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Dr K K Aggarwal

Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee

We follow a ritual of offering bhog to the deity we worship. The ritual also involves sprinkling water all around the place where we sit down to eat food. Many people have advocated that the sprinkling of water is related to preventing ants and insects from approaching the food. But in spiritual language there is a deeper meaning of these rituals. Bhagwad Gita and Yoga Shastras categorize food into three types corresponding to their properties termed as gunas. Depending upon satoguna rajoguna and tamoguna the food items are categorized as satwik rajsik or tamsik. Satwik food provides calmness purity and promotes longevity intelligence strength health happiness and delight. The examples of satwik food items are fruits vegetables leaves grains cereals milk honey etc. These items can be consumed as they are. One can also live on satwik food for life. Rajsik food items possess attributes of negativity passion and restlessness. Hot spicy and salty food items with pungent sour and salt taste promote rajas qualities. Tamsik food has attributes of inducing sleep ignorance dullness and inertia. The examples of tamsik food are meat onions garlic leftover food etc. Only satwik food is offered to God. Rajsik and tamsik food is never offered as Bhog. The only persons who were offered tamsik and rajsik food in Ramayana are Ahi Ravana and Kumbhkaran. Both had an evil nature. Kumbhkaran signified tamas and Ahi Ravana rajas or aggression. Tamsik and rajsik food can be converted into satwik by slow heating sprouting or keeping them in water overnight. The examples are sprouted wheat and chana chickpeas etc. A mixture of honey milk ghee curd and sugar is called panchamrut and is a routine offering to the God. All the five components have satwik properties and their consumption promotes health. In Ayurveda there is a saying that any food item which grows under the ground is tamsik in nature and one which comes from the top of the tree or plant like leaves flower and fruits are satwik in nature. Satwik food is usually fresh seasonal and locally grown. Human beings are made up of body mind and soul and soul is equated to consciousness or God. Whatever offered to external God if offered to the internal God or consciousness leads to inner happiness. The ritual therefore of offering food to God before eating forces us to either eat only satwik food or to include a substantial portion of satwik food in our meals. It helps a person convert his meal into a pure satwik one or at least adding satwik items. Sprinkling water around the plate is considered an act of purification. Many people confuse bhog with chadhava or offerings to the deity. While bhog is shared with God chadhava is the offering of your illness or negative thoughts to the God and you go back with prasada of inner happiness. Many people counter the above argument by saying that alcohol is offered to Bhairon viewed as a demon God which means alcohol is good for health. I personally feel that alcohol is offered to Bhairon not as a bhog but as an offering which means that people who are addicted to alcohol go to Bhairon and give their share of alcohol to him so they can de addict themselves. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

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Painkillers can cause stroke via irregular heart rhythm. Non selective non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs NSAIDs and new generation selective COX 2 inhibitors commonly used to treat inflammation are now linked to an increased risk of irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation AF as per a Danish Research of 32602 patients led by Professor Henrik Toft Sorensen at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. These drugs are already linked to increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. And now through AF the risk gets intensified for stroke and new risk added of heart failure and death. In the study compared with non users new users first drug within 60 days of diagnosis showed 40 increased risk of AF with non selective NSAIDS and 70 increased risk with COX 2 inhibitors. This means four extra cases of AF per year per 1000 new users of non selective NSAIDS and seven extra cases of AF per 1000 new users of COX 2 inhibitors. The risk was highest in the elderly patients with chronic kidney disease or rheumatoid arthritis especially on COX 2 inhibitors. NSAIDs should be used very cautiously in older patients with a history of hypertension or heart failure.

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According to Prashna Upanishad at the time of death the Prana Vayu life force and respiration merges with Udana Vayu brain stem reflexes and leaves the body. But this does not happen immediately after clinical death defined as stoppage of heart and respiration. Medically the term used for clinically dead patients is sudden cardiac arrest. As per the modern medicine in cardiac arrest the brain does not die for the next 10 minutes and during this period if the heart can be revived life can be brought back. The revival of patient during this period can be remembered by the formula of ten which is that within ten minutes of the stoppage of heart cardiac arrest if effective chest compressions are given for the next 10 minutes with a speed of 100 per min 10 x 10 80 of the cardiac arrest victims can be revived. This period can be much longer in hypothermia state. If the temperature of the body is low the soul does not leave the body till the temperature is brought back to normal. Today this property of soul is also used as therapeutic measure where patients who cannot be revived in the first 10 min of clinical death are put in a freezing chamber and artificial hypothermia is produced and these patients can then be transported to an advance cardiac centre where even after 24 hours resuscitation measure can be applied after re warming the body. Many people have been revived even after 24 hours of cardiac arrest with such a technology. There are instances in literature where a newborn with hypothermia was declared dead and got revived in the cremation ground when the heat of the atmosphere brought his temperature to normal and the pressure of the wood worked like cardiac massage. This aspect of life after death is a contribution of the modern science to the Vedic science. Though in Vedic literature it was a well known phenomenon as Savitri brought life back into Satyavan even after his clinical death. The take home message is that one should not declare a patient dead in the first 10 minutes give cardiac massage and try reviving him with chest compression cardio pulmonary resuscitation CPR . Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

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Psoriasis is a complex immune mediated disease and is a common disorder that affects men and women equally. The disease can manifest at any age however the peak times for disease onset are young adulthood ages 20 to 30 years and late middle age ages 50 to 69 years . There are several clinical subtypes of psoriasis. The most common presentation of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis which presents as sharply defined erythematous plaques with overlying silvery scales. The most commonly affected areas include scalp extensor surface of elbows knees and back. Psoriasis may also affect the joints. Psoriatic arthritis occurs in about 30 percent of patients with psoriasis and precedes the skin manifestations in about 15 percent of patients. In most patients a diagnosis of psoriasis can be made by history and physical examination. But sometimes a skin biopsy is needed to rule out other conditions. Numerous topical and systemic therapies are available for the treatment of psoriasis. The treatment approach for the individual patient depends on the severity of the disease relevant comorbidities patient preference including cost and convenience efficacy and evaluation of individual patient response.

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In a US based study dying people were asked about their regrets if any. The top five regrets were I wish I had the courage to live a life I wanted to live and not what others expected me to live. I wish I had worked harder. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. I wish I had let myself to be happier. Regrets are always based on suppression of emotions or non fulfillment of desires and needs. These need based desires can be at the level of physical body mind intellect ego or the soul. Therefore regrets can be at any of these levels. I did a survey of 15 of my patients and asked them a simple question that if they come to know that they are going to die in next 24 hours what would be their biggest regret. Only one of them a doctor said that she would have no regrets. Only one person expressed a physical regret and that was from a Yoga expert who said that her regret was not getting married till that day. Mental regrets were two. A state trading businessman said I wish I could have taken care of my parents. A homeopathic doctor said I wish I could have given more time to my family. Intellectual regrets were three. A lawyer said I wish I could have become something in life. A businessman said I wish I could have helped more people. A retired revenue inspector said I wish I had married off my younger child. Egoistic regrets were two. One fashion designer said I wish I could have become a singer. A housewife said I wish I could have become a dietician. Spiritual regrets were six. A Consultant Government Liaison officer said I wish I could have made my family members happy. A businessman said I wish I could have meditated more. A Homeopathic doctor said I wish I could have spent more time with my family. A reception executive said I wish I could have spent more time with my parents. An entertainment CEO said I wish I could have taken my parents for a pilgrimage. A fashion designer said I wish I could have worked more for the animals. In a very popular and successful movie Kal Ho Na Ho the hero was to die in the next 40 days. When asked to remember the days of his life he could not remember 20 ecstatic instances in life. This is what happens with each one of us where we waste all our days and cannot remember more than 50 or even 20 of such instances. If we are given 40 days to live and if we live every day ecstatically we can get inner happiness. Therefore we should learn to live in the present instead of having a habit of postponing everything we do. We should learn to prioritize our work and do difficult work first or else we would be in a state of constant worry till that work is over. I teach my patients that they should practice confession exercise and one confession is to talk about your regrets and take them as challenge and finish before the next Tuesday. When working there are three things which are to be remembered passion profession and fashion. Profession is at the level of mind ego and spirit. We should convert our profession in such a manner that it is fashionable and passionate. Passion means working from the heart and profession means working from mind and intellect and fashion means working the same at the level of ego which is based on show off. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

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In most people who breathe in TB bacteria the body s immune system is able to fight the TB bacteria and stop them from multiplying. This is called TB infection. People who are infected with TB do not feel sick do not have any symptoms and cannot spread TB. If an infected person s immune system cannot stop the bacteria from multiplying the bacteria eventually cause symptoms of active TB which is called TB disease. Only 10 of all people with TB infection may suffer from the TB disease. People with conditions like HIV diabetes mellitus malnutrition and those on treatment with immunosuppressant drugs anti cancer corticosteroids etc are at a greater risk of developing TB disease once infected.

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Darkness cannot be removed physically it can only be removed by switching light or going into sunlight or lighting fire. Similarly negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts. In Bhagavad Gita also it has been said that the period of Uttarayana with longer days the first half at full moon in the presence of light or agni one acquires more positive thoughts as compared in Dakshinayana before Amavasya or no moon or in absence of light. Bhagavad Gita also says that whatever you think the whole life you think at the time of death and if the time at the time of death you have positive thoughts you are likely to get Moksha. That may be the reason why in Hindu mythology it is said that just before the death we should light a diya or chant in front of agni fire so that dying person s thoughts become positive. In computer language it is explained that when you open a file repeatedly it becomes a priority file and comes in search engine on priority as compared to other files. Disclaimer The views expressed in this write up are my own .

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1. Cool the burn. Apply ice or run tap water on the burn area till the pain subsides. 2. Apply petroleum jelly two to three times daily. Do not apply ointments toothpaste or butter to the burn as these may cause an infection. Do not apply topical antibiotics. 3. Cover the burn with a nonstick sterile bandage. If blisters form let them heal on their own while keeping the area covered. Do not pop the blisters. 4. Take an OTC painkiller if needed. 5. Protect the area from the sun. This will help minimize scarring as the redness from a burn sometimes persists for weeks especially in those with darker skin tones. Source American Academy of Dermatology October 10 2017

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