The Glories of Karttika
November 22nd, 2007

“One should surrender to Krsna in all respects. One should observe particular vows like Karttika-vrata. These are some of the sixty-four important items of devotional service.”
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 22.128)

Performing Devotional Service in Karttika:

“One of the most important of these ceremonial functions is called Urja-vrata. Urja-vrata is observed in the month of Karttika (October-November); especially in Vrndavana, there is a specific program for temple worship of the Lord in His Damodara form. “Damodara” refers to Krsna’s being bound with rope by His mother, Yasoda. It is said that just as Lord Damodara is very dear to His devotees, so the month known as Damodara or Karttika is also very dear to them.

“The execution of devotional service during Urja-vrata in the month of Karttika is especially recommended to be performed at Mathura. This system is still followed by many devotees. They go to Mathura or Vrndavana and stay there during the month of Karttika specifically to perform devotional services during this period. In the Padma Purana it is said, “The Lord may offer liberation or material happiness to a devotee, but after some devotional service has been executed, particularly in Mathura during the month of Karttika, the devotees want only to attain pure devotional service unto the Lord.” The purport is that the Lord does not award devotional service to ordinary persons who are not serious about it. But even such unserious persons who execute devotional service according to the regulative principles during the month of Karttika, and within the jurisdiction of Mathura in India, are very easily awarded the Lord’s personal service.” (Srila Prabhupada in NOD chap. 12)

Quotes from Mathura Mahatyam by Srila Rupa Gosvami:

Residing in Mathura During the Month of Karttika:

In the Karttika-mahatmya, Narada says: By bathing in sacred places and giving charity during the month of Karttika, a person in any country attains piety equal to an agnihotra-yajna.

Text 168
In Mathura bathing and worship during the month of Karttika places one on the same planet as Lord Krsna. No other holy place is equal to Mathura.

Text 169
The month of Karttika, when Lord Hari enjoyed His Damodara-pastime in Mathura, delights Lord Vaikuntha. The month of Karttika spent in Mathura brings the supreme destination.

Text 170
As Prayaga should be served in the month of Magha, and the Ganges in the month of Vaisakha, so Mathura should be served in the month of Karttika. Nothing is better than that service.

Text 171
They who, after properly bathing, worship Lord Damodara in Mathura during Karttika, attain forms like that of Lord Krsna. Of this there is no doubt.

Text 172
O brahmanas, residence in Mathura during Karttika is a rare attainment for humans. To they who worship Him there and then the Lord gives their original spiritual forms.

Text 173
When He is worshiped in any other place, Lord Hari gives only liberation or sense-gratification to His servants. He does not give them pure devotional service, for that service brings Him under their dominion.

Text 174
By once serving Lord Damodara in Mathura during Karttika, the people can easily attain pure devotional service to Lord Hari.

Text 175
They who, even without proper mantras and offerings, and without properly following the rules, worship Him in Mathura during Karttika, the Lord considers His true devotees.

Text 176
The perfect atonement to purify the sins of a lifetime is: worship Lord Damodara in Mathura during Karttika.

Text 177
Although Mathura is easy to visit in this world, and although Karttika comes every year, the fools still swim in the ocean of repeated birth and death.

Text 179
All holy places and all holy rivers, streams, and lakes reside in the circle of Mathura during Karttika.

Text 180
They who as a joke serve Lord Hari during Karttika in Mathura will attain pure devotional service, what to speak of they who serve the Lord with faith and devotion.

Text 181
Therefore, O prince, nothing is better than to serve Lord Damodara in Mathura during Karttika.

Residing in Mathura During Dvadasi in Karttika Month:

In the Visnu Purana it is said:
A person who during the Sukla-dvadasi in the month of Karttika bathes in the Yamuna and sees the Deity of Lord Hari in Mathura attains the supreme destination.

Text 189
Residing in Mathura During Bhisma-pancaka (goes from Utthana Ekadasi til Purnima). In the Padma Purana, Sri Krsna says to Bhisma:

O Gangeya, this vow you have followed will henceforth be known as Bhisma-pancaka. They who follow this great vow in My birthplace, Mathura, find pure devotional service resting in their hand.

Text 191
Pure devotional service to Me which, because it places Me under My devotee’s dominion, is very difficult to attain, is easily attained by following this vow in Mathura during Karttika.