[CITIZENS' Mail - (31-07-2018)] | Daily News

[CITIZENS' Mail - (31-07-2018)]

SUFFERING OF CANCER PATIENTS

The following thoughts are in reference to the letter of Joe Perera which appeared in the Daily News Citizen’s mail on May 3. He writes about the suffering of cancer patients at the Cancer Hospital. As someone said, “If you want to know what hell looks like, go and visit the Cancer Hospital at Maharagama”. He ends the letter with a plea, for someone to cure those unfortunate and helpless Cancer patients. It is most unlikely such a person exists though there are isolated incidents of such things happening. Even the Buddha and Jesus did not do so, except in isolated incidents. Whether they could but for some reason they didn’t is a matter of conjecture.

As such, I feel that the only consolation is to see whether one can at least be able to be in a state free of the suffering of the pain of having Terminal Cancer. In this context, D. Weeratunga’s article in the Citizen’s mail on “How to cultivate human goodness” gives a point. He starts with the statement “We believe suffering is caused by ignorance”. It is not clear whether he has confirmed this statement experientially in himself. If the answer is ‘Yes’, he should be free from all the suffering from pain as he has presumably eliminated ignorance which he says is the cause. If this is so, he could tell us how he came to this state.

In this context, Ramana Maharishi who lived in India about 80 years ago confirmed in His amazing life that indeed such a state is possible. One can hardly believe the incidents that happened in His life except for the fact that His life was recorded on a day to day basis and is available for anyone to see at His Ashram in Arunachala, Tiruvannamalai, South India.

In His later life, He contracted Sarcoma, and excruciatingly painful form of cancer and an external growth appeared on His right arm. Not only was He immune to the pain but He was unaware of the growth on His arm!!

Over the years, I myself have followed His advice on the path of Self Inquiry (Atma Vichara) in my meditation. I have had and I am having amazing experiences which makes me feel that not only such a state is possible but how such a state can come about. Of course, as the saying goes “The proof of the pudding is in the eating” until I verify such a state as an experiential fact, it will remain a theoretical possibility only.

If one is prepared to go through the suffering of physical pain (without complaining!!), that is inevitable for all of us, it is only a matter of time before when the uncompromising viciousness (Cancer Hospital, Maharagama) of Karmic Retribution – cause-effect - will act, then there is no problem. But if one does not want to do so, then one should attempt to reach such a state before the inevitable suffering descends on us. Of course, we have no control over the pain that will surely come to us one day, sooner or later but our only option is (if at all!!) to be in a state immune to the suffering from that pain.

Dr. Asoka Thenuwara

Colombo 


 

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