Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Mantras and the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

What is a Mantra?"Mananaat traayate iti mantrah" -That which uplifts by constant repetition is a Mantra. There are some many different explanations and meaning for this word and people use them so much interchangeably that I have decided to actually give up trying to explain it. Everyone knows, what a Mantra is - right from Saints, Sadhus to the today's corporate World. I would rather try to give my experiences of Mantras and about the Hare Krishna Maha (Greatest) Mantra.
In Hinduism and other religions, there are so many mantras that are chanted by the aspiring spiritualists.A Mantra consists of a sacred Syllable when chanted by a practitioner produces a particular result for the practitioner. I remember my father telling me this incident, that his uncle was a ardent worshiper of Goddess Durga and he somehow got a mantra from someone and started worshiping Durga. After a month or so, he literally became mad, unable to remember or recognize anyone, anything.Apparently, he while doing the mantra, he had pronounced the Bija akshrras - the seed syllable incorrectly.It took the family members a lot of pain and suffering to make him normal.He was taken to few Sadhus and finally one Sadhu gave him, Holy water to drink.After taking it for two weeks, he became normal.When, he was asked about, the last thing he remembered - my fathers uncle told an interesting experience.He had a dream, in which he saw a gigantic form of Durga. The goddess called him to come near and he was sacred and did not dare to go near her.And, she was angry and said" go away".And, then he lost his consciousness.
In Srimad Bhagavatham, we find an example of incorrect chanting of this Mantra, which produced the opposite result.As explained by Srila Prabhupad "There was some defect in Tvastā's chanting of the mantra because he chanted it long instead of short, and therefore the meaning changed. Tvastā intended to chant the word indra-śatro, meaning, "O enemy of Indra." In this mantra, the word indra is in the possessive case (sasthī), and the word indra-śatro is called a tat-purusa compound (tatpurusa-samāsa). Unfortunately, instead of chanting the mantra short, Tvastā chanted it long, and its meaning changed from "the enemy of Indra" to "Indra, who is an enemy." Consequently instead of an enemy of Indra's, there emerged the body of Vrtrāsura, of whom Indra was the enemy."(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Canto 6,Chapter 9: Appearance of the Demon Vrtrāsura).

Of course, the Mantras are sometimes handy for example, the Snake charming ones. Sometime ago, about 20 yrs - my Grandfathers Home in a small village surrounded by fields was becoming an abode for snakes.Once,when one of my uncle was sleeping a snake dropped from the ceiling and fell into a bed.Similarly there are snakes everywhere in the house.They contacted a local snake charmer and he gave them some sand ( which was charmed by his mantra) and the sand was sprinkled all over the house.Since, that day the snakes have stopped frequenting rooms and ceilings in the house.Hmm. Is it due to Mantra or something else.? It is said that these snake charmers also have to undergo a rigid methods of practicing the mantras, following particular rules and regulations etc.
And one time in the same place, I must have been about 11 or 12 years old, I was building houses with mud.And, mixing the mud ready to plaster the walls,that I have built.And, something bit in my index finger.Initially, I thought that it is just a ant or something. But  when the pain started to spread to my whole palm, hand, arms, I know something is wrong.I immediately lifted moved the brick from the place where I was bitten and found a red scorpion.I went running and told the elders that I had been bitten by a scorpion.The pain was unbearable. Immediately  Raya Narsadu - our head servant was called to apply the mantra for the bite.So, that's it.I never went to a Doctor.Again, you might say, all scorpions are not dangerous, the pain goes by itself etc.I don't know, but the Mantra worked for me.I was alright within an hour.

Thus, we can understand that Chanting any mantra or a mantra is not a simple, straight forward method and has many implications that need to be taken into account.

Whereas, in chanting the Hare Krishna Mantra - In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.23.16) it is said:
mantratas tantratash chidram, desha-kalarha-vastutah;
sarvam karoti nishchidram, anusankirtanam tava.
“There may be discrepancies in pronouncing the mantras and observing the regulative principles, and, moreover, there may be discrepancies in regard to time, place, person and paraphernalia. But when the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is chanted, everything becomes faultless”

This is further confirmed by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself in Sri Siksastakam Text 2
namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-shaktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrishi tava kripa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrisham ihajani nanuragaha

O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.

Thus, I feel that for this, age, time, place and circumstances, Chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra is the most suitable and sublime.

So what does, this Hare Krishna Mantra means and what it can do for us is beautifully explained below by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

"This transcendental vibration, by chanting of:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
...is the sublime method for reviving our Krishna consciousness.

As living spiritual souls we are all originally Krishna conscious entities, but due to our association with matter from time immemorial, our consciousness is now polluted by material atmosphere. In this polluted concept of life, we are all trying to exploit the resources of material nature, but actually we are becoming more and more entangled in her complexities. This illusion is called maya, or hard struggle for existence for winning over the stringent laws of material nature. This illusory struggle against the material nature can at once be stopped by revival of our Krishna consciousness.

Krishna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind. This consciousness is the original energy of the living entity. When we hear the transcendental vibration, this consciousness is revived and the process is recommended by authorities for this age. By practical experience also, we can perceive that by chanting this maha-mantra, or the great chanting for deliverance, one can at once feel transcendental ecstasy from the spiritual stratum.

When one is factually on the plane of spiritual understanding, surpassing the stages of sense, mind and intelligence, one is situated on the transcendental plane. This chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is directly enacted from the spiritual platform, surpassing all lower status of consciousness, namely sensual, mental, and intellectual.

There is no need of understanding the language of the mantra, nor is there any need of mental speculation, nor any intellectual adjustment for chanting this maha-mantra. It springs automatically from the spiritual platform, and as such, anyone can take part in this transcendental sound vibration without any previous qualification and dance in ecstasy. We have seen it practically. Even a child can take part in the chanting, or even a dog can take part in it.

This chanting should be heard from the lips of a pure devotee of the Lord so that immediate effect can be achieved. As far as possible, chanting from the lips of a non-devotee should be avoided, as much as milk touched by the lips of a serpent causes poisonous effect.

The word Hara is a form of addressing the energy of the Lord. Both Krishna and Rama are forms of addressing directly the Lord and they mean, "the highest pleasure eternal." Hara is the supreme pleasure potency of the Lord. This potency, when addressed as Hare, helps us in reaching the Supreme Lord.

The material energy, called maya, is also one of the multi-potencies of the Lord, as much as we are also marginal potency of the Lord. The living entities are described as superior energy than matter. When the superior energy is in contact with the inferior energy, it becomes an incompatible situation. But when the supreme marginal potency is in contact with the spiritual potency, Hara, it becomes the happy, normal condition of the living entity.

The three words, namely Hara, Krishna, and Rama, are transcendental seeds of the maha-mantra, and the chanting is a spiritual call for the Lord and His internal energy Hara for giving protect the conditioned soul. This chanting is exactly like the genuine cry of a child for its mother. Mother Hara helps the devotee achieve the grace of the Supreme Father, Hari or Krishna, and the Lord reveals Himself to the devotee who chants this mantra sincerely.

Therefore no other means of spiritual realization is as effective in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy as the chanting of the maha-mantra:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare."

Just to create a right mood for chanting the Hare Krishna Mantra, I have added some photos from my last visit to the Holy Dham, Vrindavan (India).The first one is my son riding on a bicycle Rickshaw, the second one is a picture taken in one of the Holy Kund (Bathing Places) with name of "Sri Radha" painted on the walls, third one is a part of sacred Govardhan Hill.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Uncover the Hidden Treasure

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s parable of the astrologer and the poor man shows us how to uncover the ultimate treasure hidden within our hearts.This surprising lesson is the essence of one of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings to Sanatana Goswami, as described in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila 20.127–135) .

Once, an astrologer named Sarvajna came to the house of a poor man. Surprised at the man’s wretched condition, he asked him why he was so unhappy and why he languished in such poverty even though his wealthy father had left him a large treasure. Unfortunately, the man’s father died in a foreign place and did not disclose the location of his assets; thus, the man suffered the distress of poverty because he was ignorant of his rightful inheritance. Only the astrologer, whose name means “the omniscient one,” had the power to identify the hidden treasure and, just as important, the knowledge of the proper procedure to uncover it.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explained to Sanatana Goswami that the astrologer represents Vedic literature, which is meant to guide people toward the ultimate treasure of love of Godhead. Just as the astrologer’s good news solved the poor man’s problems, the Vedic scriptures can solve our greatest problem: our spiritual poverty, the cause of our suffering in the temporary material world.

The astrologer said, 'The treasure is in this place, but if you dig toward the southern side, the wasps and drones will rise, and you will not get your treasure. If you dig on the western side, there is a ghost who will create such a disturbance that your hands will not even touch the treasure. If you dig on the northern side, there is a big black snake that will devour you if you attempt to dig up the treasure. However, if you dig up a small quantity of dirt on the eastern side, your hands will immediately touch the pot of treasure.

The Vedic literatures, including the Purānas, state that according to the position of the conditioned soul, there are different processes — karma-kānda, jñāna-kānda, the yogic process and the bhakti-yoga process. Karma-kānda is compared to wasps and drones that will simply bite if one takes shelter of them. Jñāna-kānda, the speculative process, is simply like a ghost who creates mental disturbances. Yoga, the mystic process, is compared to a black snake that devours people by the impersonal cultivation of kaivalya. However, if one takes to Bhakti-yoga, he becomes quickly successful. In other words, through Bhakti-yoga, one's hands touch the hidden treasure without difficulty.

The following verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.14.20-21) confirms this Superiority of Bhakti Yoga over other Yoga practices.
na sādhayati mam yogo
na sāńkhyam dharma uddhava
na svādhyāyas tapas tyāgo
yathā bhaktir mamorjitā

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, said: 'My dear Uddhava, neither through astāńga-yoga [the mystic yoga system to control the senses], nor through impersonal monism or an analytical study of the Absolute Truth, nor through study of the Vedas, nor through austerities, charity or acceptance of sannyāsa can one satisfy Me as much as by developing unalloyed devotional service unto Me.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Spot Building,Sunny Days,Sweet Drinks & Sense Control

Its a beautiful, Sunny day and went out for a walk in the campus during lunch time. Took some snaps of the Spot Building.Then and one of my Colleague bumped into me and took my photo with the back drop of the Spot Building.As you can see, it is still quite windy which is typical of the weather this time of the year in Melbourne.The 'Spot Building' is the 12 story Business and Economics building and is among the first 'Australian Excellence' 5 Star Green Star Education buildings in Australia. 

Wait, can you see the "STOP" sign in the photo.This is just to give you a heads-up on consuming your favorite Sweet / Cool drinks this coming sunny days.Please, find below some Quick Facts about Sweet Drinks.Drink Wisely! Assess Your Drinking Habits. 

  • Sweet drinks are those with high levels of sugar. They include soft drinks,flavoured mineral water, cordials, most sports drinks, fruit juice drinks,flavored milks and 100% fruit juice 
  •  A 375 ml can of soft drink contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar.And, of course who takes only a can of drink.? I think, the minimum is a 600ml pack, which is roughly 17 teaspoons of sugar. 
  •  Sweet drinks can cause tooth decay and dental caries. 
  • Sweet drinks can cause dehydration. 
  • Sweet drinks can replace nutritious foods. 
  • Sweet drinks are expensive. Instead of buying a can a day for a year you could fly to Movieworld in Queensland, buy an ipod, a bike, roller blades or skateboard, see 3 movies, go to the aquarium and visit the zoo. What would you do with $760? 
  • Sweet drinks are one of the biggest risk factors for children becoming above a healthy weight 
  • 100% fruit juice has vitamins and minerals but also has high sugar content from the natural fruit sugars.These cause the same types of problems as other sweet drinks. It is better to eat fruit rather than drink it as fills you up and includes the goodness of fiber. Best is to drink plenty of water and eat real fruits.(Source and for further info @ www.goforyourlife.vic.gov.au)

Excerpts from the Lecture Transcripts of Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Srila Prabhupad
" The most important and uncontrollable sense is the tongue. If one can control the tongue, then there is every possibility of controlling the other senses. The function of the tongue is to taste and to vibrate. Therefore, by systematic regulation, the tongue should always be engaged in tasting the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Kṛṣna and chanting Hare Krsna.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Here is the secret of yoga system. Yoga indriya-samyama. The real purpose of yoga is to control the senses. Our material activities means to engage the sense in some particular objective or enjoyment. That is our material engagement. And yoga system means that you have to control the senses and detach the senses from material enjoyment, or material pleasure and pains, and divert it, focusing towards seeing the Supersoul Visnu within your soul (self?). That is the real purpose of yoga. Yoga does not mean... Of course, in the beginning there are different rules and regulations, sitting posture, just to bring the mind under control. But they are not end themselves. The end is to stop the material 
engagement and begin spiritual engagement. So here it is explained. Go on reading."
Bhagavad-gītā 2.62-72 Los Angeles, December 19, 1968
(Complied this article on Friday last week, which was nice and sunny and did not get time to post the article.Now in Melbourne, it is cold,cloudy and rainy.That's OK.I am sure we will get our share of sunny days.)

Monday, 21 October 2013

Sleeping and Eating for a Yogi

Went for a Birthday party at Middle Park Community Playground on Sunday.(http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/albert-park/things-to-do/community-playground-albert-park) The weather was good and the preparations are too good and looks like, I eat too much and it caused me indigestion.Finally, after taking lots of water and couple of Glasses of ENO, I am back to normal now.This reminds me a verse from Bhagavad-gita Chapter6 and Verse 16,where Lord Krishna advises about the importance of regulated eating and sleeping for a aspiring Yogi.

naty-asnatas 'tu yogo 'sti
na caikāntam anasnatah
na cati-svapna-silasya
jagrato naiva carjuna.

TRANSLATION :There is no possibility of one's becoming a yogi, O Arjuna, if one eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough.

Further more, interesting points from Srila Prabhupada's purport are below,

Regulation of diet and sleep is recommended for the yogīs. Too much eating means, eating more than is required to keep the body and soul together. One who eats more than required will dream very much while sleeping, and he must consequently sleep more than is required. One should not sleep more than six hours daily. (At other places, Srila Prabhupad clarifies this point and says that, one should sleep only as much as required. For example, a person doing lot of physical activity might require 8 hours of sleep etc.).One who sleeps more than six hours out of twenty-four is certainly influenced by the mode of ignorance. A person in the mode of ignorance is lazy and prone to sleep a great deal. Such a person cannot perform yoga.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Yoga for a New Age

This is a photo of Bourke Street,Melbourne's entertainment hub.
I typed this into Google search “Practice Yoga" and got the following search results. About 37,300,000 results (0.14 seconds)
The word Yoga comes from a Sanskrit word Yuj, which means to reconnect with the Supreme. The word Yoga is perhaps the most widely misunderstood term and most of the times people consider that doing some postures, controlled breathing and the body and generally practiced for the physical health. I also heard many other terms like, Hot Yoga and even Hip hop Yoga.
So going with what most people generally think Yoga is - Physical exercise and breathing is actually a part of Astanga Yoga, which involves controlling the mind and following the Asta angas or eight limbs like, Yama, Niyama,Asana, Pranayama,Pratyahara, Dharana,Dhyana, Samadhi. The first four limbs—yama, niyama, asana and pranayama—are considered external cleansing practices and involving living in seclusion, controlling the senses, maintaining a posture made of special materials like Kusa grass, deer skin and controlling the breath. Next four- pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi are considered as the internal cleansing practices which are even more difficult to practice and involve withdrawal of mind from senses, concentration, deep meditation and union with the object of meditation. I am not talking against Yoga that is being practiced today. Totally agree with all the health benefits it gives. In-fact, I myself also practice some of the Yoga Asanas. What I am getting at is that it cannot quench our spiritual thirst, that experience of Happiness and Bliss that a Soul is unconsciously hankering for.
I work in the City, in an office, sitting in front of a Computer, full time, 9-5, Monday to Friday. Looking at the impracticality of practice of Astanga Yoga - I turned towards Bhakti yoga, which is a spiritual path described in Bhagavadgita as efficacious for fostering love of, faith in, and surrender to God and a means to realize God, It is the easiest way for the common person because it doesn't involve extensive yogic practices as stated above.

Bhakti Yoga consists of following the nine processes of devotional service as explained in Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 7 Chapter 5 Verses 23-24
sri-prahlada uvaca
sravanam kirtanam vishnoh
smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam
sakhyam atma-nivedanam
iti pumsarpita vishnau
bhaktis cen nava-lakshana
kriyeta bhagavaty addha
tan manye 'dhitam uttamam
Prahlada Maharaja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Vishnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words) -- these nine processes
are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Krishna through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.

(1) Sravanam -listening to the scriptural stories of Krishna and his companions, (2) kīrtanam praising,usually refers to ecstatic group singing, (3) smarana remembering or fixing the mind on Vishnu), (4) pāda-sevana (rendering service), (5) arcana (worshiping a bonafied Archa Vigraga - Deity form, (6) vandana -paying homage, (7) dāsya - servitude, (8) sākhya friendship,and (9) ātma-nivedana-complete surrender of the self.These nine principles of devotional service are described as helping the devotee remain constantly in touch with God.

As a part of my spiritual practice, I chant this mantra regularly “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare" which is confirmed by Srimad Bagavatham, as the most glorious, easiest, suitable and mantra for this age.

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.51
kaler dosha-nidhe rajann, asti hy eko mahan gunah;
kirtanad eva krishnasya, mukta-bandhah param vrajet.
 “My dear King, although Kali-yuga is full of faults, there is still one good quality about this age. It is that simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.52
krite yad dhyayato vishnum, tretayam yajato makhaih;
dvapare paricaryayam, kalau tad dhari-kirtanat.
“Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Vishnu, in Treta-yuga by performing sacrifices and in Dvapara -yuga by serving the Lord’s lotus feet can also be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.23.16) it is said:
mantratas tantratash chidram, desha-kalarha-vastutah;
sarvam karoti nishchidram, anusankirtanam tava.
“There may be discrepancies in pronouncing the mantras and observing the regulative principles, and, moreover, there may be discrepancies in regard to time, place, person and paraphernalia. But when the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is chanted, everything becomes faultless”

In the last of the verses of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (12.5.53) it is concluded:
nama-sankirtanam yasya, sarva-papa pranashanam;
pranamo duhkha-shamanas, tam namami harim param.

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Hari, the congregational chanting of whose holy names in the form of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra destroys all sinful reactions, and the offering of obeisances unto whom relieves all material suffering.”

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Music, a Universal Language

I took this video on a Route 96 Tram to St Kilda, Melbourne. I never heard this song but, I liked the spirit with which it is sung. The young men truly changed the atmosphere into a lively one. Imagine, at 6:30PM on a week day, everyone returning home, from a long day at work. The music lifted the people’s mood and Vibe.
It’s interesting to know, what music can do to you. I searched on net and got this from Ask.com
Music is considered a universal language because it transcends to all race regardless of any language barrier. The melody of music and the message that it would like to convey go beyond what a typical language can do. Music can communicate effectively to all men around the world. Emotions are a common feeling shared among human beings. Music communicates so many things that every one can understand without having to speak a word. It communicates love, frustration, hatred, war, friendship, commerce, marriage, separation, unity, confusion... etc. Music is a powerful force that can unify or separate people. It can create peace or war. It can be used to bless you or curse you. It can be used to change your mind or make it remain the same. It can be used to make you buy a product or reject it, and even what candidate you will vote for in an election. Music has even been used as money for goods and services. A professional musician rarely needs money. He just performs, and he's got whatever he wants.

This reminds me the power of Music which the sound vibrations are reaching our ears. I am inspired to actually, write a lot more about these things but, I guess I will make it a new, different post.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Value and power of right association

Birds of the same feather flock together...Oh Cars of the same colour park together.

Association is infectious. It is rightly said - a man is known by the company he keeps. People resort to substance abuse or become alcoholic only because of bad association. So we need to be extremely careful while choosing our companions. We should seek company of those whose life is an emblem of purity and virtue. Such noble souls can easily transform our lives.

A poem explaining the value of right association written by Yogi Vemana in Telugu is as below,
Veru purugu ceri vrukshambu ceracunu
cida purugu ceri cettu ceracu
kutsitundu ceri gunavantu ceracura
visvadabhirama vinura Vema !

Translation: - A root-worm infects the roots and destroys the entire tree. Termite infects and destroys the whole tree. Similarly a vile one spoils a virtuous person. Good company and association with wise people are essential for one to remain virtuous and to do good.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Mayapur Dham

This is where and how I want to be.
That's me with my son in Mayapur, West Bengal, India.Looking forward to visiting this holy place in a month or so. (http://www.mayapur.com/)

Who is happy in this world?

This is one of the questions by Yaksha to Yudhisthira and the reply was this,

pancamehāni sasthe vā śākam pacātī sve grhe
anunī cāpravāsī ca sa vāricara modate

At the end of the day, if a man takes only a little bread and nothing else, but has no debts and has not been forced to leave the land of his birth, then that man is happy. If anyone is in debt or cannot live in the place of his birth, then he is unhappy. This is an allegory, of course. The real meaning is this: We are atma. We are an eternally existing principle, saccidānanda. Therefore, if we have attachment to non-eternal things, that is known as “debt.” (Mahabharata, Vana-parva 313.115)

Friday, 11 October 2013

The Road Not Taken

Photos that I took this morning, on my way to tram stop and work.The trees reminded me of a old poem by Robert Frost.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost -
Mountain Interval (1874–1963)

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

About Happiness

“Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder…” Henry David Thoreau

The saintly brahmana said: O King, the embodied living entity automatically experiences unhappiness in heaven or hell. Similarly, happiness will also be experienced, even without one's seeking it. Therefore a person of intelligent discrimination does not make any endeavor to obtain such material happiness. (Srimad Bhagavatham 11.8.1)

"There are many in this world, and especially in India, who think wealth & power can make a person happy. For them I say, I am coming right from that point, down the road, there is nothing!" His Grace Ambarish Prabhu great grandson of Henry Ford.

"Prahlad Maharaj made things very simple, if you want to be happy in this world, then simply stop trying to be happy in this world; then you would be happy, but as long as you are trying to be happy in this world, you have to suffer because it a place of death" - Radhanath Swami on Being Happy in This World.

"For a person who has suitable shoes on his feet, there is no danger even when he walks on pebbles and thorns. Similarly, for one who is always self-satisfied there is no distress. Indeed, He experiences happiness everywhere." A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.