ISKCON devotee Kripamoya Dasa made history this December 12 when he spoke at the British Houses of Parliament wearing Vaishnava robes and sacred tilak markings.
His speech at the House of Commons launched Caring for Hindu Patients, a guide to assist health care professionals in caring for the religious and cultural needs of their patients. The book was conceived and compiled by ISKCON member Dr. Divyesh Thakrar, and contains editorial contributions from ISKCON priest Rasamandala Das and other devotees.
As the book launch fell on Gita-Jayanti, the day when Bhagavad-gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to Arjuna five thousand years ago, Kripamoya took the opportunity to discuss the holy book’s message. Member of Parliament Alan Johnson, the Secretary of State for Health, and a distinguished audience of doctors and other professionals listened attentively.
“The Bhagavad-gita contains many messages,” Kripamoya said. “But essentially it talks about wholeness, about taking a life which has become disintegrated and performing a complete integration of body, mind, and spirit. That’s why, within this one essential Hindu scripture, you’ll find descriptions of how to eat healthy foods, how to breathe properly, how to meditate and do yoga, all sitting comfortably alongside the deepest spiritual teachings and philosophy.”
Kripamoya went on to discuss health care based on the Bhagavad-gita. “Hinduism doesn’t see care for the physical body, care for emotional well-being, and care for a person’s spiritual needs as separate principles; but rather as essential parts of the same integrated practice,” he explained. “That idea, of course, is at the heart of every religion. That somehow or other, when the spiritual side of life is taken care of, there will naturally follow good mental and physical health.”
Kripamoya concluded his speech with a verse from the Gita, and offered a blessing for all the National Health Service professionals set to use Caring for Hindu Patients in their practice. The book was then officially unwrapped, launched, and endorsed by the Minister for Health.
After the launch, copies of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is was distributed to many of the guests.