Today the world is grappling with an unprecedented medical emergency, which has activated the most primal instinct of the human race – survival, pushing everything else into oblivion.

शरीरे जर्जरीभूते व्याधिग्रस्ते कलेवरे|
औषधं जाह्नवीतोयं वैद्यो नारायणो हरिः||

The above Sanskrit shloka rightly equates a doctor or a vaidya to God himself. There cannot be a more opportune time to experience the truth in the above Sanskrit verse, when doctors are out to save our lives risking their own.

A guru is also, in a sense, a divine healer of worldly maladies (योगीन्द्रमीड्यं भवरोगवैद्यं). We find an interesting incident of the divine healer donning the physician’s garb in the biography of Shri Shankar Manik Prabhu Maharaj – the fourth acharya of Shri Prabhu Peetha Parampara. A law graduate from Osmania University, Shreeji was a man of diverse interests. While subjects like philosophy, literature, and astrology fascinated him, he had a special liking and love for medical science and ayurveda. He thought it was more worthwhile studying ayurveda than any other subject, considering the lack of medical facilities and doctors in and around Maniknagar during his time.

His doors were always open to the sick and ailing who came seeking for his medical advice, any time of the day or night. One day, as maharaj ji was performing his evening anushthaan, news came in that one of the archakas of Shri Prabhu, was seriously ill. Putting an abrupt end to his puja, he expressed his desire to visit the archaka’s house. This, according to his secretaries and assistants, was a serious breach of protocol, as the incumbent head of the Samsthan could never visit anybody’s house uninvited. Putting humanity before protocol, Shri Maharaj ji headed straight to the Brahmin’s house, with a few attendants and holding a medical kit in his hands. It needs hardly be mentioned that the archaka got the gift of life due to Shreeji’s timely medical help.

This story inspires us today, more than ever, to respond to the call of humanism and do whatever we can, to help people around us tide over one of the most difficult times in human history.