There was a very great doctor named Ram. According to many, he was by far the best doctor. But he was extremely humble. He used to say to his patients and admirers, “It is your faith that cures you. I know that there are many doctors who are as good as I am, and also there are some who are far better than I am.” His admirers and patients did not believe him. They felt that he was simply being modest.
One winter, it happened that Ram fell sick. His relatives tried to cure him, but day by day, he grew weaker and weaker. Clearly he was getting much worse, and the case was becoming very serious. In India and elsewhere as well, doctors usually do not take medicine from their dear ones. If they are a doctor, they prefer to go to other doctors.
Ram’s son-in-law happened to be a doctor. But how could Ram take help from his son-in-law, who was so dear to him? The son-in-law said, “You will not take my medicine, I know, because I am your close relative, but I am suggesting another doctor. His name is Shyam. He is a very good doctor.”
Ram said, “Oh, definitely. I thought of him when I first became ill. Quite often I think of him, but now I should go to see him.”
Ram’s son-in-law took him to that particular doctor. Unfortunately, Shyam was not at home. Ram asked, “Where has he gone?”
His family members said, “He has been very, very sick. Ten days ago he went to a nearby village to see another doctor. That doctor’s name is Rabi. He has gone to him because he has faith in that doctor, and he does not want to treat himself.”
Ram and his son-in-law said, “Then let us go to Rabi. Dr. Rabi is definitely a great doctor. Perhaps he is the best. Even Dr. Shyam has gone to Rabi.”
Ram and his son-in-law travelled to Rabi’s village. When they arrived, they saw all the village people crying. Ram said, “Ah, that means some patient has died.”
They made inquiries, and the villagers said, “No, no, not a patient. It is the doctor himself who has died.”
Ram and his son-in-law felt miserable. They realised that these were all Rabi’s friends who had come to console Rabi’s son. Rabi’s son was so sad and heartbroken. He said to the two visitors, “You have come here? Just two days ago my father said to us that in a day or two he would go to see you to ask you for your medical advice. He was getting ready for us to take him to your place. Then all of a sudden he died.”
Ram himself was dying and Rabi had wanted to come to him for advice! He told his son-in-law, “Bring me home. I am not going to any other doctor.”
His son-in-law asked, “What will you do now?”
Ram said, “I am going to cure myself. I lost faith in myself. That is why I wanted to go and ask another doctor’s opinion. We must always have faith in ourselves. The Indian theory is that if you are a relative, it is not good to accept treatment from that person. I do not agree with that theory. I have regained my faith in myself. You will see that in a few days I will be completely cured.”
And Ram did cure himself.