In the previous episode, we had witnessed the next important aspect of “Dharma” pertaining to “Anna-Dhaana”, as narrated by Sage Sukhaachaarya. The underlying point that Sage Sukhaachaarya is discussing here is that, we’ve to make it appoint to share whatever food that we eat, with others as much as possible. We should never consume any food item all by ourselves. We should cultivate the habit of “sharing” of whatever food that we eat. This is why we have the customary and traditional practice being followed even today that irrespective of any religious and auspicious functions that we do at home, we make sure that everybody who comes to attend the function has their share of meal to eat. By way of offering food to others, we’re accumulating lot of “Punya Karma” and this is why, even in temples too, people are encouraged to donate for “Anna Dhaana”. Thus, food has its own place in the life of a living being and we should make sure that we respect it in the right way.
When we talk about sharing food, it not only applies for human beings alone, but for all animals and living beings in this world. Especially with this current emergency situation prevailing in the world today and with series of lockdowns imposed by the governments across the world, there is a huge crisis looming, wherein thousands of people are at the verge of losing their jobs and livelihood, atleast for these 2-3 weeks (or even more). Hence, as responsible citizens, what should be our role with respect to this aspect of “Dharma”? Here is my small list of takeaways in this regard that we can ponder over:
- There might be many people whom we might be knowing, who are at the verge of losing their jobs and livelihood. Perhaps, with whatever limited facilities that might be available to us, we shall try and help these people with some money, or food items or groceries, etc. for the next one week or ten days to come. This would make sure that they can sustain their daily living without any hassle. At the same time, we can also limit their mobility and can indirectly make sure that they can be confined to their homes at this critical juncture. By doing so, we are also making sure that they do not get unknowingly infected by the virus, which in turn would save their lives as well as several other people apart from them.
- Now that our movements have been restricted to a great extent (barring only for buying essential goods and services), there might be many other animals on the roads such as dogs and cats, which would be wandering around in search of some food. Perhaps if there is normal human movement on the roads, they would get enough food to eat. But because we do not move around a lot, there is a threat for these animals with regards to shortage of food. Hence, it would be great if we can provide some food to these poor animals too, apart from human beings. We should always remember that just how we have our right to live our life, these animals also have the equal right to live their lives too. Here is where we should show our compassion and love towards these animals and offer them food, so that they don’t go hungry at the end of the day. At the same time, if we have pet animals at home, or if we are maintaining a cow shed, we should make sure that all these animals are also well fed, without any shortage.
- As we’re witnessing in the news of late, there are many daily-wage migrant laborers who are at the verge of collapsing, because of lack of their daily income. Many of them are trying to flee off to their native villages across the country owing to lack of jobs at this crucial time. It would thus be helpful for these poor laborers if rich and well-off people can offer them three meals a day for them and their family members, so that they wouldn’t need to flee off to their native places. If we’re allowing them to flee in lakhs, there is a grave threat that even if one person is having the infection, all the lakh people are going to get infected, eventually things are going to get out of control! Of course, the government is doing its part to protect these people, but beyond that, it would be great if we can also chip in with our help in serving them.
- Finally, for people in the opposition political parties – It is to be remembered that whether you like it or not, this is a time to support the government’s actions as much as possible and not to play your petty politics. This is a huge humanitarian crisis that is rather rapidly unfolding day by day! Hence, rather than passing adverse comments or spreading rumors and fear amidst the society, it is better to keep your mouths shut! Please be very clear that you have been rejected by the people of this country. Or, if at all you want to contribute your bit, show it in action, rather than in words. This would suffice.
Hence, it might be useful for all of us to ponder over these points and thus do the needful. Rather than looking at it in the form of a crisis, we should take it as an opportunity to serve humanity and all other living beings. The moment we get this attitude of offering selfless service, the world would become a much better place to live, and eventually we shall be able to tide over this crisis as quicly as possible. We shall wait till the next episode to witness the next aspect of “Dharma”! Stay home! Stay safe! Stay tuned! 😊