“Bound but by bhakti”

I was reading the Damodarastakam along with it’s English translation. If you have not heard or read this as yet, please do so. It’s a wonderful literary piece and it will have you experiencing surges of devotion.

This is the second verse:

rudantam muhur netra-yugmam mrjantam
karambhoja-yugmena satanka-netram
muhuh svasa-kampa-trirekhanka-kantha-
sthita-graivam damodaram bhakti-baddham

 

Captured by Yashoda, crying repeatedly,
he rubs his reddish eyes with his trembling hands.
On his conchlike neck his necklace shakes as he pants.
I bow down to Damodara, bound but by bhakti

[Source: http://krishnadharma.com/blog/?p=68]

The last line had me raising my hand in the air, with nothing but “Haribol! Hari Hari!” coming out of my mouth. It is such a simple line, yet filled with layers of love. Krishna is the Lord of the Universe. He is Jagganath (Jaggat-Naath) and everything is under His control. “Not a blade of grass moves without the sanction of the Lord.” But here He is, bound by our bhakti. He, who can shatter the earth with a glance, agrees to be bound by our bhakti, the way He agreed to be bound by the ropes of Mother Yashoda. Krishna likes to be the servant of His servants. This is contrary to what many believe about service – many of us believe that it is us who do the serving and God just sits there, watching us, enjoying… But we fail to see the other side – we fail to see that Krishna likes to serve His devotees and He gets great joy out of catering to their every need. That’s one of the reasons why it is often emphasized to serve the devotees of the Lord. When we serve the Lord’s devotees, the Lord is extremely pleased. When I think of serving, I remember this verse from the bhajan, “Bhaja Hu Re Mana”:

śīta ātapa bāta bariṣaṇa
e dina jāminī jāgi re
biphale sevinu kṛpaṇa durajana
capala sukha-laba lāgi’ re


Both in the day and at night I remain sleepless,
suffering the pains of the heat and cold, the wind and the rain.
For a fraction of flickering happiness I have uselessly served wicked and miserly men.

By serving devotees, we benefit greatly. We please Krishna, we get the mercy and blessings of devotees, and we also gain a lot of knowledge. Like the verse above says, we often serve people who treat us badly, for a “fraction of flickering happiness.” Instead, we should serve the Lord, who is our only shelter. We should rather serve devotees, who can share something of real value – bhakti, the love of God – with us and teach us how to be happy forever, in True Eternal Love.

śravaṇa, kīrtana, smaraṇa, vandana,
pāda-sevana, dāsya re
pūjana, sakhī-jana, ātma-nivedana
govinda-dāsa-abhilāṣa re

To be engaged in the nine processes of bhakti, namely hearing the glories of Lord Hari and chanting those glories, constantly remembering Him and offering prayers to Him, serving the Lord’s lotus feet, serving the Supreme Lord as a servant, worshiping Him with flowers and incense and so forth, serving Him as a friend, and completely offering the Lord one’s very self are the desires and longing of Govinda Dasa [the writer of this bhajan]

Hare Krishna

 

13 Comments

Filed under Krishna Consciousness

13 responses to ““Bound but by bhakti”

  1. Ash

    “He, who can shatter the earth with a glance, agrees to be bound by our bhakti”

    This is so beautiful….makes me shiver!
    Haribol, Haribol

  2. i absolutely love this post…because this is the most wonderful, and lovable thing about Him…

    //This is contrary to what many believe about service – many of us believe that it is us who do the serving and God just sits there, watching us, enjoying… But we fail to see the other side – we fail to see that Krishna likes to serve His devotees and He gets great joy out of catering to their every need.//

    Yes, yes yes yes….. 🙂

    He is wonderful, na?
    i mean, we ask Him for just about EVERYTHING! And, He is always there to take care!!

    But, sometimes, you, know, this may be stupid, but sometimes, i wish He will sit back and relax and actually watch us serve Him…because atleast then i could atleast make myself think that am doing something in service…Sometimes, i think it’d be great to see Him sit back and enjoy, and smile, while we can serve Him…like, sometimes, i think, it would be just sooo wonderful, if He gave us an actual command…Just for the fun of serving Him, for the joy of it, i wish He’d sit back and relax… 🙂

    Ofcourse, opportunity to serve is also by His grace, and should i add, mercy…

    May Krishna bless us with more and more and more (and…..) oportunities to serve Him!! 🙂

    • DrainPiper

      I knoooowwwwwwwwwwww! Sometimes, I just want to serve Him! I just want to look at Him, stare at Him, serve Him and do anything and everything at His command! I mean… how can GOD want to serve me?! I can feel Sudama’s astonishment when Krishna wanted to wash his feet! Sigh… How nice it would be to just be with Krishna and stare at Him all day long!

      Yes, yes… May Krishna bless us with opportunities to serve Him!

      I’m floating in Vaikuntha now, just thinking about staring at Krishna 24/7 and being at His beck and call, serving Him! Aaaaah, when will we go back Homeeeeeeee!?!

  3. //Sigh… How nice it would be to just be with Krishna and stare at Him all day long! //

    Aaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
    KRISHNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    //I’m floating in Vaikuntha now, just thinking about staring at Krishna 24/7 and being at His beck and call, serving Him! Aaaaah, when will we go back Homeeeeeeee!?!//
    Yes yes yes…totally with u…
    Y is it so inexplicably easy for Him to drive us mad?

  4. i bet…lol…
    but the best (or the most ironic, u pick) part is : we are loving this experience, and lost without it…without Him…

  5. http://bbhakti.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/damodarastaka-prayers/

    You may want to check out that post. It’s about a devotee on Damodarashtakam.

  6. How beautiful, your realisations sum up how I feel about these prayers. Thanks for sending me the link to this blog!

    • DrainPiper

      Thanks 🙂 ‘In Love With Krishna’ sent me a link to your post on the damodarashtakam as well. I enjoyed reading your English translations of it… It was a fresh take 🙂

  7. @bbhakti @Drainpiper: i had first read about the Damodarashtakam on bhakti’s blog, and fell in love with it. And, then i saw it on Drainpiper’s, and it sent me into a frenzy of love and devotion. Thanks, people, for these wonderful posts. They made my day, twice over. Hope you will come up with more such wonderful posts, singing the praise of the Lord we are all so in love with. 🙂

    • DrainPiper

      Yes, the damodarashtakam is simply wonderful. I just love it so much! I was fortunate enough to attend a Damodar aarti this kartik month! I have added a video link to the article. It’s the Damodar ashtakam sung by Shabda Hari Dasa. Give it a listen 🙂

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