How to respond to the current climate of fear

By: Satya Katiza & Kevin Sahaj

I feel that in this current climate of fear in the world, the panic surrounding the Corona Virus is the collective demon that is really showing people the nature of fear in their minds and the vulnerability of the people on the planet.

Of course, this virus is a real health issue and needs to be addressed with a serious and global response. But at the same time, this Corona Virus is waking people up to our unity as a planet and how fragile the whole world really is. So in a way, this is a very positive thing! Strange that sometimes what seems like a terrible event in our lives can often be a mirror showing us where we really are abiding in our minds. Wake up calls for growth often take the form of painful experiences - this pandemic is like a collective call to wake up and grow.

There is a yogic ancient story told in India that I believe is relevant to the current issue of the Corona Virus:

Once upon a time, there was a spiritual practitioner who for many years practised yoga and meditation. One day, he saw the perfection in things so clearly, that he felt an absolute trust in God and how everything was happening in such a beautiful manner. He felt protected in this newfound spiritual confidence. One day, he was walking along a road and encountered a huge elephant running quickly down the road towards him. The yogi stood in the road, knowing that God would save him because he had full trust in life. The elephant's driver kept yelling at him: 'GET OUT OF THE ROAD!! YOU WILL BE KILLED!' But the man knew he was protected and God would save him. Then, in one instant, the elephant squished him into chutney and he was dead. When the man’s soul floated up to the spiritual sky, he saw the Goddess waiting for him. He asked Her, 'I trusted you and believed you would save me from the elephant! What happened?? Why did you let me die??'. The Goddess said, 'You fool! didn’t you hear me in the form of the elephant driver telling you to get off the road? You didn’t listen to me and now you are dead!'

What this story is telling us as yoga practitioners is that we need to be aware and awake to our relative condition. We need to take care in times like these to do what is necessary to keep the spread of the virus in check, and to help those in need. Intelligent and skillful action is needed, not fear and panic.

May all beings be healthy in their bodies, hearts, and minds.


Kevin Sahaj and Katiza Satya

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