By Braj-vilas das
Performing vrata in the month of Kartika (Damodara) is glorified profusely in the Puranas. Since this month is very dear to Lord Krishna, by performing austerities or restraining one’s sense gratification and performing activities to please the senses of the Lord, one becomes very dear to the Lord. As Satya yuga is the best of yugas, as the Vedas are the best of scriptures, as Ganga is the best of rivers, so Kartika is the best of months, the most dear to Lord Krishna. The vrata may begin on the ekadasi of the waxing moon of Asvina, on the Purnima, or (samkranti) when the sun enters the house of Libra.
Five activities are glorified: staying awake, early morning bath, worship of Tulasi, offering lamps and performing austerities. One should practice brahmacarya, give charity, and perform homa and japa.
One should increase one’s devotional service by performing more deity worship, hearing and speaking about the Lord, by extra japa of the Lord’s name, worshiping Tulasi, staying awake at night chanting, visiting holy tirthas and offering lamps to the Lord.
One should worship Radha Damodara and recite the Damodarastaka daily.
Above are some of the recommended activities to enhance one’s devotional service during the auspicious month of Kartika. Most ISKCON devotees are familiar with these activities and are already serving in these ways. However, it is an opportunity to increase these services and the spiritual benefits are multiplied a thousand-fold (read the section below from Sanatana Goswami’s Hari Bhakti Vilas). We at the TOVP wish you all a very inspiring and spiritually enhancing month ahead.
As you may know, the construction progress at the TOVP is moving forward steadily and rapidly. Our goal of completing and capping the domes by the end of the year is well within reach and the kalashes are in production at our contractor in Russia. The interior finishing work is scheduled to start in 2017. We could not have reached this stage without the financial help of thousands of devotees and well-wishers throughout the world, and for that we are forever grateful.
However, we would like to make a special Kartika appeal to everyone whether you have already donated, are in the process of making payments towards a pledge, or have not given yet. We ask that during this most auspicious month you kindly give again, or make a larger payment towards your pledged amount, or make a donation/pledge for the first time.
The monthly construction budget is quite substantial, and in order to maintain our current pace we need a steady flow of income at all times. Please consider making an offering during this auspicious Kartika time. We have no doubt the Lord will bless you immensely for the seva.
To make a donation or pledge go to:
Please watch this very inspiring Youtube video of Agnideva chanting the Damodarastakam to a fabulous slide show:
The TOVP Team
The Glories of Kartika Vrata from Hari Bhakti Vilasa
The following are selected scriptural quotes from the Kartika Mahatmya by Srila Sanatana Goswami
“Especially in the month of Karttika a Vaisnava should regularly bathe in the morning, worship Lord Damodara, give charity, follow vows, and perform other spiritual activities.”
“The pious result obtained by bathing in all holy places and giving all charities is not equal to one ten-millionth part of the result obtained by following the vow of Karttika.”
“Other vows bring the results of a lifetime of pious deeds. The vow of Karttika brings the result of a hundred lifetimes of pious deeds.”
“A person who never performs yajnas or offers sraddha to the ancestors, but who does follow the vow of Karttika, will go to the abode of Lord Visnu.”
“He attains a great result who even very slightly follows the very sacred Karttika vow, which is served by the demigods, sages, and pitas.”
“Charity, yajna, japa, and austerity performed in the month of Karttika bring a result, O best of brahmanas, that will never be destroyed.”
“O tiger of sages, a person who during the month of Karttika eagerly hears the topics of Lord Krsna delivers a hundred generations of his family.”
“Please hear the glories of offering a lamp during the month of Karttika, an offering that is very pleasing to Lord Kesava. O king of brahmanas, a person who offers a lamp in this way will not take birth again in this world.”
“By offering a lamp during the month of Karttika one attains a pious result ten million times greater than the result obtained by bathing at Kuruksetra during a solar a eclipse or by bathing in the river Narmada during a lunar eclipse.”
“Even if there are no mantras, no pious deeds, and no purity, everything becomes perfect when a person offers a lamp during the month of Karttika.”
“By offering a lamp during the month of Karttika one burns away a collection of sins as big as Mount Meru or Mount Mandara. Of this there is no doubt.”
“O Narada, no sin exists anywhere in the three worlds that will not be purified by offering a lamp to Lord Kesava during Karttika.”
“A person who offers a lamp to Lord Krsna during Karttika attains the eternal spiritual world where there is no suffering.”
“All holy places, yajnas, daksinas, residence in Puskar, Kuruksetra, and the Himalayas, and all giving in charity a pile of gold like Mount Meru, reside in Karttika, Lord Krsna’s favorite month.”
“The service one does to Lord Visnu in the month of Karttika is all eternal. O Narada, I tell you the truth.”
“Karttika is the best of months, the most pious of pious deeds, the most purifying of all that purify.”
“No month is like Karttika. No yuga is like Satya-yuga. No scripture is like the Vedas. No holy river is like the Ganga.”
“Karttika is the best of months. Karttika is always dear to the Vaisnavas. O great sage, a Vaisnava who with devotion serves Karttika delivers his ancestors from hell.”
“Of the twelve months, Karttika is the most dear to Lord Krsna. To anyone who even slightly worships Lord Visnu during its time, the month of Karttika gives residence in Lord Visnu’s transcendental abode.”
“Even though its lasts for only a brief moment, the human form of life is very rare and valuable. In the same way the brief month of Karttika is also very rare and valuable.”
“Lord Krsna is pleased by the offering of a single lamp during the month of Karttika. Lord Krsna glorifies anyone who lights a lamp for someone else to offer.”