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Dr K K Aggarwal

Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee

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. • Walk with a speed of 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. • Patients with diabetes 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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  1. Energy is the raw material of the universe.
  2. Information is the organization of energy into reproducible patterns.
  3. Consciousness is living information and energy (living energized information).
  4. Consciousness is, therefore, intelligence.
  5. Intelligence is information and energy that has self–referral or the ability to learn through experiences and the ability to reinterpret and influence one’s own information and energy states.
  6. Consciousness is live, advanced, software–driven energized information.

Nearest example: Advanced computer software which can type, correct, interpret, edit and store spoken or read information

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

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Stroke is preventable. About 90% of strokes are associated with 10 risks factors that are modifiable.

  1. Control high blood pressure
  2. Do moderate exercise 5 times a week
  3. Eat a healthy balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in sodium
  4. Reduce your cholesterol
  5. Maintain a healthy BMI or waist-to-hip ratio
  6. Stop smoking and avoid second hand exposure
  7. Reduce alcohol intake
  8. Identify and treat atrial fibrillation
  9. Reduce your risk from diabetes talk to your doctor
  10. Get educated about stroke
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Flame is the “flame” of true knowledge. At the end of any aarti, we place our hands over the flame and then touch our eyes and the top of the head. It means “May the light that illuminated the Lord light up my vision; May my vision be divine and my thoughts noble and beautiful.”The metaphysical implication of aarti extends further. The sun, moon, stars, lightning and fire are the natural sources of light. The Lord is the source of these wondrous phenomena of the universe. It is due to Him alone that everything exists.

As we light up the Lord with the flame of the aarti, we turn our attention to the very source of all light which symbolizes knowledge and life. Also, the Sun is the presiding deity of the intellect, the moon, that of the mind, and fire, that of speech. The Lord is the supreme consciousness that illuminates all of them. Without Him, the intellect cannot think, the mind cannot feel and the tongue cannot speak. The Lord is beyond the mind, intellect and speech.

How can these finite entities illuminate the Lord? Therefore, as we perform the aarti we chant:

“Na tatra suryo bhaati na chandra taarakam, Nemaa vidyuto bhaanti kutoyamagnibTameva bhaantam anubhaati sarvam, Tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhaati”

“He is there where the sun does not shine, nor the moon, stars and lightning. Then what to talk of this small flame (in my hand), everything (in the universe) shines only after the Lord, and by His light alone are we all illumined”

In our spiritual journey, even as we serve the guru and society, we should willingly sacrifice ourselves and all we have, to spread the “perfume” of love to all.

We often wait a long while to see the illuminated Lord. But, when the aarti is actually performed, our eyes close automatically as if to look within. This is to signify that each of us is a temple of the Lord.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

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  1. Prevent exposure to dust mites. These are tiny insects and one of the most common asthma triggers. They tend to live in beds, carpeting, upholstered furniture and soft toys. It is important to keep all these things dust free.
  2. Restrict the child’s contact with pets, especially if he/she is allergic.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight and encourage good eating habits. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in their diet.
  4. Avoid exposure to smoke. Expectant mothers should quit smoking altogether as this is one of the major risk factors for development of asthma in children.
  5. Breastfeed your infant. This will increase immunity and help ward off potential complications.
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Health is not mere absence of disease; it is a state of physical, mental, social, spiritual, environmental and financial well-being. Allopathy does not define all aspects of health.

During MBBS, medical students are taught more about the physical health. Social and mental health are covered only in few lectures. Community health is a separate subject but never given its due importance. Spiritual health is not defined at all and financial health is hardly covered.

Yet, in day-to-day practice it is the social, financial, spiritual and community health, which is the most important during patient-doctor communication. It is incorporated in the four basic purposes: dharma, artha, kama and moksha.

Dharma and artha together form the basis of karma which is righteous earning. You are what your deep rooted desires are. Most of the diseases today can be traced to a particular emotion, positive or negative. Anger and jealously are related with heart attack, fear with blood pressure, greed & possessiveness with heart failure. Unless the mind is healthy, one cannot be free of diseases.

The best description of health comes from Ayurveda. In Sanskrit health means swasthya, which means establishment in the self. One is established in the self when there is a union of mind, body and soul. Most symbols of health are established around a shaft with two snakes and two wings. The shaft represents the body, two snakes represent the duality of mind and the two wings represent the freedom of soul.

Sushrut Samhita in Chapter 15 shloka 10 defines the Ayurvedic person as under:

Samadosha, samagnischa,

Samadhatumalkriyah,

Prasannatmendriyamanah,

Swastha iti abhidhiyate.

From the Ayurvedic point of view, for a person to be healthy, he must have balanced doshas, balanced agni, balanced dhatus, normal functioning of malkriyas and mind, body, spirit and indriyas full of bliss and happiness.

Human body is made up of structures (Kapha) that perform two basic functions: firstly, metabolism (pitta) and movement (vata). Vata, pitta and kapha are called doshas in Ayurveda. Samana dosha means balance of structures, metabolism and movement functions in the body. Agni in Ayurveda is said to be in balance when a person has normal tejas and a good appetite.

Ayurveda describes seven dhatus: rasa, rakta, mamsa, medha, asthi, majja, shukra and they are required to be in balance. They are equivalent to various tissues in the human body.

Ayurveda necessitates proper functioning of natural urges like urination, stool, sweating and breathing and that is what balances in malakriya means.

Ayurveda says for a person to be healthy he has to be mentally and spiritually healthy which will only happen when his or her indriyas are cheerful, full of bliss and devoid of any negativities. For indriyas to be in balance one has to learn to control over the lust cum desires, greed and ego. This can be done by learning regular pranayama, learning the do’s and don’ts in life, living in a disciplined atmosphere and learn to live in the present.

Regular pranayama shifts one from sympathetic to para sympathetic mode, balances the mind and thoughts and helps in removing negative thoughts from the mind. For living a disabled life one can follow the yama and niyama of yoga sutras of Patanjali or dos and don’ts taught by various religious gurus, leaders and principles of naturopathy. Living in the present means conscious or meditative living. This involves either learning meditation 20 minutes twice a day or learning subtle mental exercises like mind–body relaxation, yogic shavasana, self–hypnotic exercises, etc.

According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a person who eats thrice a day is a rogi, twice a day is a bhogi and once a day is yogi. The take home message is: to live more, eat less.

Swar yoga defines the importance of respiration and longevity. According to this yoga shastra, everybody has a fixed number of breaths to be taken during the life span.

Lesser the number a person takes in a minute more is the life. It also forms the basis of pranayama which is nothing but longer and deeper breathing with reduced respiratory rate. To be healthy one can remember to follow the principle of moderation and variety in diet & exercise, regular pranayama & meditation and positive thinking.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

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  1. Traffic flow around schools and hospitals should be minimized as much as possible.
  2. Signboards displaying ‘Silence zone’, ‘No honking’ must be placed near these areas.
  3. Efforts should be made to ban the use of horns with jarring sounds, motorbikes with damaged exhaust pipes, and noisy trucks.
  4. The use of loudspeakers in parties and discos, as well as public announcements systems should be checked and discouraged.
  5. Noise rules must be stringent and strictly enforced near such silence zones.
  6. Planting trees along roads and in residential areas is a good way to reduce noise pollution as they absorb sound.
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