Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: It's time to think if we live in a right way

At the very beginning of November, scrolling through friends’ feeds on social networks, I suddenly came across a message that scientists of Indonesia had discovered a new virus that could kill a person in just a few hours. “That’s the last thing we need!” I was alarmed and decided to look for details. Fortunately, in just a couple of clicks it turned out that it was just a prank from a well-known satirical online website specializing in fictional news.

Unfortunately, I was prematurely happy. Just a few days later, a very serious news agency issued a warning to scientists about the danger of an invasion of the Nipah virus. This zoonotic disease, causing meningitis with a fatality rate of up to 90 percent, is spread by bats (who else ?!) and was previously known mainly in India and Bangladesh. Now, scientists say, it is spreading fast. What's really happening?


The Dalai Lama answered this question during the first online teaching for Russian Buddhists organized by The Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni Khurul. According to him, humanity has accumulated bad karma, and the current coronavirus epidemic is only a harbinger of the onset of a kalpa of disease. “This coronavirus pandemic as a whole is the result of bad karma we have accumulated in previous lives. This is quite obvious ... I think that the COVID-19 epidemic that has broken out in our days can be attributed to the beginning of the kalpa of diseases,” said the Teacher.

Kalpa is a Buddhist term for a certain extended time. It can last from five thousand years to the entire time of the existence of the known universe.
However, I believe that in this case the Dalai Lama had in mind the widespread understanding of kalpa as the average life span of a generation. Now it is considered to be equal to one hundred calendar years. However, a hundred years, five thousand or 14 billion years do not matter much to us who live here and now?
I understand that among my readers there are those who are sceptical about the Dalai Lama's warning: they consider them as horror stories. Well, here's a warning from WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: “This will not be the last pandemic. History teaches us that outbreaks and pandemics are a fact of life. But when the next pandemic comes, the world must be ready—more ready than it was this time.” It looks like this organization is confident that the next pandemic is not far off. But is it that important if it will be measles, plague, or the new-born Nipah? The question is, where do they come from and how dangerous are they for us.
And neither the WHO, nor the UN, nor any other organizations have such answers. So, in my opinion, we can only rely on the words of the Dalai Lama: in recent centuries, humanity has accumulated such bad karma, has gone so far along the path of evil that God (or the Universe if you like this term) makes us stumble, trying to get back on the right track.
By the way, the Dalai Lama is not alone in his foresight. Patriarch Kirill called the coronavirus pandemic "the last call" for humanity. The hierarch had noted before that a new and terrible (we still do not understand its consequences for those who recovered) disease came at the peak of human power. And we were not saved either by scientific achievements or, even more so, by weapons.

“If this situation shows our weakness and inability to fight, then is this not a sign from above so that we should think about our life and understand that everything that a person uses to justify his power and his proud behaviour can be destroyed overnight by God,” he said in one of his pastoral sermons.
Pope Francis also spoke about the pandemic. During his Urbi et Orbi blessing he said: "This crisis is changing our way of life, questioning our economic, medical and social systems and exposing our human fragility." However, he could not help but admit: this is a challenge to the very foundations of today's civilization. Moreover, in his opinion, there are two ways to answer it: either by moving away from others as much as possible and trying to survive alone, or by helping each other, supporting the weak and fairly distributing available resources.
Don't you think, my friends, that if the three spiritual leaders of the world's largest religions say in unison that the current troubles are caused by the behaviour of people themselves, then must this be something important for us? After all, we have had our share of troubles. The bloody wars of the twentieth century, which do not stop even now (by the way, the Dalai Lama also spoke about the kalpa of war in the abovementioned mentioned Teaching): were not they a warning? And the unexplained outbreaks of previously unknown diseases - the very same AIDS – have they started just yesterday? Climate change, which directly threatens the existence of our species, the inexplicable mass extinction of some species of living creatures - has it all happened accidentally?
All this was before albeit quieter and weaker. However, today, it is more terrible. Nevertheless, people remain blind and deaf. With perseverance worthy of better use, we continue to act as if nothing terrible is happening. It is as if we all are the only beings worthy of all blessings on this earth.
We cannot and do not want to accept one truth: in this world, everything is interconnected, and each of us is responsible for the well-being not only of our neighbour, but also for everything that happens around us. As soon as we cross this threshold, all conceivable cataclysms and adversities fall upon us, which neither global political science nor quantum physics can explain.
However, what should we do now? As they said in my Komsomol youth: “If you are dissatisfied then you shall criticize; if you criticize then you shall offer something and do it!”
For several years now, I have repeated that the only fundamental and all-encompassing right is the right to life in all its fullness and diversity. A human being, as the crown of creation, bears the entire burden of responsibility for the realization of this right.
However, if a person is not able to take on this responsibility even for his relatives, is it any wonder that he is in need of some good advice? In 1920, the American poet Sarah Tisdale wrote a wonderful poem. I cannot but cite it in full:
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
We all will have to change our attitude towards each other and the world or give up. After all, we're not the first: dinosaurs ruled the world for 250 million years but where are they now?