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Dr K K Aggarwal

Is it necessary to take a dip in Ganga to remove your sins?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Ganga Jamuna and Saraswati the trio sangam in Allahabad is believed to be the holiest place in the country where taking a dip can wash away all past sins. After death ashes are also submerged in Ganga water with an assumption that the past sins will be removed. In Vedic era what was the intention of the rishis and munis while making this ritual In mythology moon represents cool mind and Ganga represents the positive flow of thoughts. And sea turmoil indicates the disturbed state of mind. Hanuman ki samudra yatra indicates the meditative journey through the flow of thoughts. Samudra manthan represents the journey of the mind during meditation. Taking a dip can be equated to shifting your mind towards your consciousness which can happen when you introspect in a relaxed state of mind or when you practice meditation. Meditation is defined as a journey from sympathetic and parasympathetic state of mind or a journey from disturbed state of consciousness to undisturbed state of consciousness. Every time you meditate you dip into your consciousness and clean your guilt and negative thoughts. It is something like reformatting your hard disk and removing the bad sectors and viruses in your software. It is therefore possible for you to do Ganga snan bath at your house in the morning while meditating or during pooja by drifting away from disturbed state of mind to non disturbed relaxed state of mind clearing your guilt and negative thoughts. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

5 ways to boost bone strength early

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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1. Monitor your diet. Get enough calcium and vitamin D ideally through the foods you eat. Although dairy products may be the richest sources of calcium a growing number of foods such as orange juice are calcium fortified. Fruits vegetables and grains provide other minerals crucial to bone health such as magnesium and phosphorus. 2. Maintain a reasonable weight. This is particularly important for women. Menstrual periods often stop in women who are underweight due to a poor diet or excessive exercise and that usually means that estrogen levels are too low to support bone growth. 3. Don t smoke and limit alcohol intake. Smoking and too much alcohol both decrease bone mass. 4. Make sure your workouts include weight bearing exercises. Regular weight bearing exercise like walking dancing or step aerobics can protect your bones. Also include strength training as part of your exercise routine. 5. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors. Certain medical conditions like celiac disease and some medications steroids and others can increase the chances that you will develop osteoporosis. It s important to talk with your doctor to develop a prevention strategy that accounts for these factors.

The Main Principle of Knowing the Truth

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The main figure in the Upanishads is sage Yajnavalkya known as one of the greatest philosophers. Most of the great teachings of later Hindu or Buddhist philosophy are derived from him. He taught the great doctrine of neti neti the view that truth can be found only through the negation of all thoughts about it. Brhadaranyaka Upanishad is the oldest and the most important of all the Upanishads. Its name actually means the great forest book. Sage Yajnavalkya s dialogues with his wife Maitreyi are featured in the Muni Kanda or Yajnavalkya Kanda. The doctrine of neti neti suggests the indescribability of the Brahman the Absolute. Yajnavalkaya attempts to define Brahman. Atman is described neither this nor this neti neti. The Self cannot be described in any way. Na iti that is Neti. Through this process of neti neti you give up everything the cosmos the body the mind and everything to realize the Self. Once the Atman is defined in this manner are you become familiar with it a transformation takes place as realization dawns that the phenomenal world and all its creatures are made up of the same essence of bliss. Brahman is infinite amorphous colorless characterless and formless Universal Spirit which is omnipresent and omnipotent and like cosmic energy is pervasive unseen and indescribable. Neti neti Meditation The principle of neti neti has been used in meditation involving gnana yoga. Whenever a thought or feeling comes to mind that is not the goal of the meditation or is not the soul or the inner self the meditator simply has to say Not this not this and dismiss the thought image concept sound or sense distraction. Any thought any feeling is patiently discarded again and again if necessary until the mind is clear and the soul or the self is revealed. Neti neti and the mind When you get into the habit of neti neti you can also discard thoughts of worry doubt or fear and become established in the light of your inner self. You can then look back at worries and fears with deep insight and handle them. Neti neti and the medical profession One of the basic medical teachings is to diagnose a condition by way of excluding other similar conditions. This is called differential diagnosis and this is the mainstay of allopathy. This also makes one investigative oriented but is the only scientific way of knowing the truth. Neti neti and multiple choice questions In any modern exam today the principle of neti neti is used. A question has about four nearly similar answers and the student has to answer the correct one. He can only answer by the principle of negation. Neti neti and police investigations This principle is also used while handling a criminal case. Everyone is a suspect in the crime initially till a process of elimination clears them. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

How to cut back on added sugar

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Many of the healthy foods you eat such as energy bars fruit and flavored yogurt contain sugar. The first step is to read labels carefully and opt for products that are lower in sugar. The American Heart Association recommends keeping calories from added sugars under 100 calories a day 24 grams or 6 teaspoons for women and under 150 calories 36 grams or 9 teaspoons for men. Giving up juices and soft drinks can be tough but here are few ways to get started Make your own. Start with plain sparkling water or tap water. Add a flavoring that strikes your fancy. Here are a few options an ounce or two of 100 fruit juice a slice of lemon lime orange or grapefruit a sprig of fresh mint a few raspberries. No frills coffee and tea. A small dash of sugar or artificial sweetener and milk is okay but go easy on the extras like flavored syrups and whipped cream. Transition to diet beverages. Sugar free sodas and other soft drinks can help you transition away from sugar sweetened beverages. HealthBeat

Do Your Duty with Discipline and Devotion

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Vasudhaiva kutumbakam the whole world is one family and Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudavanti truth is one but the wise call it by various names are two basic statements which come from the ancient Rig Veda and form the fundamentals of Vedic philosophy. One should do one s duty with devotion and discipline. This principle can be remembered as the principle of three Ds. In daily routine one should remember the purpose for which one is born which to fulfill Dharma duty Artha wealth Kama desire and Moksha liberation . To achieve them one needs to follow the four Fs i Follow the teacher ii Face the negative devils of the mind iii Fight till the end and iv Finish at the goal. The essence of Bhagwad Gita can be summarized in one shloka Chapter 2.48 where Krishna says to Arjuna yogastha kuru karmani which means concentrate on actions do all actions while remaining in yoga . He further says that one should take success and failure in the same stride. yogastha steadfast in yoga kuru perform karmani duties or action . To acquire spiritual health one should follow three Ss which are i Satsang company of good people ii Sadhana hard work and iii Sanskar good deeds . Adi Shankaracharya in Bhaj Govindam describes them as Satnam or Simran bhakti or reciting the name of their God Satsang company of good people and Seva good karmas . Before doing any work one should follow the principles of three Hs i listen with the Head ii follow the Heart to choose one of the choices and iii order the Hands to take an action. The ABCs of a good professional are Availability Behavior and Competence. Competence comes last the first is the availability of the professional. An action should be based on Truth it should be coming from consciousness and should end in internal bliss. Various Vedic literatures have termed this triad by different names like satha chitha ananda and satyam shivam sundaram. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

Reduce your risk of stroke

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Stroke is preventable. About 90 of strokes are associated with 10 risks factors that are modifiable. 1. Control high blood pressure 2. Do moderate exercise 5 times a week 3. Eat a healthy balanced diet high in fruit vegetables low in sodium 4. Reduce your cholesterol 5. Maintain a healthy BMI or waist to hip ratio 6. Stop smoking and avoid second hand exposure 7. Reduce alcohol intake men 2 day women 1 day 8. Identify and treat atrial fibrillation 9. Reduce your risk from diabetes talk to your doctor 10. Get educated about stroke

Traditionally people believe that Nastik are people who do not go to temples or related places of worship. They also do not believe in God. To differentiate between Astik and Nastik we need to first understand the concept of Sanatan Dharma and Arya Samaj Dharma. People who believe in Sanatan Dharma consider God as separate from the self and worship him in the form of an idol. They believe in Dualism theory. Arya Samaj followers do not do idol worship and believe in non dualism and treat God and self as one. Arya Samajis therefore will not go to a temple where the idols of Gods are placed. Being an Arya Samaji does not mean that the person is Nastik. The word Nastik means someone who does not believe in God at all therefore he or she also does not believe in self as God is nothing but self. In medical sciences these are the people who have no insight and will usually be suffering from depression and loss of self esteem.

Difference between fog and smog

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Whenever the humidity is high air movement is less and the temperature is low fog is the automatic choice. It reduces visibility and more accidents are reported on the roads and delay in both railway and airlines services. When the level of pollution is high in the atmosphere the pollutant particles get mixed into the fog reducing its visibility further and the resultant is called as smog. Smog is very dangerous to both lungs and the heart. High sulfur dioxide contents lead to precipitation of chronic bronchitis. High nitrogen dioxide contents lead to precipitation of asthma. High particulate matter PM10 air pollutants sized between 2.5 to 10 microns can damage the lungs and precipitate asthma due to air flow and inflammation. High contents of particulate matter PM 2.5 air pollutants less than 2.5 micron in size can enter the lungs and damage the lung lining. They can also be absorbed and cause inflammation of the heart arteries. Patients with asthma and chronic bronchitis should get the dose of their medicine increased during smog days. Avoid exertion in conditions of smog. It is better to avoid walking during smog hours. Drive slowly during smog hours. Heart patients should stop their early morning walk during smog hours. Remember to take the flu pneumonia vaccine.

Who is a Good Teacher?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A good teacher is the one who follows the principles of listening first teaching in detail till confusion arises and then teaching with reasoning while going into the minutest details and finally summarizing the take home messages. This is how Lord Krishna discoursed to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita. In the first chapter he only listens in the second he gives detailed counseling and from chapters 2 to 17 he gives reasoning and in 18th chapter he revises. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

Besan or gram flour has health benefits

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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If you are in doubt that your food may be the cause of your illness try substituting one food each day. To begin with its best to use besan gram flour in place of wheat flour. People suffering from celiac disease cannot digest a protein called gluten which is found in barley and wheat flour. Gluten triggers immune system in patients to damage small intestine villi. As a result patients cannot absorb nutrients from food and remain malnourished which could lead to anemia weight loss and fatigue. Celiac disease patients suffer from fat malabsorption. A gluten free diet is also recommended for patients with wheat allergy dermatitis herpetiformis multiple sclerosis autoimmune disorders autism spectrum disorders ADHD and some behavioral problems. Gluten containing cereals are wheat barley rye oats and triticale. Gluten is also present as a food additive in the form of a flavoring stabilizing or thickening agent. In these conditions one should switch over to gluten free foods. The best alternative is to shift from wheat flour to gram flour besan .

The spiritual meaning of the word �Artha�

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Dharma Artha Kama and Moksha are the four fundamental principles of our very existence which means earning righteously with a desire to fulfill the inner happiness Righteous earning is called Artha and it has been mistakenly linked to materialistic money In mythology Artha is synonymous with Lakshmi Saraswati and Kali where Lakshmi represents righteously earned materialistic wealth Saraswati represents wealth of knowledge and Kali represents wealth of wisdom to fight the bad in you and in the society In any country it is the wealth of knowledge which is more important India was ruled initially by warriors Kali later by money Lakshmi and in future will be ruled by knowledge Saraswati It is the human resources which today decide the growth of a company and the amount of money invested If you have good human resources your company is going to succeed Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own

Flu in children

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The classical features of uncomplicated flu in children include abrupt onset of fever headache muscle pain and malaise affected by manifestation of respiratory tract illness sore throat cough and nasal discharge But all these features may not be present in all children Flu sometimes may last for more than a week in children Ear discharge progression to asthma and pneumonia are common complications in children Complicated pneumonia may be severe and rapidly fatal especially if the bacterium is Staph During winter a diagnosis of flu should be considered in all children with fever children with fever and acute onset of respiratory illness children with fever and exhilaration of underlying chest condition children with pneumonia and children with fever of more than 100 with severe cough or sore throat Fever is present in over 95 of cases often more than 39 C Cough is present in over 77 patients Nasal discharge is present in more than 78 patients Headache is present in more than 26 patients Muscle pain is present in more than 71 patients Incubation period is 1 4 days with high transmissibility The treatment is often symptomatic Cough hygiene should be practiced.

Science behind Chhath pooja

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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1. Chhath puja is mainly observed in Bihar and Nepal. Bihar has a number of Sun temples, flanked by a surajkund or sacred pool of the Sun. 2. It is a ritual bathing festival that follows a period of abstinence and ritual segregation of the worshiper (parvaitin) from the main household for four days. The parvaitin observes ritual purity, and sleeps on the floor on a single blanket. 3. This is the only festival which does not involve any priest. 4. The devotees offer their prayers to the setting sun, and then the rising sun. 5. It is the most glorious form of Sun worship. 6. The main worshippers (parvaitin) are women. 7. The parvaitin pray for the well-being of their family, for prosperity and for offspring. 8. The prasad offerings include sweets (Thekua) and fruit offered in small bamboo winnows. 9. The food is strictly vegetarian and it is cooked without salt, onions or garlic. 10. Day 1: Nahay khay (bathe and eat): The parvaitin take a dip in river. The house is cleaned. Only one meal is eaten and contains �kaddu-bhat� or channa dal, and arwa chawal (rice). 11. Day 2: Kharna (the day before Chhath): On Panchami, the parvaitins observe a fast till evening a little after sunset. Just after the worship of earth, the offerings of Rasiao-kheer (rice delicacy), puris (puffs of wheat flour) and bananas, are distributed. From time onwards, for the next 36 hours, the parvaitin goes on a fast without water. 12. Day 3: Chhath: Sanjhiya Arghya (evening offerings): The day is spent preparing the Prasad (offerings) at home. Offerings (Argh) are made in the evening to the setting sun. In the night a colorful event of Kosi is held. Here, lighted earthen lamps are kept under a canopy of five sugarcane sticks. The five sticks signify the human body made of five elements. 13. Day 4: Parna (day after Chhath): Bihaniya Aragh (next morning offerings): On this final day the parvaitin with family go to the riverbank before sunrise and offer (Aragh) to the rising sun. The festival ends with the breaking of the fast. Science behind the pooja 1.Sun worship in Kartik month is related to absorption of vitamin D. 2. Vitamin D comes from UVB rays. 3. These rays are predominant at sun set and sun rise. 4. Vitamin D deficiency today is running like an epidemic in the society. 5. Vitamin D is sued for absorbing calcium from the food. 6. All the food items used in this pooja are high in calcium. 7. Kartik is also high fertility months. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to infertility. 8. Natural calcium is better absorbed in fasting state. 9. Patients with compromised kidneys should not do this fast. 10. Fast is never broken with feast. This fast is usually broken with ginger and jaggery. (Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Lifestyle tips

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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� Set goals: For example to add one fruit serving in a meal every day � Measure progress: Count the distance traveled in 6 minutes every day. An improvement of 30 meters in distance walked is significant. � Make goals that are achievable. For example, don�t set a goal of a daily 5 mile run if you�re out of shape. � Make realistic goals: Quitting smoking or losing weight without a doctor�s help may not be realistic but an additional fruit serving a day is a small, manageable step toward better health. � Set time commitments: Pick a date and time to start.

An empty mind is the devil�s house

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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It is an old saying that “Khali dimag shaitan ka ghar”. Empty mind means when you are doing nothing and Shaitan means negative thoughts. In terms of Vedic science, negative thoughts mean absence of positive thoughts and they are often equated to darkness, which is absence of light. Positive thoughts always need efforts and exertions, while negative thoughts are spontaneous and without exertion. It is recommended that one should think differently and positive otherwise there will be spontaneous appearance of negative thoughts. Darkness is spontaneous and naturally present and to bring light one has to make efforts by switching on the light or the nature has to ask the Sun to come and give the light. (Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).