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Dr K K Aggarwal

Fasting and starvation are two different terms commonly confused with each other. Starvation means not eating or drinking altogether, while fasting means control and restrain of five sensory and five motor senses. During fasting one may continue eating or drinking but under discipline.

Vedic fasting or spiritual fasting is mentioned in Karam Kanda in Yajurveda. Every fast in our mythology has a scientific basis and rituals are added so that the common man can follow it.

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

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  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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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 kutoyamagnibTameva 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.

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

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Health is not mere absence of disease; it is a state of physical, mental, social, spiritual, environmental and financial well-being. Allopathy does not define all aspects of health.

During MBBS, medical students are taught more about the physical health. Social and mental health are covered only in few lectures. Community health is a separate subject but never given its due importance. Spiritual health is not defined at all and financial health is hardly covered.

Yet, in day-to-day practice it is the social, financial, spiritual and community health, which is the most important during patient-doctor communication. It is incorporated in the four basic purposes: dharma, artha, kama and moksha.

Dharma and artha together form the basis of karma which is righteous earning. You are what your deep rooted desires are. Most of the diseases today can be traced to a particular emotion, positive or negative. Anger and jealously are related with heart attack, fear with blood pressure, greed & possessiveness with heart failure. Unless the mind is healthy, one cannot be free of diseases.

The best description of health comes from Ayurveda. In Sanskrit health means swasthya, which means establishment in the self. One is established in the self when there is a union of mind, body and soul. Most symbols of health are established around a shaft with two snakes and two wings. The shaft represents the body, two snakes represent the duality of mind and the two wings represent the freedom of soul.

Sushrut Samhita in Chapter 15 shloka 10 defines the Ayurvedic person as under:

Samadosha, samagnischa,

Samadhatumalkriyah,

Prasannatmendriyamanah,

Swastha iti abhidhiyate.

From the Ayurvedic point of view, for a person to be healthy, he must have balanced doshas, balanced agni, balanced dhatus, normal functioning of malkriyas and mind, body, spirit and indriyas full of bliss and happiness.

Human body is made up of structures (Kapha) that perform two basic functions: firstly, metabolism (pitta) and movement (vata). Vata, pitta and kapha are called doshas in Ayurveda. Samana dosha means balance of structures, metabolism and movement functions in the body. Agni in Ayurveda is said to be in balance when a person has normal tejas and a good appetite.

Ayurveda describes seven dhatus: rasa, rakta, mamsa, medha, asthi, majja, shukra and they are required to be in balance. They are equivalent to various tissues in the human body.

Ayurveda necessitates proper functioning of natural urges like urination, stool, sweating and breathing and that is what balances in malakriya means.

Ayurveda says for a person to be healthy he has to be mentally and spiritually healthy which will only happen when his or her indriyas are cheerful, full of bliss and devoid of any negativities. For indriyas to be in balance one has to learn to control over the lust cum desires, greed and ego. This can be done by learning regular pranayama, learning the do’s and don’ts in life, living in a disciplined atmosphere and learn to live in the present.

Regular pranayama shifts one from sympathetic to para sympathetic mode, balances the mind and thoughts and helps in removing negative thoughts from the mind. For living a disabled life one can follow the yama and niyama of yoga sutras of Patanjali or dos and don’ts taught by various religious gurus, leaders and principles of naturopathy. Living in the present means conscious or meditative living. This involves either learning meditation 20 minutes twice a day or learning subtle mental exercises like mind–body relaxation, yogic shavasana, self–hypnotic exercises, etc.

According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a person who eats thrice a day is a rogi, twice a day is a bhogi and once a day is yogi. The take home message is: to live more, eat less.

Swar yoga defines the importance of respiration and longevity. According to this yoga shastra, everybody has a fixed number of breaths to be taken during the life span.

Lesser the number a person takes in a minute more is the life. It also forms the basis of pranayama which is nothing but longer and deeper breathing with reduced respiratory rate. To be healthy one can remember to follow the principle of moderation and variety in diet & exercise, regular pranayama & meditation and positive thinking.

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

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Our body is the largest pharmaceutical group in the world and has the capacity to heal each and every disease. The very fact that there is a receptor for every drug in the body, the body has the capacity to produce that drug. Music is one such modality, which can heal by initiating various chains of chemical reactions in the body.

  1. Chanting vowels produces interleukin-2 in the body, which works like a painkiller.
  2. Chanting nasal consonants produces tranquilizers in the body.
  3. Sounds like LUM are associated with fear, VUM with attachments, RUM with doubt, YUM with love, HUM with truthfulness and AUM with non–judgmental.
  4. In music, various chemicals can be produced in the body by chanting of various vowels and consonants.
  5. Nasal consonants are vibrant sounds and produce vibrations of the autonomic plexus leading to balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic states. More the nasal consonants in music more will be its relaxing healing power.
  6. Listening to overtone chanting in music can also heal people in the vicinity of the music.
  7. Recitation of music can also increase or decrease the respiratory rate of the singer. Lyrics, which reduce respiratory rates have parasympathetic healing activity. The respiratory rate of a listener can also increase and decrease if he is absorbed in the song.
  8. Listening to a song word by word by understanding its meaning can also change the biochemistry of the listener. A song can create an excitement or a feeling of depression.
  9. Song can also work like intent by speaking in the form of prayers. Group prayers can have powerful affects and convert intent into reality through the concept of spontaneous fulfillment of desire.
  10. Music is often linked with dance both classical and western, which provides additional healing.
  11. Gestures, mudras, bhavs and emotions associated with song produce parasympathetic state in both the singer and the listener.

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

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Why do People suffer?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. As per Garud Puran and Hindu mythology, one of the reasons for suffering is the debts of your past birth. Your purpose of life is to face sufferings to pay these debts.
  2. The second reason is your present deeds till today starting from birth. If your sum total of bad deeds is more than good deeds, they get added to your previous birth’s debts.
  3. The third reason for suffering is in the form of struggle which you undertake to attain future success. Some people do not call it as suffering.
  4. The last reason for suffering is that some people acquire yogic powers to take on the sufferings of others. The classical examples are Shirdi Sai Baba and Jesus Christ who were known to cure others by adding their suffering to their own account. If you see most of the Gods or holy people had suffered in their last time, be it Jesus Christ, Krishna, Buddha or Sai Baba.

Only Rishi Munis can remain alive and die at will even after they have paid for all their debts.

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

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Ego in Mythology

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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For spirituality, one needs to control two things, firstly, lust and lastly, the ego. In Kaama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha and Ahankara, ego and lust both are slow poisons and do not allow one to be spiritual healthy. There are many examples of how to control ego in mythology. Fundamentally, it is said that one should learn to kill ego of oneself and never hurt the ego of others.

Ego in Ramayana is equated to Ravana and in Krishna’s era to Kans. One should learn to kills the ego. In Ramayana, Kumbhkarana is Tamas killed by the self i.e. Rama, Meghnath is Rajas and is killed by the mind i.e. Lakshman and ego, the Ravana, is killed again by self i.e. Rama. In Krishna’s Yuga Kans is killed by consciousness or Lord Krishna.

Mythology also teaches us to keep our ego under control.

  1. The door of any temple is always low in height so that nobody can enter without bending. Bending is sign of humility. Most temples have caves which have the same significance. Older the temple longer will be the cave and smaller will be the entry gate.
  2. Ego in mythology is depicted by Sheshnaaga or Cobra snake with its hood directed inwards indicating keeping your ego under control. The Sheshnaaga over Vishnu when he is resting indicates the same. In Krishna’s birth also, the snake represents controlled ego and protects Krishna when Vasu dev takes him out in the rain.
  3. Lord Shiva is also shown wearing a snake in his neck with hood directed inwards. Shiva is also said to have a blue neck or Neelkanth indicating that to control anger one should neutralize the anger continuously (matted hairs) with cool mind ( Moon) using positive flow of thoughts(ganga) with ego controlled ( naag)
  4. In Hanuman ki Lanka Yatra, Sursa snake is handled by Hanuman with humility. Sursa, the ego, went on increasing in size when Hanuman increases his size.
  5. No Hindu marriage is complete without Varmala, which again indicates the need to bow in front of each other.

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

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What is charity?

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

After returning from a free health check-up camp sometime back, I met a Professor of Cardiology from Lucknow and told him that I had seen 100 patients today free of charge. He said do not get excited. Charity is a positive, but still not the absolute positive, unless it is done without any motive or done secretly. He said that you were honored on the stage; you received blessings from the patients and people talked about you in positive sense. It was an investment in the long run and not an absolute charity. When you serve, never get honored on the stage by the people to whom you are serving. Because, then it is like give and take. The purpose of life should be to help others without any expectations.Understanding helping others Helping others should not harm somebody else. Even with your unconditional help, if you promote the second in command by superseding another senior deserving person, this is not regarded as a help because the person you have helped will give you only one blessing but the person whom you have harmed may curse you 10 times. So, ultimately you end up with minus 8 points. Helping other means that you should give happiness to you, to the persons you have helped and also to others to whom you have not helped. Helping always pays The difference between American and Indian models is that Indians always think of now and do not invest in future. Americans always plan for the future. When we help somebody, we want that the same person should expect you by helping you when you are in need in a shorter run. But charity does not believe in that. Your job is to help others and negate your negative past karmas. You never know, may be decades later you get a help from a person to whom you helped decades earlier. Help should never be linked to returns

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

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