durbhago bata loko ’yaṁ
yadavo nitarām api
ye saṁvasanto na vidur
hariṁ mīnā ivoḍupam
durbhagaḥ—unfortunate; bata—certainly; lokaḥ—universe; ayam—this; yadavaḥ—the Yadu dynasty; nitarām—more specifically; api—also; ye—those; saṁvasantaḥ—living together; na—did not; viduḥ—understand; harim—the Personality of Godhead; mīnāḥ—the fishes; iva uḍupam—like the moon.
This universe with all its planets is most unfortunate. And even more unfortunate are the members of the Yadu dynasty because they could not identify Lord Hari as the Personality of Godhead, any more than the fish could identify the moon.
Uddhava lamented for the unfortunate persons of the world who could not recognize Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa in spite of seeing all His transcendental godly qualities. From the very beginning of His appearance within the prison bars of King Kaṁsa up to His mausala-līlā, although He exhibited His potencies as the Personality of Godhead in the six opulences of wealth, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation, the foolish persons of the world could not understand that He was the Supreme Lord, Foolish persons might have thought Him an extraordinary historic figure because they had no intimate touch with the Lord, but more unfortunate were the family members of the Lord, the members of the Yadu dynasty, who were always in company with the Lord but were unable to recognize Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Uddhava lamented his own fortune also because although he knew Kṛṣṇa to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he could not properly use the opportunity to render devotional service to the Lord. He regretted everyone’s misfortune, including his own. The pure devotee of the Lord thinks himself most unfortunate. That is due to excessive love for the Lord and is one of the transcendental perceptions of viraha, the suffering of separation.
It is learned from the revealed scriptures that the moon was born from the milk ocean. There is a milk ocean in the upper planets, and there Lord Viṣṇu, who controls the heart of every living being as Paramātmā (the Supersoul), resides as the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Those who do not believe in the existence of the ocean of milk because they have experience only of the salty water in the ocean should know that the world is also called the go, which means the cow. The urine of a cow is salty, and according to Āyur-vedic medicine the cow’s urine is very effective in treating patients suffering from liver trouble. Such patients may not have any experience of the cow’s milk because milk is never given to liver patients. But the liver patient may know that the cow has milk also, although he has never tasted it. Similarly, men who have experience only of this tiny planet where the saltwater ocean exists may take information from the revealed scriptures that there is also an ocean of milk, although we have never seen it. From this ocean of milk the moon was born, but the fish in the milk ocean could not recognize that the moon. was not another fish and was different from them. The fish took the moon to be one of them or maybe something illuminating, but nothing more. The unfortunate persons who do not recognize Lord Kṛṣṇa are like such fish. They take Him to be one of them, although a little extraordinary in opulence, strength, etc. The Bhagavad-gītā (9.11) confirms such foolish persons to be most unfortunate: avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam.
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