How Buddhism responds to the outbreak of coronavirus

Ven.Sayadej Vongsopha

Disease is inevitable. Compassion is the way to overcome it. There are four inevitable truths about life that are: birth, old age, illness, and death. We all are subject to encounter these kinds of truths regardless of races and social stratum. Illness is one of them and we have to learn to be empathy towards those who are facing with it. Whatever kind of diseases our human friends are encountering, we should not blame or disgust them. Instead we have to try our best to help them.

In the Buddha’s time, the Buddha kindly emphasized on taking care of a sick monk. One day he walked past a chamber where there was a sick monk lying on bed suffering for great pain of the disease. No other monks took care of him, and then the Buddha himself approached him and took care of him. He said to monks that “Whosoever serves the sick monk, serves me.” This means that we all have to learn how to treat the sick compassionately and emphatically.

Regarding the spread of current novel coronavirus, which is threatening the human kind, especially, Chinese people in Wuhan, we have to try our best to protect and help them from deadly virus. Historically, there was another time when the civilians of Vesali city encountered with the cholera, the Buddha assigned and advised Venerable Ananda, his attendant, to recite the mantra, rattana sutta to dispel the outbreak of the disease across Vesali. Many discourses are chanted in order to protect and prevent us against the diseases and calamities. As Buddhists, we believe in the power of the Triple Gem that can bring about the blessings toward us. Scientifically, according to the scientific research of Dr.Masaru Emoto on the discovery of the hidden message from crystal water, chanting can transform the molecule of water from evil form into crystal flakes. Comparing to this, there is 70% of water in human body. Therefore, chanting can help to improve our immune system towards the disease.

However, recently, to prevent against the outbreak of coronavirus and other diseases, chanting is not enough. We need to cultivate our mental energy by practicing meditation. Spiritual and medical assistance should be applied in this critical situation. All of us need to cultivate compassion; empathy and loving-kindness towards other without taking advantages of each other in any case then finally the outbreak of viral virus will be curbed and cured and people will come back to normal.

In short, there are two methods to deal with the outbreak of diseases or virus based on Buddhism, firstly it is to accept if it is unable to avoid, and another choice is to overcome by healing through spiritual power and medical care as well as courage and help from our friends, relatives, and people of the world.

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