In Yaksa Prasnam, Yudishtra says that a sick person’s best friend is the doctor. But in the journey of life, the best doctor is Lord Narayana. He is the Only One who can liberate us and grant us moksha. And the medicine that helps us attain moksha is Lord Narayana too! This is the only instance of doctor and medicine being the same, said V.S. Karunakarachariar, in a discourse.
A doctor operates on a patient, and the procedure will cause pain. And yet, do we not go to the doctor to be relieved of a disease? Likewise, I will seek Him, even if He were to send difficulties my way, says Kulasekara Azhvar. Lord Narayana is the end and the means to reach the end. Charaka, the ancient practitioner of medicine, writes that after a doctor prescribes medicines, he must tell his patient to recite the Vishnu Sahasranama. Divine intervention is needed if a person is to be cured. That being the case, who but the Supreme One can release us from the disease of repeated births and deaths?
Adi Sankara points to the case of Nahusha to illustrate what happens to those who disbelieve sacred works. In his commentary on the Vishnu Sahasranama, Sankara says that one who has no faith in our Sastras, will suffer as Nahusha did. When Nahusha became king, after performing the Asvamedha yaga, he wanted Indra’s wife, Indrani, to be his! Indrani sought Brihaspati’s help. He advised that she should ask Nahusha to come to her palace in a palanquin carried by Saptarishis.
Nahusha ridiculed the Vedas, while speaking to the sages. So the sages decided to topple him. Thus it was his disbelief that led to his ousting.