WHAT is a Home State (the Heart Space?) – Part-8

The first sign of surrender is to accept that which is unchangeable and then focus on your purpose. Srila Prabhupada, the founder acharya of the world-wide society of Krishna consciousness, also known as ISKCON, exemplified this on many occasions.

Once, while flying from Dallas to New Orleans, Srila Prabhupada’s plane encountered rough weather. The plane swerved and lurched violently, tossed by the stormy air currents, and the overhead bins snapped open, causing articles to fall out. Passengers screamed in fear and confusion. Srila Prabhupada enquired about the situation and, upon learning about the stormy weather, remained calm. He sat quietly, chanting on his prayer beads, while his accompanying assistant, Upendra, worried and then reassured himself that it was all right if death were to come now, as he was with his spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada, however, showed no emotions – his eyes closed in prayer, and he was absorbed in his thoughts. Later, when the plane landed safely, passengers cheered loudly, but Srila Prabhupada remained grave and equipoised. Upendra wondered what his spiritual master thought and hoped to get a purport to the incident. As they disembarked the plane, Srila Prabhupada finally spoke, and Upendra eagerly listened. “How far is the temple from the airport?” Srila Prabhupada asked nonchalantly, and there was nothing else to discuss.

When we learn to live in the Heart Space for some time every day, it becomes a habit. Thus, when a tragedy or crisis strikes, we seamlessly gravitate to this state, finding acceptance and peace naturally.

During the devastating Tsunami earthquake that rocked over fourteen countries, including coastal Sri Lanka, in December 2004, claiming over 225,000 lives, ISKCON devotees rushed to provide aid. Among them was Indradyumna Swami and his team, who traveled to Sri Lanka as part of the relief effort. The army chief overseeing the operations asked the devotees if they could offer something to help restore the spirits of the people affected by the disaster. The chief explained that while relief and food supplies had arrived quickly and there was no shortage of medical support, what was lacking was emotional balance—the psyche of the people had taken a heavy toll. The devotees responded with prayerful chanting, dancing, kirtans, and community prayers, as well as distributing hot, vegetarian, sanctified food. Everywhere they went, people flocked to them and begged them to stay longer. The healing power of the Lord’s Holy Names had transformed the hearts of the devastated people and provided a sense of shelter. The palpable peace that the villagers experienced was their desperate need, and the significance of living in a Home State was realized in such extraordinary situations.


The three stages of our lives

Imagine a man riding in a chariot where the five horses drag the miserable passenger in all directions, against his will. A soul trapped in this world of enjoyment and suffering is riding the chariot of his life, dragged by his mind and senses. That’s the first stage.

In the second stage, he decides to hold the reins of the horses and manoeuvre the chariot as he wills. After some time he realizes that the horses are wild and his attempts to control the chariot are feeble.

He then chooses the third phase – spiritual life – where he allows God to take charge of the chariot. He lets go of the reins.

To be continued…