CHENNAI, India, 16 March 2020
When caronavirus attack happened in Wuhan region in China, many governments and people around the world thought it was a localized affair and Chinese government would tackle it. However, when Caronavirus started spreading across the world, a sense of vague fear gripped the people. Further, when several governments including the US declared national emergencies to tackle the crisis, alarm and fear amongst people all over the world set in. Today, the world community is under the vice-like grip of fear psychosis, making people extremely anxious and restless about their own safety and that of relatives and friends.
Even after a few months, after the death of around 5,000 people due to coronavirus, and several thousand more being treated, still there is no conclusive evidence as to why the virus occurred, how long it would last, and what could be the drug to treat or vaccine to prevent the virus disease.
Countries are closing their borders and denying visas to foreigners. Many suggestions have been made such as hand washing, wearing of mask, avoiding shaking hands, etc.
However, at the bottom of their hearts everyone knows that panic is not prevention.
The situation has now become so grave that everyone looks at others with suspicion. Even a slight fever or cough is being looked at as possible indication of coronavirus attack and such people are treated as untouchables. The fact that fever and cough have been happening to people all over the world for several thousands of years when coronavirus was not known, is not enough reason for people not to fear simple cough or running nose, today.
While scientists and medical industry are striving hard to find a drug for treating coronavirus, no one seems to be thinking of strategies to tackle the “mental attack” that people are facing now. It appears that no religious heads or non-governmental organisations or activists have thought about the need to build a proper mindset amongst people in facing this crisis.
Today, while a fraction of the world population has been identified as suffering from coronavirus, billions of people around the world are shivering with fear about the “impending coronavirus attack” on them from “anywhere or nowhere”.
In this difficult situation, the Hindu philosophy has an answer and shows the way.
Hindu philosophy discusses what is known as “Karma theory”, which means that every act of a human being in life is pre-destined and will occur at the appropriate time, and is unpreventable. The Hindu philosophy virtually asks people to reconcile themselves to the pre-destined situation.
At the same time, Hindu religion does not advocate an inactive or action-less life. It calls for every one to do their duty and strive for achievement at every time and opportunity. It certainly does not ask people to go to sleep when facing problems in life.
While advocating the concept of destiny and at the same time of leading an active life, Hindu philosophy further advocates the concept of detachment. This implies that everyone should work and strive, and at the same time accept developments as the Will of God, wherever He is and whatever He is.
This Hindu philosophy is very apt in today’s conditions of coronavirus attack, where the scientists and medical industry should strive to develop a drug for treatment of the virus and every individual should observe all suggested precautions to safeguard themselves. At the same time, individuals should not allow themselves to get into a psychosis of fear and develop a panicky mindset as if coronavirus attack is on the doorstep.
Strive hard to prevent unhappy development and develop a mindset of reconciliation, if any unfortunate event were to happen.
About the author
NS Venkataraman is a chemical engineer as well as a social activist in Chennai, India. He is the founder trustee of Nandini Voice for the Deprived, a Chennai-based not-for-profit organisation serving the cause of the deprived and down-trodden, and working for probity in public life.
More articles by NS Venkataraman on Tibet Sun.