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Dr K K Aggarwal

The mantra to acquire spiritual health is to think positive and differently. When you think positive, it creates positive hormones and takes you from sympathetic mode to parasympathetic mode. When you think different, it gives you opportunities and from multiple options available, you can ask your heart to choose one of them.

Thinking positive was a message given by Lord Buddha and thinking different by Adi Shankaracharya.

The candle light march which was done for fighting justice in Jessica Lal murder case has been picked up by most of the protest campaigns because it was positive and different.

I have seen three examples in my life where I used this and prolonged the life of those persons. My grandfather-in-law at the age of 85 thought it is time to go but when we made him work positively and differently, he die at the age of 100 years. He was asked to teach youngsters law, write to Prime Minister every day on certain issues and find matrimonial matches for the youngest persons in the family.

In other two cases, one was suffering from terminal prostate cancer and the other terminal brain cancer. The first one lived for ten years and the other is still alive.

Both were told that they had a very early cancer and that was cured by a surgery.

When you think different, it creates creativity and when it is with positive attitude, it is accepted by all

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

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Is the only spiritual mantra taught in mythology? Here are a few examples

  1. Lord Ganesha with the elephant’s head depicts that one should use their wisdom before taking any decision.
  2. Vishnu’s first incarnation, fish, symbolizes learning to swim in the opposite direction.
  3. Brahma’s five heads mean to use all your five senses before taking any decision.
  4. Shiva’s third eye means to think differently in difficulties.
  5. Ravan’s ten heads mean using your ten senses before taking any decision. But, Ravan used them for negative forces.
  6. Maha Mrityunjaya mantra begins as we worship the three–eyed Shiva.
  7. Gayatri mantra means that one should ask the heart to direct the intellect to take the right decision. The 3H philosophy is linked to the same. The first H is ask the head for options; second H is to ask the heart to choose one of the options and the third H means to order the hand to do the action

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

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Why do we light a lamp during pooja?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Prayer || Deepajyothi parabrahma Deepa Jyotir Janaardanah Deepo harati paapaani Sandhyaa deepa namostute ||

“I prostrate to the dawn/dusk lamp; whose light is the Knowledge Principle (the Supreme Lord), which removes the darkness of ignorance and by which all can be achieved in life.”

Light symbolizes knowledge, and darkness, ignorance. Knowledge removes ignorance just as light removes darkness. The purpose of any ritual is to remove internal darkness and attain knowledge.

Vedic scriptures recommend daily lighting of the lamp as a part of pooja. Some do it once at dawn, others twice a day – at dawn and dusk – and some keep a lamp that is always lit (akhanda deepa). No auspicious function can commence without the lighting of a lamp.

Knowledge is the everlasting inner wealth by which all outer achievement can be accomplished. By lighting the lamp, we bow to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth. Knowledge about the self is the greatest wealth. It goes around achieving inner happiness by burning the negativity of a mind that is full of lust and ego.

The traditional oil lamp defines this spiritual significance. The oil or ghee symbolizes our vaasanas (lust, negative tendencies) and the wick, the ego. When lit by spiritual knowledge, the vaasanas get slowly exhausted and the ego too finally perishes. The flame of a lamp always burns upwards signifying that only that knowledge should be acquired, which takes us towards higher ideals.

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

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Anything which cannot be taken as a full meal is not good for health and either should not be taken or taken in a small amount. For example, we never eat a breakfast of onion or garlic or radish. These are foods, which either should not be taken or eaten only in small quantity only as an accompaniment to the main meal. Onion is good for health and has anti–cholesterol and also blood thinning properties, yet it is consumed only in small quantity. In Vedic language, onion has both rajasik and tamasik promoting properties, which make a person more aggressive and dull.

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

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Shiksha and sabhyata

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Suno, Samjho, Jaano and Karo is the mantra for education and involves not only hearing but listening and understanding and converting understanding into wisdom by doing it practically.

One of the components of education is etiquettes or manners, which can be at every level of education. In older era, Rajkumars were sent to Gurukuls for formal education including that of warrior ship. They were also sent to Gharanas/Kothas to learn tehzeeb the Lucknawi way where they were taught how to talk to each other and respect others. Their language in typically Lucknawi style used to be ‘we’ oriented and not ‘I’ oriented. Today’s education is more oriented towards ‘I-ness’ or ego and not towards the soul or respect.

As students, we were taught that a senior is a senior and needs to be respected. Even today, when we meet our teachers, we take blessings from them by touching their feet but today’s students believe in shaking hands or saying ‘hi’. There is more and more commercial touch in the teacher-student relationship of today.

Ego makes one rude and arrogant with a mentality full of Rajas and Tamas. Road rage, gang rapes, murders, violence, terrorism are all examples of not learning etiquettes at the right time.

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

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Whenever we pray, think of God, undertake an internal healing procedure, make love, kiss someone, or meditate, we automatically close our eyes. It is a common Vedic saying that the soul resides in the heart and all the feelings are felt at the level of heart.

Most learning procedures in meditation involves sitting in an erect, straight posture,  closing the eyes, withdrawing from the world and concentrating on the object of concentration. Yoga Sutra of Patanjali describes pratihara (withdrawal of senses) as one of the seven limbs of yoga, Yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratihara, dharma, dhyana and Samadhi.

After pranayama, one needs to withdraw from the world and the senses and then start dhyana on the object of concentration. The process of pratihara becomes easy and is initiated with the closing of the eyes.

The inward journey starts with the detachment of the body from the external world and in yogic language, it is called Kayotsarga.

In the initiation of hypnosis also, a person is asked to lie down, look at the roof and withdraw from the world. He is then asked to gently roll the eyeball up until he goes into a trans. Upward rolling of the eyeballs has the same physiological significance as that of closing the eyes.

When we close our eyes, there is a suppression of sympathetic nervous system and activation of parasympathetic nervous system. During this period, blood pressure and pulse reduces and skin resistance goes up. A person goes into a progressive phase of internal and muscular relaxation.

The inward journey is a journey towards restful alertness where the body is restful yet the consciousness is alert. The intention is to relax the body and then the attention is focused on the object of concentration. Most visualization and meditation techniques involve closing of the eyes.

By detaching from the external stimuli, one suppresses the activities of the five senses and shifts ones awareness from disturbed to undisturbed state of consciousness. The inner journey helps in producing a state of ritam bhara pragya where the inner vibrations of the body become in symphony with the vibrations of the nature.

People who visit Vaishno Devi by traveling long distances on foot enter the cave and as soon as they see the darshan of Maa Vaishno Devi they close their eyes. This is natural and instant. Because Maa Vaishno Devi is not felt in the murti but her presence is felt in the heart and that presence can only be felt by closing the eyes.

Most yogic techniques like shavasana, yoga nidra, body-mind relaxation, progressive muscular relaxation, hypnosis involves closing the eyes in the very first step. Daytime nap is also incomplete without closing the eyes. Shok sabha and 2 minutes maun sabha are also practiced with the eyes closed. When we think of someone or try to remember something, the body automatically closes the eyes and one starts exploring the hidden memories. For recalling anything one must withdraw from the external world through its five senses.

Only advanced yogis or rishis acquire the power where with eyes opened they are in a state of ritambhara pragya. These yogic powers are acquired by practicing advanced sutra meditation for hours, days and years.  Lord Shiva has been shown in a meditative pose sitting on Kailash Parvat with the eyes semi opened. But for ordinary persons like us where the aim is to be in that phase only for 20 min. twice a day, the best is to close our eyes as the first step towards the process of meditation.

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

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Most of us worship Lord Shiva without understanding the deeper meaning behind him. In Hindu mythology, Shiva is one of the three forms of God (Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh).

The Parmatama or spirit or GOD can be equated to a mixture of three forces representing Generator, (Creator or Brahma); Organizer; (Maintainer or Vishnu); Destroyer (Winding up or Mahesh or Shiva).The same three forces are also present inside our body to perform any work, which can be linked to create or generate an idea, maintain or organise the contents of the idea, and then destroy or wind up so that new work can be undertaken through Ganesha – the Lord of new happenings.

For day to day life, one has to understand and implement the principles of Lord Shiva which can be known by understanding the meaning of Shiva.

Shiva is worshipped in the sitting meditating pose, sitting on a deer’s skin at white Himalaya in the background of blue sky. Shiva is also depicted in the form smeared with the ash of graveyard, having a snake on neck, Ganga coming out of his matted hairs, three eyes, blue neck, trishul on one hand and damru on his other hand.

All these symbolic representations have a deep spiritual meaning and tell us about Shiva’s principles of success.

Shiva’s third eye means thinking differently or using the eyes of our mind and the soul. The message is, whenever you are in difficulty, use your intelligence and wisdom or think differently for getting different options. The third eye opening also represents the vanishing of ignorance (darkness or pralaya).

Shiva sitting in an open-eye meditating pose indicates that in day-to-day life one should be calm as if you are in the meditation rose. Calmness in day-to-day practice helps in achieving better results. In allopathic language it is equivalent to mindfulness living.

The snake around the neck represents one’s ego. One should keep the ego out and control it and not let it overpower you. The downward posture of the head of the snake represents that ego should be directed towards the consciousness and not outwards.

The blue neck (Neelkanth) represents that one should neither take the negative emotions out nor suppress them but alter or modify them. The blue color indicates negative thoughts.

The same in the neck indicates that negative slow emotions akin to negative emotions are neither to be drunk nor to be spitted out but to be hold temporarily and with continuous efforts (matted hairs) with cool mind (moon) and with positive thoughts (Ganga) should be directed towards the consciousness keeping the ego directed towards it (sheshnag).

Suppressed anger or any other negative emotions will release chemicals in the body causing acidity, asthma, angina and diarrhea. Expressed anger on the other hand will end up into social unhealthiness.

The ash on the skin of the body of Shiva reminds that everything in the universe is perishable and nothing is going to remain with the person.  The message is that ‘you have come in this world without anything and will go back without anything, then why worry’.

The Trishul in one hand represents control of three factors i.e. mind, intellect and ego. It also represents controlling your three mental gunas i.e. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.  The damru, the hollow structure, represents taking all your ego and desires out of the body.

The blue sky represents vastness and openness and the White Mountain represents purity and truthfulness.

If one adapts to Shiva’s principles in day-to-day life, one will find no obstacles both in his routine life as well as to one’s spiritual journey.

On the Shivaratri day, it is customary to fast. The fast does not just indicate not eating on that day, but its deeper meaning signifies fasting of all bad things in life like – “seeing no evil, hearing no evil and speaking no evil”. Fasting also indicates controlling the desires for eating foods (like fermented, sweet, sour and salt) and control the negative thoughts both in the mind, deed as well as actions.

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

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Stress broadly comprises of three components, namely a “known situation, interpretation of a situation and the physical and mental reaction to that interpretation of the situation”.

Stress is a situation: There cannot be a stress without a situation. One cannot be stressed about some event occurring in USA without knowing the person or the situation. The situation requires familiarity with the particular sensory object (known situation).

Stress is an interpretation of a situation: Without interpretation, stress is not possible. The same situation can be interpreted differently by different people. A stimulus may be stressful to one but not to another.

Stress is a physical and mental response to the interpretation of the situation: Stress manifests because of a chemical imbalance resulting due to sympathetic overactivity, which manifests as mental and or physical symptoms.

Stress, therefore, is the body’s physical and mental response to the interpretation of a situation. Management of stress, therefore, involves either changing the situation, changing the interpretation of the situation or making the body resistant to physical and mental changes in the situation.

Practicing Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga via living a yogic lifestyle, adhering to the various Dos and Dont’s in life as taught in various religious teachings, and learning to meditate help our body to resist these sympathetic–activating changes and handle the stressful situation. These involve proper diet, exercise, meditation and relaxation exercises.

Changing the interpretation of a situation involves counseling. Cognitive behavior therapy used in counseling is one such example. Change in interpretation requires deeper understanding of the problem and removal of the obstacles. This can be done by using Ganesha’s principles of stress management, Rosenburg’s Principle of Non–Violent Communication, or the principles of counseling from Bhagawad Gita.

Change of the situation is the final resort for solving the problem, even though this may not be always possible. For example, in a dispute between husband and wife, divorce should be the last choice, after all counseling efforts have failed to resolve the issue.

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

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