Hindu Dharma and organ donation

hindu long

Information from NHSBT website

There are many references that support the concept of organ donation in Hindu scriptures. Daan is the original word in Sanskrit for donation meaning selfless giving. In the list of the ten Niyamas (virtuous acts) Daan comes third.

  • “Of all the things that it is possible to donate, to donate your own body is infinitely more worthwhile. ”
    The Manusmruti
  • “In the joys of others lies our own.”
    His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha

Life after death is a strong belief of Hindus and is an ongoing process of rebirth. The law of Karma decides which way the soul will go in the next life. The Bhagavad Gita describes the mortal body and the immortal soul in a simple way like the relationship of clothes to a body:

  • vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya
    navani grhnati naro ‘parani
    tatha sarirani vihaya jirnany
    anyani samyati navandi dehi.”“As a person puts on new garments
    giving up the old ones
    the soul similarly accepts new material bodies
    giving up the old and useless ones.”
    Bhagavad Gita chapter 2:22

Scientific and medical treatises (Charaka and Sushruta Samhita) form an important part of the Vedas. Sage Charaka deals with internal medicine while Sage Sushruta includes features of organ and limb transplants.

  • “Organ donation is in keeping with Hindu beliefs as it can help to save the life of others.”
    The Late Mr Om Parkash Sharma MBE, President, National Council of Hindu Temples UK
  • “I always carry my donor card with me. It says that my whole body can be used for organ donation and medical purposes after my death. I would like to encourage as many people as possible to do the same.”
    The Late Dr Bal Mukund Bhala, Co-ordinator Hindu International Medical Mission, Former President Hindu Council UK
  • “I believe in organ donation. If my body can help someone else live a better quality of life after my soul has vacated it then it is good Seva.”
    Mr Arjan Vekaria JP, President Hindu Forum of Britain

The full leaflet is available for download in English, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi