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Dr K K Aggarwal

Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee

Every one cannot be a spiritual seeker. In fact majority is not interested in seeking spiritual knowledge and they keep themselves busy in the worldly desires. To become a good seeker one need to acquire many qualities. In Bhagavad Gita Arjuna in a state of disturbed mind sought guidance from Lord Krishna. In Katha Upanishad Nachiketa as a healthy seeker learned the knowledge of life after death from Yama. Katha Upanishad described in detail the qualities of a seeker in Nachiketa. The story goes as under Vajashrava sage performed a sacrifice in which he was required to give away all his worldly possessions. His son Nachiketa saw that the cows given in the donations were all old. Such charity was not going to give his father any merits. Feeling disturbed by the inappropriateness of his father s observance of the sacrifice Nachiketa asked to whom was he given. The sage ignored him twice but on third asking the irritated sage said in anger Unto Yama I give thee. Whereupon Nachiketa went to the abode of Yama and finding him absent waited there for three days and nights. Yama on his return offered to grant him three wishes. Nachiketa wished the following 1. To be allowed to return to his father alive and that his father not be angry with him 2. To be instructed about fire sacrifice 3. To be given knowledge about life after death Yama granted the first wish immediately. In answer to Nachiketa s second question Yama named performance of a special fire sacrifice after Nachiketa. Before answering the third question Yama tested Nachiketa offering him all sorts of worldly pleasures instead but Nachiketa insists. And then Yama taught him about life after death. The properties of true seeker therefore are 1. Righteousness and truthfulness Nachiketa did not agree with his father as his fathers act was not based on Dharma. 2. Persistence He waited for three days to meet Yama. 3. Compassion and forgiveness The first boon he asked was to have his father forgiven. 4. Intellectual understanding The fire of knowledge means intellectual understanding. 5. Let go off the desires He let go all his desires and did not get attracted to the worldly offers given by the Yama. Only after that he qualified to receive the knowledge of soul and become a true seeker. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

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When you cough or sneeze you tend to expel out respiratory waste which can be droplets larger than 5 micron or airborne droplet less than 5 micron both have different clinical implications. Droplets remain suspended in the air for a limited period only and exposure of less than 3 feet is usually required for human to human transmission of droplet borne respiratory organisms. In flu this can be up to 6 feet. The examples of droplet infections are meningitis influenza rubella German measles etc. No precaution needs to be taken by a person who is 6 10 feet away from the patient but if a person is sitting or working even 3 6 feet distance the non coughing person should wear a simple mask. Airborne droplet nuclei that carry respiratory secretion smaller than 5 micron can remain suspended in the air for extended period and can cause infections to people who are standing even more than 10 feet away. The example of airborne droplet nuclei infections are TB measles chickenpox and SARS. Patients with these diseases should be placed in an isolation room and all healthcare personnel who are looking after these patients must use a safe N95 mask. In normal house with windows opened there is a constant exchange of air which prevents spread of infections but in AC setups with no air exchange the infections can spread from one person to another. When sitting in an air conditioned atmosphere the setting of the AC should be such that the same air is not circulated and fresh air is allowed to exchange. Split ACs therefore are more dangerous than the window ACs. In an office with split AC if one employee is suffering from any of the droplet nuclei disease can transmit infection to others. Therefore patients with confirmed TV measles chickenpox and SARS should not be allowed to work in split AC atmosphere.
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Dharma Artha Kama and Moksha are the four fundamental principles of our very existence which means earning righteously with a desire to fulfill the inner happiness. Righteous earning is called Artha and mistakenly it has been linked to materialistic money. In mythology Artha is synonymous with Lakshmi Saraswati and Kali where Lakshmi represents righteously earned materialistic wealth Saraswati represents wealth of knowledge and Kali represents wealth of wisdom to fight the bad in you and in the society. In any country it is the wealth of knowledge which is more important. India was ruled initially by warriors Kali later by money Lakshmi and in future will be ruled by knowledge Saraswati . It is the human resources which today decide the growth of a company and the amount of money invested. If you have good human resources your company is going to succeed. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

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One should donate blood at least once in a year. Donating blood regularly has been shown in many reports to reduce chances of future heart attacks. Blood donation is also one of the best charities that one can do as it can save multiple lives through various components taken out of a single blood transfusion. All those who are going for elective surgery should donate their blood well in advance and the same should be used at the time of surgery. In the current medical tourism scenario many patients who are Jehovah s Witnesses refuse blood transfusion on religious grounds. They do not accept transfusion of whole blood or any of the four major components blood cells platelets plasma and white cells . They are prepared to die rather than receive the blood. They also do not accept transfusion of stored blood including their own due to the belief that blood should not be taken out of the body and stored for any length of time. In such cases every effort should be made to reduce blood loss conserve blood and give drugs that can enhance hemoglobin formation. A new concept called Bloodless Medicine has now become a reality where treatment surgery and even emergency surgery can be done without using any blood.

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Dharma is the path of righteousness and living one s life according to the codes of conduct as described by the Vedas and Upanishads. Its western equivalents might include morality ethics virtue righteousness and purity. The term dharma can best be explained as the law of being without which things cannot exist. The word dharma is derived from dhri which means to hold . It literally means that which holds the people of this world and the whole creation. The same is described in the Vedic Text in Atharva Veda as Prithivim dharmana dhritam i.e. this world is upheld by dharma . In Hinduism Dharma is the very foundation of life. Tulsidas the author of Ramcharitmanas defined the root of dharma as compassion. Buddha has also described this principle in his book Dhammapada. According to Hindu philosophy it s GOD who holds us through Truth and or Love . Dharma prevails or truth prevails is the essence of Hinduism. In order to achieve good karma Vedas teach that one should live according to dharma the right action . This involves doing what is right for the individual the family the class or caste and also for the universe. According to the Bhagavat Purana righteous living or life on a dharmic path has four pillars truthfulness satya austerity tap purity shauch and compassion daya . It further adds that the adharmic or unrighteous life has three main vices pride ahankar bad company sangh and intoxication madya . Manusmriti prescribes ten essential rules for the observance of dharma Patience dhriti forgiveness kshama piety or self control dama honesty asteya sanctity shauch control of senses indriya nigrah reason dhi knowledge or learning vidya truthfulness satya and absence of anger krodha . Manu further writes Non violence truth non coveting purity of body and mind control of senses are the essence of dharma . In Bhagwad Gita Lord Krishna says that in the society dharma is likely to fall from time to time and to bring dharma back a GOD representative is born from time to time. The shloka parithraanaaya saadhoonaam vinaasaaya cha dhushkr.thaam dharma samsthaapanaarthaaya sambhavaami yuge yuge Chapter IV ndash 8 says that For the protection of the virtuous for the destruction of evil doers and for establishing the rule of righteousness Dharma I am born from age to age in every age . Another shloka yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham means that O descendant of Bharata Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice and a predominant rise of irreligion at that time I descend Myself . Deepak Chopra in his book Seven Spiritual Laws of Success talks about the Law of Dharma or Purpose in Life . According to him everybody should discover his or her divinity find the unique talent and serve humanity with it. With this one can generate all the wealth that one wants. According to him when your creative expressions match the needs of your fellow humans then wealth will spontaneously flow from the un manifest into the manifest from the realm of spirit to the world of form. In spiritual terms this is an attempt to find out whether one s life is progressing as per the Laws of Dharma Dharma in Sanskrit means purpose in life which according to the scriptures is said to be the sole purpose for a human being to manifest in this physical form. For one to achieve DHARMA he suggests the following affirmative exercises Today I will lovingly nurture the god or goddess in embryo form that lies deep within my soul. I will pay attention to the spirit within me that animates both my body and my mind. I will awaken myself to this deep stillness within my heart. I will carry this consciousness of timeless eternal being in the midst of time bound experiences. I will make a list of my unique talents. Then I will list all of the things I love to do while expressing my unique talents. When I express my unique talents and use them in the service of humanity I lose track of time and create abundance in my life as well as in the lives of others. I will ask myself daily How can I serve and How can I help The answers to these questions will allow me to help and serve my fellow human beings with love. Karma dharma and samsara are three fundamental aspects of Hinduism. Buddhism Jainism and Hinduism are all built on these aspects. Dharma is one s appropriate role or attributes. Karma measures how well one performs one s dharma explains why one is born where he or she is and why there is suffering and seeming injustices. Samsara is the continuous cycle of birth death and rebirth and the context for all experience. Dharma sutras from Dharma Sh stras are the basic texts which talks about the morality of individuals and the society. Most Indian laws are made from these Sh stras. In Jainism also the wheel of Dharma Chakra with 24 spokes represents the religion preached by the 24 Tirthankaras consisting of nonviolence Ahimsa and other virtues. The very first word of the Gita is Dharma . The Gita concludes with the word Mama . The whole of Bhagavad Gita is contained in the two words Mama and Dharma . When you join these two words it becomes mamadharma meaning your true Dharma . This is what the Gita teaches. What is your Dharma How to achieve your dharma Do unto others what you do unto yourself and satisfy your conscience. That is your Dharma. The word Living Dharma signifies right action in every moment of the life. Do not follow the dictates of body and do not indiscriminately follow the mind for the mind is like a mad monkey. Hence follow the conscience. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

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Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant in the world. It is consumed in the form of coffee and tea. At present there is no scientific data for promoting or discouraging coffee and or tea consumption in the daily diet. Short term benefits include mental alertness and improved athletic performance. Short term adverse effects including headache anxiety tremors and insomnia. Long term adverse effects include generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorders. Long term benefits are dose dependent. Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson s disease Alzheimer s disease alcoholic cirrhosis and gout. Coffee both caffeinated and decaffeinated is also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Heavy coffee intake may trigger coronary and arrhythmic events in susceptible individuals although coffee intake is not considered a long term risk factor for myocardial disease. Most studies show a modest inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all cause mortality. Caffeine withdrawal is a well documented clinical syndrome with headache being the most common symptom. Source Uptodate

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Fasting and starvation are two different terms commonly confused with each other. Starvation means not eating or drinking altogether while fasting means control and restrain of five sensory and five motor senses. During fasting one may continue eating or drinking but under discipline. Vedic fasting or spiritual fasting is mentioned in Karam Kanda in Yajurveda. Every fast in our mythology has a scientific basis and rituals are added so that the common man can follow it. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

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Exercise for 80 minutes a day and brisk exercise 80 minutes a week. The speed of walking should be at least 80 steps per minute. Do resistance or weight bearing exercises twice in a week. Avoid doing strenuous exercises for the first time in life after the age of 40. According to Ayurveda one should exercise to his or her body type. Diabetics who exercise should not exercise if blood sugar is lower than 90. In conditions of smog avoid walking early in the morning till sunlight appears.

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