By Kamala-sundari Dasi
We may find ourselves in need of a “get away” from time to time, to abandon the chaos and search out a serene environment to de-stress body, mind, and soul. Circumstances do not allow us to up and leave when we feel the need. So, wouldn’t it be wise to make our home that place of tranquility? Being unable to relax in our own home is a peculiar scenario.
What would we say is the current focus and activities at home? To sit in front of the TV, munching on snacks, whilst fixated on a favourite DSTV soapie? Or to laze in bed with iPad in hand, browsing through YouTube videos? Real unwinding is the connection of our heart to the reality channel of God. Home is where the heart is, and the heart is most satisfied when in its natural state, one with God.
So, how do we upgrade our home to a sacred space or temple? A temple is a place of worship, centred around spiritual activity. When I speak to resident devotees at the Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple about their lives there, the common thread is that they are grateful to live in the Supreme Lord’s house, and that His presence is always felt. When we visit temples, we do not enter with our shoes on as they are unclean. We trod everywhere in them, touching all types of dirt. Removing our shoes immediately elevates our mind, making us recognise that we are now entering a special place. Replicating this practice in our homes will assist us in remembering that our homes are a sacred sanctuary too.
To feel the sweet presence of God in our homes, we simply have to think that He is the actual owner. Constantly thinking like this will make it natural for us to connect our activities to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna and make Him our focus. For this we must have “sacred space”. The energy from this space will soon permeate to our entire home and create an atmosphere of calm and an atmosphere no holiday destination could compare to.
Srila Prabhupada taught that if one wants to live a sublime life, they should live in a temple. If that is not possible, then they should live as close to a temple as possible. And if that cannot be done, then make the home a temple. My husband and I recently purchased our first home. During the process, our criteria included: an area to create a sacred space, a garden conducive for meditation, and that our home be within a 10km-radius to the Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple.
Our sacred space should be the most important area of our home. This space does not need to be a large area, rather an area where each member of the family spends part of their day to attain that elusive peace. It should be the place we go to find our centre, and to connect with God. And after having gone there, we come out renewed individuals.
Setting up my sacred space was most fulfilling. I excitedly shopped for items from ordering colourful floor cushions to sit on, to choosing my most beloved picture of Krishna. I pondered on décor and rug patterns that would complement the curtains to enhance my sacred space. This made me think that we may decorate our home for the Lord externally, but we need to do it internally as well. Our bodies are temples of God, as He is situated in our hearts. So we can decorate the throne of our heart with unlimited ornaments such as humility, tolerance, surrender, simplicity, and love.
May we all be blessed to remember Krishna, in our homes and in our hearts.
Hare Krishna News – Published by ISKCON Durban. Used with permission