The Coronavirus pandemic has killed thousands of people all over the world. Even the wealthiest and the mightiest people of the world are helpless in front of it.
It has plunged the whole world into misery. As we are struggling for survival and trying our best to save ourselves from this tiny little virus, let us pause for a moment and ask ourselves as why we are always subjected to suffering in this world? Or why suffering never ceases to end in this world? And is there any place in the entire creation of God where there is no suffering and where we can live fearlessly?
Its not that people were free from the diseases before the attack of the virus. And it will also not happen that once the cure of the virus has been found people will never suffer from any diseases. People were dying in the past; people are dying in the present and people will continue to die in the future. In fact, in Bhagavad Gita 8.16 it is said that there are no planets in the entire material universe where there is no suffering and no death.
Miseries in this world follow us like a shadow. None of us want to suffer from any diseases but we are forced to suffer.
None of us want to grow old but every moment we grow old. In fact, a tiny little kid playing carelessly in its pram is also growing old every second. We all want to live forever. We all want to remain united with our parents, with our spouse, with our siblings, with our children, with our friends forever. But we are forced to get separated. But we are not able to save them when the agents of death take them away from us. We watch helplessly as they are slowly devoured by death. Their tears and our tears do not melt the heart of the cruel and emotionless death. And a day will come when we will also be forced to leave this world.
As per the stringent laws of the material universe we cannot live here permanently. And as per the laws of this world as long as we live here, we will also have to undergo different types of sufferings.
The scriptures tell about three types of miseries which always afflicts anyone and everyone in this world.
- adhidaivika-klesa: Sufferings caused by the higher powers like the demigods. Droughts, earthquakes, storms and other natural calamities come under this category.
- adhibhautika-klesa: Sufferings caused because of other living beings like insects, mosquitoes, or fellow human beings.
- adhyatmika-klesa : Sufferings because of one’s own body and mind. For example, mental anxiety, fear, indecision, other mental illness or physical problems related to our body.
We make so many plans to mitigate these miseries. We anchor our hope on technological advancement hoping that it will succeed one day in shielding us against all the miseries which nature inflict upon us. We believe that by creating more wealth we can secure our future and celebrate our life. And most importantly we desperately hope that a day will come when the medical science will discover an elixir which will make us immortal.
Like us, our forefathers too had the same wishes. They too did not want to suffer. They too did not want to die.
But history is testimony to the fact that no one has ever succeeded in bypassing the laws of this material world.
The Supreme Lord, our original father, and the architect of this world have clearly said that this world is temporary, this body of ours is temporary, this world is full of suffering, this body of ours is full of suffering and no matter how hard we try everything is going to come to an end one day.
So, did God create us to live miserably and die miserably? Does God enjoy seeing us, his children, suffer? Definitely Not.
In fact, most of the children of God are supremely blissful and are celebrating their life in the company of God in the kingdom of God. But unfortunate souls like us decided to be here in this material world away from God. Sometimes a child out of foolishness rebels against his family, rejects his father’s wise advice and runs away from his house. Away from his home, away from his family and away from his loving and caring mother and father he simply suffers.
Our condition is akin to that rebellious son. We are suffering because we ran away from our spiritual homes and came to this material world. In the spiritual world under the shelter of Krishna we were enjoying our life along with the residents of the spiritual world. And away from Krishna here we are suffering every moment.
So, what is the solution? Are we condemned forever? Are we going to suffer forever.? Not at all. Although we leave Krishna, but Krishna never leaves us. He always lives with us in our heart as Parmatma. He incarnates in this world again and again to invite us to return back to his abode.
And he is always accessible to us through his holy names. Padma Purana says that the name of Krishna and Krishna Himself are identical.
So when we are chanting his names with sincerity, it means we are directly associating with him and taking his shelter. To live a life free of suffering and free of fear we do not have to wait to return back to the spiritual world. In fact, while living in this world, we can experience supreme bliss and live without fear.
Once we start practicing devotion to Krishna all our sufferings eventually vanish because we get cleansed of all our sins. As we are under the shelter of Krishna so Krishna who is the controller of this material world take charge of our life.
A tiny little fish can swim against the gigantic waves which can devour gigantic ships because it has taken shelter of ocean. Similarly, we too start living fearlessly in this world which is inundated with unlimited miseries by taking shelter of Krishna.
Prahlad Maharaj while offering his prayers to the Lord says, “O best of the great personalities, I am not at all afraid of material existence, for wherever I stay I am fully absorbed in thoughts of Your glories and activities.”
Material solution to the material suffering can give temporary relief. But the suffering eventually comes in different form and continues knocking us down again and again.
But Krishna promises that if we turn towards him then he will free us from all past sins and will remove all sufferings from our life. BG 18.66
So, let us worship the lotus feet of Krishna, the son of mother Yashoda, which makes one fearless and brings all auspiciousness. This is the best solution to attain freedom from never ending suffering.