Source: Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi
DISCUSSION WITH DOCTORS
[October 2, 1947]
Doctors pressed him to take penicillin but Gandhiji refused. Ramanama was his penicillin, he said. He would rather fall a martyr to his researches in the science of Ramanama than a casualty to theirs. The doctors argued: Science had definitely established that there are specific causes for specific ailments. You eradicate the cause and the disease goes. On the other hand, anyone can be given cholera by introducing cholera germs into his system. The laws of science are inviolable.
GANDHIJI: I call this arrogance. Science has yet much to learn. It has so far touched only the hem of the garment. All illness is the result of the violation of the laws of nature, in other words, the penalty of sin against Him—since He and His law are one. Therefore, when Ramanama holds full sway, all illness vanishes. People have no idea of the full potency of Ramanama. I am out to demonstrate it. I must wish to live only to serve Him and live, therefore, through His grace alone.
I have plunged into this fire to discover the science of Ramanama just as a doctor or a scientist rushes into an area where an epidemic is raging to discover the laws of physical science. I must discover it or perish in the attempt.