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ONLINE BOOKS > INDIA OF MY DREAMS > Village Health
I hold that where the rules of personal, domestic and public sanitation are strictly observed and due care is taken in the matter of diet and exercise, there should be no occasion for illness or disease. Where there is absolute purity, inner and outer, illness becomes impossible. If the village people could but understand this, they would not need doctors, hakims or vaidyas.
Nature cure implies and ideal mode of life and that in its turn presupposes ideal living conditions in towns and villages. The name of God is, of course, the hub round which the nature cure system revolves.
Nature cure implies that the treatment should be the cheapest and the simplest possible. The ideal is that such treatment should be carried out in the villages. The villagers should be able to provide the necessary means and equipments. What cannot be held in the villages should be procured. Nature cure does mean a change for the better in one’s outlook on life itself. It means regulation of one’s life in accordance with the laws of health. It is not a matter of taking the free medicine from the hospitals or for fees. A man who takes free treatment from the hospital accepts charity. The man who accepts nature cure never begs. Self-help enhances self-respect. He takes steps to cure himself by eliminating poisons from the system and takes precautions against falling ill in the future.
Right diet and balanced diet are necessary. Today our villages are as bankrupt as we are ourselves. To produce enough vegetables, fruits and milk in the villages, is an essential part of the nature cure scheme. Time spent on this should not be considered a waste. It is bound to benefit all the villages and ultimately the whole of India.
The essence of nature cure is that we learn the principles of hygiene and sanitation and abide by those laws as well as the laws relating to proper nutrition. Thus does every one become his own doctor. The man who eats to live, who is friends with the five powers, earth, water, ether, sun and air and who is a servant of God, the Creator of all these, ought not to fall ill. If he does, he will remain calm relying on God and die in peace, if need be. If there are any medicinal herbs in the fields of this village he may make use of them. Crores live and die like this without a murmur. They have not so much as heard of a doctor, much less seen one face to face. Let us become really village-minded. Village children and adults come to us. Let us teach them how to live truly. Doctors aver that 99% of disease springs from insanitation, from eating the wrong food and from under-nourishment. If we can teach this 99% the art of living, we can afford to forget the 1%.... They may find a philanthropic doctor…to look after them. We need not worry about them. Today pure water, good earth, fresh air are unknown to us. We do not know the inestimable value of ether and the sun. If we make use of these five powers and if we eat the proper and balanced diet, we shall have doe the work of ages. For acknowledging this knowledge, we need neither degrees nor crores of money. What we need are a living faith in God, a zeal for service, an acquaintance with the five powers of nature and knowledge of dietetics. All this can be acquired without wasting time in schools and colleges.
Disease springs from a willful or ignorant breach of the laws of nature. It follows, therefore, that timely return to those laws should mean restoration. A person, who has tried nature beyond endurance, must either suffer the punishment inflicted by nature or in order to avoid it, seek the assistance of the physician or the surgeon as the case may be. Every submission to merited punishment strengthen the mind of men, every avoidance saps it.
I would like to know what the medical men and scientist are doing for the country. One finds them readily going to foreign lands to learn new modes of treating special diseases. I suggest that they should turn their attention towards the seven lakhs of the villages of India. They would immediately discover that all the qualified men and women are required for village service, not after the manner of the East. They will then adapt themselves to many indigenous systems. India does not need imported drugs from the West when she has an inexhaustible stock of a variety of drugs grown in the villagers themselves. Bt more than drugs they have to teach the people the right mode of living.
My nature cure is designed solely for villagers and villages. Therefore, there is no place in it for the microscope, X-rays and similar things. Nor is there room in nature cure for medicines, such as quinine, emetin and penicillin, Personal hygiene and healthy living are of primary importance. And these should suffice. If everyone could achieve perfection in this art, there could be no disease. And, while obeying all the laws of Nature in order to cure illness, if it does come, the sovereign remedy ever lies in Ramanama. But this cure through Ramanama cannot become universal in the twinkling of an eye. To carry conviction to the patient, the physician has to be a living embodiment of the power of Ramanama.