We are in the year 2020. But, just once, let's all look back into the last decade and honestly ask ourselves- what all comes to the mind? A mad race in the realm of modernity! What else? A devastating dance of tsunami waves! Ruthless whips of hurricanes! Floods wiping out huge number of lives in a flash! Disastrous wildfires! Crazy twists in the trajectory of seasons– burning summers at one moment and icy-cold winters in the other moment! Breath-choking air! Zero water zones! Fields and crops being mercilessly smashed! Speedily melting glaciers! Eroding mountains!
Do you see all this? A destructive dance of Nature! Repeated lashings by catastrophes and calamities! It seems as if Nature is sending us death in instalments. One such instalment has come to us in the present times, in the form of Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).
You must be knowing this– Elephant is one such animal that can daringly confront the king of the jungle, the lion. It can clutch the fearless lion in its trunk and give a good thrash! However, the same mighty elephant goes crazily helpless, if an ant happens to enter its trunk. This analogy befits the current state of affairs that has conjured up amidst Corona. Not falling in the range of an ordinary microscope, the scientists could, at last, click this virus with the help of 'Cyro-electron microscopy'. Meaning by, so subtle is this virus! And, this immense subtlety makes this virus enormously powerful… so much so, that the whole world has succumbed to its attack!
Taking cognisance of the situation, World Health Organisation (WHO) has raised an alarm and has declared it to be a pandemic! What to say for others, life in even the most advanced and technically equipped nations has come to a standstill in the wake of series of lockdowns! To combat this crisis, health organisations, at both national and international levels, have released advisory along with some crucial precautionary measures. Research and experiments are being done at a war level in all the advanced labs and research centres. However, despite all these efforts, how much more grim and intense the situation will become– no one can say! We direly wish and hope that, by the time you read this magazine, the situation comes under speedy control.
Although, the main point of concern will still remain the same– the instalments of death being continuously sent by Nature– the messages of Death & Destruction! Earlier these messages were gross in nature, meaning, were region-specific. However, now, they are gradually becoming more and more subtle; in other words, they are assuming a global expanse. Isn't this whole scenario somewhat like this– when a child becomes naughty, his mother scolds him. But, if the child doesn't understand, then she even slaps him. In extreme circumstances, if the child continues to misbehave, then, she doesn't restrain from locking him inside the house, keeping him devoid of food and water as well. Implying– that she goes on raising the level of punishment. Likewise, Mother Nature is also being compelled to punish us harder and harsher.
In this context only, the Vedic ancestors have enunciated–
Yad ugro deva aushadhayo
vanaspatayastena (Kaushitaki Brahman)
Herbs, trees, flora i.e. Nature has a violent face as well. That Nature, which heals and protects us as a Mother, becomes ferociously destructive when angry.
Shatpath Brahman puts forth the same thing from a different angle–
Aushadhayo vai pashupatihi
(Shatpath Brahman, 6:1:3:12)
Nature is like Lord Shiva, the Pashupati. Now, who is Shiva? The one who drinks poison and bestows Amrita (nectar) in return (as per the ancient legend of Samudra-Manthan)! Mother Nature too gulps in the poison spread by us and offers us life-giving energy in return. However, Shiva has a fierce appearance as well. A facet, that is terribly destructive! When society crosses all limits, then, Nature too has to forcefully take on an aggressive form and play a dance of destruction! Corona pandemic is one such glimpse of aggressive dance of Nature!
That's why Yajurveda states– Maa-aushadheerhinseehee – Don't be violent with Nature. Don't torment it.
The Rishis of the Rigveda also warn us–
Ayamasmaan vanaspatirmaa cha haa maa cha reerishat (Rigveda, 3:53:20)
Don't disrespect Nature to an extent that it gets annoyed with you and is compelled to punish you.
Therefore, it's high time that we discipline ourselves. And, for this, there is only one fool-proof remedy. If we have to pacify the Nature outside, then, for that, we are required to rectify our inner nature. The following verse of Gita (7/4) proposes a remarkable sutra in this context–
Bhumir aapo 'nalo vaayuhu
kham mano buddhir eva cha
Ahankaara iteeyam me
bhinna prakritir ashtadhaa
Earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intelligence and ego– these are, in total, the eight components of My material energy.
His Holiness Ashutosh Maharaj Ji says– These material energies remain prevalent and functional at both– our inner and outer levels. There exists a continuous concord or harmony between these outer and inner dimensions of nature. Therefore, according to this, as is the inner state or nature of mankind, the same gets reflected in the Nature outside. If the five elements, mind, intellect, and ego are erroneous or polluted, then, it will also contaminate the outer elements– earth, water, fire, air, and ether, along with the mind, intellect and ego at the macro level. On the contrary, if these elements are well disciplined and are in rhythm, then, the same rhythm will adorn the outside Nature too with the notes of harmony. This is an eternal equation! Therefore, in accordance with this equation, we are left with one and the only way out– to transform our inner nature, i.e. our mind and intellect, or, to say, our thinking! When the thinking will change at the collective level, only then it will result in a positive, harmonious, and constructive action. We will, then, behave like a good and disciplined child. Then, obviously, there will be no reason for Mother Nature to take a fierce form. After all, punishment is given only to the mischievous!