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Dr K K Aggarwal

The Tilak is not merely a beauty–enhancing mark, or a sign of religiosity. Hindu cultural traditions have given a significant place to wisdom in life. Life’s journey is guided by wisdom, which leads us through evolution of life towards salvation. If a man loses everything in his life but has his wisdom, he can recreate everything he has lost.

In Gayatri Mantra we chant, “May my Wisdom be enlightened and purified”. The worship that has been revered in the Vedas is symbolized in the Tilak. The seat of wisdom is the head and since the forehead is its front part, we worship wisdom by placing the Tilak on the forehead.

A Tilak is the ‘third eye’ in a manner of speaking. It is a divine eye which when ‘opened’ by divine knowledge shows the way to self–realization. Lord Shiva destroyed Kamadeva with his third eye, so too, we may destroy our desires and evil elements by striving for knowledge. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own

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The true silence is the silence between the thoughts and represents the true self, consciousness or the soul. It is a web of energized information ready to take all provided there is a right intent. The process of achieving silence is what meditation is. Observing silence is another way of getting benefits of meditation. Many yogis in the past have recommended and observed silence now and then. Mahatma Gandhi used to spend one day of each week in silence. He believed that abstaining from speaking brought him inner peace and happiness. All such days he used to communicated with others only by writing on paper. Hindu principles also talks about a correlation between mauna (silence) and shanty (harmony). Mauna Ekadashi is a ritual followed traditionally in our country. On this day the person is not supposed to speak at all and keep complete silence throughout day & night. It gives immense peace to the mind and strength to the body. In Jainism this ritual has a lot of importance. Nimith was a great saint in Jainism who long ago asked all Jains to observe this vrata. Some people recommend that on every ekadashi one should observe silence if not the whole day but for few hours in a day. Deepak Chopra in his book 7 Laws of Spiritual Success talks in great detail about the importance of observing silence in day today life. He recommends everyone should observe silence for 20 minutes everyday. Silence helps redirecting our imagination towards self from the outer atmosphere. Even Swami Sivananda in his teaches recommend to observe mauna daily for 2 hours for ekadashi, take milk and fruits everyday, study daily one chapter of Bhagwad Gita, do regular charity and donate one-tenth of the income in the welfare of the society. Ekadashi is the 11th day of Hindu lunar fortnight. Ekadashi is the day of celebration occurring twice a month, meant for meditation and increasing soul consciousness. Vinoba Bhave was the great sage of our country who is known for this bhoodaan movement. He was a great advocator and practical preacher of mauna vrata. Mauna means silence and vrata means bow hence mauna vrata means bow of silence. Mauna was practiced by saints to end enmity and recoup their enmity. Prolonged silence as the form of silence is observed by the rishi munis involved for prolonged periods of silence. Silence is a source of all that exists. Silence is where conscious dwells. There is no religious tradition which does not talk about silence. It removes worldly communication and forces a dialogue towards inner communication that one reason why all prayer, meditation and worship or any other practice whether we attune our mains to the spiritual consciousness within are done in silence. After the death of a person it is a practice to observe silence for two minutes. The immediate benefits is that it saves a tremendous amount of energy. Silence is cessation of both sensory and mental activity. It is like having a still mind and listening to the inner mind. Behind this screen of our internal dialogue is the silence of spirit. Meditation is the combination of observing silence and the art of observation. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own
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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 inner noise based thoughts 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 meditate open the 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. Just before sleep anybody can do three minutes writing where you can 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 entirely my own.
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Consciousness is an energized field of information with powers to do everything in the universe. Collective consciousness is the internet of the collective souls of many people in a group. Collective consciousness is the strongest super power ever available in the universe. As per the Vedic texts whatever is the intent of collective consciousness will become a reality. Scientifically collective consciousness is based on the principle of critical mass. The Vedic literature has shown it to be the 1% of the defined population under study. The origin of the critical mass comes from 100th monkey phenomenon. The story goes as under: long ago in Japan a monkey called Emo used to eat dirty apples everyday picked up from the ground. One day by accident the apple fell down in a river, the dirt got washed off and he ate the washed apple. Obviously it tasted delicious. The monkey started washing the apple thereafter everyday before eating. His fellow monkey started following the same. The process of following went on. A time came when the 100th monkey washed the apple and ate. A strange phenomenon was noticed. All monkeys in and around that state started washing the apple before eating. The no. 100th was the critical mass. Once this mass is crossed the information well spread like a wild fire and the intent becomes a universal reality. Vedic literature has also shown if 1% of the public of any area meditates together the crime rate of that area goes down. It also talks about the role of critical mass in prayers in achieving miracles. Thus principle of critical mass is often used in designing and organizing an event. In a movie hall of 1000 people if 10 people clap sitting in different areas everybody will clap. The same is true for hooting of a particular scene. Most politicians use this principle when they organize election rallies. For a gathering of 10000 they need 100 and for a gathering of 1000 people they only need 10 supporters who are supposed to sit in different areas and shout or clap on given directions. Mexican way of hooting or clapping in cricket grounds also follow the same principle. Most successful leaders used this technology to lead. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own
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As per Ayurveda physiology, food is Brahman and contains the same consciousness as in us and this consciousness is the essence of any food. Any food digested is converted into three portions, the gross undigested food is converted into waste (feces); the middle one is converted in one of the Dhatus and the subtlest form gets converted into ojas or the immunity. As per standard Ayurveda, food once eaten is converted into the first Dhatu i.e. Rasa. Once the formation of Rasa is complete, the remaining is converted into Rakta (blood).The left over essence of food makes Mamsa (muscles), left over of which makes (Medha (adipose tissue) and so on to form Asthi (Bone), Majja (bone marrow) and Shukra (sperm/ova). As per this physiology, the second Dhatu will only form once the first Dhatu is of good quality and so on and at any step in Dhatu, if not formed properly, subsequent Dhatu will also show defective formation. For example, defective Dhatu at the stage of Asthi (bone) will have normal plasma (blood), muscle and adipose tissue but may have an impaired immunity/sperm/bone marrow. Similarly, defective Dhatu at the level of bone marrow may have only impaired immunity with no impairment of other Dhatus. On the other hand, impairment of Dhatus at the level of plasma or blood will involve all other Dhatus in sickness. Isolated disorders of Shukra may have no involvement of other Dhatus at all. This Ayurveda principle can help us in answering many unanswered questions in modern allopathy. Like – why in typhoid fever all the organs are involved and why in azoospermia no other organ is involved. Upanishads talk about formation of Dhatus in much more detail. According to them, different types of food make different types of Dhatus. The fiery foods like oil and ghee are responsible for formation of Karamendriyan (part of shukra), bone and bone marrow (Dhatu). The earthy foods are responsible for formation of Gnanandriyan and Manas (shukra) and muscle (flesh) and water in food is responsible for formation of Rasa and Rakta (plasma and blood) and Pran (Shukra). That means every different type of food would make different types of Dhatus and a balanced food with a combination of fire, water and earth will only be responsible for formation of shukra, immunity or the essence. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own

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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.

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Positive Attitudes

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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All those out there who feel you are at your wits’ end wondering how things don’t ever work out for you, can now relax and dwell on all those failures that life has taken you through and turn failure into success. 1. Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure. But it does mean you haven’t succeeded yet. 2. Failure doesn’t mean you have accomplished nothing. It does mean you have learned something. 3. Failure doesn’t mean you have been a foolish. It does mean you had a lot of faith. 4. Failure doesn’t mean you’ve been discouraged. It does mean you were willing to try. 5. Failure doesn’t mean you don’t know what to do. It does mean you have to do it in a different way. 6. Failure doesn’t mean you are inferior. It does mean you are not perfect. 7. Failure doesn’t mean you have wasted your life. It does mean you have a reason to start afresh. 8. Failure doesn’t mean you should give up. It does mean you must try harder. 9. Failure doesn’t mean you’ll never make it. It does mean it will take a little longer. 10. Failure doesn’t mean God has abandoned you. It does mean God has a better idea. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.

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Panchamrit is taken as a Prasadam and is also used to wash the deity. In Vedic language, anything which is offered to God can also be done to the human body. Panchamrit bath, therefore, is the original and traditionally full bath prescribed in Vedic literature. It consists of the following: • Washing the body with milk and water, where milk acts like a soothing agent. • Next is washing the body with curd, which is a substitute for soap and washes away the dirt from the skin. • The third step is washing the body with desi ghee, which is like an oil massage. • Fourth is washing the body with honey, which works like a moisturizer. • Last step is to rub the skin with sugar or khand. Sugar works as a scrubber. Panchamrit bath is much more scientific, cheaper and health friendly.

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