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By: Mahanidhi Swami

One day in Goloka Vrindavana on Karttika Purnima during Sri Krishna’s aprakata-lila an amazingly, sweet and beautiful pastime took place. Soothing rays of moonshine danced on the floor of the nikunja, as Nikunjeshavari Radha, rapt in the anticipation of romance, sat in anxious waiting. But Priyaji’s gallant lover Shyama arrived in the wee hours of night just before dawn.

Upset and disappointed, Radhika glared at Shyama, and then angrily tied Krishna around the waist with the string from Her undergarment (nivi). Krishna said He was detained due to Maa Yashoda’s offering a feast to celebrate the end of Karttika. Pacified by this excuse, Radhika untied Her Priyatama and smiled affectionately at Her sweetheart. At that time, Sri Krishna felt the epitome of bliss being bound by His beloved in such an intimate way.

In supreme satisfaction, Shyama addressed Sundari, “O beautiful treasure of My heart, because You bound Me around the waist with Your girdle, My name Damodara has become even more endearing to Me. No other name of mine is as dear to Me than this. By the power of this name “Damodara”, one will obtain vishuddha-vraja-prema and residence in My glorious abode of Sridhama Vrindavana. During My prakata-lila in Bhauma Vrindavana, when Janani Yashoda binds me to the mortar this name Damodara will be revealed to the world.”

Now Bhagavan became famous as “NIVI DAMODARA”, and this is the most adorable form of Sri Krishna in Vrindavana that we so lovingly revere as Gaudiya Vaisnavas. (net source: Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s Radha-Krishnarchana-dipika, verses 120-127)

Radha-Damodara ki jai! Nivi-Damodara ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By:Mahanidhi Swami

Hurry! Only 20 days remain until Karttika Vrata begins! The Karttika Vrata, the one month long vow performed especially to please Srimati Radharani, consists of “niyama-seva” or increased sevas and offerings in sadhana bhakti performed every day at particular times. Most sincere sadhakas are trying their best every day to serve Radha Govinda Yugala, so they really can’t do much more. But Karttika is a special time with special benefits available to devotees who need a boost to surrender more, do more and serve more.

Although many devotees observe Karttika Vrata from Ashvina Purnima to Karttika Purnima (Oct.8—Nov.6), the Radha-Damodara Mandira, all the Goswami temples in Vrindavana and Radha-kunda observe the Karttika Vrata “niyama seva” month from Ashwina Sukla Ekadashi to Karttika Utthana Ekadashi (Oct.5—Nov. 3)

We are reminding all the devotees to START NOW thinking about, planning and devising a reasonable and sustainable increased sadhana program for your Karttika Vrata. Remember the 5 P’s of sadhana success:

1. Proper

2. Planning

3. Prevents

4. Poor

5. Performance

From Sri Radha-kunda Dhama within the Ananga-ranga-da Kunja, we sincerely pray that Radhika-Giridhari Shyama will fully bless all my devoted friends with the requisite enthusiasm, surrender and determination to complete their Kartika niyama-sevas vows. As always, every year we remind everyone of our Karttika motto, “DO OR DIE IT IS ALL FOR RAI!!!

Srimati Radharani ki jai! Radha-Damodara ki jai! Sri Vraja Dhama ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!