— Amma’s message to the first batch students of Amrita School of Medicine
Just as a person needs air to breathe, the soul needs to be nurtured with love and care. The need of love is felt the most when we fall sick, physically or mentally. More than half the cure is done by the power of love. Hence, doctors and nurses also have a special responsibility to treat their patients with love, care and affection.
Being in the medical profession gives doctors and nurses a golden opportunity to express the divinity latent in every being. Brackish water in a vessel can be made drinkable if we keep adding pure water to it. Similarly, by consciously developing and expressing the virtues within us, we can transform our character and change our destiny. Fate is nothing but the sum total of our past actions. Hence, by consciously controlling our thoughts, words, and deeds at present, we can shape our own future.
From a spiritual viewpoint, the disease of materialism afflicts all of us, and this is the root cause of all our suffering. The purpose of human life is to transcend the animalistic tendencies inherited by birth and to develop the potential divine qualities within us. When a doctor serves the patients with right understanding and love, the doctor is also helping him or herself to attain a healthy and happy life.
According to the Vedic science of Ayurveda, medicines were once collected, processed, and administered with appropriate mantras and at the proper time and season. They considered all diseases a deviation from the natural harmony of life. They taught that the total cure of any illness always entails restoring the harmony between the body and mind of the patient, as well as the harmony between the patient, his or her family and society. Such principles are equally applicable to the modern medical system also.