At a time when a new pandemic is threatening our lives, an important question faces humankind.
“What is God doing about Corona Virus?”
My spiritual journey to understand God started two decades ago to comprehend God’s purpose behind my daughter’s death before my very own eyes. My idea of God then was that God was an all-powerful super intelligent figurehead that controlled my life. I wanted answers.
Wherever I looked the answers were vague and came merely in the form of pointers like “She was not just the body”. “Your daughter died, not her soul”. “We are all Brahman in the form of bodies and minds”. “I am That”. “Aham Brahmasmi”.
After 20 years, hundreds of books and thousands of meditation sessions one beautiful evening, a few years ago during one of my meditation sessions, ‘I’ suddenly disappeared. There was no ‘me’. There was only an awareness of a blissful presence and a happening. A bird was chirping, a body was breathing, and there was only Awareness of sounds and sights without any arising in my mind or consciousness. The chirping of the bird was happening along with the sound of body breathing. They were both merely happening; not to or in anything, just happening. This state of a witnessing presence continued for the rest of the day and lasted till I went to sleep. Even the sound of my wife talking to me and my replies were merely happening. My own voice sounded like an echo.
The next morning, ‘I was back again. My mind jumped right back, and the blissful sense of presence and absence of mind was gone. Thoughts about my day ahead and the commitments that lay before me took over, and I carried on with my Samsaric(worldly) activities.
But I had gotten my answer. I recognised that “Mohan” was a happening. Mohan was an appearance on a screen of universal awareness. That intelligent all accepting universal awareness is God. I was like a mere shadow against the illumination of awareness mistaking itself for reality.
The great Indian philosopher Radhakrishnan defines ”Brahman” as the ultimate essence of material phenomena that cannot be seen or heard, but whose nature can be known through the development of self-knowledge. This Universal Awareness or Brahman is not an object of perception perceivable by the mind.
For each one of us to experience the presence of this blissful presence, (popularly called non-dual Awareness in the west) this ‘me’ and” you” that we have all constructed will have to be completely deconstructed. That is what our great philosopher J Krishnamurthy meant when he said: “You have to die every day to live everyday”. In other words, “You” cannot be there if pure Awareness is to be experienced. Your mind will come in the way of experiencing unadulterated awareness.
In reality, you are that intelligent Awareness behind the creation and not merely the mind you have constructed or your body. The real you is that screen of absorbing mirror of Awareness existing along with a reflection called mind-body, the Universal infinite Consciousness named ‘Brahman’ in our Vedas. The mind cannot perceive it. It is like a child turning around in all directions looking for the source of its own shadow.
Human bodies carry out respiration, but our self-created minds start to restrict and identify their locations with bodies and introduce an” I” at the age of two and say “I am here and breathing”. But our bodies carry out our respiration and other functions effortlessly without our created” I’s”. In fact catching your body respiring by itself is the first step towards mindfulness. Don’t breathe and watch but catch your body respiring by itself.
Science sees Awareness as an output of the brain and limited to our body. But Science is yet to understand and explain how awareness forms; how, where, and at what point does the brain, purely physical, produce Awareness?
But why did God create Corona in the first place? To even try to know God’s thoughts is human arrogance. We can never know while the Corona war is going on. But analysis of God will begin after the event has passed.
God is an infinitely intelligent all-pervading field that allows everything. Corona is as acceptable to God as humans. God watches thousands of human lives lost due to Corona Virus as lovingly as the millions of farm animals that are saved from butchering due to Coronavirus.
It is all a mystery, and there is no way of knowing. God’s witnessing presence in His creation of universe including our world, Samsara, earthly happenings is the only ultimate truth. The reasons, the cause or the outcome are all mysteries.
Religion has taken a back seat as Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the sick in place of rituals and sermons. About time these places of worship turned to love and service to mankind instead of serving only to their kind. The world has realised what really matters. All over the world people are waking up to a new reality. Religion has no answers and how little control we really have over what happens.
If we look at the current situation from another perspective, perhaps humankind is the virus, nature the patient and Corona Virus, nature’s anti-body.
Whether God sent or manmade, one thing is for sure. Corona virus has made mankind realize how very same we are all at the soul level. Corona Virus has made humankind bow down to each other instead of reaching out and shaking hands.
I am talking, of course of Namaste gesture. Namaste is the acknowledgement of the Divine within and along with each other. Recognising that the almighty God dwells in all human and other living beings.
We are one.
We are all Brahman performing for its own sake in the form of a bodies and minds. All of creation is only that universal Awareness, in reality, Corona Virus included.
The real you or I can never perish, Tat twam asi….” you are that”