narada Muni was passing on the road and was sorry to see the behavior of the sons of Kubera.
Seeing Narada passing by, the damsels of heaven covered their bodies with cloth, but the two sons, being drunkards, did not have this decency. Narada became angry with their behavior and cursed them thusly: “You have no sense, so it is better if you become trees instead of the sons of Kubera.”
Upon hearing this, the boys came to their senses and begged Narada to be pardoned for their offenses. Narada then said, “Yes, you shall become trees, arjuna trees, and you will stand at the courtyard of Nanda Maharaj. But Krishna Himself will appear in time as the foster son of Nanda, and He will deliver you.” In other words, the curse of Narada was a benediction to the sons of Kubera because indirectly it was foretold that they would be able to receive the favor of Lord Krishna.
After that, Kubera’s two sons stood as two big arjuna trees in the courtyard of Nanda Maharaj until Lord Damodara, in order to fulfill the desire of Narada, dragged the milling pestle to which He was tied and struck the two trees, violently causing them to fall down. From out of these fallen trees came Nalakuvara and Manigriva, who had by then become great devotees of the Lord.
There is a passage in the Hayasirsa Purana which states, “My dear Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, I do not want any resultant benediction from my religious life, nor do I want any economic development, nor do I want to enjoy sense gratification, nor liberation. I simply pray to be an eternal servant at Your lotus feet. Kindly oblige me and give me this benediction.”
– Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 4 by Sri Srila Prabhupada Swamy, Founder of ISKCON.