Gaura Pahu

Gaura Pahu

(from Prarthana)

gaura pahu na bhajiya mainu
prema-ratana-dhana helaya harainu

adhane jatana kori dhana teyaginu
apana karama-dose apani dubinu

sat-sanga chadi’ kainu asate vilasa
te-karane lagilo ye karma-bandha-phans

visaya-visama-visa satata khainu
gaura-kirtana-rase maghana na hainu

keno va achaye prana ki sukha paiya
narottam das keno na gelo mariya


1) I did not consider worshiping Lord Gauranga, but instead brought about my spiritual ruin by neglecting that treasure trove of pure of God.

2) I gave up the treasure of love of Krsna and deliberately struggled to become poor.  I dived into a host of sinful deeds.

3) I gave up the association of the saintly devotees to enjoy myself in the company of the ungodly. Therefore I am bound up by the snare of karma.

4) I am always drinking the dangerous poison of sense gratification, thus I can never absorb myself in the blissful nectar of chanting the glories of Lord Caitanya.

5) Why am I still living and what happiness do I have? Narottama dasa says, "Why have I not died long ago?" This is not only Narottama dasa Thakura’s lamentation. If I cannot come in touch with Lord Caitanya and His associates, it would be better for me to die.

by His Divine Grace
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

This is a song by Narottama dasa Thakura. He says, gaura pahu na bhajiya mainu: “I have invited my spiritual death by not worshiping Lord Caitanya.” Gaura pahu means “Lord Caitanya,” and na bhajiya, “without worshiping.” Mainu: “I have invited spiritual death.” And why have I invited spiritual death? Adhane jatane kari dhana teyaginu: “Because I am engaged in something which is useless and have rejected the real purpose of my life. Adhane means “valueless things,” and dhana means “valuables.” So actually every one of us is neglecting our spiritual emanicipation: we are engaged in material sense gratification, and therefore we are losing the opportunity of this human form of body to elevate ourselves to the spiritual platform. This human body is especially provided to the conditioned soul to give him a chance for spiritual emancipation. So anyone who does not care for spiritual emancipation is inviting spiritual death. Spiritual death means to forget oneself—to forget that one is spirit. That is spiritual death, like animal life. Animal life is full forgetfulness. The animals cannot be reminded under any circumstances that they are not this body. It is only in this human form of life that one can understand that he is not this body, that he is spirit soul. By chanting Hare Krishna one can easily understand this fact. In other words, by worshiping Lord Caitanya,  following His principles and ways, and chanting Hare Krishna one can very easily come to the platform of spiritual understanding.

But Narottama dasa Thakura says on our behalf that we are neglecting this. Therefore we are inviting spiritual death. Then he says, prema-ratana-dhana helaya harainu. Spiritual life means to develop real love. Everyone says “love.” There are so many signboards, so many books: “Love, love.” But there is no love. This is illusion. It is all lust. “Love” for intoxication, “love” for sex, “love” for this and that. This is going on. Actually, the word love is applicable only with Krishna, with God: To love means to love Krishna. That is spiritual love. And we are created for that purpose. So, that is wanted. Narottama dasa says, “I could have achieved that transcendental treasure of love, but I was robbed of it because of neglecting to worship Lord Caitanya.” And why has this happened? Apana karama-dose apani dubinu: “Due to my past misdeeds.” Due to our past misdeeds, we get a certain type of body. Everyone who has got a material body has received it due to his past misdeeds, and even his past pious deeds. Actually, as long as one gets a material body, there are no pious deeds. “Pious deeds” means no more material body. Otherwise, it is to be taken as a fact that even Brahma, who is the chief living entity within this universe and has a long, long duration of life and so much power—still, he is considered to have performed misdeeds because he has a material body. So, by our misdeeds we go down and down, getting one body after another. In Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated that people do not know that by engaging in sense gratification they are assuring that they will have another body. And the body is the cause of material pangs. It is only because I have this body that I feel a headache, a stomachache, etc. But as soon as we are out of this material body, there are no more material pangs. It is simply joyful life. Brahma-bhuta prasannatma. Prasannatma means “joyful.” But due to our past misdeeds we are missing this opportunity.

And why is it happening? Sat-sannga chadi’ kainu asate vilasa: “I have given up the association of devotees and am associating with common nonsense men for sense gratification.” Sat means “spirit,” and asat means “matter.” Association with nondevotees produces material attachment, and that means implication in material, conditioned life. So, one has to associate with devotees. Sata prasaigan mama virya-saivido. One can learn about God only in the association of devotees. Therefore we are pushing this Krishna consciousness society. You’ll find that one who comes to this society and associates with us for a few days or a few weeks becomes Krishna conscious, and soon he comes forward for initiation and further advancement. So, association with devotees is very important. But here Narottama dasa Thakura laments, sat-sanga chadi kainu asatye vilasa te-karane lagilo ye karma-bandha-phans: “I have given up tand tried to enjoy among nondevotees, and immediately maya has caught me and mangled me in the web of fruitive activities.” May is just by our side. As soon as we give up the company of devotees, maya says, “Yes, come to my company.” Nobody can remain without any company; that is not possible. One must associate with either maya or Krishna. And when we speak of Krishna, we mean Krishna and His devotees. Krishna is never alone. He is always with Radharani, with the other gopis, with the cowherd boys. So to be Krishna conscious means to keep association with the devotees of Krishna.

Next Narottama dasa Thakura says, visaya-visama-visa satata khainu: “I have always drunk the most dangerous poison of sense gratification.” Visaya means “sense gratification.” Eating, sleeping. mating, and defending—these four principles are called visaya. And viasama means “dangerous.” And visa means “poison.” If one is simply engaged with these four activities, just like the animals, then one is simply drinking poison. That’s all. “I know this is poison, but I am so much intoxicated that I am drinking this poison at every moment.” Then, gaura-kirtanarase maghana na hainu: “Therefore I could not merge myself into the sankirtana movement of Lord Caitanya.” That is actually the fact. Those who are too much attached to the materialistic way of life, who are always drinking the poison of sense gratification, are not attracted by the sankirtana movement. Finally Narottama dasa Thakura, representing ourselves, laments, keno va achaye pran ki sukha paiya: “Why am I living? I have not associated with the devotees, I have not taken part in the sankirtana movement, I do not understand what is Krishna, I do not understand what is Lord Caitanya. Then why am I living? What is my happiness? Why did I not die long, long ago?” So. this is not only Narottama dasa Thakura’s lamentation. Every one of us should think like that: “If I cannot associate with devotees, if I cannot understand the Krishna consciousness movement, if I cannot come in touch with Lord Caitanya and His associates, it would be better for me to die.” This is the substance of this the association of devotees.

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