Fear, coronavirus and detachment
According to the Gita, we all are souls encaged in material bodies, and these bodies are themselves testimony of our being “contaminated” by the three modes of material nature. In his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 4.11.25, Prabhupada states, “That we have a material body proves that we are infected by the three material modes of nature.” In one way, all of us are already contaminated, since the state of being “contaminated,” or “infected,” is a state of being that all souls in the material world share.
Furthermore, Krishna declares this world as “açäçvatam,” temporary (8.15) – a place of misery “wherein repeated birth and death takes place” (8.16). Seen from this angle, death is not surprising down here. We all have to die, one way or other. Therefore there is no need for a conditioned soul to be surprised by the possibility of dying, including dying from cononavirus. All of us will die, one way or other.
Krishna says, “I am all-devouring death” (10.34). In this respect, Srila Prabhupada once recalled the time when, during World War II, bombs were falling on Kolkata. Prabhupada said, “I was in the bomb shelter, and the bombs were falling; and I was thinking as I was chanting Hare Krishna that if I had to die now, it would be wonderful to die while chanting Hare Krishna.”