Part I — Questions and answers

Question: When people are ill, is it better for them to struggle very hard with the disease, or to relax and try to surrender, in order to let their healing energy work?1

Sri Chinmoy: When you have a serious illness, whether mental or physical, first of all you have to understand what it actually is. Sometimes the mind is not able to grasp the seriousness of the physical illness. The mind thinks, “It is nothing, nothing.” Again, sometimes the mind exaggerates the physical illness. Then also you are in trouble. Which way should we treat the illness? That is what the doctor has to find out. The doctor examines the entire body of the patient, and then he will have to know whether the physical is more powerful than the mental, or vice-versa.

Relaxing is for joker-patients! As soon as you get an illness, you have to know whether it is serious. You do not have to worry about an ordinary headache or stomach upset. As soon as you notice a serious ailment, you will fight it with your utmost capacity. Then you will surrender to God’s Will.

Let us say you are playing football. As soon as you start, are you relaxed? If you are relaxed, then you will not score any goals! You will play very, very seriously, to the end, even if you know that your opponents are far better than you are. Your team may eventually have to surrender. But right from the beginning if you start surrendering, that is the surrender of laziness.

You are a doctor. When you hear that somebody is ill, you must not say, “Let me surrender this illness to God’s Will.” Where is your will to save the person? Where is the will of the patient himself to be saved? You have to try as hard as possible. Then, after some time you can say, “I am trying so hard!” You are trying so hard, true. And inside you, God is also working very hard — in and through you, the doctor, and through the patient also. But there may come a time when you see that, in spite of your medical capacity, the patient has taken a wrong turn; he is descending and descending. At that time you have to continue to give the proper medicine and say, “O Lord, I have used all the knowledge that I gained from medical science. I studied for so many years. Now, both my medical capacities and the patient’s life I am surrendering at Your Feet.” That will be the right attitude.

If somebody has got a serious disease, then at the very beginning you have to be very, very careful, in each and every case. At that time you must not surrender. Surrender will come gradually, gradually; otherwise, there will be no personal effort, and relaxation will enter into the picture. You will say to yourself, “I know the medicine, and I am giving it to the patient. What more can I do? If he has to die, I cannot do anything.” That is the wrong approach. From the very beginning you have to take very, very serious steps. Again, sometimes it happens that the disease is very tricky. One day the patient feels a little better, and the next day he feels worse.

To the very end, our philosophy is to keep life on earth. You have to try to cure every patient. You should always take the patient’s disease as your own disease. If you separate yourself from the disease of the patient and keep at a distance, only giving the medicine, that is not good. Inside the medicine, you have to give your heart, you have to give your soul. No relaxation!

1-10. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions on 21 December 2005 in Kuantan, Malaysia.