sábado, 17 de septiembre de 2011

Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam

Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam

Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam

Śrī Satyavrata Muni’s
Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam
Kṛṣṇa – Controlled by Love and Affection 
written by Śrī Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vedavyāsa

By the crest jewel among Śrī Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas
Śrīla Śrī-yukta Sanātana Gosvāmī

Verse and ṭīkā translations and annotations
By nitya-līlā praviṣṭa-oṁ-viṣṇupāda-paramahaṁsa-svāmī
Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja

And Dig-darśinī-vṛtti 
By the best among his followers
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Appendix – 
Śrī Dāmbandhana līlā from Śrī Gopāla-campuḥ 
By Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmīpāda


Śrī Dāmodara-vrata, which is observed for the entire month of Kārtika, is the most important vrata for Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. It has become famous by the name Dāmodara because Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastime of being bound with rope by His mother took place during this month. Dāma means rope and bandhana means to bind, thus this pastime is known as śrī dāmabandhana-līlā.

Śrī Satyavrata Muni’s eternally perfect Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam is part of the Padma Purāṇa, which was recorded by Śrī Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vedavyāsa. This aṣṭakam, or prayer comprising eight verses, reveals many deep and fundamental secrets about this beautiful pastime. Therefore all of our Gauḍīya Ācāryas have prescribed that we sing it every day during the month of Kārtika if we are serious about pleasing Kārtikī Śrīmatī Rādhikā, the presiding Goddess of the month of Kārtika.

Singing this aṣṭakam every day during the month of Kārtika is so vital that Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, the crest jewel among Śrī Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, has written a lucid and penetrating commentary on it, known as the Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā. In 1954, nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, the founder of Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti, published this book in the Bengali language after very carefully translating and annotating Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī’s commentary. And our own beloved Śrīla Gurudeva, parivrājakācārya tridaṇḍi-svāmī Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja, who is the best among the disciples of Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, has translated the former edition into Hindi with an additional commentary called the Dig-darśinī-vṛtti. Under his guidance this English rendition is now being presented.

Once, during the month of Kārtika, Śrīla Gurudeva read śrī dāmabandhana-līlā from Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmīpāda’s Gopāla-campūḥ to his spiritual master, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja. Upon hearing the pastime narrated by Śrīla Gurudeva, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja exhibited rare ecstatic symptoms. With Śrīla Gurudeva’s permission, we have included that same excerpt from Gopāla-campūḥ, translated into English for the first time, as an appendix to the present edition of Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam, along with Śrīla Gurudeva’s brief recount of the afore-mentioned history.

In the Bengali edition by Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, there are many footnotes and parenthetical statements clarifying the Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā. In this English edition therefore, all of these clarifications are marked by square brackets with the exception of two pāda-ṭīkās (footnotes) in Verse Four, one in Verse Six and one in Verse Eight. Where direct English translations of Sanskrit terms have been provided, standard parentheses have been used.

- The editors

A few words on Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam

Preface to the original Bengali Edition

Svayam Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇacandra, the original Supreme Lord, who possesses unlimited inconceivable potencies, allows Mother Yaśodā to bind His waist with rope. In this way He fully relishes the very essence of the sweetness of her immaculate humour of parental love (vātsalya-prema-rasa) for Him, and graces the world with the ultimate example of His subservience to His devotees. He manifests that supremely charming pastime of being bound around His waist (śrī dāmabandhana-līlā) during the month of Kārtika on the first day of the bright fortnight. This is the principle reason why the supremely blessed month of Kārtika has become famous by the name “Dāmodara” (1). 

Ācāryapāda Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī compiled Śrī Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, which is the smṛti-śāstra, or “law-book” of the Vaiṣṇavas. There, he has outlined the devotional activities to be observed during the month of Kārtika. He points out the injunction to daily worship Śrī Rādhā-Dāmodara and to recite the stotra (prayer) Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam: 

rādhikāṁ pratimāṁ viprāḥ pūjayet kārttike tu yaḥ
tasya tuṣyati tat-prītyai śrīmān dāmodarau hariḥ
(Śrī Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 16.197)

O learned brāhmaṇas, one who worships the deity of Śrī Rādhikā for Her pleasure during the month of Kārtika, equally satisfies Śrī Dāmodara Hari.

“dāmodarāṣṭakaṁ” nāma stotraṁ dāmodarārcanaṁ
nityaṁ dāmodarākarṣi paṭhet satya-vratoditam
(Śrī Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 16.198) 

One who worships Śrī Dāmodara during Kārtika month by daily reciting the prayer Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam, which was uttered by Śrī Satyavrata Muni as it arose in his heart, will perpetually attract Śrī Dāmodara Himself.

As stated above, Śrī Dāmodara Hari becomes pleased with those who worship Śrī Rādhikā for Her pleasure during the month of Kārtika.(2)

This Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam stava is narrated in the Padma Purāṇa, where it is spoken by Śrī Satyavrata Muni in the context of a conversation between Śrī Nārada and other sages headed by Śrī Śaunaka Ṛṣi. In his commentary on this Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmīpāda has stated:

“This prayer is nitya-siddha, which means ‘eternally perfect’. It has manifested through Śrī Satyavrata Muni and is capable of attracting Śrī Dāmodara-Kṛṣṇa.”

In his extensive explanation, which is replete with his personal realisations, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī has thoroughly revealed this prayer’s ability to attract Śrī Dāmodara.

For a long time, I have been nurturing the desire to publish this Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam. When we used to gather together, especially every Kārtika month while observing Dāmodara-vrata, we would regularly become absorbed in singing this Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam in unison. At such a time, the strong desire to make its secrets bloom within the hearts of all the sādhakas would arise within me. Furthermore, many bhakti-sādhakas have also insistently requested me to publish it. Now after so long, Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam’s original Sanskrit verses, their Sanskrit anvaya and Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmīpāda’s Sanskrit commentary called Dig-darśinī have been published. For readers who do not know Sanskrit, the Bengali translations of the original verses and the above-mentioned commentary by Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī have been included in this book.

In the present age it is noticed that many scholars whose intelligence has been spoiled by Kali have a spiteful outlook towards the propagation of the Sanskrit language. Nevertheless, we have still published this Sanskrit work, Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam, desiring to benefit the entire country. Literary scholars of the Bengali language must always keep in mind that if we are to promote the Bengali language, Sanskrit is our only support. As Sanskrit literature is promoted, Bengali literature is also certain to progress. Those who imagine that Bengali will be promoted while overstepping Sanskrit literature are gravely mistaken. We notice that the language of such scholars is unsystematic in every respect. The freedom of the Bengali language is subordinate to Sanskrit. In other words, it is not absolutely autonomous, rather it is paratantra-svatantra, its independence relies on Sanskrit. With this principle in mind, we are presenting this book to intellectual circles.

If one examines the manner in which Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam conveys philosophical concepts, the excellence of its composition, the astonishing way in which it unfolds this pastime, and other aspects of this aṣṭaka, which was written down by Śrī Vyāsadeva, it is obvious that it is an excellent work in the world of literature. 

Jagad-guru Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmīpāda has written the detailed Dig-darśinī commentary on this aṣṭaka or prayer of eight verses. 

Therein, based on the sādhakas’ different eternal temperaments, he has revealed the deliberation on the gradation found within the realm of sādhana. Furthermore, he has established from every perspective the supremacy of vātsalya-rasa (parental love) and finally mādhurya-rasa (conjugal love).
Prākṛta-sahajiyās (3) discuss rāsa-līlā indiscriminately here and there in whatever way they please. To expose the immorality of such activities, Gosvāmīpāda has written as follows at the end of his commentary on the eighth verse:

“tataś ca tayā saha rāsa-krīḍādikaṁ parama-stutitvenānte varṇayitum icchan tac ca parama-gopyatvenānabhivyañjayan ‘madhureṇa samāpayed iti nyāyena kiñcid eva saṅketenoddiśan praṇamati.”

The translation of this part of the commentary, as well as a footnote, has been printed on page 160 of this book. There, an excellent deliberation is given in regard to such inappropriate discussions within sahajiyā congregations.

Since the sahajiyās are utterly unqualified, they cannot in any way be considered highly eligible candidates for relishing rāsa-līlā. As we know, bhakti is transcendental to the three worlds of material existence so topics like rāsa-līlā cannot be understood within any worldly realm of analysis. The prākṛta-sahajiyās think:

“Dull matter can become cit, spiritual, and by the power of one’s sādhana, Bhagavān can be seen with one’s material eyes.”

This is their conception. They say:

“Just as bell metal transforms into gold when mercury is added to it, this prākṛta (material) body becomes aprākṛta (transcendental) by the power of bhajana. Then, with these same material eyes, Bhagavān can be seen.” 

Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī has completely refuted this statement of the prākṛta-sahajiyās in Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta, as well as in his Dig-darśinī commentary on this Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam. 

(1) Editor’s footnote: Dāmodara means “He who has been bound by dāma (rope) around His udara (belly)”.

(2)  Editor’s footnote:

“By performing worship of Śrī Rādhikā for Her pleasure during the month of Kārtika, Śrī Dāmodara Hari becomes very pleased.

This is because Ūrjeśvarī Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, the controller of all potency, is the sole presiding Goddess of this month. Unless someone worships His svarūpa-śakti (internal potency), or hlādinī-śakti (pleasure potency), Dāmodara Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the possessor of all potencies, does not accept anyone’s worship. Moreover, Śrī Rādhā-devī, Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s antaraṅga-śakti, discards everything if She is worshipped alone without the Lord of Her life.

Therefore, svarūpa rūpānuga gauḍīya-vaiṣṇavas (Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas in the line of Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmīs) have exclusively adopted the worship of Yugala (the Divine Couple) in rādhā-liṅgitavigraha – the form of Kṛṣṇa when He is tightly embraced by Śrīmatī Rādhikā. For the very same reason, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vedavyāsa has also offered his obeisances to Vārṣabhānavī Śrī Rādhikā and Her beloved Śrī Dāmodara-Kṛṣṇa, the orchestrators of unlimited pastimes, in the last verse of this Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam. In other words, he has established the supremacy of śakti- and śaktimāna-tattva (the tattva regarding the potency and the potent) on one basis.” – From the preface of the Bengali edition, by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja.

(3) Editor’s footnote: Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda states: Endowed with material intelligence, sahajiyās cannot understand the topics concerning the transcendental, spontaneous occupation of the living entity. Their misdeeds invite immorality and prevent the proper delineation of the true variegatedness of the supremely pure (viśuddha-sattva) realm of Goloka.

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