Apart from creating havoc in terms of deaths, health hazards, and physical suffering, COVID-19 has also brought along cascading mayhem : economic turmoil, food shortages, famine, schooling challenges, job losses…. But probably the most dire repercussion is the psychological aftereffect. Pandemic stress. This is the new sickness which is spreading far and wide. As long as we link our happiness with those things which are not the source of our wellbeing, we will suffer from stress and stress-related illnesses.

“Sampati dekhi na harshiye, vipati dekhi mat roye
Sampati hai tahaan vipati, kartaa kare so hoye”.

Don’t be too excited by seeing wealth (which is unreliable), and don’t cry when you are in the midst of trouble. Wherever there is (material)wealth, there also is trouble – both wealth and trouble come by His command. Just like where there is a beautiful pond with a nice blooming lotus flower, there is also mud and dirt, in the same way our life is also filled with both material wealth and physical/mental sufferings. In mundane life, we always experience opposites. As soon as fun is over, we get back to cleaning up the mess. Even all our stages in life may start with a wonderful beginning, but then soon becomes boring. The teenager is so happy to leave middle school and graduate to high school. Soon after, he feels overwhelmed by the studies. The job seeker is very excited to join a new career. Soon after, he feels overwhelmed with all the duties and responsibilities. Like this, life is an endless game of highs and lows. If we allow ourselves to be depressed by the lows, we will never be able to move forward. But if we are spiritually strong, we will not let stress put us down.

“Sampati to Hari milan hai, vipati ju Ram viyog
Sampati vipati Ram kahoun, aan kahe sab log”.

 The true wealth is acquired when we realise God; trouble is when we separate from God. In happiness and trouble, always remember God, let others do what they want. Satguru Kabir Saheb advises us that we really become rich when we have realised God – at that point no other form of wealth has any value. But if we stay away from God, then we will only and only see trouble. In the case of the secondary pandemic (Mental stress) which is being evoked so much these days, if we remain connected with God, trusting that He will take care of whatever may come our way, we will not be affected. We will be able to pursue our journey safely, unperturbed. Just like COVID-19 was unexpected, why can’t it be that our wellbeing also will be unexpectedly enhanced? We just have to trust God.

If we give in to stress, things will not improve. Because stress itself will sicken us. It will not take care of whatever trouble may happen. But if we place our trust in God, we know that He will take care of us.

Mahant Jay Jaggessur, Kabir Association of Toronto.