Religious Places and the Pandemic
Swamiji has been saying right since the beginning of this pandemic that universal consciousness or as we in India say Paramatma has shut down all places of worship; this is an indication for us to go and pray in our inner abode, the temple within. Most of us think of ‘God’ or a Supreme power when we are in trouble — if we face a financial, health, emotional or some such problem — that is when we run to a temple to pray — “God, please help me in overcoming my problem”. God, invariably helps you and then God is forgotten till the next problem. So, in a way we can say that we live from problem to problem and remember God from problem to problem! God becomes a solution to our problems — that is not the way it was meant to be — but God being compassionate and loving always steps up when you really need Him.
But this time, the pandemic is His way of telling you enough is enough — the pandemic may be man-made, but the devastating result is His loud and clear message to us saying — you now have to become self-dependent, do not depend on me! Swamiji has been preparing us and warning us that times are bad, 2020 will be the year of depression and so on. He had warned about a virus causing havoc in the times to come way back in 2004 and today we are living in that time. He had been preparing for this in his own way, we had year-round mega meditation camps where the year itself was dedicated to train first teachers, then two years for doctors, followed by two years for the police and armed forces — today’s front-line warriors! Those who sincerely followed the meditative practice have by and large remained safe and protected.
There were several online programmes held for the general public, where the message was loud and clear — find the God within. For the journey from Atma to Paramatma — Soul to Supreme Soul — those of us who meditate regularly will clearly tell you that this pandemic time has probably been the best time of their lives rather than to the contrary. I personally finished writing a book in the first three months of the pandemic — ‘Grace At Every Step — My Journey with the Samarpan Family’ which is available on Amazon in both hard copy and E-book format. The silence has been wonderful in elevating one’s self to near soul consciousness — the journey continues and I am sure with His Grace will reach the peak which each one of us is journeying towards — knowingly or unknowingly! Let us all surrender and dive deep within to the centre of our inner abode where there is nothing but eternal silence, peace, joy and indescribable bliss!