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Dr K K Aggarwal

Myths

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• The right skin cream can keep your skin looking young: For reducing wrinkles, the topical treatment with the best evidence behind it is retinoic acid. The best ways to keep wrinkles at bay are using sunscreen and not smoking.

• Antibacterial soap is best for keeping your skin clean: Many experts are concerned that the use of antibacterial soap could lead to more antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibacterial soap is not necessary for everyday use. Regular soap is fine. Thorough and consistent hand-washing, not antibacterial soap is what helps prevent the spread of infection.

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This is true for both your internal spiritual journey as well as the external social journey in life. Wealth is an indicator of greed, which is one of the five known obstacles to the pathway of self-realization.

Greed according to the Patanjali is defined as possessing any material wealth more than your need.

Greed in turn is linked to attachment through any of the five senses and uncontrolled desires. Once desires are fulfilled more desires are created, which is nothing but greed. And when the desires are not fulfilled then greed gets converted into anger, which leads to loss of intellect and ultimately destruction of the body.

Lord Krishna, in the Bhagavad Gita, while explaining this to Arjuna has clearly mentioned the pathway of self destruction starting from attachment to loss of intellect and ultimately destruction of the self.

The Hindu mythology has always said that never be after money. When you are after money the knowledge or wisdom will not follow you. The classical example given is that if you are after Saraswati (God of Knowledge), Laxmi (God of Wealth) follows you and if you are after Laxmi, Saraswati may not remain with you.

God is representative of your true self and that is your consciousness, which is nothing but “Satchitananda” or the triad of truthfulness, consciousness based decisions and internal bliss or happiness. To be in touch with your consciousness you have to control your five senses through your mind and detach yourself from the egocentric desires.

Greed and wealth are representatives of attachment to the material world through one of your five senses, therefore, if you want to be in touch with your consciousness you have to be detached from the materialistic world and wealth is one of them.

There is a classical description of this phenomenon in Mahabharata in the battle of Kurukshetra when Lord Krishna became the Sarathi of Arjuna and rode the five horses chariot. The symbolic representation of the whole thing is, Lord Krishna represents your true self or consciousness; Arjuna represents the ego and the intellect; the reins of the horses represent the unstable mind and five horses represent the ever changing five senses.

Using your ego and intellect if you can tighten your mind (reins), you will be able to control the five horses (the five senses) and then you will have all the time in the world to be with Lord Krishna (your own consciousness). On the other hand, if you let the reins loose (let the mind wonder) all the horses (senses) will get uncontrolled and wander here and there (one gets attached to the materialistic world). The mind and the intellect, instead of becoming the master, then becomes the servant of the five senses and will get detached from the true self or the consciousness.

Electricity is a good servant and a bad master is a well-known saying. Something is true for the five senses. They are very good to the life provided they are controlled like servants and never treated like masters. Once they overpower you, they will create an umbrella of darkness over the mind and the intellect making you forget about the presence of soul in the body. Once this happens, you lose your dharma.

Whenever given a choice, always choose your consciousness as the master and not any of the five senses, mind, intellect or ego.

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Most temples represent God or the spirit or the deity located in the temple or mandir situated in an area at the outskirts of the city. A spiritual atmosphere is one that is devoid of pollution and which promotes rajasik or tamasik behavior. The silence of the spiritual atmosphere reduces the internal noise and helps us onward in our inner journey. The inner journey of being in touch with one’s consciousness requires detachment from worldly pleasures and the withdrawal of the five senses of the body

To be in touch with one’s consciousness, one needs to bypass the disturbed state of consciousness controlled by emotion, memories and desires, through mind, intellect and ego. This usually requires a prolonged period of persistence and undertaking the inward journey devoid of external stimuli. The parikrama, which means “the path surrounding something”, incorporating many long walks helps to detoxify the mind and thus shifts the consciousness from a disturbed state to an undisturbed, calm state.

A long walk not only offers physical benefits but one also gets the benefits of nature as one’s inner stimuli are exposed to the outer stimuli during the parikrama. The person is often required to walk bare foot on natural ground, inhale pure air and concentrate and listen to the sounds of the nature, birds and trees. This proximity to nature helps in the inward spiritual journey and shifts one from the sympathetic to parasympathetic mode described by lowering of blood pressure and pulse rate. The final happiness invariably comes from within us at the time of final darshan when a person invariably closes his eyes and experiences God within his heart.

Most temples today are being constructed in residential colonies and provide a holy atmosphere to people right at their doorstep. However, they do not have the same spiritual significance and benefits as a temple located at the outskirts of a city.

There is no way a person can go to a temple in the vicinity of his house and detoxify his mind as this can hardly be achieved in minutes unless you are a siddha yogi, and if you are one, you need not go to a temple as the temple is within you.

In Vedic texts, it has been clearly mentioned that to acquire powers and inner happiness, rishi, munis had to do tapasya for months and years together. This tells us that spiritual well-being is acquired over an extended period of time as the process of detoxification is a long drawn process. Cars and other vehicles should not be allowed near temples as the basic motive is to have a pollution-free atmosphere and to give time and space for the mind to detoxify.

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3 simple ways for a restful sleep

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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1. Cut down on caffeine: Caffeine drinkers may find it harder to fall asleep. Even a single cup of coffee in the morning may lead to a sleepless night. Caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter thought to promote sleep. Caffeine can also interrupt sleep by increasing the need to urinate during the night. Because caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, irritability, and extreme fatigue, it may be easier to cut back gradually rather than to go cold turkey. Those who can’t or don’t want to give up caffeine should avoid it after 2 p.m., or noon if they are especially caffeine–sensitive.

2. Stop smoking or chewing tobacco: Nicotine is a central nervous system stimulant that can cause insomnia. If you continue to use tobacco, avoid smoking or chewing it for at least one to two hours before bedtime.

3. Limit alcohol intake: Alcohol depresses the nervous system, so a nightcap may seem to help some people fall asleep. Alcohol suppresses REM sleep, and the soporific effects disappear after a few hours. Alcohol also worsens snoring and other sleep breathing problems.

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Smoking in women can increase risk of colorectal cancer

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

Women who smoke are at twice the risk of developing cancer of the rectum and the risk goes up with the increase in number of cigarettes smoked per day, duration of smoking and older age at smoking cessation.

Women should never smoke. Current smokers are 95% more likely to develop rectal cancer. Younger adults can develop colorectal cancer, but the chances increase markedly after age 50. More than 9 out of 10 people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are older than 50.

A history of adenomatous polyps (adenomas) especially if they are large, increase the risk of cancer.

If you have had colorectal cancer, even though it has been completely removed, you are more likely to develop new cancers in other areas of the colon and rectum. The chances of this happening are greater if you had your first colorectal cancer when you were younger.

Though the no. 1 cancer in women in urban areas is breast cancer and in rural areas is cancer of the cervix, cancer of the rectum is on the rise.

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Sometimes back, I used to think that a ‘will’ simply meant how my finances would be controlled by my wife and my children after my death. As I started acquiring Vedic knowledge, my interpretation changed. Following is the gist for writing a Will, as I understand it the Vedic way. Of course, writing a will requires a sound state of mind, two witnesses, signed registered paper with accompanying, if possible audio-visual link.

• The first step is to calculate your life earnings. Your earnings are not only your finances earned but also the respect, dignity and image that you have earned in the society.

• Now the next step is to pay off your unpaid debts (Hrins). Apart from actual loans we have taken from banks, friends and others, there are three more debts (Hrins) which we need to pay before we die and define in our Will to be paid from our earning if we die unexpectedly. These as per mythology are Pitra Hrin, Dev Hrin and Rishi Hrin and mean that we have not been able to fulfill the committed desires of our ancestors and commitments made to our GOD and teachers respectively. All these debts, if unpaid, need to be paid out of the finances you are leaving at the time of death. A percentage of your finances, therefore, should be kept to pay these debts. These commitments are usually fulfilled by the eldest son and eldest daughter if there is no son or wife till she is alive.

• Rest of the finances need to be divided to fulfill your Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha or purpose for which you were born.

o Artha: A percentage of your finances should go and be equally divided within your immediate family. A percentage of this amount should be converted into a family trust account to be used for the minus 18 years of age children in future.

o Dharma: Dharma in literal meaning is to hold. A percentage of your finances should be kept into a reserve account and this account interest can be used by the family only if they stick to the code of family conduct (includes rituals, religious activities etc) you have created in your life and mentioned in the will or this amount may be given for charity as defined in your will.

o Kama and Moksha: Kama means the unfulfilled desires at the level of intellect and ego and Moksha the same at the level of our soul.

We must enlist both our desires at the level of mind and at the level of soul and a percentage of our finances should be converted into a trust or defined to fulfill these desires. The examples of desires at the level of soul are to do some charitable work without any publicity. The same at the level of ego are to open some dispensary, dharamshala etc. in our own name. You also need to fulfill and document your desired rituals at the time of death. These rituals must answer the following questions:

• Should my death be celebrated (band, lunch) as I have completed all my purposes of life?

• How should my death anniversary be celebrated or observed?

• How should my last rites be done?

Final Note: If my children and wife are not willing to take care of the finances other than Artha, I nominate the following persons to manage my finance to look after my other desires…….

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Children and teenagers with congenital heart disease should be strongly discouraged from getting a tattoo or piercing their ears or other body parts, because it could lead to endocarditis, a potentially deadly infection of the heart.

Infective endocarditis occurs when bacteria or fungi attach and begin to grow on the valves of the heart. If left untreated, it can lead to a fatal destruction of heart muscle.

Body art in the form of tattoos and piercing has become increasingly popular among children and teenagers. But, most people remain unaware that they should talk to their doctor before tattooing or piercing their body. Most experts today strongly discourage all forms of body art. For those who cannot be dissuaded, the recommendation is to give antibiotics prior to tattooing or piercing, “with strong advice for prompt treatment of any signs of subsequent infection”.

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Meditation and not medication should be the first line of treatment for most lifestyle disorders. The very fact that our body has a receptor for each and every drug means it has the capacity to produce that drug. God did not make these receptors for pharmacological agents or drugs. The key lies in achieving the undisturbed state of consciousness, which can be obtained by either controlling the disturbed state of mind or bypassing it by using the mantra.

The subject of spiritual medicine should be included in schools, colleges and medical sciences.

Confession and communication are two easy modules of controlling the disturbed state of mind. As darkness is absence of light, negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts. To reduce negative thoughts, one should inculcate positive thoughts, actions and behaviors. One cannot hate a stranger. One can only hate a person whom he or she has loved. Hatred is therefore withdrawal of love, and it can only be removed by bringing the love back.

It has been shown that diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, paralysis, asthma and acid-peptic disease can be kept under control with meditation without or with minimal medicines

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