Shall we be more prepared if a COVID-20 or COVID-21 or COVID-22 strikes? So far, we are all witnessing an unprecedented outbreak and are really appalled by it. That does not mean another crisis might not hit us. How much prepared are we? The point is that however much we prepare ourselves, things will still happen to disrupt our lives. Interestingly the Y2k issue which was such a big source of scare at the beginning of the 21st century did not really disrupt our lives. Because we were prepared. It is always the unexpected that will paralyse us. This is why we should always be in God’s presence. Being in His presence keeps us safe and protected.

“Khabar nahin yaa jag mein pal ki”

No one knows what the next moment will bring us. Presently we are living in a situation where things are changing every minute. Experts have created models to forecast how things will evolve, yet they are having to change their models every day. The fragility of mankind has never been experienced to such a dimension before. Other calamities have hit us… tsunamis, hurricanes, storms…. But this ‘invisible’ attacker has defied all probabilities.

“Sukrit karle naam sumar le, ko jaane kal ki”

Perform good actions, chant the name of God, no one knows what will happen tomorrow. There is no time for regrets. It is therefore very important to do what we have to do in the present moment. That way, we will not be surprised with what may happen next. Our actions and our connection with God are our shields against any kind of threat.

“Paap gathariyaa hai sir oopar, kaise hoye halki”

If you accumulate sins again and again, how are you going to get relief from them? People use deceit and treachery to satisfy their material and sensual desires. These do not help one progress in their spiritual path. And when faced with turmoils, it is too late to make amends. Instead of going after the wrong goal, we have to pursue our purpose in life. God takes care of the rest.

“Jab hi hansaa kare payaanaa, maati jangal ki”

All the pride you attach to your body will not save it from mingling with the dirt of the forest when the soul departs. Satguru Kabir Saheb wants us to understand that the illusion which deceives us, making us proud of our physical body, that same illusion (referred to as forest) will consume it. Leave the ephemeral and focus on the eternal. Whatever will happen tomorrow, expected or unexpected, is all ephemeral. If we understand this, we will not let ourselves be overwhelmed by unprecedented situations. At the same time, we should also understand that it becomes more and more unusual and abnormal because of the more and more gross conduct of mankind.

“Maayaa lobhi nagar basat hai, yeh apne kab ki”

The whole world is full of selfish people, blinded by illusion; how can they be yours? Anything that is illusory cannot be yours, as it is not real. Go after the real. Being in the presence of the divine, we will not be shocked by the unexpected. We will be ever ready to face and accept each situation, knowing that it is not real.

“Kahein Kabir bhowjal tarne men, taakat Guruwar ki”

Kabir says : in order to free yourself from this world, you need the power of the Realised Guru. Death may strike in whichever way : disease, war, calamity, or any other way. Our goal is to use death as our gateway to the Eternal abode. For those who are immersed in God, even the unexpected is expected. Nothing is scary, because they trust the Guru’s power, the Guru’s grace. Just be in His presence.

Mahant Jay Jaggessur, Kabir Association of Toronto.