It’s the last day of Kartika and my attempt at remembering Krishna Damodara every day is coming to an end. There are other important events to celebrate this month, too, and I think I’ve covered the most important ones.
Let’s see how much I remember without checking back – Damodara lila, of course, then Govardhana puja, then the story of Dhruva Maharaja, and one thing I left out – Bali Maharaja surrender to Lord Vamanadev.
One thing I still don’t understand is how any of this relates to Srimati Radharani, why do we have deities called Radha-Damodara, for example? I don’t want to talk about pastimes not mentioned in our books – if Srila Prabhupada didn’t share them with us then we have no business celebrating them publicly. I’d be very skeptical about personal realizations, too, but those are personal, let’s not pass judgments on that.
From Damodara pastime of the Lord the most memorable lesson is the two fingers rule – in order to achieve success in anything, even in devotional service, one must fully apply himself and one needs the mercy of the Lord. If applied to everyday life it sounds very depressing – do I really have to bother about money, family, success, legacy and all that other crap that is expected of life? Or am I genuinely lazy, with no idea of what sacrifice really is?
I’ve never lifted a finger for anything or anyone else, and the most I’ve done for Krishna is chant a few rounds when I feel like it. I look at some devotees who make big commitments and sacrifice everything to succeed in their service and I feel totally inadequate. I feel inadequate even when I look at some parents and how they have dedicated their lives to their dharma as they know it.
If I were in Mother Yashoda’s shoes (which is funny, since she probably didn’t wear shoes inside the house), would I even bother to tie Krishna up, or would I just sit there and watch, like some stoner who still lives off his mom?
What is the point of remembering Lord Damodara if it doesn’t inspire one to sacrifice his life to the mission of Lord Chaitanya?
Interestingly, while I might not know why we have Radha Damodara I do know that it was the first and best known sankirtana party in our movement. Somehow the connection worked.
And from Dhruva Maharaja I’ve learned about the danger of carrying material desires. Even if Krishna bestows His mercy He might force one to endure the fulfillment of his hankerings. Thirty six thousand years for Dhruva, maybe millions of years for us.
From Govardhana pastime I remembered Indra’s mistake – it’s nice to be on the Brijabasis’ side but to get there one must have his ego destroyed first, i.e. play Indra’s role. Then, when one’s pride is shattered to pieces, he might earn the privilege of taking Krishna’s shelter along with residents of Vrindavana. We can’t cheer for them simply because we know they will win, we must become just like them, simple and single-minded in their lives, thinking only about satisfaction of Krishna and not caring about the rest of the society and its norms.
If we keep any self-interest in our hearts taking shelter under Govardhana Hill is not for us. Let’s be humble and go through heart purification process first, never mind how it might appear to fellow devotees who expect us to always be the best and the purest. I mean we always try to present the best side of us – how we are bathing in the ocean of nectar, by guru and Krishna’s grace, and if something is offered to us we blush for a moment – “Oh now, I couldn’t possibly”, but within our hearts we know we deserved this and more.
How often do we publicly admit that we are wretched souls unworthy even a particle of dust from devotees’ lotus feet and really mean it? Not just as a polite thing to say but really really see ourselves as wretched and undeserving?
I think I’m getting off-topic here, that’s what happens when I don’t prepare myself, don’t exert enough effort, and Krishna consequently leaves me battle my articles alone.
From this pov my “vrata” failed on this last day. God, it was so close!
Better luck next time.