PRABHUPADA AND VACCINATIONS
“We were going from Mauritius to South Africa so we needed to have yellow fever shots, and Prabhupada had never had one in his whole life because he would never take any shots. But you could not go to a doctor and just have him stamp the card, you actually had to get the shot and actually have them sign that you got the shot.
So Prabhupada refused to get the shot and he said, “Somehow or another get me that card,” and then he had this little smile on his face. So then I said to Pusta Krishna, “OK, let’s go.” Then he said, “What are we going to do?” I said, “We’re going to get the shots ourselves and do something.” He said, “Ah.”
So we went downtown and Pusta Krishna takes Prabhupada’s card for shots, and he gets the shot and when the man asks him for his name he says, “Bhaktivedanta Swami.” And then he asked him for date of birth. So then Pusta Krishna says, “I forgot.” And the man said, “You forgot?”
Then at that time I’m sitting just two rows up and saying, “Oh, God, we’re in trouble now.” So all of a sudden I start chanting, “Hare Krishna!” I’m chanting and I’m doing this ecstasy thing. And the guy is looking around, he said, “What’s going on?” He says, “You don’t remember?” And Pusta Krishna says, “I can’t remember anything anymore. It’s so confusing, all this chanting, I don’t remember anything anymore,” and I’m just going on and on and on making a whole scene.
Finally the guy said, “Well, when you remember, write it on the card.” He said, “Yeah, I sure will.” Then we went back and we wrote in 1896. We told Prabhupada what we did, and he was laughing and laughing.”
Compilation by Damaghosa Dāsa
Hare Krsna -Below we have compiled a long series of quotes by Srila Prabhupada in relations to vaccinations, injections and general hospital treatments.
- Feb 14 1971-Prabhupāda: …my Guru Mahārāja was in his last days, these rascal doctors injected… Our, this Kuñjabihārī, Tīrtha Mahārāja brought so many big, big doctors. And he protested, “Why are you giving me injection?” He protested. He personally said, “Why are you giving me injection?” And if you bring a doctor, the rascals will not stop. “Oh, that is our treatment. We must try our best.” They will plead like that. “To give more trouble to the patient, that is our business.”Inventing new medicines means inventing new means of giving trouble. That’s all. As soon as you ask them whether by injection the life is guaranteed, they will say, “No. There is no guarantee. Let us try, make experiment.” Yes. In hospital, as soon as you get (microphone moving)… Whatever nonsense knowledge they have got, they make experiment, at the risk of other’s life.
Haṁsadūta: When Himāvatī broke her leg they wanted to operate. I said, “Oh, no, no chance. No operation.” Then they immediately said, “Then maybe she’ll never walk again.”
Prabhupāda: Just see.
Haṁsadūta: So I said, “Well, how can we tell?” They said, “Well, there’s no way to tell.” I said, “Suppose we operate. Then it’s guaranteed that everything will be all right?” They said, “No.” But they thought they should do that.
Prabhupāda: Yes. They canvass, they convince like that and make experiment. That is their business. They have no, I mean to say, assured idea. Simply experiment. All these hospitals, they are meant for making experiment. I think I have told you one story of my servant. Did I? Huh?
Haṁsadūta: No. Please tell us the story. (laughter)Prabhupāda: (laughs) The servant was crying, “Oh! I am dying, I am dying, I am dying.” So I immediately called ambulance and took her to the hospital. Then, when I went there, there were so many neophyte doctors. They experimented, and they said, “Immediate operation is required.” “Why?” They gave us some technical terms. Then their leader doctor came. He said, “All right. Let us see this night. Then, next morning, we shall operate.” So I asked him, “I can go? He may remain in your charge?” “Yes.” So I went, came back. And when I was absent, another servant of the neighbor, he told to my wife, that “Babuji…” Babuji means master. “…it is unnecessarily he has taken to hospital. He was drunk, and he was crying like that. (laughter) He drank.” So my wife told that he was drunk, and he was therefore crying like that. “No, no. Doctor says that it is a serious case (laughter) and it is to be operated.” And the next morning the servant came back. “And why you come back? You were to be operated?” “Oh, thik hai. It is now all right.” Just see. The rascals were going to operate. He was drunk. In drunken state he was crying, and they took it a case of operation. That is my practical experience. Everything you take there: “Operation.”
Devotee (1): That’s a symptom of the modern civilization, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: Operation. That is… Demons are to be cheated like that. Simply operation. Simply operation. Bas.
Devotee (2): Also they’re trying to get money.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Injection and operation. That is in their hands.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Should we try to avoid getting injections as much as possible?
Prabhupāda: That is my opinion. But as soon as you go to a medical man, especially in your country, first of all, you have to give blood, immediately. (laughter) One ounce of blood immediately. First business. And then other injection. Because I underwent so many medical examination, I have got experience. For my immigration. I think, three or four times I was under health examination, and blood-taking, and injection. Of course, it is not very painful. That arrangement is there. But the business is like that, “First of all give your blood; then talk of other things.” Better to die without a doctor. (laughter) That’s the best principle. Don’t call any doctor. Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and die peacefully.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But what about when you’re not going to die… What about when you have some problems that’s not fatal. Then who would we call?
Prabhupāda: Then go take injection. What can be done? (laughter) There is no alternative.
Devotee (1): How long will you be feeling bad from the injection?Prabhupāda: If it remains simply for a while that is sufficient to kill you. There is no question of how long.
Devotee (1): It’s just that you don’t look very… You don’t look like your normal self. There’s no…
Prabhupāda: Sometimes they do business, simply water they inject. Yes. Simply water and take fee.They know there is no necessity of medicine; still, they will inject some water, distilled water, and take the fees. I have seen the doctors and some, I mean to say, ordinary man, illiterate. “What kind of treatment you want? Injection or medicine?” So naturally, he will say, “The best one. I want to…” “Then you have to take injection.”
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Or both. You might get both.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I have seen, they have spoken like that. Because the patient will think, “Oh, I take injection, I’ll be very quickly cured.” He will canvass like that. Because if he gives a bottle of medicine, that will not be very costly. But injection in his hand, he’ll (have) at least five rupees, that much. So he’ll canvass like that, “What kind of treatment you want, injection or ordinary medicine.” So he’ll say, “Sir, best medicine I want.” “Then you take injection.” That’s all. It is a fact that the whole human civilization is a society of cheaters and cheated. That’s all. Any field. mayaiva vyavaharite. The whole world in this Kali-yuga: mayaiva vyavaharite. Vyavaharite means ordinary dealings, there will be cheating. Ordinarily, there will be cheating. Daily affairs. Not to speak of very great things. Ordinary dealings, there will be cheating. That is stated in the Bhāgavata, mayaiva vyavahari. The sooner you get out of this scene is better. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So long you live, you simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and preach Kṛṣṇa’s glories, and that’s all. Otherwise, you should know that this is a dangerous place. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ [SB 10.14.58]. In every step there is danger.Mālatī: This lecture was recorded in Gorakhpur, U.P., India,2.Jan 26 1977—
Satsvarūpa: Now these psychiatrists are doing that with our Hare Kṛṣṇa. They say, “When these people… They take to Hare Kṛṣṇa because of this, because of that, and when they chant this happens in their brain, and this is happening.” They don’t believe that it is anything transcendental.
Prabhupāda: Yes. They say that “There is a brain. There is a tissue. There is cerebrum. On account of, they are thinking spiritually. Otherwise if it is cut off, there will be no more opportunity.” They’ll do that, brain operation. And whatever nonsense they will do, we’ll accept.
Gurukṛpā: They have electric.
Satsvarūpa: Electric shock
Prabhupāda: Dangerous community. These scientists, the so-called, they are dangerous community. Now, if five ounce(?) sight(?) is there, “No, it should be operated. Then he will be cured.” And actually it is happening. In the hospitals they make all kinds of experiment, and if you say, “No, why you are doing that? A patient is suffering,” “We must execute our science. So long the life is there we shall try to save him.” They say like that. They will go on with all nonsense activity, and if you want to stop them, they will say, “No, our science has got so…” They take in writing that “Whatever we shall do, you cannot object,” hospital. It is a place of demons. And as soon as they get a patient who will not protest, they’ll make it, they’ll make it and operation. No medicine, simply operate.Gurukṛpā: What they do now is… What they’ve been doing is they have all these pills, and they give them to people to experiment, to see what the reaction is.Prabhupāda: Hm. That is going on. Big, big patent medicine, they will explain scientifically and give to the doctor and make experiment, and they will go on making experiment. I know this. This is their business. They’ll write, they will call for the medical students—they have learned new, new words—and they’ll pay to make a literature with bombastic scientific word, and they’ll prepare literature. This literature will be distributed and give their medicine, and they may pay them for false propaganda. This is going on to introduce new patent medicine. I know that. Simply water they will inject to get money. The patients have come, innocent, illiterate—”How want to be…? Do you want to be cured very quickly or little less?” He’s a laborer. He says, “Yes, sir, if you cure me.” “So then injection will be required.” He has no disease, and they’ll give some water injection, yes, and take fee. Because as soon as there is question injection, he’ll charge at least four rupees, five rupees. He has no disease. They will inject water and take four, five rupees. In India I have seen.Gurukṛpā: If you need… If you have one infection in America, you know what you need—some penicillin, something to kill the infection. But the doctor will have to make all sorts of experiments to tell you what you already know.Prabhupāda: “You first of all give so much blood. So much give me, and then…”
Gurukṛpā: Yes. And charge you fifty dollars.
Prabhupāda: Regular business. It is very difficult to consult with a doctor.Gurukṛpā: And I saw the dentist. He tried to ruin one of my tooth so he could do work on that also and make more money. He tried to damage the teeth.Prabhupāda: Money is the only aim. And they will talk all nonsense and make experiment, especially in the Western countries. Here also they have got now money-making sight.
3.Dec 17 1973
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Even I wanted to become a doctor. When I started…
Prabhupāda: Oh, whatever you want to become, the basic principle is sense gratification. Either you become scientist or doctor or engineer, the main thing is “Bring money.” That’s all.Svarūpa Dāmodara: Some doctors think that they are doing humanitarian work.Prabhupāda: Yes, so long he will pay. That’s all. “Hospital.” In your country especially. “Hospital” means “to receive.” But there also you pay, then it is hospital. Otherwise “Get out.” It is no longer hospital.Svarūpa Dāmodara: I find doctors are most rascals here. They are greatest demons.
Prabhupāda: Why not the scientists?
Svarūpa Dāmodara: I think scientists are better than doctors.
Prabhupāda: Better rascals. (laughter) Scientists are better rascals. (laughing)
Karandhara: Well, doctors are simply out for money.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Oh, it is terrible. They don’t think about anything else. They just think about money.
Prabhupāda: They have been taught like that.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: If the patient doesn’t bring money, he won’t give injection.Prabhupāda: So the lawyers and everyone. Especially in your country, this country, because they require money, so they must have money some way or other. That is the prime principle. They require money. That’s all.
Karandhara: They charge outrageous fees, $60 an hour, $70 an hour, $5,000 for a little operation. Some doctors, they simply try to make operations so they can get rich. Whenever you come to see them, they say, “You need an operation.”
Locana: And they keep their telephone numbers secret so that on Sunday their patients may not disturb their sense gratification with their medical difficulties.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: It is a very big business here, Śrīla Prabhupāda, medical profession. They have this American Medical Association. They control the whole business. Even government cannot interfere. So they choose students, and they keep the supply so low that the demand is always high. That is why the price always increases. It’s terrible.
Karandhara: To stay in a hospital now costs about $150 a day.
Prabhupāda: That is a sort of punishment of sinful activities. When you fall sick, it is due to sinful activity. So you are punished.
Karandhara: It’s a very high price.Rūpānuga: Pay fine.
Prabhupāda: Yes. The more dangerous is the disease, you have to pay more. [break]
Karandhara: …very mercenary, hospitals…
Prabhupāda: Everywhere mercenary. Lawyers…
Karandhara: The hospital across the street from our temple, if you go there with an emergency, they say, “First give us money. No money, go away.” No matter how serious the injury. “First give us money.”
Svarūpa Dāmodara: They have no human quality, these doctors.
Karandhara: We have brought devotees there sometimes with serious wounds or injuries, and they just say, “First you give us money or else go away. We don’t care.”
4.Oct 25 1975
Brahmānanda: The man who owns this house, his wife died recently from cancer. He sent her to London for special treatment, very costly, and they could not do anything.
Prabhupāda: Oh. Just see. Where is this? That is their science? Take money and do nothing.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: At least in the past when there was disease people would depend on God more. Now they depend on the doctors.
Prabhupāda: No, still they have to depend on God. Otherwise this man spent so much money. God denied, “No, your wife will not stay,” and she had to die.
Brahmānanda: [break] …when she went to London for treatment she became worse.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like vitamin pill—no hand.
Cyavana: Yes. No arms.
Prabhupāda: Simply they are cheating. There was one gentleman, English gentleman, Sir William Temple. He used to say, “I wish to die without a doctor. Don’t bring doctor.”
Cyavana: Without a doctor.
Prabhupāda: Yes. “Let me die peacefully. Don’t bring doctor.” I say also. Don’t bring doctor when I am diseased.
5. Jan 19 1977Rāmeśvara: We know you have a very low opinion of doctors. (laughter)
Prabhupāda: I wish to die without a doctor. Don’t… When I am… It may be. I may be seriously, but don’t call doctor. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Don’t be disturbed. Everyone has to die. Let us die peacefully, without doctor. All this medicine, injections, and prohibitions, this, that.
Hari-śauri: Tīrtha Mahārāja had all kinds of machines. Still didn’t save him.
Prabhupāda: Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and depend on Kṛṣṇa. Actually… Nārtasya cāgadam udanvati majjato nauḥ. That is the Prahlāda Mahārāja’s verse. Find out this. Bālasya neha śaraṇaṁ pitarau nṛsiṁha. Seventh Canto.
6.April 1969 letter Krsna das
Regarding your other points, I am pleased that you are trying for legalization of our society. This has been already done both in London and the United States. As for your eye trouble, you need not take to an operation for your sickness. Doctors are not the Ultimate Healer. This is Krishna’s position. In your Western countries, the doctors are very much fond of surgical operations. When there is no other alternative, of course we have to take shelter of such demonic treatment, but as far as possible try to avoid that, and depend on Krishna.I hope this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
7.Feb 14 1971
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Should we try to avoid getting injections as much as possible?
Prabhupāda: That is my opinion. But as soon as you go to a medical man, especially in your country, first of all, you have to give blood, immediately. (laughter) One ounce of blood immediately. First business. And then other injection. Because I underwent so many medical examination, I have got experience. For my immigration. I think, three or four times I was under health examination, and blood-taking, and injection. Of course, it is not very painful. That arrangement is there. But the business is like that, “First of all give your blood; then talk of other things.” Better to die without a doctor. (laughter) That’s the best principle. Don’t call any doctor. Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and die peacefully.Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But what about when you’re not going to die… What about when you have some problems that’s not fatal. Then who would we call?Prabhupāda: Then go take injection. What can be done? (laughter) There is no alternative.
8.May 7 1975 letter
My dear Bhakta dasa, Please accept my blessings. I am due receipt of your letter dated April 15th, 1975 and have noted the contents. I am very glad to hear all of the good news in your letter. This is very encouraging. Continue to preach vigorously, following all of the rules and regulations very carefully and Krishna will give you every facility. It sounds like the Rathayatra festival will be bigger than ever this year. I am hoping to come there again. Regarding your physical malady, you should do whatever is required to treat it properly. Whatever is most practical. The names for the new child are approved by me. Circumcision is not important.
9. Discussion with Shyamasundara about Soren Kierkargaard.
Prabhupāda: There are two sides. There are two kinds of people are going. The same man, he is giving charity for feeding poor man or giving relief to the distressed man, but at the same time he’s encouraging animal-killing. So what is the ethics? What is the ethical law in these two contradictory activities? One side… Just like our Vivekananda. He is advocating daridra-nārāyaṇa sevā, “Feed the poor,” but feed the poor with mother Kālī’s prasāda, where poor goats are killed. Just like, another, one side feeding the poor, another side killing the poor goat. So what is the ethic? What is the ethical law in this connection? Just like people open hospitals, and the doctor prescribes, “Give this man,” what it is called,” (Hindi), ox blood, or chicken juice.” So what is this ethic? And they’re supporting that “Here is chicken juice.” Just because animal has no soul, so they can be killed. This is another theory. So why the animal has no soul? So imperfect knowledge. So on the basis of imperfect knowledge this ethic or this humanitarian, what is the value? We do not give any value to all this understanding. Where is the ethics? If you protect the human life by giving him something by killing—there are so many medicines, but the killing is very prominent—then next point should be that if you say that the human life is important, so nonimportant animal-killing can be supported to save the important. Then the question will be, “Why it is important? Why consider the human life is important and the animal life is not important?” These are the questions of ethical law. Where are these discussions on the ethical laws?[Note-In these vaccinations the companies themselves admit the substances come from fetal tissue cows blood and other abominable things]
10.Feb 26 1976 mayapur
Dayānanda: “…which cannot give relief to the suffering patient, and the boat on the ocean which cannot give protection to the drowning man.” [SB 7.9.19]
Prabhupāda: This is very instructive verse. The whole world is planning to give relief to the suffering humanity, but the foolish people, they do not know that you may do your best, but if it is not sanctioned by the Supreme Lord, all these measures will not be of any use. “Why? We have got science, medicine, and relief arrangement. They are all useless?” Yes. They are useful so long, as long as Kṛṣṇa says “Yes.” If Kṛṣṇa says “No,” then in spite of all this relief, nothing will be done. This is the answer. You can open many hospitals, but if Kṛṣṇa says that “This patient must die,” you cannot give any protection. That is not possible. In spite of your hospital, good medicine, good physician, the patient must die.So they do not see to this, that in spite of our so much advancement of civilization, hospitals and other relief measures, why still people are suffering? You are increasing hospital or beds of hospital. You are very much proud that “We have opened hospitals.” That… What does it mean? That means people have become diseased. You have opened hospitals, you are very much proud, but what is the other side? Other side: that people have increased their diseased condition. That they do not see. They are simply proud of increasing hospital. Why there should be hospital? Why not stop disease? That is scientific advancement. Stop disease, and there will be no need of opening hospital. Kṛṣṇa therefore presents in the Bhagavad-gītā that “You rascal, you see. Real problem is janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi [Bg. 13.9].” You can invent very nice, up-to-date, modernized medicine, but why don’t you stop disease? That you cannot do. That is not possible. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi. You are taking so many measures to stop untimely death. Just like in your country there are beaches and so many warning, “Don’t come here.” And there is guard seeing if anyone is dying, so… But you cannot stop death. That is not possible. You may take measure, so many. You cannot stop death. Children, somebody says, the parents do not take care, but even the parents take care, is it guaranteed that the children will not die? There are many rich men, they are taking care of their children. Rich men, they are taking care of the diseased person, good physician, good medicine. Why the diseased person is dying? Why the children suffering? So, these are to be observed. Why these things happen? That means the ultimate control is in the hand of Kṛṣṇa. If Kṛṣṇa sanctions, then everything will be possible. So why not take shelter of Kṛṣṇa? This is the idea. You take shelter of Kṛṣṇa, and if Kṛṣṇa likes, He will give you all protection. And He promises that “I’ll give protection.”
11. July 9 1974
Guru-kṛpa: You said before that the more hospitals they open that means the more people have to become sick.
Prabhupāda: That, more… Yes.
Guru-kṛpa: To get in the hospital.
Prabhupāda: They are very much proud, “We have opened fifty hospitals.” That means fifty thousand people have become sick. “We have increased so many beds.” That means so many people have more increased their disease. But they’re proud of doing this. Our poor-feeding and their poor-feeding is different. We give prasādam—by eating he’ll become Kṛṣṇaized. He’ll become a devotee. And ordinary eating means he will eat and go to hell. Hare Kṛṣṇa (japa)
12.Jan 21 1977
RāmeśVara: Material science as well as spiritual science?
Prabhupāda: No. No, no. There is no need of so-called material science—how to kill children in the womb. These things will be kicked out. Nonsense.
Rāmeśvara: Do you think that they will adopt Indian medicine over Western medicine, things like that? Because there has to be some varṇāśrama.
Prabhupāda: No, medicine, if it is actually medicine, it will be accepted. It doesn’t matter whether it is Indian or Western. If it is medicine it will be accepted.
Rāmeśvara: So that kind of research is in the mode of goodness.
Prabhupāda: That is already there. We have to make little research. It, already there. There are books, Āyurvedic books. They are very nice. Everything can be done. Dhanvantari. It is given by Dhanvantari avatāra, incarnation of Kṛṣṇa.
Some Conclusios of my personal experiences
As Srila Prabhupada tells us of his experiencs with doctors over his lifetime, I also have had similar ones. When I was in high school my eyes were getting a little blurred during friday night footbal games. My father took me to an eye “specialist” who said I needed glasses. I asked him what happens if I start wearing glasses. He said your eyes will get weaker and become more dependent upon glasses and you will need stronger lenses the older you get. So following my instincts, I didnt listen to him and to this day I dont need glasses .By Krsnas grace,I have had no medical problems my whole life until about 10 years ago when I had what they called a myocardial infarcation-otherwise known as a heart attack. I thought it was an ulcer as my stomach was a little upset so I went to the emergency room nearby. Before I knew what was happening there were about 10 doctors and nurses in my room doing all sorts of things including sticking me with needles and then had me whisked away in an ambulance. I told them I was perfectly capable of driving to the other nearby hospital but they would hear nothing of that.Long story short the cardiologist there told me I needed treatment and drugs and he wanted to to put a stint of something like that into my artery to which I said forget it. I told them I am going home and will contact you—later when I figure out what I will do.They called me a hostile patient, because I would not listen to their so called advice. I got as far as the drug counter at Costco, where the clerk pushed towards me 4 different bottles of their drugs. I just looked at those pills and pushed them right back to her telling her-this is not me, I dont want them.And walked out.Then I went to see a local naturopathic doctor (there are no ayurvedic doctors around here) and together we figured out what I could do. So 6 months later after following MY regimen for “recovery”, I went back to the same cardiologist, and passed his heart stress test. He told me I was his only patient to never follow his directions. I told him-Doc the bottom line is I got better-without your drugs. He just shook his head in disbelief.Then there was the two botched hernia operations which resulted in two more “corrective” hernia operations.And lastly, and this was the worst case. Three years ago I fell 4 feet from a ladder and broke a very tiny chip on the top of my left foot They did 3 Xrays and a cat scan which I did not want. The orthopedic Doctor filled my head with all sorts of fears and even wanted to do surgery on a chip of bone no larger than 1/8th of an inch in my foot. I just looked at him like he was insane for even suggesting such a thing.What he did do was have me wear an orthopedic boot which placed my body about 2 inches higher on one side which ultimately threw my entire body out of balance and still to this day I am struggling to fix this imbalance-all because I listened to this fool instead of my own intuition. This guy was the first and last Doctor I will ever listen to again.So I accept 100% in total what Srila Prabhupada says about most doctors today.There are some here and there who actually care and wont cheat you-but they are rare.