BY DR. G. DIRGHANGI
Mr. President, Ladies, Physicians & Student friends:
Seldom in my life have I indulged in controversies unless compelled by repeated requests of my near friends and appeal from dear students awakening in my mind a deep sense of duty. To-day it appears to be my imperative duty at their demand to express freely my views regarding the miasms of Hahnemann and the Bacteria etc. of modern times as to their parts in connection with disease; because this controversial question has of late been introduced into the discussional field of Homoeopathy by some learned friends of the Orthodox School who have honoured us by coming over to our fold. I love them for their search and respect them for their research in their new field.
But all new things are somewhat bewildering in the beginning if they are not approached with meek and earnest spirit of learning avoiding reckless dogmatic or hasty conclusions. So it is no wonder that one of them had been so much pleased on reading a pamphlet in Hahnemanns Lesser Writings that he unceremoniously dubbed Hahnemann as the Father of Bacteriology, to my mind rather unguardedly without spending necessary thought on its reaction on our science. He has advanced able arguments: literary, logical, psychological etc. from various angles to prove that Hahnemann had a foreknowledge or rather prevision of Bacteria long before Hochs discovery of Comma Bacilli of cholera as the causational factor of spreading agent of that fell disease.
He is pushing his theory with great speed in the leading Homoeopathic Journals of Calcutta in both English and Bengali. His friends also speak from platforms or in private talks with students supporting the same theme. I would have been glad to agree with those friends in some way if the writings of 1831 had been repeated or at least referred to by Hahnemann in his subsequent writings of years near about from 1832 to 1843, but not blindly as their followers.
Among the newcomers there are certainly many who try to follow Hahnemann and his faithful followers but only a few others with experience of only few years dare criticize adversely Hahnemannian works in their own way and failing to derive beneficent effect from newly invented methods of their own declare their liberty to cure the patients anyhow i.e. without any fixed principle of any pathy. They take pride in begging and borrowing from other pathies medicines and methods, caring little for well – established principles of practice of Hahnemann and the reputed elders in the family of Homoeopaths.
Ignorant people take their liberty reverently and regard them as masters of many pathies, little understanding that the Jack of all trades is master of none. Bengal is noted for credulity which produced duplicates of Hahnemann, Kent and others. It is difficult to speak with reason in a place where blind following takes the place of rational procedure. A High Court Judge said – In Bengal everyman is a born Homoeopath.
I am so sorry to raise a voice of dissent here against the honour given to Hahnemann. For students and some of my friends of both old and new schools, who have examined my observations are keenly willing to carry on purely academic discussion regarding their impropriety. And I know for certain, that difference in opinion on any subject of general interest is not likely to alienate the minds of friends and free thinkers.
The writers in the journals mainly based his arguments on quotations from Hahnemanns writings interpreting them in his own way. I must be pardoned if I take my stand on what our master had said in his latest as well as Lesser Writings as I understand them, to examine critically what these friends have tried to prove; leaving the truth to be determined peacefully by our prejudiced colleagues and learned lovers of Homoeopathy whose number is not a few now – a – days.
We should not forget, however, that we are here trying to find out the correct views of Hahnemann from his own writings in the subsequent years. My intention is that students of Homoeopathy should know what Hahnemann had actually said and meant in his books. They might improve or modify that knowledge later in life. Is it at all desirable to make the defects of Hahnemanns writings loom large before the eyes of students before they are thoroughly acquainted with the truths of Homoeopathy as is being done by our friends?
Let us begin by giving you the plain facts of our case in a nut – shell which you are to consider. Hahnemann published a pamphlet in 1831 regarding what he then thought to be the mode of propagation of the Asiatic Cholera (see Lesser Writings, page 758). In this he used such expressions as “excessively minute invisible living creature so inimical to human life of which the contagious matter of the cholera most probably consist.”
The Physicians and nurses take away with them in their clothes, in their hair, probably also in their breath, the invisible (probably animated) contagious matter surrounding the cholera patient”. Here I say to you “most probably,” those expressions being misunderstood turned the Allopathically prejudiced head of our friends to think that Hahnemann then believed, accepted or least prevised even without microscope comma bacilli discovered by Koch and said to be the cause of cholera or spread of cholera. And that our friend was tempted to propagate this theory to achieve the honour of a discovery so palatable to the taste of Allopaths.
Now I put this question to you. Can my surmise be a reliable ground for holding that only the hope for his own honour impelled our friend to honour Hahnemann as the father of Bacteriology? Surely you will say – No. Because, the friend may deny it and may put up some more positive assertions of Hahnemann to justify his action. You may also hold that merely my surmise or conjecture resting on probability cannot be conclusive proof of the honest friends selfish desire for honour.
Here, for the self same reason, you cannot Sir, take Hahnemanns conjecture resting on probabilities in 1831 to be his real conviction or his sure prevision of modern comma bacilli to be the cause of spreading agent of cholera, or I shall show that Hahnemann never repeated or confirmed by his subsequent writings upto 1843, the time of his departure from this earth, what he had doubtfully written in 1831.
The thing is when the immaterial miasm of Hahnemann attacks and over – powers the vital force i.e. during the incubation period there are no bacilli, bacteria or parasites of Cholera, Pneumonia, Typhoid or Chronic affections of venereal diseases. Cause must precede the attack. The Bacilli etc., come later on as a result or ultimate issue of the disease. It is like the tension of feeling of two neighbouring governments going on surreptitiously and secretly before the ultimatum is given or armies are called in for open conflict.
In my opinion, Hahnemann soared so high from the depth of materialism of his time that he boldly promulgated that it is the vital force, the immaterial invisible force which keeps man alive, happy and prosperous when in health to realise the higher purposes of his existence. But when deranged by the dynamic influence of morbific agents inimical to life, it produces disagreeable sensations and abnormal conditions etc. in the organism and inclines it to irregular process in order to draw the attention of the physician for help, which we call disease. These disagreeable sensations etc. occur during over – powering attack of immaterial miasm on immaterial vital force in the invisible immaterial plane.