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My Birth has Passed in Vain

The essential songs of Śrīla Narottam Dās Ṭhākur.

Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj in The Elixir of Life: “At almost every meeting I was present in, Śrīla Guru Mahārāj [Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj] would order me to sing these songs.”

Śrī Prārthanā Song 4

হরি হরি!
বিফলে জনম গোঙাইনু ।
মনুষ্যজনম পাইয়া রাধাকৃষ্ণ না ভজিয়া
জানিয়া শুনিয়া বিষ খাইনু ॥১॥

hari hari!
viphale janama goṅāinu
manuṣya-janama pāiyā rādhā-kṛṣṇa nā bhajiyā
jāniyā śuniyā viṣa khāinu [1]

hari–O Lord! hari!–O Lord! [My] janama–birth goṅāinu–has passed viphale–in vain. pāiyā–I have obtained [a] manuṣya–human janama–birth, [but] bhajiyā nā–I have not served rādhā–Rādhā [and] kṛṣṇa–Kṛṣṇa. jāniyā–Knowing [and] śuniyā–having heard [better,] khāinu–I have drunk viṣa–poison. [1]

O Lord! O Lord! My birth has passed in vain. I have obtained a human birth, but I have not served Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Knowingly and having heard better, I have drunk poison.

গোলোকের প্রেমধন হরিনাম-সঙ্কীর্ত্তন
রতি না জন্মিল কেন তায় ।
সংসার-বিষানলে দিবানিশি হিয়া জ্বলে
জুড়াইতে না কৈনু উপায় ॥২॥

golokera prema-dhana hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana
rati nā janmila kena tāya
saṁsāra-viṣānale divā-niśi hiyā jvale
juḍāite nā kainu upāya [2]

saṅkīrtana–The chanting hari–of the Lord’s nāma–Name, dhana–the wealth [and] prema–the divine love golokera–of Goloka— kena–why [has] rati–attachment tāya–to these janmila nā–not developed [within me]? [My] hiyā–heart jvale–burns divā–day [and] niśi–night viṣa–[in the] poisonous anale–fire saṁsāra–of the material world, [but] kainu nā–I have not taken up [any] upāya–means juḍāite–to relieve [it]. [2]

Why didn’t I develop attachment to Hari-nām-saṅkīrtan, to the wealth and love of Goloka? My heart burns day and night in the poisonous fire of saṁsāra, but I have not made any attempt to relieve it.

ব্রজেন্দ্রনন্দন যেই শচীসুত হৈল সেই
বলরাম হইল নিতাই ।
দীনহীন যত ছিল হরিনামে উদ্ধারিল
তার সাক্ষী জগাই মাধাই ॥৩॥

vrajendra-nandana yei śachī-suta haila sei
balarāma ha-ila nitāi
dīna-hīna yata chhila hari-nāme uddhārila
tāra śākṣī jagāi mādhāi [3]

sei yei–He who [is] nandana–the son indra–of the king vraja–of Vraja haila–has become suta–the son śachī–of Śachī, [and] balarāma–Balarām ha-ila–has become nitāi–Nitāi. nāme–With the Name hari–of Hari, uddhārila–They have delivered yata–all dīna–the poor [and] hīna–fallen [souls] chhila–there were. jagāi–Jagāi [and] mādhāi–Mādhāi [are] śākṣī–evidence tāra–of this. [3]

The prince of Vraja has become the son of Śachī, and Balarām has become Nitāi. With the Name of Hari, They have delivered all the poor and fallen souls. Jagāi and Mādhāi are evidence of this.

হা হা প্রভু নন্দসুত বৃষভানুসুতাযুত
করুণা করহ এইবার ।
নরোত্তমদাস কয় না ঠেলিহ রাঙ্গা পায়
তোমা বিনে কে আছে আমার ॥৪॥

hā hā prabhu nanda-suta vṛṣabhānu-sutā-yuta
karuṇā karaha ei-bāra
narottama-dāsa kaya nā ṭheliha rāṅgā pāya
tomā vine ke āchhe āmāra [4]

–O prabhu–Lord! –O suta–son nanda–of Nanda yuta–with sutā–the daughter vṛṣabhānu–of Vṛṣabhānu! karuṇā karaha–Be merciful [to me] ei–this bāra–time. narottama–Narottam dāsa–Dās kaya–says, [“Please] ṭheliha –do not push [me away from Your] rāṅgā–reddish pāya–feet. vine–Without tomā–You, ke–who [do] āmāra āchhe–I have?” [4]

O Lord! O son of Nanda with the daughter of Vṛṣabhānu! Be merciful to me this time. Narottam Dās says, “Please do not push me away from Your reddish feet. Without You, who do I have?”

Śrī Prārthanā Song 7

হরি হরি!
বড় শেল মরমে রহিল ।
পাইয়া দুর্ল্লভ তনু শ্রীকৃষ্ণভজন বিনু
জন্ম মোর বিফল হইল ॥১॥

hari hari!
baḍa śela marame rahila
pāiyā durlabha tanu śrī-kṛṣṇa-bhajana vinu
janma mora viphala ha-ila [1]

hari–O Lord! hari!–O Lord! [A] baḍa–huge śela–spear rahila–remains marame–in [my] heart: pāiyā–I obtained [a] durlabha–rare [human] tanu–body, [but] vinu–without bhajana–service śrī-kṛṣṇa–to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, mora–my janma–birth ha-ila–has been viphala–useless. [1]

O Lord! O Lord! A huge spear has pierced my heart: I obtained a rare human body but did not serve Śrī Kṛṣṇa; my birth has now passed in vain.

ব্রজেন্দ্রনন্দন হরি নবদ্বীপে অবতরি’
জগৎ ভরিয়া প্রেম দিল ।
মুঞি সে পামরমতি বিশেষে কঠিন অতি
তেঁই মোরে করুণা নহিল ॥২॥

vrajendra-nandana hari navadvīpe avatari’
jagat bhariyā prema dila
muñi se pāmara-mati viśeṣe kaṭhina ati
te̐i more karuṇā nahila [2]

hari–Śrī Hari, nandana–the son indra–of the king vraja–of Vraja, avatari’–has descended navadvīpe–in Nabadwīp [and] dila–given out prema–divine love, bhariyā–filling jagat–the world. muñi–I [am] se–so pāmara-mati––wicked-minded; [I am] viśeṣe–especially [and] ati–extremely kaṭhina–obstinate. te̐i–So, nahila–there has been no karuṇā–mercy more–for me. [2]

Śrī Hari, the prince of Vraja, has descended in Nabadwīp and filled the world with divine love, but I am wicked-minded; I am especially and extremely obstinate. So, I did not receive His mercy.

স্বরূপ সনাতন রূপ রঘুনাথ ভট্টযুগ
তাহাতে না হৈল মোর মতি ।
দিব্য চিন্তামণি-ধাম বৃন্দাবন হেন স্থান
সেই ধামে না কৈনু বসতি ॥৩॥

svarūpa sanātana rūpa raghunātha bhaṭṭa-yuga
tāhāte nā haila mora mati
divya chintāmaṇi dhāma vṛndāvana hena sthāna
sei dhāme nā kainu vasati [3]

svarūpa–Svarūp Dāmodar, sanātana–Sanātan Goswāmī, rūpa–Rūpa Goswāmī, raghunātha–Raghunāth Goswāmī, [and] yuga–the two bhaṭṭa–Bhaṭṭas (Gopāl Bhaṭṭa and Raghunāth Bhaṭṭa)— mora–my mati–mind haila nā–has never been [inclined] tāhāte–towards them. dhāma–An abode [of] divya–divine, chintāmaṇi–wish-fulfilling gemstone— vṛndāvana–Vṛndāvan [is] hena–such sthāna–a place, [but] vasati kainu nā–I have not resided [in] sei–that dhāme–abode. [3]

Svarūp, Sanātan, Rūpa, Raghunāth Dās, Gopāl Bhaṭṭa, and Raghunāth Bhaṭṭa—I have had no attachment to them, and Śrī Vṛndāvan Dhām, the abode of divine, wish-fulfilling gemstone—I have never resided there.

বিশেষ বিষয়ে মতি নহিল বৈষ্ণবে রতি
নিরন্তর খেদ উঠে মনে ।
নরোত্তম দাস কহে জীবার উচিত নহে
শ্রীগুরুবৈষ্ণব-সেবা বিনে ॥৪॥

viśeṣa viṣaye mati nahila vaiṣṇave rati
nirantara kheda uṭhe mane
narottama dāsa kahe jībāra uchita nahe
śrī-guru-vaiṣṇava-sevā vine [4]

[My] mati–mind [is] viśeṣa–completely [absorbed] viṣaye–in the mundane, [and] nahila–I have no rati–attachment vaiṣṇave–to the Vaiṣṇavas. [Thus,] kheda–lamentation nirantara–constantly uṭhe–arises [in my] mane–mind. narottama–Narottam dāsa–Dās kahe–says, [“I] uchita–should nahe–not jībāra–live vine–without sevā–service śrī-guru–to Śrī Guru [and] vaiṣṇava–the Vaiṣṇavas.” [4]

I am completely absorbed in the mundane, and I have no attachment to the Vaiṣṇavas. Thus, I constantly lament. Narottam Dās says, “I have no reason to live without the service of Śrī Guru and the Vaiṣṇavas.”

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