05/13/2020, 09.45
RUSSIA
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Covid-19: Russia in second place for infections. Ayurvedic and Buddhist remedies

by Vladimir Rozanskij

At least 250 thousand cases (120 thousand only in Moscow). Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov is also infected. Many deaths among Orthodox monks and priests. Protective masks made with the leaves of the sacred Nim tree, the so-called "pharmacy tree". The mantras blessed by the Dalai Lama. Buddhists implemented quarantine before indications from civil authorities.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - In the last 24 hours, Russia has reached the second place in the world for the spread of Covid-19. There are 11,000 new infected, with a daily increase of 4.9%; the total in the country is almost 250 thousand cases (120 thousand only in Moscow), exceeding Great Britain (230 thousand) and Spain (227 thousand). The United States remains in first place with 1.35 million infected.

The deaths in Russia have officially exceeded one thousand, and yesterday Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov (photo 2), also declared that he was positive for the virus and that he was hospitalized with his wife. In turn, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is still under treatment, and his duties have been temporarily passed on to Deputy Prime Minister Andrej Belousov. Culture minister Olga Ljubimova and infrastructure minister Vladimir Jakushev, along with his deputy minister Dmitry Volkov.

Deaths continue among the Orthodox priests: on 12 May one of the most respectable monks of the Lavra di St. Sergius, the archimandrite with skhima (the "final" profession, which few monks can reach) Rafail (Ivanov) died. He had reached the solemn monastic rank on 27 December (photo 3). Another 76-year-old Archimandrite, Iljan (Plemenjuk), also passed away in the Lavra; a priest from the diocese of St. Petersburg, the parish priest of the church of the apostle Peter in the village of Veselyj, the 60-year-old protoierej Aleksandr Boskobojnokov has also died.

In Verkhoturja, known as "the spiritual capital of the Urals", the superior of the male monastery of St. Nicholas, the Igumen Ieronim (Mironov), was hospitalized on suspicion of coronavirus. The news of the region's first infected priest led to the closure of all major churches. So far they have remained open to the faithful by choice of the local administration together with the clergy. Various priests in the area had also criticized the faithful who had not gone to church for fear of the infection, stating that "we must fear God, not the virus".

Oriental remedies

In the meantime, various oriental remedies in the fight against coronavirus are spreading in Russia. Protective masks made from the leaves of the sacred Nim tree, which in India is called "the tree-pharmacy", are imported from India. Its healing abilities are illustrated in various articles by Ayurvedic specialists, widely listened to in Russia, who also recommend the roots of licorice and ginger, the price of which has increased four times in the country since the beginning of the epidemic.

Representatives of Buddhist communities follow the example of the Dalai Lama, 84-year-old Tenzin Gyatso, who has locked himself in his residence. So did the Dzogchen organizations of Russia, which implemented the quarantine long before the indications of the civil authorities, switching to full online activity. The Gunzechoinej dacan of St. Petersburg and the great Ivolginskij dacan temple, the largest place of worship in Buryatia, a Russian region with a majority of Mongolians and Buddhists are in total lockdown. From here, starting from March 18th, the special ritual litanies against the virus are streamed online.

In the Russian Asian regions, where Buddhism is most widespread, mystical-magical practices related to the Buddhist religion are also very popular. The Green Tara mantra and the Buddha of Medicine is increasingly practiced. Many lamas propose the practice of Vajrayana Defense, according to the teachings of an esoteric branch of Buddhism, which helps to achieve ataraxia by remembering the instability of the sansara. The popular lama Sopa advises "when you fall ill with this disease, accept it on behalf of all living beings ... By accepting to die on their behalf, you eliminate self-love, that ignorance that imprisons yourself from your heart". Amulets and pills containing the mantras blessed by the Dalai Lama and other higher religious authorities are popular among the population, not just Buddhist faithful.

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