Panacea for pandemic in Indian Mythology

I go into Upanishads to ask questions.

Niels Bohr, Nobel prize winning physicist and a founder of Quantum Theory

The entire world is engulfed in a deadly pandemic. The normal way of life no longer exists for most people. The health care and sanitation concept around the globe has been battling with Corona virus for last many months now, with no respite in sight. The doctors, paramedical health care workers, lab technicians, sanitation workers, police staff has been round the clock devoted to their duties. They have been appreciated and acknowledged for their hard work by the society. However, now they have reached zenith of utter exhaustion. Yet, the fight goes on.

But some faulty fault finding practices of some states have rapidly deteriorated the medical conditions and also diminished the morale of the frontline workers. Needless to say, we all need some source of strength, some inspiration to move forward in the direction to fight back and eradicate the Corona Pandemic.

Hari Anant, hari katha ananta,

kahata sunhi bahu bidhi sadhu santa.

God is endless and so are his glorious tales.

Ramcharitmanas by Tulsidas

The Ramayana and Mahabharata are not only great mythological epics for us but embodiment of life lessons of the great people who walked on this earth. It is rich with characters that make sense of the humanity and guide every men in their day to day life.

The stories of courage and heroism, leaders and traitors, conquest and defeat does hold relevance in these times of uncertainty too. There are symbolic life lessons for everyone. I will try to explain my point of view with few examples. No doubt, there are plentiful more. The purpose of my writing is to initiate further studies and insight to our historic epics so that the entire mankind can reap benefits.

Lessons from Shri Rama

Lord Shri Ram, also known as Maryada Purushottam Ram stands for truth, duty, honor. He was a prince born and brought up in a palace, but was then compelled to a life of struggle and hardships in forest under exile of 14 years. He withstood it with grace and humility and never ever turned away from his duty. When he returned back, after defeating the King Raavan of Lanka, he was forced to give up his wife Sita to set an example before his subjects.

He eusured that all essential care workers to do their jobs staunchly and righteously. Therefore we must also honor commitment by doing sacrifices, may it be small or big. Almost all doctors, healthcare providers, nursing staff and sanitary workers serving in Covid hospitals  have to stay away from their beloved family for days together to minimize the risk of contagion. Most of them have endured the risk of dehydration and exhaustion in PPE kits in hot and humid climatic conditions.  We must strive to continue in the same zeal and spirit as shown by our Lord Shri Ram.

Lessons from Lakshman Rekha

Lakshman rekha is synonymous with provision for self defence. Self precautions, care and self help are must for combatting this evil. In our over sincere commitment, let us not forget our “Lakshman Rekha”. Let us not compromise in our ethics or our personal safety. There is difference between abruptly reacting to a situation and carefully responding to it. Let us show responsible response with backbone of proper training and correct information. Like our honorable Prime minister has said ” jab tak dawayei nahi, tak tak dhilai nahi” . The universal precautions in place like proper masks, social distancing and PPE are need of the hour.

Lessons from Raavan

Some of our bureaucrats and political mentors have started suffering from the Raavan complex. Raavan was the learned, wise and able king of Lanka. He was intelligent and powerful. He was also pompous and glamorous. Lanka was called ‘sone ki nagri’ ( golden city). But he was defeated by his own arrogance and pride. The mighty Raavn admonished Queen Mandodari and brother Vibhishan for their wise counsel. Finally he was defeated by Shri Ram. So all our administrators must remember this necessary lesson and be cautious of it.

Lessons from Shri Hanuman

Ramayana offers an easy effective solution to this herculean ego crisis. It is a simple effective Hanuman solution. Lord Hanuman was truly noble, wise and powerful of all. He is known as Vayu putra (son of Wind God). He was strong, yet affable. He was a leader, yet he chose voluntary service. He had no demands, despite his huge stature. On the other hand he had a submissive, generous attitude.

This is for all bureaucrats, politicians and public officials and employees in general. A large hearted deliberation and execution of matters is the need of the hour. It should not be crowded by haughty decisions and hasty implementation.

Lessons from Shiva Bhagwan

The ‘Mahadev’ or Shiva, is in one hand worshipped as the God of Destruction, while on the other, he also symbolizes passion, freedom and creativity. Shiva the Yogi, the ascetic, the fierce one was also a great dancer, singer and kind hearted God.

Passion and creativity is the need of the hour now. To innovate, create and build new opportunities. Be it video conferencing or safe contactless sample collection booths to robotic surgeries, the health care and all other essential services must strive for betterment according to changing needs and demands of present times. We must find new solutions to become efficient and sustainable and environment friendly.

Now, during these socially distant depressing times it is of utmost importance to immerse oneself in leisure, meditation and passion.

Lessons from Shri Krishna

Last, but not the least, Krishna in the Bhagwad Gita (Song of God) has prophesied the Karma concept. We must continue to do our karma ( duty) in the right spirit, with selfless intent, without having obsession for the consequences, with proper guidelines and knowledge. Only then can we emerge victorious from this fatal global pandemic and achieve our Dharma.

The universal law of karma dictates that ‘as we sow, we shall reap’. Our actions in present time will reap results in future. Let us all contribute our best, so that eventually true joy, bliss and peace can prevail.

Published by Amrita

A regular person. Loves to read, love and write. A mother of two. A doctor by profession. Ferociously enthusiastic, adventure seeker and lover of life.

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