2020 Global Challenges Q&A

How long do you think it will last?


This is not a time-bound event. The answer depends upon many factors such as what precautionary measures are taken, the level of hygiene maintenance, the degree of research and study, our cooperation with our country’s administration, and also the way we react - either in panic or with patience, and how much we raise our awareness of this virus and its severity of negative impact on us.


It will recede after some time. The peak is still not over yet, it seems. Certainly, it cannot last for very long. However, these viruses become more active at certain times, and recede again, such as SARS, Ebola, HIV, etc have done in the past. They have a common origin. Each virus has its own character and tendency.


Governments imposing a lockdown is the right action to reduce the virus from spreading.

The pandemic situation can be controlled by confining ourselves to wherever we are. It is really good that we are not exposing ourselves to public activities at the moment.


There is also the question of how long the virus will persist. It will certainly subside. Yet this is not the first time this has happened. It has occurred many times in the history of human existence and in the history of the species on Earth. These viruses are of so many kinds and their existence dates back several billion years. Our ancestors have been infected by these types of viruses. Even today, we can see traces in our genes; through phylogenetic studies, the fossilized markers can trace infections, causing what we call mass losses, losing large numbers of humans as well as other species. These viruses do not have an independent existence. They are a part of us in a way. It is similar to the way that some people, for whatever reasons, behave demonically and destructively. They can become violent and their nature tends to cause them to destroy things. They have a distorted mentality, and many other imbalances, so they become destructive to society. However, they are still part of our human society.


Similarly, viruses are simply debris of broken cells, damaged cells or corrupt cells. Somehow, certain viruses have gathered the capability over time of infecting animals and humans. If they can jump from the animal species to the human species, they are called ‘zoonotic’ and are capable of causing zoonotic disease.


“The realization and experience of one’s spirituality become possible when the universe and all beings in it are comprehended as a single, whole entity. Such an understanding and experience of wholeness raises one’s consciousness towards enlightenment.” Quotation from ‘Becoming Inspired’ 2003.


Fortunately, our body is well equipped by nature to fight such deadly viruses. Our human existence is very powerful, our body has a good composition and it is well structured. Our immune defence ensures that we have a lot of protection. We really have to wonder how our body’s defence mechanism fights against such virulent viruses. Our bodies are made up of 100 trillion cells, and even though about 5-10 million cells are used by viruses to replicate themselves, our immune system can still overcome them. So, the system is very good. We should not work against our body’s natural defensive mechanism. We should work with our body’s immune system; joining with this system consciously, emotionally and thoughtfully. We can then overcome such deadly outbreaks. At the end of the day, it is the body that has to face these virulent attacks; medicine can only assist and help to a certain extent. In truth there is no medicine for a virus. Vaccines can only stop the spread.


While our body has the formula to overcome the illness, in many cases where the immunity is very low already, such as pre-existing conditions like respiratory or heart conditions, the body becomes more vulnerable to these types of viruses. Therefore, such people should take more precautions. They should live naturally, regularly eat fresh food which where possible, has been prepared with organically grown vegetables, do some yoga and meditation, get adequate rest and reduce stress.


More than this coronavirus itself, it is our fear, stress and anxiety that can negatively affect us and increase our susceptibility. When we react with anxiety, stress and fear, worrying more about the future rather than recognizing the present status, it can destroy us while we are still alive.

Therefore, we should not prematurely jump to negative conclusions. Instead we can take precautions and work constructively. We can remind ourselves that we are here now, things are going well, and even though some people have contracted the virus, there is still a good chance of survival, which has been proven in thousands of cases who have survived.

When you are fearful, the body’s immunity diminishes rapidly and the body cannot effectively fight against the illness. It is as though you have given up, and the body’s performance level drops


Instead, to boost our immunity and maintain homeostasis (balance) at a good level, we should join in consciously with our body’s internal defensive system by being calm and maintaining an attitude of positivity. We should rest sufficiently, eat well in a timely fashion, observe vegetarianism, stretch with yoga, practice Dhyana and pranayama, chant good mantras, verify information and avoid making negative assumptions. Stay grounded with your spirit and remain close to your breath.

We can choose to join in positively with the body system or allow the body to work on its own without trying to influence it. So that is the state of mind we have to achieve. Such a state of serenity, equanimity and oneness can be achieved only through proper philosophical understanding and a positive attitude with a spiritual touch.

“The realization and experience of one’s spirituality becomes possible when the universe and all beings in it are comprehended as a single, whole entity. Such an understanding and experience of wholeness raises one’s consciousness towards enlightenment.” Quotation from ‘Becoming Inspired’ 2003.

We can only do what we can and be realistic. Stay grounded and be close to your spirit. Take one day at a time and see where it takes you, see what you can achieve. Also, try to maintain a routine and hygienic practices such as keeping your hands clean. Find out what your grandparents used to do and follow that.


Did you see this crisis coming?


Thirty years ago, I had expressed that these things would happen, through songs of Kannada language, from the place where I come from in India. These songs are called Arka Geeta, some of which were sung by myself. One of the stanzas in the song describes that there would be a day mothers will not be able to feed their babies with their milk, but with only cow’s milk. Babies will grow without mother’s care, affection and shelter. Many will fall ill even before seeing the world. Air, water and food will be polluted more and more. Advancement of technology will make people become more mechanical and emotions will start drying up.

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