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© 2004 - Hansadutta das
[Posted June 24, 2007]

Curing the Material Disease

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Sicko poster Srila Prabhupada Truthout - June 22, 2007 - SARI GELZER "SiCKO": The Profits of Life and Death

Healthcare is a life and death issue, says Moore, and it should not be based on profit.

"SiCKO" focuses on the more than 250 million people who have insurance, but highlights those who are betrayed by it in their time of need. Moore's film shows the American healthcare system's dangerous focus on profits, exemplified in the stories of average Americans such as Donna, 52, and Larry Smith, 62, who were forced to file bankruptcy as a result of her cancer and his heart problems. They had health insurance, but it hardly paid for everything.

Moore shows the American healthcare system thru the lens of insurance company whistleblower Dr. Linda Peeno, who testified before Congress that she "denied a man a necessary operation and thus caused his death." She went on to say that her actions were rewarded: "This secured my reputation and it ensured my continued advancement in the healthcare field."

And, finally, Moore puts the American healthcare system into perspective by traveling to hospitals in Canada, Britain, Cuba and France - countries which have government-run programs. Scenes showed the expressions of doctors and patients who laughed or looked quizzical when Moore asked about the cost of visits to the doctor.
go to story

What is service to mankind?
excerpt from lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.56-62, Surat, January 3, 1971
Who Cares?

Discriminating Against the Poor A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

But just consider: if a poor man is lying helpless in the street, can I kill him? Will the state excuse me? I may say, "I have only killed a poor man. There was no need for him in society. Why should such a person live?" But will the state excuse me? Will the authorities say, "You have done very nice work"? No. The poor man is also a citizen of the state, and the state cannot allow him to be killed. Now, why not expand this philosophy? The trees, the birds, and the beasts are also sons of God. If one kills them, one is as guilty as one who kills a poor man on the street. In God's eyes, or even in the vision of a learned man, there is no discrimination between poor and rich, black and white. No. Every living entity is part and parcel of God. And because a Vaishnava sees this, he is the only true benefactor of all living entities. more

GUEST: Service to mankind is service to God. Remember.

REVATINANDANA: Is that true, Srila Prabhupada?

PRABHUPADA: What is that?

REVATINANDANA: That service to mankind is service God?

PRABHUPADA: That is nonsense.

GUEST: Doctor. For doctor, I mean.

PRABHUPADA: Well, that is another thing. When doctor gives service to man, he does not give service to the man; he gives service to the money. [laughter]

Basic principle is sense gratification
excerpt from conversation during morning walk, Los Angeles, December 17, 1973

PRABHUPADA: In every respect, these materialists, they want to use God for their sense gratification. That is the prime fact. Our philosophy is that "God is not agent for your sense gratification, but you are agent for God's satisfaction." That is our philosophy, just the opposite. Even so-called religionists, they also take God as the agent of their sense gratification. They go to church to order God, "Supply our bread." Actually, He is doing. God is supplying bread. But they go for ordering, that "Give us our..." The rascal does not know, God is already supplying. Why should we go to church for ordering Him to supply bread? He is already supplying, even to the cats and dogs. They do not now what is the purpose of going to the church. That is going on. That is the disease, material disease. "I want to satisfy my senses, and anyone who will help me in my sense gratification, I shall worship him. If he does not, then I shall not." Everywhere. This Nixon became president because he promised that "I shall satisfy your senses." Now he is not doing so, so "Get out." This is the whole formula, material world." You satisfy my senses, you are my friend. And as soon as stop, then you are not my friend." That's it.

[break] Doctors are considered the most authoritative because they give sense gratification. "You are sick. Now you are unable to gratify your senses. I give you some medicine so you become strong and go on your sense gratification." Therefore doctor is very good man.

SVARUP DAMODAR: Even I wanted to become a doctor. When I started...

PRABHUPADA: Oh, whatever you want to become, the basic principle is sense gratification. Either you become scientist or doctor or engineer, the main thing is "Bring money." That's all.

SVARUP DAMODAR: Some doctors think that they are doing humanitarian work.

PRABHUPADA: Yes, so long he will pay. That's all. "Hospital." In your country especially. "Hospital" means "to receive." But there also you pay, then it is hospital. Otherwise "Get out." It is no longer hospital.

SVARUP DAMODAR: I find doctors are most rascals here. They are greatest demons.

PRABHUPADA: Why not the scientists?

SVARUP DAMODAR: I think scientists are better than doctors.

PRABHUPADA: Better rascals. [laughter] Scientists are better rascals. [laughing]

KARANDHAR: Well, doctors are simply out for money.

SVARUP DAMODAR: Oh, it is terrible. They don't think about anything else. They just think about money.

PRABHUPADA: They have been taught like that.

SVARUP DAMODAR: If the patient doesn't bring money, he won't give injection.

PRABHUPADA: So the lawyers and everyone. Especially in your country, this country, because they require money, so they must have money some way or other. That is the prime principle. They require money. That's all.

KARANDHAR: They charge outrageous fees, $60 an hour, $70 an hour, $5,000 for a little operation. Some doctors, they simply try to make operations so they can get rich. Whenever you come to see them, they say, "You need an operation."


LOCANA: And they keep their telephone numbers secret so that on Sunday their patients may not disturb their sense gratification with their medical difficulties.

SVARUP DAMODAR: It is a very big business here, Srila Prabhupada, medical profession. They have this American Medical Association. They control the whole business. Even government cannot interfere. So they choose students, and they keep the supply so low that the demand is always high. That is why the price always increases. It's terrible.

KARANDHAR: To stay in a hospital now costs about $150 a day.

PRABHUPADA: That is a sort of punishment of sinful activities. When you fall sick, it is due to sinful activity. So you are punished.

KARANDHAR: It's a very high price.

Rüpanuga: Pay fine.

PRABHUPADA: Yes. The more dangerous is the disease, you have to pay more. [break]

KARANDHAR: ...very mercenary, hospitals...

PRABHUPADA: Everywhere mercenary. Lawyers...

KARANDHAR: The hospital across the street from our temple, if you go there with an emergency, they say, "First give us money. No money, go away." No matter how serious the injury. "First give us money."

SVARUP DAMODAR: They have no human quality, these doctors.

KARANDHAR: We have brought devotees there sometimes with serious wounds or injuries, and they just say, "First you give us money or else go away. We don't care."

PRABHUPADA: Everywhere.

The primary disease is spiritual
purport, Chaitanya-charitamrita Adi-lila 10.51

Murari Gupta could treat both bodily and spiritual disease because he was a physician by profession and a great devotee of the Lord in terms of spiritual advancement. This is an example of service to humanity. Everyone should know that there are two kinds of diseases in human society. One disease, which is called adhyatmika, or material disease, pertains to the body, but the main disease is spiritual. The living entity is eternal, but somehow or other, when in contact with the material energy, he is subjected to the repetition of birth, death, old age and disease. The physicians of the modern day should learn from Murari Gupta. Although modern philanthropic physicians open gigantic hospitals, there are no hospitals to cure the material disease of the spirit soul. The Krishna consciousness movement has taken up the mission of curing this disease, but people are not very appreciative because they do not know what this disease is. A diseased person needs both proper medicine and a proper diet, and therefore the Krishna consciousness movement supplies materially stricken people with the medicine of the chanting of the holy name, or the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, and the diet of prasadam. There are many hospitals and medical clinics to cure bodily diseases, but there are no such hospitals to cure the material disease of the spirit soul. The centers of the Krishna consciousness movement are the only established hospitals that can cure man of birth, death, old age and disease.

Curing the Material Disease/ WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY
©2007 - Hansadutta das
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