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Dr K K Aggarwal

‘Love’ is what one is born with and ‘fear’ is what one learns. Spiritual journey is nothing but unlearning of fears and prejudices along with return of love back into ones heart.

The first principle, therefore, of living a spiritual life is to be full of love. Love is not escaping from sufferings or from your thoughts but is the unity with your own divine self, which is the true consciousness.

It is easy to say ‘spread the message of love’. But most of us do not understand the literal meaning of love in our day-to-day life. Love basically involves doing two things: Firstly, not to willfully hurt someone (in thought, deed or action) and secondly, to seek out an opportunity to help someone.

Hurting an individual arises mainly due to unthoughtful speech or action. Often a cruel word is said and regretted later. Opportunity to help others is an inherent divine gift in every individual, which we all need to re-search in our body. The ‘help’ here does not means ‘helping for a reward’ and has to be a ‘selfless giving’. It should not be done to get some appreciation or to get something back, but rather this intention of helping others should be stitched to our consciousness and should become an inherent part of our nature.

Apart from love, the second principle in life for a spiritual journey is discrimination. We use our discriminating power in our day-to-day life while choosing situations between good and bad or real and unreal, and the choice in these situations is generally obvious as very little intellect is used.

The most difficult discrimination and the one which is the key to internal happiness, is the power to differentiate between the ‘will of the Self’ and the ‘will of the mind and body’. To choose between the ‘self’ and the ‘mind’ is often difficult, and one tends to tilt towards the voice of the mind for temporary external pleasure.

In all situations, there is always an inner voice, which is first to come and is often ignored. Immediately after the inner voice, the mind takes over. The decisions taken from the mind are often against the consciousness and are usually wrong. Consciousness based decisions are always the right decisions. The clutter and noise of the mind (thoughts) often blocks these decisions. Hypothetically speaking, suppose the mind or the consciousness wants to help an individual, but the body takes over and complains that it is too tired. Or else, if the body is well-rested, the mind may take over in form of desires and make you feel greedy, envious or jealous, etc.

One should always listen to the consciousness and take conscious based decisions which are always accompanied by bodily comfort. On the other hand, decisions taken against the consciousness will always lead to bodily discomfort, which can be felt within seconds of taking wrong decisions.

According to Vedantic text, one should ask oneself four basic questions before doing anything.

1.  Is it necessary?

2.  Is it the truth?

3.  Will it bring happiness to me?

4.  Will it bring happiness to others?

If answer to any of them is ‘No’, one should not undertake that action. One should not visit the market to see how many things one wants or needs but see how many things one does not have and also does not need.

After love and discrimination, the third spiritual principle is to attain tolerance and a state of desirelessness. Internal happiness is directly proportional to possessions and indirectly proportional to the desires. In such a case, even if ones possessions are negligible and one still does not have any desires, one can get a long-lasting internal happiness. One should be attached to the actions but detached from the results.

No doubt it is extremely difficult not to have desires but at least one should not have egocentric desire. These desires should be towards one’s own consciousness, so that it can be transformed to love.

One should remember that happiness is within us. But one tends to run away from the sufferings based on past perceptions. Changing the perceptions of life can make all the difference. One should not judge an individual with one’s own level of perception but from that person’s level of perception, and only then can one judge an individual to the right extent.

It is the body and the mind which suffers or enjoys and not the consciousness. If one is in touch with ones consciousness, one will always remain internally happy. One of the formulae to remember is that when one does anything, it should be done as if everything matters, but when one wants to live a life, one should live as if nothing matters.

Another point towards self-realization is one-pointedness towards one’s chosen goal and practicing self-inquiry. One- pointedness in life means nothing can ever disturb one away from ones path and failures, success, temptations play only a minor role.

Pain and pleasure are the two sides of the same coin, and it is all in the perception. One can perceive the same thing as pain in one situation and as pleasure in the other. Changing one’s level of perception can convert pain into pleasure and pleasure into pain.

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Blood Sugar Goals

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Correction and prevention of low blood sugar is beneficial to hospitalized patients.

For most non-critically ill hospitalized patients with diabetes, one should have a target blood sugar of <180 mg/dL. In non-critically ill hospitalized patients, lower blood glucose levels may decrease the risk of poor clinical outcomes, but also increase the risk of hypoglycemia. A reasonable sugar goal to avoid low blood sugar is to achieve fasting blood glucose concentrations no lower than 90 to 100 mg/dL.

Preventing a Peptic Ulcer

An ulcer is a breakdown in the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine. A type of bacterial infection is the most frequent cause, but lifestyle factors may also raise the risk .

One may follow these preventive steps that may ward off a peptic ulcer:

1.  Limit alcohol to no more than two drinks daily.
2.  Stop smoking or chewing tobacco.
3.   If you need to take painkillers, avoid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen, ibuprofen or aspirin.
4.  Consider, with your doctor’s approval, paracetamol instead.

 

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Happiness should not be considered as being synonymous with pleasure. Pleasure is transient and is always associated with pain later. Any transient addiction to any of the five senses will either lead to pleasure or pain. Pleasure leads to attachment resulting in more intense and greater desires, and if these are not fulfilled, they cause pain which manifest as anger, irritability or even a physical disease. This type of transient pleasure is chosen by the individuals who attach themselves not to the actions only, but also to its results.

The soul, which is an energized field of information and energy, is controlled by the person’s action, memory and desire. With every action, a memory is created which either gets stored or is recirculated again as an action. If one does not control the desires, the recurrent actions may cause more problems than happiness.

True happiness, on the other hand, is internal happiness or the happiness of the soul or of the consciousness. It is often said, “You are what you eat; you are what you think; and you are what you do.” Hence, your own internal happiness will vary with what you eat, think, and do.

Being in the present moment leads to true happiness. If all the time one is lamenting about the past or keep fearing about the future, are will never be able to live in the present. Not living in the present is bound to cause unhappiness. One should learn to live and enjoy the present which can only be done by attaching oneself to the actions and not to its results.

Doing ones duty with devotion and discipline helps one to remain in the present. Performing good action is important, but it is equally important to maintain the purity of the mind at the same time. Because any intention in the thought creates the same chemical reaction as when the actual deed is done, abusing a person in thought is the same as abusing him in person. Cultivating positive actions in day-to-day life, like, giving or sharing etc., helps in acquiring internal happiness.

Since the thoughts ultimately get metabolised into various chemicals and hormones so changing the internal biochemistry of the person, hence by thinking about cancer all the time, one can actually induce it over a period of time. And similarly, cancers can be cured by thinking positive over a period of time.

Internal happiness gives a deep feeling of satisfaction and is not associated with any transient chemical changes which are generally associated with bodily pleasure activities. People who are internally happy are always contented and are devoid of jealousy, anger, irritability, greed and ego.

One should learn to disassociate from, both, external pain as well as pleasure, and only then can one acquire true internal happiness.

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Stenting may not always be the answer to treating heart disease with stable.

A German study has shown that patients with stable coronary artery disease who were put on an exercise regimen had significantly higher rates of event-free survival than those who had undergone percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). In the study, 70% of patients in the exercise program had event-free survival — no stroke, heart attack, or death — compared with 50% of stented patients after four years.

Exercise is an important part of any type of prevention, and it should be instituted for “anyone with stable coronary heart disease.”

The study on stenting versus exercise come was a continuation of a pilot study first reported in 2004 in the journal Circulation. That study of 101 male patients found that after one year, 88% of patients who exercised had event-free survival compared with 70% of stented patients.

The updated data reflect an additional 100 patients, who performed moderate intensity exercise for two weeks under hospital supervision, and then were given an exercise bike to continue their regimen at home.

Patients with stable angina exercised at 80% of their threshold, and that after four weeks of exercising, their angina threshold increased.

The clear message for patients is to get 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every day, noting that 30% of heart disease could be prevented by 2.5 hours of walking per week.

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1.Both sexuality and spirituality have been mentioned in mythology to prevent HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. An educational art was created at Khajuraho which talks about “multiple positions with one are better than one position with many.”

2.       Asexual reproduction -  Lord Ganesha’s birth from the skin of Goddess Parvati represents a form of asexual reproduction using pluripotent cells.

3.       The birth of Kartikay from Shiva can be linked to success story of in vitro fertilization. Shiva throws away white sparks (semen) in the air (centrifugation), they fell down in river (petri dish) become five petal flower ( 5 cell zygote) adopted by local Kartikayan girls (in vitro fertilization) and Kartikay was born.

4.       Artificial insemination of semen was well described in mythology. The birth of Dashrath’s children, Hanuman all were probably examples of the same.

5.       Sexuality and spirituality are opposite to each other. No Tirath Sthan is ever used  as honeymoon place.

6.       Bull or Nandi represents sexual desires and is always placed outside Shiva Mandir. You cannot enter a spiritual place without sexual desires on.

7.       Polygamy was the need of the day at that time as is evident by three wives of Dashrath and five husbands of Draupadi.

8.       Santoshi Mata Ka Vrat was created to prevent iron deficiency anemia in child bearing age ladies. They were made to eat Gur (iron) and Chana (protein) every week to prevent recurrent abortions and death by anemia.

9.       Ashrams were created in mythology as part of discipline. Brahmcharya was the period for education and Grihastha for active sexual reproductive life.

10.   Dharma Artha Kama Moksha were the four purposes of life which meant earning money righteously to fulfill all our desires which leads to inner happiness.

11.   Sex education at that time was through sculptures.

12. The Science of Kamasutra was the classical textbook which promoted sexual hygiene.

13.   True love was symbolized by Meera-Krishna and Radha-Krishna.

14.   Marriages were not solemnized in Chaturmaas as during this period the mind is always in  a negative state with more chances of divorce.

15. The marriage months have been the month of Maagh, Vaishakh and Kartik. These are spontaneous months with increased fertility.

16.   To enhance fertility Shahi snans were advocated which involve exposure to sun so that vitamin D deficiency can be avoided.

17. Marriage seasons used to start with Tulsi Vivah which meant that Shyama Tulsi seeds are good for fertility and make the semen thick.

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Even Children Can Have Acidity

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Children who have continuing recurrence of cough and croup could be suffering from stomach acid reflux problems.

Croup or ‘Kali Khansi’ as it is called in local parlance is recognized by a loud cough that often sounds like the barking of a seal. It can cause rapid or difficult breathing, and sometimes wheezing. Croup is thought to be caused by a virus, but reflux acidity has been suggested as a possible trigger.

In gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomach acid causes swelling and inflammation of the larynx, which narrows the airway. It can trigger more swelling with any kind of viral or respiratory infection.

Identifying children with gastroesophageal reflux disease could help treat and improve recurring croup. It is unusual for a child to have three or more bouts of croup over a short period of time. These children need to be evaluated.

The same is true for adults also. Patients with non responding asthma should be investigated for underlying acidity as the cause of acute asthma.

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It is an old saying that one is proud of his or her own intelligence and somebody else’s partner and wealth. Most of the disputes occur when there is ego clash and that occurs when you want your point to be noticed by everybody. But remember that for every situation, invariably, there will be multiple opinions.

In one of my meetings, I asked my lifestyle students-cum-colleagues to imagine Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Minister of the country. Following were the views of various people:

 1.       He is too young.

2.       He is immature.

3.       He is childish

4.       It will be failure of democracy

5.       He has no political will

6.       He has no strength for taking decisions

7.       He has no experience

8.       He is open minded

9.       He will bring youth to politics

10.   He has experienced team behind him

11.   He will bring a new approach to politics etc etc.

The message is very clear that everybody has his or her own perception and we should learn to respect that.

 

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Heart failure is routinely described as the progressive loss of ability of the heart to pump blood. But, there is another form of heart failure where the blood–pumping ability of the heart remains near normal,. This second form of heart failure is too often overlooked and is just as lethal.

In this condition the heart muscle becomes thickened. The chamber inside gets smaller and the heart is unable to relax to accommodate the blood it needs to pump out. As there is no room for the heart to relax, the blood backs up into the lungs. This kind of anomaly is not picked up by standard measurements of “ejection fraction” –– the percentage of blood in the heart that goes out with every beat.

Quoting two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This form of the disease is called “diastolic heart failure” because the problem occurs during the diastole portion of heart activity, as the heart relaxes after a beat. Nearly one–third of these patients have an ejection fraction greater than 50 percent, which is very near normal. However, the death rate for this kind of heart failure matches that of patients with the more common form of heart failure, with more than 20% of all the patients dying within a year. There is a steady increase over 15 years of heart failure with normal or near–normal ejection fraction.

For patients, the symptoms of both types of heart failure are the same: Shortness of breath, difficulty exercising and fluid retention in the body. Physicians cannot make a diagnosis on the basis of symptoms or routine examinations. One has to have an echocardiogram and see the heart pumping and see if the ejection fraction is normal or reduced. Until now, relatively little attention has been paid to diastolic heart failure. Advances have been made against systolic heart failure, in which the ejection fraction falls below normal but not much has been done about diastolic heart failure.

Pacing for heart failure

For patients with advanced heart failure waiting for cardiac transplant, biventricular pacing not only improves the quality of life but also prolongs life. If the ejection fraction is low the combo device also gives an electric shock when the heart stops. It is said that all patients with low ejection fraction should ask their doctors for possible implantation of these devices.

Signals of heart failure

One of the commonest presentations is breathlessness on exertion, which is often confused as a part of aging or being obese. Not being able to climb stairs may be the earliest sign of hypertensive diastolic heart failure. Other signals are:

1.      Feeling extra tired even after a good night’s sleep. People with heart failure may limit activities they like to do or take naps to avoid feeling tired.
2.      Weight gain: Call your doctor if you gain weight for more than 2 days in a row or if you gain 2 or more pounds.
3.      Shortness of breath: Heart failure makes breathing harder, especially during exercise. Lying position may make it worse.
4.      Swollen ankles, legs, belly, and/or lower back, the swelling is often worse at the end of the day.
5.      Going to the bathroom more at night.

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