Amma knows my children are all living in fear of coronavirus. Amma is thinking of all of you and praying for you. This is a time when you have to exercise extreme caution and alertness. It is the time to respond with courage, self-control and unity. Amma knows that my children are all afraid, but fear is not helpful now. What is needed is caution and alertness. Courage is the primary thing. With courage, you can overcome anything. So, abandon fear and gather courage. The antivirus that can kill this virus is courage. Courage is our mind’s antivirus. If you befriend Dhairya Lakshmi (the Goddess of Courage), you will gain the strength to face and overcome anything.
My children should strictly follow all the instructions and directions given by their government and law-enforcement officials. At the same time, pray intensely, with a melting heart, for God’s grace. Our grandmothers used to say, “Take the medicine and chant the mantra at the same time.” Similarly, in this circumstance, both our diligent effort and God’s grace are equally needed. Every citizen should exercise the same amount of sraddha (attention and alertness) as a soldier serving on the battle line. My children, pray for the souls of those who have passed on and for the peace of mind of their families.
Three years ago, Amma felt an impending disaster looming ahead in 2020. Two years ago, Amma developed the ‘White Flower Meditation for World Peace & Divine Grace’ to alleviate this. In it, it is said that what is coming cannot be completely averted and we will have to experience some of its effects. Amma has explained this meditation technique, and we have been practicing it for the past two years, benefitting the world. Children, Amma requests everyone to regularly practice this meditation once or twice a day for the benefit of the entire world.
Everything exists in the form of waves or vibrations. In the last century, the French designed the Concorde—a jet that can fly at supersonic speeds. Its sonic boom was so powerful that its shockwaves damaged buildings. Similarly, the sound of a song is transmitted in waves or vibrations. Everything exists in the form of waves or vibrations. The type of vibration generated by anger is different from that generated by a mother showing affection for her child, which is again different from that generated by love, and different again from that generated by lust. With the vibration of our prayer along with our diligent effort, it may be possible to resist the virus. Prayer with sankalpa (deep intention) does have an effect.
There is a rhythm to everything in creation—an undeniable relationship between the entire universe and every living creature within it. The universe is like a vast interconnected network. Imagine four people holding the four corners of a net. If it is shaken in one place, the vibration is felt throughout. Similarly, whether we are aware of it or not, all of our actions reverberate throughout creation—whether erformed as an individual or as a group. That is why Amma repeatedly says, we are not individual islands but links of a common chain. Therefore, don’t wait for others to change before you do. You can create change the outside by changing yourself inside, even if others do not.
Suppose a person living on the 10th floor of a building sees the ground floor on fire and hears a person staying there calling to him for help. If he says, “It’s the ground floor that’s on fire. It’s your problem. Why should I worry about it?” it would be complete foolishness. The fire on the ground floor will soon rise upwards. In a similar way, someone else’s problem today will become our problem tomorrow.
Similarly, when the virus first surfaced in China, all of us thought it was China’s problem, not ours. Eventually, didn’t it turn out to be our problem? The question is not whether they controlled the disease or not, but how we tackle it. If we are alert and exercise caution and diligence, we will be able to protect ourselves and prevent the disease from spreading.
What should my children do? Imagine if we break our leg. We may have to stay in our room—sometimes for two to six months. We won’t think of this as a burden because we know it is necessary in order for our leg to heal. Similarly, the isolation, sanitation and extreme caution we have to practice now will help us gain strength to fight the virus. Those who have contracted the virus shouldn’t be afraid. Just adhere to the quarantine and ensure that you do not spread it to others. Stay in your room. Similarly, if you develop any symptoms, inform the proper authorities and seek help.
There are currently 3,000 people living in Amritapuri Ashram. There are people from many nations as well as Indians living here. In the ashram, we are strictly adhering to the government’s regulations and not allowing anyone to come inside. Even if someone who lives here goes out, they are not allowed to return for many days. These rules were put by the government, and we have complied. These 3,000 people here have to be protected as well. That is why this rule was put into place.
During this time, Amma is receiving her children who have not left the ashram. This is the one time in a year when the ashram residents get a chance to share all their issues with Amma. Amma calls each person and listens to their problems of the year. Usually every year, Amma sets aside about 25 days for this. Following all the government guidelines, Amma comes out for daily meditation and prayer. The rest of the time is set aside for listening to the problems of the residents.
The Indian Government has been very alert and proactive in addressing the pandemic. That is why we have been able to resist it at least this much. Let us pray sincerely and practice due diligence and caution, so that it is contained and doesn’t spread further. Let us protect and save ourselves. We ourselves are the light or darkness in our own path. We ourselves are the thorns or flowers on our path.
There is always a limit to human effort. However carefully we may drive, a careless driver can crash into us. For anything to bear its intended result, the factor of grace is needed. Proper effort is needed first. But for it to succeed, we require grace. Prayer is essential to receive this grace.
Now my children have understood that our life is only in the present moment. Even our next breath is not in our hands. Our real lifespan is determined by how well we use the present moment. Because that is where our life abides. Amma always says that my children have to know themselves. Know yourself and pray for the world with wakefulness, enthusiasm and peace.Each day sit in your room for some time and chant the mantra ‘Om lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu’. That is a good practice during these times.
The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader and humanitarian