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