|Illness: Spiritual Causes, Spiritual Cures|
The following is a discourse by Dadi Janki, who is 89 years old, and has practiced Rajyoga for 69 years. Dadi has conquered a variety of physical diseases among them tuberculosis, typhoid, heart attack, slipped disc, hernia and osteo-smalacia. She has brought her body back to physical health, to the astonishment of her doctors. Dadi Janki is the Addl. Chief of the Brahma Kumaris.
The cause of all sickness and disease essentially is Karma. Even the psychosomatic diseases are caused by Karma. Karma also applies to the mental attitude, not only to something I have actually done. My state of mind is also my responsibility.
The majority of people who practice any form of yoga have at least a rudimentary concept and faith in the philosophy of karma. The karma refers to the laws of cause and effect - the laws of action, reaction and interaction operating within the field of human relationships. The law of Karma states that whenever any action has been performed, there will be an equal and opposite reaction. The law of Karma is to the moral plane what Newton's third law of motion is to the physical plane.
The law of Karma works in this way: if I have given sorrow there will be some form of sorrow returning to me. It may not be precisely in the way that old-fashioned people would speak about an 'eye for any eye and tooth for a tooth', but certainly some sort of seed has been sown. If it was a seed that gave pain and sorrow then the fruit that I receive in turn will be bitter.
The time period between the performing of an action and the resultant reaction is variable. Just as different seeds need different periods of time in which to germinate, to grow and to produce fruit, so one cannot always determine which action it was that has led to this particular reaction but certainly if I am seeing a reaction, an effect, there must be a cause and the cause is not an external cause. The cause is I myself. In any situation that I find myself, nobody else, absolutely nobody else is responsible; it is I. It seems to be a very bitter law sometimes, in that it is the one that is absolutely inescapable.
An understanding of the law of Karma teaches us how to do pure action; we can then guarantee that, for the future, reactions will always be good, powerful and positive. It is possible to have a pill that can cure sickness for all time and that is the pill of Karma.
One cause of sickness is past Karma, past actions, but the present negative tendencies ( the vices - lust, anger, greed, attachment, ego etc) also create disease. The atmosphere of today's world also causes sickness.
* Other Causes
* The Wonder Cure
* Worry and Anxiety
* Positive Thoughts
Nowadays people find that they can't live with others but they can't live alone either. There isn't the love, which enables them to live with others. They want love from all but are not able to give love to others. Essentially the reason is that the soul has become empty, devoid of peace, love and happiness and is filled with vices. This is why there is sickness. A person does just a little bit and has great ego about it. Or a person isn't able to do something and loses hope. Souls have become very weak.
Sickness also comes from blaming others. Some people constantly have a critical vision and are always blaming, criticizing or having doubts about others. 'They must be like this, they must have done this. This is why this has happened.' This faultfinding nature also causes much illness within. That illness is one that spreads; it is infectious and causes a lot of pain. The ignorance of not being able to look after oneself also brings sickness. Sometimes there is great attachment and possessiveness with those who have caused sorrow and this will cause further sorrow and sickness.
When situations confront us because of attachment, blaming or ego, then there's the question, 'why is this happening?' The question 'why' makes us stand in a queue of questions and this also causes illness. People get tired waiting in queues. If a person is constantly asking 'why did you do this? Why did you say this?' then there is distress.
Jealousy causes the heart to burn. The clash of personality traits also causes great sorrow, How can the sorrow, which is burning the heart, be eliminated? In tiny situations, a reaction of great anger and ego erupts and there's the thought 'I am the one who should be heard. Who are you? Why should I listen to you? This causes a rise in temperature. Desires that are not being fulfilled also destroy true love, pure love and then there is a desire to perform good action and yet there is not the power to do that which is good, there is not the power to renounce that which is bad. These, the conflicts with each other and within the self in action and interaction, are the deep, incognito reasons for the existence of sickness. Is there a cure for this?
The Wonder Cure
To finish all these things the medicine of "Om Shanti" (which means "I am a peaceful soul") is needed. The meaning of Om Shanti is very wonderful. Om Shanti is not only a word, but an experience which can be achieved through meditation. It means put a full stop to everything and let the soul become completely peaceful and still. This is the greatest medicine of all. When the soul is experiencing the significance of Om Shanti, God, the supreme surgeon, will let the soul experience detachment from the body and through that cure the sickness of the soul.
Normally because the soul is in the body, it experiences pain. When the soul is not in the body then whether you burn the body or cut it up into pieces there is no experience of pain. By going into silence and practicing, experiencing detachment from the body pain can be reduced, not just 80-90%, but even 99%.
The purpose of Rajyoga Meditation is to stabilize the mind, to keep it in balance; to be in the body and yet experience the consciousness of the self, 'soul consciousness'. There's such clarity and wisdom in this state that it becomes easy to see the cause of sickness and also to know the treatment to give oneself. Sometimes the mind affects the body and sometimes the sickness of the body causes disease within the mind. The power God gives through meditation is able to help both together.
If in reality there is sickness, Om Shanti is the medicine. If sickness is only in the imagination then also this is the medicine. Imagination needs medicine as well. If there is imagination (in the form of superstition) and I think that one medicine will work and another won't work, then I must also get rid of this mental attitude with understanding. If there is sickness in reality, there must have been some cause. That cause will also be annulled by Om Shanti. This is not to say that physical forms of medicine are no longer needed, but medicine taken with understanding will work more effectively. If there is sickness in reality and yet my mind is saying, 'No I don't want medicine' then this is not wisdom. One must have enough sense to take medicine if it is appropriate.
To simply ignore sickness with indifference or acceptance with resignation is not enough to make it disappear. One must try and really understand why it has some. Perhaps it has been caused by anger, or by jealousy. If I can analyze this and change my reaction then I am changing the cause of sickness. Understanding will take away half the illness.
Worry and Anxiety
Worry increases the magnitude of sickness, even if the sickness is just a tiny one. Yet the worry that an individual has increases it to an enormous extent. Sometimes sickness isn't causing so much pain as one's own anxiety about it. Anxiety causes further weakness and loss of energy and it shouldn't be encouraged. It should be transformed or replaced. But it's impossible to free the mind from anxiety unless you feed it with something else which is positive. If someone is hungry and you tell him not to eat, it's not going to work. His hunger has to be satisfied. The mind also has to be given some food. To feed the mind with knowledge, to entertain the mind with beautiful spiritual thoughts of self-realisation is a method of keeping the mind free from other wasteful, negative things. To give good pure company to another and to increase someone's courage and enthusiasm is also medicine.
We should neither experience distress ourselves nor cause distress to anyone else, even if the cause of the sickness is not known. The most sensible state is one in which I constantly maintain positive thoughts and don't allow negative thoughts to come. If I am not able to do that, then the second stage would be to be honest and speak about it. It will not help to become a martyr and put on an artificial smile and an act. Now-a-days there is a great deal of fear and cowardice. Many souls are too weak to be able to speak about what it is they feel, or they feel they cannot trust anyone and this causes even further weakness. It is also wrong to speak about what one feels in such a way as to cause pain and sorrow in the name of being honest. One must have such relationship with God that one has both the courage and the wisdom to know what is the right balance to strike in such situations.
Rajyoga teaches how to have a good relationship with the self, with God, with my own body, with other people, with my relatives and even with the elements of matter, with nature. It is also necessary to understand the cause of any present negative situation and to find a preventive method. Nothing is new. Learn to expect whatever is coming and learn not to be surprised by it, then you can cope with it. Use medicine, use the power of yoga, don't allow confusion to come. Keep yourself powerful, silent and tolerant. Remain peaceful and also do pure karma so that you have the blessings of God and the blessings of other human beings. The sickness will go away.
Courtesy - Purity, A fortnight journal of the Brahma Kumaris