Today is Doctors’ Day and on this occasion, I take this opportunity to revisit the role of a doctor.
Chapter 10, shloka 21 of the Bhagawad Gita gives the definition of God, when Krishna reveals himself to Arjuna by saying, “Adityanam ahaṁ viṣhṇur jyotiṣhaṁ ravir anśhuman, marichir marutam asmi nakṣhatraṇam ahaṁ śhaśhi”, which translates as “Of the twelve Adityas, I am Vishnu, of all luminaries, the radiant sun, of the seven Maruts, I am Marichi and of the constellations, I am the moon.” All these phenomena are the manifestations of Krishna.
All the forms that Krishna used to define himself, give something. Moon gives peace of mind, sun gives light etc. Devta is someone who gives. Anybody who gives can be said to be like a devta. But this giving has to be unconditional and loving.
A common man’s perspective of God is of a force that can do and undo anything, for whom nothing is impossible, who is the final decision maker, whose decision cannot be challenged, who can give an instantaneous relief, who can punish and reward and he who overcomes miseries. He can also answer the unknown as he is supposed to know everything.
In Bhagawad Gita and other Vedic texts, God is equated to consciousness, a network of energized information, a force which cannot be burnt by fire, wet by water, dried by air or cut by weapon; a force which is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient and still ever-pervading.
A trained qualified medical doctor who has his understanding based on the mind, body and soul has nearly similar characteristics. He overcome miseries as soon as he touches the patient, gives immediate relief which starts at the time he gives a healing touch to the patient.
God resides in each one of us. In his book ‘How to Know God’, Deepak Chopra has explained different levels of God. According to him a God is a person from amongst the society with one step higher level of consciousness. He describes, as per the Vedic text, seven different levels of consciousness that a person can possess.
1. Flight & fight
2. Reactive consciousness
3. Restful alertness consciousness
4. Intuitive consciousness
5. Creative consciousness
6. Sacred consciousness
7. Visionary consciousness
A person who has achieved sainthood, who sees the same consciousness in everybody, treats individuals without caste, creed and religion and who overcome miseries of people irrespective of their age, status or paying capacity is God. Doctors fulfil these criteria as they have a duty to heal the sick irrespective of their caste, creed, race or financial status. Even the MCI Code of Ethics has said, “The prime object of the medical profession is to render service to humanity; reward or financial gain is a subordinate consideration (1.1.2).” The MCI Declaration, which a doctor is required to sign at the time of registration, also says “I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient (d).”
Today with evidence-based medicine being the norm, mental and spiritual health has taken a backseat.
This may be one reason why doctors are losing the status of God, which they were accorded since Vedic times.
But, we should remember that doctors are messengers of God to remove miseries of the sick individuals and so should always act in the best interests of the patient. “Doctors treat, but God heals” is a well-known saying.
My best wishes to you on this Doctor’s Day …
Dr KK Aggarwal
National President IMA & HCFI