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The False Hope of Material Happiness

Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj’s appreciation for Śrīpād Śaṅkar Āchārya’s writing.

At the end of his life, Śrīpād Śaṅkar Āchārya composed the Moha-mudgara-stotram [‘The Hammer upon Illusion’], in which he elucidates the futility of worldly pursuits and encourages all to serve Śrī Govinda.

In his commentary on Śaraṇāgati, Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj quotes a verse from this composition:

bālas tāvat krīḍāsaktaḥ
taruṇas tāvat taruṇī-raktaḥ
vṛddhas tāvat chintā-magnāḥ
pare brahmaṇi ko ’pi na lagnaḥ

“Boys are attached to play. Youths are attached to young women. The elderly are absorbed in worries. Alas! No one is conscious of the Absolute.”

During his last years, Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj placed the following verse from the Moha-mudgara-stotram on the wall of his veranda.

dina-yāminyau sāyam prataḥ
śiśira-vasantau punar āyātaḥ
kālaḥ krīḍati gachchhaty āyus
tad api na muñchaty āśā-vāyuḥ

dina-yāminyau–Day and night; sāyam–dusk; prataḥ–dawn; śiśira-vasantau–winter and spring; āyātaḥ–come; punaḥ–again. kālaḥ–Time; krīḍati–plays; āyuḥ–life; gachchhati–goes. tad api–Nevertheless; āśā-vāyuḥ–the disease of desire; na–does not; muñchati–go.

Day and night, dusk and dawn, winter and spring come again and again. Time plays on, and life passes away, but the disease of desire (the false hope of material happiness) never leaves me.

He also composed two poetic Bengali translations of this verse.

divasa-rajanī sandhyā-sakāla
ṣaḍ-ṛta-sane khele mahākāla
nāśe paramāyu; tabu āśā-vāyu
nā chhāḍe āmāya, e viṣama-dāya!

mahākāla–Time; khele–plays; sane–with; divasa-rajanī–the days and nights; sandhyā-sakāla–the dusks and dawns; [and] ṣaḍ-ṛta–the six seasons; [and] nāśe–destroys; paramāyu–my lifespan; tabu–yet; āśā-vāyu–the disease of desire; nā–does not; chhāḍe–leave; āmāya–me. e–This; [is] viṣama-dāya–my dire condition!

Time plays with the days, nights, dusks, dawns, and six seasons, and takes away my life, yet the disease of desire never releases me. This is my dire condition!

divasa-yāminī-sandhyā-prabhāta
vasanta-śarat kare yātāyāta
kāla sethā khele nāśe paramāyu
tabu nāhi chhāḍe duṣṭa āśā-vāyu

divasa-yāminī–Day and night; sandhyā-prabhāta–dusk and dawn; vasanta-śarat–spring and fall; yātāyāta kare–come and go. kāla–Time; khele–plays; sethā–there; [and] nāśe–destroys; paramāyu–my lifespan; tabu–yet; duṣṭa–the wicked; āśā-vāyu–disease of desire; nāhi–does not; chhāḍe–leave me.

Day, night, dusk, dawn, fall, and spring come and go. Time plays amongst them and takes away my life. Yet the wicked disease of desire never releases me.

May our hearts and minds at last become disenchanted with Māyā’s play by Śrīla Gurudev’s grace.

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