Reminiscences of the Mother’s physician, Dr. Bisht

Dr. D. B. Bisht had a distinguished career in the medical profession. He was the Director-General of Health Services, Govt. of India, and upon retirement joined the World Health Organisation.  While Dr. Bisht was posted at JIPMER in Pondicherry, he was called to attend on the Mother and served as her physician.  He captured the interactions he had with her in a book titled Mother and me.  I haven’t read the book but I am reproducing two reviews of this book in this post.

Vishwanath-da, an inmate of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram since 1948, wrote a review of this book which appears on the SABDA catalog page.   He writes:

Let me mention here just two of the more interesting episodes in the book. Dr Bisht was a first-class student and his knowledge of medicine is remarkable. He has the ability to diagnose a person’s ailment just by looking at him or her. During one of the blessings, he held the Mother’s hand for a short while. He could immediately make out that the Mother had an irregular heartbeat. Such people usually do not live long. Dr Bisht found two exceptions; one was his maternal grandmother who lived an active life in the hills of Garhwal until her late seventies. The other was our Mother (who lived till the age of 95!).

The second episode is even more interesting. One night during his early years in Pondicherry, before he began seeing the Mother in his capacity as doctor, he dreamt that he was urgently called to the Ashram as the Mother was not well. On examining Her, he saw a big dark hemorrhagic patch on Her left foot and part of the leg due to a blockage of blood circulation. This is normally a very painful condition. He contacted the Mother’s secretary in the morning and asked him to enquire from the Mother if She had any trouble. The Mother sent word the following day that there was nothing wrong with Her. Eight years later, when he had started attending to the Mother as a physician, he was called, late at night, from the hospital where he worked to come and see the Mother urgently as She was not well. On examining Her, he found to his utter surprise that the Mother had exactly the same patch as he had dreamt eight years earlier.

Another review was recently posted by Vamanan on his blog, which reads as follows:

One of the very interesting publications I have read on the Mother (whose birth anniversary falls on Feb. 21, today) is by Dr. D. B. Bisht, a former department head of JIPMER and Director General of Health Services.

His ‘Mother and Me’ is a booklet of 48 pages, but brims with rare insights into the personality of the Mother. Dr. Bisht is a doctor and a level-headed man of a scientific disposition. He has even treated the Mother medically. His views are therefore very valuable. He reveals, for example, that he has had a fascination for owls but kept it under wraps because the bird was considered to be unlucky by some. He experienced a great relief when the Mother revealed that she too shared his enthusiasm for owls!

Dr. Bisht found out early, even before he began to treat the Mother, that her heart beat irregularly. When he met Mother the first time and she blessed him, the doctor’s hand involuntarily held her wrist and felt her pulse! That was when he found out her heart condition. The Mother, however, had known that her heart beat irregularly forty years back while climbing a staircase. She had accepted her heart as given by the Divine and had never been the worse for her ‘atrial fibrillation’!

When the doctor had occasion to treat the Mother, he found her openness touching. When he prescribed any medicine, she would never object. The doctor had his own notions, though, while treating the Mother. He always prescribed pediatric doses because his ‘faith’ used to tell him that the Mother, being a ‘realised soul’, would not need the normally prescribed doses.  The doctor’s rational mind would however clash with his faith and tell him that the Mother responded to small doses because she was growing old and her physical body was gradually shrinking! But the doctor found her responding rather very fast to his medicines and he took that to be a sign of the ‘fourth dimension’ of the Spiritual. The tussle between the rational mind and faith is surely very interesting.

Being a doctor gives one extraordinary concessions. Once the doctor prescribed anti-biotics for the Mother’s chest infection and holding a glass of water with the medicine, told her, ‘Please, Mother, drink it like a good girl’’! The moment the doctor uttered the words, ‘a good girl’, the Mother burst into hearty laughter. The doctor could feel the entire room vibrating! Everyone was surprised (perhaps even the Mother herself was!) The doctor, who himself was a protagonist of loud laughter – even as I am, though I have reservations against thunderous and deafening hah-hahs) – couldn’t help silently smiling to himself at the Mother’s unexpected reaction.

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother spoke of a divine life in a divine body, but it was the doctor’s job to point out to Mother that her physical body was more than showing signs of aging. ‘‘The only way to delay this degenerative process is to continue to do physical movements since the joints are like flowing water. The water remains pure as long as it flows. The Mother nodded her head and went into a trance and a little later just nodded her head’’.

The Ashram is famous for it blessing packets – a small beautiful packet containing petals of rose – but it was left to the dear doctor to once ask the Mother, ‘‘Mother, do you yourself believe in these blessing packets?’’

How did the Mother respond? ‘‘These blessing packets by themselves do not mean much. Primarily it is you yourself who have to do what you must. Still, if you have faith, these could help you. And I want you to keep this always with you. You may keep this in your purse’’.

The doctor describes his first Darshan of Mother and how he was captivated and fascinated by her ‘‘absolutely clear, deep and beautiful eyes, which had only a feeling of benevolence’’.

There is something very frank and straightforward in the impressions recorded in this book that are as fascinating as the subject they deal with.

In India, you can buy the book from SABDA or its distributors.  In the USA, you can buy it from Auromere books.  In other countries, you can obtain it via overseas shipping from SABDA.

Mother Mira Alfassa

Mother Mira Alfassa

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10 thoughts on “Reminiscences of the Mother’s physician, Dr. Bisht

    1. Sandeep Post author

      Because the Guru takes on the karma of the disciples. There is an inner link between the consciousness of the Guru and the disciple

      Even otherwise, Self-realized souls can fall sick. Self-realization only quiesces the mental agitation. It does not mean that the body becomes perfect in all respects.

      1. Sandeep Post author

        This is mentioned somewhere else by Sri Aurobindo

        Conversation dated 25 September 1926 (Evening)

        Disciple: When a Yogi averts a destiny, e.g. when he saves a person from imminent death, is there any reaction?

        Sri Aurobindo: That depends on the power and the attitude of the Yogi. The hostile forces supporting the calamity, when thwarted, may attack the Yogi himself and unless he is watchful he may have to suffer. When an illness is thrown away from one person, it may attack another, unless the force is dissolved.

        It is only when the hostile forces are opposed that there may be reaction; but when one’s force of Karma is averted then there is no reaction.

      2. Sandeep Post author

        Sri Aurobindo: …When a Yogi takes disciples it involves a great exhaustion of his powers. It is for this that one should take disciples only after purna siddhi [complete realization]. The disciples create obstacles in the guru’s own course of sadhana, and he has to overcome these obstacles.

        Disciple: Do not the disciples help the guru in some respects?

        Sri Aurobindo: Disciples are not helpers. One is a helper from whom the Yogi gets something which he himself has not got.

        The disciples help by creating obstacles which provide exercise for the powers of the guru.

        Disciple: That is a negative help. Is there any positive help?

        Sri Aurobindo: Yes there is positive as well as negative help. Thus where there is true aspiration in the disciple in our Yoga, that is a great help. We are all trying to bring down the supramental power — and that creates a surface…[sentence incomplete]

        When the disciple is very receptive, the guru has not to spend much of his force — it is then a natural outflow of force from the guru, it is a part of his own movement. Otherwise the guru has to exert special force on the disciple and that involves much expenditure on the part of the guru


    2. amsha

      “Thy energy, Lord, to seize on woman and man,
      To take all things and creatures in their grief
      And gather them into a mother’s arms.”

      Book Eleven
      Canto One

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