• BINOD KUMAR DEO Department of Psychiatry, BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Sunsari, Nepal.
  • NIRANJAN PRASAD UPADHYAYA Department of Psychology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • MADHAV PRASAD POKHREL Department of Linguistics, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • DHANA RATNA SHAKYA Department of Psychiatry, BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Sunsari, Nepal.
  • SURENDRA URANW Department of Internal Medicine, BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Sunsari, Nepal.
  • LILA NATH POUDEL Department of Sanskrit Language, Nepal Sanskrit University, Dang, Nepal.


cancer, depression, Gita based psychotherapy, mental state, music therapy, stress


Morbidity with cancer is stressful and cancer patients frequently present with depression, anxiety and stress related disorders. Psychotherapy is reported to decrease emotional distress, improve immunity and to reduce the chemotherapy doses. The Gita, a Hindu epic depicts one of the earliest documented sessions of Cognitive behavior therapy. Objectives of this study were: a. to assess the stress and ‘psychiatric caseness’, b. to explore the effect of the Gita based psychotherapy on the mental state (GHQ) and c. to assess the effect of Bhajan/ Kirtan (religious music therapy) on the mental state (GHQ) among cancer patients. It was a cancer-hospital-based study using convenient and purposive sampling among cancer patients (study period- six months). We had three subject groups: Medicine as usual, Medicine plus Bhajan/Kirtan and Medicine plus Gita based therapy. With informed written consent, they were enrolled to apply the instruments: Perceived Stress Scale (Sheldon Cohen) to assess stress and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) (David Goldberg) to assess ‘psychiatric caseness’. Majority of cancer patients (90%) had severe level of stress. Pre-intervention GHQ-12 Scores indicated that cancer patients with moderately depressed mood were 50% in medicine, 47% in Bhajan and 56% in Gita group. There was improvement in mental state as relief from depressed mood in 1 week of intervention in: 1% in Medicine, 14% in Bhajan and 41% in Gita group. The Gita based psychological intervention significantly improved depressed mood in Cancer patients.


Allen, A. (2017): Working with anxiety and depression from a Buddhism framework. – European Psychiatry 41(S1): S716-S717.

Antonov, V. (2008): Bhagavad Gita with commentaries. – CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 118p.

Bajracharya, N., Karki. P., Sapkota, S., Bastakoti, S., Yagol, N., Khan, G.M, Rao, B.S. (2006): Prevalence pattern of cancer and handling of cytotoxic drugs. – Kathmandu University Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology 2(1): 7p.

Bhatia, S.C., Madabushi, J., Kolli, V., Madaan, V. (2013): The Bhagavad Gita and contemporary psychotherapies. – Indian J Psychiatry 55 (Suppl 2): 315-21.

Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., Mermelstein, R. (1983): A global measure of perceived stress. – Journal of Health and Social Behavior 24: 385-396.

Dabas, P., Singh, A., Quian, M. (2018): Bhagavad Gita teachings and positive psychology: Efficacy for Semi-urban Indian students of NCR. – Cogent Psychology 5(1): 13p.

Derogatis, L.R., Morrow, G.R., Fetting, J., Penman, D., Piasetsky, S., Schmale, A.M. (1983): The prevalence of psychiatric disorders among cancer patients. – JAMA 249(6): 751-757.

Given, B., Given, C., Azzouz, F., Stommel, M. (2001): Physical functioning of elderly cancer patients prior to diagnosis and following initial treatment. – Nurs Res 50(4): 222-232.

Goldberg, D., Williams, P. (1988): A user’s guide to the General Health Questionnaire. – Windsor, UK: NFER-Nelson 129p.

Gordon, W.A., Greidenbergs, I., Diller, L., Hibbard, M., Wolf, C., Levine, l., Lucido, D. (1980): Efficacy of psychosocial intervention with cancer patients. – Journal of Counseling and Clinical psychology 48(6): 743-59.

Govindaswamy, M.V. (1959): Surrender-not to self-surrender. – Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia 2: 1-10.

Gyenwali, D., Pariyar, J., Onta, S.R. (2013): Factors associated with late diagnosis of cervical cancer in Nepal. – Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention 14(7): 4373-4377.

Hegde, B.M. (2018): Psychology lessons from Bhagavad Gita. – The New Indian Express Official Portal. Available on:

Hjerl, K., Andersen, E.W., Keiding, N. (2003): Depression as a prognostic factor for breast cancer mortality. – Psychosomatics 44(1): 24-30.

Kalra, A., Erin Michos, E.D., Chinnaiyan, K.M. (2020): COVID-19 and the healthcare workers Lessons from the Bhagavad Gita (the ‘Lord’s Song’), from India during these difficult times. – European Heart Journal 2p.

Kandel, B.P., Singh, Y., Singh, K.P., Khakurel, M. (2013): Gastric cancer perforation: experience from a tertiary care hospital. – Journal of Nepal Medical Association 52(191): 489-493.

Keller, A., Litzelman, K., Wisk, L.E., Maddox, T., Cheng,. ER., Creswell, P.D., Witt, W.P. (2012): Does the perception that stress affects health matter? The association with health and mortality. – Health Psychology 31(5): 677-684.

Kordovan, S., Preissler, P., Kamphausen, A., Bokemeyer, C., Oechsle, K. (2016): Prospective study on Music Therapy in terminally Ill Cancer patients during Specialized Inpatient Palliative Care. – Journal of Palliative Medicine 19(4): 394-399.

Maratos, A., Crawford, M.J., Procter, S. (2011): Music therapy for depression: it seems to work, but how? – The British Journal of Psychiatry199 (2): 92-93.

Mascaro, J. (1962): The Bhagavad Gita. – Penguin Books 122p.

Minagawa, H., Uchitomi, Y., Yamawaki, S., Ishitani, K. (1996): Psychiatric morbidity in terminally III cancer patients: A prospective study. – Cancer: Interdisciplinary International Journal of the American Cancer Society 78(5): 1131‐1137.

Nasr, S.H. (2007): Scientia Sacra. – In: The Underlying Religion: An Introduction to the Perennial Philosophy. Bloomington: World Wisdom 114-140p.

Panduran, A.K., Shenoy, S., Keshavan, M.S. (2014): Psychotherapy in the Bhagavad Gita the Hindu Scriptural text. – American Journal of Psychiatry 171(8): 826-828.

Peppas, L.B., Blanchette, J.O. (2003): Nano particle and targeted systems for cancer therapy. – Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews 56(11): 1649-1659.

Preissler, P., Kordovan, S., Ullrich, A., Bokemeyer, C., Oechsle, K. (2016): Favored subjects and psychosocial needs in music therapy in terminally ill cancer patients: a content Analysis. – BMC Palliative Care 15(1):1-9.

Renz, M., Mao, M. S., Cerny, T. (2005): Spirituality, psychotherapy and music in palliative cancer care: research projects in psycho-oncology at an oncology center in Switzerland. – Support Care in Cancer 13(12): 961-966.

Shakya, D.R. (2014): Psychological aspect of Buddhist education. – Journal of Psychiatrists' Association of Nepal 3: 29-33.

Singer, S., Das-Munshi, J., Brähler, E. (2010): Prevalence of mental health conditions in cancer Patients in acute care-a meta-analysis. – Annals of Oncology 21(5): 925-930.

Smith, H.R. (2015): Depression in cancer patients: Pathogenesis, implications and treatment. – Oncology letters 9(4): 1509-1514.

Thapa, B., Singh, Y., Sayami, P. (2013): Breast cancer in young women from a low risk population in Nepal. – Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention 14(9): 5095-5099.

Widigdo, M.S.A. (2020): The Traces of the Bhagavad Gita in the Perennial Philosophy-A Critical Study of the Gita’s Reception among the Perennialists. – Religions 11(5): 10p.

Williams, S., Dale, J. (2006): The effectiveness of treatment for depression/depressive symptoms in adults with cancer: A systematic review. – British Journal of Cancer 94(3): 372-390.

Wortman, C.B., Dunkel-Schetter, C. (1979): Interpersonal relationships and Cancer: A theoretical analysis. – Journal of Social Science Issues 35(1): 120-155.




How to Cite

DEO, B. K., UPADHYAYA, N. P., POKHREL, M. P., SHAKYA, D. R., URANW, S., & POUDEL, L. N. (2021). AN EXPERIMENTAL IMPACT ANALYSIS OF BHAGAVAD GITA IN MENTAL STATE OF CANCER PATIENTS. Quantum Journal of Medical and Health Sciences, 1(1), 1–8. Retrieved from