In life, there are ups and downs. There is good health and bad. Diseases can come in any age, but generally, ailments surface more in old age. What should be our vision with regard to diseases?
All diseases inflict pain, and therefore, they are universally disliked. Though a cause of discomfort, one must understand that they are not our enemies. It is difficult to accept, but in fact, they are our well-wishers. No disease comes all of a sudden. Most often, prior to its manifestation, there are indications of its arrival. Any impurity in the body throws up symptoms, which agitate us. These are early warnings that something serious is about to surface.
Human beings are peculiar. We set up an alarm but when it rings, we are irritated and shut it off. The body too, rings alarm bells, but we do not pay attention to them. Instead we get angry or worried. When symptoms are detected, what should we do? From the worldly standpoint discarding any kind of worry, fear, dislike, we should become alert, go to a doctor, find out about the problem and its remedy. After which, it is advisable to follow the prescription with extreme patience. A patient needs to be very patient. To uproot and eradicate the disease, we need to follow the prescribed treatment.
Good health is the greatest gain in life. In one episode from the Mahabharata, the Yaksha asks Yudhisthira, ‘Which is the greatest gain?’ He answers, “Enjoying good health is the greatest gain.” If you enjoy good health, you enjoy everything! To gain wealth people lose their health and then to regain health lose a lot of wealth! So, good health is important.
Food and indulgences of different kinds, which cause different diseases, are dear to all. However, they hate the medicine, which benefits them and cures them. Ayurveda advises patients to look upon medicine as a mother. Just as the mother is concerned about the welfare and well-being of the child, so also, is the medicine. It works for your well-being, tries its very best to remove the disease, and in the process bestows good health.
This is the empirical aspect of how to look at and deal with diseases but there is another viewpoint. According to Dharma Shastra, sins committed in earlier lives manifest in the form of diseases. This means that when we go through the pain and discomfort of the illness, our sins are washed off. In fact we should be happy that they are gone and we are cleansed.
In conclusion, adopt a positive approach towards disease. Follow the doctor’s prescription faithfully. Do not complain. Keep in mind that disease is an auspicious happening. It releases us from our sins. It is not a cause of sorrow.