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Chapter IX

High and low, rich and poor, male and female - all are affected by illness; and all have the right to seek the drugs that cure illness. So too, all persons are affected by the illness of birth and death and they all have the right to the drug, named Brahmavidya, which is its effective cure. That is the heritage of all. According to the stage reached by each and the degree of development in spiritual discipline attained, and the extent of assimilation of the drug, each person will improve in health, that is to say, in peace and equanimity. But, here, one thing has to be specially mentioned; along with the drug, the regulations regarding the mode of living have also to be strictly adhered to.

The drug, Brahma-consciousness, has to be supplemented and strengthened by the appropriate Dharma as well as the cultivation of Bhakthi, Jnana and Vairagya. Dietary and other restrictions are essential components of the treatment of illness; so also mere initiation into Brahmajnana is not enough. Without Sama, Dama and the other moral and spiritual excellences, no one, be he emperor or bondsman, high-born or low-born, can reach the goal. Though every one is entitled to the heritage of Brahmavidya, only those who equip themselves with the qualifications can receive it. One must be strong enough to undergo the treatment and to digest and assimilate the medicine, is it not? If that strength is not there, the Great Physician Himself will not certify that the patient can take the medicine. Some physicians, seeing the plight of the patient, give drugs free to those who are in dire need, when they find that they are too poor to afford them; what then, of the Lord, the Greatest Physician of all, the Source and Spring of Mercy and Grace? He takes into consideration the capacity and the need and He arranges for the supply of the drug. Next