Guptananda’s Days Off


The Heart Chakra

When I was a young man I had a beautiful horse, Raja. I have mentioned him before. Now Raja and I used to love roaming the countryside on our special days off, when no work was required of me. Those days were few and far between, but when they were granted to me, or should I say to us, we truly appreciated them. We would ride for miles, sometimes towards the mountains, sometimes along the riverbank. My heart used to feel as if it would burst, it was so full of love for the beauty of nature, and Raja seemed to feel the same. He would trot with his head held high and his nostrils wide, taking in all the aromas around us.

He loved to go to new places. It always made him excited and especially attentive. He never stumbled on an unseen boulder. He would never walk under a branch that would be dangerous for me. As I saw him avoiding these things, I felt a rush of love for him flowing from my heart and when this happened, he would always cock his head in recognition of my emotion, as if to say “I love you, too!"

When we returned home my young sister ran to meet us and asked eagerly to hear all about the journey and the new places we had seen and I would feel my heart warm towards her. My mother smiled indulgently and placed a bowl of delicious stew in front of me, waiting patiently to hear of my travelling and my heart would warm to her too. Then at night, before sleeping I would give thanks to Lord Krishna for all that I had beheld that day. Again a warm glow filled the centre of my chest, the glow of love in the heart centre.