Inaugurating a symposium on prayer, faith, meditation
and healing, Prof. B.M. Hegde, Chairman Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan,
Mangalore Kendra said that every hospital should have a prayer room where
people from every religion can pray.
The symposium was organised by Heart Care Foundation
of India jointly with Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan at Bhawan’s Auditorium and was
participated by speakers from various religions.
Moderating the session, Padma Shri & Dr. BC Roy
National Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation
of India said that often doctors get request from the patients and relations
either to let them pray or have the doctors pray for them or with them. There
are studies which show that prayer has a positive healing effect.
Dr. Aggarwal said that both prayer and meditation
shifts one from sympathetic to parasympathetic mode and helps in healing.
Positive faith in doctors and drugs also has a healing effect.
In a joint statement Mr. Ashok Pradhan, Mr.
G C Garekhan, Mr. J Veeraraghavanfrom Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan
said that spiritually religions and cultural beliefs always play significant
role in the lives of patients who are seriously ill and dying. They said that
the wishes of the dying patients and their relations should be respected and
their spiritual needs must be taken care of.
On the subject of praying with the patients Rev.
Ivan Moses said that in Christianity dying patient’s request for the
healthcare professional to pray with him or her is usually honoured. If the
doctor is uncomfortable with the request to pray with the patient, he or she
can sit by in silence as the patient prays in the patient’s language and
Maulana Dr. Mufti Mohammad Ahmad said that in
Islam doctors may pray for patients and they are encouraged to. Islam also
believes that patients should not only pray for themselves but also for other
Prof. Sunil Kumar and Dr Nirmal Jit
that in Hinduism and Sikhism there are no specific guidelines issued to
physicians praying together with the patients. But both religions believe in
prayers when the person is sick.