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Dr K K Aggarwal

The 5 deadly passions are kama, krodha, lobha, moha and ahankaar. Kama denotes passion for sex, refined carbohydrate food, and wealth; krodha for anger; lobha for greed; moha for undue attachments for material things; and ahankaar for vanity or egoism.

These five vices can be removed either by willfully avoiding them, by practicing opposite virtues or by dipping oneself in silence using a primordial sound mantra called primordial sound meditation. Read more

Health is not mere absence of disease; it is a state of physical, mental, social, spiritual, environmental and financial well being. All aspects of health are not defined in allopathy. During MBBS, medical students are taught more about the physical health. Social and mental health is covered only in few lectures. Community health is a separate subject but never given its due importance. Spiritual health is not defined at all and financial health is hardly covered.

Yet, in day today practice it is the social, financial, spiritual and community health which is the most important during patient-doctor communication. It is incorporated in the four basic purposes: Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Dharma and Artha together forms the basis of karma which righteous earning.

You are what your deep rooted desires are. Most of the diseases today can be traced to a particular emotion, positive or negative. Anger and jealously are related with heart attack, fear with blood pressure, greed & possessiveness with heart failure. Unless the mind is healthy, one cannot be free of diseases.

The best description of health comes from Ayurveda. In Sanskrit health means Swasthya, which means establishment in the self. One is established in the self when there is a union of mind, body and soul. Most symbols of health are established around a shaft with two snakes and two wings. The shaft represents the body, two snakes represent the duality of mind and the two wings represent the freedom of soul.

Sushrut Samhita in Chapter 15 Shloka 10 defines health as under:

Samadosha, samagnischa,
Samadhatumalkriyah,
Prasannatmendriyamanah,
Swastha iti abhidhiyate.

From Ayurveda point of view for a person to be healthy must have balanced doshas, balanced Agni, balanced dhatus, normal functioning of malkriyas and mind, body, spirit and indriyas full of bliss and happiness.

Human body is made up of structures (Kapha) which have two basic functions to perform; firstly, metabolism (pitta) and movement (vata). Vata, Pitta and Kapha are called doshas in Ayurveda. Samana dosha means balance of structures, metabolism and movement functions in the body. Agni in Ayurveda is said to be in balance when a person has normal Tejas and a good appetite.

Ayurveda describes seven dhatus: rasa, rakta, mamsa, medha, majja, asthi, shukra and they are required to be in balance. They are equivalent to various tissues in the human body.

Ayurveda necessitates proper functioning of natural urges like urination, stool, sweating and breathing and that is what balances in malakriya means.

Ayurveda says for a person to be healthy he has to be mentally and spiritually healthy which will only happen when his or her indriyas are cheerful, full of bliss and devoid of any negativities. For indriyas to be in balance one has to learn to control over the lust cum desires, greed and ego. This can be done by learning regular pranayama, learning the do’s and don’ts in life, living in a disciplined atmosphere and learn to live in the present.

Regular pranayama shifts one from sympathetic to para sympathetic mode, balances the mind and thoughts and helps in removing negative thoughts from the mind. For living a disabled life one can follow the yama and niyama of yoga sutras of patanjali or do’s and don’ts taught by various religious gurus, leaders and principles of naturopathy. Living in the present means conscious or meditative living. This involves either learning meditation 20 minutes twice a day or learning subtle mental exercises like mind-body relaxation, yogic shavasana, self-hypnotic exercises, etc.

According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali a person who eats thrice a day is a rogi, twice a day is a bhogi and once a day is yogi. The take home message is: to live more one has to eat less.

Swar yoga defines the importance of respiration and longevity. According to this yoga shastra, everybody has a fixed number of breaths to be taken during the life span. Lesser the number a person takes in a minute more is the life. It also forms the basis of pranayama which is nothing but longer and deeper breathing with reduced respiratory rate. To be healthy one can remember to follow the principle of moderation and variety in diet & exercise, regular pranayama & meditation and positive thinking.

One day someone asked me why Muslims and Hindus fight with each other when they worship each other’s GODS. Hindu worship ALI in DIWALI and Muslims worship RAMA in RAMAZAN.

Diwali and Ramadan both have one thing in common and that is one month of spiritual Yagna.

In Hindu spiritual Yagna, the process starts from first day of Navratri on Amavasya and ends up on Diwali, again on Amavasya. The first 10 days involve intense spiritual practice and the rest 20 days entails receiving its benefits.

The first nine days, called Navratri are devoted to a process of purification and detoxification of mind, body and soul. During this period a person is required to lead a Satwik spiritual life devoting first three days into activities, which reduces negativity in the mind and the body; the next three days he is supposed to indulge in positive behavior and happenings and in the last three days he is supposed to read and learn about spiritual positive things in life.

Respectively, these three phases of purification are symbolized as worshiping the Goddesses, Kali, Laxmi and Saraswati. The spiritual purification process involves eating only Satwik food, one which is offered to God, and following the principles of Satwik lifestyle which are Satwik Ahaar, Satwik Vichar, Satwik Vyavahaar and Satwik Achaar. There is a custom of worshiping wheat and barley grass during this period. They are detoxifying grasses when consumed in the form of juices. The Satwik fast observed during this period helps in cleansing the internal body.

Once the nine days purification process is complete, on 10th day one gets the first benefits symbolized with Vijaydashmi as one conquers on that days a victory over Tamas (Kumbhakaran), Rajas (Meghnad) and Ego (Ravana). The victory over the Ego entails the ruling of Satwa (Vibshishan) and reunion of Mind (Lakshamana), Body (Sita) and Soul (Rama).

As per the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali when one attains an ego free mind one is likely to get benefits over a period of time.

The first benefit is seen on the fourth day after Vijaydashmi, on Sharad Purnima, a day known for health benefits. People on this day gather in the night and eat kheer rich in moon rays.

Again after four days on the day of karvachauth one gets benefit of the longevity of the spouse which gives safety to the family. On this day all married women fast and prey for their husbands.

Four days later on “hoi ashtami” one prays for the longevity of their children. This ensures old age protection for the family.

Four days later again on “dhanteras” one gets the benefit of wealth. On this days people worships silver items. On this day no dealings are done and people spend only to invest of silver and gold items for future needs of the family.

By this time the person, who has indulged in the process of purification, learns the true purpose of his or her existence. The inner ignorance and darkness goes away and one gets the true meaning of wealth and that is inner happiness. The day it happens it is called Diwali where on the day of Amavasya (darkness) one gets internal lighting (Diwali).

Diwali, therefore, is a one-month long spiritual Yagna with nine days of purification and 21 days of acquiring spiritual benefits out of it.

Ramadan similarly involves a deep intense purification process of mind, body and soul. In Christians the similar spiritual purification process is celebrated as Easter.

 “If you can solve your problem then what is the need of worrying?
And if you cannot solve it then what is the use of worrying?”……………Shanti Deva

One does not experience worries or suffer from anxieties during deep sleep or anesthesia. The consciousness, which is our true self, is also free of worries. Worries are therefore, a mental creation. They represent a privately-created establishment where one prefers to live with one’s own choice and does not want to get out of it.

Shanti Deva has rightly said that, in both the situations, whether one can solve a problem and not, worrying has no place. It is often said that you worry either because you don’t get what you want or because you get what you wanted. Worry is a byproduct of ego and ego is brought about by ignorance.

Human nature primarily has only two emotions. First is love and second is fear. Love is the basic nature of every human being and represents the true heaven. All other negativities are privately created hell.

There is nothing like hatred. It is absence of love, which causes hatred. By changing the perception, one can remove the hatred and start loving again. Remember nobody can hate anybody unless one has loved him/her.

The hair of a man turns gray if he worries (Sivananda). Worries impair digestion, bring exertion, and reduce vitality and vigour from the mind. Worries, when combined with fear and anger can kill a person in no time. Worry weakens the will. A worrying habit is generated in the mind and these thoughts recur again and again like a cycle.

According to the Bhagvad Gita and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the treatment for any negativity is to think opposite. Opposite of worry is cheerfulness. According to the Vedic philosophy, one is not completely dressed unless one is wearing a smile on the face.

Smiling and loving are the keys to internal happiness and peace. Developing this as a habit keeps one cool even in difficult situations. The simplest way is to start smiling as a habit, and later on, it will get incorporated as part of one’s consciousness. The attitude in life should be “even this bad time will pass away”.

According to the law of karma, one has to pay one’s debts. It is better to pay it now in the form of a temporary sickness than to accumulate it and get permanent disabling sicknesses later, making one bedridden during one’s last days of life.

Every action, good or bad, should be taken as an opportunity to learn and should be analyzed in terms that it is still better than the worst which could have happened.

One has to learn to live in the present and not regret about the past and worry about the future. Worry is not for the past or present but for an imaginary future. By worrying for the future, one spoil the present, and it is the present which shapes the future. Instead of asking yourself, “What I want to do?” one should ask, “What is right for me to do?”