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Dr K K Aggarwal

The true silence is the silence between the thoughts and represents the true self, consciousness or the soul. It is a web of energized information ready to take all provided there is a right intent. The process of achieving silence is what meditation is.

Observing silence is another way of getting benefits of meditation. Many yogis in the past have recommended and observed silence now and then. Mahatma Gandhi used to spend one day of each week in silence. He believed that abstaining from speaking brought him inner peace and happiness. All such days he used to communicated with others only by writing on paper.

Hindu principles also talks about a correlation between mauna (silence) and shanty (harmony). Mauna Ekadashi is a ritual followed traditionally in our country. On this day the person is not supposed to speak at all and keep complete silence through out day & night. It gives immense peace to the mind and strength to the body. In Jainism this ritual has a lot of importance. Nimith was a great saint in Jainism who long ago asked all Jains to observe this vrata. Some people recommend that on every ekadashi one should observe silence if not the whole day but for few hours in a day.

Deepak Chopra in his book 7 Laws of Spiritual Success talks in great detail about the importance of observing silence in day today life. He recommends everyone should observe silence for 20 minutes everyday. Silence helps redirecting our imagination towards self from the outer atmosphere. Even Swami Sivananda in his teaches recommend to observe mauna daily for 2 hours for ekadashi, take milk and fruits everyday, study daily one chapter of Bhagwad Gita, do reguarl charity and donate one-tenth of the income in the welfare of the society. Ekadashi is the 11th day of Hindu lunar fortnight. Ekadashi is the day of celebration occurring twice a month, meant for meditation and increasing soul consciousness. Vinoba Bhave was the great sage of our contry who is known for this bhoodaan movement. He was a great advocator and practical preacher of mauna vrata.

Mauna means silence and vrata means bow hence mauna vrata means bow of silence. Mauna was practiced by saints to end enemity and recoup their enemity. Prolonged silence as the form of silence is observed by the rishi munis involved for prolonged periods of silence. Silence is a source of all that exists. Silence is where consciouns dwells. There is no religious tradition which does not talk about silence. It breaks a out world communication and forces a dialogue towards inner communication that one reason why all prayer, meditation and worship or any other practice whether we attune our mains to the spiritual consciousness within are done in silence.  After the death of a person it is a practice to observe silence for two minutes. The immediate benefits is that it saves a tremendous amount of energy.

Silence is cessation of both sensory and mental activity. It is like having a still mind and listening to the inner mind. Behind this screen of our internal dialogue is the silence of spirit. Meditation is the combination of observing silence and the art of observation.

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Safe water is an essential commodity for prevention of most water and food-borne diseases like diarrhea, typhoid and jaundice. These diseases are 100% preventable. All of them can be lethal if not prevented,diagnosed or treated in time.

Transmission of parasitic infections can also occur with contaminated water. Here are a few tips:

i.      Travelers should avoid consuming tap water.
ii.     Avoid ice made from tap water.
iii.    Avoid any food rinsed in tap water.
iv.     Chlorination kills most bacterial and viral pathogens.
v.      Chlorination does not kill giardia cysts.
vi.     Chlorination does not kill amoeba cysts.
vii.    Chlorination does not kill cryptosporidium.
viii.   Boiled water is safe.
ix.     Treated water is safe.
x.      Bottled water is safe.
xi.     Carbonated drinks, wine and drinks made with boiled water are safe.
xii.    Freezing does not kill the organisms that cause diarrhea. Ice in drinks is not safe unless it has been made from adequately boiled or filtered water.
xiii.   Alcohol does not sterilize water or the ice. Mixed drinks may still be contaminated.
xiv.    Hot tea and coffee are the best alternates to boiled water.
xv.     Bottled drinks should be requested without ice and should be drunk from the bottle with a straw rather than with a glass.
xvi.    Boiling water for 3 minutes followed by cooling to room temperature will kill bacterial parasites.
xvii.   Adding two drops of 5% sodium hydrochloride (bleach) to quarter of water (1 liter) will kill most bacteria in 30 minutes.
xviii.  Adding five drops of tincture of iodine to a quarter of water (1 liter) will kill bacteria within 30 minutes.

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Normally, when we attend any spiritual ceremony, we consume Prasad without any fear or taking any precautions as a gift of the God. The devotees feel that Prasad is different from food as after being offered to God or touching the God’s lotus feet, any offered food becomes Prasadam.

In Vedic rituals when we visit a temple the worshipping involves offering flower and sweets and receiving Prasad in turn.

In actual meaning, temple is a place for mental detoxification. When we go to God, we offer our sins, sorrows, guilt etc to God and accept the resultant happiness as a Prasadam.

The contaminated sweet offered to God in all likelihood will remain contaminated and, if consumed, can cause food poisoning. We do see a lot of cases of food poisoning occurring because of Prasadam offered to people from a temple.

Cases of Kuttu flour poisoning are well known in Navratras. There are priests who wash the stone deity with milk and water and offer the same milk and water as Prasadam to people. If pre-washed water and milk were hygienic and safe, there are chances that remain hygienic and safe but if they were contaminated it is unlikely that this contamination will be removed by washing the stone deity.

I personally feel Prasadam mentioned in our ancient era literature means a mental Prasad in the form of inner happiness when you remove your guilt and you end up into a phase of relaxation, satisfaction or inner happiness. That is what I feel Prasadam is. Today, Prasadam made of vanaspati ghee and white sugar, if taken everyday, is going to cause harm in long run.

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Smoking also has many advantages.

  • Smokers don’t get old (they die in young age).
  • Smokers don’t get second heart attack (first heart attack may be fatal for them).
  • Smoking cures a cancer in six months (most smoking related lung cancers patients die in six months).
  • Wives don’t suspect smokers (smoker husbands often have erectile dysfunction).
  • Thieves don’t enter smoker’s house (most smokers will develop COPD and continue to cough in the night).
  • There is no fight between smoker brothers (smoking treatment is costly and the patient may have to sell his property for the treatment; once there is no property, the chances of any property-related quarrels are zero).

 

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Offering help is the best service to the humanity. As per Sikhism, Sewa (unconditional service), Simran (meditation) and Satsang (company of good people) is the trio for acquiring happiness and spiritual health.

In Sikhism, Sewa is the main path for acquiring spiritualism. In Gurudwara, one even offers sewa by cleaning the shoes of others or by cleaning the entry paths to any Gurudwara.

Offering help covers all the paths of being a Satyugi i.e. truthfulness, unconditional hard work, purity of mind and finally, Daya and Daan. When you offer help, you always do it in a positive state of
mind and it involves hard work, mercy and charity.

The five pillars of Jainism are Ahimsa (non-violence in action, speech and thoughts), satya (being synonymous in action, speech and thought), Brahmcharya (disciplined life), Asaseya (non-stealing) and Aparigreha (not storing more than required).

Any offering therefore should be without any reward same in actions, thoughts and speech.

Jainism also prescribes not storing things which are not required and therefore anything more than required can be donated or offered to people in the form of sewa.

All professions which primarily do sewa are given special status in the society. for example, doctors are allowed to prefix ‘Dr.’ in front of their  names and eminent people who offered help to the society are allowed to prefix names like Raja, Deewan, Rai Bahadur, Rotarian, Lion etc.

As per Government policy every PSU has to spend a 2% budget for charity in corporate social responsibility.

Similarly, each one of us should spend 2% of our time, money or assets for charity or community service.

Nursing profession is considered more nobler than medical profession as they provide selfless sewa to the patients.

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Binge eating disorder is a newly recognized condition. People with binge eating disorder frequently eat large amounts of food while feeling a loss of control over their eating.

This disorder is different from binge-purge syndrome (bulimia nervosa) because people with binge eating disorder usually do not purge afterward by vomiting or using laxatives. But most people with serious binge eating problems have:

  • Frequent episodes of eating what others would consider an abnormally large amount of food.
  • Frequent feelings of being unable to control what or how much is being eaten.
  • Several of these behaviors or feelings:
  • Eating much more rapidly than usual.
  • Eating until uncomfortably full.
  • Eating large amounts of food, even when not physically hungry.
  • Eating alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food being eaten.
  • Feelings of disgust, depression, or guilt after overeating.
  • The binges occur at least twice a week for 6 months.

The major complications of binge eating disorder are the diseases that accompany obesity. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, gall bladder disease, heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Out-of-control binge eating is the biggest eating disorder of today more common than anorexia and bulimia combined and contributing to a rise in obesity. Binge eating afflicts 3.5 percent of women and 2 percent of men at some point in their lives.

Binge eating disorder is a little more common in women than in men; three women for every two men have it.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches people how to keep track of their eating and change their unhealthy eating habits. It also teaches them how to change the way they act in tough situations. Interpersonal psychotherapy helps people look at their relationships with friends and family and make changes in problem areas. Drug therapy, such as antidepressants, may be helpful for some people.

Large amounts of food high in carbohydrates and sugars are rapidly consumed in a short period of time. The binge itself may only last fifteen to twenty minutes. Proper levels of serotonin and dopamine aid in impulse. Proteins supplement may reduce the craving.

Binge eating differs from compulsive overeating in that the binge eater enjoys the rush and stimulation of planning the binge.  Compulsive overeaters tend to crave foods high in carbohydrates, sugars, and salt.

 

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Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswati, the trio sangam in Allahabad is believed to be the holiest place in the country where if one takes a dip one washes his or her past sins.

After death, ashes are also submerged in Ganga water with an assumption that the past sins will be removed.

In Vedic era what was the intention of the rishis and munis while making this ritual?

In mythology, moon represents cool mind andGangarepresents the positive flow of thoughts. And sea turmoil indicates the disturbed state of mind.

Hanuman ki samudra yatra indicate your meditative journey through the flow of thoughts. Samudra manthan represents the journey of the mind during meditation.

Taking a dip can be equated to shifting your mind towards your consciousness which can happen when you introspect in a relaxed state of mind or when you practice meditation. Meditation is defined as a journey from sympathetic and parasympathetic state of mind or a journey from disturbed state of consciousness to undisturbed state of consciousness.

Every time you meditate, you dip into your consciousness and clean your guilt and negative thoughts. It is something like reformatting your hard disk and removing the bad sectors and viruses in your software.

It is, therefore, possible for you to do Ganga snan (bath) at your house in the morning while meditating or during pooja by drifting away from disturbed state of mind to non disturbed relaxed state of mind clearing your guilt and negative thoughts.

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Men have a greater chance of dying then women, and smoking increases any adult’s risk of death just as if five years were suddenly added to their age.

  • For men who have never smoked, heart disease presents their greatest risk for death at any age, exceeding the odds of dying from lung, colon and prostate cancer combined.
  • Male smokers face a lung cancer risk that is greater than the odds of heart disease taking their lives after age 60, and is tenfold higher than the chance of dying from prostate and colon cancer combined.
  • The chances of dying from heart disease and breast cancer are similar for nonsmoking women until age 60, when heart disease becomes a greater risk.
  • For female smokers, dying from lung cancer or heart disease is more likely than dying from breast cancer after age 40.

 

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