By Preity Upala
We are living in interesting times indeed. Perhaps the most challenging, perplexing and fearful times ever in our history. We are in the Twilight zone in many ways. The Covid19 Pandemic has affected our planet like nothing else ever has before. Just goes to show no matter how rich, successful or powerful you are and even if you are living in the greatest country in the world at the best time in history, our entire existence is at stake and with our every move now controlled by a force beyond us.
If anything, Covid19 has taught us everything we were doing wrong in our lives. Let’s explore the success of the free, technologically advanced world that we live in today. The western society especially, known as a template of a free and equal society, focuses more on success and achievement yet perhaps less on inner fulfillment and genuine contentment. We have more than ever before yet we are more depressed, sick and lonelier than ever as well. We were so disconnected from Mother nature, from each other and even our higher self in a deeper sense.
Perhaps we took our world and each other for granted, did not ask the right questions or look in the right places for the answers. Maybe we were not living our best self or chasing out authentic ‘Dharma’- Purpose in life. We are now being shown a mirror to evaluate ourselves honestly and look deeper within.
Hollywood in particular is Lala land, after all. This is the most illusory town in the world and we are realizing just how consumed we had become in the meaningless and the material.
In Western society, we are unfortunately not equipped to deal with deep, complex maladies such as depression or loneliness.
They don’t encourage you to seek help, especially with alternative remedies and metaphysical modalities. Young or old, people are not encouraged to get help or explore other possibilities and different ways of being.
We are not asking the right questions, or looking for answers in the right places or seeking advice from the right people. I don’t believe we are focusing on what’s truly important. But why is this the case?
In the end, the only thing that matters is the divine connection you can have with your true self and indeed the divine. That alone can fill the heart with unconditional love and fill the void inside that alone can keep these maladies at bay.
In Sanathan Dharma, or Hinduism as it is commonly known today, a fundamental Spiritual principle is that ‘Life is just a Leela,- A Divine play.’ We are all actors, playing out our parts and fulfilling our Samskaras- Karmic Patterns. Everything is Maya – a Divine illusion, the only thing real is the soul and its journey.
The oldest spiritual and indeed scientific texts in the world, the Vedas, dating at least 5000 years if not more, talk about these profound concepts of interconnectedness and oneness. Perhaps we could find some solace in this ancient wisdom to make sense of it all.
The solution may be a cultural one. The West could benefit enormously from looking to the East, during this time, for its hierarchy of values. In India, for example, Hindus accept the impermanence of everything material and understand that the only thing that is of any importance or consequence is to move towards Moksha or spiritual liberation. Seeking truth is the highest goal in Indian Hindu culture. In India, even the poorest have an understating and surrender to the Divine Flow of life and you can see this in the glimmer in their eyes and their warm smiles. Some of them have an inner peace you would struggle to find in some of the wealthiest cities in the world.
All these lessons are more resonant now more than ever. To give us a breather and an opportune moment to look with and contemplate. It’s a great time to truly meditate. California is a place where there is a Yoga studio or a Meditation center on every corner. But this is the true test of our Sadhana- Spiritual practice. To test us if we have indeed been practicing what we have been preaching.
Self -love and Self-compassion come from knowing that you are not the Mind or the Body but the Spirit that resides within. When you honor that Spirit inside as Divinity and know that is it connected to the Universal Consciousness, only then will you revere your own life and the life of others. On the one hand we are more unified and interconnected due to the global lockdown, and on the other, life is teaching us that we are ultimately traveling solo on our Spiritual path.
There have also been a lot of people globally who have transitioned during this time. Some public figures and many who were not. We are shown the cycle of Life- Birth and death. The only thing that gives solace to our soul is that it’s all divinely perfect.
This seems to be an alarming problem in the western world and hopefully we find the courage to find solace in our soul desires. It may be looking East or looking within, but we are realizing that people need compassion, understanding and love most of all and that we get it during our seemingly most defeated times.
The silver lining in all of this is the clean air, clean oceans, vibrant nature and a replenishment and rejuvenation of our planet. This is ultimately a good thing. A reset. Something we have been desperate for a while, and now it has magically arrived. It’s important in these crucial times to hang on to everything good and not to relapse in the near future.
The Human Spirit is strong and unwavering in the face of adversity and fear, ultimately. We are going through yet another test of our Spirit and conviction that we will be alright.
I am an eternal optimist and have no doubt that this too shall pass!