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Dr K K Aggarwal

After the life force leaves the body even the wife does not like to come near the body (Bhaja Govindam). This life force has no weight, water cannot wet it, air cannot dry it, and weapons cannot cut it (Bhagwad Gita Chapter 2).

The scientific description of this life force comes from the first Maha Vakya, from Aitareya Upanishad in Rig Veda, which describes that “Consciousness or Intelligence is the Brahman (Pragnanam Brahma).

This life force or the intelligence represents the conscious energy, energized consciousness or energized information.

In computer language this intelligence is both the data that has been fed and the software to operate this data. The software is driven by the power of intention and by the process of attention.

In Vedic language the data is the “Purusha or Shiva” and the software the “Shakti” (Sakti). While the data or the Shiva is inactive and idle, without Shakti or energy, the data has no value and it makes” Shiva” a “SAVA”. When Shakti moves toward Shiva it becomes awareness or consciousness. In Vedanta language, it is called as soul or Brahman.

For comparison, what relationship Matter and Energy have in Physics; Purusha and Prakruti in Samkya Philosophy; Infinite and Zero in Mathematics; Potential and Kinetic Energy in Energetics; Meaning and Word in Linguistics; Father and Mother in sociology; the same is with Shiva and Sakti in understanding the mystery of Vedanta.

Shiva and Sakti are thus two inseparable entities in Indian mysticism. Just as moonlight cannot be separated from the moon, Shakti cannot be separated from Shiva. Kashmir Shaivism says that “Shiva without Shakti is lifeless (Sava) because wisdom cannot move without power”.

Shiva and Shakti are different from the masculine and feminine aspects of the human body. In tantric spiritual path, one seeks to develop a perfect harmony and balance between masculine aspects (example mental focus, will, intellect) and feminine aspects (example sensitivity, emotion).

Shiva or the data is classified in the body in three subgroups: creation, protection and destruction. These in Hindu mythology are called “Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh”. Some add another two more dimensions in them making them five and these are “revelation and concealment”. One can find these qualities in anything that’s alive.

The Shakti or the forces (power) are also sub classified in five sub types.

  1. Chitta Shakti: Pure consciousness or the awareness of God.
  2. Ananda Shakti or pure bliss.
  3. Gnana Shakti or the ‘knowledge of God’. It is pure knowledge, which organizes and orchestrates the infinite correlative activity of the universe.
  4. Kriya Shakti or ‘pure action’ which is the actions directed toward God (action which does not have the bondage of karma. Action which has the bondage of karma comes from the ego. It’s based on beliefs and expectations and interpretations and fears and judgments and past memories, whereas non–binding action, which is non–Karmic, is called Kriya—action rooted in pure awareness and creativity)
  5. Desire (Ichcha Shakti: the desire or intention to unite with God)

Deepak Chopra in his Book, Path of Love Describes Shakti as under:

If the voice of God spoke to you, Her powers would be conveyed in simple, universal phrases:

  • Chitta Shakti: “I am.”
  • Ananda Shakti: “I am blissful.”
  • Gnana (Gyana) Shakti: “I know.”
  • Kriya Shakti: “I act.”
  • Icha Shakti: “I will” or “I intend.”

These powers, if used towards acquiring spiritual wellbeing, any action (pure kriya) directed by the desire (pure ischa) leads to pure knowledge (pure gnana) and ends with internal bliss (ananda).

On the other hand, in routine life if these powers are governed by the ego, then the Action (Kriya) leads to Memory (Gnana) and the memory leads to desire (Icha) and then action again.

According to Tantra, Satchidananda is called Shiva–Sakti, the hyphenated word suggesting that Shiva or the Absolute and Sakti or its creative power, are eternally conjoined like a word and its meaning; the one cannot be thought of without the other.

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Turmeric can prevent heart failure

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off

Traditional Indian turmeric prevents heart failure, lowers cholesterol, prevents cancers and gall stones and augments scar formation in a wound.

Studies from the University of Toronto’s Cardiology Division and published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation have shown that Curcumin, an ingredient in the curry spice turmeric, when given orally to a variety of mouse models with enlarged hearts (hypertrophy), could prevent and reverse hypertrophy, prevent heart failure, restore heart function and reduce scar formation.

In the studies, curcumin was given to rats, who then underwent surgery or received drugs designed to put them at risk of heart failure. The rats that received curcumin showed more resistance to heart failure and inflammation than comparison groups of rats that did not get curcumin.

Curcumin treatment also reversed heart enlargement. Curcumin short–circuited the heart enlargement process, though it’s not clear how it did that.

The healing properties of turmeric have been well–known. The herb has been used in traditional Indian medicine to reduce scar formation. For example, when there is a cut or a bruise, the home remedy is to reach for turmeric powder because it can help to heal without leaving a bad scar.

Curcumin has come under the scientific spotlight in recent years, with studies investigating its potential benefits for reducing cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health and fighting cancer.

As an herb, turmeric should to be taken 300 mg thrice–daily with meals. It has useful actions like antioxidant, anti–inflammatory, anti rheumatic; cholesterol–lowering, anti cancer and prevention of gall stones. It is also found to be useful in situations like dysmenorrhea, dyspepsia, HIV, muscle soreness, peptic ulcer disease, scabies and uveitis.

Curcuminoids, act as free radical scavengers. They also inhibit leukotrienes and synthesis of prostaglandins. The anti–inflammatory activity has been claimed to be comparable to NSAIDs (such as indomethacin).

Curcuminoids lower blood lipid peroxides, decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, and increase HDL cholesterol. Turmeric has also been claimed to inhibit platelet aggregation.

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  • Food Offerings: Panchashasha (grains of five types – brown rice, mung or whole green gram, til or sesame, mashkalai (white urad dal) or any variety of whole black leguminous seed, jowar or millet)
  • Panchagobbo (Five items obtained from cow: milk, ghee or clarified butter, curd, cowdung and gomutra), curd, honey, brown sugar, three big noibiddos, one small noibiddo, three bowls of madhupakka (a mixture of honey, curd, ghee and brown sugar for oblation), bhoger drobbadi (items for the feast), aaratir drobbadi mahasnan oil, dantokashtho, sugar cane juice, an earthen bowl of atop (a type of rice), til oil (sesame oil).
  • Water offerings: Ushnodok (lukewarm water), coconut water, sarbooushodhi, mahaoushodhi, water from oceans, rain water, spring water, water containing lotus pollen.
  • Three aashonanguriuk (finger ring made of kusha).
  • Puja Items: Sindur (vermillion), panchabarner guri (powders of five different colors – turmeric, rice, kusum flowers or red abir, rice chaff or coconut fiber burnt for the dark colour, bel patra or powdered wood apple leaves), panchapallab (leaves of five trees – mango, pakur or a species of fig, banyan, betel and Joggodumur or fig), pancharatna (five types of gems – gold, diamond, sapphire, ruby and pearl), panchakoshay (bark of five trees – jaam, shimul, berela, kool, bokul powdered in equal portions and mixed with water), green coconut with stalk, three aashonanguriuk (finger ring made of kusha).
  • Panchamrit: A mixture of Honey, Milk, Curd, Ghee and Brown Sugar.
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Natural foods and not supplements prevent heart disease

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off

One should eat seasonal and locally grown natural food and vegetables grown out of organic farms. Eat less, dinner lighter then lunch, eat natural and in moderation– are few of the mantras.

Eating food supplements can be harmful. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), supplementation with beta carotene and vitamin E, either alone or in combination with each other or other antioxidant vitamins does not prevent heart disease.

High dose vitamin E supplementation (400 IU/day) may be associated with an increase in all–cause mortality.

Supplementation with vitamin C does not prevent a second heart attack.

Beta carotene supplementation may be dangerous and should be discouraged.

Vitamin E supplementation may be of benefit for only secondary prevention of heart patients with chronic renal failure who are undergoing hemodialysis.

As per the AHA, current data do not justify the use of antioxidant supplements for the prevention or treatment of cardiovascular disease risk.

The above recommendations apply to supplementation only. Diets that are rich in natural antioxidants are associated with lower cardiovascular mortality.

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As per Bhagavad Gita whatever your thoughts are through life will be your thoughts at the time of your death and whatever thoughts are there at the time of your death will be your thoughts in your future birth.

Bhagavad Gita says that the best time to die is Uttarayana, before full moon, in day time or in the presence of Yagna. Does it mean that the people who die in Dakshinayana or 15 days before Amavasya or during night will suffer and will not get liberation or they will go to the hell?

No. If this would have the intention, Bhagavad Gita would not have mentioned it at all as this would have created unrest in 50% of the society.

What they probably meant was that everybody at the time of death should be in a positive frame of mind. If they are not, efforts should be made to create positive frame of mind for them which means that if a person is dying in night or 15 days before Amavasya, one can create an atmosphere of Uttarayana or full moon by creating enough artificial light as if it is day time or doing Yagna in the vicinity of the dying person and/or enchanting of any religious Mantra, for example, Gayatri Mantra in the ear of the dying person.

Efforts should also be made to talk positive in his or her presence. Ayurvedic or Homeopathic consultants can be contacted if they have any medicine which can convert negative state of mind into positive state of mind.

In the process of death a dying person can hear till his last karma indriyas and gnana indriyas are functioning.

In Hindu mythology, chanting of Rama or Aum at the time of death does the same thing.

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Water Hygiene

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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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:

  1. Travelers should avoid consuming tap water.
  2. Avoid ice made from tap water.
  3. Avoid any food rinsed in tap water.
  4. Chlorination kills most bacterial and viral pathogens.
  5. Chlorination does not kill Giardia cysts.
  6. Chlorination does not kill amoeba cysts.
  7. Chlorination does not kill Cryptosporidium.
  8. Boiled water is safe.
  9. Treated water is safe.
  10. Bottled water is safe.
  11. Carbonated drinks, wine and drinks made with boiled water are safe.
  12. 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.
  13. Alcohol does not sterilize water or the ice. Mixed drinks may still be contaminated.
  14. Hot tea and coffee are the best alternates to boiled water.
  15. Bottled drinks should be requested without ice and should be drunk from the bottle with a straw rather than with a glass.
  16. Boiling water for 3 minutes followed by cooling to room temperature will kill bacterial parasites.
  17. Adding two drops of 5% sodium hydrochloride (bleach) to quarter of water (1 liter) will kill most bacteria in 30 minutes.
  18. Adding 5 drops of tincture of iodine to a quarter of water (1 liter) will kill bacteria within 30 minutes.
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What is the importance of silence?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off

True silence is the silence between 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. Meditation is the process of achieving this silence.

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 speech brought him inner peace and happiness. On these days, he communicated with others only by writing on paper.

Hindu principles also talks about a correlation between mauna (silence) and shanti (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 throughout day and 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 for few hours in a day if not the whole day.

Deepak Chopra in his book 7 Laws of Spiritual Success talks in great detail about the importance of observing silence in day to day life. He recommends that 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 recommends daily observation of mauna for 2 hours for ekadashi, take milk and fruits everyday, study daily one chapter of Bhagwad Gita, do regular 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 country who is known for this bhoodaan movement. He was a great advocator and practical preacher of mauna vrata.

Mauna means silence and vrata means vow hence mauna vrata means vow of silence. Mauna was practiced by saints to end enmity and recoup their enmity. 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 conscious dwells. There is no religious tradition which does not talk about silence. It breaks outward communication and forces a dialogue towards inner communication. This is one reason why all prayers, meditation and worship or any other practice whether we attune our mind 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 benefit 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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Echo for Long–Term Risk after Stroke

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A simple risk prediction model may help identify ischemic stroke patients at a higher risk of future adverse outcomes. Age, chronic renal failure, and the amount of calcification around the aortic root were predictive of death at about 4 years after nonhemorrhagic stroke said Dr Avinash Murthy at Albany Medical Center in Albany, N.Y at the annual meeting of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE).

The doctors assigned 2 points for each decade over 40 years, 11 points for renal failure, and 3 points for aortic root sclerosis. The high–risk group –– more than 11 points –– had a mean survival estimate of 39 months, compared with 49 months for the moderate–risk group (5–10 points) and 62 months for the low-risk group (0–5 points).

Most stroke patients undergo an echocardiography exam at the index admission to look for patent foramen ovale, shunt, or embolus and data about aortic root sclerosis is already available.

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