World Scripture, A Comparative Anthology Of Sacred Texts
Editor, Andrew Wilson
The condition of fallen humanity has been likened to an infirmity and a disease of the soul. Our ignorance of Reality renders us blind to the truth and deaf to God's voice. Our hearts are heavy with pain and suffering. Hence, salvation may be regarded as healing the soul of its infirmity and restoring it to health where it can realize its true potential. Religious teaching may be regarded as a sovereign remedy, and the founder who bears the truth may be likened to a master physician.
But there is also a causal, psychosomatic relationship between healing of the soul and health of the body. Physical health is thus a welcome by-product of spiritual health. Jesus performed miraculous healings and exorcisms; today healings are performed in every part of the world by spiritual healers of all religions.
O Mankind! There has come to you an exhortation from your Lord, a balm for that which is in the breasts, a guidance and mercy for believers.
Islam. Qur'an 10.57
Whatever defect I have of eye, of heart, of mind, or whatever excess there is, may Brishaspati remedy it. Gracious to us be the Lord of the world.
Hinduism. Yajur Veda 36.2
The Buddha, the Truly Enlightened One, the unexcelled master physician... having developed and perfected the medicines of the Teaching over countless eons, having cultivated and learned all skills in application of means, and fully consummated the power of illuminating spells, is able to quell all sentient beings' afflictions.
Buddhism. Garland Sutra 37
Qur'an 10.57: Cf. Qur'an 26.77-80, p. 137. Garland Sutra 37: Cf. the Parable of the Good Physician, Lotus Sutra 16, pp. 1023f.; Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life 7.22-24, p. 572.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.
Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Isaiah 35.5-6
The Way is like an empty vessel That yet may be drawn from Without ever needing to be filled. It is bottomless; the very progenitor of all things in the world. In it all sharpness is blunted, All tangles untied, All glare tempered, All dust smoothed. It is like a deep pool that never dries.
Taoism. Tao Te Ching 4
Under the shelter of the Supreme Being, not a whiff of hot air touches us-- All around us is drawn the mystic circle of divine protection, Keeping away suffering. We have met the holy Preceptor, perfection incarnate, Who has established this state. He has administered medicine of the divine Name, And attached our devotion to the Sole Lord. The divine Preserver has preserved us, and all maladies removed. Says Nanak, In His grace has the Lord come to succor us.
Sikhism. Adi Granth, Bilaval, M.5, p. 819
Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn, that he may heal us; he has stricken, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.
Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Hosea 6.1-2
The antidote, assuredly, for the elemental soul [bound to samsara] is this: study of the knowledge of the Veda and pursuit of one's own duty.
Hinduism. Maitri Upanishad 4.3
Isaiah 35.5-6: Cf. Luke 4.16-21, p. 530. Tao Te Ching 4: Cf. Dhammapada 82, p. 553; Elegant Sayings 173, p. 558. Bilaval, M.5: Cf. Sri Raga, M.5, p. 553. Hosea 6.1-2: Cf. Qur'an 26.77-80, p. 137; 2 Chronicles 7.14, p. 902.
The words of the Torah are like a perfect remedy. This may be compared to a man who inflicted a big wound upon his son, and then put a plaster on his wound, saying, "My son! As long as this plaster is on your wound you can eat and drink what you like, and bathe in cold or warm water, and you will suffer no harm. But if you remove it, it will break out into sores." Even so did God say to the Israelites, "My children! I created within you the Evil Inclination, but I created the Law as its antidote. As long as you occupy yourselves with the Torah, the Evil Inclination will not rule over you. But if you do not occupy yourselves with the Torah, then you will be delivered into its power, and all its activity will be against you."
Judaism. Talmud, Kiddushin 30b
The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus' time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation. Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural. They are the sign of Immanuel, or "God with us,"--a divine influence ever present in human consciousness.
Christian Science. Science and Health, xi.
A great crowd followed [Jesus] and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, "If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well." And immediately the hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, "Who touched my garments?" And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, 'Who touched me?'" And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."
Christianity. Bible, Mark 5.24-34
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful to ask alms of those who entered the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, with John, and said, "Look at us." And he fixed his attention upon them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, "I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and walked and entered the temple with them, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
Christianity. Bible, Acts 3.1-8
Kiddushin 30b: Cf. Kiddushin 30b, p. 390; Genesis Rabbah 10.4, p. 1113; Tanhuma, p. 1115. Mark 5.24-34: Cf. Mark 9.17-24, p. 759; Matthew 12.22-24, p. 379; John 9.1-7, p. 701; Isaiah 53.4, 639f.
The World-honored One, the All-compassion and Guide, for the sake of King Ajatasatru, entered into the moonlight-samadhi. Having entered the samadhi, a great light issued. The light was pure and cool, and it went to the king and shone in the king's body. The boils on his body got cured and the choking pains died out. Relieved of the pains of the boils and feeling cool in body, the king said to the Buddha, "Where does this light come from? It shines on me and touches me; it cures all boils, and the body feels peace." The Buddha answered, "O great king! This is the light of the heaven of heavens. This light has no root; it is boundless.... It is seen only where there is a desire to save.... O King, you said before that there was no good doctor in the world who could cure the body and mind. Because of this, this light is first sent out. It first cures your body, and then, your mind."
Buddhism. Mahaparinirvana Sutra 575-76
Sickness arises from total involvement in the process of misunderstanding from beginningless time. It arises from the passions that result from unreal mental constructions, and hence ultimately nothing is perceived which can be said to be sick.
What is the elimination of this sickness? It is the elimination of egoism and possessiveness. What is the elimination of egoism and possessiveness? It is the freedom from dualism. What is freedom from dualism? It is the absence of involvement with either the external or the internal. What is absence of involvement with either external or internal? It is nondeviation, nonfluctuation, and nondistraction from equanimity. What is equanimity? It is the equality of everything from self to liberation. Why? Because both self and liberation are void.
Buddhism. Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti 5
Mahaparinirvana Sutra 575-76: Healing King Ajatasatru shows the Buddha's great benevolence to even the most undeserving of grace. For King Ajatasatru (Pali Ajatasattu) was no friend of the Buddha, being a patron of the heretic Devadatta (cf. Vinaya Pitaka ii.184-98, pp. 448ff.), and having killed his father the pious King Bimbisara and imprisoned his mother Queen Vaidehi (according to Meditation on Buddha Amitayus). It is said that the king at last repented and learned the Teaching. Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti 5: Vimalakirti rises from his sick bed and teaches that his sickness was ultimately unreal (sunya); by not being attached to or involved with an illusory reality he is no longer sick. From that demonstration Vimalakirti gives a deeper lesson. Both 'self' and 'liberation' are void because these are mere names, and because such opposing concepts do not possess reality. Even attachment to the idea of void is nothing but void. Compare Christian Science healing, above, which is realized only with faith--a faith that overcomes attachment to self and to the self's perception of illness, and places complete trust in the power of God.
I [God] feel extreme pity for the present world which indulges in excessive use of medicine.... Medicine should be used only in unavoidable instances and with full understanding of its true character. I reveal to you that the true nature of what modern science calls medicine is poison. Although you have been enjoying this poison, even naming it "medicine," you should know that its true nature... has the function of hardening and contaminating your spiritual and physical body. This results in your suffering and in shortening your life span. Nevertheless, humans have made light of this... and moreover have rejected the divine art of deep spiritual cleansing. In addition, you have utilized medicine as a means for making money and have been polluting the earth and atmosphere. You have thus committed a heavy sin towards the Creator of heaven and earth and humans. As a result of the sin and negative karma, you humans are bringing God's judgment upon yourselves. It is truly a pitiful condition.
Therefore, God is finally going to intensely cleanse the poison of your triple self--the spiritual, astral, and physical bodies collectively--and develop your positive spiritual power. Otherwise, the true children of God would lose their original vitality, which would make fruitless the purpose for which God created His children, the earth, and food prepared for them. For this reason, God must finally carry out deep spiritual cleansing....
Those who become obedient to God, come to a realization, come closer to God, and repent, shall receive the Baptism for deep spiritual cleansing by the holy spiritual essence of fire. They shall spiritually receive directly, the True Positive Light through your triple body, which is the way to lessen their compensation. This world shall be saved from the immense number of disturbances working against people's souls by Mahikari-no-Waza.
The hekura... help you bring back stolen souls; thanks to them you don't lose your way. You can repel the demons of disease; they enable you to recognize them by their smell. Each one has its particular odor, and their hammocks are impregnated with it; it comes from the watota, which they all possess. A high-quality hallucinogen enables you to see and name the demon who has just stolen a soul. You think, "It is so-and-so who is guilty!" And it is your turn to hurl your familiar hekura after him.
Native American Religions. Yanomami Shaman's Instruction (Brazil)
Goseigen: Mahikari-no-Waza, also called okiyome, is a form of spiritual healing by divine Light. Its purpose is not only to heal individual illnesses, but further to purify the earth of pollution, greed, violence, and all spiritual evils. In this revelation, Yoshikazu Okada (1901-1974) is promised that he himself will be the channel for this 'True Positive Light.' This addresses a problem faced by all spiritual healers, which is the inevitable weakening of the healer's power as he or she begins to absorb into his or her own person 'compensation' for the patient's illness. In Mahikari, each practitioner is given a pendant called the omitama through which the Light can be connected to the founder's channel, and thus each can transmit the healing power without absorbing any ill effects. We note that Oriental medicine has, since the time of the Classic of the Yellow Emperor, regarded drugs as heavy poisons to be used only in certain types of illnesses or in conjunction with other forms of treatment such as acupuncture, herbs and changes in diet or environment. - Yanomami Shaman's Instruction: Disease of the body is understood to be the symptom of a stolen soul. Evil spirits steal the soul, which robs the person of his vitality; hence he falls ill. By recovering the soul and restoring it to the body, the shaman effects a cure. For help in this recovery, the shaman calls upon his familiar spirits, called hekura. For more concerning the hekura, see p. 370. Other texts on healing in traditional religions are found scattered throughout this anthology. A comparable passage on the Iglulik Eskimo Shaman Initiation, p. 537, describes how one can recover stolen souls and souls that have been taken to the Land of the Dead. In a Sioux Tradition, p. 370, sacred stones are used to call forth the natural powers of healing. The Dinka might sacrifice an ox (p. 437), to appease the malevolent spiritual powers which are understood to be causing disease. African prayers contain supplications to God to heal disease, for example the Anuak Prayer, p. 83. A Yoruba Hymn, pp. 671f., ascribes to Ifa the power to heal the earth.
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