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For we, the Fallen, the Hope of Karttik: Radha’s Mercy

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Author: 
Karnamrita Das

Radha--her month Kartik
(©syamarani dasi, used with permission; wwwbhaktiart.net)

[reposted from Oct 2009]

Often I have spoken
of matter’s “naked form”—
its conditions upon us
or rather how our body
is subjected to tribulations,
conditions and diminishing returns
with misery sometimes
reaching such a pitch
that cruel death
seems a welcoming friend,
but “death” is only another beginning
as we take birth again
to pursue the same things repeatedly
looking to fulfill our spiritual urges
through external, physical bodies—
a vain hope against hope!

Then there is our internal
“naked form” of inner desires
unconscious before—
but now as a devotee
our “dark side” revealed:
our envy of Krishna
and our dirty hearts
standing out like a
blinding light—
does becoming a devotee
make us a worse person,
or are we just conscious
for the first time
of our true conditioned position?

Yet we persevere as
sadhakas gradually awakening
learning the theory of Bhakti
with some realization—
however tiny—of the
ocean of devotion
the nectar of Prema
knowledge of which
also illuminates
our shadow
making it
appear more accessible
revealing our own ineligibility
to enter the world of Light—
hanging like a weight
threatening to pull us
down again, into the mud.
Loosing one's intelligence begining with sensual contemplation photo TA0473_zps6e52964e.jpg
Seeing this we lament
being still attached to
our lust and selfishness—
that which we shouldn’t want
we still hanker for
and so we cry, and sigh, “alas”—
how could this be?
I should be a pure devotee!
yet as often as we stumble
or trip and fall
we must keep getting up
knowing the struggle is
more than worth our time.

We can’t become forlorn
so instead of looking down
at our conditioning and failures—
our “if only I had’s”—
no!—
we must not look back
except to learn, never to live,
remembering our good fortune
how we were saved
in our great hour of need
for meaning
and transcendental happiness.

We must take
our shortcomings
as an impetus
to again renew our quest—
not giving in to be depressed—
to take shelter of our gurus and Krishna
the mercy of Shri Gaura-Nitai
their beautiful lila
we aspire to enter,
along with the ideal
of love exemplified by
Radha & Govinda and their devotees.
 photo KA2_073_zps47131019.jpg
Can we cry for
our fallen condition
yet feel positive and joyful
that Krishna with
his mercy agents
are our true
salvation and shelter
giving us cause to hope
and thus rejoice?

Now again
Kartika has come—
Radha’s month—
to remind us
of the beauty and mercy
of Shri Radha Gopinatha (Krishna)
and the importance
of our spiritual practices
as we derive special benefit
in this month
by our humble efforts
to serve the Divine Couple
hearing and remembering
their spiritual activities
chanting their holy name
in abandon and feeling.

We aspire to
surrender our heart
by begging for the mercy
of the Kali yuga avatars
Shri Chaitanya-Nitai
as we offer the flame
to Shri Radha Damodar,
praying to offer our soul
to be free from our
rebellious ignorance
tasting the supreme bliss
that will end
our material attractions
letting our souls
dance eternally
with the Lords
of our heart and soul
for whom we have been
searching for eternally!
 photo Yashoda Damodara_zpssnp55xvp.jpg
(©syamarani dasi, used with permission; wwwbhaktiart.net)

Practices for Karttika

A blog about the some specific practices for this month: http://krishna.com/blog/2007/11/6/month-kartika

Combined comments from old site

Submitted by Karnamrita.das on Fri, 2010-11-19 13:56.

Wed, 10/07/2009 - 05:32 — shikha
thanx
HARE KRISHNA JI
THANKYOU again for this soothing article. well kindly let me know wat activities the person should do iin this KARTIK MONTH to have SUPREME BLISS .
________________________________________
*Reply*

Thu, 10/08/2009 - 12:23 — Karnamrita.das

Increasing devotional activities
In general, any devotional service to Krishna or his incarnations or energies like Shri Radha--who is both Deity and ideal of devotion--one performs give us more spiritual benefit during this month, especially in Vrindavan--yet any place we are serving Krishna, the atmosphere of Vrindavan can be invoked. And in the association of great saints is also Vrindavan. Krishna says in the Adi Purana that he is not in the heart of the yogi, but is wherever his devotee are chanting his glories. So increase your japa and kirtana of HareKrishna and other mantras, recite holy scriptures like Shrimad Bhagavatam, and serve holy Deities and saintly devotees. There are nine processes of devotional service, such as hearing, chanting and remembering the name, form, qualities, or pastimes of the Lord, serving him or great devotees, etc. As much as you can be absorbed in spiritual practices--then automatically your time for materialist endeavors will decrease. Giving up things is only as good as you fill the time with spiritual activities. Also here is blog I wrote last year with some information on the holy month of Kartik: http://connect.krishna.com/node/560
Your friend in Krishna,
Karnamrita

________________________________________
*Reply*
Sun, 10/11/2009 - 12:55 — shikha
kindly let me knw abt TULASI
kindly let me knw abt TULASI PUJAN . WAT IS SIGNIFICANCE OF DEVI TULSI IN LORD VISHNUS PUJA.
________________________________________
*Reply*
Mon, 10/12/2009 - 15:22 — Karnamrita.das
Missing links
Here are some links for information about Tulasidevi:
http://www.salagram.net/parishad95.htm
Then here on Krishna.com there is the whole story of Tulasi's coming to the material world and the benefit of her worship. That section ends with the following:

WORSHIP OF TULASI DEVI

Whoever worships Tulasi Devi with her eight names and their meanings--Vrinda, Vrindavani, Visvapavani, Visvapujita, Tulasi, Puspasara, Nandini, and Krsna Jivani--and properly sings this hymn of eight verses, acquires the merit of performing an Asvamedha (horse) sacrifice.
Because Tulasi was born on the lunar day of the full moon in the month of Kartika , Lord Hari prescribed this day for her worship.

Whoever worships her on this day will be freed from all sins and go to Vaikuntha.
Whoever, out of reverence, gives Lord Visnu a Tulasi leaf in the month of Kartika, will gain the same benefit obtained by giving the gift of ten million cows.
By hearing or recalling the Tulasi hymn, a son will be born to the sonless woman, a wife will be obtained by the wifeless man, health will be restored to a diseased person, freedom will be given to a prisoner, fearlessness will be bestowed upon the terrified, and salvation will be given to the sinners.
In the Kanva Sakha branch of the Vedas, the method of worshiping and meditating on Tulasi Devi is described. Without invoking the goddess, one can reverentially meditate on her and adore her with sixteen ingredients in the following way:

"Of all flowers, Tulasi is the best. She is worshipable and beautiful, and burns up the fuel of sins like a flame of fire. Of all the goddesses, she is the most sacred. Because no one can compare to her, she is called Tulasi. I worship this goddess who is entreated by all. She is placed on the heads of all, desired
by all, and makes the universe holy. She bestows liberation from this world and devotion to Lord Hari. I worship her."

After this meditation and worship, the wise should read her praises and bow down to her.
Here is the whole link: http://connect.krishna.com/node/526
There is a MP3 and CD available as well:
http://www.matchless-gifts.com/store/products/The-Life-of-Tulasi-Devi-%2...
It is amazing what you can find by using Google!

Your friend in Krishna,
Karnamrita

Damodarastaka Prayers

Damodarastaka Prayers:
(1)
namāmīśvaram sac-cid-ānanda-rūpam
lasat-kuṇḍalam gokule bhrājamanam
yaśodā-bhiyolūkhalād dhāvamānam
parāmṛṣṭam atyantato drutya gopyā

To the supreme controller, who possesses an eternal form of blissful knowledge, whose glistening earrings swing to and fro, who manifested Himself in Gokula, who stole the butter that the gopis kept hanging from the rafters of their storerooms and who then quickly jumped up and ran in retreat in fear of Mother Yasoda but was ultimately caught - to that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.

(2)
rudantam muhur netra-yugmam mṛjantam
karāmbhoja-yugmena sātańka-netram
muhuḥ śvāsa-kampa-trirekhāńka-kaṇṭha-
sthita-graivam dāmodaram bhakti-baddham

Upon seeing His mother's whipping stick, He cried and rubbed His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes were fearful and His breathing quick, and as Mother Yasoda bound His belly with ropes, He shivered in fright and His pearl necklace shook. To this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.

(3)
itīdṛk sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe
sva-ghoṣam nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam
tadīyeṣita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvam
punaḥ prematas tam śatāvṛtti vande

Those superexcellent pastimes of Lord Krishna's babyhood drowned the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy. To the devotees who are attracted only to His majestic aspect of Narayana in Vaikuntha, the Lord herein reveals: “I am conquered and overwhelmed by pure loving devotion.” To the Supreme Lord, Damodara, my obeisances hundreds and hundreds of times.

(4)
varam deva mokṣam na mokṣāvadhim vā
na canyam vṛṇe ‘ham vareṣād apīha
idam te vapur nātha gopāla-bālam
sadā me manasy āvirāstām kim anyaiḥ

O Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to You for liberation, nor eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor any other boon. My only prayer is that Your childhood pastimes may constantly appear in my mind. O Lord, I do not even want to know your feature of Paramatma. I simply wish that Your childhood pastimes may ever be enacted in my heart.

(5)
idam te mukhāmbhojam atyanta-nīlair
vṛtam kuntalaiḥ snigdha-raktaiś ca gopyā
muhuś cumbitam bimba-raktādharam me
manasy āvirāstām alam lakṣa-lābhaiḥ

O Lord, the cheeks of Your blackish lotus face, which is encircled by locks of curling hair, have become reddened like bimba fruits due to Mother Yasoda's kisses. What more can I describe than this? Millions of opulences are of no use to me, but may this vision constantly remain in my mind.

(6)
namo deva dāmodarānanta viṣṇo
prasīda prabho duḥkha-jālābdhi-magnam
kṛpā-dṛṣṭi-vṛṣṭyāti-dīnam batānu
gṛhāṇeṣa mām ajñam edhy akṣi-dṛśyaḥ

O unlimited Vishnu! O master! O Lord! Be pleased upon me! I am drowning in an ocean of sorrow and am almost like a dead man. Please shower the rain of mercy on me; uplift me and protect me with Your nectarean vision.

(7)
kuverātmajau baddha-mūrtyaiva yadvat
tvayā mocitau bhakti-bhājau kṛtau ca
tathā prema-bhaktim svakām me prayaccha
na mokṣe graho me ‘sti dāmodareha

O Lord Damodara, in Your form as a baby Mother Yasoda bound You to a grinding stone with a rope for tying cows. You then freed the sons of Kuvera, Manigriva and Nalakuvara, who were cursed to stand as trees and You gave them the chance to become Your devotees. Please bless me in this same way. I have no desire for liberation into Your effulgence.

(8)
namas te 'stu dāmne sphurad-dīpti-dhāmne
tvadīyodarāyātha viśvasya dhāmne
namo rādhikāyai tvadīya-priyāyai
namo 'nanta-līlāya devāya tubhyam

O Lord, the entire universe was created by Lord Brahma, who was born from Your abdomen, which was bound with a rope by Mother Yasoda. To this rope I offer my humble obeisances. I offer my obeisances to Your most beloved Srimati Radharani and to Your unlimited pastimes.