I have been observing all the global news about the Coronavirus. The exponential rate at which it is spreading is unbelievable. In South Africa like in many countries, it is now declared a National Disaster and several serious constraints are in place. How the public responds will determine the extent of this disaster.
Yet I observe there is still a complacency about the disaster looming on the doorstep. Yamaraj, the superintendent of death asked King Yudhisthir: “What is the most amazing thing in this world?” Yudhisthir answered that people are seeing others die around them but nobody is thinking it will happen to them! Certainly this complacency is a characteristic of all of us. However, we cannot go on living life normally with such an imminent threat.
The government recommendations are issues of National concern and as devotees it is our social and civic responsibility to comply. It is also part of our community leadership to ensure we do everything we can to support public safety.
Of course there are those who may feel we should just depend on Krsna and do nothing else.. Of course we are depending on Krsna and our japa meditation which is our dependence. He also gave us the intelligence by which to do the needful! Srila Prabhupada also instructed we take care of our health, sadhana and service… in that order… as it is by good health can we serve Krsna properly.
Furthermore, as devotees, we should be the first to demonstrate responsible citizenship. Therefore, we should support the call by the government and not be reckless. Recklessness is not a spiritual quality.
However devotees have the spiritual insight to know that death is imminent all the time. Whether it is a pandemic or not, death is waiting at every corner. Parikshit Maharaj was given a warning of his impending death within 7 days… As we live week to week we also have a 7 day warning…we just don’t know which seven days!
What this pandemic should do is make people more reflective, more introspective about the delicate nature of life and death, and how by cultivation of proper spiritual knowledge and practice one is assured of a spiritual destination beyond the temporary identity of this fallible body…After all, the ABC of spiritual life as taught by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami is that we are spirit soul. The material world in which we live is beset with the eternal problems of birth, death, old age and disease. No matter what we do we cannot eradicate these. The spirit soul bound by illusion thinks he is the body and feels life in this world is eternal and that we can find enjoyment here. This is not possible as it is an incompatible situation.
Take this time to reflect upon your own practices of spiritual knowledge. Read more…Pick up books like Bhagavad gita As it Is, and Srimad Bhagavatam again and again and study them.
I certainly am trying to be more introspective. At the same time I am taking our government recommendations seriously as i have a duty to all my fellow citizens to be responsible.
Yet because of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings there is no panic but a gravity of mood about my own practices. I also have a sense that this is an ideal time to give others this sublime knowledge as many people will be searching for answers.
Best wishes to everyone in this crisis, and beyond the crisis.
Smita Krsna das