Spiritual practice in times of catastrophes such as the Corona pandemic !

Today all of us are facing a catastrophe named ‘Coronavirus’. We have heard of how in the past lakhs of people have lost their lives due to dreadful epidemics of diseases such as polio, plague, malaria etc. Thereafter scientific research discovered vaccines and drugs to control these epidemics. With the recent scientific advances all of us were quite sure that this would never repeat. Side by side due to human intellect and the impact of ego we gave up the concepts of Deities and Dharma (religion) considering these as ‘blind faith’. It is at this juncture itself that Nature makes man aware of his limitations.

Several Saints and Holy men have all along been appealing to people to give up selfishness and to follow Dharma (righteousness) and have forewarned that if they do not do this then in the upcoming times they will become victims of natural disasters and epidemics. But we did not pay attention to them. Today the Coronavirus (Covid19) virus has crushed the ego of development and the scientific advances. This catastrophe has compelled high technology airplanes to land, the bullet train to be parked in the yard, plying of cars and buses to stop and man responsible for all this to remain confined to his home. He is trying his best to prevent spread of the virus because till today the modern sciences have no medicine for this pandemic. In this scenario there is no alternative left for man but to surrender unto the Divine Energy existing in Nature.

Nature is a Great Illusion created by God, who is the controller of this universe. Though we consider God and Nature as distinct from each other as per Dharma they are one and the same. Hence to overcome this universal disaster the common man should surrender unto this Omnipotent God. As God is subtle, not visible to the naked eye he does not expect material offerings such as coconuts, flowers, sweets, or wealth, from us. All He wants us to do is to make efforts to release ourselves from the cycle of birth and death.

So let try to understand what calamitous times are, why they occur, what are the remedies, which spiritual practice to perform, importance of a Guru (Spiritual Master) in spiritual practice etc.

 

1. What is the meaning of calamitous (apatkal) times?

In Sanskrut ‘apat’ means calamity. So ‘apatkal’ is a period of calamities, crises or disasters.

The English word for it ‘disaster’ has been derived from two French words ‘des astre’ meaning ‘the stars, bad stars’.

A disaster is loss of balance and is induced by both internal and external factors which transform a collective positive event into a terrifying, destructive one.

A disaster is a result of natural or man made reasons causing tremendous loss of life and property. It causes sudden disruption in normal life to the extent of non-availability of social and economic protective mechanisms, that is the sudden onset of an unexpected crisis. This causes loss of life to the tune of thousands or hundreds of thousands along with extensive damage to the economy and environment.

 

2. Classification of disasters

Based on the origin – natural and man made.

2 A. Natural disasters

These can be classified as –

1. Related to air – Storms, cyclones, tidal waves

2. Related to water – Floods, cloud bursts, droughts, tsunamis

3. Related to the earth – Earthquakes, fires, landslides, avalanches

4. Infectious diseases – Plague, dengue, chikunguniya, swine flu etc.

Sometimes it starts with one disaster and is followed by another e.g. an earthquake in the ocean bed may induce a tsunami, there are chances of an epidemic after a tsunami or flood.

In a natural disaster there is greater loss to manmade creations. In the Uttarakhand floods there was greater destruction of houses and hotels in the path of River Ganga.

2 B. Man-made disasters

The following can be considered as part of manmade disasters

1. Industrial accidents

2. Environmental damage

3. Various acts of terrorism under the pretext of different wars and jihad

4. As part of biological warfare different dangerous bacteria and viruses are sealed in containers and released through air into enemy camps which finally spread into a conducive field, acquiring the form of a pandemic.

5. As part of chemical warfare poisonous gases, bombs and cluster bombs are released into enemy camps.

6. Disasters caused by careless use of machinery or their non-maintenance in factories can also be referred to as environmental disasters e.g. the Bhopal Gas tragedy, Chernobyl nuclear accident, Fukushima nuclear disaster etc.

7. Forest and city fires

8. Air, road and rail accidents

9. Collapse of huge buildings.

 

3. Great losses caused in a disaster

Here are some examples to understand this.

3 A. In 2004 there was a severe earthquake measuring 9.3 on the Richter scale in the Indian Ocean. This is the 2nd largest earthquake in world history. 2,29,000 lives were lost as a result of a tsunami induced by it.

3 B. Due to flooding of the Huang (Yellow River) more than 4,22,000 people lost their lives.

3 C. The drought of 1900 caused 2,50,000 to 3,25,000 deaths.

3 D. It is believed that nearly 5 crore people were killed in the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918.

3 E. About 10 lakh people in the world died in the Asian flu pandemic in 1957.

 

4. The disasters of today

4 A. Global warming has resulted in rising sea levels

Global warming in simple language means ‘rise in the temperature on the earth and consequent climatic changes’. As a result of change in the temperature on the earth melting of snow on the mountains and glaciers can result in raising the sea level and can show adverse changes in plants and micro-organisms.

Green house gas is gas which enters the atmosphere of the earth resulting in a rise in temperatures. According to scientists if greenhouse gases continue to grow in this way then in the 21st century the temperature on the earth can rise from 3 to 8 degrees. If this happens then its effects can be catastrophic, glaciers can melt raising the sea level by a few feet. This could result in submerging of some parts of the earth. This devastation will be greater than that caused by a world war.

Taking this warning seriously the President of Indonesia Widodo tweeted ‘Jakarta now bears two burdens at once: as a center of government and public services as well as a business center. Where do you think Indonesia’s capital should be?’ Any country needing to shift its capital city explains the seriousness of the situation.

4 B. The Corona group Covid-19 virus pandemic

Today we are going through the disaster of this epidemic. Commencing in China within two months it assumed the form of a pandemic. Till date thousands affected by it are dead and lakhs are suffering. While one can only imagine the final numbers, the fact is that no cure has been discovered.

 

5. What are the causes for a disaster ?

In the past decade we saw a growth in intensity of natural disasters and are experiencing the wrath of Nature, such as tsunamis in South-East Asia, earthquakes in Pakistan, Haiti and China, Katrina and other hurricanes in North and Central America. The devastation caused by these disasters in terms of loss of life and property is firmly impressed upon our minds. We need to understand the cause for this wrath of Nature.

5 A. The Semitic religions

Neither Islam nor Christianity has the concept of merits (punya). Following the path laid down by their prophets or God is meritorious while straying from that path is a sin. These religions believe that man is the greatest and that all creation is meant for his happiness. That is why the tendency to separate man from Nature and to exploit it started. Unfortunately for India, the education system was devised by Western countries because of which the present generation has the same attitude. Hence environmental pollution, deforestation etc are growing. When a jungle is destroyed the animals from there will migrate to human habitat in the cities, rainfall will be uncontrolled and global warming will grow. It is in this way that man is inviting disasters !

5 B. The selfish nature of man

The attitude of man to priorities his interests is growing. For his selfish interests he trespasses the oceans and rivers, slaughters animals, creates chemical or biological weapons, manufactures water polluting chemicals, overuses energy etc. These are other causes for disasters.

Due to selfish tendencies today naturally growing mangroves which guard the seashores are being encroached upon and destroyed. This is destroying Nature’s protective armour to man against the wrath of tsumanis. We have already seen its fearsome effects across the world.

 

6. From the spiritual perspective
what is the cause for a world disaster ?

Whether it is an pandemic like Corona or any other natural disaster each one tries to find a cause for it. Scientists will give their theories and journalists their views. But we need to find the spiritual perspective behind this because without that we will not understand disasters.

6 A. Uniqueness of the spiritual perspective

Nature cannot be controlled by any Government or economic superpower. It is controlled by the Supreme Soul (Paramatma). If we do not understand the spiritual science underlying this then how will we understand world disasters and solutions to them ? We are indeed very fortunate that in our Holy texts along with gross study on Nature and its control, subtle information is also clearly given.

A Holy text named Kaushikpaddhati has described the causes for calamitous times.

अतिवृष्टिः अनावृष्टिः शलभा मूषकाः शुकाः ।
स्वचक्रं परचक्रं च सप्तैता ईतयः स्मृताः ॥  

This verse (shloka) describes seven calamities that can strike a nation.

When a ruler is unrighteous his subjects follow suit. When they do not follow Dharma it results in excessive rain, drought, attacks by insects, rodents or parrots, interpersonal conflicts and attacks by enemies.

To summarise, both the ruler and his subjects should be righteous and should perform spiritual practice. Only then will the gravity of the calamitous times decrease, making it tolerable.

Let us understand some more aspects of the spiritual perspective underlying this.

6 B. The cycle of eras (yugas) as per influence of time (kal)

Our Scriptures mention four yugas – Satya, Dwapar, Treta and Kali. Each yuga has several cycles of sub-yugas satya, dwapar, treta and kali. It is now time for the end of the fifth kaliyug part of the Kaliyug (not that part of the Kaliyug when Kalki will incarnate). After this the satyayug part of the Kaliyug will appear.

6 C. Creation, sustenance and dissolution is the rule of the kalachakra (cycle of time)

Change of the yug is a rule of Nature created by God. Whatever is created is sustained for some time and finally undergoes dissolution, to cite an example the Himalaya mountain range was created, will last for some years and eventually will undergo dissolution. So anything and everything in the universe follows this rule except the Creator, God, who is eternal and does not undergo a transformation.

Based on this rule the present period is a period of transformation of the kalachakra, that is the period when Nature is restoring its balance through creation of disasters.

Only one of the different disasters is a natural calamity. The human race too contributes to this destruction through worldly transactions and conduct in the form of a war, to the tune of 70%.

Based on the rule of the kalachakra of creation-sustenance-dissolution loss of life of Raja-Tama predominant is the most. Reference to this period has been made by several astrologers and soothsayers in their predictions.

6 D. Actions of man and collective destiny

In the current part of the Kaliyug in the life of man contribution of destiny is 65%. Willful actions control 35% of his life. However the fruit of the 35% willful actions whether good or bad have to be experienced as destiny. Due to lack of Dharmashikshan and non-observance of Dharma by majority of the people, due to selfishness or the increasing Tama component, there is loss to society, nation and Dharma. The entire society has to suffer for these wrong actions because it has been ignoring these evils. It has to pay for the collective sin in the form of natural calamities. This is just like everything getting charred in a fire irrespective of whether it is dry or wet. Society, Dharma and a nation too has collective destiny. With rise in spiritual impurities in society, from 2013 to 2023 man may have to face extremely difficult collective destiny.

6 E. How does Nature work ?

Just as at the gross level pollution occurs with pollutants and smoke so also at the subtle level, pollution occurs with Raja-Tama components. Due to rampant unrighteousness in society, and lack of spiritual practice there is a rise of Raja-Tama components in man and subsequently in the atmosphere. Absolutely no heed is being paid to Nature.

Rise in Raja-Tama means spiritual pollution at the subtle level, in the entire universe. Just as we clean the dust and grime in our homes at the physical level so also Nature helps in eradicating Raja-Tama pollution from the atmosphere at the subtle level and in purifying it.

The reality is that when Raja-Tama is growing its impact is seen through the medium of the basic five universal principles in the form of natural calamities such as earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes etc.

When the basic Earth Principle is affected the result is an earthquake, when the basic Water Principle is affected there is a rise in the water level (flooding, hailstorms, avalanches) or fall in water level e.g. drought.

 

7. Predictions of Saints for protection of mankind

Bharat is the land of Deities and Sages. Several ascetics had warned that the upcoming times are going to be calamitous. But we remained self-centered and selfish. We chose to ignore this. while thinking ‘my home is safe’. Today if the fear of Coronavirus were not to reach our doorstep then we would still remain under the false nation that ‘we are safe’. Even today some believe that ‘nothing will happen to me’.

There is still time to act. Remember that in future the situation will be worse than what is seen in the foreign countries today. We cannot pinpoint what will happen but Saints have already warned us about this long, long ago. It is time now to take this seriously.

The views of some Soothsayers and Saints on the forthcoming period

7 A. Nostradamus, the seer of this era

Nostradamus was born 400 years ago in France. His predictions about the future including the First and Second World Wars have all come true. About the Third World War he has said that it will be so frightening that the previous two World Wars will seem like child’s play. Further he states ‘Oil producing countries will have tremors, there will be fires and air crashes, temperatures will soar so much that ice on both the poles of the earth will melt raising the water level and cause flooding of the earth. Blood, human bodies, water and red hail will cover the earth’.

7 B. Saints

H.H. Gagangiri had said, ‘The future will be so bad that even Saints will wish that death embraces them’. Many other Saints too have made similar statements

7 C. Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale

The Third World War will be very fearsome and will involve India too. The destruction caused by nuclear bombs will be terrible, villages will be wiped out. After this war the entire earth will have to be purified, for which several Saints will be required. Hence seekers need to increase their spiritual practice.

7 D. Some predictions by Shri Halsiddhanathji in 2012 and 2019 about
the upcoming period through the medium of H.H. Bhagwan Maharaj, in Karnataka

1. There will be tsunamis, cyclones and earthquakes, the world will burn.

2. India will be engulfed in catastrophes, terrorists will create havoc resulting in death of many, there will be daylight dacoities and looting, on the banks of River Krishna in Maharashtra 9 lakh women will be widowed.

3. Rivers will dry up, and we will have to buy water (implied meaning : Cost of water will rise and inflation will be high).

4. There will be scarcity of medicines, diseases will thrive, doctors will give up, men will die like flies.

 

8. The hidden cause of disasters is the personality of man

The calamities in the world today are a result of the unrighteous behaviour of man. Man is misusing the amenities provided to him on the earth without thinking or understanding them. Despite being fully aware that his behaviour is wrong he continues it only because his ego and selfishness do not allow him to think of society. He causes harm to Nature, man and other living beings because of his inflated ego and selfishness in the process of keeping himself happy and comfortable. No matter how many laws the Government enacts and how much it attempts to control this, unless and until man himself does not realise that he has to repay a debt unto society a transformation in him is impossible. Self-control is even more powerful than punishment meted out by the law and this can be achieved only through understanding of Dharma and practising it in life.

Only a selected few in society think of Nature and society. If we look into their lives then we observe that they are righteous, compassionate and loving towards all. Their behaviour depicts expansiveness and their conduct inspires us all to strive for the welfare of mankind. They are aware of the deleterious effects of unrighteousness.

 

9. Is it possible to stop this calamitous time ?

We live in tumultuous times. Due to wrong deeds of some and due to others ignoring them, the entire society will have to face the brunt of these calamitous times. Man has brought about such an imbalance in Nature, that from now on Nature itself will restore its balance; but mankind will have to pay the price for that.

It is indeed unfortunate that our cultural heritage, which worshiped Nature – the cow, river Ganga, banyan trees, Holy fig tree (peepal), Kailas mountain, Mansarovar etc., which considered the country as a mother, which perceived the presence of God even in a stone and worshiped it, was lost due to the foreign education system and communist ideology. We began to see the material benefit in the rearing of cows (gomata) and gradually getting attracted to the West, we rejected the cherished code of conduct handed down to us by our Sages and forefathers. We began to consider the West as great and the knowledge on Dharma imparted to us by our evolved souls as regressive. This thought process too is a wake up call for every Bharatiya.

  • Our thought process not only changed but it started undergoing degradation.
  • The tulsi plant was replaced by the money plant.
  • People began rearing dogs instead of cows.
  • We gave up folding our hands in obeisance and greeting with the Name of God as Ram-Ram and started shaking hands.
  • We began celebrating birthdays by cutting cakes and blowing candles instead of performing arti.
  • Forget washing feet when entering the house, we began to walk around the house with slippers worn outside the house.
  • We forgot rules of diet, what to eat, when to eat and how to eat.
  • Eating food already tasted by another or sniffed by animals, not observing seclusion during birth and death etc., we rejected our code of conduct in the name of backwardness and began to consider going to the temple as inferior.
  • It is really disheartening to know that what we gave up out of lack of spiritual knowledge is being embraced wholeheartedly by foreign countries.

After ‘swine flu’ and ‘Coronavirus’ the whole world has turned to Namaste as a form of greeting !

Journal of Food Research published a paper that when a child blows off the candle on his cake on his birthday, the bacterial contamination on the cake increases by over 1400% ! Eating this kind of cake amounts to eating the leftovers of another and is unhealthy.

After the coronavirus pandemic spread, people come home they wash hands and feet repeatedly but why have we forgotten that the practice of ‘sandhya’ already existed in our culture ?

Our code of conduct was not restricted to cleanliness it was clubbed with purity, so deep was the contemplation of our forefathers.

But we gave up everything and are facing its consequences now.

If you consider food then we not only indulged in external cleanliness but when eating a meal to bring purity into the act there was a custom of first offering it to God. Endowing it the position of a yadnya (fire sacrifice) we would first pray to it. There were rules and regulations to be followed for everything from cooking to serving. A part of the cooked food was offered to cows and dogs. Discarding such a unique code of conduct we are left in a pitiable state ! Instead of freshly cooked home food we prefer meals from restaurants, food delivery apps etc. It is considered prestigious to eat at a wedding or party buffet. Then will disease not strike ? Mental illnesses too will follow. When society does this is Nature not bound to unleash its wrath ?

Better late than never. We have to return to our Dharma and culture and guide the whole world that if you want to control Nature then you will have to turn to the East.

 

How should we prepare for the calamitous times ?

In calamitous times there is failure of electricity due to cyclones, earthquakes etc and shortage of fuel such as petrol, diesel etc causing a breakdown in the transport system. Consequently cooking gas, food products etc are in short supply for months together. If available then there is rationing of these products. Finding doctors, vaidyas, medicines, hospitals etc is next to impossible. Taking all this into consideration and to be able to face it, all need to be prepared at the physical, psychological, familial, economic and spiritual levels. General guidelines on this are given further. Try to follow them from now itself.

For details read : Get prepared at various levels to face the upcoming adverse times, right now!

 

What are the preparations required at the
spiritual level from the viewpoint of the calamitous times ?

For protection from these calamities perform appropriate spiritual practice and become a devotee of God, do not wait till tomorrow, start from today, start now.

B 1. To win the grace of God and for creation of a
protective armour around the self do the following things daily

1. Ritualistic worship (puja) of God

2. At dusk light an oil lamp for God and one near the tulsi plant and offer obeisance.

3. After the lamp is lit along with family members recite Holy verses (shlokas) or stotras of Deities such as the Ramaraksha stotra, Marutistotra, Hanuman Chalisa, Devikavach etc. for health and protection

4. Before going to bed place Namestrips of Deities around yourself and pray to your Deity of worship for protection.

B 2. Perform Agnihotra

For protection from the nuclear radiation released into the atmosphere by firing of missiles during the Third World War predicted by Saints, perform the ritual of agnihotra every day.

B 3.  A chant suggested by God for obtaining spiritual strength to develop immunity against Coronavirus

To hear chant click here : www.sanatan.org/en/helpful_chant_in_corona

Disclaimer : At the outset, Sanatan Sanstha advises all our readers to adhere to all local and national directives to stop the spread of the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) in your region. Sanatan Sanstha recommends the continuation of conventional medical treatment as advised by medical authorities in your region. Spiritual remedies given in this article are not a substitute for conventional medical treatment or any preventative measures to arrest the spread of the coronavirus. Readers are advised to take up any spiritual healing remedy at their own discretion.