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Dr K K Aggarwal

Spiritual Prescription: Yoga Nidra

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Many people in the East and the West are attracted to yogic practices, for they think they can find a solution to every problem therein, be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Hence, much importance is attached to relaxation techniques that one thinks might help a person in easing the tension caused due to chronic stressful lifestyle. Yoga Nidra is one such wonderful technique, not only for physical or mental relaxation but also to prepare the mind for spiritual discipline. It concerns mainly with pratyahara (withdrawing senses from sense-objects) and dharana (concentration).

It is to be understood that ordinary sleep is not complete relaxation, for tension and stress cannot always be resolved completely in ordinary sleep. Yoga Nidra is qualitatively different relaxation. It is a ‘sleep’ where all the burdens are thrown off to attain a more blissful state of awareness, and hence it is a relaxation much more intense than ordinary sleep.

As Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Preface to “Yoga Nidra”, 1982, Bihar School of Yoga, Monghyr, Bihar, India) says: ‘When awareness is separate and distinct from vrittis – mental modifications, when waking, dreaming and deep sleep pass like clouds, yet awareness of Atman remains, that is the experience of total relaxation. That is why, in Tantra, Yoga Nidra is said to be the doorway to samadhi!’

Utility

Yoga Nidra helps in restoring mental, emotional, and physical health by way of relaxation, and makes the mind more conducive to pratyahara – (withdrawing senses from their objects), dharana – (concentration), and meditation. Such a practice helps to harmonize two hemispheres of the brain and the two aspects of autonomous nervous system viz. sympathetic and parasympathetic. The impressions in the subconscious are brought to the surface, experienced and removed. Thus, the fixation of awareness to the body is replaced with the awareness linked to subtler aspects of Prana and spiritual dimensions.

Spiritual Prescription – Controlling the Inner Noise

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define yoga as restraint of the mental states (Chapter 1.2). In the state of total restraint, the mind is devoid of any external object and is in its true self or the consciousness. To control the mind, many Vedic scholars have given their own formulas.

Being in touch with one’s own consciousness requires restraining of the mind, intellect and ego on one hand and the triad of rajas, tamas and satwa on the other hand. Every action leads to a memory, which in turn leads to a desire and with this a vicious cycle starts.

The mental turmoil of thoughts can be equated to the internal noise and the external desires and objects to an external noise.

The process of withdrawing from the external noise with an aim to start a journey inwards the silent field of awareness bypassing the internal noise is called pratihara by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It involves living in a satwik atmosphere based on the dos and don’ts learnt over a period of time or as told by the scriptures.To control the inner noise, we either need to neutralize negative thoughts by cultivating opposite thoughts or kill the origin of negative thoughts.

Not allowing thoughts to occur has been one of the strategies mentioned by the scholars. One of them has been neti–neti by Yagnayakya.

The other method is to pass through these inner thoughts and not get disturbed by it and that is what the process of meditation is. This can be equated to a situation where two people are talking in an atmosphere of loud external noise. For proper communication one will have to concentrate on each other’s voice for long till the external noise ceases to disturb. In meditation, one concentrates on the object of concentration to such an extent that the noisy thoughts cease to bother or exist.

One of the ways mentioned by Adi Shankaracharya in Bhaja Govindam and by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Chapter 2.35) is that whenever one is surrounded by evil or negative thoughts one should think contrary thoughts. For example, if one is feeling greedy, one can think of donating something to somebody. Deepak Chopra in his book Seven Laws of Spiritual Success talks in detail about the importance of giving and sharing. He says you should never visit friends or relations empty handed. You should always carry some gift of nature, which if nothing is available can be a simple smile, compliment or a flower. By repeatedly indulging into positive behavior and thoughts, you can reduce the internal noise, which helps in making the process of meditation or conscious living a simpler one.

Washing out negative thoughts is another way mentioned by many Vedic scholars. Three minutes writing is one such exercise which anybody can do. Before going to bed, take three minutes to write down all your emotions and then discard the paper. Another exercise is to reward or punish oneself at bed time for the activities done during the day by either patting or slapping yourself.(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

The spiritual prescription “I am sorry”

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Two hardest words for a doctor to say: “I’m sorry.”

Most defense lawyers counsels doctors not to apologize to patients. Their view is that if you say you’re sorry for something, you are implicitly taking some degree of responsibility for whatever has happened, in other words, you are pleading guilty. The complainant’s lawyers may use a doctor’s apology to the maximum extent possible to show the doctor knew what they did was wrong. The usual approach is deny and defend.

But

  1. Apologizing after a medical error is the humane thing to do.
  2. Patients often sue simply because it’s the only way to find out what went wrong.
  3. Erecting a wall of silence is “enough to make someone very angry. And it’s awfully easy for an angry person to find a lawyer who will listen to them. At that point, it’s too late for sorry.
  4. Over 35 states in the USA have passed laws prohibiting doctors’ apologies from being used against them in court. (apology laws)
  5. By promptly disclosing medical errors and offering earnest apologies and fair compensation one can hope to restore integrity to dealings with patients, make it easier to learn from mistakes and dilute anger that often fuels lawsuits.

Apology the spiritual answer

  • The word ‘sorry’ is synonymous with apology.
  • To err is human, to admit one’s error is superhuman.
  • Sorry should be heart-felt and not ego-felt. You should not only say sorry but you should appear as being genuinely sorry.
  • Tremendous courage is require to face the victim of our wrong doing and apologise.
  • It is generally seen that those who are in harmony with their life and consequently with themselves, find it easier to say ‘I’m sorry’. They are the positive, conscientious ones who are at peace only after making amends for their misdeeds.
  • The word ‘sorry’ in itself is imbued with so much potential and power. Within a fraction of a second, grave mistakes are diluted, tepid and estranged relations are brought alive, animosity and rancour are dissolved, misunderstandings resolved and tense situations ease out resulting in harmony and rapprochement.
  • To forgive and forget is a common spiritual saying.
  • Remember we all make mistakes and seek forgiveness form GOD every day.

The spiritual prescription “I am sorry”

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Health Care - Ask Dr KK | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on The spiritual prescription “I am sorry”

Two hardest words for a doctor to say: “I’m sorry.”

Most defense lawyers counsels doctors not to apologize to patients. Their view is that if you say you’re sorry for something, you are implicitly taking some degree of responsibility for whatever has happened, in other words, you are pleading guilty. The complainant’s lawyers may use a doctor’s apology to the maximum extent possible to show the doctor knew what they did was wrong. The usual approach is deny and defend.

But

  1. Apologizing after a medical error is the humane thing to do.
  2. Patients often sue simply because it’s the only way to find out what went wrong.
  3. Erecting a wall of silence is “enough to make someone very angry. And it’s awfully easy for an angry person to find a lawyer who will listen to them. At that point, it’s too late for sorry.
  4. Over 35 states in the USA have passed laws prohibiting doctors’ apologies from being used against them in court. (apology laws)
  5. By promptly disclosing medical errors and offering earnest apologies and fair compensation one can hope to restore integrity to dealings with patients, make it easier to learn from mistakes and dilute anger that often fuels lawsuits.

Apology the spiritual answer

  • The word ‘sorry’ is synonymous with apology.
  • To err is human, to admit one’s error is superhuman.
  • Sorry should be heart-felt and not ego-felt. You should not only say sorry but you should appear as being genuinely sorry.
  • Tremendous courage is require to face the victim of our wrong doing and apologise.
  • It is generally seen that those who are in harmony with their life and consequently with themselves, find it easier to say ‘I’m sorry’. They are the positive, conscientious ones who are at peace only after making amends for their misdeeds.
  • The word ‘sorry’ in itself is imbued with so much potential and power. Within a fraction of a second, grave mistakes are diluted, tepid and estranged relations are brought alive, animosity and rancour are dissolved, misunderstandings resolved and tense situations ease out resulting in harmony and rapprochement.
  • To forgive and forget is a common spiritual saying.
  • Remember we all make mistakes and seek forgiveness form GOD every day.

The spiritual prescription “I am sorry”

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on The spiritual prescription “I am sorry”

Two hardest words for a doctor to say: “I’m sorry.”

Most defense lawyers counsels doctors not to apologize to patients. Their view is that if you say you’re sorry for something, you are implicitly taking some degree of responsibility for whatever has happened, in other words, you are pleading guilty. The complainant’s lawyers may use a doctor’s apology to the maximum extent possible to show the doctor knew what they did was wrong. The usual approach is deny and defend.

But

  1. Apologizing after a medical error is the humane thing to do.
  2. Patients often sue simply because it’s the only way to find out what went wrong.
  3. Erecting a wall of silence is “enough to make someone very angry. And it’s awfully easy for an angry person to find a lawyer who will listen to them. At that point, it’s too late for sorry.
  4. Over 35 states in the USA have passed laws prohibiting doctors’ apologies from being used against them in court. (apology laws)
  5. By promptly disclosing medical errors and offering earnest apologies and fair compensation one can hope to restore integrity to dealings with patients, make it easier to learn from mistakes and dilute anger that often fuels lawsuits.

Apology the spiritual answer

  • The word ‘sorry’ is synonymous with apology.
  • To err is human, to admit one’s error is superhuman.
  • Sorry should be heart-felt and not ego-felt. You should not only say sorry but you should appear as being genuinely sorry.
  • Tremendous courage is require to face the victim of our wrong doing and apologise.
  • It is generally seen that those who are in harmony with their life and consequently with themselves, find it easier to say ‘I’m sorry’. They are the positive, conscientious ones who are at peace only after making amends for their misdeeds.
  • The word ‘sorry’ in itself is imbued with so much potential and power. Within a fraction of a second, grave mistakes are diluted, tepid and estranged relations are brought alive, animosity and rancour are dissolved, misunderstandings resolved and tense situations ease out resulting in harmony and rapprochement.
  • To forgive and forget is a common spiritual saying.
  • Remember we all make mistakes and seek forgiveness form GOD every day.

Spiritual Prescription – Controlling the Inner Noise

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on Spiritual Prescription – Controlling the Inner Noise

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define yoga as restraint of the mental states (Chapter 1.2). In the state of total restraint, the mind is devoid of any external object and is in its true self or the consciousness. To control the mind, many Vedic scholars have given their own formulas.

Being in touch with one’s own consciousness requires restraining of the mind, intellect and ego on one hand and the triad of rajas, tamas and satwa on the other hand. Every action leads to a memory, which in turn leads to a desire and with this a vicious cycle starts.

The mental turmoil of thoughts can be equated to the internal noise and the external desires and objects to an external noise.

The process of withdrawing from the external noise with an aim to start a journey inwards the silent field of awareness bypassing the internal noise is called pratihara by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It involves living in a satwik atmosphere based on the dos and don’ts learnt over a period of time or as told by the scriptures.To control the inner noise, we either need to neutralize negative thoughts by cultivating opposite thoughts or kill the origin of negative thoughts.

Not allowing thoughts to occur has been one of the strategies mentioned by the scholars. One of them has been neti–neti by Yagnayakya.

The other method is to pass through these inner thoughts and not get disturbed by it and that is what the process of meditation is. This can be equated to a situation where two people are talking in an atmosphere of loud external noise. For proper communication one will have to concentrate on each other’s voice for long till the external noise ceases to disturb. In meditation, one concentrates on the object of concentration to such an extent that the noisy thoughts cease to bother or exist.

One of the ways mentioned by Adi Shankaracharya in Bhaja Govindam and by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Chapter 2.35) is that whenever one is surrounded by evil or negative thoughts one should think contrary thoughts. For example, if one is feeling greedy, one can think of donating something to somebody. Deepak Chopra in his book Seven Laws of Spiritual Success talks in detail about the importance of giving and sharing. He says you should never visit friends or relations empty handed. You should always carry some gift of nature, which if nothing is available can be a simple smile, compliment or a flower. By repeatedly indulging into positive behavior and thoughts, you can reduce the internal noise, which helps in making the process of meditation or conscious living a simpler one.

Washing out negative thoughts is another way mentioned by many Vedic scholars. Three minutes writing is one such exercise which anybody can do. Before going to bed, take three minutes to write down all your emotions and then discard the paper. Another exercise is to reward or punish oneself at bed time for the activities done during the day by either patting or slapping yourself.(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Spiritual Prescription: Who am I? Know Your Soul Profile

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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“I am not my physical body, as I know, once my body dies, nobody wants to touch it.” (Adi Shankaracharya in the Bhaja Govindam)

“I am not my mind as I know whenever I am in trouble; the mind asks the heart for help” (Deepak Chopra in the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success).

“I am my consciousness which is residing in the core of my heart” (Svetasvatara Upanishad 5.8).

“This consciousness is nothing but a web of energized information situated in the void” (Chandogya Upanishad Chapter XII — the Birth of the Gross from the Subtle)

“the consciousness is timeless, has no beginning, no end, weapons cannot cut it, air cannot dry it, water cannot wet it and fire cannot burn it” (Bhagavad Gita 2.23, 24).

Each one of us has a physical profile (as defined by our height, complexion, collar number, waist size, etc.) and has a mental or ego profile. A few examples of ego profile: my bank balance, car, job designation, locality of residence, size of house, contacts, power, clothes’, etc.

Similarly, each one of us also has a soul profile. We should give sometime to ourselves for knowing our soul profile and revisit it at least once in a week.

According to Deepak Chopra, to know the soul profile, an individual should ask 7 questions to his/her consciousness while sitting in a meditative poise or in state of relaxation. The answer to each question should be either in three words or three phrases.

  1. What is my purpose of life?
  2. What is my contribution going to be for my friends and family?
  3. Three instances in my life when I had my peak experiences.
  4. Names of three people who inspire me the most.
  5. Three qualities which I admire in others the most.
  6. Three of my unique talents.
  7. Three qualities I best express in my relationship.

These 21 answers will characterize your soul profile or will be your passport for every action you perform in your life.

In day-to-day’s life, one should act from the soul profile and not from the ego profile. Soul profile cannot be manipulated while the ego profile can be.

There are only three ways of improving one’s soul profile and these are:

  1. The choices one makes should be soul-profile oriented and not ego-profile oriented. Whenever there is an opportunity for an action, ask the head for choices, then ask the heart to choose one, and finally order the hand to take action. A soul-based action is the one which is based on the truth, is necessary, and which makes the person and the people around him or her, both happy.
  2. Total clarity of vision of “What do I want” and also “What I don’t want”.
  3. Learn to enter into discontinuity of thought processes using “beej mantra” or doing primordial sound meditation 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening.

These can also be equated to the eight limbs of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, where the “choices I make” represents Yama and Niyama, “what do I want” represents Dharma and the “entering into discontinuity” represents Dhyana and Samadhi.

Spiritual Prescription: Who am I? Know Your Soul Profile

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Spiritual Prescription: Who am I? Know Your Soul Profile

“I am not my physical body, as I know, once my body dies, nobody wants to touch it.” (Adi Shankaracharya in the Bhaja Govindam)

“I am not my mind as I know whenever I am in trouble; the mind asks the heart for help” (Deepak Chopra in the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success).

“I am my consciousness which is residing in the core of my heart” (Svetasvatara Upanishad 5.8).

“This consciousness is nothing but a web of energized information situated in the void” (Chandogya Upanishad Chapter XII — the Birth of the Gross from the Subtle)

“the consciousness is timeless, has no beginning, no end, weapons cannot cut it, air cannot dry it, water cannot wet it and fire cannot burn it” (Bhagavad Gita 2.23, 24).

Each one of us has a physical profile (as defined by our height, complexion, collar number, waist size, etc.) and has a mental or ego profile. A few examples of ego profile: my bank balance, car, job designation, locality of residence, size of house, contacts, power, clothes’, etc.

Similarly, each one of us also has a soul profile. We should give sometime to ourselves for knowing our soul profile and revisit it at least once in a week.

According to Deepak Chopra, to know the soul profile, an individual should ask 7 questions to his/her consciousness while sitting in a meditative poise or in state of relaxation. The answer to each question should be either in three words or three phrases.

  1. What is my purpose of life?
  2. What is my contribution going to be for my friends and family?
  3. Three instances in my life when I had my peak experiences.
  4. Names of three people who inspire me the most.
  5. Three qualities which I admire in others the most.
  6. Three of my unique talents.
  7. Three qualities I best express in my relationship.

These 21 answers will characterize your soul profile or will be your passport for every action you perform in your life.

In day-to-day’s life, one should act from the soul profile and not from the ego profile. Soul profile cannot be manipulated while the ego profile can be.

There are only three ways of improving one’s soul profile and these are:

  1. The choices one makes should be soul-profile oriented and not ego-profile oriented. Whenever there is an opportunity for an action, ask the head for choices, then ask the heart to choose one, and finally order the hand to take action. A soul-based action is the one which is based on the truth, is necessary, and which makes the person and the people around him or her, both happy.
  2. Total clarity of vision of “What do I want” and also “What I don’t want”.
  3. Learn to enter into discontinuity of thought processes using “beej mantra” or doing primordial sound meditation 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening.

These can also be equated to the eight limbs of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, where the “choices I make” represents Yama and Niyama, “what do I want” represents Dharma and the “entering into discontinuity” represents Dhyana and Samadhi.

Spiritual Prescription: Kayotsarga

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Shavasana is a term used in Hatha Yoga, which means lying like a corpse. In mind body language, it is called mind body relaxation. In terms of psychiatry, it is called progressive muscular relaxation. Mahavira in his teachings called it as Kayotsarga. Kayotsarga does not mean only lying like corpse but also abandonment of the body. It is a state of restful alertness where the mind is alert but the body is at rest. All meditative practices begin with Kayotsarga. It is the very foundation of spiritual sadhana. In terms of physiology it increases alpha rays in the brain and in the language of neurology it creates a parasympathetic state of the body. The process involves lying still and being aware of each and every part of the body getting relaxed gradually and in turn. Awareness or the concentration is on the body being relaxed and the process of relaxation. In yogic language, it is also called as yoga nidra as before completing the process most people fall asleep. This is one procedure, which is often used by counselors in patients with insomnia. During the process of Kayotsarga one is neither in the past nor in the future as one’s awareness is in the present on the process of relaxation. Being in present, it detaches one from attachments and desires and prepares one for the next phase called meditation. One of the mind body principles is that during a state of relaxation and restful alertness, the mind become suggestive. This principle is also used in hypnosis. In fact, the initial trans-state is based on this principle. Kayotsarga is the state of the body required to win over any pain and this is one reason why during any painful procedure the person is often asked to relax and give way. In the process of Kayotsarga as the body is in a deep state of relaxation, all physical and mental sufferings are relieved. With relaxation of the body most pain would disappear. There are several studies, which say that yogic shavasana or Kayotsarga can reduce blood pressure by 20/10 mmHg. The 10-day Vipasana Meditation is also based on prolonged Kayotsarga. It is supposed to be very effective. Slower and deeper breathing is another way of achieving the same benefits as that of Kayotsarga. Both balance prana. Yoga sutras of Patanjali involve both of them before going into meditation. If one practices Kayotsarga, breathing automatically slows down. Kayotsarga is often done in the beginning of dhyana and at the point of culmination of dhyana. Kayotsarga is a state of making body completely free of motion and tension. The fundamental principle of Kayotsarga is slower and deeper breathing. Unless the breathing is slow it is not possible to relax the body. One cannot do Kayotsarga successfully if the breathing is fast. It is also combined with many visualization techniques. Once the full body is relaxed concentrating on a mantra or on a particular portion of the body may help in healing. Dean Ornish in his book reversal of heart disease also used this technique with focus on heart and showed that even heart diseases can regress. Many people use this for relieving migraine. Kayotsarga is the process which distinguishes the body from the soul. The detached feeling of the body is what the first stage of meditation is. Afternoon nap is nothing but Kayotsarga. The best way to rest for a heart patient is to practice Kayotsarga. During the process of Kayotsarga the immunity develops and the prana becomes balanced

Spiritual Prescription: You are born with a quota, use it judicially

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Everyone is born with a passport with a defined battery life to live up to 100 years after which one has to go back to renew or recharge the batteries. If the battery is overused or misused and is depleted early, one may have to go back prematurely for recharging, but this time when one comes back, he or she may come back with a different body which may not be the human one. There are 64 lakh Yonis as described in the Vedic Literature. According to the Vedic description if one dies prematurely there are chances that the rebirth will not be in the same species. To live up to the time period defined at the time of birth by Dharamaraja one has to follow the principles as described in Yogashastra. The main principle is the principle of moderation and variety. It says that everything has to be used, if not used will get rusted and if overused will undergo wear and tear. When using the principles of moderation and variety, it is important to remember that each one of us is born with a fixed quota of everything, a quota of diet, respiration, heart rate and thoughts. According to swara yoga, one is born with predefined number of respirations to be taken during life. If one consumes them early he will depart for refueling early from the life. To reduce respiratory rate is therefore the basis of postponing aging and prolonging life. Stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system by learning and practicing pranayama, which is slow and deep breathing, does the same. One breathes 15 times a minute or 21600 breaths in a day, or 7884000 (78.84 lakh) a year or 788400000 (78.84 crores) during life (assuming it to be 100 years). Some yoga books say that a person is born with 33 crore breaths, the same if taken at the rate or 15 per minute would last for 42 years. In fact Pranayama originated on the concept that the breaths of each one of us are numbered, that our life-span is dependent on how many times we shall breathe in a given life, and that, as a consequence of this fact, we must reduce the number of breaths so as to live longer. In Gorakshapaddhati (I.93), it is written that “Due to fear of death even Brahma, the Lord of creation, keeps on practicing pranayama, and so do many yogis and munis. It is recommended that a student of yoga must always control his breath.” Hathayoga-pradipika (II.39) also writes: `All the Gods including Lord Brahma became devoted to the practice of pranayama because they were afraid of death. We the mortals should follow the same path and control the breath.” Similarly one is born with a quota of heartbeats with an average of 70 per minute. Many studies have shown that people who have a higher resting heart rate have more chances of sudden death. The aim therefore is to keep their heart rate slow. This can be achieved either by regular exercise, meditation, AUM Pranayama, or by meditation. In people who run marathons or participate in other athletic activities, the temporary increase in the heart rate during exercise is compensated by the body by adapting the cardiovascular system in such a way that the basal heart rate reduces. The marathon runners may have a heart rate of only 50 per minute. The less one eats the more he lives is an Yogic saying, It is said that people who eat once a day are Yogis, twice a day are Bhogis and thrice a day are Rogis. There are enough studies now, which say that 25% reduction in the calories content can increase the life span. Many studies in rodents have also shown the same effect. The moderation in exercise is to walk 10000 steps a day. No exercise will end up with obesity and over use with osteoarthritis. Stress is the excess of thoughts in the mind. Controlling the mind forms the basis of meditation. Samadhi is the state of no thoughts. Practicing meditation 20 minutes twice daily helps to restrain the mind with resultant state of Turiya where the mind has controlled limited positive thoughts.

The spiritual prescription “I am sorry”

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on The spiritual prescription “I am sorry”

Two hardest words for a doctor to say: “I’m sorry.” Most defense lawyers counsel doctors to not apologize to patients. Their view is that if you say you’re sorry for something, you are implicitly taking some degree of responsibility for whatever has happened. In other words, you are pleading guilty. The complainant’s lawyers may use a doctor’s apology to the maximum extent possible to show the doctor knew what they did was wrong. The usual approach is deny and defend. But,

  • Apologizing after a medical error is the humane thing to do.
  • Patients often sue simply because it’s the only way to find out what went wrong.
  • Erecting a wall of silence is “enough to make someone very angry. And it’s awfully easy for an angry person to find a lawyer who will listen to them. At that point, it’s too late to say sorry.
  • Over 35 states in the USA have passed laws prohibiting doctors’ apologies from being used against them in court. (apology laws)
  • By promptly disclosing medical errors and offering earnest apologies and fair compensation one can hope to restore integrity to dealings with patients, make it easier to learn from mistakes and dilute anger that often fuels lawsuits.

Apology the spiritual answer

  • The word ‘sorry’ is synonymous with apology.
  • To err is human, to admit one’s error is superhuman.
  • Sorry should be heart-felt and not ego-felt. You should not only say sorry but also appear as being genuinely sorry.
  • Tremendous courage is entailed to face the victim of our wrong doing and apologise.
  • It is generally seen that those who are in harmony with their life and consequently with themselves, find it easier to say ‘I’m sorry’. They are the positive, conscientious ones who are at peace only after making amends for their misdeeds.
  • The word ‘sorry’ in itself is imbued with so much potential and power. Within a fraction of a second, grave mistakes are diluted, tepid and estranged relations are brought alive, animosity and rancour are dissolved, misunderstandings resolved and tense situations ease out resulting in harmony and rapprochement.
  • To forgive and forget is a common spiritual saying.
  • Remember we all make mistakes and seek forgiveness form GOD every day.

Spiritual Prescription: Who am I? Know Your Soul Profile

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Spiritual Prescription: Who am I? Know Your Soul Profile

 

These can also be equated to the eight limbs of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, where the “choices I make” represents Yama and Niyama, “what do I want” represents Dharma and the “entering into discontinuity” represents Dhyana and Samadhi.“I am not my physical body, as I know, once my body dies, nobody wants to touch it.” (Adi Shankaracharya in the Bhaja Govindam)

“I am not my mind as I know whenever I am in trouble; the mind asks the heart for help” (Deepak Chopra in the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success).

“I am my consciousness which is residing in the core of my heart” (Svetasvatara Upanisad 5.8).

“This consciousness is nothing but a web of energized information situated in the void” (Chandogya Upanishad Chapter XII — the Birth of the Gross from the Subtle)

“the consciousness is timeless, has no beginning, no end, weapons cannot cut it, air cannot dry it, water cannot wet it and fire cannot burn it” (Bhagavad Gita 2.23, 24).

Each one of us has a physical profile (as defined by our height, complexion, collar number, waist size, etc.) and has a mental or ego profile. A few examples of ego profile: my bank balance, car, job designation, locality of residence, size of house, contacts, power, clothes’, etc.

Similarly each one of us also has a soul profile. We should give sometime to ourselves for knowing our soul profile and revisit it at least once in a week.

According to Deepak Chopra, to know the soul profile one should ask seven questions to his or her consciousness while sitting in a meditative poise or in state of relaxation. The answer to each question should be either in three words or three phrases.

  1. What is my purpose of life?
  2. What is my contribution going to be for my friends and family?
  3. Three instances in my life when I had my peak experiences.
  4. Names of three people who inspire me the most.
  5. Three qualities which I admire in others the most.
  6. Three of my unique talents.
  7. Three qualities I best express in my relationship.

These twenty one answers will characterize your soul profile or will be your passport for every action you perform in your life.

In day–to–day’s life, one should act from the soul profile and not from the ego profile. Soul profile cannot be manipulated while the ego profile can be.

There are only three ways of improving one’s soul profile and these are:

  1. The choices one makes should be soul–profile oriented and not ego–profile oriented. Whenever there is an opportunity for an action, ask the head for choices, then ask the heart to choose one, and finally order the hand to take action. A soul–based action is the one which is based on the truth, is necessary, and which makes the person and the people around him or her, both happy.
  2. Total clarity of vision of “What do I want” and also “What I don’t want”.
  3. Learn to enter into discontinuity of thought processes using “beej mantra” or doing primordial sound meditation 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening.

These can also be equated to the eight limbs of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, where the “choices I make” represents Yama and Niyama, “what do I want” represents Dharma and the “entering into discontinuity” represents Dhyana and Samadhi.

Spiritual Prescription: The Role of Prayer in Healing

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Religious beliefs may have a powerful influence on the health of our patients, and we need to know about them.

A large and growing number of studies have shown a direct relationship between religious involvement and positive health outcomes, including mortality, physical illnesses, mental illness, health-related quality of life and coping with illness.

Studies also suggest that addressing the spiritual needs of patients may facilitate recovery from illness. A majority of the nearly 350 studies of physical health and 850 studies of mental health that have used religious and spiritual variables have found that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better health outcomes.

Although the relationship between religious involvement and spirituality with health outcomes seems valid, it is difficult to establish causality. The benefits of religious and spiritual involvement are likely conveyed through complex psychosocial, behavioral and biological processes that are incompletely understood.

All physicians should take a spiritual history of their patients, which could help discern their spiritual needs during treatment.

According to Dr. Harold Keonig of Duke University Medical Center, in majority of cases, the doctor should not attempt to address complex spiritual needs of patients. When the patient is reluctant to talk with clergy and prefers to discuss spiritual matters with a trusted physician, taking a little extra time to listen and be supportive is usually all that is required.

Providing support for religious beliefs and practices that do not conflict with medical care may be appropriate, but when beliefs conflict with medical care, it is important not to criticize the belief, but rather to listen, gather information, enter into the patient’s world view and maintain open lines of communication, perhaps enlisting the help of the patient’s clergy.

Recently a study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings confirmed the importance of religion and spirituality for many patients undergoing medical treatment. The single–center, randomized, double–blind trial was conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. from July 4, 1997 to Oct. 21, 1999 and involved 799 male and female coronary care patients aged 18 years or older.

Earlier too, a number of published studies have already assessed the effects of spiritual factors on health care outcomes: 75 percent report a positive effect; 17 percent report no effect; and 7 percent report a negative effect.

In the study, the patients were randomized into the intercessory prayer group and the control group. Intercessory prayer was administered at least once a week for 26 weeks by five intercessors per patient. After 26 weeks, a medical setback (such as death, cardiac arrest, re–hospitalization, coronary revascularization or an emergency department visit for cardiovascular disease) occurred in 25.6 percent of the prayer group and 29.3 percent of the control group. Among high–risk patients, such a setback occurred in 31 percent of the prayer group and 33 percent of the control group. Among low–risk patients, the difference between the groups was 17 percent for the prayer group and 24 percent for the control group.

Though the results were in favor of prayer yet the study had some limitations, which might have influenced the low positive results. It did not measure the ‘power of God,’ nor was the prayer offered for patients by loved ones, relatives and friends. The researchers said most patients have a spiritual life and regard their spiritual health and physical health as equally important. People may have greater spiritual needs during illness and are looking to have those needs met.

Prayer works on the principle that in the relaxed state, the mind becomes suggestive. The inner healing starts when the intent reaches the inner consciousness or a state of stillness.

Prayer is different from meditation. In prayer, one is talking to the GOD and in meditation, GOD is talking to you. Meditation is much stronger than prayer as it bypasses the mind and deals with the spirit or the consciousness. In prayer, the mind is in an active working phase. Meditation is the phase of restful alertness.

It all works at the level of autonomic nervous system. The parasympathetic state of mind is the healing state. Both prayer and the meditation take one from sympathetic to the parasympathetic state.

Spiritual Prescription: You are born with a quota use it judicially

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Everyone is born with a passport with a defined battery life to live up to 100 years after which one has to go back to renew or recharge the batteries.

If the battery is overused or misused and is depleted early, one may have to go back prematurely for recharging, but this time when one comes back, he or she may come back with a different body, which may not be the human one. There are 64 lakh Yonis as described in the Vedic literature.

According to the Vedic description, if one dies prematurely there are chances that the rebirth will not be in the same species.

To live up to the time period defined at the time of birth by Dharmaraja, one has to follow the principles as described in Yogashastra.

The main principle is the principle of moderation and variety. It says that everything has to be used, if not used will get rusted and if overused will undergo wear and tear. The classical example is that God had made uterus in the women for producing a child; if the same organ is not used at all, it will produce a fibroid and if overused may end up in a cancer.

When using the principles of moderation and variety, one should remember that each one of us is born with a fixed quota of everything, a quota of diet, respirations, heart rate and thoughts.

According to swara yoga, one is born with predefined number of respirations to be taken during life. If one consumes them early he will depart for refueling early from the life. To reduce respiratory rate is therefore the basis of postponing aging and prolonging life. Stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system by learning and practicing pranayama, which is slower and deep breathing, does the same.

One breathes 15 times a minute or 21600 breaths in a day, or 7884000 (78.84 lakhs) a year or 788400000 (78.84 crores) during life (assuming it to be 100 years). Some yoga books say that a person is born with 33 crore breaths, the same if taken at the rate or 15 per minute would last for 42 years.

In fact Pranayama originated on the concept that the breaths of each one of us are numbered, that our life-span is dependent on how many times we shall breathe in a given life, and that, as a consequence of this fact, we must reduce the number of breaths so as to live longer.

In Gorakshapaddhati (I.93), it is written that “Due to fear of death even Brahma, the Lord of creation, keeps on practicing pranayama and so do many yogis and minis. It is recommended that a student of yoga must always control his breath.”

Hathayoga-pradipika (II.39) also writes: “All the Gods including Lord Brahma became devoted to the practice of pranayama because they were afraid of death. We the mortals should follow the same path and control the breath.”

Similarly one is born with a quota of heartbeats, which is an average of 70 per minute. Many studies have shown that people whose resting heart rate is higher have more chances of sudden death. The aim therefore is to keep the heart rate at a slower pace. The same can be achieved either by regular exercise, meditation, Aum Pranayama, or by meditation. In people who run marathons or participate in athletic activities, the temporary increase in the heart rate during exercise is compensated by the body by adapting the cardiovascular system in such a way that the basal heart rate reduces. The marathon runners may have a heart rate of only 50 per minute.

The less one eats the more he lives is a Yogic saying. It is said that a person who eats once a day is a Yogi, twice a day is a Bhogi and thrice a day is a Rogi. There are enough studies now, which say that a 25% reduction in the calorie content can increase life span. Many studies in rodents have also shown similar effect.

The moderation in exercise is to walk 10000 steps a day. No exercise will lead to obesity and overuse may lead to osteoarthritis.

Stress is the excess of thoughts in the mind. Controlling the mind forms the basis of meditation. Samadhi is the state of no thoughts. Practicing meditation 20 minutes twice daily helps in restraining the mind with resultant state of Turya where the mind has controlled limited positive thoughts.

Spiritual Prescription: Who am I? – Know Your Soul Profile

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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“I am not my physical body, as I know, once my body dies, nobody wants to touch it.” (Adi Shankaracharya in the Bhaja Govindam)

“I am not my mind as I know whenever I am in trouble; the mind asks the heart for help” (Deepak Chopra in the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success).

“I am my consciousness which is residing in the core of my heart” (Svetasvatara Upanisad 5.8).

“This consciousness is nothing but a web of energized information situated in the void” (Chandogya Upanishad Chapter XII — the Birth of the Gross from the Subtle)

“the consciousness is timeless, has no beginning, no end, weapons cannot cut it, air cannot dry it, water cannot wet it and fire cannot burn it” (Bhagavad Gita 2.23, 24).

Each one of us has a physical profile (as defined by our height, complexion, collar number, waist size, etc.) and has a mental or ego profile. A few examples of ego profile: my bank balance, car, job designation, locality of residence, size of house, contacts, power, clothes’, etc.

Similarly each one of us also has a soul profile. We should give sometime to ourselves for knowing our soul profile and revisit it at least once in a week.

According to Deepak Chopra, to know the soul profile one should ask seven questions to his or her consciousness while sitting in a meditative poise or in state of relaxation. The answer to each question should be either in three words or three phrases.

  1. What is my purpose of life?
  2. What is my contribution going to be for my friends and family?
  3. Three instances in my life when I had my peak experiences.
  4. Names of three people who inspire me the most.
  5. Three qualities which I admire in others the most.
  6. Three of my unique talents.
  7. Three qualities I best express in my relationship.

These twenty one answers will characterize your soul profile or will be your passport for every action you perform in your life.

In day–to–day’s life, one should act from the soul profile and not from the ego profile. Soul profile cannot be manipulated while the ego profile can be.

There are only three ways of improving one’s soul profile and these are:

  1. The choices one makes should be soul–profile oriented and not ego–profile oriented. Whenever there is an opportunity for an action, ask the head for choices, then ask the heart to choose one, and finally order the hand to take action. A soul–based action is the one which is based on the truth, is necessary, and which makes the person and the people around him or her, both happy.
  2. Total clarity of vision of “What do I want” and also “What I don’t want”.
  3. Learn to enter into discontinuity of thought processes using “beej mantra” or doing primordial sound meditation 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening.

These can also be equated to the eight limbs of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, where the “choices I make” represents Yama and Niyama, “what do I want” represents Dharma and the “entering into discontinuity” represents Dhyana and Samadhi.