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JAPAN and other DISASTERS by Swami Veda Bharati

It is said repeatedly in the Puranas (the great cosmological epics of India in Sanskrit) that when the earth can bear no more the burden of human sins, she, our mother, turns on her sides and we all come tumbling down all over.

It is also stated repeatedly that when the rulers are immoral and selfish, that corrupts the entire social order. AND, the order of Nature. This is a well known tenet in the teachings of India and of such philosophers as Confucius.

So, in the ancient stories of kings and kingdoms in India, whenever a natural disaster strikes, the king enters introspection :

Kim aham paapam akaravam
Kim aham saadhu naakaravam

What transgressions of the laws of morality have I committed?
Which right acts have I neglected to perform?

Then the king undertakes acts of self-purification :

pashchaat-taapa, confession to oneself, and
praayashcnitta, repentance and expiation

If our greed had not raised the ocean levels, and had not cut down the mangrove forests, would the tsunamis not be a little less disastrous?

Some calamities like earthquakes cannot be prevented — except by massive and collective good karma of all people through thousand year spans. But some of their side effects can still be reduced.

What is the purpose of prayer at the times of such crises? Can our prayer mitigate the effects of the disasters? Can they lessen the pain of those suffering? Not so, not immediately. But it is also well known that prayer reduces the mental anguish?

How so? Each thought we think creates waves in the universal mind. Its waves can be directed/channeled towards the target minds. If we know how to pray.

Wordless prayer is the most effective; it is a state of intense feeling in the mind that is first stilled and purified, after freeing it of all sense-inputs and emotion-uprisings. The mind thus stilled through a particular type of heart centre meditation (to be learnt from an expert) is ready to send wave of an intense feeling of wellness, comfort and solace to the target mind(s).

Thus may we pray for those who are suffering.

Sars and bird flu!! Very important for the affluent air traveler to be saved from it. So all the high-tech precautions are taken.

Are we taking the same precautions to step the epidemic of cancer? Are we doing so by reducing the artificial chemicals wherewith we wash out fruits? How we contaminate our milk (right in the udder), how we force ourselves to breathe lead-laden air? How we nurture our angers constantly and intensify them to destroy us?

Sars and Bird Flu!! 2880, that is, two thousand eight hundred and eighty, 2880 (I repeat intentionally), children die of malaria in Africa alone EVERY 24 HOURS.

Is that not a natural disaster of calamitous proportions?

Do we say a prayer for these children and their loving parents and siblings, and forego the purchase or rental of one video to buy and send a mosquito net?

Don’t buy the mosquito net in USA or Europe and send it : for the price of one in these countries, maybe ten can be made where they are needed (providing some employment too).

Send prayers,
And, more important,
food parcels
for the 600 children who will be dying in the next one hour?
And for the 14400 who will die in the next 24 hours, wrapped perhaps in a newspaper to ward off cold, lying a cardboard box, with their knees pulled deep into the belly, curled up?

Any rations-laden military helicopters to rescue them?
Build more atomic reactors in quake-prone zones like California? And, also, more massive dams in the quake-prone zones like Uttarakhand Himalayas? Shall we?
Wisdom, Wisdom, where hast thou gone?

Our hearts go out to those thousands in Japan who have been hit by the triple crisis of earthquake, tsunami and radiation. Triple sorrow for them and for those of us who care. Let us pray for them, wherever we are, singly and in groups. Also do not forget to do something for those 2 children who died of malaria while you read this paragraph; and those 4 children who died of starvation also while you read the same paragraph. How many pictures of those on the TV, and in the newspapers? When you pray for the suffering of Japan, do include these other neglected disasters.

Pray also that our rulers and others who hold and wield power(s), do an introspection:

Kim aham paapam akaravam
Kim aham saadhu naakaravam

What transgressions of the universal laws and consequent ethical principles have I committed?
Which right acts have I neglected to perform?

Remember that we also hold and wield some power(s); pray for your own self-purification to ward off world disasters of an immediate aas well as far off future.
May your prayer be an action.

Swami Veda Bharati