Sri Dik Darshini Tika and Hari Bhakti Vilas on the Month of Karttika
Sri Dik Darshini Tika and Hari Bhakti Vilas on the Month of Karttika, Urja Vrata, Damodar Utsav seva, Akash Dipa:
KARTIKE’SMIN VISESENA NITYAM KURVITA VAISNAVAH
DAMODARA ARCANAM PRATAH SNANA DANA VRATA ADIKAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/3 from SKANDA PURANA)
Specifically in the month of Damodara, one should daily worship Lord Damodara and take bath early in the morning, give charity and follow a fasting vow. This is the duty of Vaisnavas.
NIYAMENA VINA VIPRAH KARTIKAM YAH KSIPEN NARAH
KRSNA PARAN-MUKHAS TASYA YASMAD URJO’SYA VALLABHAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/24 from PADMA PURANA conversation between Narada Muni and Saunaka Rsi)
Oh brahmanas, any person who tries to observe a Karttika month without following rules and regulations properly, Lord Sri Krsna remains against them because this month (Karttika) is very pleasing to Him.
YAIR NA DATTAM HUTAM JAPTAM NA SNANAM NA HARER VRATAM
NA KRTAM KARTIKE PUTRA DVIJAS TE VAI NARADHAMAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/25 from SKANDA PURANA)
Oh son Narada, those brahmanas who do not give charity in the month of Karttika, perform sacrifice, chant japa and fast for Lord Hari are the lowest of mankind.
KARTIKA KHALU VAI MASAM SARVA MASESU CA UTTAMAM
PUNYANAM PARAMAM PUNYAM PAVANANAM CA PAVANAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/36 from SKANDA PURANA)
The month of Karttika is the topmost of all other months. It is the most meritorious and purified of all other pure months.
NA KARTIKA SAMO MASO NA KRTENA SAMAM YUGAM
NA VEDA SADRSAM SASTRAM NA TIRTHA GANGAYA SAMAM
KARTIKAH PRAVARO MASO VAISNAVANAM PRIYAH SADA
KARTIKAM SKALAM YASTU BHAKTYA SEVATE VAISNAVAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/39,40 from SKANDA PURANA)
There is no other month equal to Karttika and there is no other yuga equal to Krta-yuga. There is no other scripture equal to Vedas. There is no other place of pilgrimage equal to Ganges, therefore, the month of Karttika is very dear to the Vaisnavas (people dedicated to Visnu).
DVADASU API MASESU KARTIKAH KRSNA VALLABHAH
TASMIN SAMPUJITO VISNUR ALPAKAIR APY UPAYANAIH
DADATI VAISNAVAM LOKAM ITI EVAM NISCITAM MAYA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/41 from PADMA PURANA)
Among all twelve months, the month of Karttika is dear to Lord Sri Krsna. If
somebody performs a little worship of Lord Sri Hari in this month, He offers
that devotee His own abode. This statement is true.
PRAVRTTANAM CA BHAKSANAM KARTIKE NIYAME KRTE
AVASYAM KRSNA RUPATVAM PRAPYATE MUKTIDAM SUBHAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/49 from SKANDA PURANA)
Whatever one usually eats, if he gives up some of the ingredients of it in the month of Karttika, then he achieves the same aupicious form as Lord Sri Krsna undoubtedly.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami remarks in the Digdarsini-tika, “Those who are engaged in eating daily and following the rules of Karttika, they should try to minimize and give up certain ingredients in eating. Obtaining the same form as Krsna means that it liberates one from the miseries of this material world and gives all auspiciousness and happiness.”
SARVA DHARMAN PARITYAJYA KARTIKE KESAVA AGRATAH
SASTRA AVATARANAM PUNYAM SROTAVYAN CA MAHAMUNE
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/76 from SKANDA PURANA Lord Brahma speaks to Narada
Oh great sage, after giving up all varieties of religious functions, one
should follow Karttika fast and listen to the narrations of Lord Sri Hari
before His Deity form.
PALASA PATRA BHOJI CA KARTIKE PURUSO NARAH
NISPAPAH SYAT TU NAIVEDYAM HARER BHUKTVA VIMUCYATE
MADHYASTHAM ISVARAM PATRAM VARJAYED BRAHMANE TARAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/87 from PADMA PURANA)
Any person in the month of Karttika, who eats on the leaf plate of Palasa the remnants of the Lord, becomes free from all sins and achieves liberation. Besides brahmanas (twice born persons), others are not advised to eat from this leaf because this leaf is said to be the leaf of the Supreme Lord.
SNANAM JAGARANAM DIPAM TULASI VANA PALANAM
KARTIKE YE PRAKURVANTI TE NARA VISNU MURTAYAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/90 from PADMA PURANA Lord Krsna speaks to Satyabhama)
Any person who performs bathing in the month of Karttika, remaining awake, offering lamps, giving charity or planting and transplanting Tulasi, he achieves the same form as Lord Sri Visnu.
KALPA KOTI SAHASRANI PATKANI BAHUNY API
NIMESA ARDHENA DIPASYA VILAYAM YANTI KARTIKE
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/99 from SKANDA PURANA)
If even for a short time somebody burns a lamp in the temple of Lord Sri Hari, then whatever sins he has acquired for millions of kalpas (one kalpa equals 1000 yugas) are all destroyed.
YATHA CA MATHANAD VAHNIH SARVA KASTHESU DRSYATE
TATHA CA DRSYATE DHARMO DIPADANE NA SAMSAYAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/120 from PADMA PURANA)
Just as by rubbing of two sticks of wood one can see fire, so by offering a burning ghee wick to the Lord in the month of Karttika, one can see his merits without a doubt.
In his Digdarsini-tika Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains, “Even though fire is present in all pieces of wood, still without rubbing fire does not manifest. Similarly, in all kinds of functions, although merit is available, by offering a lamp in this month, certainly one can see the merit. Not otherwise. Of this there is no doubt. Therefore, without offering lamps, all merits are unprofitable. This is the essence here.”
VAISNAVO NA SA MANTAVYAH SAMPRAPTE KARTIKE MUNE
YO NA YACCHATI MUDHATMA DIPAM KESAVA SADMANI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/122 from PADMA PURANA)
Oh sage, a person who does not offer a ghee lamp in Lord Kesava’s temple in Karttika, that foolish person is not addressed as a Vaisnava.
EKADASYAM PARER DATTAM DIPAM PRAJVALYA MUSIKA
MANUSYAM DURLABHAM PRAPYA PARAM GATIM AVAPA SA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/129 from SKANDA PURANA)
One rat (female mouse) had once burnt a ghee lamp which was offered by someone else on Ekadasi day. By doing so, she achieved a rarely achievable human form and at last attained the topmost destination.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami writes in his Digdarsini-tika, “In this verse it is found that it is possible to attain the results of directly offering a lamp on Ekadasi. This history of the mouse is very famous in the Padma Purana, Kartika Mahatmya. (In a temple of Lord Visnu, there was a mouse living who was eating the ghee from the extinguished ghee lamps which had been offered by others to Him. One day when she felt hungry to eat ghee, she tried to eat the ghee from a lamp which was not yet extinguished. While eating ghee from the lamp, the cotton wick got stuck in her teeth. Since the ghee wick had a flame, the mouse started jumping in front of the Lord’s Deity form and thus died due to fire. But Lord Sri Visnu accepted the jumping of that mouse with a lit ghee wick in her mouth as His aratik. In the end He gave her liberation, the topmost destination.)
MATHURAYAM NARAIR URJE SNATVA DAMODARO’RCITAH
KRSNA RUPA HI TE JNEYA NA ATRA KARYA VICARANA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/155 from PADMA PURANA)
Any person who worships Lord Damodara in the month of Karttika in the Mathura area, certainly achieves the same form as Lord Sri Krsna Himself.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami comments on this in his Digdarsini-tika, “Human beings achieving the same form as Krsna means that they see Lord Sri Krsna. In other words, they become as worshipable as Lord Sri Krsna. This this the understanding here.”
KARTIKE MATHURAYAM VAI PUJANAD DARSANAD DHRUVAH
SIGHRAM SAMPRAPTAVAN BALO DURLABHAM YOGA TATPARAIH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/161 from PADMA PURANA)
Although a child, Dhruva Maharaja during the month of Karttika in the area of Mathura worshiped Lord Sri Damodara and immediately became fixed in his devotion, became worshipable by Saunaka and the other sages and saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face.
SULABHA MATHURA BHUMAU PRATY ABDAM KARTIKAS TATHA
TATHAPI SAMSARANTIHA NARA MUDHA BHAVA AMBUDHAU
YANI SARVANI TIRTHANI NADA NADYAH SARANSI CA
KARTIKE NIVASANTY ATRA MATHURE SARVA MANDALE
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/162,164 from PADMA PURANA)
Although Mathura (Vraja area) is easily available on the earth and Karttika is easily attainable in the year, but oh, what a great misfortune in the side of human beings who are still suffering in the ocean of material existence. In the month of Karttika, all of the places of pilgrimage, oceans, rivers and lakes come to Mathura area [but they do not take advantage of it.]
ASVINASYA TU MASASYA YA SUKLA EKADASI BHAVET
KARTIKASYA VRATA ANIHA TASYAM KURYAD ATANDRITAH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/168 from PADMA PURANA conversation between Lord Krsna
One should take a fasting vow for the month of Karttika without any laziness on the Ekadasi which falls in the light part of the month of Asvina (September-October).
NA GRAHE KARTIKE KURYAD VISESENA TU KARTIKAM
TIRTHE TU KARTIKIM KURYAT SARVA YATNENA BHAVINI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/186 from SKANDA PURANA)
Oh beautiful lady, specifically, one should not take a vow of fasting in the Karttika month in the home or house. Always the endeavor should be made to go to a place of pilgrimage to make this vow and observe it there.
TATAH PRIYATAMA VISNO RADHIKA GOPIKASU CA
KARTIKE PUJANIYA CA SRI DAMODARA SANNIDHAU
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/195 from PADMA PURANA)
Among all other gopis, Srimati Radharani is the most dear to Lord Krsna. Therefore in the month of Karttika, one should worship Lord Damodara with Srimati Radharani near Him.
DAMODARA ASTAKAM NAMA STOTRAM DAMODARA ARCANAM
NITYAM DAMODARA AKARSI PATHET SATYA VRATA UDITAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/198)
In the month of Karttika, one should daily worship Lord Damodara and sing the Damodarastaka (the eight prayers of Lord Damodara) which pleases Lord Damodara, written by the sage named Satyavrata.
GOVARDHANA GIRAU RAMYE RADHAKUNDAM PRIYAM HAREH
KARTIKE BAHULA ASTAMYAM TATRA SNATVA HAREH PRIYAH
NARO BHAKTO BHAVED VIPRAS TADDHI TASYA PRATOSANAM
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/207 from PADMA PURANA)
Oh brahmanas, in the beautiful Govardhana area there is a Radhakunda (a lake of Radharani) which is very dear to Lord Sri Hari. One who takes bath in it on the eighth day of the dark moon night of Karttika, becomes very dear to Lord Sri Hari.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami remarks in his Digdarsini-tika that, “Although by taking bath in Radhakunda one becomes very dear to Lord Sri Hari, still, if he takes bath anywhere in the name of pleasing Lord Hari, he pleases Him as well.
SRI KRSNA DASA VARYO’YAM SRI GOVARDHANA BHUDHARAH
SUKLA PRATIPADI PRATAH KARTIKE’RCYU ‘TRA VAISNAVAIH
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/232 from SKANDA PURANA)
On the first day of the light part of the month of Karttika, a Vaisnava should certainly worship the topmost servant of Lord Sri Krsna, Sri Govardhana Hill, early in the morning as it is found in the Srimad Bhagavatam, 10th Canto, 21 chapter, verse 18.
MATHURAYAM TATHA SAKSAT KRATVA CAIVA PRADAKSINAM
VAISNAVAM DHAMA SAMPRAPYA MODATE HARI SANNIDHAU
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/249 from PADMA PURANA)
One who stays in the Mathura area, worships Govardhana, and goes around it, he goes to the abode of Lord Sri Hari and stays there happily.
URJE SUKLA DVITIYAYAM MADHYAHE YAMA ARCAYET
SNANAM KRTVA BHANUJAYAM YAMA-LOKAM NA PASYATI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/267 from SKANDA PURANA and PADMA PURANA)
On the midpart of the second day of the light part of the month of Karttika one should worship Yamaraja and take bath in the Yamuna. If he does so, he will not have to go to the abode of Yamaraja.
PRABODHINIM UPOSYA EVA NA GARBHE VISATE NARAH
SARVA DHARMAN PARITYAJYA TASMAT KURVITA NARADA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/289 from SKANDA PURANA spoken by Lord Brahma)
Oh Narada Muni, one who fasts on Prabodhini (when the Lord gets up) Ekadasi, does not enter again into the womb of another mother. Therefore, a person should give up all varieties of occupation and fast on this particular Ekadasi day.
DUGDHABDHIH BHOGI SAYANE BHAGAVAN ANANTO
YASMIN DINE SVAPITI CA ATHA VIBHUDHYATE CA
TASMINN ANANYA MANASAM UPAVASA BHAJAM
KAMAM DADATY ABHIMATAM GARUDANKA SAYI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/293 from PADMA PURANA)
One who fasts with one pointed intelligence on the day when the Supreme Lord Sri Hari, Who sleeps on a bed of the enemy of Garuda (snake) goes to take rest in the Milk ocean on the bed of Ananta Sesa and also the day He gets up, gets all of his desires fulfilled.
BHAKTIPRADA HAREH SATU NAMNA KSATA PRAVODHINI
YASA VISNOH PARA MURTIR AVYAKTA ANEKA RUPINI
SA KSIPTA MANUSE LOKE DVADADI MUNI PUNGAVA
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/301 from VARAHA PURANA conversation between Yamaraja and Narada Muni)
This Prabodhini Ekadasi is famous for rewarding devotion to Lord Sri Hari. Oh best of the sages (Narada Muni), the personality of Ekadasi is present on this earthly planet in an unmanifested form of Lord Hari.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami remarks in his Digdarsini-tika that one who exactly observes the Ekadasi fast by observing this, he directly worships Lord Sri Hari. This is the meaning of this verse. Therefore, Ekadasi is said to be equal to Lord Sri Hari Himself.
CATUR DHA GRAHYA VAI CIRNAM CATUR MASYA VRATAM NARAH
KARTIKE SUKLAPAKSE TU DVADASYAM TAT SAMACARET
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/412 from MAHABHARATA)
A person who observed Caturmasya fast stated in four different ways should end his fast on the Dvadasi day on the light fortnight of the month of Karttika.
EVAM YA ACARET PARTHA SOBHANAM DHARMAM APNUYAT
AVASANE TU RAJENDRA VASUDEVA PURAM VRAJET
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/433 from BHAVISYA UTTARA PURANA)
Oh son of Prtha, Oh best of the kings, one who follows his vows properly as it is stated here achieves the highest merit and at last goes to the abode of Lord Sri Hari, the son of Vasudeva.
MALATI MALAYA VISNUH PUJITO YENA KARTIKE
PAPAKSARA KRTAM MALAM HATHAT SAURIH PRAMARJJATI
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 7/92 from SKANDA PURANA conversation between Lord Brahma and Narada Muni)
In the month of Karttika (October-November), any person, if he worships Lord Visnu with Malati (white Jasmine) flowers, whatever sinful activities are registered for him by Yamaraja, death personified, are removed.
KAMALAIH KAMALAKANTAH PUJITAH KARTIKE TU YAIH
KAMALA ANUGA TESAM JANMANTARA SATESU API
(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 7/102 from PADMA PURANA, UTTARA KHANDA)
Any person who offers lotus flowers to Lord Narayana, the dearest personality of Laksmidevi in the month of Karttika, Laksmidevi resides with him for hundreds of births