First of all let me express my utmost and sincerest empathy with the people of China whose entire world has turned upside down in a jiffy thanks to the Corona virus.
May be this is not exactly the time to preach, but let me take the risk.
The vegetarian food habits of Hindus have always drawn flak from the west (for supposedly being an imbalanced diet) although of late we see many turning to veganism even there. Similarly, the cremation of the dead by Hindus also used to be criticized. There have been instances where it would mentioned that only ‘heathens’ burned their dead and not believers. (I am not believer of your God, I am believer of MY God!!!). The Chinese govt has now ordered cremation of the virus victims as new reports pour in. Hindus continue to cremate their dead in utter disregard to world opinion for this very same reason. Another spiritual reason is that, the dead should not linger behind for any reason whatsoever. Their role in this mortal world is over. Not a trace of them can remain on earth after their time expires. Now this is a big chapter by itself that I shall skip.
Liberals advocate no boundaries, no caution. We Hindus and we Indians in general often are accused of nationalism and racist cultural practices. Our ancestors did not ask us to refrain from meat without a reason. There are non vegetarians among Hindus as well. Even the hard core non veggies among Hindus have poorest appetite for meat when compared to the Abrahamics. For instance, in winter (I mean Indian winter), non vegetarian Hindus refrain mostly from eating meat for religious purposes. Similarly after monsoons, we have Hindus practising strict dietary controls keeping in line with the revolution of earth and consequent changing seasons. In Tamil Nadu, for instance, in the months of July-August (Aadi), the serving of ‘koozh’ (millets) along with buttermilk to cool our bodies after a long summer is a common religious/cultural practice. For an entire eight weeks, the custom is observed in Devi temples and rural homes which prevents the onset of small pox, chicken pox etc. Next comes September or the Shravana month when again, 99% Hindu meat eaters give up meat. Then the festival season. If you carefully study the times of outbreak of epidemics and/or the incubation period, you will notice that the infectious diseases spread after the monsoons and during winter months when there is not enough sunlight/heat to kill the bacteria/virus.
A friend was once struck by JB syndrome that paralysed her for four valuable years in her thirties. Where did this infection come from. The west of course. Then the germ adapts to Indian climatic conditions and mutates. A young father with an expectant wife returned to India after weeks in Hong Kong some years back. With him he carried an infection that was passed on to the pregnant mother. The child was born with an anomaly. Tests later proved that the infecting strain was alien to India. These cases cannot be proved at the world stage. These germs are not of Indian origin yet they find a way into our country destroying lives. It is funny that when those from the west want to visit India, they take preventive vaccinations!
Why don’t Hindus eat beef. It is possible that our forefathers discovered that the beef eaters developed heart ailments dying before their time. It is now established that the Indian subcontinent stock inherit the narrowest arteries by genetics compared to other races of the world. Risk factor for us for heart disease therefore is maximum. Blocks are common occurrences. Abstinence from red meat saves millions of lives every year in India.
China is a communist state controlled with an iron fist. No ethics, no conscience, no morality… Whatever control exists in public life in China seems completely absent when it comes to the personal lives of the chinese. Looks like the chinese students who travel abroad for education ask back when questioned, ‘Tiananmen, what Tianenmen??’ If you have read ‘1984’ by George Orwell, you will know what it is to ‘ERASE’ from a national memory a part of real time contemporary/happening history. How do we even compare China with India or with any other nation for that matter. Such a meticulous management and planning. Such a manipulation. I can’t believe in that case that the corona virus broke out of Wuhan just like that. How did things go out of hands.
There goes a conspiracy theory that, China was developing a bio weapon to take on India after the Doklam setback for the chinese in the bordering Himalayas. Is it the Corona virus? Was there an accidental leak from the lab. Many Israeli and US reports point to that. Even if so, my heart goes out to the common man of China who may have nothing to do with the sinister plan of their government. Once again, Karma is at play. Another conspiracy theory is that the west let loose the virus in China fearing China’s growth, to contain China. China is racing ahead of the US to become the next first global super power. The 21st century will be China’s, not America’s. (With China, India may join the race).
So many many millions assemble at a spot in Kumbh Mela in India every 12 years. Even the Haj draws millions from around the world to one place in Arabia every year. Do we see such horrendous outbreaks of epidemics anywhere. What is the reason. Self control. Regulated food habits. Hygiene that is not mere pant-suit and scented perfume.
The ancient and still-practised Hindu custom of eating with bare hands from the banana leaf (green plate), washing (!) with water, brushing with neem stick etc., are the healthiest and most hygienic practices that we need not have to be ashamed of. A carbo rich breakfast is the ideal way to kickstart your day. Not a sucking Keto diet! The cow urine is the best natural pesticide and antibiotic. The cow dung is the most natural and oxygen emitting cleanser and fuel – the only biogas to emit oxygen and not CO2. While ridiculing Hindus for the cow fascination, the west still has not alongside stopped from patenting even the cow urine benefits. The cow milk of the Indian subcontinent alone is A2 milk which is a brain stimulant that is not derived from the Jersey cows of the west. A2 is again patented and the Asian countries are forced to breed inferior and non-native cattle using global trade pacts. In this part of the world, we don’t even consult a physician if we get measles. We make the patients lie on neem leaves and feed them neem paste. Now that neem formula is patented by the west. Same for jaundice. For jaundice, we feed the patients with ‘keezha nelli keera’ (a green that grows only in India mostly). No medication. The patient makes a full recovery. This green is also now patented by the west. Ayurveda and Siddha are the best streams of medical practices in the world but mostly under-rated. Food is therapy for us Hindus. Food is holistic. Banana stem is a vegetable we include in our menu every week. This is a natural colon/bladder/kidney cleanser. So much has been taken out of India and patented for material benefits by vested interests. While at the same time, anything and everything Hindu has been ridiculed and mocked at.
Years back however, bubonic plague broke out in India (1994) out of nowhere. Surat was the epicenter of the plague. Fingers pointed to only one direction: field experiment by the rich and powerful nations. One can’t help believing the conspiracy theories in this case. Every Indian citizen believed it was a well executed lab test.. Soon situation was brought under control on quarantining the region arresting the spread of the dreadful epidemic.
When I was reading the ‘Kite runner’ by Khalid Hosseini, I was shocked that the little boy grew up watching the sacrifice of goats and cows in the name of God. It was normal and accepted in the society where he came from. Then it dawned on me why some ideologies breed terror. The little boy was comfortable watching cattle slayed with blood splashed. In fact, it was an annual ritual he eagerly looked forward to as a child. Our food habits have a lot to do with our spiritual quotient. Our moods and behaviour. Even our intelligence. Our conscience. Our gunas (qualities) ‘Satva’, ‘Raja’ and ‘Tamas’ are determined by the food we consume. Our food maketh us. Hindus are satva for the reason that we are basically, inherently and mostly vegetarians. The gunas are not limited to individuals. The gunas are applicable to races and nations wholesome. I understand my native culture and my dharma a lot more now than I did all these years.
We will never know the real reasons behind the Corona virus. Neither will we have the actual statistics from the chinese government.
Back in India, masses are worried more about the rising cost of spare parts for anything and everything as flights and container shipping to and from China are suspended until further notice. Meanwhile wondering how Gwadar is pulling. Hoping for some nice corona figures from our friendly neighbourhood? 😀