While Diwali appears in the calendar as a oneday festival, the Festival of Lamps is celebrated at Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir for one full month – the month of Kartika. This month is also called as Damodara month. Five thousand years ago, in the beautiful village of Gokula, on the day of Diwali, Mother Yashoda was churning butter for the beloved Krishna. Little Krishna, whose beautiful face resembles a fresh blue lotus bathed in full moon light, approached Mother Yashoda for her milk. Since he was hungry, Yashoda very lovingly embraced her darling son and started feeding him. After a short while, when Yashoda heard the sound of boiling milk overflowing in the kitchen, she ran to the kitchen putting Krishna aside.
When Mother Yashoda came back after taking care of the milk, she found a broken butter pot, and saw Krishna feeding butter to the monkeys. She then took a small stick in her hand and started chasing her naughty child. Krishna, whose sight makes fear personified tremble in fear, was now fearful of the stick in his beloved mother’s hand. He ran and ran, but was finally caught by his mother’s love. Yashoda then tied Krishna with a rope to the grinding mortar.This attractive form of Krishna whose belly is bound by the rope of his mother’s love is called Damodara. And the Kartika month in which the Lord performed this pastime is called Damodara month.
During this month, in Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir, Lord Damodara along with his mother Yashoda, is offered lamps of love by hundreds of devotees. In the morning (8 AM) and in the evening (7:30 PM), the beautiful Damodarashtakam is sung. On the day of Diwalli, the altar of Radha Gopinath is illuminated with thousands of lamps. The sight of the effulgent Lord dressed in colorful garments, decorated with fragrant flowers, adorned with beautiful ornaments, and glowing in the illumination of thousands of lamps offered lovingly and gracefully by his dear devotees, is incredibly stunning.