Protection from Infection of the Soul
We now live in unprecedented times – strict social isolation, meticulous personal protection, and movement limited to only essential activities. It feels unnatural and bizarre. We earnestly pray to come out of this at the earliest. Yet this Covid-19 experience, when seen from a different perspective, can help dawn the light of wisdom and turn us into kOvidA (wise).
In the current coronavirus pandemic situation, we are extremely wary of being infected by the virus. We avoid company; avoid touching anything directly. We are very conscious and careful about what and who we come into contact with. We wipe things down before or after handling them. We go out only for ‘essential work’. We protect ourselves with masks and gloves before going out into the world. We disinfect ourselves after contact with the world.
How aware we are! It is a beautiful awareness because we have to protect this body. It is certainly not a situation we want to be in and do wish to get back to normalcy soon. However, there is a huge learning for us in this.
The precautions we are taking for the body, which is important… if we apply the same lessons towards protecting our soul, which is at least as important, then that becomes Spirituality.
Everything we do – taste, touch, smell, see, hear – adds a ripple in our mind. That is why, as much as possible, we need to keep the company of those who enable us in our path towards the purpose of life and avoid the company of those who make us stray from the path.
Of course, we need to spend time in the world for our livelihood. However, if we consider the work we do – in the office, school, business, hospital, etc. – as being done for Krishna preetyartham (to make Krishna happy); that it is Krishna kripa (Krishna’s grace) that is making us do the job; and offer the phala (result) of doing the job back to Krishna (Krishnarpanam), then it is like going into the world while wearing gloves, mask and goggles. We can do essential work without worry, and it will not harm us in any way because we are protected.
The great devotee Vritrasura prays:
mamOttamashloka janeshu sakhyam samsAra chakre bhramatah svakarmabhi: |
tvan mAyayAtmAtmajadAragEhEshu Asakta chittasya na nAtha bhUyAt ||
(Srimad Bhagavatam 6:11:26)
He says ‘Oh Lord! Please bestow me with satsang with your devotees. And keep me away from those who keep speaking of the world.’
If I get into company that takes me away from my spiritual path, then, like our Upanishads say, it is mahati vinashti, it is a great loss! It is gone! What a fall!
If I lose faith in the path because I am ‘infected’ with false values, when will I ever get a chance again to think about Krishna? I do not know where or as what I will be born next. Will I even hear the word Krishna? Will I be able to even hear about the greater purpose of life? Will I understand that I am not the body but beyond it? Will I even understand what a soul is? This is what we have to think deeply about, contemplate on.
To protect myself here, awareness is key. What kind of people am I engaging with? Do I really need to talk to that person? Is it going to help me? Is it essential? Or will it infect my soul? I may not realize it because it’s like engaging with an asymptomatic carrier, but infecting my soul is a much greater danger. Let us be aware.
Let us take precautions to protect our body and also to truly protect ourselves too.
Excerpted from “Krishna Hridayam: Talks on Bhakti Yoga from Srimad Bhagavad Gita” by Sri Ramanujamji, disciple of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji
View the 3 min video segment ‘Covid to kOvidA’ on which this article is based: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3rH3plrVZw
Listen here to the complete Krishna Hridayam: Bhakti Yoga series on Namadwaar Australia YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7qAu2Lbvx13WFLnsMmBSjXW-OlZ32AGQ