Select Page

 

This is part seven of an eleven part series on the Baha’i Perspective on Disease.   In Part 1,  we looked at how I got interested in this topic and looked at some quotes on prevention of disease.  In Part 2, we looked at the reasons for disease.  In Part 3, we looked at the physical cause of disease, in Part 4 we looked at the spiritual causes, in Part 5 we looked at the effects of disease, in Part 6 we looked at the attitudes we want to strive for, when we are diseased, and in this part we are looking at the spiritual treatments for disease.

God is the Divine Physician and He alone has the power to give true healing:

Its sickness is approaching the stage of utter hopelessness, inasmuch as the true Physician is debarred from administering the remedy, whilst unskilled practitioners are regarded with favor, and are accorded full freedom to act.  (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 39)

The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 212)

God is the great compassionate Physician who alone has the power to give true healing.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 19)

The Prophets of God are the real Physicians. In whatever age or time They appear They prescribe for human conditions. They know the sicknesses; They discover the hidden sources of disease and indicate the necessary remedy. Whosoever is healed by that remedy finds eternal health.  (Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 204)

All is in the hands of God, and without Him there can be no health in us!  (‘Abdul-Bahá, Lights of Guidance, p. 286)

Turning to God:

Continue in healing hearts and bodies and seek healing for sick persons by turning unto the Supreme Kingdom and by setting the heart upon obtaining healing through the power of the Greatest Name and by the spirit of the Love of God. (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 112)

Grace of God:

But for the unfailing grace of God — exalted be His glory — no antidote could ever cure these inveterate diseases.  (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 252)

Power of the Holy Spirit:

Healing takes place through the power of the Holy Spirit.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 256)

The most potent means of healing is the Power of the Holy Spirit.  This does not depend on contact, nor on sight, nor upon presence. … Whether the disease be light or severe, whether there be a contact of bodies or not, whether a personal connection be established between the sick person and the healer or not, this healing takes place through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 108)

O thou pure and spiritual one! Turn thou toward God with thy heart beating with His love, devoted to His praise, gazing towards His Kingdom and seeking help from His Holy Spirit in a state of ecstasy, rapture, love, yearning, joy and fragrance. God will assist thee, through a spirit from His Presence, to heal sickness and disease.  (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 112)

Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings:

Now, if thou wishest to know the divine remedy which will heal man from all sickness and will give him the health of the divine kingdom, know that it is the precepts and teachings of God. Guard them sacredly.      (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 376)

That which hath streamed forth from the Most Exalted Pen is . . . the sovereign remedy for every disease, could they but comprehend and perceive it.  (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 73)

And if thou art looking for the divine remedy which will cure the spirit of man of all diseases and make him obtain the health of the divine Kingdom, know that it is the precepts and teachings of God. Take the greatest care of them.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v3, p. 653)

The people of religions find, in the teaching of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh, the establishment of Universal Religion — a religion that perfectly conforms with present conditions, which in reality effects the immediate cure of the incurable disease, which relieves every pain, and bestows the infallible antidote for every deadly poison.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith, p. 290)

Today the world of humanity will not find peace and tranquility except through these teachings and this darkness will not, otherwise, be dispelled, these chronic diseases be cured. Nay, these would, otherwise, be aggravated from day to day.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Letter to Martha Root)

The people of religions find, in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh, . . . the immediate cure of the incurable disease, which relieves every pain and bestows the infallible antidote for every deadly poison.  (Compilations, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 416)

Knowledge of laws, institutions and principles:

Praise be to Him, ye are acquainted with the various laws, institutions and principles of the world; today nothing short of these divine teachings can assure peace and tranquillity to mankind. But for these teachings, this darkness shall never vanish, these chronic diseases shall never be healed; nay, they shall grow fiercer from day to day.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 249)

Spiritual and material remedies work together:

There are two ways of healing diseases, the material and the spiritual way. The first is the remedies of the physicians; the second prayers and turning one’s self to God. Both must be practiced and followed. The diseases that happen to be caused by physical accident are cured by medical aid; others, which are due to spiritual causes, will disappear by spiritual means. For instance: For a disease due to grieving, fear, nervous impressions, the spiritual remedies will take more effect than the physical. Therefore, these two kinds of remedies must be followed; neither is an obstacle to the other. You must take care of the physical remedies. These also came from the bounty and mercy of God who revealed and made evident the science of medicine, so that His servants may also be benefited by this mode of healing. In the same way take care of the spiritual healing, because it giveth wonderful results.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v3, p. 653)

When the material world and the divine world are well co-related, when the hearts become heavenly and the aspirations grow pure and divine, perfect connection shall take place. Then shall this power produce a perfect manifestation. Physical and spiritual diseases will then receive absolute healing.    (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v2, p. 309)

If the heavenly benediction be upon us while we are being healed then only can we be made whole, for medicine is but the outward and visible means through which we obtain the heavenly healing. Unless the spirit be healed, the cure of the body is worth nothing. (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 19)

Bahá’u’lláh recognizes the value of both material and spiritual remedies. He teaches that the science and art of healing must be developed, encouraged and perfected, so that all means of healing may be used to the best advantage, each in its appropriate sphere. (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 106)

Sometimes a material remedy is called for:

Take for instance, a cut hand; if you pray for the cut to be healed and do not stop its bleeding, you will not do much good; a material remedy is needed.  (‘Abdul-Bahá, Lights of Guidance, p. 281)

Often both kinds of remedies are needed:

If the sickness is of the body, a material remedy is needed, if of the soul, a spiritual remedy.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 19)

A small disease needs a small remedy, but a disease which pervades the whole body needs a very strong remedy. (Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha in London, p. 59)

Unless the spirit be healed, the cure of the body is worth nothing. (‘Abdul-Bahá, Lights of Guidance, p. 286)

Education:

Education must be considered as most important: for as diseases in the world of bodies are extremely contagious, so, in the same way, qualities of spirit and heart are extremely contagious.  (Compilations, Baha’i World Faith, p. 318)

Let them [mothers] also study whatever will nurture the health of the body and its physical soundness, and how to guard their children from disease.
(‘Abdul-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 372)

Obedience:

The bearing on health of these commands relating to the simple life, hygiene, abstinence from alcohol and opium, etcetera, is too obvious to call for much comment, although their vital importance is apt to be greatly underestimated. Were they to be generally observed, most of the infectious diseases and a good many others would soon vanish from among men.  (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 103)

Simple obedience to the hygienic and moral commands of Moses, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad or Bahá’u’lláh would do more in the way of preventing disease than all the doctors and all the public health regulations in the world have been able to accomplish. In fact, it seems certain that were such obedience general, good health would also become general. Instead of lives being blighted by disease of cut off in infancy, youth or prime, as so frequently happens now, men would live to a ripe old age, like sound fruits that mature and mellow ere they drop from the bough. (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 104)

Chastity:

Were the commands of the Prophets concerning chastity in sexual relations generally observed, another fertile cause of disease would be eliminated. The loathsome venereal diseases, which wreck the health of so many thousands today, innocent as well as guilty, babes as well as parents, would very soon be
entirely a thing of the past. (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 104)

Forgiveness:

The breaths of forgiveness are being wafted from the region of your Lord, the Merciful; he who advanceth unto them will necessarily be purified from disobedience and from every disease and infirmity. Blessed is he who cometh unto them, and woe unto him who turneth away.  (Compilations, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 105)

Love

As long as ye can strive to set aglow the hearts with love, be attracted to one another and be members of each other. Every soul of the beloved ones must adore the other and withhold not his possession and life from them, and by all means he must endeavor to make that other joyous and happy. But that other (the recipient of such love) must also be disinterested and life-sacrificing. Thus may this Sunrise flood the horizons, this melody gladden and make happy all the people, this divine remedy become the panacea for every disease, this Spirit of Reality become the cause of life for every soul.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 146)

The divine remedy has been provided. The spiritual Teachings of the Religion of God alone can create this love, unity and accord in human hearts. Therefore, hold to these heavenly agencies which God has provided so that through the love of God this soul-tie may be established, this heart-attachment realized, the light of the reality of unity be reflected from you throughout the universe.  (Compilations, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 445)

The love and consideration he has been shown by the friends, and by the members of your Assembly in particular, will, he feels certain, help to a marked degree in counter-acting the painful  effects of the insidious disease from which he is so severely, yet so uncomplainingly suffering.  (Shoghi Effendi, The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha’i Community, p. 124)

Peace:

Peace is health and construction  (Compilations, Baha’i World Faith, p. 232)

Unity:

And that which God hath made the most mighty remedy and the most complete means for its health is the union of whosoever is upon the earth in a single matter, and a single law. This can never be possible except through a skillful physician, perfect and strengthened by God. By My life, this is the truth, and aught else is nothing but evident error.  (Compilations, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 112)

Bahá’u’lláh gives the assurance that, through harmonious cooperation of patients, healers and the community in general, and by appropriate use of the various means to health, material, mental and spiritual, the Golden Age may be realized, when, by the Power of God, “all sorrow will be turned into joy, and all disease into health.”  (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 113)

Prayer:

Turn thou toward God with thy heart beating with His love, devoted to His praise, gazing toward His Kingdom and seeking help from His Holy Spirit in a state of ecstasy, rapture, love, yearning, joy and fragrance.  629  God will assist thee, through a Spirit from His Presence, to heal sickness and diseases.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v3, p. 628)

Engage thou in commemorating God at every morn and turn unto the Horizon of Mercifulness.  Take some honey, recite “Yá Baha-u’l-Abha” and eat a little thereof for several days.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 185)

If the heavenly benediction be upon us while we are being healed then only can we be made whole, for medicine is but the outward and visible means through which we obtain the heavenly healing.  (‘Abdul-Bahá, Lights of Guidance, p. 286)

Fasting:

Verily, I say, fasting is the supreme remedy and the most great healing for the disease of self and passion.  (Bahá’u’lláh, The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting)

Teaching the Faith:

Make your feet firm, make a firm compact, and in union and accord endeavor to diffuse the fragrance of the love of God and to spread the divine teachings, in order that ye may impart life to the dead body of this world, and bestow a real healing on every one diseased (in soul).  (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 36)

It is my hope that the breaths of the Holy Spirit will so be breathed into your hearts that your tongues will disclose the mysteries, and set forth and expound the inner meanings of the Holy Books; that the friends will become physicians, and will, through the potent medicine of the heavenly Teachings, heal the long-standing diseases that afflict the body of this world; that they will make the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the dead to come alive; that they will awaken those who are sound asleep.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 274)

Service:

By Thy Power, verily, the sweetness of servitude is the food of my spirit; with the fragrance of servitude my breast will be dilated, my being refreshed, my heart delighted, my eyes brightened, my nostrils perfumed, and in it is the healing of my disease, the allaying of my burning thirst, the soothing of my pain.  (Compilations, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 265)

Be isolated from the grades of self and desire, so that thou mayest succeed in that which behooveth the service of the Kingdom of God, and that thou mayest be healed from every disease and sickness.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 190)

Energy dissipated by war:

The enormous energy dissipated and wasted on war . . . will be consecrated to such ends as will extend the . . . extermination of disease, to the extension of scientific research, to the raising of the standard of physical health, to the sharpening and refinement of the human brain, to the exploitation of the unused and unsuspected resources of the planet, to the prolongation of human life . . . (Baha’u’llah, The Proclamation of Baha’u’llah, p. xii)

Expectations:

The complete and perfect connection between the spiritual doctor and the sick person — that is, a connection of such a kind that the spiritual doctor entirely concentrates himself, and all the attention of the sick person is given to the spiritual doctor from whom he expects to realize health — causes an excitement of the nerves, and health is produced. But all this has effect only to a certain extent, and that not always.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 255)

Much more powerful effects result from the patient’s own mental states, and “suggestion” may play an important part in determining these states . . . hope, love, joy, et cetera, are correspondingly beneficial. (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 107)

Everyone has a part to play:

The work of healing the sick, however, is a matter that concerns not the patient and the practitioner only, but everyone.  All must help, by sympathy and service, by right living and right thinking, and especially by prayer, for of all remedies prayer is the most potent. “Supplication and prayer on behalf of others,” says ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “will surely be effective.” The friends of the patient have a special responsibility, for their influence, either for good or ill, is most direct and powerful. In how many cases of sickness the issue depends mainly on the ministrations of parents, friends or neighbors of the helpless sufferer!  Even the members of the community at large have an influence in every case of sickness. In individual cases that influence may not appear great, yet in the mass the effect is potent. Everyone is affected by the social “atmosphere” in which he lives, by the general prevalence of faith or materialism, of virtue or vice, of cheerfulness of depression; and each individual has his share in determining the state of that social “atmosphere.” It may not be possible for everyone, in the present state of the world, to attain to perfect health, but it is possible for everyone to become a “willing channel” for the health-giving power of the Holy Spirit and thus to exert a healing, helpful influence both on his own body and on all with whom he comes in contact.
(Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 112)

Being around Healthy People:

He teaches that there are also many methods of healing without material means. There is a “contagion of health,” as well as a contagion of disease, although the former is very slow and has a small effect  (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 107)

It may be that the strong health of a healthy man will alleviate a very slight malady in a sick person. (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 254)

For more in this series:

Part 1: Intro to Disease

Part 2:  Reasons for Disease

Part 3:  Physical Causes of Disease

Part 4:  Spiritual Causes of Disease

Part 5:  Effects of Disease

Part 6:  Attitudes towards Disease

Part 7:  Spiritual Treatment for Disease

Part 8:  Physical Treatment for Disease

Part 9:  Why People Aren’t Getting Better

Part 10:  Advice to Doctors

Part 11:  Prayers for Health