O good soul, does not a thing, applied therapeutically, cure a disease which was caused by that very same thing? (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.33)
Commentary by Srila Prabhupada[dropcap1]A[/dropcap1]n expert physician treats his patient with a therapeutic diet. For example, milk preparations sometimes cause disorder of the bowels, but the very same milk converted into yogurt and mixed with some other remedial ingredients cures such disorders. Similarly, the threefold miseries of material existence cannot be mitigated simply by material activities. Such activities have to be spiritualized, just as by fire iron is made red-hot, and thereby the action of fire begins. Similarly, the material conception of a thing is at once changed as soon as it is put into the service of God. That is the secret of spiritual success. We should not try to lord it over the material nature, nor should we reject material things. The best use of a bad bargain is to use everything in relation with the supreme spiritual being. Everything is an emanation from the Supreme Spirit, and by His inconceivable power He can convert spirit into matter and matter into spirit. Therefore a material thing (so-called) is at once turned into a spiritual force by the great will of the Lord. The necessary condition for such a change is to employ so-called matter in the service of the spirit. That is the way to treat our material diseases and elevate ourselves to the spiritual plane where there is no misery, no lamentation and no fear. When everything is thus employed in the service of the Lord, we can experience that there is nothing except the Supreme Brahman. The Vedic mantra that “everything is Brahman” is thus realized by us.
The great Rishi Narada is the author of Narada Pancaratra. This Narada Pancaratra trains the karmis, or the fruitive workers, to achieve liberation from the bondage of fruitive work. The conditioned souls are mostly attracted by fruitive work because they want to enjoy life by the sweat of their own brows. The whole universe is full of fruitive workers in all species of life. The fruitive works include all kinds of economic development plans. But the law of nature provides that every action has its resultant reaction, and the performer of the work is bound up by such reactions, good or bad. The reaction of good work is comparative material prosperity, whereas the reaction of bad work is comparative material distress. But material conditions, either in so-called happiness or in so-called distress, are all meant ultimately for distress only. Foolish materialists have no information of how to obtain eternal happiness in the unconditional state. Sri Narada informs the foolish fruitive workers how to realize the reality of happiness. He gives direction to the diseased people of the world how one’s present engagement can lead one to the path of spiritual emancipation. The physician directs the patient to take treated milk in the form of yogurt for his sufferings from indigestion due to his taking another milk preparation. So the cause of the disease and the remedy of the disease may be the same, but it must be treated by an expert physician like the spiritual teacher Narada. The Bhagavad-gita also gives the same solution of serving God by the fruits of one’s labor. That will lead one to the path of naiskarmya, or freedom.