Virus in the air and Common karma

It is 2020 and we have not even past January. CORONA VIRUS!

May everyone be safe and healthy.

In Buddhism, we talk about Karma. To better appreciate karma from a Buddhist perspective, we have to remove bad habits and tendencies in our mind.

For example aversion. We cannot understand karma properly if our mind likes to blame. When bad karma surfaces, it is not helpful to blame and say, ‘you deserve it because you have bad karma.’ We have to be compassionate towards all sufferings. Bad karma is created unwholesome deeds. Unwholesome deeds are driven by ignorance.

We cannot appreciate karma if we are attached to a self. We think we know ourselves. However, we could be really bad in our past lives. If we cannot even remember all our deeds from last month, how can we be sure we did not do evil in our past lives. Therefore, we cannot say we are victims of Karma. Various factors and elements come together to create a situations. Accordingly different people will experience the same situations differently. For example, during a war, not everyone will suffer. Some do and some don’t. When we experience difficulties, it is pointless to blame others for creating the situation. Our experience is our karma.

We cannot understand karma through ignorance. Our wisdom is limited. The cause and effect of various factors and elements interacting to create a situation cannot be logically deduced. It is pointless to say ‘oh they are suffering like this because they did that in the past’ unless we are enlightened, we cannot see cause and effect. Spreading ignorant deduction is spreading darkness.

In this difficult time, situations have arisen for the corona virus to manifest in this world. To summarise the various complicated causes of such an outbreak, Buddhist call this Common Karma.

What can we do now since we are sharing in a Common Karma?

Create new karma that leads to good situations!

Have compassion in our mind. No blaming and no hatred. Compassion towards all sufferings.

Sacrifice a bit and suffer some inconvenience on our part. Maybe try to minimise unnecessary travel and social contact. Avoid crowds. Think about the rhinoceros sutta, it is not so bad to live peacefully with oneself. If you love to visit pubs and party, maybe now is a good time to stay home, read a book. By not getting infected, we won’t infect others.

Maybe we can practice harder. Do chanting and meditation. Dedicate the merits towards the cessation of the disease. Just like the situations in Ratana sutta. Recollect the power and supreme quality of the Triple gems. Have faith in the power of our mind.

Be mindful of our hygiene. Wash our hands regularly. Cook our food thoroughly before consumption.

Practice right speech. Do not contribute towards hatred, social unrest or misinformation. This can be done by not sharing misinformed social post.

Stay mindful and stay calm. Practice on.

May all be well and happy.

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4 replies »

  1. I really appreciate reading this post. Since hearing the news about the virus, and also because I had the chance to visit temples over the lunar New year, I have started to view the situation from a Buddhist lens and found it calming to think in the way your post describes. Very glad to see that other people in the world relate!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I am glad there are people out there with the same mind. It’s a bit of a panicky situation here. People are queueing for mask and unscrupulous people are buying mask in bulk and reselling at exorbitant prices.


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