Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭaka (found in the Padma Purāṇa of Kṛṣṇa
Dvaipāyana Vyāsa, spoken by Satyavrata Muni in a conversation with Nārada Muni
and Śaunaka Ṛṣi)
"In the month of Kārtika one should
worship Lord Dāmodara and daily recite the prayer known as Dāmodarāṣṭaka, which
has been spoken by the sage Satyavrata and which attracts Lord Dāmodara."
(Śrī Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 2.16.198)
kuverātmajau baddha-mūrtyaiva yadvat tvayā mocitau
bhakti-bhājau kṛtau ca
tathā prema-bhaktiṁ svakāṁ me prayaccha na mokṣe graho
me 'sti dāmodareha
namas te 'stu dāmne sphurad-dīpti-dhāmne tvadīyodarāyātha
namo rādhikāyai tvadīya-priyāyai namo 'nanta-līlāya devāya
1. To the Supreme Lord, whose form is the embodiment of
eternal existence, knowledge, and bliss, whose shark-shaped earrings are
swinging to and fro, who is beautifully shining in the divine realm of Gokula,
who [due to the offense of breaking the pot of yogurt that His mother was
churning into butter and then stealing the butter that was kept hanging from a
swing] is quickly running from the wooden grinding mortar in fear of mother
Yaśodā, but who has been caught from behind by her who ran after Him with
greater speed-to that Supreme Lord, Śrī Dāmodara, I offer my humble obeisances.
2. [Seeing the whipping stick in His mother's hand,] He is
crying and rubbing His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes
are filled with fear, and the necklace of pearls around His neck, which is
marked with three lines like a conchshell, is shaking because of His quick
breathing due to crying. To this Supreme Lord, Śrī Dāmodara, whose belly is
bound not with ropes but with His mother's pure love, I offer my humble
3. By such childhood pastimes as this He is drowning the
inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy, and is revealing to those devotees
who are absorbed in knowledge of His supreme majesty and opulence that He is
only conquered by devotees whose pure love is imbued with intimacy and is free
from all conceptions of awe and reverence. With great love I again offer my
obeisances to Lord Dāmodara hundreds and hundreds of times.
4. Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of
benedictions, I do not pray to You for the boon of impersonal liberation, nor
the highest liberation of eternal life in Vaikuṇṭha, nor any other boon [which
may be obtained by executing the nine processes of bhakti ]. O Lord, I simply
wish that this form of Yours as Bāla Gopāla in Vṛndāvana may ever be manifest
in my heart, for what is the use to me of any other boon besides this?
5. Lord, Your lotus face, which is encircled by locks of
soft black hair tinged with red, is kissed again and again by mother Yaśodā,
and Your lips are reddish like the bimba fruit. May this beautiful vision of
Your lotus face be ever manifest in my heart. Thousands and thousands of other
benedictions are of no use to me.
6. Supreme Godhead, I offer my obeisances unto You. O
Dāmodara! O Ananta! O Viṣṇu! O master! O my Lord, be pleased upon me. By
showering Your glance of mercy upon me, deliver this poor ignorant fool who is
immersed in an ocean of worldly sorrows, and become visible to my eyes.
7. Lord Dāmodara, just as the two sons of Kuvera-Manigrīva
and Nalakūvara-were delivered from the curse of Nārada and made into great
devotees by You in Your form as a baby tied with rope to a wooden grinding
mortar, in the same way, please give to me Your own prema-bhakti. I only long
for this and have no desire for any kind of liberation.
8. Lord Dāmodara, I first of all offer my obeisances to the
brilliantly effulgent rope which binds Your belly. I then offer my obeisances
to Your belly, which is the abode of the entire universe. I humbly bow down to
Your most beloved Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and I offer all obeisances to You, the
Supreme Lord, who displays unlimited pastimes.
The Absolute Truth, or the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, is realized by hearing about Him in all
submission and love from a bona fide authority who is a representative of the
twelve great authorities mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam.
Damodara month is coming, and it will begin on the 18th of this October. So
from that day, we'll observe Damodara-vrata for one month. From 18th to 17th
November. The duty will be that in the evening you'll offer candle, a small
candle, all of you, just before the Deity, not within the room, outside the
room, and chant the Damodarastaka, namamisvaram. That is already printed in our
song book. So this will be Damodara-vrata. That Damodara is explained here.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.31 -- Mayapura, October 11, 1974
A person who is detached from the modes of material nature remains just like the sun reflected on water. When the sun is reflected on water, the movement of the water or the coolness or unsteadiness of the water cannot affect the sun.
Unless one is empowered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, one cannot spread the holy names of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra throughout the world. Persons who do so are empowered. Therefore they are sometimes called avesa-avataras or incarnations, for they are endowed with the power of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Caitanya Caritamrita Antya 2.14
With a motive to draw
devotees' attention towards a great wish of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Srila Prabhupada regarding conducting “Bhkati-Shastri” examinations among
his disciples and followers and to encourage devotees around the world to study the enormous and great literature written by Srila Prabhupada, Hare Krishna Community,
Jaipur is launching a “Bhakti-Shastri” course all around the world. So we invite
devotees living in any part of the world to participate in this examination via e-mail.
One has to pass an exam on the following books in order to get Bhakti-Shastri degree as per the
instructions given by Srila Prabhupada.
Beyond Birth and Death
Perfection of Yoga
Easy Journey to Other Planets
Nectar of Instruction Upadeśāmṛta
Rāja-Vidyā: The King of Knowledge
Science of Self Realization
The Nectar of Devotion
Bhagavad-gītā As It Is
Booklet on Deity Worship
Srila Prabhupada on Bhakti-Shastri
passes bhakti-sastri, he cannot be second initiated
Acyutananda: [break] ...comprises the
examination for bhaktivedanta and bhakti-sastri?
Acyutananda: There was talk that they
would be given examinations.
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes.
Acyutananda: What is the syllabus
Prabhupada: Whatever books we have got,
it should be studied. Bhakti-sastri means Nectar of Devotion, Bhagavad-gita,
Nectar of Instruction, Beyond Death -- in this way we select some ten books.
That is bhakti-sastri.
Acyutananda: So when will that...
Prabhupada: Then we come to Bhagavata,
then we come to Caitanya-caritamrta, in this way. So from next year, unless one passes bhakti-sastri, he
cannot be second initiated. First initiation is open for everyone. "Come
on. Chant Hare Krsna." That will purify him. Then let him
In the near future we shall introduce the Bhakti-sastri examination for second
initiation and this shall be one of the required books of study.
Radhavallabha -- Nellore 5 January, 1976
His Divine Grace therefore wishes to institute
examinations to be given to all prospective candidates for sannyasa and
brahmana initiation. In addition he wishes that all present sannyasis and
brahmanas also pass the examination. Awarding of these titles will be based
upon the following books:
Nectar of Devotion, Nectar of Instruction, Isopanisad, Easy Journey To Other Planets,
and all other small paperbacks, as well as Arcana-paddhati (a book to be
compiled by NitaiPrabhu based on Hari-bhakti-vilasa on Deity worship)
All of the above plus the first six cantos of Srimad-Bhagavatam
All of the above plus cantos 7 through 12 of Srimad-Bhagavatam
All the above plus the entire Caitanya-caritamrta
wishing to be initiated as a brahmana will have to pass the Bhaktisastri exam
and anyone wishing to take sannyasa will have to pass the Bhaktivaibhava
examination as well. This will prevent our Society from degrading to the level
of so many other institutions where, in order to maintain the Temple, they
accept all third class men as brahmanas. Any sannyasis or brahmanas already
initiated who fail to pass the exams will be considered low class or less
qualified. Anyone wishing to be 2nd initiated will sit for examination once a
year at Mayapur. Answers will be in essay form and authoritative quotations
will be given a bigger score. During the exams books may not be consulted.
Letter to: All
Governing Body Commissioners -- Nellore, South India 6 January, 1976
But if you become preacher member, in that case you
will have to pay once Rs 10/- only for the degree of "Bhakti-sastri''
which will be awarded to you by registered certificate of degree for your
becoming preaching member of the League and doing the necessary preaching work
on behalf of the League. The preaching work is conducted as follows:
(1) As soon as you get the certificate of degree of "Bhakti-sastri'' at
once you become a bona fide preacher of this institution and for this you will
have to read "Bhagavad-gita'' regularly.
(2) As you go on reading "Bhagavad-gita'' question will arise in your mind
for so many teachings in that Book & you are at liberty to ask us for
answers of those questions which will be replied to you very clearly for your
(3) Some of the general questions are already answered in different pamphlets
& one of them is sent herewith for example and your understanding.
(4) These questions & answers you will have to preach to others, so that
both yourself& your audience will be benefited by that process.
(5) If you cannot go to others outside your hearth & home, you can do the
preaching work amongst your family members only and in this meeting your other
friends, neighbors & relatives also can join.
(6) Hold this meeting regularly for one hour in your
home or any other suitable place near about your home, and chant the hymns or
slokas of "Bhagavad-gita'' with reverence & devotion. If possible the
reading of Bhagavad-gita may be preceded & followed by a congregation
chanting of the holy name of God as mentioned below -- Hare Krishna . . . Hare
(7) Now relevant questions that may be arising out
in the meeting may either be answered relevantly &just according to the
authority of "Bhagavad-gita''. But if it is found difficult the question
may at once be referred to us and it will be very nicely & clearly answered
by us for clear understanding of all concerned.
(8) Some of the audience also may be interested in becoming a preaching worker
of this League & we shall be glad to substain him in the same way as we
shall be dealing with you. We are interested more in preaching members than in
the sleeping members.
Letter to: Brother
-- Unknown Place September 1955
We wish to hold examinations and award titles such
as Bhakti-sastri, Bhakti-vaibhava, and Bhaktivedanta. The whole program will continue for seven years, and the students
who will be fully engaged in this study of a seven year course will be
classified in the 4-D section of the draft board.
Letter to: Aniruddha
-- Los Angeles 4 February, 1969
Bhakti-sastri is actually recognition, accepting a
person that he knows the principles of devotional service.
Letter to: Rupanuga
-- Los Angeles 24 July, 1969
the examinations, the idea is that anyone, after studying the books, who wants
to gain the title of Bhakti-sastri, can take the exam. This is academic.
Just like a brahmana with sastric knowledge and a brahmana without. It is
optional -- one who wants may take. The real purpose is that our men should not
be neglectful of the philosophy. The examinations will begin on GauraPurnima,
1977, not this year, so there is no reason why any of the devotees should give
up their normal engagement.
So far your idea for teaching classes, this should
be discussed at the GBC meeting. If it does not hamper our normal procedure
then it is welcome.
I hope this meets you well.
Letter to: Satsvarupa --Mayapur 3 February, 1976
papers with some contribution to my book fund may be submitted to me.
I shall personally examine the papers, and those who will pass will be sent a
certificate of Bhaktisastri in due course. The
minimum passing mark is 300 out of 1,000.
Letter to: Bhakti SastriExamination -- Los
Angeles 4 September, 1969
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of
September 4th, 1969 and the enclosed
check for the Bhakti-sastri examination. As I have already mentioned in
my letter of September 7th, I have also duly received the contribution of 150
dollars from Laksmimoni and yourself.
Letter to: Jagadisa
-- Hamburg 9 September, 1969
accept my blessings. I beg to thank you very much for your letter of September
4th, 1969, sent along with the
Bhakti-sastri examinations and a maintenance check of 15 dollars.
Please accept my blessings. I beg to thank you for
your letter dated September 11th and the
contribution check for the Bhakti-sastri examination.
Letter to: Prahladananda --Tittenhurst 5 October, 1969
How to participate:
Those devotees who wish
to take this test online should first of all enroll themselves by sending an
enrollment request to the email address email@example.com
and they will be informed about the upcoming exams and they will be sent the
question paper on the day and time scheduled by the examinee devotee. Already the first test on the book "Beyond Birth and Death" has taken place but it is possible for newcomers to take another test on this book on 17th October 2015 along with "Perfection of Yoga".
The sadhu... I have explained several times. Sadhu means devotee. Sadhu does not mean the worldly honesty or dishonesty, morality or immorality. It has nothing to do with material activities. It is simply spiritual, sadhu. But sometimes we derive, "sadhu," a person's material goodness, morality. but actually "sadhu" means in the transcendental platform. Those who are engaged in devotional service. Sa gunan samatityaitan [Bg. 14.26]. Sadhu is transcendental to the material qualities. So paritranaya sadhunam. The paritranaya means to deliver.
Now if a sadhu is already delivered, he is on the transcendental platform, then where is the necessity of delivering him? This is the question. Therefore this word is used, vidambanam. It is bewildering. It is contradictory. It appears to be contradictory. If a sadhu is already delivered... Transcendental position means he's no longer under the control of the three material modes of nature, goodness, passion and ignorance. Because it is clearly stated in the Bhagavad-gita: sa gunan samatityaitan [Bg. 14.26]. He transcends the material qualities. A sadhu, devotee, Then where is the question of deliverance? The deliverance... He does not require deliverance, a sadhu, but because he is very much anxious to see the Supreme Lord eye to eye, that is his inner desire, therefore Krsna comes. Not for deliverance. He's already delivered. He's already delivered from the material clutches. But to satisfy him, Krsna is always...
Just like a devotee wants to satisfy the Lord in all respects, similarly more than the devotee, the Lord wants to satisfy the devotee. This is the exchange of loving affairs. Just like in your, in our ordinary dealings also, if you love somebody, you want to satisfy him or her. Similarly, she or he also wants to reciprocate. So if that reciprocation of loving affairs is there in this material world, how much it is greatly elevated in the spiritual world? So there is a verse that: "Sadhu is My heart, and I am also the sadhu's heart." The sadhu is always thinking of Krsna and Krsna is always thinking of His devotee, sadhu.
So the appearance and disappearance of Lord within this material world, that is called cikirsitam.
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.29 -- Los Angeles, April 21, 1973