The innovative Dāmodara Program, conceived by the Congregational Development Ministry, extends a gracious invitation to individuals to participate in the sacred ritual of offering lamps to Lord Dāmodara during the holy month of Kārtika. This year’s goal is to offer ten million lamps and to establish one million new connections.
In the words of Śrīla Prabhupāda, the Dāmodara month manifests as an opportune time to introduce new souls to the realm of Krishna consciousness. The scriptures echo the sentiment that any service rendered to Lord Krishna during this sacred period yields boundless benefits.
How to Embark on the Dāmodara Program
In about an hour, the Dāmodara program offering takes participants on a profound spiritual journey, from unveiling the significance of the Kārtika month to sharing in the luminous offering of lamps, engaging in interactive discourse, and concluding with anticipation for what lies ahead.
1. Unveiling the Significance (5 minutes): Commence with a brief exposition on the importance of the Kārtika month, elucidating the rationale behind celebrating Dāmodara within its confines.
2. Kirtan (5 minutes): Engage in soul-stirring kīrtan, an enchanting melody that resonates with the heart.
3. Singing Damaodarashtakam (10 minutes): Delve into the ethereal verses of Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭaka, shedding light on their profound meanings and, in unison, sing the Damodarastakam.
4. Lamp Offering (10 minutes): The Dāmodara ārati, an offering of lamps to Lord Dāmodara, forms the core of this sacred program.
5. Interactive Session (15 minutes): Create a dynamic space for participants to explore the nuances of Dāmodara Līlā, inviting them to participate actively in discussions.
6. Reflection and Connection (10 minutes): Invite attendees to share their contact information, sponsor lamps, procure Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books, and offer succinct reflections on their program experience.
7. The Conclusion (5 minutes): Conclude the program by distributing dry prasādam, disseminating Prabhupāda’s books, and announcing forthcoming events.
The Dāmodara Kit
The Congregational Development Ministry has curated the Dāmodara Kit, a comprehensive resource designed to facilitate your Dāmodara program endeavors. This kit is replete with PowerPoint presentations, handouts, the sacred song, narrations of the pastime, and a step-by-step guide. It even offers a child-friendly version of the slideshow. Beyond that, it features participant handouts, brochures, and a report template, all presented in a user-friendly format to empower devotees to implement this program in their local communities.
Photo background courtesy of Sanket Mishra.