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Dr K K Aggarwal

Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee

True silence is the silence between the thoughts and represents the true self, consciousness or the soul. It is a web of energized information ready to take all provided there is a right intent. Meditation is the process of achieving silence. Observing silence is another way of deriving benefits of meditation. Many yogis in the past have recommended and observed silence now and then. Mahatma Gandhi spent one day in silence every week. He believed that abstaining from speaking brought him inner peace and happiness. On all such days he communicated with others only by writing on paper.

Hindu principles also talk about a correlation between mauna (silence) and shanti (harmony). Mauna Ekadashi is a ritual followed traditionally in our country. On this day the person is not supposed to speak at all and observes complete silence all through the day and night. It gives immense peace to the mind and strength to the body. In Jainism, this ritual has a lot of importance. Nimith was a great saint in Jainism who long ago asked all Jains to observe this vrata. Some people recommend that on every ekadashi one should observe silence for few hours, if not the whole day.

In his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra talks in great detail about the importance of observing silence in day to day life. He recommends that everyone should observe silence for 20 minutes every day. Silence helps to redirect our imagination towards self. Even Swami Sivananda in his teachings recommends observation of mauna daily for 2 hours. For ekadashi, take milk and fruits every day, study one chapter of Bhagwad Gita daily, do regular charity and donate one-tenth of your income in the welfare of the society. Ekadashi is the 11th day of Hindu lunar fortnight. It is the day of celebration, occurring twice a month, meant for meditation and increasing soul consciousness.

Vinoba Bhave was a great sage of our country known for his Bhoodaan movement. He was a great advocator and practical preacher of mauna vrata.

Mauna means silence and vrata means vow; hence, mauna vrata means a vow of silence. Mauna was practiced by saints to end enmity and recoup their enmity. Prolonged silence as the form of silence is observed by the rishi munis involved for prolonged periods of silence. Silence is a source of all that exists. Silence is where consciousness dwells. There is no religious tradition that does not talk about silence. It breaks the outward communication and forces a dialogue towards inner communication. This is one reason why all prayers, meditation and worship or any other practice whether we attune our mind to the spiritual consciousness within are done in silence.  After the death of a person it is a practice to observe silence for two minutes. The immediate benefit is that it saves a tremendous amount of energy.

Silence is cessation of both sensory and mental activity. It is like having a still mind and listening to the inner mind. Behind this screen of our internal dialogue is the silence of spirit. Meditation is the combination of observing silence and the art of observation.

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

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  • Lack of sleep is the most common cause. Too little restful sleep can also lead to mood changes and anxiety, which in turn can contribute to memory impairment.

  • Many drugs can affect memory, which includes tranquilizers, antidepressants, blood pressure drugs and anti–allergic drugs.

  • Low functioning thyroid can affect memory.

  • Drinking too much alcohol can interfere with short–term memory.

  • Stress and anxiety can lead to memory impairment. Both can interfere with attention and block the formation of new memory or retrieval of old memories.

  • Forgetfulness can be a sign of depression or a consequence of it.

  • If you are vegetarian, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause memory impairment.

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Hindu scriptures have talked about three types of Hrin (debts): Dev Hrin, Pitra Hrin and Rishi Hrin.

God or the devtas gave us the consciousness, parents gave us our body and teachers gave us the knowledge or intellect. In Vedic language, our body is a mix of mind, body and soul, which can be equated to three Hrins of mind (teachers), body (parents) and soul (Rishi & Gods). In computer language, this can be equated to operational software (God), application software (teachers) and computer hardware (parents).

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

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An over–the–counter antacid is often used to relieve mild cases of heartburn or acid reflux. Though they are available without a doctor’s prescription they should be taken only under a doctor’s advice.

As per American Academy of Family Physicians

  1. Different types of antacids work in different ways.
  2. To manage an ulcer, an antacid may need to be taken in conjunction with an antibiotic.
  3. If one needs more calcium to help strengthen bones, prefer an antacid that contains calcium carbonate.
  4. Antacids may have minor side effects in some such as nausea, headache, diarrhea or constipation.
  5. Read the label carefully to make sure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients.
  6. People with kidney disease may not be able to take all types of antacids.
  7. An antacid may interact with other medications. So, talk to the doctor before taking an antacid.
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Sometimes back, I used to think that a ‘will’ simply meant how my finances would be controlled by my wife and my children after my death. As I started acquiring Vedic knowledge, my interpretation changed. Following is the gist for writing a Will, as I understand it the Vedic way. Of course, writing a will requires a sound state of mind, two witnesses, signed registered paper with accompanying, if possible audio-visual link.

  • The first step is to calculate your life earnings. Your earnings are not only your finances earned but also the respect, dignity and image that you have earned in the society.
  • The next step then is to pay off your unpaid debts (Hrins). Apart from actual loans we have taken from banks, friends and others, there are three more debts (Hrins) which we need to pay before we die and define in our Will to be paid from our earning if we die unexpectedly. These as per mythology are Pitra Hrin, Dev Hrin and Rishi Hrin and mean that we have not been able to fulfil the committed desires of our ancestors and commitments made to our GOD and teachers, respectively. All these debts, if unpaid, need to be paid out of the finances you are leaving at the time of death. A percentage of your finances, therefore, should be kept to pay these debts. These commitments are usually fulfilled by the eldest son and eldest daughter, if there is no son or wife till she is alive.
  • Rest of the finances need to be divided to fulfil your Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha or purpose for which you were born.
    • Artha: A percentage of your finances should go and be equally divided within your immediate family. A percentage of this amount should be converted into a family trust account to be used for children below 18 years of age in future.
    • Dharma: Dharma in literal meaning is to hold. A percentage of your finances should be kept into a reserve account and this account interest can be used by the family only if they stick to the code of family conduct (includes rituals, religious activities etc.) you have created in your life and mentioned in the will or this amount may be given for charity as defined in your will.
    • Kama and Moksha: Kama means the unfulfilled desires at the level of intellect and ego and Moksha the same at the level of our soul.

We must enlist both our desires at the level of mind and at the level of soul and a percentage of our finances should be converted into a trust or defined to fulfil these desires. The examples of desires at the level of soul are to do some charitable work without any publicity. The same at the level of ego are to open some dispensary, dharamshala etc. in our own name. You also need to fulfil and document your desired rituals at the time of death. These rituals must answer the following questions:

  1. Should my death be celebrated (band, lunch) as I have completed all my purposes of life?
  2. How should my death anniversary be celebrated or observed?
  3. How should my last rites be done?

Final Note: If my children and wife are not willing to take care of the finances other than Artha, I nominate the following persons to manage my finance to look after my other desires……

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

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  1. Reduce your chances of getting infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) by avoiding sexual contact with multiple partners without adequate protection.
  2. Get a Pap test done every 3 years as timely detection can help in curing this condition.
  3. Quit smoking right away. Nicotine and other components found in cigarettes may pass through the blood stream and get deposited in the cervix where they can alter the growth of cervical cells. Smoking can also suppress your immune system making it more susceptible to HPV infections.
  4. Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight as being overweight or obese increases the risk of insulin resistance, which may lead to type 2 diabetes and increase the risk of developing cancer
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  • This involves principles of time management and some Vedic principles.
  • The first thing to do is to make a checklist of all the pending work by writing it down and re–categorizing them depending upon the urgency and importance.
  • Pending work can be classified under following four sections:
    • Urgent and important: Should be done immediately.
    • Important but not urgent: Should be scheduled as per the time available
    • Not important and not urgent: One should learn to say no and dump it
    • Urgent but not important: This work should be delegated to others.
  • Urgency of the work is decided by the deadlines available.
  • The importance of the work is decided by directing the result of the work to the mind, body or the soul. One should see whether the result of the work gives pleasure to the body, mind or the soul. The one which is giving pleasure to the soul will be free of fear or guilt.
  • When choosing files between simple or difficult, choose the difficult first so that you do not carry them back home in the mind. In terms of importance, difficult files are more important than simple files.
  • When choosing right versus convenient action, give priority to the right action and not the convenient action.
  • Delegation of work – team work is very important.
  • When deadlines are available, it is always better not to keep the work just near the deadlines.
  • Anticipate delay and keep time for unforeseen movements.
  • Work is work and not something personal.
  • Always remember the spiritual principle that you get what you deserve and not what you desire. So never get linked to the results of your actions.
  • Yoga, pranayama, afternoon naps and meditation help to prioritize your work.
  • Follow the principles of creativity and learn to give breaks in between the work so that the mind is relaxed and can take soul boosting decisions.
  • Remember, Yudhishthir never kept anything pending for tomorrow. In this way you can have a fearless, undisturbed sleep.
  • Organizing your pending list always helps.
  • Do not waste time on learning material on which you are already an expert.
  • Take advantage of down time. If you find free time in your routine, then convert it into a creative time so that you can plan strategies or do something new.
  • Always get up at the same time and never disturb your sleep time.

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

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A drug caffeinol containing caffeine and alcohol may help stroke patients recover.

In a small study at Texas Health Science Center in Houston, 60% of stroke patients who were given the drug, had no or minimal disability when they were discharged from the hospital. In contrast, only 26% of stroke survivors given standard therapy with tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, fared that well.

Caffeinol contains about as much caffeine as 5 to 7 cups of good, strong New Orleans coffee and the equivalent of two shots of alcohol.

The study involved 100 people who had suffered an ischemic stroke. All received intravenous tPA; 10 were also given an infusion of caffeinol. Caffeinol allows cells to tolerate reduced blood flow longer, thereby giving tPA a longer opportunity to do its action.

Will these findings be applicable to heart attack? Only time will tell as heart attack treatment is also done with tPA.

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