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Dr K K Aggarwal

Forgetfulness and Age

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

By the time we cross 40, most of us suffer from minimal cognitive impairment and have a memory loss of very recent events or objects. This is age related and should not be confused with dementia.

This can also happen in patients who are vegetarians and vitamin B12 deficient. People often have difficulty in naming objects and name of the people.

Just as a computer hangs when multi-tasking, so can the human mind. When you are handling multiple projects at the same time, you may experience thought blocks, which are natural and not a sign of a disease.

When we introduce ourselves to a new person, we often tell them our name first. It is possible by the time you finish your conversation, the person may forget your name. Therefore, one should either introduce himself at the end of the conversation or introduce oneself both times i.e. at the start and at the end of the conversation.

Some people introduce themselves before the conversation and hand over their visiting card at the end of a conversation. This is also taught in how to market yourself.

As a medical doctor, quite often we face these difficulties. People send SMSs without their names or call without telling their names. For example, I once got a call “Malhotra bol raha hoon pehchana kya?” As a doctor, we may be handling hundreds of Malhotras and it is not expected from us, especially, after the age of 40 to recall a person just by his surname. Unless full information is given to us by patient on phone, mistakes may occur, especially, if it is a phone consultation. Phone consultation anyway needs to be avoided. Even the Supreme Court in one of its judgments has said that giving phone consultation may amount to professional misconduct on the part of the doctor.

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

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PTSD is a type of stress that lasts for up to 13 days if handled properly and for months or years if not handled after an acute stress. This can be a serious disorder.The reference to mourning a death can be found in the Vedic literature. There is a custom that the grieved partner is made to weep till she or he is overwhelmed with emotions. In fact, all relatives and friends participate in the exercise, depending upon their respective closeness to the deceased.In the antim yatra most relatives join and after that the grieved person is made to sit for 90 minutes every day as a part of the ceremony which either ends on chautha or tervi where again everybody known gather together to end the ceremony. Thereafter, normal activities of life are resumed.In some sections of the society there is also a custom of shaving the head or doing ‘daan’ of hairs and or wearing white clothes.Is there a scientific explanation for these customs? The plausible explanation are many and are based on the observation that a grieved person may go into depression, which if not treated properly may last for months together, or even forever. For example the acute stress after the death of somebody very close will be called acute traumatic stress and the condition Post–Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

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

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To be in harmony with the body (five elements represented by Draupadi), one must acquire five qualities or in other terms live a focused life, full of strength and not being disturbed with loss or gain and finally working for the welfare of the society without having any partiality towards anyone.

  1. Balanced mind: Yudhishthir (“sthir” or balanced in “yudh” or disturbed state of mind)
  2. Focused vision (Arjuna)
  3. Using internal power or strength (Bhima)
  4. Not being partial or remaining neutral (Nakul)
  5. Working for the welfare of the society (Sahdev)

With this, one can kill 100 negative qualities that a person can have (the 100 Kauravs). The hundred negative qualities are acquired because of cunningness (Shakuni), not working with the eyes of the soul (Dhritarashtra) and keeping a blind eye to any wrong happening (Gandhari).

The main negative qualities are taking decisions in day–to–day life situations (Duryodhana: dusht in yudha or war) and choosing wrong choices as a ruler (dushasana: dusht and shasan).

The positive qualities once acquired will also win over other negative qualities like blind faith or undue attachments (Bhishma pitamaha); unrighteous loyalty (Dronacharya) and unrighteous ego (Karna).

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

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Wahans (Vehicles) in Mythology

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

In mythology, the negative tendency of a man is symbolized with the animal nature. Gods in Indian mythology are symbolized as living a positive behavior. Every God has been given a vehicle or Wahan. Both God and the Wahan symbolized how to live a positive life and how to control the animal tendencies. Following are a few examples.

  1. Lord Ganesha rides a Mouse. Mouse in mythology is symbolized with greed and Ganesha as the one who removes obstacles. The spiritual meaning behind both is – one should learn to control greed to tackle obstacles in life.
  2. Lord Shiva rides Nandi. The bull symbolizes uncontrolled sexual desires and the duo signifies that to learn meditation, one needs to control sexual desires first.
  3. Saraswati (the Goddess of knowledge) sitting on a swan symbolizes that to acquire knowledge one must learn to control the power of discrimination or vivek. A swan can drink milk and leave water from a mixture of milk and water.
  4. Indra (the one who has a complete control over the intellect) riding on the elephant Airavat symbolizes that for its development the intellect (Indra) requires control over masti and madness (elephant).
  5. Durga (the perfect woman) riding a lion symbolizes that to become a perfect woman, she must learn to control agitation or aggression (lion).
  6. Lakshmi (wealth) riding an owl symbolizes that to earn righteously, one must learn to control owl-like properties within us, which is not to get befooled.
  7. Lord Vishnu (the doer) riding the eagle or Garuda (Eagles are opportunistic predators which means they eat almost anything they can find) means controlling your desires to eat an unbalanced diet.
  8. Krishna riding five horses means one need to control our five senses.
  9. Kartikeya riding a peacock symbolizes that one should learn to control one’s pride (vanity) or ego.
  10. The vehicle of Goddess Kali is a black goat. Agni rides Mesha, a ram. Kubera, the god of wealth, also has a ram as his vehicle. A ram is an uncastrated adult male sheep. Goat also signifies uncontrolled sexual desires but lesser than the bull.
  11. Yamraj rides a buffalo, which is known for its rampant destruction. Lord Yama or Yamraja is referred to as the God of death, twin brother, lord of justice, Dharma Raja. One can do justice only if one has a control over anger and aggressive behavior.

In mythology, apart from Wahans, animals are also shown to be sacrificed, which means to kill the animal tendency within ourselves. In Kali Pooja, a buffalo is sacrificed, which again means that in extreme situations, you may need to kill your ego or anger.

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

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Sewa the best dharma

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

Offering help is the best service to the humanity. As per Sikhism, Sewa (unconditional service), Simran (meditation) and Satsang (company of good people) constitute the trio to acquire happiness and spiritual health. In Sikhism, Sewa is the main path for acquiring spiritualism. In Gurudwara, one even offers sewa by cleaning the shoes of others or by cleaning the entry paths to any Gurudwara.

Offering help covers all the paths of being a Satyugi i.e. truthfulness, unconditional hard work, purity of mind and finally, Daya and Daan. When you offer help, you always do it in a positive state of mind and it involves hard work, mercy and charity.

The five pillars of Jainism are Ahimsa (non-violence in action, speech and thoughts), satya (being synonymous in action, speech and thought), Brahmacharya (disciplined life), Asteya (non-stealing) and Aparigriha (not storing more than required).

Any offering therefore should be without any reward; the same applies to actions, thoughts and speech.

Jainism also prescribes not storing things which are not required and therefore anything more than required can be donated or offered to people in the form of sewa.

All professions which primarily do sewa are given special status in the society. for example, doctors are allowed to prefix ‘Dr.’ in front of their names and eminent people who offered help to the society are allowed to prefix names like Raja, Deewan, Rai Bahadur, Rotarian, Lion etc.

As per Government policy every PSU has to spend a 2% budget for charity in corporate social responsibility. Similarly, each one of us should spend 2% of our time, money or assets for charity or community service.

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

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Luv-Kush, Shubha-Labha, Riddhi-Siddhi are inseparable pairs of Vedanta. They signify that you cannot get one without the help of the other.

In Luv-Kush, Kush is a symbol of purity and Luv symbolize the spiritual love. To achieve love one has to be pure in consciousness. To acquire love and inner happiness in life, one may have to use kush, a herb, in daily life. No traditional Hindu ritual is complete without the use of kush grasses.

Kush is a benevolent satvik detoxifying grass, a symbol of progress and alertness. The word “kushal buddhi” originates from the word kush. In Bhagavad Gita (shloka 6.10) Krishna said that for meditation one should sit on a seat covered with kush grass. The Garuda Purana also described the importance of kush grass in rituals of Panchak death and in cremation of a person whose body has not been found as in natural calamities, by making an effigy of kush grass and completing the rituals. Kush grass is often held in the hands before taking a sankalp.

Kush grass is called Imperata cylindrica Beauv. It is a clean, pure, brittle grass with acrid, cooling, oleaginous, aphrodisiac and diuretic properties. Kush sharbat is a drink routinely used by traditional healers of Chattisgarh.

In Riddhi-Siddhi, Riddhi is knowledge and Siddhi is perfection. An obstacle-free life (represented by Ganesha) can be attained only when one masters or tames both knowledge and perfection.

Riddhi and Siddhi are the two inseparable wives of Lord Ganesha.

Some symbolize Siddhi as success and Riddhi as prosperity or Riddhi as material abundance and Siddhi as the intellectual and spiritual prowess or Riddhi as prosperity and Siddhi as progress. All are dependent on each other.

Ganesha is said to have two sons, Shubha-Labha. Again the two terms are inseparable from each other. Both the words are written during Diwali on each account book. Shubha is auspiciousness and Labha, profit.

Ram Lakshman are often spoken of as Ram-Lakhan, which signifies that to be in touch with consciousness (Rama) one has to control the mind with an aim (Mana with a Lakshya).

Other pairs, which are inseparable, are Rama and Sita, Radha and Krishna, Shiva and Parvati, Brahma and Saraswati and Vishnu and Lakshmi.

In Rama-Sita, Rama signifies soul consciousness and Sita, the body. It is true for the Krishna and Radha combination. They also signify the dual character of the nature, feminine and masculine natures.

In Brahma and Saraswati, Brahma represents creativity or innovations and Saraswati the art of acquiring pure knowledge. Again both are dependent on each other.

Lakshmi and Vishnu are again inseparable. Vishnu or Krishna is the doer and performer. They signify action in the present. Lakshmi signifies material and spiritual benefits. One can only get the benefits by action in dharma.

Shiva-Parvati is other inseparable word used in Vedic literature. The other is Shiva and Shakti. They represent the true nature of the consciousness, the male and the female energies; the purusha and the prakriti. In terms of computer language, they represent the operational and the application software. No computer can run without both. One is knowledge or the information and the other is energy.

Other uncommon pairs are Bharata and Shatrughana of Ramayana. Bharata represents bhakti, devotion and discipline and Shatrughana, victory over the enemy. To win over the Shatru, one has to become Bharata.

In Mahabharata, there is the pair of Nakul (being neutral) and Sahdeva (helping every one). Again they are inseparable. You cannot help unless you are neutral.

The pairs of modern post Vedic era are Heer-Ranjha, Laila-Majnu, Sheeri-Farhad, Banti and Babli and Veer-Zara. They all symbolize human love relationship

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

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Luv-Kush, Shubha-Labha, Riddhi-Siddhi are inseparable pairs of Vedanta. They signify that you cannot get one without the help of the other.

In Luv-Kush, Kush is a symbol of purity and Luv symbolize the spiritual love. To achieve love one has to be pure in consciousness. To acquire love and inner happiness in life, one may have to use kush, a herb, in daily life. No traditional Hindu ritual is complete without the use of kush grasses.

Kush is a benevolent satvik detoxifying grass, a symbol of progress and alertness. The word “kushal buddhi” originates from the word kush. In Bhagavad Gita (shloka 6.10) Krishna said that for meditation one should sit on a seat covered with kush grass. The Garuda Purana also described the importance of kush grass in rituals of Panchak death and in cremation of a person whose body has not been found as in natural calamities, by making an effigy of kush grass and completing the rituals. Kush grass is often held in the hands before taking a sankalp.

Kush grass is called Imperata cylindrica Beauv. It is a clean, pure, brittle grass with acrid, cooling, oleaginous, aphrodisiac and diuretic properties. Kush sharbat is a drink routinely used by traditional healers of Chattisgarh.

In Riddhi-Siddhi, Riddhi is knowledge and Siddhi is perfection. An obstacle-free life (represented by Ganesha) can be attained only when one masters or tames both knowledge and perfection.

Riddhi and Siddhi are the two inseparable wives of Lord Ganesha.

Some symbolize Siddhi as success and Riddhi as prosperity or Riddhi as material abundance and Siddhi as the intellectual and spiritual prowess or Riddhi as prosperity and Siddhi as progress. All are dependent on each other.

Ganesha is said to have two sons, Shubha-Labha. Again the two terms are inseparable from each other. Both the words are written during Diwali on each account book. Shubha is auspiciousness and Labha, profit.

Ram Lakshman are often spoken of as Ram-Lakhan, which signifies that to be in touch with consciousness (Rama) one has to control the mind with an aim (Mana with a Lakshya).

Other pairs, which are inseparable, are Rama and Sita, Radha and Krishna, Shiva and Parvati, Brahma and Saraswati and Vishnu and Lakshmi.

In Rama-Sita, Rama signifies soul consciousness and Sita, the body. It is true for the Krishna and Radha combination. They also signify the dual character of the nature, feminine and masculine natures.

In Brahma and Saraswati, Brahma represents creativity or innovations and Saraswati the art of acquiring pure knowledge. Again both are dependent on each other.

Lakshmi and Vishnu are again inseparable. Vishnu or Krishna is the doer and performer. They signify action in the present. Lakshmi signifies material and spiritual benefits. One can only get the benefits by action in dharma.

Shiva-Parvati is other inseparable word used in Vedic literature. The other is Shiva and Shakti. They represent the true nature of the consciousness, the male and the female energies; the purusha and the prakriti. In terms of computer language, they represent the operational and the application software. No computer can run without both. One is knowledge or the information and the other is energy.

Other uncommon pairs are Bharata and Shatrughana of Ramayana. Bharata represents bhakti, devotion and discipline and Shatrughana, victory over the enemy. To win over the Shatru, one has to become Bharata.

In Mahabharata, there is the pair of Nakul (being neutral) and Sahdeva (helping every one). Again they are inseparable. You cannot help unless you are neutral.

The pairs of modern post Vedic era are Heer-Ranjha, Laila-Majnu, Sheeri-Farhad, Banti and Babli and Veer-Zara. They all symbolize human love relationship

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

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Reading about Lord Krishna one understands the way of acquiring inner happiness. It can be understood by the four cycles of Krishna described in the Vedic literature: Krishna the Child, Krishna the Husband and Friend, Krishna the Preacher and Krishna the Sanyasi.

The childhood of Krishna describes the methodology and components of a child education. Krishna, pure consciousness, was born as the eight child of Devki representing that during pregnancy one needs to follow the eight limbs of yoga to get a child with no disease.

A new born and during initial childhood, the child is full of pure consciousness that spreads love to everyone without any discrimination. The only thing the child during this period does is to steal and spread love and that is what Krishna as Makhan Chor depicts.

With time the childs mental faculty starts developing distracting the childs mind. During this phase of life the child needs to be taught to control the thoughts and mind by learning viveka (discrimination between good and bad) and doing abhyas or hard work. The episode of Krishna entering into the pond (thoughts) fighting with Kaliya (duality of mind) and controlling it represents the same. This also coincides with the time a child should be sent to the school.

The next phase of childhood is activation of intellect which in Krishnas life is depicted as the questions in his mind “Radha kyun gori, main kyun kala?” The incident is during Krishna playing Holi with Gopis and Radha. This happens when the child gets an exposure to the worldly atmosphere and starts getting attached to it. This is the time for the child to be taught control of mind and intellect by one point concentration on the object of concentration. This is also the time when the child should be taught the purpose of life, and the aim for which he has to live in future (usually adolescent by this time).

Krishna controls the intellect by winning over Indra (intellect) and raising Govardhan Parvat (turmoil of the mind) by one finger and saves the public from the rainy storm (wavering thoughts). One finger here indicates one point concentration on the object of concentration. Once the child is taught how to control the intellect, he or she complete spiritual education and learns about the true self. Control of mind (Kalia) and intellect (Indra) leads the child to the next phase of life. In Krishnas life it coincides with Ras Leela where Krishna is seen dancing with Radha and every Gopi. This also reflects the time for the internal ego to get killed and one acquires the qualities of humility. Killing of Kansa depicts the killing of ego. Once the ego is killed and humility is acquired Radha and flute are no more required and Krishna is now a perfect man and is ready to enter the next ashram of life called Grahasthashram. Radha (body) gets merged with consciousness and flute (humility) is a part of the nature. One now acquires a sudarshan chakra or a weapon to take decisions and adopt the good and kill the evil.

Krishna is always depicted with a blue color God with yellow clothes and a flute in his hands. Blue color indicates everything is possible and yellow clothes indicate that one can acquire it provided one has the flute which is a hollow wood representing egoless nature.

Whenever Krishna is shown with a flute, the lady with him is Radha with blue sari and yellow color, along with gopis (thoughts) dancing around them indicating that the thoughts of the mind are in symphony with each other and there is a union of mind, body and soul. Here the soul is represented by Krishna, mind by the flute, thoughts with the gopis and body with the Radha.

The second phase of Krishnas life is shown as a perfect achiever and friend, which is evident from the story of Sudama.

The third phase of Krishnas life represent Krishna as an advisor, which shows his role in Mahabharata and his preaching in Bhagavad Gita. He teaches the message of Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Gnana Yoga and Raja Yoga for acquiring excellence in life and inner happiness.

The last role of Krishna as a sanyasi is the end of Krishnas life. The four cycles also coincide with the four ashrams of life.

To achieve inner happiness the message from Krishnas life is to learn to make efforts to control the mind, to win over the intellect by one point concentration and to acquire qualities of humility and killing internal ego. With this only one can become a perfect man like Krishna.

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