Dama Bandhan lila part 1

graphic footer

All glories to the exceedingly beautiful and enchanting Ashtakam composed by the great sage Satyavrata Muni, famous as the Damodarashtakam, in which, with great love and devotion, he offers respect to Lord Damodar, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and describes the supremely wonderful dama-bandhan lila, or the pastime of mother Yashoda tieing the belly of Sri Krishna, in which the entire universe finds its shelter. Since this ashtakam is embued with pure love for Lord Damodar, who is dearmost beloved of Srimati Radhika, the presiding diety of the month of Kartik, who is also celebrated by the name of Urjeshvari, the Goddess of Urja-vrat or Kartik vrat, therefore, in order to please her, Srila Sanatan Goswami in his Hari Bhakti Vilas has instructed all the Vaishnavas to wroship Radha Damodar and sing the Damodarashtakam druing the month of Kartik. It is indeed most appropriate to remember this extraordinarily sweet pastime in this month of Damodar as it is on the amavasya tithi of this month that Yashoda devi bound the Lord with her love. This beautiful pastime has been nicely described in the Srimad Bhagwatam as follows:

Once, Mother Yashoda, having heard the constant complains of the Vraja Gopis of how her son would come and steal butter from their houses and feed it to the monkeys, she started contemplating whether it was due to his being dissatisfied with the butter in his own house. Thinking like this, she decided to churn butter for her darling son with her very hands, and therefore, on the day before Dipavali, she personally milked the cows, and after having boiled and the milk, she set it aside with some Yoghurt culture in it for it to turn into Youghurt. The next morning she started churning the Yoghurt to make the most soft and delicious butter for her dear Makhanchor, so that he would not go to any other Gopis’s house to steal butter. While churning the butter, her bracelets moved to and fro making a melodious sound and setting a rhythm for the song that she started singing, being totally absorbed in the thoughts of Krishna. In the meanwhile, Krishna, who at that time was a two and half-year old baby, woke up and started crying for his mother, for he was hungry and wanted to drink her breast milk. It is truly amazing, how the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is atmaram or self-satisfied, is completely controlled by the love of his pure devotees, that he is crying for his mother’s milk. However, being totally immersed in the thoughts of her darling son and busy churning butter for him, she did not hear his crying and just continues singing his transcendental pastimes while churning the butter. Seeing that his mother was not coming, Bal Gopal Sri Krishna somehow managed to climb down the bed and approached his mother. Stopping her from churning the butter, he insisted on immediately having her milk and therefore, taking him in her lap, mother Yashoda started feeding the Supreme personality of Godhead her breast milk. In the connection of the unfathomable good fortune of mother Yashoda to be feeding KRishna her own breast milk, Maharaj Parikshit is saying in Srimad Bhagwatam:
śrī-rājovāca
nandaḥ kim akarod brahman
śreya evaṁ mahodayam
yaśodā ca mahā-bhāgā
papau yasyāḥ stanaṁ hariḥ
Having heard of the great fortune of mother Yaśodā, Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī: O learned brāhmaṇa, mother Yaśodā’s breast milk was sucked by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. What past auspicious activities did she and Nanda Mahārāja perform to achieve such perfection in ecstatic love?

When Srimati Yashoda devi was thus engaged in feeding Krishna her milk, the milk that had been kept on the stove for boiling in the Kitchen started to over flow. The great acharyas have given a beautiful explanation of this incident. The entire existance of the devotees of the Lord revolves around serving, pleasing and satisfying the Lord, and since everything in the spiritual world is sat-chit-ananda, the milk that was kept on the flame started to think that since the Lord would be completely satisfied with drinking his mother’s milk and he would not be able to serve the Lord and therefore there was no use to maintain his life anymore, and thinking thus, the milk started to boil over, desiring to burn itself in the fire and finish his life. However, mother Yashoda, when she understood that the milk was about to overboil, thought that she was only able to feed Krishna her milk, but with the help of the milk that she was boiling she would be able to make delicious sweets for the pleasure of Krishna, which she was not able to do with her own milk. Thinking thus, she immediately set Krishna down and went to the Kitchen to take the milk off the flame. This, however, enraged baby Krishna, and ,his lips quivering in anger, he broke the pot of Yoghurt that mother Yashoda was churning and then he went to a near-by room where a pot full of butter was hanging from the ceiling. After returning from the kitchen, mother Yashoda saw the broken pot and could understand that this was the mischievous act of her naughty son. She followed the yoghurt footprints of Krishna into the room where Krishna was and saw him seated atop an upturned grinding mortar, eating butter and feeding it to the monkeys.

ulukhalanghrer upari vyavasthitam
markaya kamam dadatam sici sthitam
haiyangavam caurya-visankiteksanam
niriksya pascat sutam agamac chanaih
Krsna, at that time, was sitting on an upside-down wooden mortar for grinding spices and was distributing milk preparations such as yogurt and butter to the monkeys as He liked. Because of having stolen, He was looking all around with great anxiety, suspecting that He might be chastised by His mother. Mother Yasoda, upon seeing Him, very cautiously approached Him from behind.(SB 10.9.8)

tām ātta-yaṣṭiṁ prasamīkṣya satvaras
tato ’varuhyāpasasāra bhītavat
gopy anvadhāvan na yam āpa yogināṁ
kṣamaṁ praveṣṭuṁ tapaseritaṁ manaḥ
When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa saw His mother, stick in hand, He very quickly got down from the top of the mortar and began to flee as if very much afraid. Although yogīs try to capture Him as Paramātmā by meditation, desiring to enter into the effulgence of the Lord with great austerities and penances, they fail to reach Him. But mother Yaśodā, thinking that same Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, to be her son, began following Kṛṣṇa to catch Him.(SB 10.9.9)

After following him for some time she finally caught hold of him and decided to punish him for his mischief by tieing him to the grinding mortar, standing on which he had been eating the butter. In this it came about that mother Yashoda started trying to bind the Supreme Personality of Godhead, tieing whom is impossible for anyone except his pure devotees, whose hearts are fully saturated with pure love for him.