Sadhguru on Coronavirus – Challenge and Chance
Sadhguru addresses the current Coronavirus pandemic, how to conduct ourselves in this situation, precautions to take, and how to best use this time of slowdown and self-quarantine.
How to Face an Invisible Adversary like Coronavirus?Sadhguru: There are times where inaction becomes more significant than action. This is a time like that. The less you do, the better – in terms of work, and especially in terms of travel. Because, we have seen many infectious diseases. India has gone through bouts of malaria, and more recently dengue and chikungunya. For all three of these infectious diseases, the carriers are mosquitoes. So we always took measures to exterminate the mosquitoes. But in the present situation, we are the carriers. We cannot kill, so we must lie low. This is the time to sit back, look at our lives, reflect, strategize the trajectory of what we want our life to be, and above all, realize the fragile nature of our existence. Most human beings do not understand this on a day-to-day basis. Our life is very fragile – a microscopic virus can kill us.
The adversaries that we are facing are invisible. That is what makes them so dangerous. Because we are the carriers, if it is going from one person to another, we need to understand that if one person is missing in between, it will not go to the next person. Therefore, we have grounded all of us who generally travel extensively, all the Inner Engineering Ishangas (teachers), including myself. Many used to complain about the travel – now they must enjoy being here. Now you must learn how to be without much to do. And above all, those who had no time to do Yoga, here it is. If you could not close your eyes and meditate because you were busy, here you are. This is the time to close your eyes and sit.
Coronavirus Lockdown – Time for a Reality Check
This is a reality check for all of us. The fragile life that we are, have we organized ourselves to understand and live here, knowing how fragile and transient our life is – have we planned for a life like that? Or are you living in a make-believe world of your own, thinking you are going to be here forever? This is a reality check as to who we are.
Let us make use of this. If you could not enlighten yourself by yourself, at least use the virus. It is making you realize – just like that, someone might sneeze and you will die. It is a good lesson and a good reminder. This is not a time to be panicky, but we need to be precautious. We are taking every possible step that we can practically take in the ashram. Every one of you should cooperate and be part of it. If you see anyone even a little down, make sure they get checked.
We want to go through this successfully and gracefully. How about you? What India is doing right now, considering the kind of population that we are, it is an incredible effort. We are making a strategy of preparation and prevention, not just for the nation but for all the nations that share a border with us. This is going to cost us enormously. In terms of people and businesses, the nation and the world are going to take an enormous economic hit. There is an enormous cost to this, but any cost is better than being dead. Right now, the focus is on staying alive.
To stay alive, you just have to be missing in action and keep your traveling shoes off for a little while. Your friendships, your closeness to people, all this you must miss for some time. The love should be nurtured in your heart; it need not be expressed for some time. Ensure that neither you nor anyone around you falls victim to the virus. You have to take care to neither put yourself nor anyone around at risk. You must live with this commitment until this is over. If you have a cough, stay away from others. This is not discrimination. This is just sense. Those who are sensible will survive these situations. Those who are senseless will be brave and dead.
Taking Responsibility for Others and Yourself
There is no need to cause too much panic about it. There is a difference between being precautious and panicky – panicky means you will do all the wrong things; precautious means you do the right things. The simplest thing you can do is to stay away from everyone. Keep your outside activities to a minimum. This is not the time to travel the world. As many of you have been so busy you could not meditate or do Shambhavi Mahamudra – now is the time. You can use the time you have to build yourself up. We cannot decide what life throws at us, but what we make out of it is hundred percent ours.
Right now, for some reason, nature has thrown a deadly virus at us. Let us make the best out of it. It will go. Whether the summer will kill it, it will die by itself, or go some other way, we do not know. But it will not last forever. In the meantime, because it is an invisible enemy, we just bow our heads and sit around for some time. Let it pass. If it was a big giant, we would have fought it. Because the virus needs us for transportation, all we need to do right now is not provide the transportation. You must make this commitment. That way, you will ensure that you will not be the carrier who gives the virus to another human being. If the virus comes to you, it must stop with you. You must take care of this.
Balance and Intelligence Are Needed Most
Scientific predictions talk about life cycles of the virus, and how that plays out. Whether it will settle before the 15th of April or not depends on whether we go by the directives or we get tired of the virus precautions and go about our business as usual, which would have an enormous cost. When life around you is in crisis, then your intelligence, your physical health, your sense of balance, your wisdom, everything is of utmost value. When we face a struggle like this one, this is the time to turn inward.
Editor's Note: As humanity faces unprecedented challenges, Sadhguru will go live at Sadhguru App, YouTube, FaceBook, Instagram, from 22 March onward, between 6:00 p.m. and 6:40 p.m. Post your questions to Sadhguru in the comments, in written or video format, using #BeatTheVirus. Make the best of this rare opportunity to get your question answered by Sadhguru!