Physician’s Knife

Amar was a boy of the village. He’d been suffering intensely from a boil on his back.

Around him, friends and relatives tried to alleviate his pain in different ways. His mother waved a hand-fan upon the swollen boil, and sometime she blowed upon it orally. A neighbor suggested that Amar be given an anaesthetic to relieve his pain. Still another person said Amar should be killed, because while living he suffered so much, but when dead he’d not feel the pain of the boil. But the father, not ap- preciating these half and half-witted measures, called a doctor.

After examining the boy, the doctor prescribed an operation. Mother began weeping. Others protested: “This could be very dangerous!” And Amar, who had grown delerious from the pain, shouted “You rascal, you’ve come here to kill me! Stick that knife in your own body, murderer! Go home and kill your own son!”

But with the help of the father, the doctor performed the surgery. After a short time, the swelling and pain decreased; within a few days, Amar was completely cured.

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This story has a similar purport as does the one about kite- flying. The spiritual master must cut the bonds of attachment in the heart of his disciple, and this is not appreciated by worldly society. It may even be unappreciated by the disciple himself. Relatives are heart-broken, though their measures to alleviate material distress may be compared to blowing on a boil. Some persons say material distress should be ignored altogether by anaesthisizing ourselves through fanciful philosophy, entertain- ment, intoxication, etc. And impersonalists say the problem is personality itself. But the saintly Vaisnavas never heed this misguidance. Instead they administer the real cure and effect the real good for the living entity.


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