Chakra Discussions

Appeals for Financial Help

by Payonidhi das

Posted April 24, 2007

Jaya Gaurasundara prabhu is a disciple of Narayana Maharaja. He is a nice devotee, but how would Narayana Maharaja's followers feel if someone collected for a devotee with the same accident in their sanga?

Editor's Note: Chakra posted the initial appeal from Chandrika dasi on behalf of Jaya Gaursundar prabhu and his friends, family and godsisters and godbrothers because we felt that the article would be of general concern to Vaishnavas of all the various branches and communities.

As per Chakra's Mission Statement, "While Chakra has sometimes appeared to be an official website of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness or ISKCON's Governing Body Commission, our editorial policy remains independent. We, the editors, consider ourselves ISKCON-friendly, but Chakra, as an open forum for variegated ideas and opinions, is not formally or directly affiliated with either ISKCON or the GBC." We could not discriminate against Jaya Gaursundar das's friends on the basis of who was his diksa-guru.

The original article requests money to send Gaurasundar prabhu to China to undergo an experimental procedure with stem cells.

Stem cells are a promising area of current research, but are not, for the foreseeable future, in any sense a treatment or cure. While several popular websites, including fraudulent clinics and practitioners in China and elsewhere, do seem to raise false hopes, reputable scientific websites unanimously agree that any human trials of stem-cell treatments are still years away. Innocent people like the well-wishers of Gaurasundar prabhu can sometimes be led astray, however, by promoters of quack cures who do not differentiate between current animal research and possible future human cures.

We hate to rob people of hope, but they ought to know that while such procedures have been done on rats with partial success, every paralysis cure was performed within seven days of a scientist's deliberately severing the rat's spinal cord, not two or more years after the fact. The procedure of injecting stem cells is itself risky, with potential of tumours developing at the injection sites. There is as yet no accepted protocol for human trials, which is why, for ethical reasons, stem-cell injections are not currently permitted in Canada, U.S.A., Europe, Australia or Japan.

Nevertheless, devotees who wish to help with the ongoing care and comfort of Jaya Gaursundar prabhu, who is paralyzed and requires regular nursing care, are still encouraged to do so.