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Chronic Illness

By Karmayogi

In our tradition, illness is understood to be the result of past karma. A lady was suffering from asthma for over a decade. In an affectionate family, illness is an occasion for attention. People overcome their resistances and offer unusual help. In other families, where no one feels any emotion for another, it becomes an occasion for the patient to develop immeasurable endurance. Occasionally, someone at home will attribute motives to the sufferer. This lady was one of extraordinary politeness and was so independent that she would seek no help from anyone except her children. Hospitalisation was an annual phenomenon. It sometimes prolonged for weeks or months. To her, the physical suffocation was unendurable. During one such visit to the hospital, the doctors found it a hopeless case and refused to attend on the patient. The faith the patient had in the divine Mother that SHE would save her life and spare her the pain gave way. She could no longer pray to save her life. She shifted in her mind. She thought of praying that she should no longer suffer. She sent for her children, removed the IV tubes, and refused further medication. To the children she made a profound declaration, ''I can't live anymore. Mother will protect you both. Have faith in The Mother.'' They broke out in a wail. A weight was off her mind. She fell asleep. When she woke up, there was no suffocation. Her face was bright. Her voice was clear. To the nurse attending on her it was a wonder. The nurse ran to the doctors and reported. They were unbelieving, and rushed to the patient offering to revive the treatment. The lady preferred to go home. In the next fifteen years hospitalisation was rare and far between. This is negative FAITH. She prayed to die. Mother gave her health and life. A positive faith, though it sees no response, will imply one. It takes the attitude, ''I have done my best. The pain is unrelenting. No prayer to Mother will be in vain, even if the results are NOT visible. My duty is to exhaust my prayer of faith and not despair. The best will happen to me.'' Such a faith will give the same results but in a higher fashion. No recurrence will ever be there. A positive Faith brings the positive opportunities of health and the society. A negative Faith wards off the existing problems. One who relates to the Spirit has a greater chance of developing a positive FAITH.

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