It is several months now since the coronavirus first entered our lives. Like a tornado, it has whipped up tremendous upheaval that is being felt in every corner of the world. Fatalities are in their tens of thousands (and still rising) and thousands more are (or have been) sick and hospitalized. The ripple effect has been equally dramatic, destabilising millions and forcing many to stay at home, without work, and with no certainty when things will return to normal.
Our previous experience tells us, however, that during any time of calamity – and our country has seen plenty – we have always taken solace in the teachings of the Saints and our belief in God as our all-merciful father, protector and guiding light. And we must do the same in these times too. The surest way to get out of the doldrums is to seek the counsel of the Saints, and through correct understanding, the pathway back into the light will be illuminated. Let us take a moment now – as believers and lovers of God – to review what the Saints have said about the spiritual reasons behind suffering. Why has God thrust such circumstances upon us? What is He trying to teach us?
The first point to understand is that through hardship, one is forced to explore and develop their own potential, which in turn makes us stronger by bringing us closer to God. Death reminds us of the uncertainty of life. Our spiritual masters therefore recommend that we should never procrastinate when it comes to our spiritual practice, for the morrow may never come. We are reminded that we all came into this world alone, and we will leave it alone. Not only that, but we can take nothing with us. This forces us to ask, “What actually belongs to me?” Whatever we have, we have only temporary use of. Our property, our money, our industries, our houses, even our own body and bodily relations – nothing belongs to us and nothing will go with us, except our good and bad deeds, the combination thereof determining our next birth. Physical suffering is therefore meant for spiritual awakening.
We must take nothing for granted. God has sent uncountable holy men and women to bring us to our senses. He Himself has even descended from time to time to bring us closer to Him. Yet, we stubbornly remain standing with our back towards Him. How can He force us to turn to Him? One way is through suffering.
If we contemplate on the fact that whatever is happening is all the play of God, we will be less disturbed by it.
Thus, use this lockdown to lock God in your heart and you will never feel down. Realise Him to be with you as your protector and as the only genuine doctor in your life. Take the medicine of His loving remembrance as prescribed by the Saints, and you will surely walk through the trails of life.
HH Dr Vishakha Tripathi
President, Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat
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