Sri Damodarastakam as explained by Visnujana Swami / Verse Four

My only prayer is that Your childhood pastimes may constantly appear in my mind

varaḿ deva mokṣaḿ na mokṣāvadhiḿ vā
na canyaḿ vṛṇe ‘haḿ vareṣād apīha
idaḿ te vapur nātha gopāla-bālaḿ
sadā me manasy āvirāstāḿ kim anyaiḥ

varam–boons; deva–O Lord!; mokṣam–liberation; na–not; mokṣāavadhim–the highest pinnacle of liberation (the realm of Srī Vaikuṇṭhaloka); vā–or; na–not; ca-anyam–or anything else; vṛṇe aham–I pray for; vara-īśāt–from You Who can bestow any boon; api–also; iha–here in Vṛndāvana; idam–this; te–Your; vapuḥ–divine bodily form; nātha–O Lord!; gopāla-bālam–a young cowherd boy; sadā–always; me manasi–in my heart; āvirāstām–may it be manifest; kim anyaiḥ–what is the use of other things (mokṣā, and so forth.)

4) O Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to You for liberation, nor eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor any other boon. My only prayer is that Your childhood pastimes may constantly appear in my mind. O Lord, I do not even want to know Your feature of Paramatma. I simply wish that Your childhood pastimes may ever be enacted in my heart.

Purport
Both verses four and five describe the poet’s innermost desires, beginning with, varam, boons. No benedictions of any kind are requested even here in Vrindavan (lila) from He who can bestow any boon (varesad). Satyavrata Muni does not seek liberation (moksa na), nor does he desire the highest conception of liberation (moksa-avadhim), which is eternal life in Vaikuntha. Neither is he interested in any other benediction (na ca anyam), referring to the nine processes of devotional service, beginning with sravanam kirtanam, and the benefits they bestow. If others desire these, or even if Krishna wants to bestow these upon him, he has no attraction for them.

The three benedictions referred to – moksa (liberation), moksavadhim (eternal life in Vaikuntha), and anyam (any other boon) – reflect an ascending order of superiority. Eternal life in Vaikuntha is clearly superior to impersonal liberation. The position of other boons, such as the nine processes of devotional service, are described in Srimad Bhagavatam.

“O Lord, we pray that You let us be born in any hellish condition of life, just as long as our hearts and minds are always engaged in the service of Your lotus feet, our words are made beautiful [by speaking of Your activities] just as Tulasi leaves are beautified when offered unto Your lotus feet, and as long as our ears are always filled with the chanting of Your transcendental qualities.” Srimad Bhagavatam 3.15.49.

By these words spoken by the four Kumaras, we can understand that the nine processes of devotion can be perfected even in hell. So in any condition of life, one can experience the perfection that is available in the eternal abode, Vaikuntha, through bhakti-yoga.

Is there anything that the poet does desire? The answer is iha, (here in Vrindavan), idam te vapur natha gopala-balam (may Your form as a cowherd boy, O Lord) sada me manasy avirastam (always remain manifest in my mind). Since Krishna is also the Supersoul in the heart, antaryami, one may see His divine beauty within as clearly as one sees externally with the eyes.

Finally all boons of any kind are dismissed as having no value at all (kim anyaih). The reason is that since Krishna is the quintessence of all existence, knowledge, and bliss (sac-cid-ananda-rupam), attaining Him, therefore, brings all perfection. Conversely, if one does not attain Krishna, then all other benedictions are simply a source of lamentation, since they are of lesser value. One can be fully satisfied only by beholding Krishna’s divine form as a young cowherd boy. Therefore, all other benedictions are useless (kim anyaih). This is the mood of Satyavrata Muni.

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