Sub Logo

Dr K K Aggarwal

Why is Ganesha worshipped in every puja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Health Care - Ask Dr KK | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Why is Ganesha worshipped in every puja?

Every Hindu ritual traditionally begins with a prayer to Lord Ganesh. The wedding ceremony too begins with a puja of Lord Ganesha invoking him to bless the couple and to ensure that the ceremony goes off well.

Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is the harmonious Aacharan or characteristic disposition of man. Remembered and ritually worshipped before starting a new venture, the entity of Ganesha has in store the facets of a complete man.

Ganesha’s head that of an elephant, represents wisdom, intelligence and a healthy mind capable of making sound decisions. Think before you speak, implies Ganesha’s head.

The big ears of this elephant deity signify the lending of a patient ear to the echo produced by others’ deeds and speech. It is said that half the dispute is resolved by patiently lending an ear to the words of the other. It also denotes that one must patiently listen to all sides before reaching a decision.

Ganesha’s extremely small mouth characteristically represents the need for a limited dialogue and the vanity of talking too much. Over-expression through words causes unsought-for problems which could have been avoided.

Ganesha’s small eyes, highlights the need for a focused outlook in life. Such an outlook not only re-defines and foresees the right goals, but also relieves one from the stress-manifested episodes in life.

The long trunk identifies with the power of discrimination. Ganesha’s long nose has the strength to uproot a tree and the competency of picking up a pin from the ground. Such should be the approach of an individual who should be capable of perceiving the good and bad for himself, and then have the strength to overcome these against all odds.

The tusks and the small teeth of Ganesha tell us to maintain a balance between loss (broken tooth) and gains (whole tooth) in the life. Man ought to maintain his mental state so that ups and downs do not deter him from his honest endeavors.

The ample stomach of Ganapati Deva advocates the need for retaining information. Acquiring knowledge, utilizing it and retaining it for years to come, is the crux of ‘big-belly commandment’.

The Char-Bhuja Dhari Ganesha, further represents strength by virtue of his four hands in which the Lord entraps his attachments, desires and greed. Two of the arms of Ganesha, which hold a rope, symbolize control over the attachments. The laddoo or sweet in one shows command over desires and earthly delusions. The mouse sitting near the feet of Ganesha represents greed and gluttony upon which the Almighty rides, exhibiting control over evils.

Ganesha’s physical traits are an assembly of the characteristics most desired in an individual of substance.

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

The Vedic meaning of Mahamritunjaya Mantra and the Gayatri Mantra

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Health Care - Ask Dr KK | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on The Vedic meaning of Mahamritunjaya Mantra and the Gayatri Mantra

Any activity should always engage the 3 H model of Heart, the Head and the Hand. The same has been advocated by western scholars of today. The concept is that while doing any work, you should ask the head for choices and then refer these choices to the heart to choose one and finally order the hands to carry out that action.

Deepak Chopra also talks about this 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 carry out that action.

All the above concepts come from our ancient Vedic knowledge. The two main mantras of our times are the Mahamritunjaya Mantra and the Gayatri Mantra.

The Mahamritunjaya Mantra is from the Rig Veda and needs initiation for attaining any Siddhi. This is the greatest reliever from all evils and reads as under: 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 (bandhanan) 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 meaning of the mantra is the importance of the third eye and the benefits of its opening. The two eyes are at the level of the physical body. The third eye means the eyes of the mind and the eyes of the soul. It also indicates that in difficulty one should look inward from the eyes of the mind and ask for choices. Like the cucumber, one should choose the good ones and drop the bad choices.

The mantra for the conscious–based decision comes from Gayatri mantra: Om Bhur Bhuvaha Suvaha Thath Savithur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayath. 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 as Vedasara –– “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 this Gayatri mantra.

Choosing 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 question is no, then avoid that action. These four questions are: is it the truth, is it necessary, will the actions bring happiness to you and to others.

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

Why do we put on Tilak on the forehead?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Why do we put on Tilak on the forehead?

The Tilak is a mark of auspiciousness and invokes a feeling of respect in the wearer and others. It is recognized as a religious mark. Its form and color vary according to one’s caste, religious sect or the form of worship of the person in question. Tilak is applied on the forehead with sandal paste, sacred ash or kumkum, a red turmeric powder. In a wedding, a Kumkum tilak is applied on the forehead of both the bride and groom.

In earlier times, the four castes (based on varna or color) – Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra – applied marks differently. The Brahmin applied a white chandan mark signifying purity, as his profession was of a priestly or academic nature. The Kshatriya applied a red kumkum mark signifying valor as he belonged to the warrior race. The Vaishya wore a yellow kesar or turmeric mark signifying prosperity as he was a businessman or trader devoted to creation of wealth. The Shudra applied a black bhasma, kasturi or charcoal mark signifying service as he supported the work of the other three castes.

The devotees of Shiva apply sacred ash (Bhasma) on the forehead as a Tripundra (three parallel horizontal lines); the devotees of Vishnu apply sandal paste (Chandan) in the shape of “U” and the worshippers of Devi or Shakti apply Kumkum. The tilak is applied in the spot between the eyebrows, which is the seat of memory and thought. It is known as the Aajna Chakra in the language of Yoga. The Tilak is applied with the prayer – “May I remember the Lord. May this pious feeling pervade all my activities. May I be righteous in my deeds.” Even when we temporarily forget this prayerful attitude, the mark on another reminds us of our resolve. The tilak is thus a blessing of the Lord and a protection against wrong tendencies and forces. The entire body emanates energy in the form of electromagnetic waves – the forehead and the spot between the eyebrows especially so. That is why worry generates heat and causes a headache. The tilak cools the forehead, protects the wearer and prevents energy loss. Sometimes the entire forehead is covered with chandan or bhasma.

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

Temple enhances soul to soul connectivity

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , , , , , , | | Comments Off on Temple enhances soul to soul connectivity

A Temple, Gurudwara or a Masjid can also be understood by studying the concept of computer internet-based virtual e-communication.

The physical body can be compared to that of a computer hardware and the subtle body with three application softwares of a computer namely, Mind (Microsoft Word), Intellect (Excel) and Ego (Power Point).

These three application softwares are controlled by Chitta or the life force, which is a combination of PranaTejas and Ojas (or Operational Software in computer language). Without chitta or operational software, the body cannot function. A dead person (dead computer) will be devoid of chitta (operational software).

The application and operation softwares in turn are controlled by the soul, which is nothing but energized information or soul. This energized information in the body in Vedic language is called Shiva Shakti, where Shiva represents information and Shakti represents the energy or the power of the software.

This energized information or the soul can be equated to a very high speed internet connection www.god.com-drkkaggarwal for me. For another person, for example, Mr B S Sokhi, the soul communication will be www.god.com-bssokhi.

Both these souls will be communicated to a virtual internet called GOD or SPIRIT. The same can be represented as www.GOD.com and in this virtual consciousness or GOD, these pages will be similar to Facebook pages for individual members. For example, there will be a page called www.GOD.com-drkkaggarwal and another page called www.GOD.com-bssokhi.

Whatever you do is converted into a virtual memory and a copy of that is saved in both www.god.com and www.GOD.com. This way the phrase that GOD is watching each and every action can be explained.

Increasing one’s connectivity with GOD is like increasing the bandwidth of a computer internet. The same can be done in the body by controlling the mind, intellect and ego and by learning the process of Meditation, Pranayama and living a parasympathetic lifestyle.

Mobile towers or satellites are used to enhance connectivity for computers.

The natural towers in the body are called Chakras or the automatic ganglion. They behave like internal towers and intensify our communication with the soul and the spirit. In the outside world, this work is done by a Temple, Gurudwara or a Masjid.

According to the Vedic philosophy, we should practice focusing on our Chakras or ganglions regularly to increase our internal communication.

With collective consciousness of people (more than 1% of the population) focusing on a particular area or a stone, it acquires the powers of a communication tower or satellite.

A stone that becomes a focus of the collective consciousness of the people becomes a GOD ideal and the process is called Pratishthan.

A Mandir, Gurudwara or a Masjid, where the collective consciousness of the people gets focused, becomes a source of increase connectivity between the body and the soul. A person sitting in such an environment therefore, finds himself more near God, Allah or Wahe Guru.

The story of Hiranyakashyap where God comes out of the pillar on the request of the Prahlad and kills Hiranyakashyap basically proves that even the impossible is possible if you focus your concentration on the object of concentration and give preference to object of concentration over other thoughts.

This explains how in the past the collective consciousness of the people could bring rains or light candles or diyas. This also forms the basis of collective prayer.

The collective thoughts of the people get posted to the virtual Mandir, Gurudwara and Masjid and when a critical mass of 1% is reached, everyone will start working towards what is taught.

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

 

 

Spiritual prescriptions: Namaskar and Namaste

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Spiritual prescriptions: Namaskar and Namaste

We are virtually nobodies, while the Cosmos is the Ultimate Being

While greeting any one in Hindu culture, one takes the name of GOD, the supreme Brahma. It reminds us that we are nothing, everything is GOD.

This traditional greeting of India has a deeper spiritual meaning. It signifies non–arrogance or negation of ego.

NAMASKAR is made of three words: NAMAH + OM + KAR

NAMAH means NOT ME. It is a negation of one’s identity and hence of one’s ego or arrogance. It signifies that I am nothing.

OM is the sound of life, the primordial sound of nature. In Vedic language, it signifies soul, the spirit or the GOD.

KAR means shape/form of or manifestation of.

OMKAR therefore signifies manifestation of OM, the UNIVERSE, the cosmos, BRAHMA, SHIVA or GOD. OMKAR is omnipresent and omnipotent.

NAMASKAR therefore indicates that I am nothing, while OMKAR is everything. It also denotes respect to the one you say Namaskar. That I am nothing and you are GOD. In Vedantic text we are taught to give respect to atithi (atithi devo bhava).

Try to get angry, when you bow to say namaskar. You cannot, because the body posture does not allow you to do so. For an angry posture you must have expansion of the chest wall and not the flexion of the chest wall.

Other schools of thought

NAMASKAR= NAM + AS + KAR

NAM is the root form of NAMAH and has the same meaning as NAMAH – NOT ME. (I am nothing).

AS means “To Be” or “To Exist” … a word derived from Astitva which means existence.

KAR means doer or one who makes or creates. For example, KAR can be seen in the words Kalakar, Chitrakar, Karmkar, Charmkar. In the above words, the suffix kar leads to the meaning of one who creates work.

ASKAR therefore means the creator of all that exists, the GOD.

Namaskar therefore has the same meaning: I am nothing everything is the GOD.

Other meanings

  • Some people interpret NAMAH as “I Bow to”. Ultimately the deeper meaning remains the same. I bow to GOD. Here you are considering the other person as GOD, which is one of Mahavakyas from Chandogya Upanishad in Sam Veda, “Tat Tvam Asi” (you are that).
  • “I salute the Almighty within you.” The true Namaste gesture is accompanied by bowing the head and shoulders slightly. This is a gesture that lessens our sense of ego and self–centeredness, requiring some humility to do it well. Shaking hands can be quite an arrogant event.
  • It is a sign of respect and peace
  • I bow to the God in you; I love you and I respect you, as there is no one like you.”
  • The word ‘Namo’ can be split into ‘Na’ + ‘Mama’ – meaning ‘Not mine’.
  • In Ahirbudnya Samhita, Siva explains the meaning of Namah in three ways:
    • Stula Artha: Gross etymological derivation referring to the inherent nature of the Jeeva as Sesha. Bowing the body is acceptance of the greatness of the one bowed to; when done with the eight angas (limbs), it is ‘Sashtanga’ and is the perfect Namas.
    • Sukshma Artha: Subtle meaning as seen in ‘Nirukta’ when it refers to bowing in thought, word and deed with an understanding of the bowing to be a Sadhyopaya (means).
    • Para Artha: Supreme meaning derived from the Shastras thus: NA indicating the Upaya; MA indicating its importance and S indicating Bhagavan, the Siddhopaya (goal).

NAMASTE

Namaste = NAMAH + TE
Namah means Not Me
Te means “they”.
The literal meaning of NAMASTE hence is “Not me, they”. The word they refer to “GOD”.

NAMASTE = that the doer of everything is not me but the Gods.

Other ways of greetings

  • Ram–Ram
  • Jai Shri Krishna
  • Hare Krishna
  • Jai Shri Ram
  • Jai Siya Ram
  • Sikhs say Sat Shri Akal, which means that Truth is the God and is timeless.
  • Sikhs also say Wahe Guruji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guruji Ki Fateh. This is a declaration that the ultimate victory will be of the Guru and his followers.
  • Muslims say Khuda Hafiz, which means Khuda is the Protector.

Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudavanti

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , , | | Comments Off on Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudavanti

“Vasudaiva kutumbakam” (whole world is one family) and “Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudavanti” are two basic statements which comes from ancient Rig-Veda and forms the fundamentals of Vedic philosophy. The second statement (Vakya) means ‘truth is one but the wise call it by various names’. Some explain it as that the universal religion is the same but different people can call it by different names and other explains it as ‘unity amidst plurality’.

Adi Shankaracharya also has summed his teachings with this phrase “brahma satyam, jagat mithya” which means ‘Brahma is the only truth, rest everything is illusion’.

This statement gives us the basis for global peace which is only possible when one adapts to the whole globe as one extended family and which, in turn, will be possible only if one believes that there is one truth and that is GOD. Upanishads talk about four aspects of GOD. That the GOD exists, that the GOD is one, that the GOD is in you and I; and finally “I am GOD”.

But most people call it by different names like GOD, Shiva, Bhagvan, Allah, Wahe Guru, Christ, Buddha etc. In India itself there are over 99 forms of GODS worshipped and in Islam also, there are 99 names for Allah.

Why is Ganesha worshipped in every pooja?

By
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Why is Ganesha worshipped in every pooja?

Every Hindu ritual traditionally begins with a prayer to Lord Ganesh. The wedding ceremony too begins with a pooja of Lord Ganesha invoking him to bless the couple and to ensure that the ceremony goes off well.

Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is the harmonious Aacharan or characteristic disposition of man. Remembered and ritually worshipped before starting a new venture, the entity of Ganesha has in store the facets of a complete man.

Ganesha’s head, that of an elephant, represents wisdom, intelligence and a healthy mind capable of making sound decisions. Think before you speak, implies Ganesha’s head.

The big ears of this elephant deity signify the lending of a patient ear to the echo produced by others’ deeds and speech. It is said that half the dispute is resolved by patiently lending an ear to the words of the other. It also denotes that one must patiently listen to all sides before reaching a decision.

Ganesha’s extremely small mouth characteristically represents the need for a limited dialogue and the vanity of talking too much. Over-expression through words causes unsought-for problems which could have been avoided.

Ganesha’s small eyes, highlights the need for a focused outlook in life.  Such an outlook not only re-defines and foresees the right goals, but also relieves one from the stress-manifested episodes in life.

The long trunk identifies with the power of discrimination. Ganesha’s long nose has the strength to uproot a tree and the competency of picking up a pin from the ground.  Such should be the approach of an individual who should be capable of perceiving the good and bad for himself, and then have the strength to overcome these against all odds.

The tusks and the small teeth of Ganesha tell us to maintain a balance between loss (broken tooth) and gains (whole tooth) in the life. Man ought to maintain his mental state so that ups and downs do not deter him from his honest endeavors.

The ample stomach of Ganapati Deva advocates the need for retaining information.  Acquiring knowledge, utilizing it and retaining it for years to come, is the crux of ‘big-belly commandment’.

The Char-Bhuja Dhari Ganesha, further represents strength by virtue of his four hands in which the Lord entraps his attachments, desires and greed.  Two of the arms of Ganesha, which hold a rope, symbolize control over the attachments. The laddoo or sweet in one shows command over desires and earthly delusions. The mouse sitting near the feet of Ganesha represents greed and gluttony upon which the Almighty rides, exhibiting control over evils.

Ganesha’s physical traits are an assembly of the characteristics most desired in an individual of substance.

Science behind Shiva the Neelkanth

By
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , , , , | | Comments Off on Science behind Shiva the Neelkanth

The blue neck Shiva called Neelkanth symbolizes that one should neither take out the vices or negative emotions nor suppress them. Instead one should alter or modify them.

The blue colour in mythology symbolizes slow poison that includes attachments, anger, greed, desires and ego. Blue neck means to hold on the negative emotions temporarily so that it can be neutralized at appropriate time.

Suppressed anger releases chemicals which can lead to acidity, asthma, angina, future heart attacks and diarrhea etc. Similarly expressed anger can cause social unhealthiness and acute heart disease.

The only way to mange anger is to take the right and not the convenient action. One should neutralize anger by willful cultivation of opposite, positive of different thoughts.

Anger is a known risk factor for heart blockages.  Anger can evoke physiological responses that are potentially life threatening in the setting of underlying heart blockages. It has a dominant influence on the severity, frequency, and treatment of angina.

This Vedic message of Shiva is being validated by many western scientists.

Anger has many phases

  1. Anger Expression Inventory
  2. Assesses anger frequency (trait anger)
  3. Anger intensity
  4. Anger expression (anger-out)
  5. Anger suppression (anger-in)
  6. Anger recall.

Both anger-in and anger-out are associated with heart blockades.

  1. Dr. C. Noel Bairey Merz, from Women’s Health at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has shown women who outwardly express anger (anger-out) are at increased risk especially if they also have other risk factors like age, diabetes and high cholesterol levels. The findings are a part of Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation Study, a multi-center, long-term investigation sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
  2. Anger-in is also related to severity of blockages. Dr. TM Dembroski in 1985 has shown that potential for Hostility and Anger-In are significantly and positively associated with the heart blockages disease severity, including angina symptoms and number of heart attacks. Suppressed anger is also associated with increased carotid arterial stiffness in older adults, a condition making them prone to future heart attacks and paralysis.
  3.  In univariate correlational analysis byAndersonDEfrom National Institute on Aging,Baltimore,Marylandin 2006 has shown a significant positive association of anger-in with artery stiffness.
  4.  Suppressed anger has also been shown to increase blood pressure by Thomas and group fromUniversityofTennessee.
  5.  Recall of suppressed anger has been shown by Dr D Jain in 2001 from Yale University to be associated with angina, heart LV dysfunction and rise in upper blood pressure.
  6. G Ironson and colleagues from Department of Psychology,University of Miamiin 1992 has shown that anger recall produces more stress than the actual stress in a treadmill. Intensity of anger was associated with severity of angina. In the study vasoconstriction only occurred with high levels of anger. There also showed that there was no narrowing of non-narrowed arteries indicating that anger recall produce coronary vasoconstriction in previously narrowed coronary arteries.

Why the ritual of Namaskar or Namaste?

By
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Why the ritual of Namaskar or Namaste?

Namaskar is a customary greeting when two people meet. It signifies non-arrogance or negation of ego. Namaskar is made of three words:  Namah + Om + Kar.

  • Namah means Not Me. It is a negation of one’s identity and hence of one’s ego or arrogance. It signifies that I am nothing.
  • Om is the sound of life, the primordial sound of nature. In Vedic language it signifies soul, the spirit or the God.
  • Kar means shape/form of or manifestation of. Omkar therefore signifies manifestation of Om; the Universe, the cosmos, BrahmaShiva or God.  Omkaris omnipresent and omnipotent.

Namaska therefore indicates that I am nothing while the Omkar is every thing. Saying the word Namaskar also gives respect to the other person. That I am nothing and you are God. Vedantic text teaches us to give respect to athithi (Guest) “Atithi Devo Bhava”

When you bow to say namaskar and try to get angry, you find that you cannot do so. The body posture does not allow you to do so. For an angry posture, there must be an expansion of the chest wall and not flexion of the chest wall.

Other School of Thought: Namaskar = Nam + As + Kar

  • Nam is the root form of Namah and has the same meaning as Namah – Not Me (I am nothing).
  • As means “To be” or “To exist”; a word derived from Astitva which means existence.
  • Kar means doer or one who makes or creates. For example, Kar can be seen in the words Kalakar, ChitrakarKarmkar, Charmkar. In the above words, the suffix kar leads to the meaning of one who creates work.

Askar therefore means the creator of all that exists i.e. God.  Namaskar therefore has the same meaning: I am nothing every thing is the God.

Some people interpret Namah to mean “I Bow to”. Ultimately, the deeper meaning remains the same: “I bow to God.” Here you are considering the other person as God, which is one of Mahavakyas from Chandogya Upanishad in Sam Veda, “Tat Tyam Asi” (you are that).

“I salute the Almighty within you.”

Namaskar is done with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. This gesture is called Anjali Mudra (or Pranamasana).

The true Namaste gesture is accompanied by bowing the head and shoulders slightly. This is a gesture that lessens our sense of ego and self-centeredness, requiring some humility to do it well — whereas shaking hands can be quite an arrogant event. It’s a sign of respect and peace.