If Disease Is Due To Bad Karma, Should We Fight It Or Not?

Having kids is one of the means to spend our Karma. We take a lot of pain in bringing up them in a good way. That pain is a way to spend our bad Karma out. Similar is, serving our parents when they are old. Serving them burns out our bad Karma and wins our parents’ and God’s blessings. While bringing up kids or taking care of our old parents, we do not take a short cut. We suffer through it and enjoy the experience. Does this rule hold good to diseases also? If we have any disease, should we suffer with it, thinking it as a result of bad Karma or should we fight it out?

positive attitude

Fight for survival is our real nature
It is the very nature of every living creature, plant or animal, to fight to live, to fight to restore health. When there is an infection attack on our body, white blood cells increase, to fight the micro organism down. It is in our nature to fight against attack – either a physical attack or a health attack. The body / mind does so, because survival is the most important matter for any living being. Fighting against odds (health / social or whatever), is in our nature. So, when disease hits us, naturally body is fighting for its survival. Hence, all efforts should be made to help our body and mind to fight the disease, for our survival.

Health is the most precious thing that we can ever be gifted with, by mother nature. If there is health, there is life. If there is life, then there are hopes, efforts, achievements and so on. Hence, all efforts should be made to protect our health.

Suppose you are a bus driver with migraine. The purpose of existence of a bus driver is to drive the bus carefully with utmost attention. If the bus driver thinks that suffering with migraine is his Karma and leaves it as it is without getting it treated, goes for bus driving, gets a bout of migraine while driving, feels like vomiting, gets blurred vision and causes an accident. His bad Karma will further increase, because of his inaction towards his migraine. His Karma would have got reduced, if had taken the treatment for migraine and drove the bus correctly.

Whatever disease we have, we need to fight it out to keep the body healthy and fit.
Shareeram aadyam khalu dharma saadhanam!  – Vedanta and Kalidasa.
If we have strong body and strong health, then only we can follow path of righteousness (Dharma), then only we can take a good care of our kids and parents, then only we can earn to support our families, then only we can do our duties with utmost attention and sincerity and then only we can lead a spiritual life.
So, during a disease attack, all efforts should be made to get the disease treated and to lead a meaningful life.
During health, all efforts should be made to protect it.

What if the disease is incurable? 
Karmanye Vaadhikaaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadaachana – Lord Sri Krishna, Srimad Bhagavad Geeta.
We have the right to put in our efforts. We do not have any rights for the fruits. Our primary goal is to do whatever we can, to fight disease. We do not have any right to claim for good health, just based on our efforts.
But then, we can do adjustments in health and life so that, we are functional and we are chasing our dreams.
while there’s life there’s hope – Prof. Stephen Hawking

What if I am poor and cannot afford costly treatment?
Up to whatever level we can fight the disease, we should fight. But we should leave no stone unturned. But before the disease, when we are healthy, we should make all efforts to follow – Dharma – path of righteousness, and earn Artha – money.  We should also make all efforts to protect money for the tougher times of disease in future.
Let us hope and pray that all human beings can have good money to protect their health and to fight their diseases.

This body is abode of God!
When someone dies, in Hindu custom, we bow down (do Pranam) to that dead body, thinking that God had lived inside that body. So long as life is there, the God lives within us, pumping the heart, functioning the livers, digesting the food, excreting the waste, pushing in and out the air, healing the wounds. So, this body needs utmost attention to maintain best possible health.

Again there is a question that, some people, how hard they may try, they do not earn good money. For that, the answer is, whether to earn money or to fight the disease, we have to do our best and leave the rest to the Mother Nature. So, it all boils down to the will of Mother Nature, whom, the Hindus call in different names as Durga, Kali, Devi, Bhairavi, Lalita, Gayatri, Sharada, Shive, Ambe, Maata, Lakshmi, Saraswati etc.
Wish you Happy Navaratri and Dasara. – Dr Janardhana V Hebbar, 2/10/2014.
(Hindu festival spanning 10 days, where we worship different forms of Mother Goddess).

Additional comments by Dr M Narayana Bhat.
Scriptures & puraanaas support your
views. anushaasana parva of epic
mahabhaarata deals with the subject
so also ‘karma vipaaka’ texts.
As you have rightly pointed out, medical
treatment should be supported by other
measures as indicated here below. if the
evil done is so grave, even medication
may not come to our rescue.
thanks once again

janmAntara kRtaM pApaM vyAdhirUpeNa bAdhate
tacchAnti auSadaiH dAnaiH japa homa surArcanaiH

yathA zAstrantu nirNato yathA vyAdhi cikitsakaH
na zamaM zAnti yo vyAdhiH saMjJeyaH karmajo budhaH

17 comments on “If Disease Is Due To Bad Karma, Should We Fight It Or Not?

  • Lizzie

    02/10/2014 - 9:11 pm

    Thank you for the interesting article. As a Western-er, I hadn’t thought of how inaction toward doing all that is necessary to obtain good health could have a negative impact i.e. karmic consequences. Very interesting!

    Reply to comment
  • dr.veena

    03/10/2014 - 9:18 am

    It is very true.

    Reply to comment
  • Venkataraman

    03/10/2014 - 9:29 am

    Timely blog. Very wise. Thanks a ton!

    Reply to comment
  • A K Shyam

    03/10/2014 - 10:40 am

    The article is an eye opener. We, mortals always blame the Supreme Power for all our ill effects. But, what we don’t realize is that it is HE who is suffering as he is in our abode. When we look back to our birth and development over the years, we fail to recognize the beauty of a single cell – EGG – multiplying infinitely and structuring every inch of our body with precision and assigning responsibility to each part. Is it not a miracle?. It takes a pretty long time for us to pay our respects to him until he declares that this (the body) is just a shirt which keeps changing and that the ‘Soul’ is eternal. Lord has given us enough wisdom to follow a good path but, we pursue wrong aspects of life and keep constantly tensed up. The day we resolve our conflict of what is what, we are at peace within us. That is perhaps the ultimate where we don’t distinguish good from bad.

    Reply to comment
  • Martha

    03/10/2014 - 1:45 pm

    Excellent…….I never thought of bowing down to a dead body because God once lived there. Now I realise how important the buriel is! I recently helped a woman bury her husband. She had no money and it was thought that he would be put in a hole with other dead bodies without a service. Intellectually I believed that it didnt matter as the body was simply a vessel. But emotionally I felt terrible for him. Then through a wonderful set of circumstances and some very generous people, he was buried in a small church yard, with a beautiful ceremony. I saw him smiling, looking like a saint, so happy for many days.

    Thank you for this knowledge

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      03/10/2014 - 3:46 pm

      We should always respect a dead body. After all, it was the body that God chose to show his wonders (Leela) to us. That body was the tool of God. So, it requires some respect. Also, it may be a log of wood to the unrelated people. But for the relatives, all the emotions will be attached with that piece of substance.
      I have also taken part in death ceremony, actively on a couple of occasions. One can clearly carry a feeling of blessedness and contentment, once we get home and sleep, that night. Pretty incredible!

      Reply to comment

    03/10/2014 - 1:59 pm

    really excellent article.. keep on sending continuosly without break.

    Reply to comment
  • Gaurav

    03/10/2014 - 8:02 pm

    This general advice applies as much to health as to all other aspects of life. It is not exclusive to the aspect of preserving/regaining good health: We should not accept things as fate without applying any effort. And at the same time, we should remain worry-free and maintain a calm mind, otherwise the efforts might have limited benefit. And finally, we should try to develop the right discrimination that helps us to decide when we have reached the peak of our efforts, and it’s time to also practice developing a little surrender (to the higher power).

    Reply to comment
  • Amit

    04/10/2014 - 9:56 am

    Very good Article indeed.

    Reply to comment
  • Anantha raghupathy

    04/10/2014 - 9:05 pm

    Very good article and an eye opener.While we are alive we should always think inside the body HE is there. It is our duty to keep it clean and healthy

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    07/10/2014 - 11:48 am

    Hi, I do not know much about black magic.

    Reply to comment
  • Dr ks mythili

    08/10/2014 - 9:56 pm

    Valuable information thank u .I am also an ayurvedic doctor .

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      08/10/2014 - 10:46 pm

      Nice to know. Thanks.

      Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    18/02/2015 - 11:06 pm

    We have to live with what we are given with. We have to make the most of what we have been gifted with. We cannot control all aspects of our lives. But whatever we CAN control, we have to control it well. All the best. May Lord Krishna give you all the strength and confidence!

    Reply to comment
    • Monique

      19/02/2015 - 7:07 am

      Thank you for your kind words. I do have a lot of inner strength, and I know things will work out for the better eventually. I have a lot of faith.

      Reply to comment
  • Krishan chopra

    25/09/2021 - 8:28 pm

    What is within our reach is only our considered action ,result will be dependent on many other factors So do your best as suggested in the article and move on .This approach may help in reducing the anxiety.

    Reply to comment

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