Sub Logo

Dr K K Aggarwal

People who feel that they are at their wits end and can’t figure out how things don’t ever work out, can now relax and dwell on all those failures that they have seen in life and turn failure into success.

  • Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure. It means you are yet to succeed.
  • Failure doesn’t mean you have accomplished nothing. It means you have learned something.
  • Failure doesn’t mean you have been foolish. It means you had faith.
  • Failure doesn’t mean you’ve been discouraged. It means you were willing to try.
  • Failure doesn’t mean you don’t to do. It means you have to do it in a different way.
  • Failure doesn’t mean you are inferior. It means you are not perfect.
  • Failure doesn’t mean you have wasted your life. It means you have to start afresh.
  • Failure doesn’t mean you should give up. It means you should try harder.
  • Failure doesn’t mean you’ll never make it. It means it may take a little longer.
  • Failure doesn’t mean God has abandoned you. It means God has a better idea.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Sewa the best dharma

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Sewa the best dharma

Offering help is the best service to the humanity. As per Sikhism, Sewa (unconditional service), Simran (meditation) and Satsang (company of good people) constitute the trio to acquire 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), Brahmacharya (disciplined life), Asteya (non-stealing) and Aparigriha (not storing more than required).

Any offering, therefore, should be without any reward; the same applies to 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.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

What are three great sentences of importance other than mahavakyas?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on What are three great sentences of importance other than mahavakyas?

  • Brahma Satyam Jagan Mithya Jivo Brahmaiva Na Aparah – Brahman only exists truly, the world is false, and the individual soul is Brahman only and no other.
  • Ekam evadvitiyam brahma – Brahman is one, without a second (There is one absolute reality, without any secondary parts).
  • Sarvam khalvidam brahma – all of this is Brahman.

Understanding exact speech

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

Upanishads, Yoga sutras of Patanjali and teachings of Gautam Buddha, all talk about “the right speech”. As per Gautam Buddha, the right speech has three components:

  • It should be based on truthfulness.
  • It should be necessary.
  • It should be kind.

All three have to be in the same sequence with truthfulness taking the top ranking. For example, when a patient asks a doctor, “Am I going to die in the next few weeks or will I survive longer?” The truth may be that he is serious enough and may not survive but it is not necessary to speak the truth and also it is not kind. Therefore, that truth should not be spoken.

Lord Krishna in Mahabharata explained when not to speak the truth and when to speak a lie. The truth which is going to harm the society may not be spoken and a lie which can save the life of a person without harming others may be spoken.

  • A truth which is necessary and kind may be spoken.
  • A truth which is not necessary but kind may not be spoken.
  • A truth which is necessary but not kind may not be spoken.
  • A truth which is neither necessary nor kind may not be spoken.

Do we get a human birth every time we die?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Do we get a human birth every time we die?

As per Vedic sciences, Hindu philosophy believes in rebirth unless your Sanchit and Prarabdha Karmas are totally exhausted.

It also believes in liberation in which once your past karma’s debt is over, you do not take a rebirth.

Garuda Purana, on the other hand, says that you can take a birth in animal species which means you can be born like a donkey or a dog. Vedic science, on the other hand, says that once you get a human body, you will either be liberated or get another human body only.

Garuda Purana message can be read and interpreted in a different perspective. In mythology, humans are linked to animal tendencies. For example, bull is linked to sexual and non-sexual desires, peacock to vanity, etc. Probably, people who wrote Garuda Purana meant that if you do not live according to the Shastras, you will end up in getting another human body but with animal tendencies and behavior.

Top Characters of Mahabharata

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Top Characters of Mahabharata

To be in harmony with the body (five elements represented by Draupadi), one must acquire five qualities, or in other terms, live a focused life, full of strength and not being disturbed with loss or gain and finally working for the welfare of the society without having any partiality towards anyone.

  • Balanced mind: Yudhishthir (“sthir” or balanced in “yudh” or disturbed state of mind)
  • Focused vision (Arjuna)
  • Using internal power or strength (Bhima)
  • Not being partial or remaining neutral (Nakul)
  • Working for the welfare of the society (Sahdev)

With this, one can kill 100 negative qualities that a person can have (the 100 Kauravas). The hundred negative qualities are acquired because of cunningness (Shakuni), not working with the eyes of the soul (Dhritarashtra) and keeping a blind eye to any wrong happening (Gandhari).

The main negative qualities are taking decisions in day-to-day life situations (Duryodhana: dusht in yudha or war) and choosing wrong choices as a ruler (dusshasana: dusht and shasan).

The positive qualities once acquired will also win over other negative qualities like blind faith or undue attachments (Bhishma pitamaha); unrighteous loyalty (Dronacharya), and unrighteous ego (Karna).

Values, Morals and Ethics

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on Values, Morals and Ethics

Values

  • Values are our fundamental beliefs. They are the principles used to define what is right, good and just.
  • Values guide how to determine right versus wrong and good versus bad.
  • They are the standards.
  • While evaluating anything, we compare it to a standard.
  • Values include honesty, integrity, compassion, courage, honor, responsibility, patriotism, respect and fairness.
  • Ethics are universal.

Morals

  • Morals are values attributed to a system of beliefs, particularly a religious system.However, it could also be a political system of some other set of beliefs.
  • These values get their authority from outside us, i.e., from a higher being or a higher authority (e.g. society).
  • We may categorize the values listed above, such as honesty, integrity, etc., as moral values, i.e., values derived from a higher authority.

Ethics

  • Ethics is about our actions and decisions.
  • When we act in ways consistent with our beliefs that is characterized as acting ethically.
  • When one’s actions are not compatible with theirvalues, that is considered as acting unethically.
  • The ethics of our decisions and actions is defined socially.

Direct all your energy towards the soul and not the ego

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Direct all your energy towards the soul and not the ego

The epic Mahabharata can also be understood as a science of inner Mahabharata that occurs in everybody’s mind.

Lord Krishna symbolizes the consciousness and the five Pandavas, the five positive qualities of a person namely, righteousness (Yudhishthir), focus (Arjuna), power to fight injustice (Bheem), helping others (Sahdev) and learning to be neutral in difficult situations (Nakul). Panchali indicates the five senses, which can only be controlled when these five forces are together.

Dhritarashtra symbolizes ignorance, Duhshasan – a negative ruling quality (dusht while ruling), and Duryodhana (dusht in yudh) symbolizes one who is not balanced in war. Consciousness-based decisions need to be taken to kill the negativity in the mind. Every action, if directed towards the consciousness or the soul, is the right action. To kill all the 100 Kauravas (the 100 negative tendencies a person can have) controlled by Duryodhan and Duhshasan along with Shakuni (the negative power of cunningness), positive qualities have to be redirected towards consciousness and then take right decisions.

The five Pandavas (positive qualities) made soul (Lord Krishna) as their point of reference (Sarthi) and won over the evils (Kauravas).

Bhishma Pitamah, Karna and Dronacharya, individually all had winning powers, but, they all supported negative thoughts and made Duryodhana as their point of reference and ultimately had to die.

The message is very clear – if one directs his or her positive powers towards ego as the reference point in long run, they will be of no use and, in fact, will be responsible for one’s destruction.

Ravana too was a great scholar but he directed all his energies and powers towards his ego and ended up in misery.

Therefore, one should cultivate a positive mental attitude, positive thoughts instead of directing them towards desire, attachment or ego and should direct them to soul/consciousness for a positive outcome.

Samudra Manthan: The Churning of the Ocean on Dhanteras

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Samudra Manthan: The Churning of the Ocean on Dhanteras

Many of us know the story of ‘Sagar Manthan’ or the churning of the ocean. The story goes like this.

Once Indra lost his kingdom due to the disrespect he showed to sage Durvasa. He approached Lord Vishnu who advised him to seek the help of the demons to churn the ocean of milk (Ksheer Sagar), so that he and Devatas could partake the Amrita (ambrosia) which would make them immortal and help them regain their lost kingdom.

Going by his advice, Devatas approached the demons, and they all agreed to churn the ocean of milk. They sought the help of mount ‘Mandhara’ and the great snake ‘Vasuki’ for this purpose. Vasuki, the snake god, was used as the rope and Mandhara, the mountain, as the churning stick to churn the ocean. While they were churning the ocean, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a tortoise and held the Mandhara from sinking. While the churning was going on, several wonderful objects came out of the ocean.

The first to come out was ‘Halahal’, the deadly poison, which threatened to engulf the world and destroy it. When no one was willing to accept the poison, Lord Shiva came forward and accepted it. He swallowed it and Parvati who was standing beside him, pressed his neck as he swallowed it and thus, prevented it from going into his stomach. Thus, the poison remained struck there forever, neither going up into his mind nor going down into his stomach.

Then came Kamadhenu (the wish-fulfilling cow), the Ucchaisrava (the white horse), Airavata (the white elephant), Kaustubhamani (a rare diamond), Kalpavriksha (the wish-fulfilling tree), Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth), Sura or Varuni (the goddess of wine), and finally Dhanvantari (the divine physician) with the vessel of Amrita in his skilful hands. These objects, except the last one, were divided between Devatas and the demons.

The nectar of immortality was, of course, finally denied to the demons and was distributed among Devatas only, through a fine piece of trickery enacted by Lord Vishnu. He assumed the form of Mohini to delude the demons and make them temporarily forget all about the ‘Amrit’, while he went on distributing it among the gods who took it. Because of the effects of ‘Amrit’, they not only became immortal but also defeated the demons summarily. But two of the Daityas (demons) managed to partake of the Amrit. And they both became immortal. Therefore, the strife between good and evil continues to this day.

Spiritual Symbolism

The story represents the spiritual endeavor of man for achieving immortality and inner happiness through concentration of mind, withdrawal of senses, control of desires and practice of austerities and asceticism.

  1. The Devatas represent the pleasure principle in us. They also represent the senses.
  2. The demons represent the pain principle and the negative thoughts and impulses.
  3. Indra represents the Intellect, which can become egoistic.
  4. Ksheer Sagar or the ocean of milk is the mind or the human consciousness. The mind is always compared to an ocean (mano sagaram) while the thoughts and emotions to the waves.
  5. Mandhara, the mountain, stands for concentration. The word “mandhara” contains two words “man” (mind) and “dhara” (a single line) which means ‘holding the mind in one line’. This is possible only during mental concentration. The mountain Mandhara was upheld by Lord Vishnu as a tortoise.
  6. The tortoise stands for the withdrawal of the senses into oneself as one practices mental concentration and meditation or contemplation. It also suggests that the mind should rest upon itself or freely surrender itself to the divine will.
  7. The participation of both Devatas and the demons signifies the fact that when one is seeking immortality through the spiritual practice, one has to integrate and harmonize both the positive and negative aspects of one’s personality and put both the energies for the common goal.
  8. The great serpent Vasuki stands for desire. The desire is always compared to a thousand hooded serpents.
  9. Halahal represents the turmoil of mind one suffers in the initial phase of meditation.
  10. The celestial gems represent the spiritual powers or the Siddhis one can attain during meditation.
  11. ‘Amrit’ or nectar represents the inner happiness.
  12. Immortality represents Moksha.

The story represents the need for doing meditation (churning of the mind in the ocean) to gain control over ego, which takes over when the mind and intellect (Indra) lose their track.

The process involves intention to do the meditation (Devatas approach Vishnu or the consciousness who in turn advises to do the manthan) and attention (focus, concentration) on the object of concentration (God or consciousness and here the tortoise). The process involves concentrating on a mantra or the breath continuously and giving preferences to the object of concentration over the thoughts. Meditation is incomplete without withdrawing the senses (tortoise). According to yoga sutras of Patanjali, it is called ‘pratihara’ by creating a spiritual atmosphere. The contemplation or the continuing concentration is a must (mandhara).

Meditation is the process of slipping in the silent gaps between the thoughts. Negative thoughts are the Asuras, the devils or the demons. Meditation involves bypassing the thought and needs both the positive and the negative thoughts to cooperate with each other like in a rope.

While meditating, one is bound to be affected by a chain or rope of desires (Vasuki). The same needs to be tightened up caught firmly by the thoughts, and ignored by giving preference to the object of concentration, the self (the tortoise). When in difficulty, everyone has to take the help of God (in the form of Mohini).

To summarize, the Vasuki used in the churning of the ocean denotes that Devatas and the demons held desire (to seek immortality) as a rope and churned the mind with the help of concentration and withdrawal of the senses. You can hold the desire in your hands and manipulate it only when you have control over your desires.

In the initial phase of meditation or intense churning by opposite forces, one is affected by turmoil of the mind. Most people who start meditation leave it in this phase only, as they cannot bear this turmoil and get agitated or disturbed. That is one reason it is said that one should learn meditation under the guidance of a teacher, doctor or a guru.

The Halahal represents this suffering and pain one undergoes at the beginning of spiritual Sadhna. The problems get intensified because of inner conflicts, when one part yearns to pursue the spiritual path (Devatas) while the other opposes it (demons). In short, ‘Halahal’ is the instability of the body and the mind that arises as a counter-reaction against one’s spiritual practice.

One can compare this to the release of the mental toxins comparable to the physical toxins which gets released when we rest and after a daylong rest complain of leg pains.

The mental turmoil representing all kinds of reactions, negative thoughts, desires and impulses associated with some degree of physical turmoil (body movements, flickering and tingling) need to be tackled here to complete the process of meditation.

One cannot take out these negative thoughts in the open nor can one keep it in (you cannot throw the Halahal out or swallow it). It needs to be managed or ignored by keeping it in the throat which is what was done by Shiva. Shiva here represents the ascetic principle (leading a life of self-discipline and self-denial).

It also means that another mode of controlling the turmoil is by controlling the breath. Shiva is the controller of breath and is called a ‘prananath, or praneshwar’ – The Lord of Breath. In meditation, it is essential that one gains complete mastery over one’s breathing pattern. Most sages hold their breath in their throat, near the palate, as they meditate to control this turmoil of mind.

The various objects that came out of the ocean during the churning stand for the psychic or spiritual powers (siddhis) which one gains as one progresses spiritually from stage to stage.

These siddhis are spiritual powers, which come to a seeker as he progresses on the spiritual path. We are told that a seeker should be careful about these powers as they can hamper his progress unless he uses them judiciously – not for his selfish gains but for others’ welfare. This is the reason why the gods and demons distributed these powers among others without keeping anything for themselves as they did not want to lose sight of their original aim, which was to gain immortality (inner happiness).

Dhanvantari stands for health. The vessel containing the Amrit was brought before the Gods and the demons by Dhanvantari, the divine physician. This signifies that immortality can be achieved only when the body and the mind are in a perfect state of health.

Lord Dhanvantari is worshipped on Dhanteras, 2 days before Diwali as the lord of Ayurveda. He has four hands with herbal medicines, Ayurveda book, Amrit kalash and a Shankh in each arm. It defines the principles of treatments (herbal drugs for the physical body, pranayama and mantras represented by Shankha for the mind, rasayanas for spiritual health represented by the kalash and prevention by understating the knowledge of true self by reading the Ayurveda).

These spiritual powers are the ones which one can attain while doing basic and advanced meditation and includes the capacity to fulfill desires, to give boons to others, to acquire health, wealth, etc. Meditation is not possible in case of a person who is mentally or physically sick or whose gross body is not fit for receiving meditation benefits.

Lord Vishnu, in the form of Mohini, stands for ‘delusion of the mind’ in the form of pride. It is the pride of achievement to which the Asuras or the demons succumbed and thus, lost their right to enter into the world of immortality. Pride and egoism are the final hurdles one has to overcome in spiritual life before being able to experience self-realization.

Understanding exact speech

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

Upanishads, Yoga sutras of Patanjali and teachings of Gautam Buddha, all talk about “the right speech”. As per Gautam Buddha, the right speech has three components:

  • It should be based on truthfulness.
  • It should be necessary.
  • It should be kind.

All three have to be in the same sequence with truthfulness taking the top ranking. For example, when a patient asks a doctor, “Am I going to die in the next few weeks or will I survive longer?” The truth may be that he is serious enough and may not survive but it is not necessary to speak the truth and also it is not kind. Therefore, that truth should not be spoken.

Lord Krishna in Mahabharata explained when not to speak the truth and when to speak a lie. The truth which is going to harm the society may not be spoken and a lie which can save the life of a person without harming others may be spoken.

  • A truth which is necessary and kind may be spoken.
  • A truth which is not necessary but kind may not be spoken.
  • A truth which is necessary but not kind may not be spoken.
  • A truth which is neither necessary nor kind may not be spoken.

Let the mud settle down

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Let the mud settle down

Once, while traveling, Buddha passed a lake. He asked his disciple to get him some water from that lake as he was thirsty.

The disciple noticed some people washing clothes in the water. At that very moment, a bullock cart also crossed through the lake.

The water became muddy and turbid. The disciple thought to himself that he could not take such muddy water to Buddha to drink.

So, he came back to tell Buddha that the water was muddy and wasn’t fit for drinking.

After about an hour, Buddha asked his disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water. This time the disciple noted that the water in the lake was absolutely clear. The mud had settled down and the water was now fit for drinking. He collected some water in a pot and brought it for Buddha to drink.

Buddha looked at the water and asked the disciple whether he understood what he did to make the water clean. He let it be, and the mud settled down on its own and the water got clear… Our mind is also like that.

When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it some time. It will settle down on its own. No effort is required to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.

Do we get a human birth every time we will die?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Do we get a human birth every time we will die?

As per Vedic sciences, Hindu philosophy believes in rebirth unless your Sanchit and Prarabdha Karmas are totally exhausted.

It also believes in liberation in which once your past karma’s debt is over, you do not take a rebirth.

Garuda Purana, on the other hand, says that you can take a birth in animal species which means you can be born like a donkey or a dog. Vedic science, on the other hand, says that once you get a human body, you will either be liberated or get another human body only.

Garuda Purana message can be read and interpreted in a different perspective. In mythology, humans are linked to animal tendencies. For example, bull is linked to sexual and non-sexual desires, peacock to vanity, etc. Probably, people who wrote Garuda Purana meant that if you do not live according to the Shastras, you will end up in getting another human body but with animal tendencies and behavior.

You Cannot Hate Strangers

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on You Cannot Hate Strangers

You can only hate somebody whom you have loved. Hatred, therefore, is withdrawal of love.

Love is the opposite of fear and not hate. Most of us assume that love and hatred are opposite to each other but hatred is withdrawal of love and manifestation of fear; it’s not opposite.

In spirituality, you cannot have love and fear together. Love means being in touch with your consciousness. Love is total absence of fear.

As per mythology, there are only two emotions and they are emotions of love and emotions of fear. All other emotions are their sub-categories. For example, love can be categorized into joy, peacefulness, happiness, forgiveness. Fear, on the other hand, can give rise to hatred, depression, guilt, inadequacy, discontentment, prejudice, anger, etc.

In Ayurveda, fear is linked with Vata disorder, Pitta with anger and Kapha with attachment and possessiveness.

Again, as per Ayurveda, fear is linked with large intestine, pitta with small intestine and kapha with stomach and upper GI systems.

Fear in Vedic sciences is linked with Mooldhara Chakra, the first chakra with the sound LUM and love is linked to the Heart, the fourth Heart Anhata Chakra with its sound Yum. In terms of Vedic sciences, in Chakra meditation, Mooldhara chakra has the opposite characteristics of Anhata or Heart Chakra. Therefore, the sounds LUM and YUM are often chanted together.

Fear or love have different chemistry. Fear is based on adrenaline and love is based on endorphins. Fear is related to adrenaline based fight and flight.

The most important fear in body is fear of death. If that fear goes, one attains spirituality.

In the Sikh prayer “Ik Onkaar Sat Naam Kartaa Purakh Nirbh-a-o Nirvair Akaal Moorat Ajoonee Saibhn Gur Parsaad Jap…………”

‘Nirbhay’ means free of fear. Once one is in touch with consciousness, the fear goes away.

When there is fear, there is no love and when there is no love, there is fear. Fear and love cannot be experienced at the same time.

Why do we put on Tilak on the forehead?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Why do we put on Tilak on the forehead?

The Tilak is a mark of auspiciousness and invokes a feeling of respect in the wearer and others. It is recognized as a religious mark. Its form and color vary according to one’s caste, religious sect or the form of worship of the person in question.

Tilak is applied on the forehead with sandal paste, sacred ash or kumkum, a red turmeric powder. In a wedding, a Kumkum tilak is applied on the forehead of both the bride and groom.

In earlier times, the four castes (based on varna or color) – Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra – applied marks differently. The Brahmin applied a white chandan mark signifying purity, as his profession was of a priestly or academic nature. The Kshatriya applied a red kumkum mark signifying valor as he belonged to the warrior race. The Vaishya wore a yellow kesar or turmeric mark signifying prosperity as he was a businessman or trader devoted to creation of wealth. The Shudra applied a black bhasma, kasturi or charcoal mark signifying service as he supported the work of the other three castes.

The devotees of Shiva apply sacred ashes (Bhasma) on the forehead as a Tripundra (three parallel horizontal lines); the devotees of Vishnu apply sandal paste (Chandan) in the shape of “U” and the worshippers of Devi or Shakti apply Kumkum.

The tilak is applied in the spot between the eyebrows, which is the seat of memory and thought. It is known as the Aajna Chakra in the language of Yoga. The Tilak is applied with the prayer – “May I remember the Lord. May this pious feeling pervade all my activities. May I be righteous in my deeds.” Even when we temporarily forget this prayerful attitude, the mark on another reminds us of our resolve. The tilak is thus a blessing of the Lord and a protection against wrong tendencies and forces. The entire body emanates energy in the form of electromagnetic waves – the forehead and the spot between the eyebrows especially so. That is why worry generates heat and causes a headache. The tilak cools the forehead, protects the wearer and prevents energy loss. Sometimes the entire forehead is covered with chandan or bhasma.

Using plastic reusable “stick bindis” is not very beneficial, even though it serves the purpose of decoration.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Definition of Health

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

Health is not mere absence of disease; it is a state of physical, mental, social, spiritual, environmental and financial wellbeing. All aspects of health are not defined in allopathy.

During MBBS, medical students are taught more about the physical health. Social and mental health are covered only in few lectures. Community health is a separate subject but never given its due importance. Spiritual health is not defined at all and financial health is hardly covered.

Yet, in day-to-day practice it is the social, financial, spiritual and community health, which are most important during patient-doctor communication. It is incorporated in the four basic purposes: dharma, artha, kama and moksha.

Dharma and artha form the basis of karma, which means righteous earning. You are what your deep rooted desires are. Most of the diseases can be traced to a particular emotion, whether positive or negative. Anger and jealousy are related with heart attack, fear with blood pressure, greed and possessiveness with heart failure. If the mind is not healthy, one cannot be free of diseases.

The best description of health comes from Ayurveda. In Sanskrit, health means swasthya, or establishment in the self. Being established in the self means a union of mind, body and soul. Most symbols of health are established around a shaft with two snakes and two wings. The shaft represents the body, two snakes represent the duality of mind and the two wings represent the freedom of soul.

Sushrut Samhita in Chapter 15 Shloka 10 defines the Ayurvedic person as under:

Samadosha, samagnischa,

Samadhatumalkriyah,

Prasannatmendriyamanah,

Swastha iti abhidhiyate.

From an Ayurvedic point of view, for a person to be healthy, he/she must have balanced doshas, balanced agni, balanced dhatus, normal functioning of malkriyas and mind, body, spirit and indriyas full of bliss and happiness.

Human body is made up of structures (Kapha), which have two basic functions to perform; metabolism (pitta) and movement (vata). Vata, pitta and kapha are the three doshas in Ayurveda. Samana dosha signifies balance of structures, metabolism and movement functions in the body. Agni in Ayurveda is considered to be in balance when a person has normal tejas and a good appetite.In Ayurveda,there are seven dhatus: rasa, rakta, mamsa, medha, asthi, majja, shukra.They are required to be in balance. They are equivalent to various tissues in the human body.

Ayurveda necessitates proper functioning of natural urges like urination, stool, sweating and breathing and that is what balance in malakriya means.

Ayurveda says, for a person to be healthy, he/she has to be mentally and spiritually healthy, which will only happen when his or her indriyas are cheerful, full of bliss and devoid of any negativities. For indriyas to be in balance, one has to learn to control over the lust cum desires, greed and ego. This can be done by learning regular pranayama, learning the do’s and don’ts in life, living in a disciplined atmosphere and learn to live in the present.

Regular pranayama takes one from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic mode, balances the mind and thoughts and helps get rid of negative thoughts from the mind. For living a disabled life, one can follow the yama and niyama of yoga sutras of Patanjali or do’s and don’ts taught by various religious gurus, leaders and principles of naturopathy. Living in the present means conscious or meditative living. This involves either learning meditation 20 min twice a day or learning subtle mental exercises like mind-body relaxation, yogic shavasana, self-hypnotic exercises, etc.

According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a person who eats thrice a day is a rogi, twice a day is a bhogi and once a day is yogi. The take home message is: To live more one has to eat less.

Swar yoga defines the importance of respiration and longevity. According to this yoga shastra, everybody has a fixed number of breaths to be taken during the life span.

Lesser the number a person takes in a minute, more is the life. It also forms the basis of pranayama which is nothing but longer and deeper breathing with reduced respiratory rate. To be healthy, one can remember to follow the principle of moderation and variety in diet and exercise, regular pranayama and meditation and positive thinking.