What Gandhiji Thought Of homoeopathy

In conclusion it is humbly stated that we owe a debt of gratitude to the benign Government of Bengal who kindly sanctioned the inauguration of the Faculty of Homoeopathic Medicine in Bengal. The object of this innovation is to stimulate a systematic study of the Homoeopathic system of medicine and to differentiate trained Homoeopathic practitioners from the untrained ones.

Most of us are familiar with Mahatma Gandhis courage to speak Truth even if he had to face opposition to his views. Similarly, he appreciated the Homoeopathic science and wished its recognition by the Government. In one of his letters to Dr. Shyam Sunder of Siliguri he wrote:-

“Public can rightly tell you about its efficacy, but however, it is the latest and REFINED method of treating the Patient economically and non-violently. Government must encourage and patronise it in our poor country.

I have received the Homoeopathic pamphlets and the organon. So far as I know, precisely, late Dr. Hahnemann was a man of superior intellectual power and a means of vast saving of human life having an unique medical nerve. I bow before his skill and the herculean and humanitarian labour he did. His memory wakes us again and you are to follow him; let the opponents hate for the existence of the principles and practice of Homoeopathy which in reality cures a larger percentage of cases than any other method of treatment and it is beyond all doubt safer and more economical and to be the most complete medical science.”

Extract of a letter dated, Uttarayan, Shantiniketan, Bengal, the 30th August, 1936 from Sree Rabindra Nath Tagore to the Editor, Indo-German Homoeopathic Review.

I have long been an ardent believer in the science of Homoeopathy and I feel happy that it has got now a greater hold in India than even in the land of its origin. It is not merely a collection of a few medicines, but a real science with a rational philosophy as its base. We require more scientific interest and enquiry into the matter with special stress upon the Indian environments.

1. Along with the creation of the movable and immovable, animate and inanimate God sent forth the antagonistic agencies (diseases) to exist on earth so that the created begins might suffer from them, finish their term of existence and reach their creator.

2. Human beings with the help of their intelligence bestowed on them by God, tried to dissipate the irk-some evils, the diseases, by their faculty of discovering any hidden blessing of God which might save the human race form the scourge of diseases in their span of existence.

3. Thus, the savants and erudite medical men began to investigate and find out the gift of god, which might serve as a healing boon to fight against the antagonistic agencies, the diseases, hovering in the atmosphere in spirit-like form.

4. By their exigent attempt, they observed in nature that two diseases different in kind and character but similar in regard to their manifestation, will always extinguish each other, whenever they meet in the organism; e.g. blindness caused by suppression of Tinea Capitis was entirely cured by Small-pox, because Small- pox produces violent form of Ophthalmia, ending in blindness.

(a) Deafness and Asthma were cured by Small-pox, because Small- p[ox is known to produce deafness and asthma.

(b) Swelling of the testicles is a frequent effect of Small-pox, so such swelling even caused by contusion as also an ordinary swelling were cured by Variola.

(c) Chronic dysentery was cured by variola because the latter produces an affection of the bowels resembling dysentery.

5. From the above facts, the scintillating intelligence of the medical men found a brilliant discovery that similar diseases cure each other, but not identical.

6. Thus, the eureka evolved the truth “Similia Similibus Curantur” existing in nature; and this truth or the law of cure has been recognised and applied to, for the purpose of curing the sick, even from the days of yore and this truth stands out as a fundamental law of cure in Homoeopathy. Dr. S. Hahnemann evangelised this law of cure in the line of Homoeopathy in the year 1796.

7. Dr. Hahnemanns precursors also observed, recognised and applied this law of cure to the treatment of diseases.

8. The law of truth of similia was discovered in the hesperian land by savants and erudite medical men of old time ushering in the advent of Homoeopathy in that land, wherefrom it came to the oriental land, India.

9. An episode from the history of Homoeopathy will lay bare the above facts for the kind information of the authorities with whom the discernment of the recognition of Homoeopathy stands by.

10. By Homoeopathy we mean the system or method of curing morbid condition analogous to medicines producing analogous morbid symptoms by their small quantities. The derivative meaning of Homoeopathy is: homoios – like and pathos-feeling, i.e. the feelings and symptoms of the sick like those of the drugs proved on a healthy body. The method tells about the truest of the true in the easiest possible way. Dr. hahnemann, the founder of Homoeopathy (1755 – 1843), took quinine himself in his healthy state and found that the drug produced signs and symptoms of intermittent fever; thenceforth, he evinced the truth that, medicines producing certain diseases in a healthy body can be doubtlessly accepted as a remedy of such disease in a diseased person. Many more drugs were proved in his time and the pathogenetic symptoms were recorded in a book which we call Materia Medica Pura.

11. This is what we call “similia similibus curantur”. And this truth, we meet in the literature of old times, even in the Book of Books the Holy Bible. God created woman similar to the man, yet not identical. After the fall, a woman became a medicine to the man. The idea of similarity was not unknown to the father of medicine. Hippocrates (460 B.C. – 377 B.C.) and it was re- awakened to new life by Von Hohenheim, the famous Paracelsus (1493 – 1541), after it had fallen into oblivion for almost 1900 years. At last, Samuel Hahnemann who came some centuries later expounded the system of the truth in the name of Homoeopathy in 1796 A.D. Thus, we come to know that the truth, “similia similibus curantur” was not unknown to many savants and erudite doctors in the days of yore; Samuel Hahnemann was the first to teach the principle of similarity in the name of Homoeopathy with much clearer discernment.

12. Indeed there have been physicians from time to time who had presentiments that medicines producing similar or analogous, morbid symptoms, would cure similar morbid condition. Some physicians of later times also felt and expressed their opinions, as noted below:-

(a) Dr. Boulduc recognises the fact that the purging quality of Rhubarb is the cause of its power to allay diarrhoea.

(b) Dr. Detharding says that Senna mitigates colic by the virtue of its producing colic in the healthy body.

(c) Dr. Bertholon confesses that while electricity produces pain in a healthy body it (electricity) has its power to deaden or annul pain in a morbid condition.

(d) Doctor Thiury testifies that positive electricity retards the pulse when accelerated by disease because it (positive electricity) accelerates the pulse in a healthy body.

(e) Dr. Von. Stoerck expresses the idea that thorn apple produces mental alienation, therefore, it might restore soundness of mind in the insane.

(f) Dr. Stahl, a Danish Military physician has expressed his conviction that diseases vanish and are cured by means of medicines capable of producing a similar affection in the healthy (similia similibus).

13. It will not be out of place to mention here that Homoeopathy entered India in 1839 through an erudite German doctor, John Martin Honigberger, who treated Ranjit Singh, the Maharaja of the Punjab Homoeopathically. Rev father Augustus Muller S. J. arrived in Mangalore (South India) in 1878 and opened the Homoeopathic Poor dispensary at Kankanady (South India) in 1880. He devoted his life principally to the alleviation of the sufferings of the poor. In 1907, the Charitable work of Father Muller received the recognition of Government. On 4th November, 1907, His Excellency Sir Arthur Lawley, the then Governor of Madras, pinned on his breast the Kaiser-i-Hind Silver Medal after warmly praising the father for his self sacrifice, self obliteration, devotion for the welfare of others. Thence-forward, Pandit Dinabandhu Nayaratna, brother of Pandit Iswar Chander Bidyasagar, Pandit Peyri Charan Sarkar, Sree Kali Krishna Mitra, D. Behary Lall Bhadury, Dr. Rajendra Lall Dutta and Dr. Mohendra Lall Sarkar, M.D. (Cal.) spread the treatment of Homoeopathy in Bengal, India.

14. Some doctors in Calcutta showed their brilliant career in the treatment of Homoeopathy; Dr. W. Younan, Dr. P.C. Mazumdar, Dr. B.B. Mukherjee, Dr. S.C. Dutta, Dr. A.K. Dutta, Dr. G.C. Dutta. They were all medical graduates of the Calcutta University. Other erudite Homoeopathic physicians also showed their brilliant merit in this line of treatment, viz. Dr. J.N. Mazumdar, Dr. T.C. Palit, Dr. K.K. Roy, Dr. N. Ghatak and others. In the suburb of Calcutta, Dr. S.C. Ghosh, Dr. G.C. Goswami, Dr. U.N. Goswami, Dr. M.N. Chatterjee (all medical graduates) and Dr. Chuni Lall Chatterjee B.A. Homoeopath practised Homoeopathy with memorable names.

15. The opinion expressed by the father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhiji and that by Gurudev Rabindra Nath, is submitted herewith for favour of kind perusal.

N C Das
N C Das