the concept of medicine in the perspective of hinduism

Category: Education

Presentation Description

Full Dsecription on Hinduism and The Role of Medical Practioners in Handling Life and Death Issues of Hindu Patients


Presentation Transcript

Interfaith Discussion Forum on “The Concept of Medicine in the Perspective of Hinduism” :

Interfaith Discussion Forum on “ The Concept of Medicine in the Perspective of Hinduism ” On 28 th September 2011 at Auditorium HUKM, Cheras , KL.

Brief Account on HINDUISM:

Brief Account on HINDUISM The most oldest religion with religious scriptures of 10,000 years and above – “ The Vedas ” The richest blend of piety, tradition, culture, philosophical form of religious system Remarkable Universal Concepts, Scientific and applicable to any era of time.

The Concept of GOD in HINDUISM:

The Concept of GOD in HINDUISM Contrary to popular belief HINDUISM also a “MONOTHEISTIC” religion HINDUISM belief in ONE GOD – “BRAHMAM” Without any Attributes – Nirguna Brahmam Nameless, Formless, Infinite & Beyond Our Imagination With many Attributes – Sarguna Brahmam Based on Symbolism Symbols Help Us to Focus On

HINDUISM – a religion of symbolism:

HINDUISM – a religion of symbolism It belief in one GOD with many attributes The common attributes are; HE is the Sound of Divinity , HE is the Begin , HE is the Creator , HE is the Protector , HE is the Regenerator , HE is the ultimate Power , HE is the everlasting Wealth , HE is the profound Knowledge , HE is the enormous Wisdom , Each of these attributes represented by a symbol in Hinduism

GOD’s Attributes by symbols:

GOD’s Attributes by symbols the Sound of Divinity, OHM the Begin, GANESHA the Creator, - BRAMHA the Protector, VISHNU the Destructor, RUTRA

GOD’s Attributes by symbols:

the Eternal Being, SIVA the Ultimate Power, SAKTI the Everlasting Wealth, LAXMI the Profound Knowledge, SARASWATHI the Enormous Wisdom, MURUGA GOD’s Attributes by symbols

The Eternal Trinity of HINDUSIM (Exist forever – NO Beginning NO End):

The Eternal Trinity of HINDUSIM (Exist forever – NO Beginning NO End) The one GOD – the Brahmam The many Souls – the Athmans The three Bonds – the Anava (The Ignorance), the Karma (the Universal Law of Cause & Effect) & the Maya (the raw material for the physical World and the Universe)

The Symbolism of the “Trinity”:

The Symbolism of the “Trinity” ATMANS are perpetually entangled with the “BONDS” of Anava, Karma & Maya GOD GOD perpetually FREE from all the “BONDS”

i.e. Liberation from the “BONDS” & Unison with GOD:

MOKSHA GOD The Ultimate Purpose of LIFE is “ MOKSHA ” to ATMANS i.e. Liberation from the “BONDS” & Unison with GOD

The Ultimate Aim of Life in HINDUISM:

The Ultimate Aim of Life in HINDUISM The liberation of the ATMANS from the engulfing BONDS and the ultimate unison with GOD

The Concept of :

The Concept of AANAVA in HINDUISM


AANAVAA The root cause of all our ignorance The ignorance that never allow us to realise “GOD” The ignorance never allow us to the right path or the right ways to live in this world The root cause that never allow us to reach “GOD”

The Concept of in MAAYA HINDUISM:


What is MAAYA ?:

MAAYA is the ever existing energy form that become the raw material for the creation of the entire UNIVERSE together with this WORLD GOD with His Everlasting Kindness Has created the entire Universe & the WORLD from MAYA and gave the ATMANS (Souls) the physical bodies with BRAIN & MIND to eliminate the ignorance (ANAVA) and to acquire the knowledge & spiritual awareness to attain the MOKSHA . What is MAAYA ?

The Origin of Life as in HINDUISM:

The Origin of Life as in HINDUISM MAYA God has divided his enormous ( ENERGY = E ) with His Supreme ( POWER = C ) created the entire ( Universe = M ) & the WORLD from the raw material of “ MAYA ” 2 E=MC M = E/C 2 2

The Spiritual Evolution in Hinduism:

The Spiritual Evolution in Hinduism The link between MAAYA & KARMA Through the process of “KARMA" cycle the souls undergoing multiple ‘Cycles of Rebirth’ and evolved to be the “Human Beings” with progressive knowledge to attain the “MOKSHA” ATMANS dwell in physical Bodies

The Four Stages of Life in HINDUISM :

The Four Stages of Life in HINDUISM Kallaram – “ Bramachariya ” - the stage of life to acquire all knowledge & Wisdom Illaram – “ Gragahasta ” - the stage of life to partake in married & Family life Nallaram – “ Vanaprastha ” - the stage of life to serve the community & Spirituality Sellaram - “ Sanyaasa ” - the stage of life for contemplation & complete surrender to GOD to attain the “MOKSHA”

The Concept of :

The Concept of KARMA in HINDUISM


KARMA The Hindu concept of Karma encompasses action, causality, and destiny.  It is the moral equivalent of the law of conservation of energy or the law of physics that states 'for every action there is equal and opposite reaction.' Karma gives tremendous responsibility to the individual and places in his/her hands the key to his/her future destiny.


KARMA… Each person is responsible for their good and bad deeds, which will reap appropriate results in this or future lives. Naturally, the unerring law of Karma can work itself out only over a sufficiently long period of time, hence the belief in Reincarnation (Atman being reborn again and again at the different planes of universe until the attainment of Moksha).

The Four Purposes of Life in Hinduism::

The Four Purposes of Life in Hinduism: Dharma - Virtue, Righteousness, Living morally and ethically Artha - Prosperity, Wealth, Fame & Career Development Kaama - Pleasure, Enjoyment, Desire, Happiness from Arts & Culture Moksha - The ultimate purpose of life is the freedom or liberation from the ‘Cycle of Rebirth’ or the ‘Karmic Cycle’ i.e. Spiritual Enlightenment to attain the “Oneness with GOD”


DHARMA The most important concept of Hinduism is Dharma ('dhar' in Samskrit means 'to uphold'), which means the "privilege, duties and obligations of person, a standard of conduct as a member of the community and as a person in a particular stage of life ".


DHARMA… "Dharma laid down the rules and ordinances for actions in all situations.  Always steering away from absolutes, always sensitive to context, the laws allow qualifications for time, place and exceptional circumstances". For example, it is acceptable to seek wealth ( Artha ) and pleasure ( Kaama ) as the purposes of life as long as they concord to Dharma.


The concept of dharma thus in entirety speaks to the connection between spiritual health and all other domains of well-being within Hinduism. Regardless of its many mutations, the tradition has historically forged and continues to maintain an integral relationship between proper faith and appropriate practice within the physical, mental, and social arenas. DHARMA…

The Concept of “DHARMA” in Spiritual Health:

The Concept of “DHARMA” in Spiritual Health Dharma is classified as four central types: An emphasis upon love and respect for humanity as a whole; A quest for self-improvement and spirituality leading to salvation; A fulfillment of social obligations such as helping the poor and needy; and A universal variant that encourages actions conducive to the welfare of all society.


ARTHA Artha is prosperity, wealth, fame & success in worldly pursuits. Although the ultimate goal of Hinduism is enlightenment or the “MOKSHA”, the pursuit of wealth and prosperity is regarded as an appropriate pursuit for the householder (the second of the four stages life).


ARTHA It also ensures social order, for there would be no society if everyone renunciated worldly life to meditate. But while Hindus are encouraged to make money, it must be within the bounds of dharma.


KAAMA Kama (Sanskrit, "desire") primarily refers to various pleasure one should righteously enjoy the pleasure from variety of activities including arts & culture like music, dance, romantic love sexual pleasure and so on.


KAAMA… Like artha , KAAMA is seen as an appropriate pursuit of the souls as the “GIFT of GOD” . But again, while Hindus are encouraged to enjoy the worldly pleasure, it must be within the bounds of dharma.


MOKSHA The ultimate end of every Hindu's life is moksha, which can be understood in a variety of ways: liberation from rebirth, enlightenment, Self-realization, or union with God. This is considered to the be the highest purpose of life, although very few can achieve it in a single lifetime and there are a variety of paths to attain it.


MOKSHA Hinduism put great emphasis on FOUR (4) important paths to be followed by Hindus to attain the ULTIMATE AIM of this LIFE - “MOKSHA”

The Four Ways (Paths) to attain the MOKSHA in Hinduism::

The Four Ways (Paths) to attain the MOKSHA in Hinduism: Sariyai - Karma Marga (S1- Service ) (the path of works and action) Kiriyai - Bhakti Marga (S2- Surrender ) (the path of devotion) Yoga - Yoga Marga (S3- Self-Realization ) ( the path of meditation) Nyana - Nyana Marga (S4- Sagacity ) (the path of knowledge)

Religion & Medicine in HINDUISM:

Religion & Medicine in HINDUISM

Religion & Medicine in HINDUISM:

Religion & Medicine in HINDUISM Religion and medicine are intertwined in Hinduism.  Hinduism and the healthcare called AYURVEDA - Ayur (life) Veda (knowledge) was practiced for thousands of years and addresses many physical, emotional and mental illnesses and their treatments. In Ayurveda concern for both the individual and the community are addressed.

Ancient Hindu Healthcare Scientists :

Ancient Hindu Healthcare Scientists Atreya , Agnivesa ( 1000 BC) Shushruta (800 BC) Aryabhatta (600 BC) Bhaskaracharya , Varahmihir , Bodhayan (300 BC) Kanva , Panini, Gargi (200 BC)

Ancient Hindu Medical Doctrines:

Ancient Hindu Medical Doctrines Susruta Samhita , (600 BC) the Hindu medical chronicle said about plastic surgery in India. Caraka Samhita , (300 BC) Nidan Sthana (8 chapters) Viman Sthana (8 chapters) Sharir Sthana (8 chapters) Indriya Sthana (12 chapters) Chikitsa Sthana (30 chapters) Kalpa Sthana (12 chapters) Siddhi Sthana (12 chapters)

Healthcare in HINDUISM…:

Healthcare in HINDUISM… Although suffering is considered part of one's Karma, it is also necessary to get treatments and relief through physical and mental mode. Thus, Hinduism encourage the individual and family seeking treatment and care. In fact, according to Hinduism, since the body encloses the Godliness in the soul, it is important to maintain good health and seek medical care.

Death in Hinduism…:

Death in Hinduism… Death is considered opposite of birth and NOT of life , and the Hindu concept denies the finality of death. Since reincarnation (Rebirth) is almost certain for most of the souls, death is just a passage to next life. In Hinduism because of the strong belief in Karma and reincarnation, the finality of the consequence of critical illness, namely death, is sidestepped.

Death in Hinduism…:

Death in Hinduism… Even though psychologically and emotionally a patient may still fear death resulting from the illness, the Hindu faith gives the patient the hope of a better life in the next birth. However, getting treatment to maintain body's health is recommended because body encases the soul which is an immortal spark of God.

Denial of Critical Illness & Death:

Denial of Critical Illness & Death Denial of critical illness and death obviously exists both with health care givers and patients. Even though denial is part of human emotion, it is not rooted in the Hindu faith as something that affects the response to illness. The concept of denial for Hindus will be almost an emotional and/or psychological reaction, not one based on religion. Divine cure is always seen as possible, but that is based more on faith in prayers than on denial of the criticality of the illness or suffering.

Denial of Critical Illness & Death:

Denial of Critical Illness & Death So from a religious point of view there is no need for denial of critical illness or death, especially with the concepts of Karma and Reincarnation for both the patients and the health care givers; you give and receive care as long as that is beneficial. Similarly for families, the critical illness and potential death of a patient will be part of the Samsara (the karmic life cycle ), which allows coping with the grief.

Role of Prayers in Treatments:

Role of Prayers in Treatments Prayers form a central part of most of the Hindus in any treatments, including during critical illness. The expectation of cure by prayers and alternate or complimentary aspects of care are encouraged in Hinduism.

Role of Prayers in Treatments:

Role of Prayers in Treatments The belief that a supernatural intervention by God could cure any illness is also very strong among Hindus but it does not result in denial because of simultaneous strong belief in Karma and reincarnation. In general the fear of death causes the denial of the critical illness.

Role of Prayers in Treatments:

Role of Prayers in Treatments But in Hinduism since the finality of death is denied by the doctrines of Karma and Reincarnation the denial of illness in not a predominant feature. This divergent point of view needs to be understood by health caregivers for many Hindu patients.

Role of Medical Practitioners…:

Role of Medical Practitioners… From the health caregiver's point of view, Hindu scriptures advise the physician to give treatments only until he/she feels the care is beneficial. Otherwise, the physician should give only comfort care. The physician is forbidden to give useless treatments against the wishes of the patient or the patient's parents in the case of children.

Role of Medical Practitioners…:

Role of Medical Practitioners… Humility and compassion should be fundamental requirements of a physician. The physician should neither deny the illness or potential death nor overestimate the benefits of treatments. The Hindu faith asks the physician not to deny the patient's illness.

Role of Medical Practitioners… in Handling Death:

Role of Medical Practitioners… in Handling Death It is acceptable and necessary to seek medical care for the patient since the body contains the soul, the divine spark of God. But, once the inevitable death nears, praying God for a better next life is the best option and not unnecessary prolongation of life.

Role of Medical Practitioners… in Handling Death:

The doctrine of Karma and Reincarnation addresses the impermanence of the existence of the souls in this world and of many future generations to come in the cycle of births and deaths, so there is no need to deny suffering and illness. Similarly, the relatives of the patient are also asked not to grieve. Role of Medical Practitioners… in Handling Death

Medico - Ethical Issues & Medical Practitioners:

Medico - Ethical Issues & Medical Practitioners

History of Code of Medical Ethics:

History of Code of Medical Ethics Third Dynasty (Egypt) 2700 BCE Code of Hammurabi (Babylon) 1750 BCE: If the physician succeeds, he gets paid. If he fails, at worst he loses his hands. Oath of the Hindu Physician ( Vaidya’s Oath) 1500 BCE Hippocratic oath (Hippocrates, ca 460-370 BCE) The Oath of Asaph and Yohanan ( ca 6 th cy. ACE) Advice to a Physician (Persia) 10 th cy. ACE Oath of Maimonides 12 th cy. ACE Ming Dynasty (China) 14 th cy. ACE Seventeen Rules of Enjun (Japanese Buddhist Physicians) 16 th cy. ACE ) Drawn from Codes of Medical and Human Experimentation Ethics by Victoria Berdon and Jennifer Flavin viewable at

Slide 51:

Hindu Code of Medical Ethics (1500 BCE) are similar to those of the Babylonians and the Greeks. Hindu Oath of initiation into the medical profession: “Day and night; thou shalt endeavor for the relief of patients with all their heart and soul. Thou shalt not desert or injure thy patient even for the sake of thy living.” Hindu Code of Medical Ethics

Contemporary Medico- Ethical Issues :

Contemporary Medico- Ethical Issues Stem cells - Totipotent , Pluripotent , Multipotent Cloning and DNA Organ Transplantations as well as new variations of transplantation Reproductive choices and technologies Genetic Screening Surrogate Mother Handling Terminal Illnesses Euthanasia

Medico - Ethical Questions…:

Medico - Ethical Questions… There are many important medico-ethical questions in science & technology such as, does the embryo have the right to develop into a mature adult? Does embryonic stem cell research encourage the killing of the potential embryos? Will genetic modification or engineering of plants and animals be the cause of unknown dangers in the future? Should the right to die be allowed? There will be many more questions that will arise in the future as biotechnology advances. All of these bioethical implications cannot be ignored. To what extent should we be playing God?

Slide 54:

Freedom to Explore is the fundamental to the progress of Science Prohibiting research restricts intellectual freedom of the people The pursuit of truth is indistinguishable from the pursuit of knowledge HINDUISM Fundamentally Encourage the Exploring and Acquiring the Required Knowledge

Hinduism is against the ‘Tampering with nature”:

Hinduism is against the ‘Tampering with nature” Bio technology bring benefits and dangers It requires Safe guards and new regulations Actually we do not create any thing new, only alter the make up of organisms for our own purposes. Man can discover God through his own mistakes and repentance, and not by avoiding his mistakes.

Termination of Pregnancy:

Termination of Pregnancy Termination of pregnancy by medically induced abortion to prevent the birth of a viable child poses a number of socio-ethical problems. It is not generally encouraged in orthodox cultures and communities, and is considered sinful. It can be resorted to on strictly medical grounds, for example, if childbirth threatens the mother's life.

Hinduism is concern over the emerging Reproductive Technologies & Their Impact on integrity of family :

Hinduism is concern over the emerging Reproductive Technologies & Their Impact on integrity of family Reproductive Technologies Donor insemination, egg donation, contract pregnancy, embryo transfers The impact on integrity of family nature of parent hood, the role of marital sexuality and the identity of the child.

Therapeutic Cloning & Reproductive Cloning in the Perspective of Hinduism:

Therapeutic Cloning & Reproductive Cloning in the Perspective of Hinduism Hinduism Encourage Social obligation to treat severe illness HINDUISM Support ONLY therapeutic cloning and against reproductive cloning For embryonic stem cell research, embryos should not be generated for the sole purpose of obtaining stem cells

Faith and Healthcare:

Faith and Healthcare “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. BUT We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Quote by Teilhard de Chardin - A French philosopher

Slide 60:

Paper Presented by Dr.M.Bala Tharumaningam , MBBS, MSc; Former Deputy President MALAYSIA HINDU SANGAM THANK YOU!!!

authorStream Live Help