Deepotsava, also known as the festival of lights, is celebrated in the month of Karthika every year. It is a month-long festival commemorating Damodara-lila, the sweet pastime of baby Krishna stealing butter and consequently being tied up to a mortar by His dear mother. In Sanskrit, “dama” means rope and “udara” means belly. Damodara refers to Krishna who was bound with a rope by His mother Yashoda.
Damodara Vrata and the glories of Karthika
In the month of Karthika devotees observe a vow to worship Lord Damodara by offering a ghee lamp everyday. It is said that by offering a lamp to Lord Hari in the month of Karthika one gets unlimited prosperity, beauty and wealth. All the sins committed in thousands and millions of births perish; and he attains the eternal spiritual world where there is no suffering.
The Skanda Purana states that the Karthika month is especially dear to Lord Krishna and hence it is considered to be the holiest of all months. In Padma Purana it is stated that of all the twelve months, the month of Karthika is the best; the purest of the purifiers, and most glorious. Any one who worships Lord Vishnu in the month of Karthika gets a residence in Vaikuntha, the transcendental abode of Lord Vishnu. If one hears the narrations related to Lord Hari in the month of Karthika, he becomes free from the sufferings of hundreds and millions of births. Any spiritual vows (vratas) observed during this month will yield huge results. So devotees observe the Damodara Vrata. How to observe Damodara Vrata?
In Hari-bhakti-vilasa, it is mentioned that one should worship Lord Damodara in the month of Karthika and recite the prayer known as Damodarashtaka, composed by Satyavrata. This prayer reveals the mood of pure devotional service and glorifies the pastime of Damodara-lila. So devotees sing Damodarashtakam every day and offer a ghee lamp to Lord Damodara in the month of Karthika.
Deepotsava at Hare Krishna Movement,Hyderabad.
Deepotsava is a very special month-long festival for the devotees of Hare Krishna Movement,Hyderabad.
. Everyday the temple is decorated with The lamps. Light from The lamps placed before the altar spread transcendental radiance across the main temple hall, elevating the spirit of devotion. The grandeur with which the festivities are carried out captivates everyone’s realm of devout.
At 7:30 PM, the altar is closed for a brief moment followed by an announcement on Deepotsava Festival. The assembled devotees are informed about the significance of this festival. Following the announcement, the devotees start singing melodious kirtans and the altar opens. The glorious sight of Their Lordships Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga in the midst of smoke, enthralls everyone. A grand arati is performed as the devotees sing the Damodarashtaka Song. After the arati all the assembled devotees get an opportunity to offer ghee lamps to Their Lordships.