Why gurus and babas shouldn't give gyaan on cancer

Sadhguru's advice did not go down well with Twitterati.

 |  4-minute read |   06-02-2017
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Both cancer and dumb pieces of advice can be equally fatal. Here's what we mean: While cancer is a disease, symptoms of the latter ailment have been detected in a few new-age spiritual gurus in India. The latest victim being Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.

According to him, cancer "can be avoided by staying happy" — a piece of advice, we believe is well-meaning, but can be no less fatal. On World Cancer Day, he tweeted:

And this is how Twitter users reacted:

Incidentally, his eBook, titled Cancer: A Yogic Perspective, produced by the Isha Foundation, is based on Sadhguru's insights on the various causes of cancer and what can be done to go beyond the disease. The book also includes several methods and practices from the yogic system to help one lead a healthy and joyful life.

According to him, a reason why people are getting cancer these days is because somehow, the body, not necessarily the individual, has become unhappy (really? Come again!).

While medical scientists across the world are deeply frustrated in their continued attempt to understand cancer, Sadhguru is not alone in his claims.

Yoga guru and self-styled healer Baba Ramdev a decade back claimed that regular practice of seven breathing exercises or "pranayams" popularised by him had successfully cured cancer within six to nine months. He even went on claim that apart from yoga, concoctions marketed by his pharmacy — Patanjali — can cure cancer, apart from HIV, homosexuality and other diseases.

The yoga guru claimed cure for "cancer of the breast, liver, prostate, uterus, pituitary gland, brain tumours and even leukaemia, by practising the seven breathing exercises". While after decades of tedious research scientists have found it difficult to explain cancer and its causes — which quickly and painfully leads to deaths — these spiritual gurus seem to have made a mockery of people's suffering.

Renowned oncologist and Pulitzer-winner Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee says telling cancer patients that a positive attitude can cure cancer does a nasty disserve to them.

"A woman with breast cancer already has her plate full, and you want to go and tell her that the reason you're not getting better is because you're not thinking positively? Put yourself in that woman's position and think what it feels like to be told your attitude is to blame for why you're not getting better. I think it's nasty."

He goes on to say: "It's not true. In a spiritual sense, a positive attitude may help you get through chemotherapy and surgery and radiation and what have you. But a positive mental attitude does not cure cancer – any more than a negative mental attitude causes cancer."

Well, here's a piece of advice to all such cure-claiming gurus: It's your words which are making people unhappy.

The body, not necessarily the individual, will become unhappy and succumb after heeding your callous advice of cancerous proportions.

Also read: Chanting Shiva can transform your life: Sadhguru



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