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Dr K K Aggarwal

Why do we place our hands over the flame?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Flame is the “flame” of true knowledge. At the end of any aarti, we place our hands over the flame and then touch our eyes and the top of the head. It means – “May the light that illuminated the Lord light up my vision; May my vision be divine and my thoughts noble and beautiful.”

The metaphysical implication of aarti extends further. The sun, moon, stars, lightning and fire are the natural sources of light. The Lord is the source of these wondrous phenomena of the universe. It is due to Him alone that everything exists.

As we light up the Lord with the flame of the aarti, we turn our attention to the very source of all light, which symbolizes knowledge and life. Also, the Sun is the presiding deity of the intellect, the moon, that of the mind, and fire, that of speech. The Lord is the supreme consciousness that illuminates all of them. Without Him, the intellect cannot think, the mind cannot feel and the tongue cannot speak. The Lord is beyond the mind, intellect and speech.

How can these finite entities illuminate the Lord? Therefore, as we perform the aarti we chant:

Na tatra suryo bhaati na chandra taarakam, Nemaa vidyuto bhaanti kutoyamagnib

Tameva bhaantam anubhaati sarvam, Tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhaati

“He is there where the sun does not shine, nor the moon, stars and lightning. Then what to talk of this small flame (in my hand), Everything (in the universe) shines only after the Lord, and by His light alone are we all illumined”

In our spiritual journey, even as we serve the guru and society, we should willingly sacrifice ourselves and all we have, to spread the “perfume” of love to all.

We often wait a long while to see the illuminated Lord but when the aarti is actually performed, our eyes close automatically as if to look within. This is to signify that each of us is a temple of the Lord.

Ganesha, the Stress Management Guru

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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If Lord Krishna was the first counselor who taught the principles of counseling, Lord Ganesha taught us the principles of stress management.

We should worship Lord Ganesha and become like him whenever we face any difficulty or are stressed out.

The elephant head of Lord Ganesha symbolizes that when in difficulty, use your wisdom, intelligence and think differently. It can be equated to the Third Eye of Lord Shiva. Elephant is supposed to be the most intelligent animal in the kingdom. Here, wisdom means to think before speaking. Lord Buddha also said that don’t speak unless it is necessary and is truthful and kind.

The big elephant ears of Lord Ganesha signify listening to everybody when in difficulty. Elephant ears are known to hear long distances. Elephant eye see a long distance and in terms of mythology, it represents acquiring the quality of foreseeing when in difficulty. The mouth of Lord Ganesha represents speaking less and hearing and listening more.

The big tummy of Lord Ganesha represents digesting any information gathered by listening to people in difficulty. The trunk denotes using the power of discrimination to decide from the retained information. It also indicates doing both smaller and bigger things by yourself. The elephant trunk can pick up a needle as well as a tree.

The teeth, broken and unbroken, signify to be in a state of balance in loss and gain. This implies that one should not get upset if the task is not accomplished and also not get excited if the task is accomplished. In times of difficulty, Ganesha also teaches us not to lose strength and control one’s attachments, desires and greed.

The four arms of Lord Ganesha represent strength. Ropes in two hands indicate attachment; Laddoo or Sweet in one hand represent desires and mouse represents greed. Riding over the mouse indicates controlling one’s greed.

Lord Ganesha is worshipped either when a new work is initiated or when one finds it difficult to complete a job or work. In these two situations, these principles of Lord Ganesha need to be inculcated in one’s habits.

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

Ganesha, the Stress Management Guru

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on Ganesha, the Stress Management Guru

If Lord Krishna was the first counselor who taught the principles of counseling, Lord Ganesha taught us the principles of stress management.

We should worship Lord Ganesha and become like him whenever we face any difficulty or are stressed out.

The elephant head of Lord Ganesha symbolizes that when in difficulty, use your wisdom, intelligence and think differently. It can be equated to the Third Eye of Lord Shiva. Elephant is supposed to be the most intelligent animal in the kingdom. Here, wisdom means to think before speaking. Lord Buddha also said that don’t speak unless it is necessary and is truthful and kind.

The big elephant ears of Lord Ganesha signify listening to everybody when in difficulty. Elephant ears are known to hear long distances. Elephant eye see a long distance and in terms of mythology, it represents acquiring the quality of foreseeing when in difficulty. The mouth of Lord Ganesha represents speaking less and hearing and listening more.

The big tummy of Lord Ganesha represents digesting any information gathered by listening to people in difficulty. The trunk denotes using the power of discrimination to decide from the retained information. It also indicates doing both smaller and bigger things by yourself. The elephant trunk can pick up a needle as well as a tree.

The teeth, broken and unbroken, signify to be in a state of balance in loss and gain. This implies that one should not get upset if the task is not accomplished and also not get excited if the task is accomplished. In times of difficulty, Ganesha also teaches us not to lose strength and control one’s attachments, desires and greed.

The four arms of Lord Ganesha represent strength. Ropes in two hands indicate attachment; Laddoo or Sweet in one hand represent desires and mouse represents greed. Riding over the mouse indicates controlling one’s greed.

Lord Ganesha is worshipped either when a new work is initiated or when one finds it difficult to complete a job or work. In these two situations, these principles of Lord Ganesha need to be inculcated in one’s habits.

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

What is the importance of Govardhan Pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Mistakes of the Intellect are responsible for the disturbed state of mind. Even if the mind is under control, the intellect can disturb the mind. It is the discriminative faculty of the mind and can be very destructive. It is the main cause of ignorance. External desires and the uncontrolled five senses are responsible for it. Kama, Krodha, Lobha and Moha are the causative factors.

In mythology, Krishna won over the intellect– symbolized by King Indra, the one who controls the indriyas and the senses. Govardhan pooja is the example of winning over the intellect. The same can only be done by one point concentration on the object of concentration. Krishna raised the mountain (the problem) on one finger (one point determination) to save people from heavy rains (turmoil of thoughts). This denotes taking one point decision (one finger) whenever the mind is indecisive (Mountain) with multiple possibilities (rain). Only when the mind body and soul are purified after one month Yagna (first Navratri to Diwali), can one use his/her intellect to tale one point decisions.

Govardhan pooja can also be understood by the following story.

Once a disciple asked his Guru about the difference between a girlfriend and wife. The Guru asked him to go to the tomato field and pick up the largest and most colored tomato but put a condition that once he had crossed one line he could not return back. The disciple went and saw a large tomato in the first row. He went ahead and found a larger tomato in the next row. Thinking that the subsequent rows would have still larger tomatoes he went on further and further. In the seventh row he found a very large red tomato but in search of finding a still larger tomato he left it and went to next row only to find smaller and smaller tomatoes in the subsequent rows and ultimately came empty handed. The GURU said this is the example of search for a girlfriend.

Four days later the Guru asked the disciple to do the same exercise again. This time in the fifth row the disciple found a very large red tomato, got satisfied, plucked it and came back. When the guru asked why he did not search further, he said that that once he decided on that tomato his mental turmoil to search further stopped. It did not bother him anymore that a still larger tomato may have been ahead. The Guru said this is an example of the search for a wife.

Govardhan pooja means stopping your search at some point and being satisfied with what you get or learning to make a stop to all your desires at some point in your life.

Ganesha, the Stress Management Guru

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Ganesha, the Stress Management Guru

If Lord Krishna was the first counselor who taught the principles of counseling, Lord Ganesha taught us the principles of stress management.

We should worship Lord Ganesha and become like him whenever we face any difficulty or are stressed out.

The elephant head of Lord Ganesha symbolizes that when in difficulty, use your wisdom, intelligence and think differently. It can be equated to the Third Eye of Lord Shiva. Elephant is supposed to be the most intelligent animal in the kingdom. Here, wisdom means to think before speaking. Lord Buddha also said that don’t speak unless it is necessary and is truthful and kind.

The big elephant ears of Lord Ganesha signify listening to everybody when in difficulty. Elephant ears are known to hear long distances. Elephant eye see a long distance and in terms of mythology, it represents acquiring the quality of foreseeing when in difficulty. The mouth of Lord Ganesha represents speaking less and hearing and listening more.

The big tummy of Lord Ganesha represents digesting any information gathered by listening to people in difficulty. The trunk denotes using the power of discrimination to decide from the retained information. It also indicates doing both smaller and bigger things by yourself. The elephant trunk can pick up a needle as well as a tree.

The teeth, broken and unbroken, signify to be in a state of balance in loss and gain. This implies that one should not get upset if the task is not accomplished and also not get excited if the task is accomplished. In times of difficulty, Ganesha also teaches us not to lose strength and control one’s attachments, desires and greed.

The four arms of Lord Ganesha represent strength. Ropes in two hands indicate attachment; Laddoo or Sweet in one hand represent desires and mouse represents greed. Riding over the mouse indicates controlling one’s greed.

Lord Ganesha is worshipped either when a new work is initiated or when one finds it difficult to complete a job or work. In these two situations, these principles of Lord Ganesha need to be inculcated in one’s habits.