Stressing the need for spirituality in health care, Radhanath Swami, along with doctors from the Bhaktivedanta Hospital, addressed the Mumbai Medical Association in Worli, Mumbai on December 11. The article below was published in India’s Daily News & Analysis.

“Greater Role for Spirituality in Health Care Stressed”

(Tuesday, December 13, City section page 7)

With science and technology not being able to keep pace with the newer and more subtle lifestyle-related problems, doctors and spiritual organizations addressed the need for greater role of spirituality in the field of health care. 

Calling it the “Fourth Dimension of Health,” the Association of Medical Consultants along with the Bhaktivedanta Hospital on Sunday conducted a lecture and debate on the role of spirituality in medicine.

The lecture was attended by over 200 doctors from ISKCON and  spiritual leader of ISKCON, His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj. Among the people who pitched for spirituality were doctors who wanted their peers to approach the subject with an open mind.

“There has to be an outer and an inner world that need to go together. Both have to coexist and only then can there be a proper integrated health care. While the outer world can be dealt with through science, the inner world of a person needs to be approached through spirituality,” suggested Dr. K.P. Misra, senior consultant cardiologist.

The speakers believed that medicine should not be treated as a profession.

“Emotional and spiritual aspects need to be given as much care as the physical. And only when a person is loving and compassionate can that be achieved. This can happen only when a person is spiritual. Medicine should not just be looked at as a profession, but as a way for improving people’s lives. When the Association of Medical Consultants approached us, we were happy to be a part of this thinking,” said Radhanath Swami.

Though science and spirituality have often been seen as two different approaches, doctors said they needed to be looked as one.

“Studies have shown that people are happier in poor countries as compared to rich nations. In developed countries, people are not happy because of mental and stress-related problems. This largely happens because there is no spiritual connect,” said Dr. Kavitha Chintala, a pediatric cardiologist.