How do we overcome the difficulties and depression due to financial losses as well as lack of interaction in the society in the current circumstances of the pandemic?
This world consists of both joy and sorrow. No one is 100% happy or sorrowful. This world is an arena, and joy and sorrow are two wrestlers wrestling in it. Sometimes, the wrestler named sorrow knocks down the wrestler named joy and sometimes the wrestler named joy knocks down the wrestler named sorrow. But they are just knocked down. They have not died. Therefore, in times of sorrows, when it feels as if sorrow is dominant or winning that does not mean that joy has died or ended. In times of happiness sometimes we become so elated, but the truth is we have knocked down sorrow. It has not died.
Similarly, this world consists of the dualities of joy and sorrow until we live in it. Just like we cope with summer and winter, similarly we need to tolerate joy and sorrow, respect and disrespect, success and failure. We have to tolerate these dualities. This tolerance is penance. If you do not have enough courage to endure misery, you might break down and be disappointed; you might become a victim of depression. We see in the current times many people dealing with mental health issues and are in great need of counselling. Likewise, we must tolerate happiness. One who cannot endure happiness becomes arrogant and careless.
When you learn to endure failure, it will not let you fall apart or disappoint you. Instead, you will learn something from this failure. Experience in life is very important. When we learn something from our failure, we can make that failure our ladder to success.
Dualism is the way of this world and we must understand that this is always going to stay. Neither happiness nor sorrow is eternal. No situation is permanent; it is forever changing.
So, let us understand from a spiritual and practical perspective that, those previous circumstances have been changed and we are now stuck in the present circumstances. Due to the lockdown, many businesses are seeing a downfall, many have lost their jobs; it has become a question of existence. Due to losing jobs, the laborers are not able to feed themselves and they are going through an existential crisis. Similarly, big industries are facing the risk of going into administration.
Consequently, we must have patience. That is why spirituality as well as Dharma are important and the reason, we need Kathas. For people who do not believe this might be a subject of criticism, but we are people with faith, seekers of knowledge and trust in God. Many people, who perceive through logic and evidence think that God is just an imagination for sentimental people. I say that if although that is not the case, if at all God is just an imagination of sentimental people, even then then, it is truly a blessing. An imagination that does not let you break down can be very helpful. You take shelter to an energy that is capable of doing everything, and beyond. When you take shelter of such a power that is supreme, which is so unlimitedly great that He can do the possible and the impossible, and also the opposite of both of these situations, such Almighty, it prevents you from falling prey to depression or grief.
Vedas also explain this.
Puruṣa evedaṁ sarvam īrśāvāsyamidaṁ sarvaṁ yatkiñca jagatyāṁ jagat |
This is the first mantra of Iśāvāsya Upanishad. Therefore whether, you believe in Lord Krishna or Lord Ram, as the almighty or not, even if you see them as an ideal human, this ultimate existence as a whole, the Supreme Truth, is known as Iśvar.
It’s gross form, subtle form and above both of them, it’s extraordinary form, which exists is what we call Hari or Iśvar or God.
Thus, let us take shelter in Him and have faith in Him so that we can get through such circumstances. Even in times of happiness if we stay in the shelter of God then we will not become arrogant. Happiness will not let us become careless but we will see that happiness as a blessing of God, prasād and His grace. That prasād of happiness should then also be shared because prasād should not be eaten alone. This way, you will share your happiness with others in the world.
We should learn to tolerate both joy and happiness with the right discernment. Both can lead to our well-being.