For most of the world, fortune means having a 7-digit salary, a posh house, 7-digit bank balance and a 7-digit followers and likes on social media. Most of the world believes this is what makes them happy. Moonbin (Kim Jong-hyun) is a 27 year old K-pop star. He has it all – worth millions of dollars, have millions of followers on social media and a prospective career in music and film industry. Has this all made him happy? No. It became hard for him to maintain it and keep up with the pressure and competition it demanded. The very thing he has given his life for, has ultimately taken his life away. He was found dead in a hotel room in Seoul on April 19,2023. His suicide note reads, “”I am broken from inside. The depression that gnawed on me slowly has finally engulfed me entirely,” it said, adding that he “couldn’t defeat it any more”. “I was so alone. The act of ending is difficult. I’ve lived until now because of that difficulty. Please tell me I did a good job.” He ended the note with: “You’ve worked hard. You’ve really gone through a lot. Goodbye.” He was not the one. There were 4 more Korean stars who ended their lives in the last 2 years.
A worldly fortune comes with a price that hardly leaves any place to enjoy it. It takes a lot of energy to maintain it amidst the challenges and competition of the world. Hardly, there will be time left to enjoy the fortune we earn. The hardships are many, happiness is hardly any. Moreover, our ability to enjoy these external pleasure is limited by space and time. We cannot binge for infinite time on food, cinema, music etc. Our ability to enjoy dwindles with time. Should we give up making fortune in the world? No. We should do it as per our competence and capacity. We need to earn to make our basic ends of food, clothing and shelter meet. We also need to support our dependent ones. We should not expect the worldly fortunes to make us really happy as advised by BG 5.22
Then how can we become happy? If we look within, we just don’t want to be momentarily happy or happy for a short span. We want happiness that is ever-lasting and ever-increasing. This is because we are a spiritual being at our core. We are covered by a body, mind and intelligence made of matter. (BG 2.18). Our existence is eternal and therefore we desire an everlasting happiness. We cannot be satiated by temporary happiness derived from matter. We can derive that ever-lasting happiness by connecting to the all-attractive God Krishna through the process of Bhakti-yoga (BG 5.21). We are eternal. God is eternal. Our relationship with God will be eternal. The happiness derived from such a relationship is eternal. This is the eternal fortune that is available for everyone of us irrespective of our worldly positions and situations – the opportunity to practice Bhakti-yoga and become happy through it. As we relish more and more this spiritual fortune, our reliance on the worldly fortune decreases. Therefore, we just need to add spiritual fortune to our life.