Deepotsava, also known as the festival of lights, is celebrated in the month of Kartika (October – November) every year. It is a month-long festival commemorating Damodara-lila, the sweet pastime of baby Krishna stealing butter and consequently being tied to a mortar by His dear mother Yashoda. In Sanskrit, “dama” means rope and “udara” means belly. Damodara refers to Krishna who was bound with a rope by His mother Yashoda.
It is not possible to describe the glories of Kartika month. In this month devotees observe strict vows (Damodara Vrata) and worship Lord Damodara by offering a ghee lamp every day. It is said that by offering a lamp to Lord Hari in the month of Kartika one gets unlimited prosperity, beauty and wealth. All the sins committed in thousands and millions of births perish; and one attains the eternal spiritual world where there is no suffering.
In this month, every day the temple is decorated with thousands of lamps. Light from hundreds of lamps placed before the altar spread transcendental radiance across the main temple hall, elevating the spirit of devotion. The grandeur with which the festivities are carried out captivates everyone’s realm of devotion.
At 7:30 p.m., the altar is closed briefly followed by an announcement on Deepotsava Festival. The assembled devotees are informed about the significance of this festival. Following the announcement, the devotees start singing melodious kirtans and the altar opens. The glorious sight of Their Lordships Sri Radha Krishnachandra in the midst of smoke enthralls everyone. A grand arati is performed as the devotees sing the Damodarashtaka song. After the arati all the assembled devotees get an opportunity to offer ghee lamps to Their Lordships. This is followed by Shayana Pallakki Utsava.