Muslim Blood, Hindu Blood, Christian Blood- What is the Difference? (Post No.3850)

Written by London swaminathan

Date: 25 APRIL 2017

Time uploaded in London:- 10-58 am

Post No. 3850

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.



Part 2 of Needs of Hindu Patients in U.K.- Talk by London Swaminathan;

I posted the first part here yesterday.


Kalyanji, who worked as a volunteer chaplain in London hospitals, was called once by a Muslim woman, while he was seeing other Hindu patients. Knowing the rules in the hospitals, he heisted for a moment. The Muslim lady, whose child was bedridden, told him, “There is no difference in the blood of a Muslim or a Christian or a Hindu. All of us accept the blood of others when it is needed in the treatment. In the same way, there is no difference in the prayers. God will accept prayer from anyone. Can you please pray for my child as well?”. Kalyanji was surprised and moved. he prayed for the Muslim child as well. I told this anecdote in the group discussion in the training course.

Now I continue with my talk,

“All of you are aware of the case going on in the country where a hospital nurse was sacked for telling a cancer patient that she would pray for him. Hindu chaplains must be careful in dealing with patients of other religions. Unless they themselves call us for help we should not approach them. But a smile and a ‘hello’ would cheer them up.

Someone to Talk to….

Two staff came to a ward and changed the beds and bed linen for half hour joking and laughing loudly, and never said good morning or hello to the patients on the beds.


Patients need chaplains mainly to discuss some matter which they can’t discuss with others. In additions to prayer and other god related matters, slowly they open their heart and discuss personal matters. They even tell you the divisions and fights in the family, fight for the share of property, clashes between husband and wife etc. We tell them to pray for better health first and then to get solutions to all the problems. They can’t such matters with nurses and doctors. They see chaplains as relatives closer than family members. They have so much confidence in the priests.

Organ Donation

Sometimes the hospital staff or the patients consult us regarding organ donations. Whenever I go to deliver talk at the medical colleges in London, the students always ask me questions regarding Hindus’ views on organ donation. This is a grey area where we don’t have clear directive. As a human being I would like to help others by giving my organs to others if I am going to die in the next few days. But neither me nor my sons have signed any organ donation card until today, because of some taboos. Hindus believe the body should be cremated in full. We have umpteen examples of organ donations in our mythology (Kannappa Nayanar giving eye, Vishnu giving eye, Dhadichi giving his back bone to Indra, Dadhaynk giving his head etc.), but not from dead bodies. We know that the body parts are removed when the dead body goes to a funeral director from the mortuary. But voluntarily giving the organisation after death is not found in our scriptures. Even if the meeting passes a resolution today, our authority may be questioned by religious heads in India. So I want meetings like this to discuss it thoroughly and get the seal of approval from Hindu religious heads. Whenever I am asked, I tell them that it is their personal choice.

Hindu Diet

There is a big confusion regarding the diets of Hindu patients. Not all the Hindus are vegetarians; but beef is prohibited by the scriptures. But when a Hindu says that he is a vegetarian, they as whether he is a vegan. The vegan did not exist in our religion. All the sages used Madhuparka (Honey and Milk) according to our scriptures. If someone wants gluten free, lacrosse free diets, that is individual’s choice. I tell the patients and the hospital staff that Vegetarianism means No Fish, No egg, No meat, No poultry; but if the individual wants egg or chicken it is his choice. Fasting is also another grey are.


When they look at the Asians they (Black and White communities) think all are fasting during Ramadan period. They don’t know the difference between Hindus and Muslims. Then I explain to them not all the brown skinned people are fasting during Ramadan. Hindus do fast on different days in a different way.

(Whenever I visit Prisons to see Hindu prisoners, this fasting issue became a problem. Hindu women prisoners fast during Navaratri and Vasantha Navaratri. But the prison kitchen knew only Ramadan fasting. They are not ready to do anything unless one month notice is given. Moreover, I must explain ‘’no Salt no Garlick, no Onion’’ etc)

Unfortunately, if you are a vegetarian, your food choices are very limited. Hindus eat different dishes at home. Those South Indian or North Indian dishes are never available in the hospitals.

Patients Need Hymns


Sometimes the chaplains are asked to give the prayer in writing, particularly in roman script, because of many of the Hindus born and brought up in the country can’t read an Indian language script. Chaplains do this in addition to providing them Ganga Jal (Holy Ganges water), Vibhuti, Kunkum, Hymns etc.


Strange Request

One old bedridden lady suddenly wished to wear saree but he was shy to tell the medical staff. When the chaplain asked her whether she needed anything, she expressed her desire. The Asian nurse readily came forward to fulfil her wish.


Patients have so much confidence in the chaplains. They see chaplains are very reliable. They always have some suspicion about the doctors and nurses. Though the doctors and nurses very good, they wonder how come the person in the next bed came after I came and left within a few days and I am still her. Why? Are the doctors giving me correct treatment? Are the nurses looking after me well? We know that each person is different and the doctors look after their health. So, patients believe in us more than anyone else.


I am sure many of the points raised by me were dealt with by earlier speakers as well. I have summarised the experience of three chaplains in London. I spoke here in my capacity as a volunteer chaplain at the Northwick Park Hospital in London, and Sessional chaplain at two prisons in England and as the Chairman of the Chaplaincy Board at the Hindu Forum of Britain.

Thank You.