Interfaith Collection of Prayers and Support for Covid-19 Crisis in India

The second wave of COVID-19 spreading across India has pushed the nation into chaos. Patients are being turned away from hospitals as they struggle to keep up with the shortage of oxygen tanks and hospital beds, and crematoriums and funeral sites are overwhelmed with dead bodies. 

As people across India struggle to grapple with the devastation of the virus and their immeasurable grief, interfaith communities are stepping up to offer support. Just one example is happening in Delhi, the country’s capital, where Gurudwaras – the Sikh houses of worship – are organizing ‘oxygen langars’ – sites with facilities where up to 80 people can take oxygen at one time or refill their oxygen tanks for free. Gurudwaras in other parts of India are also operating COVID-19 helplines and delivering food and oxygen for free to affected households. In another example, the Jahangirpura mosque in Vadodara, the third-largest city in Gujarat state, has been converted to a 50-bed makeshift hospital to help ease the pressure, after a shortage of beds and oxygen was reported.  

People from across the world are also trying to help the Indian community during this difficult time. In Britain, volunteers at three Hindu temples raised more than 600,000 pounds ($830,000) last weekend by racking up 20,127 kilometers (12,506 miles) on stationary bikes, or roughly three times the distance from London to New Delhi. 

IFYC is collecting prayers and meditations from diverse faiths to show our solidarity with the people of India, as well as links to charitable organizations that people can support. If you’d like to add to this list, please email Silma Suba at silma@ifyc.org   

Prayers and Reflections from Diverse Faiths:  

Janice D’Souza, Evaluation Coordinator at NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, offers a prayer from her Christian faith.  

O Mary, 
you always shine on our path 
as a sign of salvation and of hope. 
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, 
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm. 
You, Salvation of the Roman People, 
know what we need, 
and we are sure you will provide 
so that, as in Cana of Galilee, 
we may return to joy and to feasting 
after this time of trial. 
Help us, Mother of Divine Love, 
to conform to the will of the Father 
and to do as we are told by Jesus, 
who has taken upon himself our sufferings 
and carried our sorrows 
to lead us, through the cross, 
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen. 

Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.  

Shivam Gosai, Mental Health Clinician at Arlington Youth Counseling Center, offers a Hindu prayer.  

  सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः 
सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः  
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु 
मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत्  
 शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः  

 
Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah 
Sarve Santu Niraamayaah | 
Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu 
Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet | 
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih || 

 
Meaning: 
1: Om, May All be Happy, 
2: May All be Free from Illness. 
3: May All See what is Auspicious, 
4: May no one Suffer. 
5: Om Peace, Peace, Peace. 

Eboo Patel, Founder and President of IFYC, offers a reflection from his Islamic faith.  

As an Indian American immigrant, I have family and friends I care about in India who I am deeply worried about. Everyone in India who is scared and suffering is in my prayers. The Qur’an described itself as a “healing” and asks all of us to be “a special mercy upon all the worlds”. This is the spirit and commitment India needs now. 

Harleen Kaur, Education and Community Engagement Manager at The Sikh Coalition, has been illustrating Sikh prayers to provide comfort and solace to the community for the past year. She shares some of her work and Sikh prayers.  

 

ਨਾਨਕ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਮਤਿ ਕਰਹੁ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਤਿਸ ਹੀ ਹੇਇ ॥ 
naanak chinta mat karo chinta tis hee hai || 
Oh Nanak, do not worry; this anxiety rests with the Divine. [They will take care of you] 

ਜਹ ਮੁਸਕਲ ਹੋਵੈ ਅਤਿ ਭਾਰੀ ॥ 
jeh muskal hovae ath bhaaree || 
Where the obstacles are so very heavy, 
 
ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਖਿਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਉਧਾਰੀ ॥ 
har ko naam khin maeh udhaaree || 
the name of the Divine will rescue you in an instant. 

Organizations and fundraisers you can donate to:  

  1. Khalsa Aid International  
  2. Mission Oxygen Fundraiser 
  3. Imamia Medics International 
  4. Sewa International  

  

If you are looking for a way to become an interfaith leader, work for racial equity and build bridges, please check out our free curriculum "We Are Each Other's" and start your interfaith leadership today

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The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.