Yoga Vasishta describes a Virus named Karkati which attacks Lungs, Heart, Liver causing piercing pain and Death (similar to Coronavirus or Covid-19, H1N1, SARS etc)
Vasishta Geeta or Yoga Vasishta is the content revealed by sage Vasishta to Lord Rama, when the latter was depressed after seeing the sorrow in this world.
Many know that Siddartha saw 3 scenes : Old, Sick and Deceased person. After seeing these three negative sights, Siddhārtha came upon the fourth sight, an ascetic who had devoted himself to finding the cause of human suffering. This sight gave him hope that he too might be released from the sufferings arising from being repeatedly reborn, and he resolved to follow the ascetic’s example and became Gautama Buddha.
But, centuries ago, Rama who was also born in Ikshvaku dynasty and after completing formal education, he wanted to understand the needs and real life situations of his citizens before becoming king.
Rama wandered in his ayodhya kingdom, disguised as a common man and found similar scenes. He was disturbed by the sickness, old age, deaths, sorrows of his people.
He return and remained depressed for many days.
When sage Viswamitra wanted Rama to come and protect his hermitage from demons like taaTaki, king Dasaratha calls out for Rama who does not show any interest in daily activities.
To answer his questions about creation cycles, Vasishta narrates a series of verses, which were later complied as Vasishta Geeta or Yoga Vasishta.
Listening to this, Rama comes out of his depression.
In this book Yoga Vasishta, the chapter Utpatti Prakarana (creation order) describes an episode named karkaTupaakhyaanam (the story of karkaTi).
The Legend of Karkati
A Rakshasi lived on the northern slopes of the Himalayas and was called Karkati.
She was known by two names visoochika and anyaayabaadhika. Vulcan eyed, Collyreum dark, she looked like a mountain-size doll.
Because of her immense body and limbs, her appetite was never satiated like ever hungry ocean fire.
She was always worried about her never satisfied palate and stomach.
Her mind was always occupied by the thought about her hunger and the ways to satisfy it. It is as if her mind became her body.
During one of her hungry moments she thought ‘If I consume all the people, my hunger may be quenched. It is like a sea drawing all the rivers into it. But is it proper to do so? Many of the people are protected by gods because of their worship and prayers.
How can I put them into trouble. I shall do immense penance and become griefless with concentrated mind.
One can obtain the most difficult, unattainable things with penance.‘
With this thought she performed severe penance and Lord Brahma, the creator, appeared before her.
She thinks that ‘In order to assuage my ever-increasing fire, if I transform myself into the form of an Jeeva-Suchika (living needle or pain causing virus). I can enter into the bodies of all in the world and consume as much food as I require.‘
Brahma grants her boon that she becomes vi-soochika (living being causing needle piercing like pain) and shall afflict those who feed themselves on unwholesome food, who betake themselves to vicious courses, who are ignorant or ferocious, who live in insanitary places, and who are wicked. You shall mingle with Prana Vayu in the heart and afflicting people with the diseases Padma (related to heart and lungs), Pleeha (related to spleen) and others shall be (the disease) Visoochika.
You shall enter both Saguna and Nirguna people. But in the case of entry in Saguna men, to remedy the above disease, the following Mantras will have to be uttered:
Mantra to cure Viral Diseases (Corona, Swineflu, Cholera etc)
ॐ ह्रां ह्रं श्रीं रां विष्णुशक्तये नमो भगवती विष्णुशवक्त एही |
एनां हर हर दह दह हन हन पच पच मथ मथ उत्सादय उत्सादय दरे कुरु कुरु स्वाहा।
विषूवचके त्वं हिमवन्तम च्छ गच्छ, जीिसार चन्द्रमण्डलम गतोसी स्वाहा ||
Translation : Oh Vishnu Sakti, fit to be worshipped, prostrations to you; please come here, take her, take her (Visoochika); burn her, burn her; kill her, kill her; cook her, cook her; churn her, churn her; destroy her, destroy her; drive her, drive her; Oh Visoochika, go away to the Himalayas; oh the essence of Jivas, you are of (or go to) the sphere of the moon.
Method to use this Mantra : The reciter of the above Mantra should get it written on the left hand (with left hand of another reciter) and he and should pass it (the left hand) over the body of the diseased person. Then he should contemplate upon Karkati, who is crushed with the pestle of the Mantra and hence angry, as having departed for the Himalayas.
Then he should regard the diseased person as bathing in the ambrosia of the moon and as free from diseases, mental orphysical. Being pure and having duly performed Achamana(sipping water) with all his senses under perfect control,he will destroy all Vishuchikas through the due performance of the above mentioned means.
Visoocika was radiant and was as subtle as the aroma of flowers. Dependent upon the life-force of others, she was devoted to her own work.
With her twofold form of Sucika and Visucika, the demoness roamed the world afflicting all the people.
Visoocika had her numberous hiding places. Among them were: dust and dirt on the ground, (unclean) fingers, threads of cloth, within one’s body in the muscles, dirty skin covered with dust, unclean furrows on the palms and on other parts of the body (due to senility), places where flies abound, in the lusterless body, in places full of devays leaves, in places devoid of healthy trees, in people of filthy dress, people of unhealthy habits, in tree-stumps caused by deforestation in which flies breed, in puddles of stagnant water, in polluted water, in open sewers running in the middle of roads, in rest houses used by travellers, and in those cities where there are many animals like elephants, horses, etc.
She wore dirty pieces of cloth thrown on the roads, sewn together; and she roamed freely in the bodies of sick people. Even as a sewing needle which has been well used by a tailor feels fatigued and falls to the ground to take some rest, as it were, Soocika also got tired of her destructive activity. Just as sewing (piercing) is the natural function of a needle, cruelty was the nature of Sucika. Just as the needle keeps on swallowing the thread that passes through it, Soochika continued to claim her victims.
Known also as Jiva-Soochika (living needle), she moves in all beings as the life-force with the help of prana and apana (air), subjecting the jiva (living being) to sorrow, by causing terribly sharp pain (of gout, rheumatism) which makes one lose his mind. She enters into the feet (like a needle) and drinks blood. Like all wicked people, she rejoices in others sorrow.
After living such life for many years, she bewailed her own self inflicted misfortune: “Alas, where is mountainous body and where is the form of a needle? Somtimes I fall into mud and filth, I am trampled upon by people. Alas, I am lost. I have no friends, no one takes pity upon me. I have no fixed abode, nor have I a body worth the name. I have surely lost my mind and my senses! The mind that is heading towards calamity first creates delusion and wickedness: and these themselves later expand into misfortune and sorrow. I am never free, ever at the mercy of others. I am in the hands of others and do what they make me do. I desired to appease the goblin of a desire to devour all; but that has led to a remedy worse than the disease, and a greater goblin has arisen. Surely, I am a brainless fool; hence, I threw away such a great and gigantic body and deliberately chose this despicable body of a virus (or a needle). Who is now going to liberate me from this miserable existance as being smaller than a worm? The very thought of such a vicious creature as I am may not even arise in the heart of sages. Ah, when will I again be as large as a mountain and drink the blood of large beings?… Let me become an ascetic again and perform penance as I did before.”
She restarted penance, whose fire generated smoke from the crown of her head, and that too became another Soocika, a helpmate. Her shadow became yet another Soocika, yet another friend.
At this time, she had gained directknowledge of the supreme causeless cause of all by her own examination of the intelligence within her.
Brahma re-appeared and said: “The eternal world-order cannot be set aside, O ascetic. And it decrees that you should regain your previous body, live happily for a long time and then attain liberation. You will live an enlightened life, afflicting only the wicked and the sinful, and causing the least harm- and that too only to appease your natural hunger.”
After 6 months she experienced hunger; for as long as the body lasts it is subject to its own physical laws, including hunger and thirst.
Karkati reflected: “What shall I eat? Whom shall I devour? Destruction to other living beings for the sake of prolonging one’s life is condemned by wise sages. Hence, if while not consuming such forbidden food, I have to give up this body, I see no harm in it. Unwholesome food is poison. Moreover, to an enlightened person like me, there is no distinction between physical life and death.”
As she was reflecting thus, she heard an aerial voice say: “O Karkati, approach ignorant and deluded people and awaken wisdom in them. This indeed is the only mission of enlightened beings. One whom you thus endeavour to enlighten but who fails to awake to truth is fit for your consumption. You shall incur no sin by devouring such an ignorant person.”
Hearing this, Karkati got up and descended from the mountain. She entered a dense forest where hill-tribes and hunters dwelt. Night fell over the earth.
Questions of Karkati answered by King of Hunters and his Minister
One day, king of Hunters long with his minister entered the forest. Karkati thought, they must be ignorant men and proceed towards them.
She shouted: “Hey you two little worms roaming this dense forest! Who are you? Tell me quick or else I shall devour you.”
The king replied: “O ghost, who are you and where are you? I only hear you; let me see who you are.”
Hearing this calm and cool reply of the king, the demoness felt that his answer was appropriate and made herself visible to him. The king and the minister then beheld her dreadful form, and without being perturbed in the very least, the minister said to her: “O demoness, why are you so angry? To seek food is natural to all living beings; and in performing one’s natural functions one need not be bad-tempered. Even selfish ends are gained by the wise by appropriate means and proper behaviour or action, after they give up anger and mental agitation, and resort to equanimity and clear mind. We have seen thousands of insects like you and have dealt justly with them, for it is the duty of a king to punish the wicked and protect the good. Give up your anger, and achieve your end by resorting to tranquility. Such indeed is appropriate conduct-whether one is able to achieve one’s ambition or not, one should remain peaceful. Ask of us what you will have; for we have never turned a beggar away empty-handed.”
Karkati greatly admired the courage and the wisdom of the two men. She thought that they were not ordinary human beings but enlightened men, for the very sight of their faces filled her heart with peace. When two enlightened men meet, their hearts mingle in peace and bliss, even as the waters of two mountain streams mix at their confluence. Moreover, who but a wise man can maintain his calm while faced with almost certain death? Hence, she thought “Let me utilise this opportunity to clear the doubts that are in my mind; for he is surely a fool who, having the company of a wise man, neglects to clear his doubts.”
10 Questions of Karkati
- What is that atom which is the cause of the origin,preservation and destruction of the myriads of heterogeneous universes springing up like so many bubbles on the surfaceof the ocean?
- What is that which is Akasa and yet is not?
- What is that which, thoughit is unlimited, has yeta limit?
- What is that which thoughmoving, yet moves not?
- What is that which, thoughit is, yet is not?
- What is that, which manifests to itself as Chit (consciousness) and is yet a stone (or inert)?
- What is that which portrays pictures in the Akasa?
- What is that atom in which are latent all the microcosms, like a tree in a seed?
- Whence do all things originate, like volatility in water, being non-different from that cause like the tidal foams in the ocean?
- And in what will these two (volatility and water)become merged as one?
Karkati said : ‘If you are able to solve these riddles through yourintelligence, then you can aspire to a seat on my head, likef ragrant blossoms gracing my locks. Otherwise, if youmuddle yourself over these questions through your obtusehead, you will but serve as a fuel for the gastric fire blazingin my stomach.’
10 Answers by Minister
Answer 1 : This points to the non-dual Brahman. Being above the reachof mind and the five Indriyas (organs), it is the endless absolute Jnana more subtle than Akasa and the Supreme Atomof atoms (Paramanu). Out of that Atom, all the former Mundane eggs arose and into It were (or will be) all absorbed.
Answer 2 : As there is no such attribute as exterior(or interior) to this all-pervading-Brahman, it can be saidto be Akasa itself; but yet it is not the Akasa of the elements, as it is pure Jnana itself.
Answer 3 : As there is no abode for it to abide in, itis not limited;and yet it abides in them ever as the Absolute Sat.
Answer 4 : Through its relationship with many objects, it moves about;and yet it is devoid of motion, as ithas no space outside of itself to move.
Answer 5 : As it is not possible to be known by beingpointed to (as this or that), It is not, and yet It was, as It is Being itself.
Answer 6 : As it is the self-shining Light, it is consciousness per se, and yet it is like the inert stone, since it has not thepower of knowing, (being itself the All) (also since It is that which manifests itself in the two aspects of intelligence andmatter.)
Answer 7 : This is it that depicts the pictures of the series of universes in the Chidakas which is very subtle, immaculateand self-existent.
Answer 8-10 : As the heterogeneous universes are but the lightor manifestation of that One, therefore nought else is but that; yet all the different worlds arising-out of the conception of I, You, etc., are inseparable from It, being but Its aspect.
After knowing that both minister and his King are self-realized men, she went back to her penance and attained jeevanmukti.
While she was meditating upon beating a retreat, the king said : “We have encompassed our object very smoothly.
If you will choose to accompany us to our palace and there remain as one of our family, we will bestow upon you plenteously the bodies of those villains who betake themselves to murder and other crimes. So long as this body endures, thoughts and other pains incidental to it will not bid adieuto it.
Therefore you can devote yourself to Nishta (meditation) after quenching the fire in your stomach with the victuals supplied to you in the form of the bodies of the vicious.Thus shall you act in this world with true love.‟
They travelled throught the desert towards north of Himalayas (Gobi and Taklamakan deserts in China and Mongolia) together to their golden palace when the sun rose. In six days after their arrival, 3000 wretches (sinful persons) were handed over to her by the King.
Even to this very day, both the King and Karkati are thus moving friendly towards oneanother. So said Vasistha to Ramachandra.
This Karkati, who enters bodies of living bodies in form of different viruses to cause acute pain in heart, lungs and damage liver must be different Viruses we have encountered till date such as CoronaVirus (COVID-19), H1N1 (causing Swine Flu), SAARS etc.
Almost all such viruses dwell in unclean places, where animals are slaughtered, infect unclean people, spread through air and hands, cause pain in lungs, heart etc.
Her alternate names visoochika (cholera type viral diseases) and anyaayabaadhika (harm sinful people) suggest her nature.