Samvega *

It is a Pali word meaning “Sense of urgency”.

We’ve heard the term many times especially when we attended the last journey of our loved ones.

We feel the pain even when the dearly departed are in their 80s.

The pain grows when we learn that someone young (not so old) had passed away.

We feel shocked and upset when we hear about the untimely demise.

The list of GBNF (Gone But Not Forgotten) for RIT 69ers now has close to 90 entries. About a quarter of our classmates are no longer with us. One 69er said, “In five years, most of our classmates will be gone”. Right now, many of them are staying at home (at the request of their loved ones). Some are serious about the warning that COVID-19 is deadly especially to old people.

A former classmate Ko Sein Win (Win Kyaw, C69) was an expert in Palmistry. His spouse is a professional Palmist. Not sure whether he knew his life span, but he is GBNF.

Ko Myint Sein was a former classmate at PPBRS. He was Principal of BARB. He later founded Idea Astrology. Not sure whether he informed his spouse and son about his life span or his sudden demise, but he is also GBNF.

My uncle was sent as a state scholar to Japan during the Second World War. He was in Hiroshima and Nagasaki before both cities were ravaged by the Atomic Bombs. He can be considered to be lucky. His luck ran out when he was sentenced to seven years by a kangaroo court during the Adhamma Era. The UN Human Rights Rapporteur pleaded with the government to release him. Sadly, he passed away relatively early (perhaps because of the harsh environment / treatment). His siblings all lived to be 80+ years. The eldest sister lived to be 94.

Dr. Khin Tun (Peter, son of my cousin U Tin U) became one of the early Myanmar doctors to fall victim to COVID-19 while treating his patients at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. He reported that his ward needed PPE, but was told that they would be supplied when there is a case. He replied , “It would be too late”. Sad to say, he passed away on April 12, 2020. Could his life been saved?

The news shocked not just his immediately family, but many around the world. BBC and the newspapers in UK have reported several “heroes” who died in “battle” fighting COVID-19.

Should not Samvega (sense of urgency) sink in?

Peter Tun (GBNF)

Categories: S T U

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