Article

When Fame Falls Flat on its Face

From the Sanskrit translations of Hari Sauri

Krishna says that he is the ability in all humans (Bhagavad-gītā 7.8). For this reason, we find many gifted individuals in the material world. These individuals often strive hard to reach the pinnacle of excellence in their respective fields of interest in their lives.  However, once they do reach the top there is often only one way left to go, and that is the way down. Those who are at the top have a great responsibility upon them. That responsibility is to lift others to the same heights that they have achieved.  If instead of lifting others up they start looking down upon others, then such an attitude marks the beginning of their downward journey.  In our devotional lives too this can happen very easily. Some of us wish to achieve Krishna and become recognized as an empowered devotee. However, in the process we often end up neglecting Krishna’s devotees, and this leads to a downfall.  This happened with a personality named Tṛṇāvarta, whose downfall is described by a devotee poet Mahākavi Ḍhuṇḍhirāja Śāstrī as follows:

. धृताजितोऽप्यधिहृदयं तदाश्रिता- वहेलनादुपरिगतोऽप्यधः पतेत् । इति ब्रुवन्निव रजसार्दितव्रज- स्तृणभ्रमः सहरिरिहापतद्दिवः ॥ [रुचिरा] .

[Meter: rucirā] dhṛtājito’py adhi-hṛdayaṁ tadāśritāv- ahelanād upari-gato’py adhaḥ patet iti bruvann iva rajasārdita-vrajas tṛṇa-bhramaḥ sa-harir ihāpatad divaḥ .

Translation: Even though one may attain great heights in life and even though one may hold the Lord very close to one’s heart, one will certainly fall if one disregards and hurts the devotees who are surrendered to the Lord. As if demonstrating this fact through his personal example, the demon Tṛṇāvarta who had (literally) risen to great heights in the sky and who was carrying the Lord very close to his heart fell down and died after he gave immense pain to the devotee residents of Gokula.  — Bhāgavata-vyañjanam (1.44) of Mahākavi Ḍhuṇḍhirāja Śāstrī.

Translation by Hari Parshad Das