The Chaturmasya is the four month period, which begins in the month of Asadha (June-July) from Sayana-ekadashi, in the fortnight of the waxing moon. The Chaturmasya ends in the month of Kartika (October - November) on Utthana-ekadashi, in the fortnight of the waxing moon.  The month of Kartika is the last month of Chaturmasya. The observance of the Kartik-vrata is one of the most important things for everyone especially for the Vaisnavas. In accordance with these words, the vrata begins on the waxing ekadasi that comes the day after Vijaya-dasami in the month of Ashvina and the vrata concludes on Utthana- ekadasi.



The Kartik Month is the period when the enchantingly beautiful child Krishna starts playing this sweet pastime of stealing butter. Mother Yasoda bound little mischievous Krishna with ropes (daama) around His waist (udara) to the grinding mortar for having stolen butter and thus He came to be known as Damodara. The Lord of the lords thus displays His unlimited mercy by letting His pure devotees to bind Him with the rope of pure love.


The Puranas (Vedic histories) extol the auspicious month of Kartik as the topmost of all the months. It is also known as the month of Damodara and is the most meritorious and purified of all other pure months. Lord Krishna’s mercy is very easily accessible in this month and to demonstrate their sincerity, devotees accept different austerities such as fasting, cutting down on non-essential activities, offering charity, chanting extra rounds of Mahamantra and engaging in the loving devotional services unto the Lotus feet of Shri Krishna. Worship of Tulsi and serving Lord Krishna’s cows is especially glorified.

Vedic scriptures suggest one may observe the following foremost activities throughout the entire month of Kartik.

  1. Japa – chanting the holy names of the Lord Hari
  2. Eat only Krishna Prasadam
  3. Daily offer ghee lamps to Lord Krishna
  4. Practice brahmacarya – celibacy
  5. Worship of Tulsidevi
  6. Give in charity
  7. Perform austerities

During the month of Kartik, one should renounce excessive eating, sleeping and other luxuries and maximise performance of devotional services. One should eat only Krishna prasad and hear or recite Bhagavad Gita and Shrimad Bhagavatam in the company of Vaishnavas. There should be incessant harinama-kirtana and smaranam.


The Glories of Kartik Month


Lord Krishna say:"Of all plants, the sacred Tulasi is most dear to Me, of all months, Kartik is most dear, of all places of pilgrimage, My beloved Dvaraka is most dear, and of all days, Ekadashi is most dear." - Padma Purana, Uttara Khanda 112.3

In the Skanda-Purana it is stated: “As Satya-yuga is the best of yugas (ages), as the Vedas are the best of scriptures, as Ganga is the best of rivers, so Kartika is the best of months, the most dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krishna.”
“In the month of Kartik, which is very dear to Sri Hari, one who bathes early in the morning attains the merit of bathing in all places of pilgrimage. Anybody who offers the Lord a ghee lamp in the month of Kartik, O brahmana, becomes free from all kinds of sins, such as killing a brahmana, and he goes to the abode of Lord Hari.” (Brahma Khanda).
Srimati Radharani is known as the Kartika-devata or Kartika Devi, in other words, Radhika is the goddess or presiding Deity of the month of Kartika. Among all other gopis, Srimati Radharani is the most dear to Lord Krishna. Therefore in the month of Karttika, one should worship Lord Damodara with Srimati Radharani near Him.
““Pure devotional service to Me which, because it places Me under My devotee’s dominion, is very difficult to attain, is easily attained by following this vow in Mathura during Kartik.”
In the month of Karttika, one should daily worship Lord Damodara and sing the Damorashtaka (the eight prayers of Lord Damodara) which pleases Lord Damodara, written by the sage Satyavrata. - (Hari Bhakti Vilasa 16/198)
Futhermore scriptures state that if even for a short time somebody burns a lamp in the temple of Lord Sri Hari, then whatever sins he has acquired for millions of kalpas (one kalpa equals 1000 yugas) are all destroyed. A person who offers a lamp during the month of Kartika attains a result that cannot be obtained with even a hundred yajnas or a hundred pilgrimages.
During the Damodara month, devotees get the opportunity to personally offer Arati to Lord Damodara with ghee lamps and sing the very enchanting Damorashtakam, daily in the morning and evening, to receive the special mercy of the Lord. The Damodarastakam is a series of eight beautiful verses composed by the great sage Satyavrata Muni.