Over 2 lakh people lost their lives and more than 30 lakh people are suffering due to Covid-19 across the world today. What did our rushis say about such periodic large scale suffering and deaths? It is said that srusti (creation), sthithi (sustenance), and laya (dissolution) are all acts of God’s compassion.

But, how can we consider such massive suffering an act of God’s compassion? At first glance, it sounds harsh.

Bhagavad Ramanujacharya elaborated such truths in his Veda:rtha Sangraham, one of the 9 greatest books ever written in the history of mankind. As we pay respects to the great Acharya during the upcoming 1004th birth anniversary (28th April, 2020: Vaisakha Masa, Ardra Nakshatra), it is the most appropriate time to learn from the wisdom he shared about such large scale sufferings and death.

Imagine the following scenario… a father gave 4 lakh rupees to each of his four sons so that they can utilize it for something purposeful. The first son spent the money as a loan for an academic course. The second son invested it in business. The third son used it in betting on a horse race. The fourth son spent it on drugs and alcohol abuse. 

When the father comes to know of how each son spent the money, he lends some more money to the first two sons appreciating their sincerity. He advises the third and fourth sons to not waste money again and lends additional amounts with a warning. The third and fourth sons continue to act irresponsibly despite their father’s warning. The father continues to advise, approaches friends, and tries various means of amending their ways but nothing changes. Now, what choice does the father have?

He lets them face the consequences of their wrong-doings. The fourth son’s condition is extremely painful on a hospital bed, also ends up in a coma. The doctors have no hope. They try for years trying to cure him. On getting a letter from a magistrate, the father lets him ‘die’. This is called ‘mercy killing’ and is a result of compassion because …

Death (disassociation from the current body to another one) is an easier way out for the soul than experiencing the accumulated vast karma in the current life. 

nirankuse:svara daya: nirlu:an ma:ya:nvayo:

(the invincible Lord releases the soul from the bondage of the nature with mercy…)

Is Covid-19 such a case for all those who are suffering? Is it valid to conclude that the suffering or the dead are the ones who have not followed the norms of life, God’s constitution? It’s time for each of us to ponder this.  

Are we witnessing the pralaya ru:pa of Lord (the form that dissolves life on a larger scale)?

Yes! Everyone is talking about how human beings are facing the consequence of their own negligence, arrogance, irresponsible behavior w.r.t themselves, nature, one another, and the Supreme for all these decades. Most people are agreeing that all that’s happening is well deserved. But, we all feel terribly sorry for those who are suffering the virus, and the loss of loved ones.

It’s not too late for those who are alive. Let’s become the instruments of good change in the hands of God. People are worrying whether the ‘dangerous’ human ways will come back into play as soon as the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted. Let’s pray for that to not happen and play our role in living constructively.

What constitutes constructive living?

Nourish the body with intake of sattvic aahaar, food that makes one composed, calm, and focused (as opposed to rajasic or thamasic foods which tend to make one aggressive/imbalanced and lazy/unresponsive)
✳ Fill your manas with gratitude and love for the Lord and respect for all beings.
Read from authentic scriptures and listen to wisdom from esteemed scholars.
Don’t misuse or overuse natural resources, the world is for all beings: the 84-lakh species, not just for humans beings (Serve all being as Service to God has been the motto of our social service organization, Vikasa Tarangini since 1992)
Don’t overestimate your strength and your abilities as if there is nothing else that can hinder your efforts. You are only a part of existence, and every other being is equally part of this existence.

– From the discourse of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji
– Sri Samudrala Venkata Rangaramanujacharya Swami
–  April 24 th 2020,
– Day 1 of the 1004 th Anniversary of Bhagavad Ramanujacharya