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Dr K K Aggarwal

Rakhi is generally recognised as a celebration of a bond of love between brother and a sister. But how many of us have actually thought about what this tie entails?

Rakhi is synonymous with purity of the relationship and purity of the self and consequently of the soul. It is not merely a thread tied on the brother’s wrist by the sister whereby the brother pledges to protect her from any worldly harm. In a broader spectrum, it is a chance to free oneself from one’s internal enemies – the vices, especially the lust including the sexual one. A man is pulled down by his negative energies and Rakhi gives him a chance to retrospect and pull out of that dark side.

This multi coloured thread with multiple decorations and motifs is tied not necessarily only by one’s sister, but can be tied by any woman who shares a platonic relationship with a man. There is a complete absence of a physical relationship and has no age or space barriers between the two connected by this sacred thread. Simultaneously, it is absurd to think that a mere child or one who stays miles away would be able to offer protection to his ‘rakhi’ sister. The matter which is of prime importance here is the bond of spiritual love established between two individuals of the opposite sex.

Eight days after Rakhi we celebrate Janmashtami. The sacred thread tied during Raksha Bandhan connects us to Janmashtami, when we celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna. In this period of eight days between ‘Purnima’ and ‘Ashtami’ we get a chance of cleansing and purifying our soul and subsequently getting reborn again.

This seven-day period, symbolic of the time taken for creation of the world by God can be likened to a recreation of the self by us. This period is to be seen as a time for penance when all negativism is purged to achieve the level of pure spirit. Needless to say, all forms of ‘spiritual downers’ should be abstained from, so that a hindrance free communion with the soul is made possible. In fact an ideal gift to one’s sister can be the shedding of a strong vices in that person.

The message of Rakshabandhan is that of love and purity. We can see it as a thread tied on behalf of God to set us on Godly ways. The initial representation of Rakhi as a pledge to protect the sister and her right to be protected by the brother has gained wide propagation due to the fact that in Indian history and mythology there have been instances when this facet of tying a thread on a man’s wrist has been highlighted. Rani Padmavati sent a Rakhi to a Muslim king to ask for help when she was besieged by enemies. In the realm of the Gods, we have Indrani tying a Rakhi on Lord Indra. There is also the tradition of tying Rakhi by a Brahmin to a Yajman.

 The connection between Rakshabandhan and Janmashtami is highlighted keeping in view the spiritual aspect of man’s life, which is the ladder that helps him to achieve oneness with God.

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Since ancient times, yoga exercises in India have been recommended for many diseases including paralysis.And now, a study published in Stroke, Journal of American Medical
Association has said that a yoga based rehabilitation programme can improve the balance.

In the study of eight weeks, the yoga showed significant progress in static and dynamic balance which was much higher than the people who were on conventional treatment. Yoga has also shown benefit in those with chronic back pain and it also cuts the frequent artrial
fibrilation episodes.

Yoga involves a combination of postures, breathing and meditation.

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1.       Why people say that Bili Ka Rasta katna is a bad omen?

This bad omen came into existence long time back in India when plague was very common. The disease used to spread by infected rats. Wherever there were rates, there were cats. Whenever someone travelled and if he found a cat on the way that would mean that the area would have rats and that worked as a warning for traveler to take precautions otherwise he could get plague. Rat is also a sign of poor hygiene in the area where cats are in abundance.

2.   Whenever anyone sneezes we must stop for some time.

 Sneezing librates viral and bacterial particles which can travel a distance of 3-6 ft. They settle down within few seconds. To avoid getting infections, it is said that we must not go near a sneezing person for few seconds.

3.  One should donate Sarson ka tel on every Saturday.

One should not consume oil in excess and whatever is left is donated on Saturday so that one does not eat extra oil on Sunday. Saturday oil massage is also indicated as it helps in healing the body.

4.       Take a bath after visiting or touching a dead body -

After death the infected body may putrefy and release germs. If the person has died of an infection, the body may remain infected till it is burnt off. In a hospital setting we always recommend before and after touching a patient, one should wash hands with antiseptics.  Washing hands before and after touching a dead body is hygienic and prevents many infections.

5.       One should not marry in chaturmas.

In Chaturmas, falling in Dakshinayana; the four months are a phase of negativity of the mind with more unfulfilled desires. Also during this period, the digestive fire is weak; therefore, a person cannot enjoy heavy meals often offered during marriage functions. Worms which come out on the ground can infect green leafy vegetables; therefore, eating salad in this time may be harmful.

6.       One should not eat curd in the night

Not only curd but every fermented food should not be taken after sunset as if is mixed with unfermented food, there will be a mismatch of digestion and a person may end up with acidity or gas.

7.       On Purnima, there are more chances of one becoming lunatic

The word Lunatic came from the word Lunar which means Lunar Cycle. In body our air and water component behaves alongside the high and low tides in an ocean. On the day of Purnima, there are high tides in the ocean. As is the microcosm so is the microcosm is an Ayurveda saying. On Purnima day, blood pressure may rise and the person’s mental behavior may show fluctuations.

8.       When leaving home, it is auspicious to see a bride, Brahmin or religious idol but not a widow

This superstition may have been true in the era when widows were to wear white sarees and had a lot of social restrictions. Most widows used to be in depression. It is said for positive mental health if you see somebody cheerful you will become cheerful and if you see somebody depressed you may also get depressed.

9.       Nails should not be cut in the night

In the night there are chances that you may cut nails wrongly and cause injury.

10.   One should not sweep the house in the evening or the night

Ten percent of the society has Asthma which gets precipitated with dust. In the evening it is likely that more people are at home than in the daytime. Therefore there are more chances of asthma getting precipitated in someone if one sweeps the house in the evening when more people are present.  Another reason is that in the evening, especially, in areas with poor light, there is likelihood that the dust may contaminate food. You may also throw some precious thing due to poor light while sweeping.

11.   Why no hair cutting on Tuesday and/or Thursday?

In Hindu mythology, to maintain some discipline on every day one is supposed to restrain from doing one or other thing. For example, not having sexual relation with the partner on Tuesday, not cutting hairs on Tuesday and/or Thursday, not eating cereals once in a weak on the day of observing fast and not eating rice on Ekadashi. Restrains help in maintaining spiritual discipline.

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Physical inactivity kills. It is causing about one in 10 premature deaths around the world annually as per a report in July 18 in The Lancet. The problem of inactivity is like a pandemic.

Globally physical inactivity is associated with 6% of the incidence of coronary heart disease (range 3.2% to 7.8%), 7% of type 2 diabetes incidence (range 3.9% to 9.6%), 10% of breast cancer incidence (range 5.6% to 14.1%) and 10% of colon cancer incidence (range 5.7% to 13.8%).

People in higher income countries are the least active with those in the UK among the worst as nearly two-thirds of adults are judged not to be doing enough.

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In one of the seminars father Thomas from Delhi compared all religious faith with honey. He said that honey bees go from one flower to another and collects nectar and it is the mix of the nectars from various flowers that honey is produced with its sweetness. Similarly the aim of sarva dharma meetings should be to take the essence from all faiths and religions and combine them to make one that can be used as a prescription to achieve health and happiness. Medical profession is also a religion as is based on all the principles of dharma.  For a doctor there is no religion, cast or creed, for him disease is a disease and his job is to cure a person of the sufferings and bring back happiness. Doctors can be compared to a honey bee whose job is to get the best of all pathies and religions and use them holistically to treat a person.

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Osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiencies are the two epidemic of the.

Drinking less milk, quitting the sunlight exposure and omitting the traditional aerobic indoor games is one reason for the new epidemic. Younger professionals are also staying indoors with practically no sunlight exposure. This is especially true for the medical residents also.

Here are a few tips for preventing osteoporosis and strengthening the bones.

1.One should stop smoking as it increases bone loss.

2.Eat a calcium-rich diet – The aim should be to get 1,500 milligrams of calcium a day in postmenopausal woman or a man over age 65. Good dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, tofu and other soy products; orange juice fortified with calcium, canned salmon with the bones, and cooked spinach. The alternative is to take calcium supplements.

3. Get enough vitamin D – Vitamin D levels are influenced by how much sunlight one gets.  Levels tend to decrease in older adults, especially in winter and in people who are unable to leave their home. One should consider taking a supplement to make sure one gets the recommended daily amount.

4. Get exposure to sunlight of at least 20 minutes per day. At least the exposure should be of 20 minutes every day for a month in a year.

5. Get enough protein in diet: An adequate intake of protein in diet, combined with an adequate intake of Ca helps increase bone density. One should aim for about 12% of calories to come from proteins such as legumes, poultry, seafood, meat, dairy products, nuts and seeds. However, too much protein with too little Ca can be harmful.

6. Weight-bearing exercise – These are activities such as walking jogging and stair climbing that one should do on the feet, with your bones supporting your weight. They work directly on the bones of the legs, hips and lower spine to slow mineral loss.

7. Weight-lifting exercises–These exercises, also called resistance training or strength training. They strengthen muscles and bones in the arms, chest and upper spine. They can work directly on the bones to slow minerals loss.

8.   Get adequate vitamin K – This vitamin may be helpful in enhancing bone strength. Green leafy vegetables are the best sources of vitamin K. If one is taking a blood thinner he or she should check with the doctor.

9.       Avoid excessive alcohol – Women should limit alcohol consumption to less than one ounce a day and men should limit it to less than two ounces.

10.    Limit cola drinks – People who have high cola intake often have lower bone density.

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If Lord Krishna was the first counselor who taught the principles of counseling, Lord Ganesha taught us the principles of stress management.

We should worship Lord Ganesha and become like him whenever we face any difficulty or are stressed out.

The elephant head of Lord Ganesha represents that when in difficulty, use your wisdom, intelligence and think differently. It can be equated to the Third Eye of Lord Shiva. Elephant is supposed to be the most intelligent animal in the kingdom.  Hear wisdom implies to think
before speaking. Lord Budha later also has said that don’t speak unless it is necessary and is truthful and kind.

The big elephant ears of Lord Ganesha signify listening to everybody when in difficulty. Elephant ears are known to hear long distances. Elephant eye see a long distance and in terms of mythology, it represents acquiring the quality of foreseeing when in difficulty.

The mouth of Lord Ganesha represents speaking less and hearing and listening more.
The big tummy of Lord Ganesha represents digesting any information gathered by hearing to people in difficulty.

The trunk represents to use your power of discrimination to decide from the retained information. It also indicates to do both smaller and bigger things by yourself. Elephant trunk can pick up needle as well as a tree.

The broken and unbroken teeth of Lord Ganesha represent being in balance in loss and gain. It indicates  that one should not get upset if the task is not accomplished and also not get excited if the task is accomplished. In times of difficulty, Ganesha also teaches us not to lose strength and control one’s attachments, desires and greed.

The four arms of Lord Ganesha represent strength. Ropes in two hands indicate attachment, Laddu or Sweet in one hand represent desires and mouse represents greed. Riding over the mouse indicates controlling one’s greed.

Lord Ganeshais worshiped either when one’s task is not getting accomplished or when a new work is initiated. IN these two situations, these principles of Lord Ganesha need to be inculcated in one’s habits.

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3rd Year Syndrome

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Many of us after searching internet for headache gets a fear that they are suffering from brain tumor. A new study, just published in the Journal of Consumer Research, suggests you’re more apt to convince yourself you’re sicker than you are, all because of what you find on the internet.

Researchers in Hong Kong compiled evidence from six different web-based experiments. Most people who searched for health information about themselves overestimated the likelihood of having a serious or deadly disease.

In medicals science it is called third year syndrome.  A medical student while being taught about a disease starts thinking that he is suffering from the same on the basis of some common symptoms.

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