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The CORONA Lessons

A few days back, the unfortunate ‘Corona Virus’ count was 1.6 million affected, and 90,000 dead across the Globe. In our lifetime, we have not seen a pandemic this big or this cruel. Several pointers suggest a different world, post Corona. The social distancing will continue, may be, for the next six months. The economy will take a severe beating with job losses and many small businesses going bankrupt. A large battered informal sector may take a couple of years to come back on rails. The poor, the hardest hit yet, will need to stretch themselves to make ends meet. However, austerity measures by the government and some very prudent economic measures along with aggressive revival of manufacturing activities can see a revival in fortunes sooner than later. Are there lessons for us here? Technology is the only tool, that will be left to bind us. Digital commerce, digital health care, digital shopping, digital learning, digital manufacturing, even digital relationships via the social media, everything digital in a future digital society. If Corona were to remove the personal touch, that binds human beings, what would be left? Everything will just be impersonal. How does one seek self-attainment in a world that loses its emotional connect?


The nature has great rhythm about it. Our bodies too have circadian rhythms. They affect every aspect of our life, for example, they govern when to wake up, to sleep, to be active and they determine how much energy we have. Throwing off natural circadian rhythms over a long term, can seriously disturb the body and brain, causing weight gain and impulsive behaviour. We share the planet with as many as 8.7 million different forms of life. Of all these forms, only humans kill for profit. Who has given us this freedom?


We as human beings have several lessons from the crisis to learn. Fir a first, it is teaching us how weak we are as human beings. This virus doesn’t respect ethnic boundaries or national borders. It has no respect for our religion and our gods. Mind you, it’s not a Chinese virus; it’s our virus. It’s in our country, in our neighbouring countries, it is in Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, France, America, actually in more than 200 countries, still expanding and still counting.


We all love to be in control. We fancy ourselves, rulers of our destiny, masters of our fate. The reality is that today, more than ever before, we have realised that we control nothing. Yes, we can move money around the world with a click of an app if that is of any solace, provided we have money, or for how long we will have it.


Today we share the pain in being excluded: We do not want even the closest family and friends to come home, lest we suffer. The fear is even greater that they too can suffer. It is a fear of the unknown. It’s easy to see the coronavirus everywhere we look: on the keyboard on the computer, in the air we breathe, in every physical contact and around every corner, waiting to infect us. Are we not panicking? Remember, just the other day we were celebrating our Missiles, our missions to Moon, to Mars and our space technology exploits. Was our supremacy at the expense of the poor and all other living beings?


It’s so easy to lose perspective in the midst of the madness of our lives. Our days were so filled with people and projects, works and wish lists, homes and holidays, that we struggled to distinguish the important from the urgent. We have lost ourselves in the midst of our lives. Perhaps this crisis is showing us what to concern our lives with. Perhaps it’s teaching us what’s really important in our lives and what is vanity. Perhaps it’s helping us to distinguish between what’s meaningful and meaningless. Perhaps the Facebook or that twitter post or a cricket match or a new kitchen, aren’t essential to our survival. Perhaps the coronavirus is teaching us what really matters.


In the midst of this global crisis, how can we, as individuals possibly make a difference? Often, we feel so small and insignificant. But there is something we can do. We can spread hope. We can spread love. We can share whatever we have with the less fortunate. We can pray for the authorities running our countries and cities, Pray for the medical teams treating the sick. Pray for the men, women, and children who have been infected, for the people afraid to leave their homes, for those living in infected zones, for those at high risk with other illnesses, and for the elderly. We can also call out to our ancestors to take us to a new world, a place with no tears, no death, no mourning


There is a realisation in this despair too. Realisation that we are nothing. Realisation that we are all equal. We must return as individuals with compassion for all. We must accept that the nature has its own ways of maintaining its dynamic equilibrium when we are irrational and when we create inequalities, when we create artificial boundaries, when we go against the nature and its writ and laws. Our ‘Antahkarana’ or inner being or our soul has four forms. ‘Ahamkara’, ‘Buddhi’, ‘Chitta’ and ‘Manas’. The Corona has shown us that our ‘Ahamkara’ has a null value. It has shown us that we must eschew our ‘Ahamkara’, for the other three ‘Buddhi’, ‘Chitta’ and ‘Manas’ to enlighten us. This is the only way to self-realisation and be at peace with the nature or GOD who is omnipresent, not just in temples or mosques or churches. Aham Brahmasmi is ‘I am Brahman’. That realization alone can make us one with the nature and teach us to love each other and love all beings, and be one with the Nature or the Brahman. The belief that union with or absorption into the self-realisation, attained only through contemplation and self-surrender, is the only truth.


The human spirit will eventually win and will not let the corona get the better of it, for we know that 3.5 Lakhs have recovered and more will. There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect. The Corona has effectively shred them to smithereens.

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