253rd HAHNEMANN BIRTH-DAY MEMORIAL AT VIDIVELLI HOSPITAL, THARUVAI ON
10 APRIL 2008
There are busts, full-size statues, some only vaguely resembling him, medals and medallions, stamps, bags., etc., of our father Samuel HAHNEMANN all over the world to perpetually commemorate his memory. Again, all over the world his Birthday Memorial meetings, Seminars etc., are held. This has been happening since nearly two centuries! No other person, including the great Scientists and leaders in several fields who have done immense good to the humanity has this privilege. An EINSTEIN is remembered by the Physicists, VIVEKANANDA is remembered by some, GANHIJI by the most, but cutting across countries, religion, language, politics, etc., in so far as Homœopathy the Science of Therapeutics is concerned all those who professs this great boon to mankind make their obeisance to HAHNEMANN, be he even a “half-Homœopath”. In so far as Medicine is concerned, there have been several who contributed much – HARVEY, VIRCHOOW, PASTEUR, JENNER, KOCH. SEMMELWEISS, LISTER, ROENTGEN, CURIE, etc. etc. - who all rightly deserve our gratitude and remembrance for their selfless work. But we do not hear of celebration of their birth-day or memorial year after year in several countries – the basic text writers like CHARAKA and SUSHRUTA and VAGBHATA in respect of Ayurveda, AVICENNA of Arab (Unani), or of AGASTYA or TIRUMOOLAR of the Siddha School. Over all these noble names, only HAHNEMANN’s life is recalled year after year for the one and only reason – he gave us a complete Medicine – not just theory – Principle or Philosophy, Materia Medica, and Therapeutics – the whole thing – we owe it all to only one man – the others who came after him complemented, added (but did not take anything out of it). What all he gave us are permanent and valid for very long period. The Materia Medica Pura can be used successfully applied even today, nearly 200 years after it was first published. Show any text like that from any other Medicine. CULLEN’s Therapeutics which HAHNEMANN translated in 1790 and which caused him to go on a journey of discovery, is not relevant today. However, the advances in the field of Sciences, be they Chemistry or Botany or even Physics are all useful to the Homœopath.
I have in my several conversations with colleagues, especially the younger, imploring them to do take the trouble of reading the life of HAHNEMANN by Richard HAEHL and appreciate the struggles he and his family had to undergo. Any other person would have wilted and withdrawn in the face of such attacks, but HAHNEMANN became stronger with each struggle.
During the last decade of his life HAHNEMANN was crowned with glory and died at the peak of fame, 88 year of age (2 July 1843). I must express here my deep anguish that the present generation whom I have been pressing to read the life of HAHNEMANN, have not done so, not one of them. Sad to say that this is not an important subject even in the colleges; one student said that not even one hour was taken for this. One student said that they giggled and spoke among themselves about HAHNEMANN’s second marriage at 80 year age! Such has been the teaching and what sort of product can one expect out of such an ignorant faculty in the colleges?
Strange are the ways of Nature which are inscrutable. Otherwise why should MELANIE HAHNEMANN who took great care of her husband and who helped him earn fame and money and whose love HAHNEMANN himself much approved and assured, give him a burial (on July 11, 1843) which is only for the most commoner; even for the commoner there will be mourners; but there were hardly a few when HAHNEMANN was interred! “The man whose name had become famous to the whole civilised mankind, to whom thousands from every civilised country had hastened to seek help, who had been counted among the celebrities of Paris until a few weeks before, into whose magnificent house the most elite had pressed their way, and whose decease was the topic of all classes – this man was borne to his last resting-place like a beggar on a rainy day. There was no farewell speech, there was no mark of veneration even from his supporters and those of his intimate friends who had so often celebrated him in public function, there was nothing to pay tribute to the importance of an extraordinary man, no priest, no prayer, no chants, no funeral music.” (Richard HAEHL) The man whose Science had spread the world-over during his own life time received such a shabby funeral. Why was this so? It would make everyone of us sad; but there is a lesson in this that in death all are equal.
Over the years there was no maintenance of the grave, it became dilapidated, water had entered into the coffin, and there was no regular payment for the maintenance of the grave and the Cemetery administration were considering the exhumation and removal! It was difficult even to identify the grave!! However, the World of Homœopathy whose conscience was nagging made amends to the great injustice done to the memory of HAHNEMANN. Thomas L. BRADFORD persisted (Richard HAEHL helped much in this search) and at last succeeded in identifying the grave, in 1896. Work for relocating the grave and give a befitting burial, even though quite late, began and at last on 24 May 1898 HAHNEMANN’s body was exhumed and taken in procession (there were at least 35 persons representing different countries) and reburied in the famous Pere LachaiseCemetery, Paris and a befitting memorial raised which is visited by several people even now.
This is the romance, in brief, of Samuel HAHNEMANN, our father. Let us be worthy of him. Let us renew our pledge to practice genuine Homœopathy as taught by HAHNEMANN and his famous disciples. Let us not fall into the beguiling techniques in the name of Homœopathy peddled about; beware of impostors.
LONG LIVE HAHNEMANN!!!
(K.S.Srinivasan, Centre for Excellence of Homœopathy, Chennai, on the occasion of the 253rd Birth-day Memorial at Vidivelli Hospital, Tharuvai, on 10 April 2008, while also dedicating the Hahnemann Mementos – Water from the river Elbe on the banks of which HAHNEMANN mostly lived through the years struggle, the soil from the house at Torgau where he conceived and completed the Organon, and a piece of wood from Hahnemann house at Koethen where he lived the longest period before moving to Paris – to the Homœopathic community. May the spirit of HAHNEMANN abide in us.)
[Subsequent to the above date, I had the great opportunity to visit Paris in 2009. I straight away made to the Pere La-Chaise Cemetery and paid my respects to the Master. The Scottish Marble Tomb was as fresh and shiny as it was over 100 years ago and it was the best maintained in the place. There was always some one or another every day and there was always bouquets and offerings. It was an exhilarating, soul-filling experience for me, my throat choked.
Earlier I had seen Hahnemann’s birth place, Meissen, his school, then his house in Torgau where he lived for 6 years and wrote his Organon. This house at Torgau is also under renovation. Then I went to Koethen where he lived for nearly 15 years before he left for Paris. I saw his home, office desk, medicine chest, his death bed, etc. I then visited Paris and visited Montmartre Hill where there is no trace now of any grave, etc., the whole hill has changed. From Montmartre to Peré Lachaise cemetery and there was Master HAHNEMANN sleeping in peace with his beloved MELANIE at his foot. My pilgrimage was then happily fulfilled. = KSS]