Question: Some people seem to go to a doctor for a check-up every month or so, even though they do not have any problem, and some people — like me — do not believe in that. I do not feel I have a disease, but what if it becomes too late for me when I find out?

Sri Chinmoy: It is good to go to a doctor either once a month or once a year. But again, if you feel that there is nothing wrong with you, if you are absolutely running and jumping everywhere, you most probably do not have a disease that will kill you tomorrow. If you do not want to go to a doctor regularly, you will have to rely on your own health to tell you if something is seriously wrong.

Again, there is something called a heart attack. Only God knows when that is going to happen. You are playing football, volleyball or another game. You become the champion and you are happier than the happiest. You are the hero, stronger than the strongest! You mix with your family, eat and go to sleep, and then you suffer a heart attack. What can you do? Those things are beyond our human imagination.

It has happened so many times that sports players and runners compete, and then they go to the hospital and die. How could they know three hours before that they were going to die? Let us say you have run a marathon — nicely, vigorously, not with your dying breath. Then you do not feel well, you go to a doctor, you go to the hospital and you die. A few hours before, you did not feel something wrong inside you. If you are going to die suddenly, what can you do? At what point will a heart attack occur?

At around 3:30 in the afternoon one day, Lily, Chitta and Hriday were chatting and chatting about “cabbages and kings.” Then Chitta went to the dining hall to work, and Lily went for a short walk. Only for fifteen minutes she walked. When she came back, my brother Hriday was lying in front of Mother Kali’s picture. His head was down and he was bleeding profusely. The ashram doctors were called, and we went to the Pondicherry General Hospital. The doctors pronounced his immediate death. My sister walked for only fifteen minutes, and during that time my brother had a massive heart attack.

When death comes in a moment, what can you do?

My brother Chitta suffered for many years. Three times I took full responsibility and saved him. One day he was coming back from the dining hall with three fruits. Five or six metres behind him was the wife of my dearest, absolutely dearest friend. She was coming to our house to chat about America and how I was doing in America. Mantu was twenty metres behind. One person was a few metres behind Chitta, and one was twenty metres behind him. Chitta said to the lady, “Please take your seat. I am just putting the fruits on the bed.”

She was four or five metres away from my brother when he had a heart attack. For eleven hours he stayed on earth, and then he died. God brought that lady to our house to chat. If she had not come, and if Mantu had not come, how many hours it would have taken before Chitta was discovered.

This lady loves us and we love her. When she and I talk, it is something! She has not learnt Bengali, and my Hindi grammar is farther than the farthest from perfection. English she does not know; in the ashram she did not learn English. Still, we talk!

What can we do? We have to treasure only happy moments, happy moments. Life is for happiness, not for unhappiness created by illness or death.

To come back to your question, always, in everything, we have to try to use wisdom, wisdom. Wisdom saves us. If we have an ailment, we have to go to a doctor. Some disciples say, “I will not go to a doctor, I will not go to a doctor.” Then I say, “No, you have to go to a doctor.” Then only some disciples will go to a doctor.