Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 03 Jun 2020


What is cancer and what are its causes?

[Shri Bhagath asked: Padanamaskaram to Guruji! Was cancer present in olden days? If yes, what treatment would patients get? I read in some foreign websites that some people got cancer and they got cured by some procedures like watching comedy movies, laughing and always being happy. Is it possible to cure cancer by being happy and maintaining one’s peace of mind by not thinking about the cancer? But nowadays, the most common treatments used by doctors to treat cancer patients are radiotherapy and chemotherapy which cost 5–10 lakh rupees. Is the main cause of cancer excessive mental tensions related to worldly problems (pravṛtti), which affect the body, as told by You. Some yoga preachers are saying that our food habits are responsible for cancer. They say that green chillies, deep fried foods and masalas cause cancer. They recommended using red chillis instead of green chillies, since red chilli powder contains thiamine, which is good for health. Doctors too say that pickles also not good for health. Then why are pickles included in our traditional diets?]

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! There are references of cancer in ancient Indian literature. The effects of different food ingredients, mentioned by you are matters of science. Food ingredients can have nutritional effects and medicinal effects. The pickles mentioned in our ancient tradition need not be understood as the pickles preserved in jars, which are harmful. Pickles can instead be freshly prepared while preparing every meal.

Sin is the root source of any worldly problem related to health, wealth and so on. As long as the root cause exists, the effect will certainly appear in one form or another. The external causes are only superficial and temporary. For a plant or tree to stay alive, one should pour water at its root. This is like the root cause. Instead of doing this, if you pour water on branches, leaves, flowers and fruits, there will be no use. The plant may appear fresh for a little time, but it is certain to die for want of water since it can only take up water through its roots. Similarly, the root cause of a life free of worldly problems is avoiding sin. One need not do good meritorious deeds, but one should at least avoid bad deeds or sins. So, even if one does not get any benefit, there will at least be no damage.

In the context of maintaining good health, one should strictly avoid smoking, drinking and drugs. They are more dangerous than black cobras and will kill the person. Sages have advised following five principles for good health. (1) The first one is “Hitabhuk hutabhuk mitabhuk”. It means that one should only consume food that suits one’s health, such as food that does not cause allergies or other reactions. The food should be freshly cooked and it should be consumed only in a limited quantity. (2) The second principle is “Katipaya pada chaṅkramaṇa”, which means that one should walk for a sufficiently long time, as far as possible. (3) The third is “Vāma śayana”, which means that one should lie down on one’s left side. This ensures that the vital organs present on the right side do not have to bear any load. (4) The fourth is “Anibaddha mūtrapurīśa”, which means that one should not hold urine or stools for long and get relieved as early as possible. (5) The fifth principle is “Strīṣu yo jāgarti” which means that one should lead a controlled sexual life with one’s married life-partner.

If one avoids sins, one rises above duṣpravṛtti and if one does meritorious deeds, always protecting justice, one succeeds in pravṛtti. If one rises beyond these two levels and becomes fully devoted to God, one succeeds in nivṛtti. These three stages are becoming close, closer and closest to God, respectively.


| Shri Datta Swami | What is cancer and what are its causes? | Striishu yo jaagarti Anibaddha muutrapuriishah Vaama shayanah Hitabhuk hutabhuk mitabhuk Katipaya pada chankramanah