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Dr K K Aggarwal

Diwali The Festival of Inner Purnima on Outer Amavasya

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Diwali is celebrated on the day of Amavasya but the festival is symbolized by inner happiness, lighting or Purnima.
Moon in mythology is symbolized by cool positive thoughts. Generally, one encounters negatives thoughts ly on the day of Amavasya and positive thoughts on the day of Purnima.
Diwali is the only day in a year where one experiences positive thoughts on the day of Amavasya, hence some people believes Diwali symbolizes Diwali with inner Purnima and outer Amavasya.
Diwali celebrations also coincide with the terminal phase of Chaturmas, the four months of negative state of mind.
The purification process in Chaturmas starts with the first Navratra falling on Amavasya. During these nine days one undergoes mind, body and soul detoxification by not thinking negative, doing positive things and acquiring soul-based knowledge.
The mind-body detoxification during Navratras ends with killing of Tamas (Kumbhakarna), Rajas (Meghnath) and ego (Ravan) and of consciousness (Rama) over the evil.
These benefits do not lead to inner Moksha or happiness until 20 days, the day of Diwali. In order to continue getting benefits of Navratras one needs to fast with positive state of mind every fourth day till Diwali.
On Sharad Purnima, the fast involves thinking positive with a cool mind to get health benefits. Four days later, on Karvachauth again, one fasts and worships the Moon with positive thoughts and acquires longevity benefits. Four days later on Ahoi Ashtami again, one worships the moon and the stars with positive thoughts and acquires fertility benefits. On the day of Dhanteras one acquires a win over the fear of death (Yama). On this day, the fast involves deeper meditation (Samudra manthan) to get all the benefits of Samadhi.
At the end of the meditation in the state of Samadhi, one gets in touch with the consciousness or the God, the insight gets illuminated and a person experiences bliss, a state of ecstasy of inner happiness and that is what is called experiencing inner Purnima on the day of outer Amavasya and the festival is celebrated as Diwali.
Let us all worship this Diwali as a state of positive mental state. This one month of purification of thoughts helps one in combating the depression phase seen in winter.
Diwali is the only Amavasya where one does not do Shraadh pooja.  On Diwali Amavasya (falling in Chaturmas) one is allowed to start any new project. Even deaths on this Amavasya are considered auspicious (unlike on other Amavasya days).
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Allopathic Medical Vrat

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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There was a time when everybody in India, especially women, observed fast on a regular basis. In my childhood, I saw my mother not only observe fast herself but also insisting upon my sisters to observe fast once in a week, an extra fast once in a month and observe the two Navratras in a year of 9 days each. Together, this comes out to be around 80 fasts in a year.

When I go back to my childhood, I remember the fast used to be one day of avoiding cereals altogether. We were allowed to eat Roti made of Kuttu flour, singharha flour, samak rice and dal made of chaulai (all fruits).

In our childhood, we could never understand the meaning of fast. Today India is becoming a hub of diabetes, heart diseases and insulin resistance and all of them are linked with not observing fasts or eating high carb diets every day.

The culprit is eating carbohydrates, especially, refined carbohydrates. When we recall our mythology, only one king Raja Dashrath died of heart attack. This only signifies that our mythological lifestyle was preventing heart diseases in India. The western culture which is now spreading rapidly in India involves eating carbohydrates, especially, refined carbohydrates (white sugar, white rice white maida) every day.

I recently did a survey and found that women who do weekly vrats had a lower incidence of metabolic syndrome.

Today’s girls and women do not want to listen to the word ‘vrata’ or ‘spiritual vrata’.

Therefore, they must be made to understand the same in the language of a ‘medical vrata’. The simpler version of ‘vrata’ can be – not eating carbohydrates at all once in a week and replacing them with fruits and vegetables.

I normally suggest that once in a week, one should eat only fruits and vegetables and at the most can have milk, curd. If still someone has desires, they can have besan ka chila.

Both Ram’s and Krishna’s births are celebrated after 8-9 days of rituals involving purification of body and or mind.

Krishna was born exactly eight days after Raksha Bandhan as the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudeva. The eight day rituals involve eight days of mental purification starting from Raksha Bandhan where one is required to control the sexual lust. The moli or thread put on the day of Raksha Bandhan is removed only on Janmashtami and indicates learning to control the lust for the next eight days.

Ram Navami on the other hand is celebrated as a birth of Lord Rama, the consciousness after eight days of Navratre on the ninth day. Navratre is a process of purification of mind, controlling of kaama, krodha, lobha, moha and ahankara. The ritual involves living a Satvic lifestyle during Navratre period.

The era of Krishna came after Rama’s era when the love in the society was much more. Rama was in any way labeled at Maryada Purushottam.