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Dr K K Aggarwal

  1. Try short-acting nicotine replacement therapies such as nicotine gum, lozenges, nasal sprays, or inhalers. These can help overcome intense cravings.
  2. Identify the trigger situation, which makes you smoke. Have a plan in place to avoid these or get through them alternatively.
  3. Chew on sugarless gum or hard candy, or munch raw carrots, celery, nuts or sunflower seeds instead of tobacco.
  4. Get physically active. Short bursts of physical activity such as running up and down the stairs a few times can make a tobacco craving go away.
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Why is Ganesha worshipped in every puja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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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).

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If you have heart failure, call your doctor if you notice any of these signs:

  1. Sudden weight gain (2–3 pounds (~1 kg) in one day or 5 or more pounds (>2.2 kg) in one week
  2. Extra swelling in the feet or ankles
  3. Swelling or pain in the abdomen
  4. Shortness of breath not related to exercise
  5. Discomfort or trouble breathing when lying flat
  6. Waking up feeling short of breath
  7. Coughing or wheezing
  8. Increased fatigue
  9. Mental confusion
  10. Loss of appetite
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Eating at least two fast foods meals every day and restricting levels of physical activity to no more than 5,000 steps a day can lead to signs of liver damage or weight gain as per a Swedish study wherein at the end of the 4 weeks, the fast food eaters had put on an average of 6.5 kilograms (14.3 pounds). After just 1 week on the fast food diet, blood tests showed sharp increases in a liver enzyme called SGPT. SGPT levels were more than quadrupled over the 4-week study period. Increased SGPT levels are used to diagnose liver disease before symptoms develop. In 11 fast food dieters, SGPT rose to levels suggestive of liver damage. The SGPT increases were linked to weight gain and higher sugar and Carbohydrate intake.

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Some health tips from HCFI

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Health Care - Ask Dr KK | Tagged With: , , , , , , | | Comments Off

  1. Cut down on food or drinks rich in caffeine including coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, and chocolate. Caffeine is a mood-altering drug, and it may make symptoms of anxiety disorders worse.
  2. Eat right, exercise, and get better sleep. Brisk aerobic exercises can help release brain chemicals which can further cut out stress.
  3. Sleep problems and anxiety disorder often go hand in hand. It is important to get adequate rest. Follow a relaxing bedtime routine.
  4. Ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter meds or herbal remedies. Many contain chemicals that can make anxiety symptoms worse.
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Tips from HCFI for bone health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Health Care - Ask Dr KK | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off

  1. It is important to get enough Vitamin D as it helps in the absorption of calcium.
  2. Some sources of this vitamin include milk, fortified orange juice, mushrooms, and egg yolk.
  3. Get enough physical activity for about 30 minutes each day. There are exercises that can help increase bone strength and improve balance and coordination.
  4. Limit the intake of caffeine as this can decrease the absorption of calcium
  5. If you smoke or drink, it is a good idea to quit both these habits.
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According to Hinduism, the very fact we are born means that in our last life, we did not get liberation or Moksha. It also means that some sufferings in our last birth still remained. Therefore, the purpose of this birth is to face those sufferings.

When the purpose of our life is to face sufferings, why suffer from them?

This should be considered as ‘sukh’ and not ‘dukh’. As per Vedic literature, every diversity is an opportunity to learn or to do something different. The four notable principles of Buddhism also talk about the same. The first is that suffering exists, second that there is a reason for every suffering and third that it is possible to neutralize the suffering by understanding the 8 paths of cessation of suffering.

Also remember that in every ‘dukh’ you think of ‘sukh’ and in every ‘sukh’ you think of a ‘dukh’. Next time you have a problem, think differently and learn to enjoy them.

One of my industrialist friends was once ordered to go to Tihar Jail on a Friday night. He tried his level best and wanted to get admitted in the hospital for the weekend so that he could secure bail on Monday morning. I told him that whether he was in jail or in hospital, it would make no difference as far as his status was concerned. In both the situations, he would be listed as being in the jail on paper. So I told him to go to the jail and enjoy those 48 hours as a holiday. When he came back from the jail, he was a different person and learnt the principle of life which he otherwise could not have learnt.

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

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The Right Action

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Health Care - Ask Dr KK | Tagged With: , , , , , , | | Comments Off

Dharma is the path of righteousness and living ones life according to the codes of conduct as described by the Vedas and Upanishads. Its western equivalents might include morality, ethics, virtue, righteousness and purity. The term dharma can best be explained as the “law of being” without which things cannot exist.

The word dharma is derived from dhri, which means “to hold”. It literally means “that which holds” the people of this world and the whole creation. The same is described in the Vedic Text, in Atharva Veda as: Prithivim dharmana dhritam, i.e. “this world is upheld by dharma”.

In Hinduism, Dharma is the very foundation of life. Tulsidas, the author of Ramcharitmanas, defined the root of dharma as compassion. Buddha has also described this principle in his book Dhammapada. According to Hindu philosophy, its GOD who holds us through “Truth” and/or “Love”. “Dharma prevails” or “truth prevails” is the essence of Hinduism.

In order to achieve good karma, Vedas teach that one should live according to dharma (the right action). This involves doing what is right for the individual, the family, the class or caste and also for the universe.

According to the Bhagavata Purana, righteous living or life on a dharmic path has four pillars: truthfulness (satya), austerity (tap), purity (shauch) and compassion (daya). It further adds that the adharmic or unrighteous life has three main vices: pride (ahankar), bad company (sangh), and intoxication (madya).

Manusmriti prescribes ten essential rules for the observance of dharma: Patience (dhriti), forgiveness (kshama), piety or self-control (dama), honesty (asteya), sanctity (shauch), control of senses (indriya–nigrah), reason (dhi), knowledge or learning (vidya), truthfulness (satya) and absence of anger (krodha). Manu further writes, “Non-violence, truth, non–coveting, purity of body and mind, control of senses are the essence of dharma”.

In Bhagwata Gita, Lord Krishna says that in the society dharma is likely to fall from time to time, and to bring dharma back, a GOD representative is born from time to time.

The shloka “parithraanaaya saadhoonaam vinaasaaya cha dhushkr.thaamdharma-samsthaapanaarthaaya sambhavaami yuge yuge” (Chapter IV – 8)” says that “For the protection of the virtuous, for the destruction of evil-doers, and for establishing the rule of righteousness (Dharma), I am born from age to age [in every age]”. Another shloka “yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham” means that O descendant of Bharata “Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, and a predominant rise of irreligion – at that time I descend Myself”.

Deepak Chopra in his book Seven Spiritual Laws of Success talks about the “Law of ‘Dharma’ or Purpose in Life’”. According to him, everybody should discover his or her divinity, find the unique talent and serve humanity with it. With this, one can generate all the wealth that one wants.

According to him, when your creative expressions match the needs of your fellow humans, then wealth will spontaneously flow from the un–manifest into the manifest, from the realm of spirit to the world of form. In spiritual terms this is an attempt to find out whether one’s life is progressing as per the Laws of Dharma (Dharma in Sanskrit means ‘purpose in life’) which, according to the scriptures, is said to be the sole purpose for a human being to manifest in this physical form.

For one to achieve ‘DHARMA’ he suggests the following affirmative exercises:

  1. Today I will lovingly nurture the god or goddess in embryo form that lies deep within my soul. I will pay attention to the spirit within me that animates both my body and my mind. I will awaken myself to this deep stillness within my heart. I will carry this consciousness of timeless, eternal being in the midst of time-bound experiences.
  2. I will make a list of my unique talents. Then I will list all of the things I love to do while expressing my unique talents. When I express my unique talents and use them in the service of humanity, I lose track of time and create abundance in my life as well as in the lives of others.
  3. I will ask myself daily, ‘How can I serve?’ and ‘How can I help?’ The answers to these questions will allow me to help and serve my fellow human beings with love.

Karma, dharma and samsara are three fundamental aspects of Hinduism. Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism are all built on these aspects. Dharma is one’s appropriate role or attributes. Karma measures how well one performs one’s dharma, explains why one is born where he or she is, and why there is suffering and seeming injustices. Samsara is the continuous cycle of birth, death and rebirth, and the context for all experience.

Dharma sutras from Dharma Shãstras are the basic texts which talks about the morality of individuals and the society. Most Indian laws are made from these Shãstras.

In Jainism also, the wheel of Dharma (Chakra) with 24 spokes represents the religion preached by the 24 Tirthankaras consisting of nonviolence (Ahimsa) and other virtues.

The very first word of the Gita is “Dharma”. The Gita concludes with the word “Mama”. The whole of Bhagavad Gita is contained in the two words ‘Mama’ and ‘Dharma’. When you join these two words it becomes mamadharma, meaning ‘your true Dharma’. This is what the Gita teaches. ‘What is your Dharma?’

How to achieve your dharma?

  1. Do unto others what you do unto yourself and satisfy your conscience. That is your Dharma.
  2. The word ‘Living Dharma’ signifies right action in every moment of the life.
  3. Do not follow the dictates of body, and do not indiscriminately follow the mind, for the mind is like a mad monkey. Hence, follow the conscience.

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

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