Faith

Diseases and remedies

People often ask if it is possible to take on another’s disease. While it is not possible for ordinary mortals, because we lack the determination and bhakthi required for this, there have been instances of sishyas taking on the diseases of their Acharyas. Maraneri Nambi prayed to take on the illness of his Acharya Alavandar. Narayana Bhattadri, author of Narayaneeyam, took on the paralysis of his guru, because of his regard for the latter. But such instances are rare, said Velukkudi Krishnan in a discourse.

Another question is if one can pray for relief from a disease. While Narayana Bhattadri did indeed pray for transfer of his Acharya’s ailment to him, many verses in his Narayaneeyam indicate that he prayed to Lord Guruvayurapan for relief from his ailment and he was eventually cured.

Some Acharyas, when afflicted by diseases, have seen it as a way of getting rid of past karmas. And they have, therefore, not sought a cure. Some Acharyas, worried that illness would affect their ability to serve the Lord, have prayed for relief.

Vishnu Sahasranama says that if one is afflicted by a terrible disease (goreshu vyadhi), and if one recites the name of Lord Narayana, one is bound to be rid of the trouble. The verse says “Narayana sabhda maatram.” That means we do not even have to know the meaning of what we are reciting. Mere recital of the name will suffice.

In his Vishnu Sahasranama commentary, known as Bhagavad Guna Darpana, Parasara Bhatta points to the Caraka Samhita, an Ayurvedic treatise, wherein it is said that recitation of Vishnu’s thousand names cures fevers. Parasara Bhatta also talks of another Sanskrit writer, who mentions that the Vishnu Sahsranama was recited continuously outside the room where a woman was giving birth to her child.


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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 6:59:35 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/diseases-and-remedies/article65745555.ece