Karttika in Vrndavana

Radha Damodara Mandir
Oct 20 2009 - Event

The auspicious month of Karttika saw many thousands of fortunate devotees coming to Vrndavana from around the world. One who spends the month of Karttika in Vrndavana is indeed very fortunate. This is especially so for those who worship the form of Damodara during that month.

Radha Damodar

damodaratvam hi hares
tatraivasit yatah kila
mathurayam tatas corje
karttike mathurayam vai
paramavadhir isyate

The month of Karttika, when Sri Hari enjoyed his Damodara pastime in Mathura, delights Sri Vaikuntha. The month of Karttika spent in Mathura brings the supreme destination. (Mathura-mahatmya)

tasman nrpatmaja sreyah
param kincin na vidyate
karttika mathurayam ca

Therefore, O prince, nothing is better than to serve Damodara in Mathura during Karttika. (Mathura-mahatmya)

damodarastakam nama
stotram damodararcanam
nityam damodarakarsi
pathet satyavratoditam

One should regularly recite the prayer called Damodarastakam, which was composed by Satyavrata, which attracts Lord Damodara, and which describes the worship of Lord Damodara. (Hari-bhakti-vilasa)

Of the seven most important temples in Vrndavana, the Sri Sri Radha-Damodara Temple is the one where literally thousands of devotees come daily for darsana, morning and evening during Karttika.

Radha Damodar DevoteesRadha Damodar Devotees

The shelter of Sri Sri Radha-Damodara that the devotees feel in their hearts is beautifully expressed in the following sloka composed by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada.

vrndavana ramya-sthana, seva-kunja tara nama
sri-radha-damodara sthiti
tanhara carane mui, ekanta asraya lai
krpa kari’ kara mora gati

Vrndavana is a charming place, and situated there in the grove known as Seva-kunja is the sacred temple of Sri Sri Radha-Damodara. I take the lotus feet of these Deities as my only shelter, and I petition them to be kind upon me and guide me to life’s ultimate goal.

Radha Damodar

Daily the song Damodarastakam was sung in the temple, usually more than once by regular devotees and visiting kirtana parties. Thousands of lamps were lit every morning and evening as well as new crowns and dresses, flower garlands, jewels, incense and other articles for worship were offered to the Deities. Enthusiastic devotees swept and cleaned the temple everyday and this gave rise to a certain sloka that has now been adopted as the temple motto:

sravanam kirtanam
scrubanam mopanam
damodara sevanam

Hearing and chanting is our worship of Lord Damodara. Scrubbing and mopping the temple is our service to Lord Damodara.

Cleaning Samadhi Garden AreaCleaning Rupa Goswami Bhajan Kutira

Cleaning Prabhupada's KitchenCleaning Radha Damodar Devotees Altar

Cleaning Radha Damodar Devotees TempleCleaning Rupa Goswami Foot bathing area

During Karttika the following festival days saw significant numbers of devotees visiting the temple; B.R. Sridhara Deva Gosvami’s tirobhava, Divali, Annakuta/Govardhana-puja, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada’s tirobhava, Ekadasi and especially the last day of Karttika known as Maha-rasa/ Rasa-purnima. It was indeed an experience of a lifetime to see the throngs of devotees, especially on festival days, coming to Sri Sri Radha-Damodara temple.

One special event this year during Karttika was the completion of the kirtana hall in front of the samadhi and bhajana-kutira of Sri Rupa Gosvamipada. The hall was completed in the second week of Karttika after five months of hectic construction.

Painting Kirtan HallPainting Samadhi

Painting Kirtan HallPainting Kirtan Hall

Although two weeks behind schedule, when it was finally opened it was welcomed by the numerous kirtana parties that come to pay their humble respects to Sri Rupa. The hall is very beautiful and was greatly appreciated by everyone.

Rupa Goswami Kirtan HallRupa Goswami Kirtan Hall

Well, at first not everyone actually appreciated the new construction because it came as somewhat of a shock. After a lifetime of seeing Rupa Goswami’s samadhi just standing alone in the greater courtyard of the temple, the new addition required an adjustment for some visitors. But the vast majority of devotees certainly did appreciate the addition and many commented how the kirtana hall was a great service to the acaryas of our parampara and to the followers of Rupa Gosvami.

It was very warming to the heart to see devotees enter the new kirtana hall and realize that they could now sit down and spend some quality time in front of Rupa Gosvami without the fear of being attacked by monkeys (a serious problem in the past), or being disturbed by sun, rain, heat, cold or mosquitoes. Many devotees took advantage of this new environment and spent hours everyday chanting in front of the samadhi of Sri Rupa.

At the beginning of Karttika month, Svami Giri and a group of fired up brahmacaris made the finishing touches by completing the painting of the new kirtana hall and Jayadeva Prabhu managed the hanging of 16 beautifully framed pictures of gaura-lila and krsna-lila.

Rupa Goswami Kirtan HallRupa Goswami Kirtan Hall

This year also saw a classic black and white marble floor installed in the main darsana hall of the temple that matches the floor in front of the samadhi and bhajana-kutira. Other improvements have also been planned for the near future. First on the list is the renovation of the temple gate and the reception area. A proposed list and a method to donate for projects of the Srila Rupa Goswami Samadhi Garden Renovation is available at this link.

Narasingha Dev Gosai Class

When all the details of finishing the construct of the new kirtana hall were complete and other devotees had arrived from Bangalore, Govindaji Gardens, Kaliya-mardana Krsna Asrama, Mysore, Mandya and Brazil, Sri Narasingha Deva Gosai began daily morning kirtana and hari-katha that usually went from 7:30 to 10:00. Many interesting topics were covered in those discourses, of which several became the topics for Krsna Talk essays.

Devotees from Russia and Czech Republic also attended the morning hari-katha and all the devotees became very enlivened. Sripada Visnu Maharaja preached to many of the visiting devotees and answered their many questions. Diwali was observed with the lighting of many lamps and also with lots of fireworks.

Diwali LampsDiwali Lamp offering

Diwali LampsDiwali Fireworks

Diwali FireworksDiwali Fireworks

Govardhana-puja was observed in grand style at the Sri Sri Radha-damodar Mandir, ending with the ditribution of the mercy of Govardhan to all in the form of prasadam.

Govardhana pujaRice offered to Govardhana

Govardhana puja offeringGovardhana puja crowd

Govardhana puja kirtanGovardhana puja kirtan

Govardhana prasadam distributionGovardhana prasadam distribution

Govardhana prasadam distributionGovardhana prasadam distribution

Srirupa Maharaja led parikrama in the evenings with sankirtana to the main temples of Vrndavana. Also a large party of devotees went to Govardhana Hill, Radha-kunda/Syama-kunda and a prasadam picnic was held at Kusuma-sarovara. The devotees also visited the Harideva temple and walked thru the forests at the far end of Govardhana, past Govinda-kunda.

Parikrama Shyama KundaParikrama Kusum Sarovara

Parikrama Kusum SarovaraParikrama Kusum Sarovara

Parikrama GovardhanParikrama Govardhan

Parikrama Harideva TempleParikrama Madanmohan Temple

KesighatKesighat - Yamuna Puja

Devotees served everyday in Srila Prabhupada’s bhajana-kutira and many books were distributed to the visitors who came for darsana of His Divine Grace. On the day of Srila Prabhupada's tirubhava, his murti was brought out on the verdanda so that all the guests and pilgrims could worship Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Prabhupada TirubhavaSrila Prabhupada Tirubhava - Nirmal Chandra Goswami

Srila Prabhupada TirubhavaSrila Prabhupada Tirubhava

Srila Prabhupada TirubhavaSrila Prabhupada Tirubhava

In the temple of Sri Sri Radha-Damodara there were daily kirtanas and all the devotees circumambulated the temple four times with harinama-sankirtana. The month of Karttika was a great experience for all the devotees attending, and for those who stayed and had the opportunity to do devotional service at Sri Sri Radha-Damodara temple, the month of Karttika was transcendentally all-auspicious and supremely perfect.

Our readers can visit the following websites if they wish to be regularly informed about the projects and progress being made at Sri Sri Radha-Damodara temple in Vrndavana:



Tags: Karttika