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Dr K K Aggarwal

Why dont we touch papers, books and people with our feet?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In every traditional gurukul, no studies start without chanting the following

Saraswati namasthubhyamVarade kaama roopiniVidyaarambham karishyaamiSidhirbhavatu me sadaa

“O Goddess Saraswati, the giver of Boons and fulfiller of wishes, I prostrate to You before starting my studies. May you always fulfill me.”

Indian Vedas consider knowledge about self as the supreme knowledge and all tools for the same are considered sacred and divine and must be given respect. The traditional custom is not to step on any sacred educational tool.

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

Types of Memory

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The easiest way to remember types of memory is by understanding the concept of Suno, Samjho, Jano and Karo (hearing, listening, knowledge and wisdom). Hearing is the shortest lasting memory. We hear and we forget is the rule.

Once we listen and understand, the memory is longer lasting but the same memory becomes ever lasting if we not only hear, understand and know but also incorporate the knowledge in our practice.

These principles have been used by marketing people in brand recall. I know many pharmaceuticals play a game and ask 100 doctors to enter into a competition in which they have to write the company’s brand a number of times in one minutes and the one who writes that particular brand the maximum number of times is given a prize. By practicing the brand name repeatedly you create a permanent impact of their brand in the soul and it is unlikely that you will forget the brand and its recall value will increase every time you think about the molecule.

The same principle has been used by devotees of Rama and Shiva where they ask people to write the name of Rama repeatedly everyday and the devotees of Shiva ask people to write Om Namaha Shivai on a piece of a paper for years together. By doing so you inculcate the teachings of Lord Rama and Shiva. Unfortunately, devotees of Lord Krishna have not been able to make a brand out of Lord Krishna.

Many spiritual Gurus give a Mantra, which is also based on the same principle. A mantra is nothing but a positive affirmation to be followed every minute of your life throughout your life. Once you start doing it, a time will come when it will become a part of your sole consciousness and you will start living and behaving in a way as of your positive affirmation. For example, Brahma Kumaris always say to you, in a manner of positive aspiration that “I am a peaceful soul”. After some time you will start behaving like a peaceful soul and you will lose agitation, anger and negative affirmations of life.

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

Why do we light a lamp during pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Prayer || Deepajyothi parabrahma Deepa Jyotir Janaardanah Deepo harati paapaani Sandhyaa deepa namostute ||

“I prostrate to the dawn/dusk lamp; whose light is the Knowledge Principle (the Supreme Lord), which removes the darkness of ignorance and by which all can be achieved in life.”

Light symbolizes knowledge, and darkness, ignorance. Knowledge removes ignorance just as light removes darkness. The purpose of any ritual is to remove internal darkness and attain knowledge.

Vedic scriptures recommend daily lighting of the lamp as a part of pooja. Some do it once at dawn, others twice a day – at dawn and dusk – and some keep a lamp that is always lit (akhanda deepa). No auspicious function can commence without the lighting of a lamp.

Knowledge is the everlasting inner wealth by which all outer achievement can be accomplished. By lighting the lamp, we bow to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth. Knowledge about the self is the greatest wealth. It goes around achieving inner happiness by burning the negativity of a mind that is full of lust and ego.

The traditional oil lamp defines this spiritual significance. The oil or ghee symbolizes our vaasanas (lust, negative tendencies) and the wick, the ego. When lit by spiritual knowledge, the vaasanas get slowly exhausted and the ego too finally perishes. The flame of a lamp always burns upwards signifying that only that knowledge should be acquired, which takes us towards higher ideals.

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

What is the significance of a Tilak?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The Tilak is not merely a beauty–enhancing mark, or a sign of religiosity. Hindu cultural traditions have given a significant place to wisdom in life. Life’s journey is guided by wisdom, which leads us through evolution of life towards salvation. If a man loses everything in his life but has his wisdom, he can recreate everything he has lost.

In Gayatri Mantra we chant, “May my Wisdom be enlightened and purified”. The worship that has been revered in the Vedas is symbolized in the Tilak. The seat of wisdom is the head and since the forehead is its front part, we worship wisdom by placing the Tilak on the forehead.

A Tilak is the ‘third eye’ in a manner of speaking. It is a divine eye which when ‘opened’ by divine knowledge shows the way to self–realization. Lord Shiva destroyed Kamadeva with his third eye, so too, we may destroy our desires and evil elements by striving for knowledge. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own

Why do we light a lamp during pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Prayer

|| Deepajyothi parabrahma

Deepa Jyotir Janaardanah

Deepo harati paapaani

Sandhyaa deepa namostute ||

“I prostrate to the dawn/dusk lamp; whose light is the Knowledge Principle (the Supreme Lord), which removes the darkness of ignorance and by which all can be achieved in life.”

Light symbolizes knowledge, and darkness, ignorance. Knowledge removes ignorance just as light removes darkness. The purpose of any ritual is to remove internal darkness and attain knowledge.

Vedic scriptures recommend daily lighting of the lamp as a part of pooja. Some do it once at dawn, others twice a day – at dawn and dusk – and some keep a lamp that is always lit (akhanda deepa). No auspicious function can commence without the lighting of a lamp.

Knowledge is everlasting inner wealth by which all outer achievement can be accomplished. By lighting the lamp, we bow to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth. Knowledge about the self is the greatest wealth. It goes around achieving inner happiness by burning the negativity of a mind that is full of lust and ego.

The traditional oil lamp defines this spiritual significance. The oil or ghee symbolizes our vaasanas (lust, negative tendencies) and the wick, the ego. When lit by spiritual knowledge, the vaasanas get slowly exhausted and the ego too finally perishes. The flame of a lamp always burns upwards signifying that the only that knowledge should be acquired, which takes us towards higher ideals.

 

Prescribing antibiotics

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Your doctor is at fault while prescribing antibiotics, when he/she

  • Prescribes antibiotics when no bacterial infection exists.
  • Prescribes the wrong antibiotic or the wrong dose.
  • Prescribes antibiotics for longer than necessary.
  • Prescribes strong antibiotics, when a less strong would be as effective.
  • Prescribes an expensive antibiotic when a cheaper but equally effective antibiotic is available.

You at fault, when

  • You demand antibiotics even when the doctor thinks it is unnecessary
  • You buy an antibiotic without prescription.
  • You buy an antibiotic without a bill
  • You stop antibiotics as your symptoms start improving and you do not take a full course of antibiotics.
  • When you change brands without the doctor’s knowledge.

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 mistakenly it is 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.

Saraswati Vandana

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Saraswati = one who gives the essence (sara) of the true self (swa)

Sanskrit Mantra

Yaa Kundendu tushaara haaradhavalaa, Yaa shubhravastraavritha|

Yaa veenavara dandamanditakara, Yaa shwetha padmaasana||

Yaa brahmaachyutha shankara prabhritibhir Devaisadaa Vanditha|

Saa Maam Paatu Saraswatee Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadyaapahaa||

English Translation

“May Goddess Saraswati, who is fair like the jasmine-colored moon, and whose pure white garland is like frosty dew drops; who is adorned in radiant white attire, on whose beautiful arm rests the veena; whose throne is a white lotus; and who is surrounded and respected by the Gods protect me. May you fully remove my lethargy, sluggishness, and ignorance.”

 Saraswati Vandana is the first ritual performed whenever we hold any educational seminar. She represents the Goddess of knowledge. In Vedantic terms ‘knowledge’ means knowing about true self or the consciousness.

 The Goddess Saraswati is incarnated as a lady figure sitting on a lotus. She has four hands. She holds the sacred scripture (Vedas) in one hand and a lotus or a rosary in the other. With the third and the fourth hands she plays the Indian flute or veena, and sometimes a PEACOCK is shown standing nearby.

 Worshipping Saraswati means, adhering to its principles in day-to-day life. When these principles are applied for self- realization these are called INTERNAL principles and when applied for external knowledge (say your profession), these are external principles. In both situations the basic principles are the same.

 In the process of learning or teaching, the first thing is the TRUTH. Lotus with its white colour and the white cloths of Ma Saraswati in Vedic symbolic language represents TRUTH. What one learns or teaches has to be TRUTH and FACT based. It has to be true to one’s consciousness. One has to get firmly established in it. One has to make TRUTHFULNESS as a vehicle for the journey towards acquiring knowledge.

For acquiring self-happiness (true knowledge) or seeking the acquired knowledge about any subject, one can use either of the two pathways; firstly, the path of knowledge (Gnana Marg) and secondly the path of duty, devotion and discipline’ (Bhakti Marga).

The path of knowledge is important but the most difficult. By reading Vedas alone (for internal) or text books (for external) one cannot acquire the full knowledge. If this was true, no schools or colleges were required and one could have learnt sitting at home. Books and Vedas form the basis for everything but alone are not sufficient. This path of knowledge is shown by the Goddess holding the sacred Vedic book made of palm leaves (a small book) in her left hand.

The second path of learning is the path of doing your duty with devotion and discipline. This basically means listening carefully to the person giving a lecture (teacher or Guru) and sticking to what is said as discipline. With the single pointed devotion to what has been learnt, one can master the subject. The Goddess playing the Veena in two hands represents this path. As while playing or listening veena, you get absorbed in it, similarly during any learning or teaching act, you must get absorbed in it. This is the easiest path to acquire knowledge, as hardly any intellect is required (the earlier path is totally dependent on the intellect.

Once one has acquired the knowledge, implementation of the third and the last path of Karma (Karamyoga) can complete the process of learning.

It is saying ‘what you listen – you forget, what you speak – you remember; and what you do – you learn. Practicing with detachment to its fruits, using the principles of actions, contemplation (doing it again and again at same time) and repeated attempts (again and again over time) makes one perfect.

The Goddess holding the rosary in the right hand represents the path of action (contemplation and repeated actions). In the symbolic representation of the Goddess, the Veena is shown as a big object compared to rosary or the Vedas which convey that the listening of the seminar with full concentration and devotion is more important than reading about the subject or later implementing it.

The four hands have varied interpretations. It means strength and control over the mind, intellect, ego and consciousness.

One cannot create anything unless one has the knowledge of how and what to create. Knowledge is the fundamental prerequisite for creation. In Hindu mythology Brahma represents the creative force. Knowledge and Creation being inseparable, Saraswati is symbolized as being the wife of Brahma.

The peacock is symbolized by vastness (blue color) and loss of ego or pride (vanity). While learning (which is a vast subject) one must become egoless, then only the true learning will be acquired.

Saraswati has been compared to a mother as a mother looks after all the sons with equality. In learning and teaching, one has to treat everyone as equal and give more importance to the weakest students.

Some times she is shown to be sitting on swan which means ‘VIVEK’ or developing the power of discrimination between good and bad. The teacher must have those qualities of what to include in a presentation and what not to include.

If one starts thinking that I know more than the teacher, or the teacher starts behaving as if he is the ultimate, what one gets is a limited knowledge. Learning is an everlasting process and one has to shed his or her ego in this process.

After the Saraswati Vandna in any seminar, the custom is to light the lamp. It means, to initiate the learning process, which is nothing but removal of darkness or ignorance from our mind. Lighting the lamp here means removing the darkness.

Remember two Vedic principles while learning or teaching and ask the following four questions to your mind while making a presentation:

  • Is it necessary?
  • Is it the truth?
  • Will it add to the knowledge of others?
  • Has it helped me in my day-to-day Karmic life?

If the answer to any of the above is no, do not include it in your presentation.