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Dr K K Aggarwal

Vedic principles behind cognitive behavior therapy

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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1) What is counseling?

A: The mental process involves generation of a thought or idea, which is analyzed and then acted upon. Thought, analysis and action, therefore, are the primary three processes of human mind. Counseling involves actions at all three levels.

2) What are different types of counseling?

A: Counseling involves basically two principles – Cognitive counseling and behavioral counseling. Behavioral, when the concentration is only on the actions, and cognitive, when the concentration is on the changes in either the thought process or in the interpretation of the thought process.

3) What is cognitive behavior therapy?

A: As against a pure behavior therapy where a person is counseled to do pre-defined things on regular intervals, cognitive behavior therapy involves changing the actions by changing observations of the interpretation of a particular situation.

4) What is the origin of counseling in India?

A: The origin of counseling goes back to Vedic era. Upanishads were basically text books on counseling based on the original knowledge of Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharvaveda.

5) Is there a relationship of Bhagavad Gita with counseling?

A: Bhagavad Gita is counseling done by Krishna to resolve the conflict in Arjuna’s mind whether to fight or not. At that time, there were no doctors and hence counseling was done by the elders in the family.

6) Are the principles of Bhagavad Gita followed today?

A: All the principles of cognitive behavior therapy today are basically principles that have originated from Bhagavad Gita.

7) What is the first principle?

A: The first principle is that “counseling cannot be done in 1 or 2 sessions.” It requires up to 18 sessions which is what Krishna did in Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita contains 702 dialogues in the form of Shlokas. Therefore, a proper counseling involves in-depth conversation between the counselor and the patient.

8) What is the second principle of counseling?

A: The second principle of counseling is to listen to the patient in the first session in great detail and this is what Krishna did in Bhagavad Gita. In Chapter 1, only Arjuna speaks and Krishna does not utter a word. A patient listening is half the healing done.

9) What is the third principle?

A: As per the third principle, the second (first interactive) session between counselor and the patient should be the longest one. Chapter 2 of Bhagavad Gita is the gist of Krishna’s counseling.

10) What is the fourth principle?

A: The fourth principle is that after giving a detailed counseling in the second session, it is expected that the patient will be confused. This is what happens in the start of Chapter 3 where Arjuna says to Krishna “I am confused. Sometimes you are talking about one path and at other times you are talking about another path. Guide me again.” The third counseling session therefore, is the most important where one has to counsel slowly and in great detail.

11) What is the fifth principle?

A: The next principle is to give reasoning to the counseling. One should not take the patient for granted. Krishna discusses each and every aspect of life with Arjuna in great detail giving scientific reasoning at every stage.

12) What is the sixth principle?

A: Reassure the patient again and again. During his counseling, Krishna assures Arjuna on multiple occasions that you do your job and do not worry. I am with you.

13) What is the seventh principle?

A: The seventh principle involves creating some fear in the patient’s mind. This is what Krishna does while showing his virat swaroop. This especially works in patients of addiction. Some degree of fear with re-assurance from the counselor always works.

14) What is the eighth principle?

A: The summing up counseling session should be as long as the second session. The Chapter 18 of Bhagavad Gita is as big as Chapter 2 where the whole Bhagavad Gita is summarized again.

15) What are the ingredients of counseling?

A: Counseling basically involves in-depth knowledge of dharma, artha, kama and moksha. They are greatly described in Dharmashastra, Arthashastra, Kamasutra and Upanishads through various Vedas.

16) What is stress?

A: Stress is the reaction of the body or the mind to the interpretation of any situation.

17) How can stress be managed?

A: Stress can be managed by either changing the response of the body through yogic living, or changing the interpretation by understanding the principles of counseling or changing the reaction by wilful actions.

18) Are different nitis of our scriptures based on counseling?

A: Yes. Vidur Niti was the counseling given by Vidur to Dhritarashtra when he was not sleeping and Chanakya Niti was based on how to rule a country. Yoga Vashishtha was the counseling given by Vashishtha to Rama to acquire higher levels of spiritual knowledge.

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.

Who is a Good Teacher?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on Who is a Good Teacher?

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 what Lord Krishna taught to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita. In the first chapter, he only listens, in the second, he gives detailed counseling, from 2 to 17 chapters, he gives reasoning and in 18th chapter, he revises.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the text are entirely my personal views)

Who is a Good Teacher?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on Who is a Good Teacher?

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 what Lord Krishna taught to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita. In the first chapter, he only listens, in the second, he gives detailed counseling, from 2 to 17 chapters, he gives reasoning and in 18th chapter, he revises.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the text are entirely my personal views)

Who is a Good Teacher?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Who is a Good Teacher?

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 what Lord Krishna taught to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita. In the first chapter, he only listens, in the second, he gives detailed counseling, from 2 to 17 chapter, he gives reasoning and in 18th chapter, he revises.

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

Negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts

Darkness cannot be removed physically; it can only be removed by switching light or going into sunlight or lighting fire. Similarly negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts.

In Bhagavad Gita also it has been said that in the period of Uttarayana with longer days, the first half at full moon, in the presence of light or agni, one acquires more positive thoughts as compared in Dakshinayana before Amavasya or no moon or in absence of light.

Bhagavad Gita also says that whatever you think the whole life, you think at the time of death and if the time at the time of death you have positive thoughts, you are likely to get Moksha. That may be the reason why in Hindu mythology it is said that just before the death, we should light a diya or chant in front of agni (fire) so that dying person’s thoughts become positive.

In terms of computer language, it can be explained as – when you open a file repeatedly, it becomes a priority file and comes in search engine on priority as compared to other files.

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

Negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , , , | | Comments Off on Negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts

Darkness cannot be removed physically; it can only be removed by switching on the light or going into sunlight or lighting a fire. Similarly, negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts.

In Bhagavad Gita, it has been said that in the period of Uttarayana with longer days, the first half at full moon, in the presence of light or agni, more positive thoughts are acquired compared to in Dakshinayana, before Amavasya or no moon or in absence of light.

Bhagavad Gita also says that whatever you think the whole life, you think at the time of death and if the time at the time of death you have positive thoughts, you are likely to get Moksha. That may be the reason why in Hindu mythology it is said that just before the death, we should light a diya or chant in front of agni (fire) so that dying person’s thoughts become positive.

In computer language, it is explained that when you open a file repeatedly, it becomes a priority file and appears in the search engine on priority as compared to other files.

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

Who is a Good Teacher?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on Who is a Good Teacher?

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 what Lord Krishna taught to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita. In the first chapter, he only listens, in the second, he gives detailed counseling, from 2 to 17 chapters, he gives reasoning and in 18th chapter, he revises.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the text are entirely my personal views)

Should doctors smile while talking to their patients?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Should doctors smile while talking to their patients?

Bhagavad Gita 2.10

“Tam uvāca hṛṣīkeśaḥ prahasann iva bhāratasenayor 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 Theater.

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.

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

Who is a good teacher?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Health Care - Ask Dr KK | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Who is a good teacher?

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).

Every one cannot be a spiritual seeker. In fact majority is not interested in seeking spiritual knowledge and they keep themselves busy in the worldly desires. To become a good seeker one need to acquire many qualities. In Bhagavad Gita Arjuna in a state of disturbed mind sought guidance from Lord Krishna. In Katha Upanishad Nachiketa as a healthy seeker learned the knowledge of life after death from Yama. Katha Upanishad described in detail the qualities of a seeker in Nachiketa. The story goes as under Vajashrava sage performed a sacrifice in which he was required to give away all his worldly possessions. His son Nachiketa saw that the cows given in the donations were all old. Such charity was not going to give his father any merits. Feeling disturbed by the inappropriateness of his father s observance of the sacrifice Nachiketa asked to whom was he given. The sage ignored him twice but on third asking the irritated sage said in anger Unto Yama I give thee. Whereupon Nachiketa went to the abode of Yama and finding him absent waited there for three days and nights. Yama on his return offered to grant him three wishes. Nachiketa wished the following 1. To be allowed to return to his father alive and that his father not be angry with him 2. To be instructed about fire sacrifice 3. To be given knowledge about life after death Yama granted the first wish immediately. In answer to Nachiketa s second question Yama named performance of a special fire sacrifice after Nachiketa. Before answering the third question Yama tested Nachiketa offering him all sorts of worldly pleasures instead but Nachiketa insists. And then Yama taught him about life after death. The properties of true seeker therefore are 1. Righteousness and truthfulness Nachiketa did not agree with his father as his fathers act was not based on Dharma. 2. Persistence He waited for three days to meet Yama. 3. Compassion and forgiveness The first boon he asked was to have his father forgiven. 4. Intellectual understanding The fire of knowledge means intellectual understanding. 5. Let go off the desires He let go all his desires and did not get attracted to the worldly offers given by the Yama. Only after that he qualified to receive the knowledge of soul and become a true seeker. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

Negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , , | | Comments Off on Negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts

Darkness cannot be removed physically it can only be removed by switching light or going into sunlight or lighting fire. Similarly negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts. In Bhagavad Gita also it has been said that the period of Uttarayana with longer days the first half at full moon in the presence of light or agni one acquires more positive thoughts as compared in Dakshinayana before Amavasya or no moon or in absence of light. Bhagavad Gita also says that whatever you think the whole life you think at the time of death and if the time at the time of death you have positive thoughts you are likely to get Moksha. That may be the reason why in Hindu mythology it is said that just before the death we should light a diya or chant in front of agni fire so that dying person s thoughts become positive. In computer language it is explained that when you open a file repeatedly it becomes a priority file and comes in search engine on priority as compared to other files. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

Try to get what you like and try to like what you get

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Most people get frustrated when they do not get what they desire. The frustration can manifest as anger jealousy or irritation which can ultimately cause much more damage to the person. The law of nature is that you get what you deserve and not what you desire. Each action has a karmic expression which ultimately leads to a result which can be desirable or undesirable. Each action therefore invariably ends into either a feeling of pleasure or pain. And the one which ends with pleasure creates more desire and attachment further leading to frustration. What you are depends on your past karmic expression and what you will be in future will depend on your present karmic actions. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction which is the natural law of karma. According to Vedanta scriptures every karmic debt has to be paid sooner or later. Every result should be accepted as a gift of the nature or the gift of God. One should not get excited nor tainted with results. According to Bhagavad Gita one should be attached to the actions but detached from their results. Once you have controlled your mind and won over the duality of pleasure and pain you attain internal happiness and the realization of your true Self. Every karmic expression should be accepted as a message from the God the results of which may be evident later. Any bad experiences with your present karma need not necessarily mean that it is a result of your bad past karma or is a repayment of the past debt. It may also be taken as an experience to prevent occurrence of the same in future and also an opportunity to teach others through your own experience so that they can prevent themselves from getting into such a bad experience. The more you give the more you get is another law of nature. If you want others to love you you will also have to learn to love others. The bad karmic actions done today can only give you a momentary pleasure but in long run you will be a loser. One should be content with what one gets both in terms of one s profession as well as day to day life. Contentment is the key to self happiness. However this does not means that one should not have any desire and one should leave everything to destiny. With continuous effort and repeated attempts one can change one s destiny. Fulfillment of desires should also obey the laws of nature. Substantial fulfillment of desires is a supernatural power. People who are committed or self realized attain these powers happenings and experience substantial effortless fulfillment of any desire. But even if one achieves that one should not get attached to it. Fulfillment of desires should be seen as any ordinary karmic action and one should learn to detach oneself from the result of such an action. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

Negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , , | | Comments Off on Negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts

Darkness cannot be removed physically it can only be removed by switching on the light or going into sunlight or lighting a fire. Similarly negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts. In Bhagavad Gita it has been said that in the period of Uttarayana with longer days the first half at full moon in the presence of light or agni one acquires more positive thoughts as compared to in Dakshinayana before Amavasya or no moon or in absence of light. Bhagavad Gita also says that whatever you think the whole life you think at the time of death and if the time at the time of death you have positive thoughts you are likely to get Moksha. That may be the reason why in Hindu mythology it is said that just before the death we should light a diya or chant in front of agni fire so that dying person s thoughts become positive. In computer language it is explained that when you open a file repeatedly it becomes a priority file and comes in search engine on priority as compared to other files. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

Who is a Good Teacher?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on Who is a Good Teacher?

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 .