There is a great verse in the Bhagavad-gita that speaks to balance. “He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.” Ch.6.17
And we know from practical experience that when things are out of balance they don’t function well - a car on empty won’t budge, an unclean filter causes the heating system to shut down, a top heavy building will collapse. We are surrounded by the need to keep things in balance for basic functionality.
And so too for our human body. When we get out of balance at one point it just becomes too hard to maintain. We eventually collapse. We become overloaded in one part of our life and drained in the other. We begin to feel pain, we push on - ignoring, masking, keeping up with our roles and goals. But eventually the unbalance will erupt and we will be forced to stop.
Pain, in this way, is a good thing. It’s a message to say - ‘you are way off balance and need to reset.’ If we are honest with ourselves, we mostly know why we are suffering. We have a sense of where the unbalance is. We may have put off dealing with it, hoping to get away with it, until now. The pause, the pain, the sudden stop is the immediate invitation to change.
The current Covid-19 has brought collective pain, fear, and unexpected difficulties. We have to ask - what is out of balance? We have to ask - where can we as human citizens take a good look at how we live, how we treat the earth upon which we live, and the animals with whom we live? We have to hope that we can make the needed changes, not only to contain the virus, but to stay in balance as individuals and as a global community as we go back to a more normal everyday life.
We are limited as living beings - in terms of our time on earth, our capacity to understand, our ability to work together. But we need to be more conscious of who we are, more grateful for what we have, and we need to learn how to take care of it better. To keep it all in balance we need to work with Krishna and his teachings - so that when it’s time for us to leave this body we now have, we can do so fearlessly, having done our best to honor and care for this temporary world and all that’s in it, and that we haven’t lost our soul, and our sweet and deep relationship with Krishna, in the process.