Every week I take the same bus to work, and each week I see the same people getting on at the same bus stop. We all go off at the same bus stop, and then they go to the same school as I work. Somehow, seeing them and hearing their conversations, I think about how I also was 18 and I never thought of living a life without "sex, drugs and rock & roll".
Life has changed. I feel like a total different person that I was 12 years ago, and I am totally different also. On one side I think of all the time I have wasted. I spent years of drinking alcohol, smoking and just satisfying my senses. I was living in the moment, and I never thought of anyone else than myself.
On the other side I think of, If I didn't make the choices I took and walked the path I did I might not have been where I am today.
Sometimes I think, "what if I met devotees earlier?" then I wouldn't have wasted so much time... But somehow with this free will of ours, I chose to take a different road. It might be an advantage actually, because I am quite materially fed-up by now!
Actually, when I was 16/17 I found two book in my bookshelf. I have no idea how they got there, but one was black on the cover with a spiritual picture with the title: "life comes from life" and the other one had a picture of an indian man with orange sheets on him. I tried looking through the books, but it was written in verses in a language I'd never seen before, so I only used the book to look at the pictures.
This was Srila Prabhupada, somehow he had made his way onto my bookshelf and somehow Krishna showed himself to me at that time, but I was not ready at all. It would take me 10 more years before I went to the temple. This was in 2007.
I have always had a thing with choices. Should I do this of that? Should I go here or there? When I look back at the choices I made I can clearly see how Krishna was there. He was always there and guided me. He knew that I would somehow meet devotees and somehow I would remember that I once left Him to be on my own. Finally I remember Him. Finally I am in association with devotees. Finally I am chanting. Finally I am on the main path. With the right end-station. With the only end-station.
Taking the bus to work and seeing the same people every time, I want to tell them about Krishna. I want to tell them about what material life and attachment is doing to the soul. I want to show them the end-station. This remind me of the urgency to chant and I want to chant Hare krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare very loud for everyone in the bus.
Instead I put my hand in my japa-bag and silently whisper the Mahamantra.