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The Prerna festival held on 31st of May, 2008 was attended by over 850 boys. The
following is an excerpt of the lecture delivered by H.G. Gauranga Prabhu.

Happiness is not about physical acquisitions or social prestige. Happiness is a state of

mind and a state of being. If we compare human beings to a computer, the human mind
which is like a hard disk is corrupted by viruses of lust, anger, greed, envy, pride and
illusion. The anti-virus software – The Hare Krisna Maha Mantra – must be applied and
the manual which helps us to do that is the Bhagavad Gita.

Simply material achievements cannot give one fulfillment. George Harrison, the
famous Beatle, after he reached the pinnacle of his career commented, "If only I could
travel the length and breadth of India like a mendicant, I am willing to give away all my

The ESCAPE formula for happiness:

· E – Give up unreasonable Expectations

This material world is like a hospital and not like a hotel. Unlike a hotel where one gets
treatment as per one's desire, in a hospital treatment is as per the desire of the doctor.
Similarly, in the material world one can not expect everything to go as per one's liking;
material nature is doing whatever is needed to treat our diseased condition.

We should come out of the illusion that we are controllers. The tiny living entities have
only the power to desire.

· S – Follow right definition of Success

The biggest problem in modern society is that we are trying to follow a pattern in life
which we think is the successful path. But actually, the people whom we are following
are themselves misguided. Therefore, first of all one should be guided by the right people,
the devotees of the Lord. Success lies in not just getting the best but also in giving the
best. We should imbibe the culture of putting our best in whatever we do and when that is
done in connection with Krishna, we achieve ultimate success.

· C – Give up unhealthy Comparisons

Comparisons are based on false ego and the false ego is the foundation of our material
existence. Other religions teach how to give up sins but Srila Prabhupada also taught how
to be free from the root of all sins, the false ego. One should compare with oneself and
take inspiration from others. One should learn to manage one's own system and not be
affected by the changing environment.
· A – Appreciate and Accept what God has given

If we are not grateful then we are great fools. We should learn to appreciate God's

"If your basic needs are covered, you are richer than 75% of rest of the world".

"If you have some savings, you are part of 10% of most prosperous people of the world".

"If you can read this, you are more fortunate than two million people in the world who
are blind".

We should learn to tolerate different situations and appreciate what God has given us.

· P – Be Principled

We should not think that rules and regulations are binding. Because the kite is regulated
by a string, it can fly higher. Because the traffic is regulated by the traffic lights, there is
smooth traffic flow. Because the airplane is regulated by the runway, it can take off
smoothly. Similarly, if our life is regulated, we can achieve ultimate happiness.

· E – Endure difficulties with faith

We gain physical strength by facing physical resistance, we gain mental strength by

resisting desires and we gain spiritual strength by tolerating difficulties.

The path of happiness is to be grateful for what Krishna has given and to reciprocate with
Him by our good service attitude.

The lecture was followed by kirtan and sumptuous ekadashi prasad.

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