COVID-19 and Hindu Way of Living


The outbreak of Corana virus (COVID-19) has ignited many of the minds in India to think and express their views on social media in different ways relating it to Hindu traditions. Viewing it further from the prism of Sanatan Dharma or Hindu Dharma, a lot of diverse views emerge. Hindu Dharma is the best example of Democratic living. There have are hardly any restrictions on doing or following anything in Hindu Dharma. It tells you to do your duties, practice what you think is right and self-restrict and self-restraint for the good of yourself and for the rest.

Religion is not necessarily the sigh of the weak as expressed by Karl Marx; but dharma, in Hindu context is something to which people turn to when there is no hope. It is the last resort or the last refuge the people seek for solace. Religion, gives them strength, to survive and to hold on to it to get/swim through the turbulent times/waters. It is something which comes to their rescue. And that is the reason that a particular way of living needs to be followed. Time and again it has been reiterated that Hindu Dhrama is not a way of worship but a way of life. This is what is now being established by the way the world is adopting to be living.

This is the time to understand and witness the vastness of scientific temper inherited in the teachings of Hindu philosophy. People are adhering to Hindu practices, be it Namaste or yoga or vegetarianism or cremation. No other fact is required to strengthen the claims today that Hinduism is a way of life and not a way of worship.  This has been established by Supreme Court also that; ‘Hindu Dharma, which is called Hinduism or Hindutva was no religion but, a way of life, which comprises of code of conduct to be observed by every individual in every sphere of personal and national activity.’

The two fundamentals on which the Hindu philosophy stresses are: 

1 Dharma 

Dharma as per Sanatan teachings is to perform one’s duties with utmost sincerity, diligence, honesty and dedication. All the duties need to be performed keeping in mind that they are sacred and in the spirit of good of all without any thought of reward, which makes this dharma, the ever powerful and sacred.  The teachings of the Hindu Dharma applied to the duties are; Inclusive, universal and sustainable, pertaining to the whole world and to all living.

2 Way of Living

Hindu Dharma propounds a sacred and scientific way of living in complete harmony with nature. It can be discussed as below and can very well be related to the transformation people are bringing to their living during these stressed times of COVID-19.

(i) Daily living and social harmony:  

  • Sanatan Dharma tells  not only about the personal hygiene daily. It tells about daily routine of Yoga, meditation and delivery of duty without any reward for it.

  • For social hygiene it prescribes weekly ‘Havans' with natural ingredients to clean up the air and surroundings, to not only do away with germs and bacteria etc but also bad thoughts.

  • Perform ‘Yagnas' on special occasions , in order to  part with the excess wealth in form of donations with the less privileged in the society and to pull them up economically. Feeding and sitting and eating with the people left behind in society induces the feeling of oneness or inclusivity and it helps in doing way with class distinction. It generates goodwill and social harmony, believing in ‘Seva Parmo Dharam’, in devotion to humanity.

  • One is required to work on the planes of spiritual, mental and physical for well being. Meditation is for spirituality; good thoughts and good readings and listening for mental  well being ; Yoga and Pranayam for physical well being.Such practices are now being followed to enhance immunity.

  • The  sages and seers in their Sanyas Ashram told story from their experiences to  keep the culture going through oral and story telling traditions and keep the people educated and grounded in their spirits while expressing their stories or stories of higher knowledge , from which the society benefited. Experiential preachings resulted in learning for the whole society. These practices  built positive, evolving and value oriented society . Sages and seers kept cautioning the young against their extreme deeds and put them in right path and higher learning. The higher pursuits of such men kept the society on the right track. In Lack of such practices the whole world became competitive and helter-skeltal to result in irreparable damages.

(ii) Eating habits:

  • The Hindu dharma teaches you simple living and high thinking and eating simple and easily digestible food preferably vegetarian and fresh food,  having the sativak tatvas. 

  • Not eating from each others plates or washing hands before eating and offering prayer before eating. This is what people are now turning to. 

(iii) Relationships and proximity:

  • Today we talk of avoiding proximities and practice social distancing ; as per the teachings of Hindu dharma, the way of life ; there are undefined rules of proximities. Let alone with unknown but even at own homes and families, there exist proximity limiting lines between the relationships of father  and daughter ; brother and sister ; and other relations. 

  • Social distancing has not been exercised as Namste / Nameskar is the way we greet each other , where Namaste signifies the presence of God in the other human being and one bows to Him. Touching each other is not necessary. This way of greeting is now accepted.  

  • Even there is practice of  greeting by taking the names of Gods and Goddesses viz. Ram ram, Hare Krishna, Jai mata Di , Jai sai ram, Jai bhole, Radha swami, Radhe Radhe. Human beings are acknowledged for element of God in them. Thereby, you cannot go against other human beings or humanity.

(iv) Self restrictions:

  • Restrictions are not imposed in Hindu culture. Only pros and cons are told and then one reaps the fruits of goodness or badness as per the deeds or karmas. ‘What you sow , so shall you reap’. Once you know what is right and what is wrong , you only are the ones to take the decision for yourselves , for society and for the environment as a whole.

(v) Cremation of Bodies

  • Fire being the energy to destroy the evil, as well as cleaning element of nature, is the finest way to do away with the dead. Hindu tradition of cremation is also scientific and leaves behind the least of the residue of dead bodies. The same is being adopted in case of larger number of deaths due to Corona Virus.

(vi) Way of worship

  • In Hindu Dharma, God is there in every being and creature and in order to worship God, one needs to worship humanity. 

  • Closing of the places of worship , the churches, the Vetican, the Mecca, the Shrines, The Gurudwaras, which have shut the doors to humanity for sake of humanity due to Coronavirus tells us, that God does not reside in these places , God resides within each being. Human body is the living temple of God and we need to take care of it and keep it clean from outside and from within in service of Humanity

(vii) Five ‘Tatvas' of nature




  • According to Hindu Philosophy, Nature consists of five elements/tatvas: Agni, Vayu, Jal, Prithvi, Akash. We are also part of nature and its creation. Our existence manifests because of these five elements. 

  • The teachings of Hinduism tell us to live in harmony with nature , take care of it. If you take care of it, it will take care of you, nurture you, if you keep on exploiting nature , it will settle its scores  once and for all. In that case no one knows when the furry of nature will engulf you and how. Any of the elements of nature can become aggressive and come to the rescue of mother nature. 

  • No one can win over the nature by exploiting it. Law of nature tells us to live in congruence with It not against it. 

The current times of out break Corona virus is being considered the transformative phase. It is much of a Manthan- churning period in our lifetime. This churning which we mention as disruption would change the way people live and think , at least for some time. We are aware of Samudra manthan which led to establish and reset a new world order in Hindu Mythology. 


It is Sri Krishna through Gita; Gautam Budha through his sermons and teachings and Swami Vivekananda through his address to World Parliament of Relgions have taken the philosophy of Hinduism to the Universe, across continents and international  levels respectively. In wake of COVID-19 there is shift from materialistic world to the spiritualistic world; from non-real to real; from outward to inward; from external to internal; from superficial to basic original values of life. The spiritualistic thinking and living is beyond the ways of worship. The whole world is following the teachings of Sanatan Dharma during this crucial phase of COVID-19 as the last resort to life. 

Hindu teachings, in order to be accepted as per the scientific thinking needs to be substantiated through experimentation or recorded exercise. It is probably the largest sample of universe and largest sample as part of observation research, to prove that Hindu Dharma, derived from Sanatan Dharma is not way of worship but a way of living. It is quintessential truth and that, this way of living is based on scientific temper. 

Hindu way of of living leads to  building of sensitive and enlightened human beings in an evolved society ; who lead the society with the power of wisdom. The teachings of Hinduism are: Universal, Inclusive  and sustainable. They are the refuge for humanity to survive; the reality to be achieved and the ultimate truth to be experienced.

(The writer is Dean, VSJMC, Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, GGSIPU, Delhi)


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