The Glorious Damodara - Part 4

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva.

We have been meditating on the various meaning of the Lord's name 'Damodara' and the qualities revealed by that name. In the previous offerings we saw below three different meanings. Now we will see the next meaning of this name.

4. dāmāt dāmodaram viduḥ - One who is attained by purification which requires control of the senses (dāma). This meaning is given by Sripada Sankaracharya as damādi sādhanena udara (utkṛṣṭa) matiḥ (ya taya gamyata) iti dāmodaraḥ. One who is known through the mind which is purified (udara or utkṛṣṭa) by practice of control of senses (dāma) and other qualities.

Lord Krishna explains that dāma means indriya samyama (control of the senses). Control of senses is required whether one wants to attain success in material or spiritual life. In material life also we see people control their eating and sleeping habits and do lot of exercises and respective practice to attain success in sports, athletics, music, academics etc., Similarly for attaining material success by worship of the devatas or Supreme Lord, sense control is required. We see that even demons practiced great sense control and did meditation to attain great powers from the devatas. The idea of perfection in life differs from person to person but whatever may be one's idea of perfection, sense control is required to achieve it. In the Mahabharata we find the below words uttered by Lord Krishna to Arjuna while explaining His various names and their meanings.

damāt siddhiṁ parīpsanto māṃ janāḥ kāmayanti hi
divaṃ corvīṁ  ca madhyaṁ ca tasmād dāmodaro hy aham

People who desire to attain perfection in life, people who try to attain sovereignty over earth, over the heavenly planets or over the outer space all seek (worship) Me by the process of sense control (dama). Because of this I’m called by the name Damodara. (Mahabharata 12,328.039)

There are many examples of devotees who worshipped the Supreme Lord by sense control for various desires and attained them. 

1. Karthavirya Arjuna worshipped the Lord in His form as Dattatreya with great sense control and attained great sovereignty over the earth. 

2. Aditi (mother of all devatas) practiced sense control and worshipped the Lord to regain the heavenly planets for the devatas and it was fulfilled. 

3. Maharaj Dhruva worshipped the Lord by severe austerities and sense control and He gained the greatest destination Dhruva loka in the outer space. 

4. If one wants to attain ultimate perfection in life then one should direct the senses in the service of the Lord, without any expectation for material gains and this is the ultimate form of sense control. This is demonstrated in the Damodara lila by Mother Yashoda. 

We saw in the above sloka how various devotees attained control over earth, heavenly kingdom and the outer space by worshiping the Lord. But Mother Yashodha surpassed all of them because she attained sovereignty over all universes by binding Lord Krishna. How this is possible is explained by Sri Rupa Goswami. We saw earlier that all universes rest in the Lord's belly. By binding the Lord, mother Yashoda bound all the universes and everything was within the rope in her house. She did not do any penance to attain control over anything. But by her love she bound the Lord and hence bound the entire material manifestation. Mother Yashoda practised this topmost sense control and hence she was able to bind Lord Krishna and this mercy could not be attained by any class of spiritualists/materialists. The Bhagavata purana (SB 10.9.21) states this as follows.

nāyaṁ sukhāpo bhagavān dehināṁ gopikā-sutaḥ
jñānināṁ cātma-bhūtānāṁ yathā bhaktimatām iha

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna , the son of mother Yashoda, is accessible to devotees engaged in spontaneous loving service, but He is not as easily accessible to mental speculators, to those striving for self-realization by severe austerities and penances, or to those who consider the body the same as the self.

Srila Prabhupada explains in the commentary, "The karmīs, jnānis, yogis and saintly persons are all seeking Krishna. But by following in the footsteps of devotees who are in a direct relationship with Krishna, especially the inhabitants of Vrindavana, one can reach the supreme position of associating with Krishna..... Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has therefore recommended, premā pum-ārtho mahān: the highest perfection of life is premā, pure love in relationship with Krishna. And mother Yashoda appears to be the topmost of devotees who have attained this perfection."

So the Damodara lila proves that engaging senses in the Lord's service is the top most sense control and that is most pleasing to the Lord. Krishna willing, we will try to meditate on the next meaning of the word 'Damodara' in subsequent offering.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Narahari Krishna das