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Dr K K Aggarwal

Most temples have God or Spirit represented in deity located in the temple or mandir situated in an area at the outskirts of the city. The temple spiritual atmosphere is devoid of pollution and anything, which promotes Rajsic or Tamsic behavior.

The silence of the spiritual atmosphere reduces the internal noise and helps one go towards an inner journey. The inner journey of being in touch with one’s consciousness requires detachment from the worldly pleasures and withdrawal of all the five senses of the body.

To be in touch with the consciousness one need to bypass the disturbed state of consciousness, controlled by the emotion, memories and desires and made up of mind, intellect and ego.This bypass usually requires a prolonged period of persistence and inward journey devoid of external stimuli. Long parikrama incorporating many hours of walking helps in detoxifying the mind and shifting the consciousness from disturbed state to an undisturbed state. The long walk not only gives physical benefits but one also gets the benefits of the nature as during this period one’s inner stimuli is exposed to the outer stimuli.

The person is often required to walk bare foot on a natural ground and inhale the natural air and concentrate and listen to the sounds of the nature, birds and trees. The nearness to the nature helps in the inward spiritual journey and shifts one from sympathetic to parasympathetic mode characterized by lowering of blood pressure and pulse and rise in the skin resistance.

The final happiness invariably comes from within as at the time of final darshan a person invariably closes the yes and experiences God within the heart. The experience of glimpses of GOD also signifies that in meditation one is in touch with the consciousness only as glimpses.

 Most people today are constructing temples in the residential colonies and providing temple atmosphere to people at their door step but it will not have the same spiritual significance and benefits of a temple at the outskirts of a city. There is no way a person can go to a temple in the nearby vicinity of his house and detoxify his mind as the same cannot be done in minutes unless you are a siddha yogi and if you are, you need not go to a temple as the temple is within you.

In Vedic text it has been clearly mentioned that to acquire powers and inner happiness even rishi, munis need to do tapasya from days to years together. This only indicated that spiritual well being is acquired over a period of time as the process of detoxification is a long drawn process. Car and automobiles are not allowed in spiritual atmosphere for the basic reason to provide a pollution free atmosphere and to give time for the mind to detoxify.

Today most people are going to Bhadrinath, Vaishno Devi, and Tirupati by passing the Parikrama on foot. The result is a formality.Each one of us are living in an atmosphere and lifestyle instant access whether it is mobile phones, remote control TVs, car, or plain we want everything at our doorsteps. We have no time for physical and mental relaxation and no time for physical exertion making us ending up with lifestyle disorders.

Apart most temples have small entry gates which serves as a reminder that we must leave our ego out. Bending to enter in means humility and letting go once ego.In most temples we see Nandi the bull outside the temple, which again signifies that we cannot enter the temple with desires. Again both letting go the desires and ego requires some effort and time.

Most worship places are designed like a pyramid which helps concentrate the energy in the centre and helps one get inner peace.

When it comes to losing weight cutting down on liquid calories is equally important.

“Weight loss from liquid calories is greater than loss of calorie intake from solid food, as per Dr. Liwei Chen, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health at the LSU Health Science Center in New Orleans, in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Body is able to self–regulate its intake of solid food. If you eat too much solid food at lunch, you’ll tend to eat less at dinner. But the same self–regulation is not there for what you drink. The body does not adjust to liquid calories, so over time, you gain more weight.

Cutting back on calories from sugary drinks – by only one serving per day –can account for nearly two–and–a–half pounds of lost weight over 18 months.

Beverages are categorized into eight categories

  1. Sugar–sweetened beverages (including soft drinks, fruit drinks, fruit punch, or high–calorie beverages sweetened with sugar)
  2. Diet drinks such as diet soda and other diet drinks that are artificially sweetened
  3. Milk (including whole milk, 2 percent milk, 1 percent and skim)
  4. 100 percent fruit and vegetable juice
  5. Coffee and tea with sugar
  6. Coffee and tea without sugar
  7. Alcoholic beverages.
  8. Water with no calories.
The best drinks are water, plain soda and tea coffer with no sugar.

9th Chaitra Navratri: Siddhidatri

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Navratri is the detoxification of body, mind and soul. The nine days purification process is observed twice in a year, at the start of summer and winter. Chaitra Navratri is observed at the start of the summer for preparing the body to tolerate summer.

Body detoxification involves special Navratri diet principles of eating less, once a day with no cereals. In Navratri diet flour is replaced with Kuttu (winter) or Singhara (summer) flour; pulses with amaranth or Rajgiri and Rice with Samak rice.

Mental and soul detoxification involves practicing Yoga Sadhna as described in nine forms of Durga, one worshipped each day.

1.  Siddhidatri is worshipped on the Ninth Day of Navratri.

2.   She gives all the eight siddhis – Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Iishitva and Vashitva.

3.    She rides on a lion or on a lotus

4.    She has four hands and looks pleased.

Spiritual message on the 9th Navratri: By the 9th day of spiritual detoxification one gets all spiritual powers.

Chaitra Navratri Diet: Samak Chaval

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In Navratri Samak Chaval is a good replacement for rice eaters. It is not a cereal but a fruit. It is the seed of a grass (Echinochloa Colonum) which frequently grows amongst the rice paddy. In fact it can be eaten in every spiritual fast.  It is also called as Samo rice, Samak rice, Varyacha tandul, Vari TandulBhagaror Kodri, jungle rice. It provides the nourishment and energy that rice does.

It contains 169 Calories per 174 g. it is high in digestible fiber. It is similar to rice in taste and texture. It has a rich source of minerals and vitamins, providing essential ingredients.

In classicalIndiafast it is prohibited to eat rice and hence it becomes the healthy replacement of rice.

Indiais going through an epidemic of metabolic syndrome, a disease due to eating a lot of refined carbohydrates and manifests as insulin over production, insulin resistance, pot belly obesity, hypertension and diabetes.

Wheat and rice are rich in refined carbohydrates. It is said that one should observe cereal fast 80 days in a year and on that day one should not eat wheat flour, rice and sugar. In traditional fast diet one can replace wheat flour with kuttu and singhara flour; pulses or dal with rajgiri or cholai and rice with Samak chaval. All are fruits in origin and good for heart.

Even diabetic patients can eat Samak Chaval. One will loose the benefits if it is cooked in hydrogenated Vanaspati oil.

Navratri is the detoxification of body, mind and soul. The nine days purification process is observed twice in a year, at the start of summer and winter. Chaitra Navratri is observed at the start of the summer for preparing the body to tolerate summer.

Body detoxification involves special Navratri diet principles of eating less, once a day with no cereals. In Navratri diet flour is replaced with Kuttu (winter) or Singhara (summer) flour; pulses with amaranth or Rajgiri and Rice with Samak rice.

Mental and soul detoxification involves practicing Yoga Sadhna as described in nine forms of Durga, one worshipped each day.

1. Maha Gauri is worshipped on the Eight Day of Navratri.

2. SHE looks as white as moon and jasmine. White means purity of mind.

3. She has three Eyes and four hands. SHE is dressed in a white sari.

4. SHE holds a drum and a trident and is often depicted riding a bull (control over the desires)

5. Her above left hand is in fearless pose and she holds ‘Trishul’ in her lower left hand.

6. Her above right hand has tambourine and lower right hand is in blessing Mudra.

Spiritual message on the 8th Navratri: By the 8th day of spiritual; detoxification once gets purity of mind.

In his felicitation function Sachin Tendulkar said that I want my record to be broken by an Indian. He even named at Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

You are what your deep rooted desires are, is old saying. The above statement of Sachin if used by Virat or Rohit, as an intent and persistent desire, can make an impossible happen.

When Sachin broke Sunil Gavaskar’s records, Sunil told Sachin that he would like him to complete 50 hundreds in tests and he (Sachin) ended up in doing the same.

One should differentiate between passion and the profession. Profession is at the level of mind and ego and passion at the level of soul. If the younger cricketers start playing cricket as a passion with intent to beat Sachin’s records, they can and will do it. But if they play cricket only as a profession and with an ego they will never be able to do the same.

Intent is at the level of soul and desires are the level of ego. If you follow your intent, your desires directed at that intent will always be fulfilled.

Empowerment similarly can be at the level of passion and the profession. Virat Kohli has been empowered with the vice captaincy and that is professional empowerment. But unless he uses his inherent empowerment as a passion he can not achieve the success. The internal powers are icha Shakti, Kriya Shakti, Gnana Shakti, Ananda Shakti and Chitta Shakti. These powers if directed towards the soul based intent can bring the desired fruits.

“Spiritual summary: By the time chanting of Bija mantras LAM, VAM, RAM, YAM, HAM and AUM is over the inner darkness goes over.”

Navratri is the detoxification of body, mind and soul. The nine days purification process is observed twice in a year, at the start of summer and winter. Chaitra Navratri is observed at the start of the summer for preparing the body to tolerate summer.

Body detoxification involves special Navratri diet principles of eating less, once a day with no cereals. In Navratri diet flour is replaced with Kuttu (winter) or Singhara (summer) flour; pulses with amaranth or Rajgiri and Rice with Samak rice.

Mental and soul detoxification involves practicing Yoga Sadhna as described in nine forms of Durga, one worshipped each day.

1.    Kalaratri is worshipped on 7th Navratri.

2.    She is dark and black like night with unlocked hairs, 3 eyes and 4 hands.  She holds a sharp Sword in her right hand and blesses her devotees with her lower hand.

3. HER vahana is a donkey, destroyer of darkness and ignorance (or shava).

4.      She spills out fire from her nostrils.

5.      She has put on necklaces shining like lightening.

6.      In Yoga Shastra she represents the Sasahara Chakra.

Food Poisoning In Chaitra Navratre

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Its Navratre time and people start eating Vrata flours like kuttu and singhara. The same can cause food poisoning if the last years left over flour is eaten.

Always consider a food poisoning when a patient presents with a mixture of gastrointestinal symptoms: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and fever.

It’s more common with kuttu flour. The prevention lies in buying it from a standard shop, not buying last year’s stock, or getting in grind in front of us. One should report to the doctors if within six hours of consuming it one gets vomiting or nausea.

Good news for ageing Indian patients with aortic valve disease

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This year’s WHO slogan focuses on ageing and health. The title is important to India in view of its increasing ageing population.  More and more people are toady crossing the age barrier due to advancements in medical fields.

Recently India saw 2 advancements in elderly population with heart disease called aortic stenosis where one of the valves gets narrowed and reduces the life span.

Firstly Padamshri Professor Jagdish Prasad, Chief Cardio Thoracic Surgeon & DGHS implanted a tissue bovine pericardial artificial aortic ‘Trifecta’ valve successfully to a patient at Safdarjang hospital. The valve is the most advanced pericardial aortic stented tissue valve design available by St. Jude Medical, a global medical device company.

The newest Trifecta valve is a clinically proven replacement valve designed for patients with diseased, damaged or malfunctioning aortic heart valves. The next-generation tissue valve has a tri-leaflet stented pericardial design that offers excellent hemodynamic performance (circulation and flow of blood through the valve) and long-term durability.

We have been eagerly anticipating the launch of the Trifecta valve in India and pleased to report the first successful implant of the same said Dr Prasad. The valve will offer numerous benefits to the patients including a durable design that reduces stress on the valve and allows it to last longer, and exceptional hemodynamic performance that allows the valve to perform more like a natural heart valve, which will allow patients to live a more active life.

The valve is constructed using a polyester and tissue-covered titanium stent, or base, to ensure structural integrity of the valve. The valve features leaflets manufactured from pericardial tissue attached to the exterior of the valve stent. This design allows the leaflets to open more fully and efficiently, mimicking the performance of a healthy aortic heart valve, while also mitigating tissue abrasion through tissue-to-tissue (stent-to-leaflet) contact, said Dr Yugal Mishra from Fortis Escorts Heart Institute.

Also for those who are not fit for surgery India now has another alternative. A few weeks back Fortis Escorts Heart Institute launched replacement of the valve without surgery via a catheter.

“Spiritual summary: AUM chanting is one of the most powerful mantra and should be done concentrating on the Ajna third eye chakra”.

Navratri is the detoxification of body, mind and soul. The nine days purification process is observed twice in a year, at the start of summer and winter. Chaitra Navratri is observed at the start of the summer for preparing the body to tolerate summer.

Body detoxification involves special Navratri diet principles of eating less, once a day with no cereals. In Navratri diet flour is replaced with Kuttu (winter) or Singhara (summer) flour; pulses with amaranth or Rajgiri and Rice with Samak rice.

Mental and soul detoxification involves practicing Yoga Sadhna as described in nine forms of Durga, one worshipped each day.

1.   Mata Katyayani is worshipped on 6th Navratri.

2.   SHE has three eyes and four hands and rides on a Lion.

3.   The top right hand is positioned in a gesture of providing courage and the other hand is positioned in a gesture of rendering a boon. The top left hand is holding a sword and the other holding a lotus.

4.   In Yoga Shastras she represents the Ajna Chakra and AUM bija mantra.   AUM chanting helps attaining success in religion, wealth, passion and salvation and removing fear and sorrows.

Chaitra Navratri Diet: Cholai or Amaranth

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In Chaitra Navratri one does no eat pulses and flour. The replacements for flour are fruit origin Kuttu flour and Singhara flour. The same for the pulses is amaranth seeds called as Cholai.

It is known as thotakoora, Cholai, marsa, and tamri bhaji, in various Indian languages. Amaranth in Greek means “everlasting” or never fading.

In India, amaranth grain is known as “rajgeera” meaning, “the king’s grain”.

The plant is an annual herb, not a “true” grain. The leaves are used in cooking in curries and soups.

It is highly vitamin-rich and is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate and riboflavin. It is rich in calcium, potassium, iron (60% of RDA), copper, magnesium, phosphorus and especially manganese.  It also contains tocotrienols (a form of vitamin E) which have cholesterol-lowering activity in humans.

Cooked amaranth is 90% digestible and because of this ease of digestion, it has traditionally been given to those recovering from an illness or ending a fasting period.

It consists of 6-10% oil, which is found mostly within the germ. The oil is predominantly unsaturated and is high in linoleic acid, which is important in human nutrition.

It is high in proteins, up to 30% more than wheat flour, rice and oats. The protein is unusually complete when compared to other plant sources, containing a complete set of amino acids. It is high in lysine and methionine, two essential amino acids that are not frequently found in grains.  For people cutting down on meat, it offers a near-complete protein. It is low in leucine and threonine both of which are present in wheat germ.

Legumes (dal) are low in methionine and grains are low in lysine. A combination of legumes with grains forms a well balanced diet for vegetarians.  Common examples of such combinations are dal with rice; beans with corn tortillas, tofu with rice and peanut butter with wheat bread (as sandwiches). Amarnath being rich in both methionine and lysine is a complete food by itself.

It is high in phytosterols (beta-sitosterol). It lacks gluten.

It is high in insoluble dietary fiber. The fiber is three times that of wheat and its iron content, five times more than wheat. It contains two times more calcium than milk.

Using amaranth in combination with wheat, corn or brown rice result in a complete protein as high in food value as fish, red meat or poultry.

Its moderately high content of oxalic acid inhibits much of the absorption of calcium and zinc. It should be avoided or eaten in moderation by those with gout, kidney disorders or rheumatoid arthritis.

Reheating cooked amaranth is not recommended, particularly for consumption by young children, because the nitrates in the leaves can be converted to nitrites, as in spinach.

It can be cooked as a cereal, ground into flour, popped like popcorn, sprouted, or toasted.

Spiritual Significance: One should gain knowledge of detached attachment as the main principle of spirituality.

1.  Skanda Mata is worshipped on the fifth Day of Navratri.

2.  SHE is holding her son ‘Skandaa or Kartikaya’ on her lap.

3.   SHE has three eyes and four hands

4.  2 hands hold lotuses while the other 2 hands respectively display defending and granting gestures.

5. She is the ocean of knowledge.

6.   She rides on a lion.

7.      In Yoga Shastra she represents the Vishuddha chakra and HAM bija mantra.

8.      She also dignifies motherhood, fertility and mother child relationship.

9.       Skandaa means the one with six heads corresponding to the five senses and the mind. Or the one who has a control over the six demonic vices: kaama (sex), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (passion), mada (ego) and matsarya (jealousy).

10.   Kartikeya carries on one hand a spear and his other hand is always blessing devotees. His vehicle is a peacock, a pious bird that grips with its feet a serpent, which symbolizes the ego and desires of people. The peacock represents the destroyer of harmful habits and the conqueror of sensual desires.

Patients with Acidity Should Avoid Chocolates and Peppermint

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Persistent acidity is usually due to reflux of acid from the stomach into the food pipe. Mild cases of acidity reflux can usually be managed with lifestyle and dietary modifications along with antacids, H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors.

However, patients in whom lifestyle management joined with empirical treatment is unsuccessful or who have symptoms suggestive of complicated diseases should undergo endoscopy to rule out cancer of the food pipe, a condition linked with persistent acidity.

Symptoms that may suggest complicated disease include loss of appetite, loss of weight and difficulty in swallowing food, bleeding and signs of systemic illness.

Lifestyle changes for reflux involve elevation of head and of the body, avoidance of food before sleep and avoidance of food which makes the food pipe valve lax. The examples of such foods include fatty food, chocolates, peppermint and excessive intake of alcohol.

Hurry, worry and curry are the three main factors for causing acidity apart from alcohol and smoking. People with acidity should consume less of fermented, sour, salty and pungent food.

4th Chaitra Navratri: Kushmanda Worship

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Keep Smiling And Be Happy In All Situations

Spiritual summary: One should continuously (beaded rosary) control the air (anahata plexus) within us by using our sharp intelligence (sword) and balancing the mind (Trishul) by focusing on one point (arrow and bow), practicing detached attachment (lotus), accepting things as they are (Kamandalu), keep smiling in both acceptable and difficult situations (smiling face) and killing the negative energies by using discus (power) when needed. This can be assisted by chanting YAM focusing on 4th heart anahata thymus plexus chakra”.

Navratri is the detoxification of body, mind and soul. The nine days purification process is observed twice in a year, at the start of summer and winter. Chaitra Navratri is observed at the start of the summer for preparing the body to tolerate summer.

Body detoxification involves special Navratri diet principles of eating less, once a day with no cereals. In Navratri diet flour is replaced with Kuttu (winter) or Singhara (summer) flour; pulses with amaranth or Rajgiri and Rice with Samak rice.

Mental and soul detoxification involves practicing Yoga Sadhna as described in nine forms of Durga, one worshipped each day.

Kushmanda is worshipped on 4th Navratri. SHE shines brightly with a laughing face. Out of eight hands (Ashtabhuja) in her four arms, she carries weapons like bow, arrow, discus and mace. In other three hands, she holds a lotus, a beaded rosary and a Kamandalu. In remaining hand, she carries a jar of nectar. SHE rides on Lion.

Rosary represents her power to bless her devotees with Ashtasiddhi (eight types of studies or wisdom sources) and Navanidhi (nine types of wealth).

In Ayurveda SHE represents the control over the air element. In Yoga Shastra SHE represents the heart or Anhata Chakra with the Bija sound YAM.

Chaitra Navratri Diet: Buckwheat kuttu flour

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Navratre is the time to omit wheat flour from the diet and substitute it with buckwheat flour or kuttu ka aata. It’s not a cereal but a classified under a fruit and hence a good substitute for a Navratre fasts where cereals are prohibited.

The flour is extremely high in protein and is a wonderful substitute for those who are allergic to gluten (found in wheat). It is also good for patients with celiac disease.

It contains phytonutrient rutin, which lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. It is rich in Mg, vitamin B, iron, calcium, folate, zinc, copper, manganese and phosphorus.

As the buckwheat hulls are hard to chew, traditionally they are soaked for about six hours and then cooked so as to make them softer and easily digestible.

It also contains Alpha Linolenic Acid which is helpful in promoting HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) and controlling LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol).

It is a good source of insoluble fibre and prevents occurrences of gall-bladder stones. According to the American Journal of Gastroenterology, a 5% increase in the insoluble fiber intake results in a 10% reduced risk of gall-bladder stones.

Kuttu is 75% of complex carbohydrates and 25% of high quality protein which makes it an ideal food for weight loss.

The flour is gluten-free and hence potato is used to bind the flour together.

The flour has a different taste. Puris made of this flour are crunchier than the normal wheat flour pooris. One should not make pooris with hydrogenated oils or vanaspati as it will take away all the medical benefits of buckwheat flour.

Buckwheat flour however is subjected to adulteration. Left over flour of last year can cause food poisoning.

Mixtures of rye flour, Indian corn flour, wheat flour, and other ground cereals are often used as a substitute for buckwheat.

Being high in fiber and with low glycemic index it is good substitute for diabetic patients. The glycemic Index for buck wheat is 47. Low GI foods have a GI value less than 55; medium GI foods have a GI value between 55 and 69 and high GI foods have GI value greater than 70.

The chiro-inositol present in the buck wheat has been identified as responsible for the diabetes preventing component.

Asthma symptoms can occur in sensitized children when food allergens such as buckwheat are cooked in a confined area. Both acute and late-phase respiratory symptoms are seen.

In the place of puri or pakodas (fried items) made from kuttu atta one must go for kuttu ki roti. One can also prepare idli from the kuttu atta and dosa from the samak rice.