Harer Namashtakam 6: The misfortune of missing the fortune
aho duhkham maha-duhkham
duhkhad duhkhataram yatah
kacartham vismritam ratna-
harer namaiva kevalam
Aho! What a sorrow, what a great sorrow! More painful than any other misery in the world! Mistaking it as a mere piece of glass, the people have forgotten this jewel—The holy name of Shri Hari alone is everything.
Oh! What a sorrow, what a great sorrow, more painful than any other misery in the world, taking it as a mad mere piece of glass, people have forgotten this jewel, the holy name of Sri Hari, alone it is everything. Srila Prabhupada would say that the greatest misfortune is to get a fortune and to lose it because we do not recognize it . In this world there are so many stories about how a son of a wealthy person had a treasure with him in his own backyard but not knowing about it, lived as a pauper. This story actually applies to all of us, seekers, when we sit down to chant the holy name, the treasure is actually right in front of us, available to us, but we are not recognizing its value. We neglect it. We let our mind carry us away in hundreds of trivial directions which very often lead to no practical result. Even if on few occasions they lead to practical results, those results over a period of time are exposed as unimportant when compared to the ultimate result which we can get by remembering Krishna and serving him, i.e. when he manifests himself in the holy name. The holy name is the supreme jewel, the crest jewel of all jewels, because it can offer that, which no other jewel can offer. The jewels of this world can only bestow wealth upon us, but they cannot offer any illumination to the soul. They can never offer any satisfaction to the soul. They may give some titillation to the mind and the ego but no jewel can offer true illumination or satisfaction to the soul. The holy name alone can bestow that. The holy name is the jewel not because it is so precious and it can offer something which nothing else can offer, but the holy name is itself Krishna. The holy name is non-different from Krishna. Kulashekar Maharaja, a South Indian King who was a great devotee of Lord Krishna,says that Krishna is the supreme jewel, in his prayers where he is comparing Krishna in various ways to different kinds of jewels. Hence the jewel which we have got is something very special, which because it is so common and so easily accessible to us, we fail to realize its value. That’s why contemplating on its glories from the philosophical perspective and remembering its glories as they manifest through the pastimes, where the holy name has come to the rescue of many many souls in danger we can make our dull and dumb mind recognize, what it is neglecting as a broken piece of glass is actually supreme jewel. And if we force the mind to be attentive and receptive to the holy name, gradually the mind will start recognizing the wealth and the treasure that the holy name is. Then we will be saved from this great misfortune of neglecting the treasure and we will realize that Krishna has given us the greatest fortune which we would have never got in our lives, i.e. he has given himself to each one of us through the holy name.