Doctor Ni Dyanatdari
Mr. Savakshah Manchershah Todywalla was not only an effective Lecturer on the esoteric knowledge of Ilm-e-Khshnoom but also an extremely gifted and competent astrologer. He was approached by people, rich and poor, who always returned satisfied with his horoscope readings. Yet, he never accepted a rupee or even a gift for his valuable services . He sincerely believed that the quality of services rendered by priests, astrologers, doctors, teachers, lawyers and the like, would be of a very high standard if not tainted by the lure of the lucre.
Often, he would refer to the Achaemenian and the Sassanian times when members of these professions and their families were maintained by the Crown or were allowed to charge a predetermined one time fee by way of cattle, crops, camels ,etc. for a specific service. The Law of Limit and Justice was strictly adhered to, nipping mercenaries in the bud. With a mischievous twinkle in his eye, he would ask us to visualize a scene where a doctor, on opening the doors of his clinic, would send up a prayer that God may send him a string of patients that day. “Can a physician pray for the flourishing of diseases to augment his income?” he would ask.
This month, we observed the annual baaj of the great Dr.(Ervad) Edulji Hormusji Coyaji of Pune. He had had the good fortune to come under the direct influence of our revered Ustad Saheb Behramshah Nowrojee Shroff. Dr. Coyaji, a noble soul, toiled 365 X 24 with his focus on healing, never on his bank balance. In fact, he kept in his clinic, a money box into which his poor patients could deposit any small sum according to their mite or none at all ! His fame as a very successful doctor spread far and wide and his own philanthropy inspired the affluent not only to sponsor such services but also to donate huge mansions to be converted into hospitals for the benefit of the poor.
The highest qualification of a truly great doctor is always the compassion he bears for the suffering of his patients. When a patient approaches a physician for help, he is already groaning under the weight of his ailment and if, genuinely poor, he is doubly burdened by his physical suffering and his poverty.
According to our religious beliefs, such suffering is a kind of Karmic retribution arising from our lifestyle in this or some previous birth. The sooner and the more gracefully we manage to acquit ourselves of our Karmic debts, the sooner do we move towards the state of tanpasin .(free from rebirth). Yet, primarily, we need the fitness of our physical self to achieve this goal. Thus, a doctor plays a very important role in Nature’s Scheme of Things when he truly heals , repairs, restores !
No profession is free from professional hazards. A doctor is always vulnerable to contracting some serious disease while treating his patient. Worse still, the nature of his duties constantly exposes him to various types of “invisible microbes”, druji ( Hikra, Buji, Nasu, ). If he practices his art selflessly, while attempting to observe (in whatever limited way his profession permits) religious disciplines (tarikats), Nature shall shield him from or at least minimize the ill effects of such drujis. The blessings he earns from curing or bringing relief to his patients may likewise protect him.
These days, patients are being treated as mere case papers. Knowledge and not wisdom, cleverness and not common sense, greed and not empathy taint the healing approach of many a wayward doctor. Some say that the pharmaceutical industry has turned into a hydra headed monster that devours patients and leads the physician astray to an extent that the medicine often proves worse than the malady !
If a doctor falls prey to sops offered by such corporate giants, if he leads his innocent patient into the labyrinth of needless pathological and radiological investigations, if he offers him as a scapegoat on the altar of the surgical table when surgery is superfluous, may God help him for turning his clinic into a mint for printing hard currency. Undoubtedly, money is a harsh reality of life today when there is no Royal Treasury to maintain the doctor and his family. Yet this is not a license for the physician or surgeon to ruthlessly relieve his patient of cash when he should be relieving him of suffering and disease . Else, the patients shall feel compelled to say, “ Physician, heal thyself ! ”
True healing does not demand a state of art set up; it just needs compassion and a spirit to serve.
1) “Khodai Marg” by respected Bomanji Burjorji Rivetna.
2) The Tavil Of Vendidad by Dr. Saheb Framroze Sorabji Chiniwalla, pages 258-261.
Courtest : k k <K F Keravala
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