“O Lord Damodara, I first of all offer my obeisances to the brilliantly effulgent rope which binds Your belly. I then offer my obeisances to Your belly, which is the abode of the entire universe. I humbly bow down to Your most beloved Shrimati Radharani, and I offer all obeisances to You, the Supreme Lord, who displays unlimited pastimes.” (Shri Damodarashtaka, 8)
namas te ‘stu dāmne sphurad-dīpti-dhāmne
tvadīyodarāyātha viśvasya dhāmne
namo rādhikāyai tvadīya-priyāyai
namo ‘nanta-līlāya devāya tubhyam
The scientists can’t understand the infinitely complex universe. So many nuances there are that books can be written based solely on how and when things were discovered. Never mind that those discoveries were always there to begin with, that some intelligent being placed them there. These things are so complex that to fathom a person being responsible for them is too much. Yet that vast complexity is nothing for the origin of all, as it can all fit inside of His tiny belly.
Come again? Are you not referencing mythology?
While the bewildered scientist can’t make heads or tails out of the greatness of the universe, the fiends from Mathura were tricked by a much simpler image. A small child baffled them again and again. Under the orders of the fearful Kamsa, these nefarious characters each went to Gokula with one goal in mind: kill Krishna. Krishna was the small child under the protection of the foster parents, Nanda Maharaja and Queen Yashoda.
A prophecy said that Kamsa would meet his death at the hands of the eighth child of his sister Devaki. Krishna was that child, but otherwise He was not a threat to anyone. The only people who really had to worry were the neighbors in Gokula. Krishna would regularly break into their homes and run off with the loot of their sweet butter. Though they feigned outrage, secretly they were delighted.
The fiends arrived under direct orders; they were not to be distracted. Kamsa thought a baby was a threat, so to them that meant Krishna had to be taken out. Should have been a piece of cake, no? A child who was feeding off breast milk and stealing butter surely couldn’t be expected to fight anyone? There was no way He could overcome a whirlwind, a witch with a trick up her sleeve, or a demon masquerading as a farm animal.
They were indeed deceived by Krishna’s looks. He easily thwarted their attacks. He took their lives as well. One punch from His tiny little fist was enough. One suck on the witch’s breast was enough to kill her. One hurl of the fake farm animal was enough to kill it. Indeed, as Satyavrata Muni notes, in Krishna’s tiny little belly can fit the entire universe. Mother Yashoda saw the vision of the universal form within Krishna’s mouth.
“When the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna was so ordered by His mother, He immediately opened His mouth just like an ordinary boy. Then mother Yashoda saw within that mouth the complete opulence of creation. She saw the entire outer space in all directions, mountains, islands, oceans, seas, planets, air, fire, moon and stars.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 8)
That belly is the abode of the entire universe. A rope was once used to tie Krishna by the belly to a mortar. Mother Yashoda did this, with some help from her son. This earned the boy a new name: Damodara. Due to His nature God is always underestimated. Who in the world can fathom the complete whole? Think of everything that exists and put it into a single image. That is but one way to understand God’s greatness.
That same child who killed Putana and Trinavarta got bound to a mortar by Yashoda. How was that possible? Just as His greatness is underestimated, so is Krishna’s affection for His devotees. There is no limit to what He is willing to do for them. The laws of nature do not affect Him. The laws He sets down Himself to govern man’s behavior do not apply to Him. It is sinful to take another’s property, but Damodara happily runs away with butter churned by others. It is not good to break something valuable in the home, yet Damodara does it and gets praised for it.
His kindness is such that He allows Yashoda to bind Him. The sweetness of the Supreme Lord is so strong that whatever associates with Him becomes beautiful. Thus Satyavrata Muni pays obeisance to the rope that tied Krishna by the belly to the mortar. That rope looks beautiful around Damodara, for it shows that He can be caught by only one thing: devotion. The residents in Gokula excel in that devotion, and they are led by Shrimati Radharani, Krishna’s eternal consort.
To understand the infinitely complex universe is not required to make life successful. To become greater than the greatest is not necessary, either. Simply appreciate Damodara, who shines the spotlight of glory on Yashoda and her devotion. Simply try to understand how that belly is the abode of the entire universe, and how remembering the incident that gave birth to the name Damodara brings relief from the miseries of a material existence.
Impossible to grasp, but not without hope,
With attention pay obeisance to that rope.
Through which Krishna to mortar bound,
After Yashoda the broken butter pot found.
No limit to the affection giving,
For souls in devotion to Him living.
That rope from mother supreme love revealing,
Vision of Damodara to devotees so endearing.