Today all of mankind is engaged in a life-and-death struggle of an unprecedented nature due to the spread of the novel coronavirus across the world. All life inevitably comes to an end in death. It can happen today or tomorrow. It could be because of Covid-19 or otherwise. The Bhagwad Gita, verse 2:27, says, Tasmad apariharye’arthe na tvam socitum arhasi – ‘therefore regarding something inevitable, you have no reason to feel any grief ‘. Those endowed with wisdom understand that the beginningless and endless life continues through the phenomena of ceaseless births and deaths. Narayana Guru poetically visualises this as, “Ah! A great drama is all this!” A drama can be a tragedy or a comedy. Either way, it is a drama to be experienced and enjoyed. Firm Mind Suppose the drama is a tragedy and we are the characters in it, the pain it causes will be gruesome and we will then forget that it is simply a drama. Then it becomes necessary to remind ourselves that this is just a drama. This will give us clarity about how we should act in the drama, in which, we are the characters. The discriminative awareness provides us with the capacity to play our role in this war drama with a firmness of mind called Dheerata. The Gita, verse 2:13, says, Dhirah tatra na muhyati – ‘one of firm mind does not become confused’. Face The World Dheerata is a state of mind gained through wisdom. Thus with dheerata, with total self-restraint, with willingness to undergo any miserable state, let us face this world-engulfing micro-enemy Covid-19. In the face of an unconquerable enemy, the war tactics applied normally are retreating and hiding in regions inaccessible to the enemy. These tactics have proven to be the best in the present case. The names given to them now are ‘social distancing’ and ‘sheltering-in-place’. What these tactics need on our part is self-restraint with dheerata. Along with this, we need to have ‘no thought about the future’ and with a steady mind, do whatever the present moment demands from us. One should not be concerned about the outcome. It could lead to total destruction or it could be our victory. What we need each moment is an awareness about the nature of life, an awareness as to how full of uncertainty our life is. This awareness gives us the self-courage to face any crisis, and it keeps our mind calm and firm.
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