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Dr K K Aggarwal

You are the Temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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“You are the Temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you”. This sutra from the Bible reflects the union between the spirit and the soul. The ‘Spirit’ represents the Parmatama or the Brahman and ‘You’ represents the individualized spirit or the Soul (Jivatama).

A temple is a place of worship and also the place where the God resides. Every human being represents a temple (place of worship) where the God exists (one’s soul) and this soul is nothing but the essence of God (the spirit).

One should treat every individual with the same manner as the same spirit dwells in every human being. The soul is also the reflection of individual’s past and present karmic expressions. Most people look for and search for God in artificial temples, gurudwaras and churches, not realizing that the same God is present within us, provided we undertake the internal journey to look for Him.

He is present in between the thoughts in the silent zone and can be approached by adopting any of the three pathways: Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Gyana (Gnana) Yoga.

Doing selfless work with detachment to its results; working with the principles of duty, devotion and discipline; and/or regularly doing Primordial Sound Meditation or other types of meditations can help one reach the stage of self-realization or meeting one’s true self. Once there, one can have all the happiness in life.

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

What type of a vegetarian are you?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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There are 4 main types of vegetarian diets:

  • Lacto–ovo–vegetarian consumes dairy products and eggs but no meat, poultry, or seafood
  • Lacto–vegetarian eats dairy products but no eggs, meat, poultry, or seafood
  • Ovo–vegetarian eats eggs but no dairy products, meat, poultry, or seafood
  • Vegan does not eat any animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products; many vegans will also avoid honey.

Vegetarian and plant-based diets are associated with a reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer as well as increased longevity. Vegetarian diets are typically lower in fat, particularly saturated fat, and higher in dietary fiber. They are also likely to include more whole grains, legumes, nuts, and soy protein, and together with the absence of red meat, this type of eating plan may provide many benefits for the prevention and treatment of obesity and chronic health problems, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

You are the Temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on You are the Temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you

“You are the Temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you”. This sutra from the Bible reflects the union between the spirit and the soul. The ‘Spirit’ represents the Parmatama or the Brahman and ‘You’ represents the individualized spirit or the Soul (Jivatama).

A temple is a place of worship and also the place where the God resides. Every human being represents a temple (place of worship) where the God exists (one’s soul) and this soul is nothing but the essence of God (the spirit).

One should treat every individual with the same manner as the same spirit dwells in every human being. The soul is also the reflection of individual’s past and present karmic expressions. Most people look for and search for God in artificial temples, gurudwaras and churches, not realizing that the same God is present within us, provided we undertake the internal journey to look for Him.

He is present in between the thoughts in the silent zone and can be approached by adopting any of the three pathways: Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Gyana (Gnana) Yoga.

Doing selfless work with detachment to its results; working with the principles of duty, devotion and discipline; and/or regularly doing Primordial Sound Meditation or other types of meditations can help one reach the stage of self-realization or meeting one’s true self. Once there, one can have all the happiness in life.

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

Tips to cope with food poisoning

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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An estimated 600 million cases of food-borne diseases occur annually worldwide. This translates into 1 in 10 people falling ill after eating contaminated food. Food-borne illnesses or food poisoning can be severely debilitating; hence, access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food is therefore key to sustaining life and promoting good health.

Food poisoning usually occurs after eating food contaminated with bacteria or their toxins. Virus and parasites can also cause food poisoning.

Food poisoning due to preformed toxins vs live organisms: Food poisoning due to preformed toxins presents within 6 hours and the predominant symptom is vomiting, whereas food poisoning due to live organisms presents after 6 hours and the predominant symptom is diarrhea.

Symptoms of food poisoning include abdominal pain, nausea, headache, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms may appear several hours to several days after eating tainted food. Severe dehydration may result due to vomiting and diarrhea.

Children, the elderly, immunocompromised people, pregnant women are particularly at risk of developing food poisoning.

Tips to cope with food poisoning

  • Let your stomach settle. Stop eating and drinking for a few hours.
  • Try sucking on ice chips or taking small sips of water. If your urine is clear and not dark, this means the body is hydrated enough.
  • Ease back into eating. Gradually begin to eat bland, low-fat, easy-to-digest foods, such as crackers, toast, bananas and rice. Stop eating if your nausea returns.
  • Avoid certain foods and substances until you’re feeling better. These include dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and fatty or highly seasoned foods.
  • Take adequate rest. The illness and dehydration can weaken and tire you.

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, then why suffer from them?

This should be considered as ‘sukh’ and not ‘dukh’. As per Vedic literature, every diversity is an opportunity to learn or to do something different.

The four notable principles of Buddha also talk 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.

One of my industrialist friends was once ordered to go to Tihar Jail on Friday night. He tried his level best and wanted to get admitted in the hospital for the weekend so that he could get bail on Monday morning. I told him that whether he was in jail or in hospital, it would make no difference as far as his status was concerned. In both the situations, he would be listed as being in the jail on paper. So I told him to go to the jail and enjoy those 48 hours as a holiday. When he came back from the jail, he was a different person and learnt the principle of life which he otherwise could not have learnt.

Seven Common Causes of Forgetfulness

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Lack of sleep is the most common cause. Too little restful sleep can also lead to mood changes and anxiety, which in turn can contribute to memory impairment.
  • Many drugs can affect memory, which includes tranquilizers, antidepressants, blood pressure drugs and anti-allergic drugs.
  • Low functioning thyroid (hypothyroidism) can affect memory.
  • Drinking too much alcohol can interfere with short-term memory.
  • Stress and anxiety can lead to memory impairment. Both can interfere with attention and block the formation of new memory or retrieval of old memories.
  • Forgetfulness can be a sign of depression or a consequence of it.
  • If you are vegetarian, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause memory impairment.

Is it necessary to take a dip in Ganga to remove your sins?0*

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.

Predicting sudden cardiac death

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Normally people can walk a distance of 400-700 meters in 6 minutes.
  • A 6-minute walking distance of less than 300 meter is a simple and useful predictor of sudden cardiac death in a patient with mild to moderate heart failure.
  • Patients with interstitial lung disease who can cover less than 200 meters during 6-minute walk test are 4 times more likely to die than those who can walk greater distance.
  • People who can cover a distance of 200-300 meters need further evaluation.
  • A fall of SpO2 of more than 4% ending below 93% suggests significant desaturation.
  • An improvement of more than 70 meters or 10% in distance walked can make all the difference.
  • An improvement of 30 meters in any distance walked is the minimally important difference in any treatment.
  • Sudden cardiac death is linked to 15% of total urban mortality.
  • Risk factors for sudden cardiac death include abnormal lipid level, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, physical inactivity, diabetic, obesity and family history of premature heart disease or heart attack.
  • Binge alcoholism can cause sudden cardiac death (6 or more drinks per day or five drinks in one session)
  • Risk of sudden cardiac arrest is transiently increased for up to 30 minutes after strenuous exercise (1/1.5 million of episode of exercise)
  • If you are at low risk for having a heart problem, you do not need a regular treadmill test.

Science behind regrets

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In a US-based study, dying people were asked about their regrets, if any. The top five regrets were:

  1. I wish I had the courage to live a life I wanted to live and not what others expected me to live.
  2. I wish I had worked harder.
  3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish I had let myself to be happier.

Regrets are always based on suppression of emotions or non-fulfilment of desires and needs. These need-based desires can be at the level of o, ego or the soul. Therefore, regrets can be at any of these levels.

I did a survey of 15 of my patients and asked them a simple question that if they come to know that they are going to die in next 24 hours, what would be their biggest regret.

Only one of them, a doctor, said that she would have no regrets.

Only one person expressed a physical regret and that was from a Yoga expert who said that her regret was not getting married till that day.

Mental regrets were two.

  1. A state trading businessman said, “I wish I could have taken care of mjy parents.”
  2. A Homoeopathic doctor said, “I wish I could have given more time to my family.”

Intellectual regrets were three.

  1. A lawyer said, “I wish I could have become something in life.”
  2. A businessman said, “I wish I could have helped more people.”
  3. A retired revenue inspector said, “I wish I had married off my younger child.”

Egoistic regrets were two.

  1. One fashion designer said, “I wish I could have become a singer.”
  2. A housewife said, “I wish I could have become a dietician.”

Spiritual regrets were six.

  1. A Consultant Government Liaison officer said, “I wish I could have made my family members happy.”
  2. A businessman said, “I wish I could have meditated more.”
  3. A Homoeopathic doctor said, “I wish I could have spent more time with my family.”
  4. A reception executive said, “I wish I could have spent more time with my parents.”
  5. An entertainment CEO said, “I wish I could have taken my parents for a pilgrimage.”
  6. A fashion designer said, “I wish I could have worked more for the animals.”

In a very popular and successful movie, Kal Ho Na Ho, the hero was to die in the next 40 days. When asked to remember the days of his life, he could not remember 20 ecstatic instances in life. This is what happens with each one of us where we waste all our days and cannot remember more than 50 or even 20 of such instances. If we are given 40 days to live and if we live every day ecstatically, we can get inner happiness. Therefore, we should learn to live in the present instead of having a habit of postponing everything we do.

We should learn to prioritize our work and do difficult work first or else we would be in a state of constant worry till that work is over.

I teach my patients that they should practice confession exercise and one confession is to talk about your regrets and take them as challenge and finish before the next Tuesday. When working, there are three things which are to be remembered – passion, profession and fashion. Profession is at the level of mind, ego and spirit.

We should convert our profession in such a manner that it is fashionable and passionate. Passion means working from the heart and profession means working from mind and intellect and fashion means working the same at the level of ego which is based on show-off.

Even Children Can Have Acidity

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Children who have continuing recurrence of cough and croup could be suffering from stomach acid reflux problems.

Croup or ‘Kali Khansi’, as it is called in local parlance, is recognized by a loud cough that often sounds like the barking of a seal. It can cause rapid or difficult breathing, and sometimes wheezing. Croup is thought to be caused by a virus, but reflux acidity has been suggested as a possible trigger.

In gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach acid causes swelling and inflammation of the larynx, which narrows the airway. It can trigger more swelling with any kind of viral or respiratory infection.

Identifying children with GERD could help treat and improve recurring croup. It is unusual for a child to have three or more bouts of croup over a short period of time. These children need to be evaluated.

The same is true for adults also. Patients with non responding asthma should be investigated for underlying acidity as the cause of acute asthma.

Search for Happiness in the Present Moment

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Happiness should not be considered as being synonymous with pleasure. Pleasure is transient and is always associated with pain later on. Any transient addiction to any of the five senses will either lead to pleasure or pain. Pleasure leads to attachment resulting in more intense and greater desires, and if these are not fulfilled, they cause pain, which manifests as anger, irritability or even a physical disease. This type of transient pleasure is chosen by the individuals who attach themselves not only to the actions, but also to its results.

The soul, which is an energized field of information and energy, is controlled by the person’s action, memory and desire. With every action, a memory is created which either gets stored or is recirculated again as an action. If one does not control the desires, the recurrent actions may cause more problems than happiness.

True happiness, on the other hand, is internal happiness or the happiness of the soul or of the consciousness. It is often said, “You are what you eat, you are what you think and you are what you do.” Hence, your own internal happiness will vary with what you eat, think, and do.

Being in the present moment leads to true happiness. If one laments about the past or keeps fearing about the future all the time, you will never be able to live in the present. Not living in the present is bound to cause unhappiness. One should learn to live and enjoy the present, which can only be done by attaching oneself to the actions and not to its results.

Doing one’s duty with devotion and discipline also helps one to remain in the present. Performing good action is important, but it is equally important to maintain the purity of the mind at the same time. Because any intention in the thought creates the same chemical reaction as when the actual deed is done; abusing a person in thought is the same as abusing him in person. Cultivating positive actions in day–to–day life, like, giving or sharing etc., helps in acquiring internal happiness.

Thoughts ultimately get metabolized into various chemicals and hormones, changing the internal biochemistry of the person; hence, by thinking about cancer all the time, one can actually induce it over a period of time. And similarly, cancers can be cured by thinking positive over a period of time.

Internal happiness gives a deep feeling of satisfaction and is not associated with any transient chemical changes which are generally associated with bodily pleasure activities. People who are internally happy are always contented and are devoid of jealousy, anger, irritability, greed and ego.

One should learn to disassociate from both external pain as well as pleasure, and only then can one acquire true internal happiness.

Health Ministry advisory on the ongoing heat wave

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Dos

  • Stay indoors and in shaded places.
  • Use umbrella/hat/cap/towel when outside.
  • Wear thin loose cotton, light colored garments.
  • Drink frequently water and salted drinks – lassi, lemon water, fruit juices, ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution). Eat fruits such as water melon, cucumber, lemon, orange etc.
  • Take frequent cool bath and reduce room temperature: use window shades/curtains, fan, cooler, air conditioner, cross ventilate room, sprinkle water, keep indoor plants
  • Person feeling unwell, specially old aged, young children, pregnant women, those with pre-existing medical conditions, and outdoor workers, should be immediately shifted to a cooler place, put on minimum clothing, be sponged with cold water, applied ice packs wrapped in cloth, and transported to nearest health facility.

Don’ts

  • Going out in the sun, especially between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm
  • Doing strenuous activities when outside in the afternoon.
  • Drinking alcohol, tea, coffee and carbonated soft drinks
  • Leaving children or pets in parked vehicle.
  • Wearing dark colored, synthetic and tight clothing.

(Source: PIB, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, June 3, 2019)

The Five Internal Powers

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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To be in a state of happiness, bliss and ananda is what the ultimate goal of life is. Everybody is born with certain inherent powers, which, if cultivated in the right direction, will lead to inner happiness.

The ancient Shiva Sutra text talks about the concept of Shiva and Shakti. Shiva is silence, Shakti is power; Shiva is creativity, Shakti is creation; Shiva is love, Shakti is loving.

In computer term, Shiva is the knowledge or the information and Shakti is the operational software. Shiva and Shakti both together form consciousness, in other words, the soul.

Shiva sutra – teaching about Shiva – describes five inherent powers of Shakti which everybody is born with and these are “Chitta Shakti”, “Ananda Shakti”, “Gyan (Gnana) Shakti”, “Ichha Shakti” and “Kriya Shakti”.

Kriya Shakti is the one which is most visible. Kriya is not same as karma. Karma is action born of cause and effect. Kriya Shakti is at the level of body and mind. Ichha Shakti is the inherent desire, which controls the mind. Gyan Shakti is the inherent desire to learn and is at the level of intellect. Both Ananda and Chitta Shakti are at the level of consciousness and represent the desires or aim to be blissful.

These five powers also decide the needs of a person, which can be at the level of physical body, mind, intellect, ego or the soul. The needs activate the Shakti, which in turn leads to action. The purpose of life should be to direct the needs and Shaktis towards the soul and not towards ego.

The power of Kriya Shakti should have all the actions directed towards the soul; Gyan Shakti should be directed towards the knowledge of the true self; Ichha Shakti towards the desire or intention to unite with the self; Anand Shakti and Chitta Shakti towards the awareness of God and to experience the bliss of God. All thoughts, speech or actions in life should be directed on two basic goals – providing happiness to others and ending up with self-happiness. Every action and relationship in life should involve these five powers to attain inner happiness.

Most computers in the body require a key to get activated and the key in the case of Shakti is “intention or intent”. Intentions are something which are under the control of a person, or one can practice control over them.

“Intention” always requires the association of its buddy “attention” with it. Attention is the focus of action on that particular intention. The combination of intention and attention can change perceptions of life and ultimately change the reality. It has been an old Upanishad saying that ‘you are what your thoughts are’. Right intention leads to the right thought; the right thought to right action; the right action to the right habit; the right habit to the right character and the right character leads you to what you are. The punch-line, therefore, is to have right intention which should be directed towards one of the five Shaktis to acquire spiritual well-being.

Health is not mere absence of disease but a state of physical, mental, social, environmental and spiritual well-being. Spiritual well-being has now been added as the fifth dimension of the health. It has been said that the body is the largest pharmaceutical armamentarium in the world and has the capacity to produce each and every drug available in the universe. This is based on the fact that no drug can go into the body without a receptor. The very fact the body has a receptor for every drug means that it has the capacity to produce that drug.

All yogic paths to liberation are also directed towards these Shaktis. One adopts Karma Marg by activating Kriya Shakti, Gyan Marg by activating Gyan Shakti and Bhakti Marg by activating Ichha Shakti.

Faulty lifestyle also involves distractions of three of these powers: Ichha, Gyan or Kriya Shakti.

Correct lifestyle involves the correct use of Kriya Shakti in doing actions, correct use of Gyan Shakti by acquiring knowledge about self and healthy behavior and correct use of Ichha Shakti by learning the do’s and don’ts of life and controlling the mind towards various addictions of life which can be addiction of food, sex, drugs, alcohol, smoking, sleeping, not walking and eating faulty Rajsik cum Tamsik high refined carbohydrate diet.

Music as a Drug

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Our body is the largest pharmaceutical group in the world and has the capacity to heal each and every disease. The very fact that there is a receptor for every drug in the body means that the body has the capacity to produce that drug. Music is one such modality which can heal by initiating various chains of chemical reactions in the body.
  • Chanting vowels produces interleukin-2 in the body, which works like a painkiller.
  • Chanting nasal consonants produces tranquilizers in the body.
  • Sounds like LUM are associated with fear, VUM with attachments, RUM with doubt, YUM with love, HUM with truthfulness and AUM with non-judgmental activities.
  • Various chemicals can be produced in the body by chanting of various vowels and consonants.
  • Nasal consonants are vibrant sounds and produce vibrations of the autonomic plexus causing balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic states. More the nasal consonants in music, the more will be its relaxing healing power.
  • Listening to overtone chanting in music can also heal people in the vicinity of the music.
  • Recitation of music can also increase or decrease respiratory rate of the singer. Lyrics which reduce respiratory rate will lead to parasympathetic healing activity. The respiratory rate of a listener too can increase and decrease if he is absorbed in the song.
  • Listening to a song word by word and by understanding its meaning can also change the biochemistry of the listener. A song can create an excitement or a feeling of depression.
  • A song can also work like intent by speaking in the form of prayers. Group prayers can have powerful effects and convert intent into reality through the concept of spontaneous fulfilment of desire.
  • Music is often linked with dance, both classical and western, which provides additional healing.
  • Gestures, mudras, bhavs and emotions associated with songs produce parasympathetic state in both the singer and the listener.

Give BP drugs at night

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Blood pressure drugs should be taken at night. Uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, paralysis and heart failure. Most such attacks occur in the early morning hours. Pulse, blood pressure and thickening of platelets are all higher in the early morning hours. Controlling early morning blood pressure can reduce cardiovascular mortality. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and high blood pressure, taking at least one antihypertensive drug at bedtime significantly improves blood pressure control, with an associated decrease in risk for cardiovascular events. The study included 661 patients with CKD, who were randomly assigned either to take all prescribed anti-BP drugs on awakening or to take at least one of them at bedtime. Patients were followed for a median of 5.4 years; during that time, patients who took at least one BP-lowering drug at bedtime had approximately one-third of the cardiac risk than those who took all medications on awakening. A similar significant reduction in cardiac deaths, heart attacks and paralysis was noted with bedtime dosing. Patients taking their medications at bedtime also had a significantly lower mean BP while sleeping. For each 5 mmHg decrease in mean sleep-time systolic upper BP, there was a 14% reduction in the risk for cardiovascular events during follow-up. Potential explanation for the benefit of night time treatment may be associated with the effect of night time treatment on urinary albumin excretion levels. Urinary albumin excretion is significantly reduced after bedtime, but not morning, treatment.