Home > Spiritual discourses > The beauty of Damodara-lila

So we are celebrating the month of Damodara. That is a very special month. In this month we celebrate so many loving pastimes. Krishnas love is simultaneous. He has the love relationship with the Gopis, His most dear. He has the love relationship with the Gopas, His intimate friends. He has the loving relationship with Yashoda, Nanda, with everybody. And it is a very exciting month because Krishna is very sweet and very happy. Actually Kartika means Radharani, it's the month of Radharani. So Krishna is very happy in this month, very enthusiastic. So as you may have heard, Krishna is very fond of butter and yoghurt. As a matter of fact He is also known as Makan-chor, the butter-thief. Of course, really He wants to thief the hearts of the Gopis. But here and there a little yoghurt and butter He also takes along. So Him and His boyfriends when they say: "We go out and play !" it's actually not true. They are going to steal butter and yoghurt in the houses of the Vrajabhasis. And they are very tricky about it. They go and see that the mother, she is taking care of the house, that she will be sidetracked. Maybe they call from somewhere outside so she goes outside, or they do any type of little trick. And then they quickly go inside the house: " Where is the butter ?" Here, they take it and then they have a butter festival. Makan. In some of the temples you will get butter at this time when you go. Butter and Chinni, with some sweet mixed. So Krishna is very fond of having these little festivals. But the Vraja-Gopis they always come home and they cannot find their butter. And sometimes they see the feet of Krishna on the floor with some yoghurt which fell on the ground and so His feet are clearly marked in the yoghurt. And she says: "This was Krishna and His friends !" So they love Krishna so much that they want to see Him also. Actually they are upset: "Why didnt we see Him ?, He came to get our butter, why He didnt come to see us, He could have gotten us ?" So then they say: "Let us go and complain to mother Yashoda about all this thievery, and then we can also see Krishna because He is there".

You see all the Gopis are a little envious of mother Yashoda, because Mother Yashoda has Krishna in her house all the time. So they also want to go and see Him. So they go to Mother Yashoda and they say: "Mother Yashoda, you know one thing, Krishna is always coming to our home and He is taking our butter, and He sometimes brakes our yoghurt-pots. And then, sometimes we hide the yoghurt and the butter in a very dark area. And then He just goes there, and because He has His effulgence He can see the butter anyway. Then we hang it up in the ceiling, then He takes His stick and He knocks on the yoghurt pot and everything drops down and we have a big mass there, and He is simply taking everything. Mother Yashoda, where is Krishna ?" They just want to see Him, they just make the excuse. Then Mother Yashoda says: "Oh, Krishna is so naughty ? He is giving so much trouble ? I think I shall chastise Him." Then they say: "Oh it's not that bad." Then she says: "Maybe I should take away the jewels from His body, so He cannot see. Probably He can see in the dark because of the shining of the jewels." Then they go: "No, it's o.k., we just wanted you to know, what your Krishna is doing." So then later, Krishna does this pastimes also at His own home. Then Mother Yashoda says: "Lala, come here. Are you not getting enough Prasadam at your home ? Why you have to go and steal from the Gopis ? What is this ? You are giving a bad name to Your Mother and Your Father ?", "No, Maiya, I am not, we are just having some fun, we are just playing, we are not stealing anything, they are just making up stories." Like this it is going on. So, one day Yashoda Maiya she is setting Krishna on her lap and she is giving her breast to Him to suck. And Lala (Krishna) is very happy. He loves to be in the arms of Mother Yashoda and to drink Her milk. All of the sudden Mother Yashoda, she thinks: "Oh, I have put the milk on the stove in the kitchen, and it's boiling over." So quickly she takes of Krishna and puts Him there and runs away. And Krishna is very upset. He says: "I was drinking happily and Mother just put me away like I am nothing. Oh, no, now I am going to get something and just gonna eat yoghurt." He goes to the yoghurt pot, and He takes a stone and brakes the yoghurt-pot. it's a big yoghurt pot, and He goes and starts eating and also some butter. And He calls the monkeys: "Come, come, come, very nice butter over here !" Then the monkeys take so much butter so much yoghurt, they cannot eat anymore, they are so full. Then Krishna says: "Oh, this butter seems to be bad, the monkeys don't want anymore" So, mother Yashoda she goes to the kitchen, she takes care of Her milk. And then she goes back, and no Lala. And then she sees the mess. The yoghurt-pot broken, yoghurt all over the floor, butter, and she sees the steps going away, oho. "I will just have to follow these steps and I am gonna get to Him." So when Krishna sees Yashoda coming, upset, she has picked up a little stick, and she says: "Lala, what the Gopis said is all true !, you are naughty !" and she thinks: "If I will not educate my baby then He will become a big thief !, a big problem, I must teach Him a lesson, I cannot tolerate this". So, when Krishna sees Yashoda coming with the stick, He is getting a very afraid face: "Maiya, Maiya, nooo, don't do anything to me !" and He gets up and starts running. Now, He is a small boy, but He can run. And Mother Yashoda she is heavy, and she is trying to get after Him, and after Him and she is sweating and finally she snatched Krishna. And then He goes: "Oh, no please don't chastise me, I will be a good boy" But she says: "No, Lala, you have done very bad things, and now you have to learn a lesson, you don't do such things, braking pots, distributing all the yoghurt, what do you think ?" So she pulls Him along with her to the wooden mortar, where they make the spices, or they churn the butter. it's a big wooden mortar. You can see in some of the houses they still have them in Vraja. They still utilize them. And then she takes a rope, and she binds it around Krishnas waist. Damodara means bound around the waist. Thats the name of Krishna because He was tied. So she binds it and when she just wants to finally close the string, it's missing one inch. Then Yashoda, she goes quickly and gets another string, and she connects the two, and again she tryes to tie, and again one inch is missing. Then she says: "I cannot do anything, this is terrible !" Again she gets another string and ties it together, and again she tries. And Krishna at the same time: "No, no, why are you binding me, Maiya, I will not be bad anymore". But she says: "No, if I am always weak with Him, then He will never learn the lesson, so I have to do it this time." Another inch missing. Finally she brings all the strings from the house and still something is missing. Then she is sweating and trying to be strict, but already long time she is like worried. Then Krishna sees: "Oh, Maiya wants to do this, so I have to allow her. Her love is so big, I have to permit that she binds me." So next string comes, Krishna is bound. By that effort to please Him. Because everything Yashoda does is for her love for Lala. She doesn't have any other thought. So now He is bound and she says: "So now I taught you a lesson Lala, and you don't forget that, will you ? Now I will keep you," the Supreme Personality of Godhead, bound ? By the ropes of affection and love of course. Then she goes into the kitchen to take care of something, and Krishna is bound. Now Krishna is Krishna. So as she walks of, He starts pulling the wooden mortar which is very heavy. And He just keeps pulling it and pulling it, because it's very strong. So the mortar gets tied between two trees. they are called the Yamala-Arjuna trees. And Krishna just goes and pulls the mortar and these two huge twin-Arjuna trees crash to the ground with a tremendous noise. And Yashoda in the kitchen, her heart dropped: "Ahh, whats happening there ?" And she runs out of the kitchen: "Lala, where is my Lala:" There is no Lala and there is no mortar: "Where is He ?!" And then she sees these huge trees lying in the courtyard. And two lightfigures come out of the trees, Nalakuvera and Manigriva. And there she sees them praying to Lala. And Lala is sitting in the middle like nothing happened. And then she says: "Oh, what is this, am I halucinating ?" And then she runs and says: "Lala, I am so sorry I did this with you, I bind you, and now look this disaster, this is all my fault" And she takes Krishna in her lap and cries and her tears fall on His body and Lala feels: "Oh, now Mama is again happy with me"

So in the month of Kartik we think about this beautiful play the Supreme Lord does with His dear mother Yashoda. She is His most intimate associate as a mother. There are many times when the Lord appears, and He has different mothers when He appears. But Yashoda Maiya, she has the exclusive divine, supreme position. And her love is eternally glorified. So, Lala, He is doing so many things in the month of Kartik. He is so naughty, He is so joyfull, He is always giving pleasure to everyone.

Sometimes when Nanda-baba is sitting in his chair and he wants to get up, then little Lala comes with the chapalas (shoes) of Nanda-baba on His head and He comes and carries them. When father Nanda Maharaja sees his little kid with his chapalas on His head coming, he just floats away in love, he is no more consistency possible when you see such a loving attitude. So Krishna is the pleasure if His devotees. You see ! Krishna does everything for the pleasure of His devotees, and His devotees do everything for the pleasure of Him. So when are we gonna start to do something for the pleasure of Him ? He is always doing for our pleasure. Even if we want some nonsense pleasure, somehow or other He still provides. Somehow or other He still makes everything available, but He is not interested in any mundane thing. He wants your heart, baba ! He doesn't want anything from your material things, from your material talents. it's just, when you have love, you use everything for Krishna. If you play an instrument, you play it for Krishna. If you paint, you paint for Krishna. If you gardening, you gardening for Krishna. Whatevery you do, you compose, you write, you talk, you walk, whatever you do, do it for Krishna if you love Him. So you have to see, Krishna exists out of love for the love to His devotees. And of course they feel like: "How can I learn to love Him ?". So Krishna is captured by love. The infinite Lord, the Supreme merciful Lord, He is captured by the love of His devotees, imagine that my friends. Just imagine that. The love of the devotees is so great that Krishna feels captured by it. When Srimati Radharani is upset with Krishna, Krishna is very worried, He is very concerned with that: "How is it possible, how can I please Radharani again ? How will She forgive me ?" Sometimes He touches Her feet and prays. In Varshana there is one place called Mana Mandir, where Radharani goes when She is really upset. The sweet lila of love, there is a little bit competition for the love of Krishna. So much love the devotees have for Krishna, so much. And then they all want to please Him. Of course the group of Radharani they know: "There is nobody who can please Krishna like Radharani" So they are always making the efforts that She will meet Him. But other Gopis they are also trying to make the arrangement that Krishna may meet Chandravali. And they are also very eager. And Krishna He wants to please both of them. Because He loves everybody, He wants to make every devotee happy. So, then sometimes Radharani gets upset and says: "How is it that I am put here to wait ?"

So, Vrindavan is the land of nectar. The Infinite being conquered by the finite, that is something inconceivable. But in the world of love such things are possible. In the world of love superiour and inferiour cannot sustain it'self. Just like when the child comes to the father and offers obeisances, the father wants to pick up the child and hug it. He says: "What are you doing there !", "Oh, my dear pita, I am giving my respects to you". Love diminishes all hierarchical structures and forms. And love is also moving in a curved way, crooked way. Love does not always follow one straight line. You cannot conceive how it is working, because it is Krishnas own power, Krishnas love personified. And He is a little bit crooked, He has a three bended form. When He plays His flute, you see Krishna has His three bended form, tri bangha lalitam. He is a bit crooked. Thats why He is called Hari. He is called a thief. And She is called Hara because She is such a thief that She can even steal the heart of the Thief of all hearts. Thats pretty heavy. He is Madan-mohan and She is Madan-mohan-mohini. She is the conquerer, she just takes the mind of Sri Hari, who is so clever that even cupid is devastated by Him. Cupid comes to do any of his pastimes, shooting his arrows, but when He sees Krishna, arrows drop, bow drops, cupid falls in love. He is conquered. All his power is finished before Krishna.

So He is the Supreme divine Lord of Love, and Vrindavan is His divine land which is full of love. And Vrinda-devi is incharged of decorating this land. She is incharged of the vines and the creepers and the kadamba-trees and the so many other beautiful arrangements. The bowers, the malika and also the musical arrangements. Wherever Krishna and the Gopis and Radharani meet, it's a concert, they are having a wonderful arrangement there. All the instruments you can think of, and there are the Vinas sounding, and they make such a beautiful sweet sound, just by that sound the heart starts floating. So this is the land of Krishnas love. Just like when you see the Parijata flower, every morning they shower like a snow fall of sweet scented flowers to offer to Krishnas lotus feet. What could be more amazing, what could be more wonderful then this lila of Krishna in the month of Damodara, in the month of Kartika. And we are coming here in this process to absorb our heart in this, to transform our heart, to not think about the bhang, to not think about the car, to not think about my position, my career, to not think about this mundane preoccupation. Of course it is very difficult to give up all mundane worries and preoccupations, but by the grace of the spiritual Master and the Vaishnavas we can always think and hear about the transcendental lila. And that is Hari-katha, it is diversified into so many different pastimes, and all these pastimes are the best medicine for getting out of this material attachment, from these material worries and all that. These pastimes are the topmost medicine for all men, therefore the Supreme Lord says: "mad-citta mad-gata-prana bodhayantah parasparam, kathayantas ca mam nityam tusyanti ca ramanti ca - that my devotees they always talk with each other, illuminating one another talking about my pastimes, my lila and in this way they are very happy".

You see, we are like in the land of sadness, we are in the land of frustration, but when we start talking about Krishna, we become relieved, we become happy. It is the medicine. Sometimes you feel very frustrated about something, but then you think about a brilliant future to come and then you feel very relieved by that. You feel: "Oh, yes, this is so nice". So we are in this material world, we are growing old, we are going to die, the people we love they may not reciprocate to us as we have expected. The children go away, the father thinks: "I was thinking to stay with them all my life". No, modern families practically nobody lives together. And then you are old and think: "Oh, whats left for me ?". Goloka Vrindavan, my friend, thats left for you. You want to establish, you want to get in this material world the perfect situation ? Impossible !, not only impossible but quite a useless attempt, because all the things in this material world they are meant to be insufficient. Krishna has created in such a way. You can have so many things, you can enjoy so many circumstances but finally He wants you to come to Him. If He is giving you, supplying you something perfectly satisfying in this world, then you will never want to go to Goloka Vrindavan. So by the kindness of the material energy, maya, maha-maya and yoga-maya, everything is arranged in such a way that finally you will want to go home back to gome, back to Godhead. So therefore we have in Southamerica the saying: "There is nothing bad which doesn't come for a good reason". So if anything bad comes in this life, say: "Thank you !, it s teaching me a lesson, I have to learn so many lessons, because I want to go back to home, back to Godhead. I don't want to stay in this material world, I want to go to Krishna, I want to learn how to love." And Krishna is never happy if you give trouble to anybody. That is the task, thats the tuff part. You cannot go around giving trouble to others. And even if others give trouble to you, reciprocate in a Vaishnava way. Be humble, don't create unnecessary tensions. Jesus Christ said: "They hit you on one cheek, then put the other cheek to be beaten again." Now, we have to qualify that statement a little bit, it means we are not going to be on the level of our ego, we will not create big fuss, we will always say yes. Like one time they were saying some things about Srila Sridhar Maharaja. And one devotee came to him and said: "Guru Maharaja, do you know what they say about you ?" He said: "No, what do they say ?" and then he said something and then Guru Maharaj said: "Oh, they say that only ? all that is because they don't know how bad I am really". So when you are humble, you defeat all the aggressions in this world. You simply don't take offence. You say: "I am stupid. I must be stupid otherwise how would I come to a world where I meet so many people with this negative, aggressive mood." But when you are in the right mood, in the positive mood everything turns positive. You see, the mood of the Vaishnavas is they always think: "I am bad." and then they become very nice. In the material world the mood is everybody thinks: "I am great." and then all the bad things come to them. So whats more safe ? The safe approach is: "I am useless, I am not qualified, but by causeless grace I am getting the chance to do something anyway." Then you are very happy, you accept every circumstance. Because these circumstances are there to teach you, they are wonderful lessons. If you have any difficulty, you are meeting a person who don't likes you, or something, this is great !, immediately you have a chance to become more humble. You know in the material world when there is one child only and the parents everything the child wants say: "Yes my child, take it, have it, don't cry" Then the child thinks: "If I cry I get everything, and if anybody in this world don't say nice things to me then he must be horrible person". But this is a horrible consciousness. So if we meet people who are not so pleasent, who are not so nice with us, that is a great lesson, but you should not be like that. You should be humble, you should be kind, then you learn the lesson. That is something very wonderful. See Krishna in everyone. See Krishnas lesson coming to you through every moment and every circumstance and never be in despair. Like: "I can't bear it anymore !, I can't bear it anymore, I can't tolerate it anymore." Some people think: "Life is to much, I don't want to live anymore". You know what that means ? That means: "I don't want to learn anymore". You are loosing the greatest of all the great, wonderful things. You could learn, but you don't want to learn. Learning meand learning to love. So I don't want to learn anymore means I don't want to love anymore. it's not good. Love is your eternal goal. It is the property of your heart, but love means to learn to love the others, to accomodate the others. Vaishnavism is the philosophy of proper adjustment. You can adjust everything, every circumstance, because you will always see what is Krishnas message in this for me. And if anybody comes to you as an atagonist: "You are bad, you do bad things. " Then you say: "Maybe I am bad, but I try to learn how to be better. Can you teach me ? You see what I am doing is bad, can you please be so kind and teach me ?". And then if he doesn't say anything which makes sense then you can understand that he is just a faultfinder. But even a faultfinder, why you bother about it ?, just go your own way. But maybe some lesson is coming to you. Like we should not look for all the people who say: "You are great, you are great, you are great." Therefore Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur said: "Those who flatter me are my enemies and those who criticize me they are my real friends." Have you ever thought about that ? Thats a bit extreme, right ? There is one story Srila Guru Maharaja told us in this connection. There was an indian poet, a very young boy, he was so talented. He could write poetry and everybody was impressed. As a matter of fact, the indian government sent him to Italy for a poet program where poets from all over the world meet. And he won a price there, he was recognized as an international poet. And he was just a young boy, not even 20 years old. The only one who criticized him was his father. His father was always saying: "You are useless. you are just puffed up, you will get nowhere and like this he was always smashing him. " So his son was developing a very great anger against the father, because everybody was glorifying him and father was smashing, smashing, smashing. Then he decided: "I will kill my father. " Then one day in the night he took one knife and he went and he was hiding in the closet of the father room. And father and mother they come in the room and they lay down on the bed. And the mother says to the father: "Look at the full moon, it is so beautiful." Then the father says: "If I think of the beautiful face of my son then the moon looks to me like nothing." then the mother said: "Yes, but you are always smashing him, you are always criticizing him", "Oh, yes I do that just that he don't become proud and useless, I just do that to save him". And the son inside the closet: "Ohhh, I was going to kill my wellwisher" He comes out and falls at the feet of his father and he is crying and crying and crying. So we have to be very careful, Krishna loves us, even if he sends some criticism, some difficulty to our life. don't go around the world looking just for: "Who will glorify me, who will give me some honor". Because you have to learn, you have to become purified, you have to develop love for Krishna and thats not a cheap thing. You cannot have love for your false ego simultanuously and love for Krishna. So by the kindness of Sri Krishna, he is making sure we get the message we need to get. And in the month of Damodara we pray to Him: "My lord, make all the arrangements I can get quickly to Your lotus feet, and that I will not get sidetracked to anything nonsense, useless, unnesessary. I don't want to be sidetracked, I want to get to Your lotus feet straight, that is my ambition. And thats why I have come in Kartik to Vrindavan, to pray to Your lotus feet and to chant and to sing and to hear and to speak about You and to honor Your prasadam and to serve Your devotees so that they will be very happy and that they will all be enthused to go on in that spiritual path. "

Damodara ki jay ! Sri Sri Radha-Damodara ki jay ! Sri Sri Radha-Damodara parikrama ki jay ! Radha-kunda appearance day ki jay ! Govardhan parikrama ki jay ! Vaishnavas ki jay ! All glories to the assembled devotees ! All glories to the assembled devotees ! All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga ! All glories to Srila Prabhupada !

 
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