Currently, our human world is passing through a very serious period of despondency and death, all because of novel coronavirus spreading like wildfire around the world. At the time of writing this article, it was being reported about USA, the greatest superpower in the world, by New York Times, the largest circulated daily newspaper: Faced with the grim prospect that 200,000 Americans could die even with aggressive action to slow the spread of the coronavirus, President Trump extended the guidelines on avoiding non-essential travel, staying away from work, visiting bars and restaurants and gathering in groups of more than 10 for at least another month.“We can expect that by June 1, we will be well on our way to recovery,” Mr. Trump said on Sunday evening. “We think by June 1. A lot of great things will be happening.” 

President Trump’s announcements also have been changing very fast. A week ago, he was in favour of opening up the lockdown. Also, he had said he would soon call for lifting the lockdown in some parts of the country. Mr Trump is worried as he faces re-election in November and is keen to avoid extended economic damage, told reporters he would be “opening up our country to business because our country was meant to be open”. During a live town hall broadcast on Fox News Channel and later at a briefing with reporters at the White House, he said he would like to have businesses opening their doors again by Easter, which will be celebrated on 12 April. “I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” he said on Fox News.

But now the situation seems to be going out of hand speedily and the virus has already dashed Mr. Trump’s earlier rosy predictions, and as Americans entered their third week living in a work-from-home world, officials warned that the deepening crisis in New York was weeks from peaking. 

Now the fact is that nobody knows what is going to happen. The renowned experts have their own guess. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw over 100,000 deaths,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ leading infectious disease expert, said on Monday.

Prime Minister Modi in India did the right thing by announcing a 3-week lockdown on 24th March, but for millions of people in India who are not always living in their home-towns, it was certainly very inconvenient for those living or being elsewhere–and no transportation available to take them home. “I apologize to the people of the country because of the inconvenience caused to them. I specially apologize to the poor and financially weaker sections who would be probably thinking that what kind of a Prime Minister is Modi. It is possible that poor would be angry with me for taking such steps,” Modi said during his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat on Sunday.

We know that India is not a superpower like the USA or China, but our country does have the aspiration to become a Superpower as soon as possible. The politicians of the country also want to see India becoming Superpower. But, there is something very wrong with this idea and ambition.  It is possible we could become a Superpower in the near future, but it can be said that in that scenario, India will no longer be India of the sages, the Buddhas and the enlightened ones. If we understand this simple thing during this time of an epidemic, we can awaken our souls, and become soul-power instead, then we will be on the right path. The countries that achieved the position of superpowers or developed nations, failed miserably, in spite of their material progress and superior health-care, and came to their knees in front of this virus. On the other hand, the so-called poor countries and under-developed nations did better with their inner strength. 

This means that the world needs a balanced approach of the harmonious development of the inner and the outer, the material and the spiritual. The outer richness needs to be balanced by inner richness–the material progress with spiritual growth. The environment and outer ecology depend on the inner ecology of humanity. Now, the mad race of outer progress must be balanced with the restfulness of meditation. 

Historically speaking, no other country understands this better than India–and now is the time for India to realise this. Sooner the better. It should avoid listening to the noise of the politicians–and must listen to the voice of its sages. Then, it can become a world-leader in true sense. At this momentous time, India needs to wake up fully and follow Osho’s vision and insights. I remember that about fifty years ago, Osho said:  Unless a mighty spirituality is born, unless a mighty and massive spiritual movement sweeps the earth, making its impact on millions of people, it will be impossible to save the world from the mire of materialism. It will be a very, very momentous moment in man’s life; the coming fifty years are going to be fateful and decisive. Either religion will live, or stark irreligion, all that is against religion, will live. These fifty years will also decide about Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna, Jesus, Mohammed, Rama and the rest of them. All these luminaries will be on one side of the scales while on the other side will be the large crowd of insane politicians, materialists and other ignorant people bent on deluding themselves and others too. They are in huge numbers, while only a handful of people will be on one side of the arraignment. And in fifty years’ time the decision will be made. He adds: In view of the tremendous explosion of the population taking place in the world, a few individuals cannot do a thing. Now something tangible can be possible only if, commensurate with the huge population, hundreds of thousands of people are influenced and involved in spiritualism. And it is possible as I see it. If a few people form a nucleus and begin the work, then India can play a significant role in that momentous fight. No matter how poor and miserable, how degraded and slavish, how misled and misguided this country has been, yet this land has some well-preserved treasures with it. 

“Down the centuries such people have walked this land that their light, their fragrance, their longings have left their vibes in the air, have left their imprint on every blade of grass here. Man has of course gone wrong, but the dust of this land still remembers Buddha’s feet walking it. Man of this country has gone wrong, but the trees still cherish the memory that Mahavira had once stood in their shade. Man has really gone wrong, but the seas surrounding this country still know a different voice they had heard in the past. Man has no doubt gone astray, but the skies of this country are still full of hopes. Everything is there, only man has to come back home.”
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