Soka Satana (The Destroyer of Lamentation)
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, English translation by Bhumipati dasa
- pradosa-samaye, srivasa-angane
sri-hari-kirtane, nace nana-range,
In the evening, Lord Gauranga danced in various ways within Srivasa’s enclosed courtyard as the auspicious vibration of Hari’s name filled the atmosphere.
- mrdanga madala, baje karatala
majhe majhe jayatura
prabhura natana, dekhi’ sakalera,
haila santapa dura
The kirtana was accompanied by mrdangas, drums, karatalas, and occasional cries of “Jaya!” The miseries of everyone who saw the Lord’s dancing were destroyed.
- akhanda premete, matala takhana
apana pasari’, goracande gheri’,
nace gaya anuksana
The devotees became intoxicated in uninterrupted ecstatic love. They forgot themselves as they continually danced around Gauracandra.
- e-mata samaye, daiva-vyadhi-yoge,
tanaya-viyoge, nari-gana soke,
At that time the son of Srivasa left his body within the house because of a disease inflicted by providence, and the ladies loudly expressed their grief.
- krandana uthile, ha’be rasa-bhanga,
srivasa amani, bujhila karana
pasila apana ghare
Bhaktivinoda feared that if the crying became too loud, the Lord’s ecstatic dancing would be disturbed. Realizing the situation, Srivasa quickly went inside the house.
- pravesiya antah-pure, nari-gane santa kare,
srivasa amiya upadese
suna pagalini-gana, soka kara akarana,
kiba duhkha thake krsnavese
After entering the house, Srivasa solaced the ladies with his nectarean instructions. Listen, you foolish ladies, you are uselessly lamenting. How can distress remain in the presence of ecstatic love for Krsna?
- krsna nitya suta yara, soka kabhu nahi tara,
anitya asakti sarva-nasa
asiyacha e samsare, krsna bhajibara tare
nitya-tattve karaha vilasa
One who has accepted Krsna as his eternal son never laments. Temporary attachment is the cause of one’s ruin. You have come to this material world to worship Krsna, so remain joyful on the spiritual platform.
- e dehe yavat sthiti, kara krsnacandre rati,
krsna jana dhana, jana, prana
e deha-anuga yata, bhai bandhu pati suta,
anitya sambandha bali’ mana
As long as you remain in this body, become attached to Krsna and accept Krsna as your wealth, companion, and life. You should understand that bodily relationships with your brothers, friends, husbands, and children are all temporary.
- keba kara pati suta, anitya-sambandha-krta,
cahile rakhite nare tare
karama-vipaka-phale, suta ha’ye vase kole,
karma-ksaya ara raite nare
Who is anyone’s husband or son? These are simply temporary relationships. Even if one wants to keep such a relationship forever, one cannot do so. As a result of one’s karma, one becomes a son and sits on someone’s lap. But when the results of his karma are exhausted, he cannot remain there.
- ithe sukha duhkha mani’, adho-gati labhe prani,
krsna-pada haite pade dure
soka samvariya ebe, namanande maja’ sabe,
Living entities who find happiness and distress in these relationships become degraded and fall far away from the lotus feet of Krsna. Therefore control your lamentation and become merged in the ecstasy of chanting Krsna’s names, then Bhaktivinoda’s desires will be fulfilled.
- dhana, jana, deha, geha krsne samarpana
kariyacha suddha-citte karaha smarana
Remember with a purified heart that you have surrendered your wealth, companions, body, and house to Krsna.
- tabe kena `mama suta’ bali’ kara duhkha
krsna nila nija-jana tahe tara sukha
Why do you lament, “O my son”? Krsna has taken His dear one for His own pleasure.
- krsna-iccha-mate saba ghataya ghata
natahe sukha-duhkha-jnana avidya-kalpana
Everything happens according to the will of Krsna. To derive one’s happiness and distress from these temporary incidents is the product of ignorance.
- yaha iccha kare krsna tai jana bhala
tyajiya apana iccha ghucao janjala
Accept that Krsna’s will is beneficial. Give up your selfish desires and be freed from contamination.
- deya krsna, neya krsna, pale krsna sabe
rakhe krsna, mare krsna, iccha kare yabe
Krsna gives, Krsna takes, and Krsna maintains everyone. Krsna protects and Krsna kills whenever He desires.
- krsna-iccha viparita ye kare vasanatara
iccha nahi phale se paya yatana
The desires of one who opposes the desires of Krsna will never be fulfilled. Such a person achieves only misery.
- tyajiya sakala soka suna krsna-nama
parama ananda pa’be purna ha’be kama
Give up all lamentation and hear the name of Krsna, then you will feel ecstasy and your desires will be fulfilled.
- bhakativinoda mage srivasa-carane
atma-nivedana-sakti jivane marane
Bhaktivinoda begs at the feet of Srivasa for the strength to fully surrender to the Lord in life and in death.
- sabu meli’ balaka-bhaga vicari’
chodabi moha soka citta-vikari
All of you consider the good fortune of this child and then give up your illusion and lamentation, which overcome one’s heart.
- caudda-bhuvana-pati nanda-kumara
saci-nandana bhela nadiya-avatara
The son of Nawnda, who is the Lord of the fourteen worlds, has now incarnated in Nadia as the son of Saci.
- sohi gokula-canda angane mora
nacai bhakta-saha ananda-vibhora
That same moonlike personality of Gokula is now absorbed in ecstatic dancing with His devotees in my courtyard.
- sunata nama-gana balaka mora
chodala deha hari-priti-vibhora
This child of mine left his body while listening to the chanting of the holy names and absorbed in love for Hari.
- aichana bhaga yaba bhai hamarata
bahun hau bhava-sagara-para
If I can become fortunate like him, then I will cross this material ocean.
- tunhu sabu vichari ehi vicara
kanhe karabi soka citta-vikara
You should all appreciate his good fortune. Why should you trouble your hearts with lamentation?
- sthira nahi haobi yadi upadese
vancita haobi rase avasese
If you are not pacified by my instructions, then you will ultimately be deprived of the mellows of Krsna consciousness.
- pasibun hama sura-tatini-mahe
bhakativinoda pramada dekhe tahe
Then I will drown myself in the waters of the Ganges. The prospect of this frightens Bhaktivinoda.
- srivasa-vacana, sravana kariya,
soka parihari’, mrta sisu rakhi’,
hari-rase dila mana
After hearing the words of Srivasa, the chaste ladies gave up their lamentation over the dead child and fixed their minds on the nectar of Hari’s names.
- srivasa takhana, anande matiya,
angane aila punah
nace gora-sane, sakala pasari’,
Srivasa then returned to the courtyard filled with ecstasy. He forgot everything as he danced with Gauranga and sang the glories of Nanda’s son.
- cari danda ratre, marila kumara,
angane keha na jane
sri-nama-mangale, trtiya prahara,
rajani atita gane
Although Srivasa’s son died early in the night, no one in the courtyard knew. They passed the entire night chanting the auspicious holy names.
- kirtana bhangile, kahe gaurahari,
aji kena pai duhkha?
bujhi, ei grhe, kichu amangala,
ghatiya harila sukha
As the kirtana came to an end, Gaurahari asked: Why am I feeling unhappy today? I think some misfortune has occurred in this house and taken away My happiness.
- tabe bhakta-jana, nivedana kare,
suni’ gora raya, bale, haya haya,
marame painu vyatha
The devotees then related the news about Srivasa’s son to the Lord. On hearing about his death, Lord Gauranga exclaimed: Alas! This pains My heart.
- kena na kahile, amare takhana,
snehete majila tabe
Why didn’t any of you inform Me of this calamity when it happened? Bhaktivinoda says that the Lord then became filled with affection for His devotees.
- prabhura vacana, takhana suniya,
srivasa lotana bhumi
bale, suno natha! tava rasa-bhanga,
sahite na pari ami
After hearing the Lord’s words, Srivasa fell to the ground and humbly replied: O Lord, I could not tolerate seeing Your ecstasy disturbed.
- ekati tanaya, mariyache natha,
tahe mora kiba duhkha
yadi saba mare, tomare heriya,
tabu ta’ paiba sukha
O Lord, only one of my sons died. Why should I be distressed? Even if they all die, I would be happy just by seeing Your face.
- tava nrtya-bhanga, haile amara,
marana haite hari
tai ku-samvada, na dila tomare,
vipada asanka kari’
If Your dancing was disturbed, I would have died. To prevent this disturbance, I did not give You this bad news.
- ebe ajna deha, mrta suta la’ye,
satkara karuna sabe
eteka suniya, gora dvija-mani,
kandite lagila tabe
O Lord, now order us so that we can perform the child’s last rites. On hearing this, Gauranga, the crest jewel of the brahmanas, began to cry.
- kemane e sabe, chadiya yaiba,
parana vikala haya
se kathasuniya, bhakativinoda,
manete paila bhaya
[The Lord said:] How will I give up everyone and leave? If I do, My life will be ruined. On hearing those words, Bhaktivinoda became frightened.
- goracandera ajna peye grha-vasi-gana
mrta sute anganete ane tata-ksana
Having received Gauracandra’s order, the family members brought the dead child into the courtyard.
- kali-mala-hari gora jijnase takhana
srivase chadiya, sisu, yao ki karana?
Gauranga, who destroys the contamination of Kali, then asked the child: O child, why are you leaving Srivasa?
- mrta-sisu-mukhe jiva kare nivedana
loka-siksa lagi prabhu tava acarana
The spirit soul then spoke through the mouth of the dead child: O Lord, Your activities are meant for the instruction of everyone.
- tumi ta’ parama-tattva ananta advaya
parasakti tomara abhinna tattva haya
You are the unlimited Supreme Absolute Truth. The spiritual potency is nondifferent from You.
- sei parasakti tridha haiya prakasa
tava iccha-mata karaya tomara vilasa
That spiritual potency manifests in three varieties and assists in Your pastimes according to Your will.
- cic-chakti-svarupe nitya-lila prakasiya
tomare ananda dena hladini haiya
Your spiritual potency manifests Your eternal pastimes, and in the form of hladini, She gives You happiness.
- jiva-sakti hana tava cit-kirana-caye
tatastha-svabhave jiva-gane prakataye
That spiritual potency in the form of the jiva-sakti manifests the marginally situated living entities, who are like spiritual sparks.
- maya-sakti hana kare prapanca-srjana
bahirmukha jive tahe karaya bandhana
That spiritual potency in the form of maya-sakti creates the material world, within which she binds the materialistic living entities.
- bhakativinoda bale aparadha-phale
bahirmukha ha’ye achi prapanca-kabale
Bhaktivinoda says: As a result of my offenses I have rejected the service of the Lord and fallen in the clutches of material life.
- purna-cid-ananda tumi, tomara cit-kana ami,
svabhavatahami tuya dasa
parama svatantra tumi, tuya paratantra ami,
tuya pada chadi’ sarva-nasa
You are complete spiritual ecstasy, while I am a spiritual spark. Therefore I am by nature Your servant. You are supremely independent, while I am fully dependent on You. I have become degraded because of giving up Your lotus feet.
- svatantra ha’ye yakhana, maya prati kainu mana,
sva-svabhava chadila amaya
prapance mayara bandhe, padinu karmera dhandhe,
karma-cakre amare phelaya
When I independently desired to enjoy maya, I lost my constitutional nature. I then became bound by maya within the material world and entangled in the network of karma.
- maya tava iccha-mate, bandhe more e jagate,
adrsta nirbandha lauha-kare
sei ta’ nirbandha more, ane srivasera ghare,
According to Your will, maya has bound me in this world with the iron chains of fate. As a result of that fate I have taken birth from the womb of Malini as a son in the house of Srivasa.
- se nirbandha punaraya, more ebe la’ye yaya,
ami ta’ thakite nari ara
tava iccha su-prabala, mora iccha su-durbala,
ami jiva akincana chara
Again by that same fate I am leaving. I cannot stay any longer. Your will is most powerful, while my will is most weak. I am a poor, insignificant living entity.
- yathaya pathao tumi, avasya yaiba ami,
kara keba putra pati pita
jadera sambandha saba, taha nahi satya-lava,
tumi jivera nitya palayita
I must go wherever You send me. Who is anyone’s son, husband, or father? These are all material relationships with no tinge of truth to them. You are the eternal maintainer of the living entities.
- samyoge viyoge yini, sukha-duhkha mane gani,
tava pade chadena asraya
mayara gardabha ha’ye, majena samsara la’ye,
bhaktivinodera sei bhaya
One who gives up the shelter of Your lotus feet and considers meeting and separation as the causes of happiness and distress becomes an ass in the hands of maya and merges in the ocean of material existence. All this frightens Bhaktivinoda.
- bandhilo maya, ye dina ha’te,
aneka janma, labhinu ami,
From the day maya bound me with the ropes of ignorance and illusion, I have taken many births and wandered under the control of maya.
- deva danava, manava pasu,
patanga kita ha’ye
svarge narake, bhu-tale phiri,
anitya asa la’ye
I took birth among the demigods, demons, human beings, animals, birds, and insects. I wandered through heaven, hell, and earth to fulfill my temporary material desires.
- na jani kiba, sukrti-bale,
nadiya-dhame, carana tava,
I do not know what pious deed I have done to take birth in Nadia as theson of Srivasa so that I could see and touch Your lotus feet.
- sakala bare, marana-kale,
aneka duhkha pai
tuya prasange, parama sukhe,
e-bara cale yai
At the time of every one of my deaths I suffered greatly. This time, however, I am departing in great happiness because of Your association.
- icchaya tora, janama yadi,
abara haya, hari!
carane tava, prema-bhakati,
thake minati kari
O Hari, my only request is that if I must take another birth by Your will, may I have loving devotion for Your lotus feet.
- yakhana sisu, niraba bhela,
dekhiya prabhura lilasrivasa-gosthi, tyajiyasoka,
When after seeing the Lord’s pastimes, the child fell silent. Srivasa’s family members gave up their lamentation and became absorbed in ecstasy.
- gaura-carita, amrta-dhara,
karite karite pana
bhaktivinoda, srivase mage,
yaya yena mora prana
Bhaktivinoda begs Srivasa: May I leave my body while drinking the nectarean characteristics of Gaura.
- srivase kahena prabhu tunhu mora dasa
tuya prite bandha ami jagate prakasa
The Lord said to Srivasa: You are My servant. It is known throughout the world that I am bound by your love.
- bhakta-gana senapati srivasa pandita
jagate ghusuka aji tomara carita
O Srivasa Pandita, you are the commander-in-chief of the devotees. Let your glories be sung throughout the world.
- prapanca-kara-raksini mayara bandhana
tomara nahika kabhu, dekhuka jagaj-jana
Let the people of the world see that the bondage of maya, the predominating deity of this material world, can never bind you.
- dhana, jana, deha, geha amare arpiya
amara sevaya sukhe acha sukhi hana
You have offered your wealth, followers, body, and house to Me, and your only happiness is in happily serving Me.
- mama lila-pusti lagi’ tomara samsara
sikhuk grhastha-jana tomara acara
Your family life nourishes My pastimes. Let all householders learn from your behavior.
- tava preme baddha achi ami, nityananda
ama dunhe suta jani’ bhunjaha ananda
Nityananda and I are bound by your love. Enjoy ecstasy by considering Us your sons.
- nitya-tattva suta yara anitya tanaye
asakti na kare sei srjane pralaye
One who accepts Us as his eternal sons does not become attached to his mortal son, either in birth or death.
- bhaktite tomara rniami cira-dina
tava sadhu-bhave tumi ksama mora rna
I am eternally indebted to you because of your devotional service. You alone can release Me of My debts out of your saintly nature.
- srivasera paya bhaktivinoda kujana
kakuti kariya mage gauranga-carana
This wretched Bhaktivinoda humbly begs at the feet of Srivasa to attain the feet of Gauranga.
- srivasera prati, caitanya-prasada,
dekhiya sakala jana
jaya sri-caitanya, jaya nityananda,
bali’ nace ghana ghana
On seeing Lord Caitanya’s mercy on Srivasa, all the devotees continually danced and chanted: All glories to Sri Caitanya! All glories to Nityananda!
- srivasa-mandire, ki bhava uthila,
taha ki varnana haya
bhava-yuddha sane, ananda-krandana,
Who can describe the ecstatic love that manifested in the house of Srivasa? There was a battle of conflicting emotions and ecstatic crying as the entire house became filled with ecstatic love for Krsna.
- cari bhai padi’, prabhura carane,
preme gadagada svare
kandiya kandiya, kakuti kariya,
gadi’ jaya prema-bhare
The four brothers fell at the Lord’s feet and their voices became choked with love of God as they humbly offered prayers, cried, and rolled on the ground in ecstatic love.
- ohe pranesvara, e hena vipada,
prati-dina yena haya
yahate tomara, carana-yugale,
asakti badhite raya
O Lord of our lives, may such a calamity occur every day so that our attachment for Your lotus feet will continually increase.
- vipada-sampade, sei dina bhala,
ye dina tomare smari
tomara smarana, rahita ye dina,
se dina vipada hari
When we can remember You in either distress or happiness, that is an auspicious day. O Hari, if a day is passed without remembering You, that is an inauspicious day.
- srivasa-gosthira, carane padiya,
tomadera gora, krpa vitariya,
dekhao durgata jane
Bhaktivinoda falls at the feet of Srivasa’s family and prays: Gauranga belongs to you. Please be merciful and reveal Him to this fallen soul.
- mrta sisu la’ye tabe bhakata-vatsala
bhakata-sangete gaya sri-nama-mangala
The Lord, who is affectionate to His devotees, then picked up the dead child as He chanted the auspicious holy names with the devotees.
- gaite gaite gela jahnavira tire
balake satkara kaila jahnavira nire
As they continued chanting, they went to the bank of the Ganges and performed the child’s last rites with the waters of the Ganges.
- jahnavi balena, mama saubhagya apara
saphala haila vrata chila ye amara
The Ganges said: My good fortune is unlimited. My past pious deeds have now born fruit.
- mrta sisu dena gora jahnavira jale
uthali jahnavi devisisu laya kole
Gaura then took the dead child into the waters of the Ganges, and Gangadevi rose from the water and accepted the child in her embrace.
- uthaliya sparse gora-carana-kamala
sisu-kole preme devi haya talamala
She then emotionally touched the lotus feet of Gaura. Holding the child in her embrace, the goddess became overwhelmed with ecstatic love.
- jahnavira bhava dekhi’ yata bhakta-gana
sri-nama-mangala-dhvani kare anuksana
On seeing the ecstatic mood of Ganga, the devotees constantly chanted the auspicious names of the Lord.
- svarga haite deve kare puspa-varisana
vimana sankula tabe chaila gagana
The demigods showered flowers from heaven. The entire sky was filled with their airplanes.
- ei-rupe nana bhave haiya magana
satkara kariya snana kaila sarva-jana
In this way everyone became absorbed in various emotions as they completed the child’s last rites and took bath.
- parama anande sabe gela nija ghare
bhakativinoda maje gora-bhava-bhare
Thereafter they all returned to their homes in ecstasy, and Bhaktivinoda merged in ecstatic love for Lord Gauranga.
- [Appeal to the audience]
nadiya-nagare gora-carita amrta
piyasoka bhaya chada sthira kara cita
Drink the nectarean characteristics of Gauranga’s Nadia pastimes, and pacify your heart by giving up all lamentation and fear.
- anitya samsara bhai krsna matra sara
gora-siksa mate krsna bhaja anivara
O brothers, this material world is temporary, and Krsna is the only essence. Always engage in the worship of Krsna according to the teachings of Gauranga.
- gorara carana dhari’ yei bhagyavan
vraje radha-krsna bhaje, sei mora prana
Any fortunate person who catches hold of Gaura’s lotus feet and worships Radha and Krsna in Vraja is my life and soul.
- radha-krsna goracanda na’de vrndavana
ei matra kara sara pa’be nitya dhana
Take Radha-Krsna, Gauracandra, Nadia, and Vrndavana as the essence of your life, and you will attain eternal wealth.
- vidya-buddhi hina dina akincana chara
karma-jnana-sunya ami sunya-sad-acara
I am devoid of education and intelligence. I am fallen, meek, poor, and insignificant. I am devoid of pious deeds, knowledge, and proper behavior.
- sri-guru vaisnava more dilena upadhi
bhakti-hine upadhi haila ebe vyadhi
My spiritual master and the Vaisnavas have given me the name Bhaktivinoda, yet because I am devoid of devotion this name has become an disease.
- yatana kariya sei vyadhi nivarane
sarana lainu ami vaisnava-carane
To cure this disease, I have taken shelter at the lotus feet of the Vaisnavas.
- vaisnavera pada-raja mastake dhariyae
`soka-satana’ gaya bhaktivinodiya
Taking the dust of the Vaisnavas’ feet on my head, Bhaktivinoda sings this Soka-satana, the destroyer of lamentation.