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Re: The Divine Doctor

From: sadagopan iyengar (
Date: Thu Dec 20 2001 - 23:32:16 PST

Srimate SrivanSatakopa Sri Vedantadesika Yatindra
Mahadesikaya Nama:

                     The Divine Doctor

 Doctors (with due apologies to the bhagavatas who
belong to the profession) are not a species one loves.
One goes to them reluctantly, when one can’t help it.
This dislike is perhaps ingrained in us right from
childhood, when, in a bid to ensure our obedience,
parents often hold out the Doctor as a bogey, who will
punish us with bitter pills and painful injections.
And when we grow up, we find nothing endearing about
Doctors, whose avocation has become as commercial as
any other.  The Doctor we shall be considering in this
essay is quite different- He is eminently lovable, His
love and concern for our well being know no bounds,
His fees are never exorbitant, and His cures
permanent.   Eager to get acquainted? Please do read
We tend to patronise a doctor only if our friends or
relatives recommend him, as no one would like to
entrust their health to strange hands. The Doctor we
are about to consider comes quite highly recommended,
by none other than Sage VyAsA-
 “ShareerE jarjaree bhootE vyAdhi grastE kaLEbarE
   Oushadham JAnhavI tOyam, vaidyO NarayanO Hari:”
“When the body is weak and old, or beset with
innumerable diseases, the only medicine to make it
well is the water of the Holy GangA, and the only
Doctor to go to is Sriman Narayana.,” says Sri Krishna
DvaipAyanA. This is his considered opinion, after
analysing the import of all Vedas and other Shastras,
not once but repeatedly (“Alodya sarva shAstrANi,
vichArya cha puna:puna:- idam Ekam sunishpannam”). The
name “Hari:” appended to the word “Narayana:” in the
sloka is significant- it means “destroyer”(“Harim
harantam” says the Taittiriya Aranyaka too)- Hari
destroys disease. The treatment we obtain at the hands
of human Doctors provides relief, which may or may not
be permanent. Not infrequently, the treatment one
undergoes for a disease will, by itself, give rise to
quite another disease (in what is euphemistically
called a “side effect”). But Doctor Hari destroys the
root of disease, making it impossible for that disease
or any of its clan to raise its ugly head again. No
wonder the Vishnu Sahasranamam calls Him,”Vaidya:” and
again, “Bhishak”.

Some doubting Thomases are not satisfied with a single
opinion- they will inquire with at least a dozen
people, to satisfy themselves that the Doctor they
have chosen is indeed efficient and effective. So, for
those who are not content with the well-researched
findings of  Sage Vyasa, here is corroboration from
Sri Periazhwar-
 “erutthu kodi udayAnum Piramanum Indiranum matrum
   oruttharum ip piravi ennum nOikku marundu arivArum
   MarutthuvanAi nindra MamaNi VaNNA ! maru piravi
  Tirutthi un  kOil kadai pugappei, TirumAlirum SOlai
endAi « 

The disease Azhwar seeks relief from is indeed a
chronic one, considered incurable by other famous
Doctors, with a considerable practice, like Shiva,
Brahma and Indra.        Sri VishnuchitthA seeks a
cure for the unending cycle of births and deaths,
which afflicts us throughout our sojourn on this
earth, in various incarnations- a permanent cure, so
to say, from disease of all types. Convinced of the
inability of other physicians to offer a cure for this
endemic affliction, Sri Periazhwar chances upon the
Physician of all Physicians, “KaLvan” of
TirumAlirumSOlai, and prays to Him for everlasting
cure. Here, though it is heretic to tamper with
Azhwar’s sreesookti, adiyen would like to slightly
realign the third line of the aforesaid pasuram to 
“MA MarutthuvanAi nindra MaNivaNNA”, (shifting the
position of the adjective “MA”) which indicates
Emperuman’s supremacy in providing cures to incurable

Once the Azhwar finds refuge at the Lord’s lotus feet,
he is emboldened to cry out to diseases, “Oh Diseases!
Don’t you dare come near me! Entry into this body is
banned for you. The mighty Lion God Nrsimha , capable
of destroying you all instantly, resides in this
body.. So don’t you ever dream of troubling me again.”
“mangia valvinai nOigAl umakkum Or valvinai kaNdeer
  ingu pugEnmin pugEnmin- eLidu andru kaNdeer pugEnmin
  SingappirAn avan emmAn sErum tirukkOil kaNdeer”
Azhwar’s conviction is reflected in the
thrice-repeated admonition to maladies-“PugEnmin”
(‘Enter Not”).

Emperuman’s fame as a peerless Physician is brought to
the fore in His avatara as “Dhanvantari”, the
preceptor of AyurvEdA.    “Vaidya Veeraraghavan” of
Tiruvallur, and several other divya desa Emperumans
have a huge practice, in whom people afflicted with
even life-threatening maladies have found solace. 
Such curative powers accrue even to the Lord’s true
servants. The sight of Sri Periya Tiruvadi, with the
Lord ensconced on his shoulders, is reported to be a
sure cure for several diseases. This is borne out by
the way even the sick and infirm throng the temple
environs on the day of the GarudOtsavam.  Sri
Sudarsana, the Lord’s discus, is reputed to be another
curer par excellence, as is Sri Anjaneya.  Enough of
the Divine Doctor. In a sequel, adiyen would like to
write about the Divine Potion.
Srimate Sri LakshmiNrsimha divya paduka sevaka
SrivanSatakopa Sri Narayana Yatindra Mahadesikaya



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