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Dr K K Aggarwal

The vibrations of the ringing bell produce the auspicious primordial sound ‘Om’, thus creating a connection between the deity and the mind. As we start the daily ritualistic worship (pooja), we ring the bell, chanting:

Agamaarthamtu devaanaam

gamanaarthamtu rakshasaam

Kurve ghantaaravam tatra

devataahvaahna lakshanam

“I ring this bell indicating the invocation of divinity, so that virtuous and noble forces enter (my home and heart); And the demonic and evil forces from within and without, depart.”

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

Man Vachan Kaya

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Man, Vachan, Kaya are the three fundamental principles used to define non-violence (ahimsa) and truthfulness (satya).

Being truthful means what you think, speak and do, are the same. You should be one in whatever you think, do or speak.

Ahimsa is the fundamental principle of Jainism, which means that you should be non-violent not only in your actions but also in your speech and thoughts. Being truthful makes you Satyugi. Only in certain circumstances, you may differ in your thinking, speech and actions. For example, you cannot tell a patient he is going to die in the next week. Here, your mind may be saying something, your speech and actions will be something else.

Any discordance in Man, Vachan and Kaya ends up with guilt and suppressed emotions, which later on can cause blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

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

Honest people look at everybody as honest and dishonest people look at everybody as dishonest. It all depends on the type of people you interact with. If you do not take bribe, nobody will come and offer bribe to you and you will feel everybody is honest. If you take bribe, then everybody will come to you to offer bribe and you will feel that everybody in the society is dishonest.

Never judge people with you personal experience. I recall, one of the doctors said that every doctor takes and gives bribe because he was running an imaging centre and every doctor who approached him asked for a bribe. But he did not take into consideration the doctors who did not approach him.

What is consciousness?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Energy is the raw material of the universe.
  • Information is the organization of energy into reproducible patterns.
  • Consciousness is living information and energy (living energized information).
  • Consciousness is, therefore, intelligence.
  • Intelligence is information and energy that has self-referral or the ability to learn through experiences and the ability to re-interpret and influence one’s own information and energy states.
  • Consciousness is live, advanced, software-driven energized information. A close example: Advanced computer software which can type, correct, interpret, edit and store spoken or read information.

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

The very purpose of life is to face sufferings

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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According to Hinduism, the very fact we are born means that in our last life, we did not get liberation or Moksha. It also means that some sufferings in our last birth still remained.

Therefore, the purpose of this birth is to face those sufferings.

When the purpose of our life is to face sufferings, why suffer from them? This should be considered as ‘sukh’ and not ‘dukh’. As per Vedic literature, every adversity is an opportunity to learn or to do something different. Buddhism also talks about the same. The first is that suffering exists, second that there is a reason for every suffering and third that it is possible to neutralize the suffering by understanding the 8 paths of cessation of suffering. Also remember that in every ‘dukh’ you think of ‘sukh’ and in every ‘sukh’ you think of a ‘dukh’. Next time you have a problem, think differently and learn to enjoy them.

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

Wahans (Vehicles) in Mythology

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In mythology, the negative tendency of a man is symbolized with the animal nature. Gods in Indian mythology are symbolized as living a positive behavior. Every God has been given a vehicle or Wahan. Both God and the Wahan symbolize how to live a positive life and how to control the animal tendencies. Following are a few examples:

  1. Lord Ganesha rides a mouse. Mouse in mythology is symbolized with greed and Ganesha as the one who removes obstacles. The spiritual meaning behind both is – one should learn to control greed to tackle obstacles in life.
  2. Lord Shiva rides Nandi. The bull symbolizes uncontrolled sexual desires and the duo signifies that to learn meditation, one needs to control sexual desires first.
  3. Saraswati (the goddess of knowledge) sitting on a swan symbolizes that to acquire knowledge one must learn the power of discrimination or vivek. A swan can drink milk and leave water from a mixture of milk and water.
  4. Indra (the one who has complete control over the intellect) riding on the elephant Airavat symbolizes that for its development, the intellect (Indra) requires control over masti and madness (elephant).
  5. Durga (the perfect woman) riding a lion symbolizes that to become a perfect woman, she must learn to control agitation or aggression (lion).
  6. Lakshmi (wealth) riding an owl symbolizes that to earn righteously, one must learn to control owl-like properties within us, which is not to be fooled.
  7. Lord Vishnu (the doer) riding the eagle or garuda (Eagles are opportunistic predators, which means, they eat almost anything they can find) means controlling your desires to eat an unbalanced diet.
  8. Krishna riding five horses means one needs to control our five senses.
  9. Kartikeya riding a peacock symbolizes that one should learn to control one’s pride (vanity) or ego.
  10. The vehicle of Goddess Kali is a black goat. Agni rides Mesha, a ram. Kubera, the god of wealth, also has a ram as his vehicle. A ram is an uncastrated adult male sheep. Goat also signifies uncontrolled sexual desires but lesser than the bull.
  11. Yamraj rides a buffalo, which is known for its rampant destruction. Lord Yama or Yamraj is referred to as the God of death, lord of justice, Dharma Raja. One can do justice only if one has control over anger and aggressive behavior.

In mythology, apart from Wahans, animals are also shown to be sacrificed, which means to kill the animal tendency within ourselves. In Kali Pooja, a buffalo is sacrificed, which again means that in extreme situations, you may need to kill your ego or anger.

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

Vaishakha Purnima

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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All Purnima Tithis are considered auspicious in India. Vaishakha Purnima, Magh Purnima and Kartik Purnima are considered important as during these months one goes for shahi snana ( holyu bath) in Sun every day and covers the annual quota for Vitamin D. The consumption of Til during these days supplies the required calcium.

Buddha Jayanti falls on Vaishakha Purnima day. Gautam Buddha gained enlightenment at Bodhgaya under a pipal tree on Vaishakh Purnima and on the same day he attained Nirvana at Kushinagar.

People worship Lord Satyanarayana and observe Satyanarayana fasting on Purnima day. On this day of fast one is supposed to have oneness in spoken language, thoughts and actions.

  1. Purnima is the day with high tides in the ocean
  2. The body retains water during this day
  3. On Ikadashi, people often observe water fast to neutralize the water retention during Purnima
  4. Vaishak Purnima, is a special day for sun bath with Shreyat and Krishna til containing water.
  5. According to the Bhavishya Purana, Lord Vishnu took is worshipped in turtle form on Vaishakha Purnima.
  6. Turtle signifies withdrawal of senses. The fast on this day involves not speaking lie and withdrawing all sensual pleasures
  7. This is considered rare and an extraordinary event. That is why Buddha Purnima is celebrated on Vaishakh Purnima every year.
  8. Vaishakh Month is considered to be the ideal month to perform charity, homas, fasts etc.
  9. Mantra: Om Namo Bhagvate Vasudevaya Namah.
  10. Providing a thirsty person with water on this day is equivalent to performing a Rajsun Yagya.

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

Should doctors smile while talking to their patients?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Bhagavad Gita 2.10

“Tam uvāca hṛṣīkeśaḥ

prahasann iva bhārata

senayor ubhayor madhye

viṣīdantam idaṁ vacaḥ”

Tam—unto him; uvāca—said; hṛṣīkeśaḥ—the master of the senses, Kṛṣṇa; prahasan—smiling; iva—like that; bhārata—O Dhṛtarāṣṭra, descendant of Bharata; senayoḥ—of the armies; ubhayoḥ—of both parties; madhye—between; viṣīdantam—unto the lamenting one; idam—the following; vacaḥ—words.

Translation: “O descendant of Bharata, at that time Kṛṣṇa, smiling, in the midst of both the armies, spoke the following words to the grief-stricken Arjuna.”

The answer comes in Bhagavad Gita, the first text book of counseling. When grief ridden Arjuna approaches Krishna, he starts his counseling in a happy and smiling mood.

Arjuna was grief-filled, sad and rebellious. Yet Krishna smiled. The word in the Gita is prahasann, which means to smile before laughing (beginning to laugh).

It was not a weak or full smile or a sarcastic grimace, but a very positive smile.

Half of grief/apprehension is alleviated if a patient sees his doctor smiling or the relatives see a smile on the face of a doctor coming out of operation theatre.

It also gives confidence to the patient (Arjuna) that his doctor (Krishna) has understood his problem fully and has a solution to his problem.

Buddha is also shown smiling and Goddess Kushmanda is also shown with a smiling face.

Swayambhu or self-manifested

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Swayambhu or स्वयम्भू is a Sanskrit word that means “self-manifested”, “self-existing” or “that is created by its own accord”. In Sikh prayer it is called Ajuni Saibham. In Tibetan, this word appears as “Rangjung”.

The word Swayambhu is used to describe a self-manifested image of a deity, otr ku (Tibetan) which was not made by human hands, but instead is naturally arisen, or generated by nature.

The word etymology of swayambhu is Svayam (स्वयम्) which means self or on its own and bhu (भू) which means to take birth or arising. The idol of Venkateshwara at Tirumala is one such example.

In Sikh prayer the word ‘Ajuni’ makes God to be unborn. Saibham (saibhang) explains God as self-manifested, self-existent or self-effulgent.

Based on details in Bhagavada Purana and Matsya Purana, Narayana is said to be the self-manifested Swayambhu form of Brahman as the first cause of creation.

The Manu Smriti says, “In the beginning, all this existence was one undifferentiated, un-manifested, indefinable, unarguable and unknown in every way. From this condition arose the Universe of ‘name and form’ (namarupa), through the medium of the Self-existent Creator, Svayambhu.”

In terms of quantum physics, from the quantum field of unmanifest arose the quantum fluctuation, which led to the birth of hirnagarbha or the golden egg leading to the birth of universe.

In Spiritual Vedic Science, consciousness, soul and the spirit are Swyambhu. Soul never dies and is never born. It is self existing in the universe. The very basic nature of any living cell is multiplication and that can only happen in the presence of Swyambhu.

In quantum physics, a quantum fluctuation (or vacuum state fluctuation or vacuum fluctuation) is the temporary change in the amount of energy in a point in space as explained in Werner Heisenbergs uncertainty principle. This allows the creation of particle-antiparticle pairs of virtual particles. Quantum fluctuations may have been necessary in the origin of the structure of the universe: according to the model of expansive inflation the ones that existed when inflation began were amplified and formed the seed of all current observed structure.

A quantum fluctuation is the temporary appearance of energetic particles out of empty space, as allowed by the uncertainty principle.

The uncertainty principle states that for a pair of conjugate variables such as position/momentum or energy/time, it is impossible to have a precisely determined value of each member of the pair at the same time. For example, a particle pair can pop out of the vacuum during a very short time interval.

In Puranas, it is mentioned that Hirnagarbha the golden egg remained floating for a year and did not divide till it was entered by a Swyambhu or in other words experienced a quantum fluctuation.

Based on this theory it is possible that the whole universe could have been created at the same time without going through the Darwinian principles.

In Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10, Krishna says “ He who knows Me as the unborn, as the beginningless…”.

“The seven great sages and before them the four other great sages and the Manus [progenitors of mankind] are born out of My mind, and all creatures in these planets descend from them”

  • 10.20: I am the Self, O Gudakesa, seated in the hearts of all creatures. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings.
  • 10.21: Of the Adityas I am Visnu, of lights I am the radiant sun, I am Marici of the Maruts, and among the stars I am the moon.
  • 10.22: Of the Vedas I am the Sama-veda; of the demigods I am Indra; of the senses I am the mind, and in living beings I am the living force [knowledge].
  • 10.23: Of all the Rudras I am Lord Siva; of the Yaksas and Raksasas I am the lord of wealth [Kuvera]; of the Vasus I am fire [Agni], and of the mountains I am Meru.
  • 10.24: Of priests, O Arjuna, know Me to be the chief, Brhaspati, the lord of devotion. Of generals I am Skanda, the lord of war; and of bodies of water I am the ocean.
  • 10.25: Of the great sages I am Bhrgu; of vibrations I am the transcendental om. Of sacrifices I am the chanting of the holy names [japa], and of immovable things I am the Himalayas.
  • 10.26: Of all trees I am the holy fig tree, and amongst sages and demigods I am Narada. Of the singers of the gods [Gandharvas] I am Citraratha, and among perfected beings I am the sage Kapila.
  • 10.27: Of horses know Me to be Uccaihsrava, who rose out of the ocean, born of the elixir of immortality; of lordly elephants I am Airavata, and among men I am the monarch.
  • 10.28: Of weapons I am the thunderbolt; among cows I am the surabhi, givers of abundant milk. Of procreators I am Kandarpa, the God of love, and of serpents I am Vasuki, the chief.
  • 10.29: Of the celestial Naga snakes I am Ananta; of the aquatic deities I am Varuna. Of departed ancestors I am Aryama, and among the dispensers of law I am Yama, lord of death.
  • 10.30: Among the Daitya demons I am the devoted Prahlada; among subduers I am time; among the beasts I am the lion, and among birds I am Garuda, the feathered carrier of Visnu.
  • 10.31: Of purifiers I am the wind; of the wielders of weapons I am Rama; of fishes I am the shark, and of flowing rivers I am the Ganges.
  • 10.32: Of all creations I am the beginning and the end and also the middle, O Arjuna. Of all sciences I am the spiritual science of the Self, and among logicians I am the conclusive truth.
  • 10.33: Of letters I am the letter A, and among compounds I am the dual word. I am also inexhaustable time, and of creators I am Brahma, whose manifold faces turn everywhere.
  • 10.34: I am all-devouring death, and I am the generator of all things yet to be. Among women I am fame, fortune, speech, memory, intelligence, faithfulness and patience.
  • 10.35: Of hymns I am the Brhat-sama sung to the Lord Indra, and of poetry I am the Gayatri verse, sung daily by brahmanas. Of months I am November and December, and of seasons I am flower-bearing spring.
  • 10.36: I am also the gambling of cheats, and of the splendid I am the splendor. I am victory, I am adventure, and I am the strength of the strong.
  • 10.37: Of the descendants of Vrsni I am Vasudeva, and of the Pandavas I am Arjuna. Of the sages I am Vyasa, and among great thinkers I am Usana.

Happy Mother’s day

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Vedic Saying:

ātma-mātā guroḥ patnī

brāhmaṇī rāja-patnikā

dhenur dhātrī tathā pṛthvī

saptaitā mātaraḥ smṛtāḥ

Vedas describe seven types of mother with special mention in the Bhagawat Puran.

  1. Atma Mata: The mother who has given birth to us
  2. Guru Patni: The wife of our Guru
  3. Brahmini: The wife of the Brahmin
  4. Raja Patnika: The queen or the first lady
  5. Dhenur: The Cow
  6. Dhatri: The Nurse or the Doctor
  7. Tatha Prithvi: The Mother Earth

Should doctors detach themselves?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In dealing with patients, the traditional Patient-Doctor relationship model has been that doctor should remain cool, calm and collected at all times.The doctor’s approach needs to be strictly scientific, logical, objective, methodical precise and dispassionate. This has been the model since the era of William Osler, the father of modern medicine. The term used is imperturbability, which means coolness and presence of mind under all circumstances.

Osler said a rare and precious gift to doctor is right of detachment. The right of detachment insulates doctors and protects them from powerful emotions that patients display in their presence like anger, frustration, grief, rage and bewilderment. It also insulates patients from the rolling emotions that doctors may at times feel towards them.

However, a detached attitude also insulates doctors from empathizing with patients. A detached doctor may talk in a language that is over patient’s head.

Detachment is not like a light switch that you can turn on and off to suit the situation. Detachment, as a practice, cannot be in isolation if it becomes your personal style of distracting from the world; it may not be just for the patients but also from your colleague, family friends and even yourself.

I recall when I joined my hospital, the first lesson given to me by my boss was not to get unduly attached with patients. As part of etiquettes, we were taught not to socialize with patients. Even today, the new American Guidelines talk that doctors should not socialize with their patients on social media including Facebook. Even doctors are human beings and their personal life should not be known to the patients. As far as lawsuits are concerned, it is equally true that known patients file a lawsuit much more than unknown people because over a period of time they know your weakness. One should learn to empathize with the patients and yet be detached from its results. Doctors who follow Bhagawad Gita understand this concept very well.

More about Debts

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Hindu scriptures have talked about three types of rins (debts) – Dev rin, Pitra rin and Rishi rin.God or the devtas gave us consciousness, parents gave us our body and teachers gave us the knowledge or intellect.

In Vedic language, our body is a mix of mind, body and soul which can be equated to three rins of mind (teachers), body (parents) and soul (Rishi & Gods).

In computer language, it can be equated to operational software (God), application software (teachers) and computer hardware (parents).

Mindful meditation

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Sit on a straight–backed chair or cross–legged on the floor.

Focus on an aspect of your breathing, such as the sensation of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.

Once you’ve narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and ideas.

Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judging it good or bad. If your mind starts to race, return your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again.

Why Do We Say Aum Shanti Thrice?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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“Trivaram satyam” It is believed that something said thrice comes true. To emphasize a point, we repeat a thing thrice. In the court of law also, one who takes the witness’ stand says, “I shall speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.

Prayer is to get something for which we have an intense desire like Shanti which means “peace” or inner happiness.

There is only love in the universe. Hatred is withdrawal of love. It follows the same principle of light and darkness. There is no darkness in the universe, it is only absence of light.

Similarly, there is only peace in the natural environment (both external and internal). Peace naturally exists in a place until someone makes noise (external or internal).

Internally, peace underlies all agitations and negativity of the mind. When negative thoughts end, peace is the only happening as it was already there.

Peace is covered and controlled by kama, krodha, lobha, moha and ahankar. It can be earned by removing these five gateways to hell.

To invoke peace, one meditates or chants prayers. By chanting prayers, one shifts one’s awareness from sympathetic to parasympathetic mode, a state of relaxation.

All prayers end by chanting shanti thrice. Some interpret it as if chanting first time loudest addresses the unseen forces (Aadhidaivik, the natural disasters), second time, addresses the immediate surroundings (Aadhibhautika: external modifiable factors) and, softest the last and third time addresses oneself (Aadhyaatmika).

Managing grief by free expressive writing

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The loss of a loved is often painful. The resultant grief makes it hard to eat, sleep and leads to loss of interest in routine life affecting behavior and judgment.

Some can feel agitated or exhausted, to sob unexpectedly, or to withdraw from the world and others may find themselves struggling with feelings of sorrow, numbness, anger, guilt, despair, irritability, relief, or anxiety.

It is well known that disclosing deep emotions through writing can boost immune function as well as mood and well–being. Conversely, the stress of holding in strong feelings can increase blood pressure and heart rate and increase muscle tension.

One can write on a piece of paper, in your personal book, on the open website with nick name or keep it in the mind. These emotions need not be preserved and the writings can be thrown away.

In absence of deeply troubling situations, such as suicide or a violent death, which are best explored with the help of an experienced therapist, one can choose writing as a way to express the grief.

  1. Start writing for 15 to 30 minutes a day for 3 to 4 days.
  2. Continue up to a week if it is helping.
  3. Continue writing for 15 to 30 minutes once a week for a month.
  4. Writing has stronger effects when it extends over for more number of days.
  5. Remember writing about grief and loss can trigger strong emotions (one may cry or feel deeply upset)
  6. Many people find journal writing valuable and meaningful and report feeling better afterward.
  7. Don’t worry about grammar or sentence structure.
  8. Truly let go. Write down how you feel and why you feel that way. You’re writing for yourself, not others.