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Dr K K Aggarwal

  1. Energy is the raw material of the universe.
  2. Information is the organization of energy into reproducible patterns.
  3. Consciousness is living information and energy (living energized information).
  4. Consciousness is, therefore, intelligence.
  5. Intelligence is information and energy that has self–referral or the ability to learn through experiences and the ability to reinterpret and influence one’s own information and energy states.
  6. Consciousness is live, advanced, software–driven energized information.

Nearest example: Advanced computer software which can type, correct, interpret, edit and store spoken or read information

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

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Happiness should not be considered as being synonymous with pleasure. Pleasure is transient and is always associated with pain later on. Any transient addiction to any of the five senses will either lead to pleasure or pain. Pleasure leads to attachment resulting in more intense and greater desires, and if these are not fulfilled, they cause pain, which manifests as anger, irritability or even a physical disease. This type of transient pleasure is chosen by the individuals who attach themselves not only to the actions, but also to its results.

The soul, which is an energized field of information and energy, is controlled by the person’s action, memory and desire. With every action, a memory is created which either gets stored or is recirculated again as an action. If one does not control the desires, the recurrent actions may cause more problems than happiness.

True happiness, on the other hand, is internal happiness or the happiness of the soul or of the consciousness. It is often said, “You are what you eat, you are what you think and you are what you do.” Hence, your own internal happiness will vary with what you eat, think, and do.

Being in the present moment leads to true happiness. If one laments about the past or keeps fearing about the future all the time, you will never be able to live in the present. Not living in the present is bound to cause unhappiness. One should learn to live and enjoy the present, which can only be done by attaching oneself to the actions and not to its results.

Doing one’s duty with devotion and discipline also helps one to remain in the present. Performing good action is important, but it is equally important to maintain the purity of the mind at the same time. Because any intention in the thought creates the same chemical reaction as when the actual deed is done, abusing a person in thought is the same as abusing him in person. Cultivating positive actions in day–to–day life, like, giving or sharing etc., helps in acquiring internal happiness.

Thoughts ultimately get metabolized into various chemicals and hormones changing the internal biochemistry of the person; hence, by thinking about cancer all the time, one can actually induce it over a period of time. And similarly, cancers can be cured by thinking positive over a period of time.

Internal happiness gives a deep feeling of satisfaction and is not associated with any transient chemical changes which are generally associated with bodily pleasure activities. People who are internally happy are always contented and are devoid of jealousy, anger, irritability, greed and ego.

One should learn to disassociate from, both, external pain as well as pleasure, and only then can one acquire true internal happiness

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

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Flame is the “flame” of true knowledge. At the end of any aarti, we place our hands over the flame and then touch our eyes and the top of the head. It means “May the light that illuminated the Lord light up my vision; May my vision be divine and my thoughts noble and beautiful.”

The metaphysical implication of aarti extends further. The sun, moon, stars, lightning and fire are the natural sources of light. The Lord is the source of these wondrous phenomena of the universe. It is due to Him alone that everything exists.

As we light up the Lord with the flame of the aarti, we turn our attention to the very source of all light which symbolizes knowledge and life. Also, the Sun is the presiding deity of the intellect, the moon, that of the mind, and fire, that of speech. The Lord is the supreme consciousness that illuminates all of them. Without Him, the intellect cannot think, the mind cannot feel and the tongue cannot speak. The Lord is beyond the mind, intellect and speech.

How can these finite entities illuminate the Lord? Therefore, as we perform the aarti we chant:

Na tatra suryo bhaati na chandra taarakam, Nemaa vidyuto bhaanti kutoyamagnib

Tameva bhaantam anubhaati sarvam, Tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhaati

“He is there where the sun does not shine, nor the moon, stars and lightning. Then what to talk of this small flame (in my hand), everything (in the universe) shines only after the Lord, and by His light alone are we all illumined”

In our spiritual journey, even as we serve the guru and society, we should willingly sacrifice ourselves and all we have, to spread the “perfume” of love to all.

We often wait a long while to see the illuminated Lord. But, when the aarti is actually performed, our eyes close automatically as if to look within. This is to signify that each of us is a temple of the Lord.

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The vibrations of the ringing bell produce the auspicious primordial sound ‘Om’, thus creating a connection between the deity and the mind. As we start the daily ritualistic worship (pooja), we ring the bell, chanting:

Agamaarthamtu devaanaam

gamanaarthamtu rakshasaam

Kurve ghantaaravam tatra

devataahvaahna lakshanam

“I ring this bell indicating the invocation of divinity, So that virtuous and noble forces enter (my home and heart); And the demonic and evil forces from within and without, depart.”

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

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Science behind kalpvas

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off

The month of Magh is observed as Kaplvas where for one month people from all over gather, do sun worship (Vitamin D) , eat sesame (high in calcium) and do tulsi or basil pooja (high fertility and high in calcium).

The significance is to gather one year’s vitamin D quota. For getting vitamin D we need to expose 40 % of the body for at least 40 minutes at a stretch for forty days in a year (formula of forty).

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The ancient sage knew that Indians are prone to vitamin D deficiency and made rituals to prevent them in the form of “snans or holy baths in sun” at sun rise or sunset.

The ritual is “Maha Kumbh” held every 12 years, “Ardha Kumbh” held every six years or “ Mini Kumbh held annually in the months of January- February, on the banks of the holy confluence (Sangam) of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati.

During this period a tent city comes up for more than a month, where large number of devotees live for the whole duration of the mela and lead a sacred life. This is called kalpavas and these people are called kalpvasee.

The main bathing days are Makar Sankranti, Paush Purnima, Mauni Amavasya, Basant Panchmi, Maghi Poornima and Maha Shivratri. Mauni Amavasya being the main bathing day attracts the largest number of devotees.

Other than Magh month other auspicious months for holy bath are the months of Vaisakh and Kartik.

The ritual is holy bath in the Brahma muhurta (the period with maximum nontoxic UVB) rays and eating calcium rich foods.

The spiritual recommendation has been to have 1, 2 or 3 baths per day. If one, it should be at sun rise and if two, then at sun rise and sunset and if three, the additional being in the mid-day.

Facts about vitamin D

  1. Vitamin D deficiency causes severe bone loss in adults across northern India despite abundant sunlight in the region.
  2. The factors are inadequate exposure to sunlight and poor nutrition.
  3. The resultant disease is osteomalacia, the loss of calcium from bones brought about by vitamin D deficiency.
  4. It can lead to life threatening emergencies in young adults. The examples are acute respiratory failure caused by a grossly deformed thoracic cage resulting from advanced bone loss in the spine and thoracic cage and pregnant women with poor intake of calcium and excessive demand leading to bone pains.
  5. Over 50% of healthy people have low vitamin D levels.
  6. Sun is the main source of Vitamin D.
  7. Human body makes Vitamin D when sunlight touches the bare skin.
  8. However, too much exposure to direct sunlight increases the risk of skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.
  9. Despite the harmful effects up to 40 minutes of sunlight per day, is actually good for the health.
  10. The sun gives off three types of ultraviolet radiation based on the wavelength: UVC – 100 to 290 nm; UVB – 290 to 320 nm and UVA – 320 to 400 nm.
  11. It’s the ultraviolet B rays which produces vitamin D in the body and also responsible for sunburns.
  12. It is most intense between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm when the sunlight is brightest. It is also more intense in the summer months accounting for 70% of a person’s yearly UVB dose.
  13. UVB does not penetrate glass and cotton cloths.
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An extremely auspicious day, Lohri marks the sun’s entry in to the ‘Makar Rashi’.  The next day after lohri is Makar Sankranti. One can remember lohri as the end of winter and Makar sankranti as the first day of summer.

 

The word Sankranti means “change of direction” and the sun change its direction north wards on the day of Makar Sankranti.

 

The period, beginning from 14 January (Makar Sankranti) lasting till 14 July, is known as Uttarayana (“Uttar” North and “ayan” movement towards).  It is also the last day of the month of Maargazhi, which is the ninth month of the lunar calendar. The Bhagawad Gita deems it as an extremely sacred and auspicious time when Lord Krishna manifests himself most tangibly.  Bhisham Pitamah in Mahbharata also waited for this period (not day) to relieve his body.  Uttarayana is considered to be the holiest half of the year. In Bhagavad Gita, the Lord says, “I am Uttarayana among the Ayanas.”

 

In chapter 8 shloka 24 Lord Krishna has said “Those who know the Supreme Brahman attain that Supreme by passing away from the world during the influence of the fiery god, in the light, at an auspicious moment of the day, during the fortnight of the waxing moon, or during the six months when the sun travels in the north.”

 

The earth, farthest from the sun at this point of time, starts its journey towards the sun, thus ending the coldest month of the year (peak winter), Paush, and announcing the start of the month of Magh.

 

As per the “Puranas” Dakshinayana (The other six month period) is the night of the deities whereas Uttarayana is their day. It’s the time to take a dip in the Ganges at sun rise and at sunset and say good bye to winter foods.

 

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

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