The Hindu faith is rooted in compassion and charity and the idea that Hindus should do whatever they can to eradicate the suffering of others.
“We are never prohibited from any form of charity, including the donation of one’s body,” says Hindu Temple Society of North America President Uma V. Mysorekar, MD, FACOG. “Hinduism is a way of life with a strong belief in life after death and the laws of Karma, good and bad actions. The soul, unlike the body, is eternal.”
Followers of Hinduism are expected to live a virtuous life and share the belief that all life is sacred and should be loved and revered. According to Dr. Mysorekar, the concept of organ donation in the Hindu faith is not new.
“Since time immemorial, the verses of the Vedas from our sages have reinforced the concept of donating our bodies,” she says. “If a sage was passing by, he would have thought, ‘I have two legs … this person doesn’t have any legs … let me give him one of mine.’ It was that simple.”
Dãna, in Sanskrit, means generosity and giving. In fact, it is on the list of the ten Niyamas, or virtuous acts, therefore the faith considers giving someone a second chance at life to be an honorable act.
“If Hinduism is a way of life, we can give a portion of ourselves to others. When we give charity by way of our bodies, it is an act that serves not the individual, but humanity at large,” says Dr. Mysorekar.
To learn more or to sign up to be an organ donor, please visit LiveOnNY.org.