In response to thousands of appeals by Indians stranded across the globe, the Government of India launched the world's largest evacuation mission this week to bring them all back to their homeland. In another instance, due to the parents' pressure, exclusive buses are being arranged to bring back students to their hometowns, who are stuck up in Kota, the education city of the country. Special trains are running to transfer masses of infuriated migrant laborers back to their dwellings. Those who couldn't get through, desperately began returning to their homes by foot at the cost of some even losing their lives on the way. In another surprising event, a whopping 1,400 km distance did not deter a doting mother to drive her scooty for two days continuously to bring back her son.
These examples undisputedly prove that in the times of any difficulty, every human being irrespective of his caste, color or creed wants to rush to his home & be safe. Why? Because at home, with the family, amongst the near & dear ones, there’s an unerring feeling of protection. It’s the home, where you are loved & cared for. Its shelter, safety & security, makes one feel relaxed & at ease. As the mantra for covid crisis says, "Stay Home, Stay Safe!". But a serious deliberation raises a question; is home as safe as it sounds?
The Vedic literature explains that the biggest problems of life like diseases, death & other material miseries can't be stopped by just relaxing at home. We learn about innumerable instances where people meet with an accident, contact deadly diseases or even die being at home. Currently, because of the lockdown, there is an exponential surge in the cases of domestic violence, obesity, depression, etc. Besides that, the greatest ever recession leading to huge unemployment is just waiting at our doorsteps. Hence, we should never be in a false illusion that we are very safe in this material home and we should understand that our 'home sweet homes' are not capable of giving us any relief from the perpetual miseries of this material world.
In the prayers by Aṁśumān to Lord Kapila (SB 9.8.25), he says:
"O my Lord, those whose hearts are bewildered by the influence of lust, greed, envy & illusion are interested only in the false hearth and home in this world created by Your māyā. Attached to home, wife & children, they wander in this material world perpetually."
From the authority of shastras, we receive information that our real home is with Lord Krishna in His kingdom and to return there for permanent settlement is the ultimate goal of life. But how to reach there? Lord Krishna promises in the Gita, "yānti mad-yājino ’pi mām"; if we sincerely worship Him while being at our material home, we will surely go back to our original home. Furthermore, if we perform bhakti properly at home, that very home itself resembles Goloka Vrindavan. As Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura sings, "je-dina gṛhe, bhajana dekhi; gṛhete goloka bhāya".
Therefore, the way people are keen and desperate to return to their homes, we must have the same yearning and determination to go back to our real home, back to Godhead. Hence, let us not waste this lockdown opportunity in vain explorations for mundane objects. Our quarantine goal should be to strive hard to execute devotional service with full enthusiasm which will create goloka in our own house until we return to our real safe house, i.e., the Kingdom of God.