All that you see in the external world, from microcosm to macrocosm, is present in you. The mountains, oceans, cities, villages, etc., are present in your heart. All beings are in you. You are the basis of everything. Such being the case, what is it that you want to see in the external world? How foolish it is on your part to get carried away by the reflection outside, ignoring the reality within.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Prasanthi Nilayam, July 21, 2002
As our heart cries out to the sufferings of over a million people, affected by the pandemic caused by COVID-19, our minds seek answers and understanding. This mighty microbe, the coronavirus, has turned the whole world on its head and challenged the smartest creation on the planet - humans. Is Nature sending us a message to reflect, revisit some basic truths, and learn to coexist with all creation?
Through His life and teachings, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has shown us how to live healthy and spiritual lives. He stresses that the One who exists in humans equally exists in every organism of His creation. We can learn some important lessons from His words, as we are faced with this crisis, where we are either affected deeply, or in a position of putting our lives at risk every moment, or we may feel trapped inside our homes to prevent spreading the virus.
Lesson 1: Unity and Oneness
A human is not a separate entity. One who realises one’s oneness with God is a true human being. There may be differences in physical forms of human beings, but the same divine principle is present in all.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Brindavan (Whitefield), May 31, 2008
We can understand the oneness of the world. One event that originated in China is having ripple effects all over the world. Likewise, this whole universe is also connected in a way that any change somewhere affects the entire system. Any action, however small it may be, can cascade and disrupt the entire universal ecosystem. Regardless of the background, ethnicity, race, profession, bank balance, power etc., everyone is equally vulnerable to the virus.
Maybe it is time for us to fight it with our united front and show the power of human oneness!
Lesson 2: Purity - External and Internal
Both inner and outer purity are essential for man’s physical and mental health. Most people are concerned about external physical cleanliness. People tend to ignore inner cleanliness in the belief that the heart and mind are not visible to others. But they should realise that the physical body is made up of the five elements and will return to the dust sometime or other. It is the state of the spirit that is important. Even the body should be regarded as the abode of the Spirit and cared for as such.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Trayee Brindavan, May 3, 1987
Cleanliness is next to godliness. God expects us to keep ourselves pure – physically and spiritually. We are learning that external purity, such as, keeping ourselves clean, not touching our face, and washing hands often is most important to keep this virus away from us.
We also need to be aware of what we eat, as everything that goes inside us affects our health and thoughts. We can achieve internal purity in our thoughts and feelings through various tools like namasmarana, meditation, devotional singing. Many devotees took up the special sadhana programme as an offering to our Lord Sai for the Aradhana Mahotsavam. Sadhana helps the devotees to connect with Swami and forget the external challenges of the world which is temporary.
Lesson 3: Ceiling on Desires
You should exercise control over your desires. In fact, there should be a limit for everything in life. But man today is conducting himself without any restraint. World today has provided man with many modern means of comfort in life. No doubt, they have made his life easy and comfortable, but at the same time these very things are leading him on the unsacred and sinful path.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Brindavan, May 6, 2006
With the governments regulating emergencies globally, the amount of resources available to us has reduced significantly. We need to ask ourselves – do we really need everything we generally use or do to survive? Do we really need everything we wish for?
We can apply a ceiling on our desires and learn to conserve.
Lesson 4: Be Positive
The best way to love God is to love all and serve all. Your acts of service should be suffused with the spirit of love. Without the positive aspect of love, all service you render becomes negative in nature.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Prasanthi Nilayam, Jan 1, 2003
The best service we can do now, is to keep ourselves healthy and stay positive. If we are sick, then we should isolate ourselves to keep others healthy.
Lesson 5: Recognise Divinity Within
Although divine capability finds greater expression in man than in other beings, Divinity is actually latent in all things in the Universe. It is this Omnipresence that provides a powerful undercurrent of unity to the otherwise apparent and bewildering diversity.”
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, May 20, 2000
God created the universe and is in every single particle of it. Every single cell has God and is potent to do anything and everything.
Have faith in God, everything happens for a reason, and His Will is ultimately for the welfare of all beings. Try to be calm and face everything with faith that God is in you, around you, protecting you.
With our prayers to Swami, let us all send our loving thoughts and healing wishes to all those who are affected by this adversity, and strength to all emergency and essential service providers. Jai Sairam.
Right from today, develop sacred feelings, serve your parents, respect elders, and adopt God as your friend. With God as your friend, you are sure to find fulfilment in life. Cheerfully accept all tests He may subject you to, remembering that they all are meant for your own good. No matter how difficult or painful the test, always repeat to yourself: “This is good for me, this is good for me.” You must have full faith that everything that God does is only for your good and welfare. You have a disease and you undergo surgery. The doctor cuts you with a sharp knife; he does so not out of hatred for you but because he wants to cure you. In the same way, understand that God too is curing you out of love for you; there is thus no room for grumbling or complaints.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, May 20, 2000