hy artha-bheda ivatmani
bhid eva srajivat krtah
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
As one mistakenly considers a flower garland to be a snake or experiences happiness and distress in a dream, so, in the material world, by a lack of careful consideration, we differentiate between happiness and distress, considering one good and the other bad.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
The happiness and distress of the material world of duality are both mistaken ideas. In the Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya 4.176) it is said:
“dvaite” bhadrabhadra-jñana, saba — “manodharma”
“ei bhala, ei manda” — ei saba “bhrama”
The distinctions between happiness and distress in the material world of duality are simply mental concoctions, for the so-called happiness and distress are actually one and the same. They are like the happiness and distress in dreams. A sleeping man creates his happiness and distress by dreaming, although actually they have no existence.
The other example given in this verse is that a flower garland is originally very nice, but by mistake, for want of mature knowledge, one may consider it a snake. In this connection there is a statement by Prabodhananda Sarasvati: visvam purna-sukhayate. Everyone in this material world is distressed by miserable conditions, but Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati says that this world is full of happiness. How is this possible? He answers, yat-karunya-kataksa-vaibhavavatam tam gauram eva stumah. A devotee accepts the distress of this material world as happiness only due to the causeless mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. By His personal behavior, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu showed that He was never distressed but always happy in chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. One should follow in the footsteps of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and engage constantly in chanting the maha-mantra — Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Then he will never feel the distresses of the world of duality. In any condition of life one will be happy if he chants the holy name of the Lord.
In dreams we sometimes enjoy eating sweet rice and sometimes suffer as if one of our beloved family members had died. Because the same mind and body exist in the same material world of duality when we are awake, the so-called happiness and distress of this world are no better than the false, superficial happiness of dreams. The mind is the via medium in both dreams and wakefulness, and everything created by the mind in terms of sankalpa and vikalpa, acceptance and rejection, is called manodharma, or mental concoction.