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Three Important Spiritual Principles To Give Us Inner Strength To Manage Crisis

Here is a look at three important spiritual principles that will give us inner strength to manage any crisis.

Transitory World

The first spiritual principle is that every situation we face is inevitable, transitory, and is an illusion. These three ideas are complementary to each other. Some experiences like birth, old age, and death are unavoidable. The best way to tackle them, according to Bhagavad Gita, is to accept them as inevitable fleeting happenings. The Gita preaches titiksha or forbearance in such cases. As we all know, it is very painful to forbear. However, it will be possible for us to endure when we understand anityatva, the transitory nature of the world. The world is changing constantly because it is mithya, an illusory appearance on the Reality called Brahman.

Maya is the cause of such an illusion. It is, according to Swami Vivekananda, ‘a simple statement of facts — what we are and what we see around us’. The Buddhist tradition has a similar concept called Duhkha. As we normally understand, it is not just suffering. According to Buddhist teachings, Duhkha is the true nature of all worldly existence.  Ignorance of this fact of life pushes us into more and more misery.

Equanimity of Mind

The second principle is equanimity, mental calmness, and evenness of temper, specially in a tough situation. If we remain calm, the mind will remain still and focused. The Gita extols samatva, equanimity as yoga, the way to the Divine. In modern terms, it can be construed as the ‘maturity to understand and accept things as they come up in life’.

Modern psychology suggests various ways to reach equanimity. However, spiritual traditions like Vedanta and Buddhism advocate knowledge of the impermanence of the world as the only royal way to achieve this. The logic behind it is simple. If we understand the world to be transient, we don’t get too much involved in it.

We develop asakti, dispassion, which makes our mind undisturbed. We become mature enough to witness the happenings in our life in a proper perspective.

Vedanta, the spiritual and philosophical tradition of the Upanishads, says that the world we see around us is but an appearance on Brahman, the true reality. The appearance is myriad, but the reality is the same. The misery is due to the non-recognition of the Reality as the essence of multiplicity. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says that Brahman is the state of fearlessness, as there is nothing second to be scared. The bottom line is that the spiritual journey towards the attainment of oneness destroys all inhibitions, phobias, and misery, which are only products of ignorance.


The third spiritual principle that helps us to tide over any crisis is empathy in its genuine form. Most of the spiritual traditions say that pure love of God and realisation of one’s spiritual nature raises this noble sentiment in our mind.

Real empathy is the natural progression of a deep understanding of the divinity within one’s heart. The difference between ‘empathy’ and ‘sympathy’ is relevant in this context. Empathy means ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another’ whereas sympathy means ‘feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune’.

One may develop sympathy instinctively, but real empathy can arise in one’s mind only through spiritual education.

Source - excerpts from the editorial in the Prabuddha Bharata Magazine August 2020 issue.