As many of you know, every morning in the Ashram at 7.30 (UK time) we are collectively chanting the Mrityunjaya Mantra 27 times (see text below) followed by a Meditation given by the Ashram residents
This Mantra is a vehicle to help align ourselves with the many people who have been seriously infected by the coronavirus. Many have died. Many have suffered financially; many more will certainly suffer. Many are full of fear for themselves and for their loved ones. To these, let us feel our heart-felt compassion, love and support. Let us feel united in the face of this challenge. Let us feel gratitude for those on the front line – medical staff, the thousands of volunteers who have given of themselves to help out. Let us think of and, where possible, help those who are most vulnerable. Let us share this burden by helping in any way that we can.
This pandemic is touching everyone. It is obliging us to look at essentials. Hopefully, when this is all over, we will apply changes to our lives and appreciate in our hearts the fact that we have been given this gift of life. At present, we are living on this world according to a materialistic paradigm, which is neither heathy, sustainable nor even fulfilling. We are not appreciating the sacred nature of life and existence; hopefully, this epidemic will change our perspective. This pandemic is enabling us to realise just how connected we all are. Moreover, if we look a little deeper, we will realise that we are not only connected materially (as this virus is showing us), but even more intimately connected energetically and spiritually. After all, as embodied beings we have all come from the same Source.
Lost in our self-centredness, we don’t really realise or appreciate that we are dependent on everyone and everything else. We share a network of life which nourishes each one of us. Everyone has their place; everyone is important. Let us feel this interconnectedness. This little virus is wreaking havoc, but at the same time, it is also bringing out the best in many people worldwide – cooperation, selflessness and hands-on compassion.
The economic fallout may be as bad as, or even worse, than the pandemic. Let us support each other if we can. Let us allow ourselves to be supported. Let us not spread panic and fear. As yogic practitioners, we should contact and support others from a clear space of trust and wisdom. This is putting what we have experienced and learnt from yoga into practice.
Let us not be overpowered by fear and despair. The world cannot continue to trundle on in the same way because it will eventually collapse under the weight of our abuse and lack of respect. This pandemic nightmare will pass and this could be the start of a new beginning.
In the yoga tradition, we chant this mantra to put ourselves in sympathetic resonance with those who are ill or suffering. Its words also give us a wider perspective by indicating that there is one Reality behind everything. The words of this Sanskrit mantra are as follows:
OM TRAYAM BAKAM YAJAMAHE
SUGANDHIM PUSHTI VARDHANAM
MRITYOR MUKSHEEYA MAMRITAT
The very liberal translation is as follows:
Salutations to Shiva, the Reality that underlies all creatures and all things, who is all seeing (with the third eye), whose very Being exudes joy and fragrance. May our minds be sufficiently mature to enable us to realise this deathless Reality.
You are invited to join us at this time, so that we are united in facing this worldwide pandemic which is affecting us all.
Daily Silent Meditation
Every evening at 19.00 hrs (UK time), or 20.00 hrs (France, Sweden etc.) I am meditating for 20 minutes, again with the aim of uniting us during this difficult time. You are welcome to join with me through the ether. In time, this may evolve into an online meditation and sharing.