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Dr K K Aggarwal

Wahans (Vehicles) in Mythology

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In mythology, the negative tendency of a man is symbolized with the animal nature. Gods in Indian mythology are symbolized as living a positive behavior. Every God has been given a vehicle or Wahan. Both God and the Wahan symbolize how to live a positive life and how to control the animal tendencies. Following are a few examples:

  1. Lord Ganesha rides a mouse. Mouse in mythology is symbolized with greed and Ganesha as the one who removes obstacles. The spiritual meaning behind both is – one should learn to control greed to tackle obstacles in life.
  2. Lord Shiva rides Nandi. The bull symbolizes uncontrolled sexual desires and the duo signifies that to learn meditation, one needs to control sexual desires first.
  3. Saraswati (the goddess of knowledge) sitting on a swan symbolizes that to acquire knowledge one must learn the power of discrimination or vivek. A swan can drink milk and leave water from a mixture of milk and water.
  4. Indra (the one who has complete control over the intellect) riding on the elephant Airavat symbolizes that for its development, the intellect (Indra) requires control over masti and madness (elephant).
  5. Durga (the perfect woman) riding a lion symbolizes that to become a perfect woman, she must learn to control agitation or aggression (lion).
  6. Lakshmi (wealth) riding an owl symbolizes that to earn righteously, one must learn to control owl-like properties within us, which is not to be fooled.
  7. Lord Vishnu (the doer) riding the eagle or garuda (Eagles are opportunistic predators, which means, they eat almost anything they can find) means controlling your desires to eat an unbalanced diet.
  8. Krishna riding five horses means one needs to control our five senses.
  9. Kartikeya riding a peacock symbolizes that one should learn to control one’s pride (vanity) or ego.
  10. The vehicle of Goddess Kali is a black goat. Agni rides Mesha, a ram. Kubera, the god of wealth, also has a ram as his vehicle. A ram is an uncastrated adult male sheep. Goat also signifies uncontrolled sexual desires but lesser than the bull.
  11. Yamraj rides a buffalo, which is known for its rampant destruction. Lord Yama or Yamraj is referred to as the God of death, lord of justice, Dharma Raja. One can do justice only if one has control over anger and aggressive behavior.

In mythology, apart from Wahans, animals are also shown to be sacrificed, which means to kill the animal tendency within ourselves. In Kali Pooja, a buffalo is sacrificed, which again means that in extreme situations, you may need to kill your ego or anger.

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

Why do We Burn Camphor in any Pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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No aarti is performed without camphor. Camphor when lit burns itself out completely without leaving a trace of it.

Camphor represents our inherent tendencies or vasanas. When lit by the fire of knowledge about the self, the vasanas burn themselves out completely, not leaving a trace of ego.

Ego is responsible for a sense of individuality that keeps us separate from the Lord or consciousness.In addition, camphor when burns, emits a pleasant perfume. This signifies that as we burn our ego we can only spread love and nothing else.

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

Why do We Burn Camphor in any Pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Why do We Burn Camphor in any Pooja?

No aarti is performed without camphor. Camphor when lit burns itself out completely without leaving a trace of it. Camphor represents our inherent tendencies or vasanas. When lit by the fire of knowledge about the self, the vasanas burn themselves out completely, not leaving a trace of ego. Ego is responsible for a sense of individuality that keeps us separate from the Lord or consciousness.In addition, camphor when burns, emits a pleasant perfume. This signifies that as we burn our ego we can only spread love and nothing else.

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

Science behind Sankalp or tying the red sacred thread on hand in any pooja

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Repeated encounters with any stimuli with any of the five senses can end up with long lasting memory. Once re-conditioned, the same can become embedded in to one’s consciousness and get incorporated in one’s daily life at a subconscious level.

This principle is today used in many advertising and communication strategies. While designing a hoarding (bill board) or a power point presentation, one follows the principle that any image or written text, which stays in the eyes of the audience for more than 10 seconds, has recall value.

Brand recall as a marketing strategy also uses similar principles. Either it involves the principle of prolonged exposure once or repeated small exposures on multiple occasions. Most advertising campaigns either follow repeated advertising on the same day or a few advertisements daily lasting for days to weeks.

Most pharmaceutical and consumer companies during trade exhibitions play games with customers. The innovative campaigns include identifying their brand names from crossword puzzle, writing their brand repeatedly in one-minute competition, etc. It has been said that if you write a particular word for 100 times it is unlikely you ever forget it.

The Vedic description of this Law comes from the word ‘Sankalp’, which is a part and parcel of every ritual. Before every Puja or Yagna, the priest ties a sacred thread on the hand of the person who is getting the Puja done. This red thread called, Moli, is tied and the person is asked to take a Sankalp which is like a vow, a purpose for which a particular Puja or Yagna is being done. Once tied, one is not supposed to untie this thread for a particular period depending upon the type of ritual. Some people tie them up till next Sankalp is taken. However, it usually continues for a week after the Puja. Many follow this for two to four weeks. Raksha Bandhan is one example where Rakhi is tied by the sister on the brother’s wrist, who takes Sankalp for the safety of the sister. This sacred thread is taken out on the day of Janmashtami, which falls after 10 days of Raksha Bandhan.

The difference between Sankalp and a simple decision is that Sankalp is a decision followed by persistence or determination to do that. A decision will become a Sankalp only if it is associated with repeated reminders for a period till the decision becomes a part of the subconscious. Once this occurs it becomes a Sankalp.

Many movies also depict the concept of Sankalp. A common scene in movies is one where the Asthi of the deceased father is kept either by the wife or by the children taking a Sankalp that they will only be immersed in the Ganga only after their vow of taking the revenge is over.

Sankalps are also called resolutions today and that reminds everybody of New Year’s resolution. But the same has no value if they are observed for only one day as any Sankalp lasting for a day will never become a part of our subconscious.

Most rituals including traditional Hindu marriages including Satpati ceremony (having seven steps) are all examples of Sankalp. All Yagnas done in the past by Rishis in caves were also aimed at a particular Sankalp.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi once said that whatever 1% of the population decides will become the reality. Called Maharishi effect, it is based on the principle of 100th monkey phenomenon and utilizes the Vedic mathematics of critical mass.

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

Why do we burn camphor in any pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Why do we burn camphor in any pooja?

No aarti is performed without camphor. Camphor when lit burns itself out completely without leaving a trace of it.Camphor represents our inherent tendencies or vasanas. When lit by the fire of knowledge about the self, the vasanas burn themselves out completely, not leaving a trace of ego.Ego is responsible for a sense of individuality that keeps us separate from the Lord or consciousness.In addition, camphor when burns, emits a pleasant perfume. This signifies that as we burn our ego we can only spread love and nothing else.

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

Why do we Burn Camphor in any Pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Why do we Burn Camphor in any Pooja?

No Aarti is performed without camphor. Camphor, when lit, burns itself out completely without leaving a trace of it.

Camphor represents our inherent tendencies or vasanas. When lit by the fire of knowledge about the self, the vasanas burn themselves out completely, not leaving a trace of ego.

Ego is responsible for a sense of individuality that keeps us separate from the Lord or consciousness.

Camphor when burns, emits a pleasant perfume. This signifies that as we burn our ego we can only spread love and nothing else.

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

Why do we burn Camphor in any Pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Why do we burn Camphor in any Pooja?

Camphor represents our inherent tendencies or vaasanas. When lit by the fire of knowledge about the self the vaasanas burn themselves out completely, not leaving a trace of ego.

Ego is responsible for a sense of individuality that keeps us separate from the Lord or consciousness.

Also, camphor when burns emit a pleasant perfume. This signifies that as we burn our ego, we can only spread love and nothing else.

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

Why do We Burn Camphor in Any Pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Why do We Burn Camphor in Any Pooja?

No aarti is performed without camphor. Camphor burns itself out completely, when lit, without leaving a trace. Camphor represents our inherent tendencies or vasanas. When lit by the fire of knowledge about the self, the vasanas burn themselves out completely, not leaving a trace of ego. Ego is responsible for a sense of individuality that keeps us separate from the Lord or consciousness. In addition, camphor when burns, emits a pleasant perfume. This signifies that as we burn our ego, we can only spread love and nothing else.

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

Why do We Burn Camphor in Any Pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on Why do We Burn Camphor in Any Pooja?

No Aarti is performed without camphor. Camphor, when lit, burns itself out completely without leaving a trace of it. Camphor represents our inherent tendencies or vasanas. When lit by the fire of knowledge about the self, the vasanas burn themselves out completely, not leaving a trace of ego. Ego is responsible for a sense of individuality that keeps us separate from the Lord or consciousness. Camphor when burns, emits a pleasant perfume. This signifies that as we burn our ego we can only spread love and nothing else. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.

Science behind Sankalp or Tying Red Sacred Thread-Moli on Hand in any Pooja

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Why is Gayatri Mantra one of the main mantras in any pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Any activity should always engage the 3H model – of heart, the head, and the hand. The same has been advocated by the western scholars. The concept means that while doing any work one should ask the head for choices, then refer these choices to the heart to choose one and finally order the hands to do the action. Dr Deepak Chopra also talks about this in great detail in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. He writes that conscious-based decisions are the best decisions. Before taking any decision he recommends asking the body for the signals of comfort or discomfort and if the signals of discomfort are perceived, then one should not indulge in that action. All of these concepts come from ancient Vedic knowledge. The two main mantras are the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra and the Gayatri Mantra. The Mahamritunjaya Mantra comes from the Rig Veda. This is the greatest reliever from all evils: ‘Aum Trayambakam Yajamahe, Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam, Urva Rukamiva Bandhanan, Mrityor Mokshiye Mamritat’. It means ‘we worship Shiva – The Three-Eyed Lord; who is fragrant and nourishes all beings; May he protect us (bandhan) from all big (urva) diseases (aarookam). May he liberate us (mokshiye) from death (mrityor), For the sake of immortality (mamritat, amrit); as the cucumber is automatically liberated, from its bondage from the creeper when it fully ripens.’ The manta speaks of the importance of the third eye and its benefits. The two eyes are at the level of the physical body. The third eye means the eyes of the mind and the soul. It also indicates that in difficulty one should look inward with the eyes of the mind and ask for choices. Like the cucumber, one should choose the good ones and drop the bad choices. (‘Jo acha lage use apna lo; Jo bura lage use jaane do’). The mantra for conscious-based decisions comes from Gayatri Mantra. ‘Om Bhur Bhuva Svah Tat Savutur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayaat’. It means: ‘we meditate on the glory of the Creator; who has created the Universe; who is worthy of Worship; who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light; who is the remover of all Sin and Ignorance; may He enlighten our Intellect.’ It talks about the importance of conscious-based decisions and its directions to the intellect to choose the right and not the convenient actions. The Gayatri Mantra is the Vedic prayer to illuminate the intellect. Gayatri is considered Vedasara or “the essence of the Vedas”. Veda means knowledge, and this prayer fosters and sharpens the knowledge-yielding faculty. As a matter of fact, the four mahavakyas or ‘core-declarations’ enshrined in the four Vedas are implied in the Gayatri Mantra. Making the right decision from the consciousness was later defined by Buddha. He taught that before any action ask yourself the following four questions and if the answer to any of the questions is ‘no’, that action should be avoided. These four questions are: • Is it the truth? • Is it necessary? • Will the action bring happiness to you? • Will the action bring happiness to others?

Why do we Flame Camphor in any Pooja

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Camphor represents our inherent tendencies or vaasanas. When lit by the fire of knowledge about the self the vaasanas burn themselves out completely, not leaving a trace of ego. Ego is responsible for a sense of individuality that keeps us separate from the Lord or consciousness. Apart camphor when burns emit a pleasant perfume. This signifies that as we burn our ego we can only spread love and nothing else.

Why do We Burn Camphor in Any Pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on Why do We Burn Camphor in Any Pooja?

No aarti is performed without camphor. Camphor burns itself out completely, when lit, without leaving a trace. Camphor representsour inherent tendencies or vasanas.When lit by the fire of knowledge about the self, the vasanas burn themselves out completely, not leaving a trace of ego. Ego is responsible for a sense of individuality that keeps us separate from the Lord or consciousness. In addition, camphor when burns, emits a pleasant perfume. This signifies that as we burn our ego, we can only spread love and nothing else.