Covid-19, the coronavirus pandemic around the world, is a humanitarian health crisis with untold magnitude.  It is too early to tell how we will deal with its aftermath.  Right now we are mostly in survival state.  Trying to stay safe, unaffected and in solitary confinement while dealing with Covid issue is alreay causing fear, panic among a majority of people.  Yet, for some the reality has not yet sunk in and they treat this with little significance.  Human soceity has always thrived on the strength of relationships. Be it family, relatives, friends or society.  Now all of a sudden, society is challenged to adopt ways and means never imagined before for survival.

Its impact

Imagine a person with this virus quarantined either at home or in a hospital. What would be the emotional and mental state of the patient and other family members?  Fear of unknown, no tested treatment and sheer physical challenges this illness brings, breaks down the patient and their loved ones.  When one succumbs to the disease, the thought of not being able to spend last moments with their loved ones is nerve shattering.  Having survived the ordeal, the mental trauma that the patient and love ones went through can't be undermined.  The effects will manifest in some way in the time to come.  The mental experience of Covid infection is simliar in certain ways to what terminally ill patients go through.

Pandemics in past

The world has witnessed several pandemics in the past, some of them documented by historians.  Social distancing is an age old concept.  In the time of Kings and rulers, villages would be sealed and cruel practices of burning people to death were followed as there was no treatment.  Documentaries of Kings and rulers from various parts of the world stand testimony to this brutal truth.  No accurate statistics exist from ancient times to compare the scope and magnitude of aspects of the current crisis with that of the past.  That does not mean our fore fathers did not go through painful and challenging times. Which leads us to examine such incidents during the life and times of Shirdi Sai Baba, the epicenter of Baba devotees around the globe.

Sai Satcharita

Sai Satcharita (ISBN: 9788120722118), written by Govind R Dhabolkar is a hagiographic account of the life and teachings of the Saint of Shirdi.  Arising out of notes kept by the author upon express permission from Baba, the book was completed and published after Baba left his mortal coil and passing away of the author.  Written during the first two decades of 20th century, the book comprises of anecdotes and stories which could be taken as most fair representation of the events that occured in Shirdi during those times.  There are other books but not as exhaustive as this one.

The author relates in the first chapter how the idea to write this book was born after witnessing Shirdi Sai Baba in an incident during the Chlorea pandemic in Shirdi in !910.  This well known story forms the basis for engaging in today's environment.  What Baba did obviously can't be physically duplicated but one can mentally transport themselves in presence of Baba and relive the story in our minds.  Even though the pandemic raged through neigboring towns, it did not enter the town limits of Shirdi.  Use Shirdi Sai Baba's udhi (holy ash) as symbol of protection in addition to the necessary precautions and guidelines outlined by health professionals today.

How the Temple is helping?

For families seeking help, the temple is providing various services.  Food and groceries are being supplied to those in need. Those who can't drive like newly immigrated families and those in need of urgent medical attention, are being provided free rides.  Special daily prayers are being performed for patients hospitalized due to virus and their families. In addition to daily worship routine, Yagya's (Homa) and specific pujas are being conducted in the temple for universal well being and good health.

If you or someone you know is impacted by the prevailing sitution and need help, please text us at (+1) 224-218-9029 to enable us to promptly attend to your request.  If you wish to help and donate, please review various options to donate.