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Dr K K Aggarwal

Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee

The negative tendency of a man has been symbolized with the animal nature in mythology. Gods in Indian mythology have been symbolized as living a positive behavior. Every God has been given a vehicle or Vahan. And, both teach us how to live a positive life and 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 riding Nandi (Bull is symbolized with uncontrolled sexual desires) and the duo signifies that for learning meditation, one needs to control sexual desires first.

3. Saraswati (the goddesses of knowledge) sitting on Swan symbolizes that to acquire knowledge one must learn to control the power of discrimination or Vivek. 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 intellect (Indra), for its development, requires control over Masti and madness (elephant).

5. Durga (the perfect woman) riding a lion symbolizes that to become a perfect woman, one must learn to control her 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 eagle or Garuda (Eagles are opportunistic predators which means they eat almost anything they can find) means controlling your desires to eat unbalanced meals.

8. Krishna riding five horses means one need to control our five senses.

9. Kartikeya riding on Peacock symbolizes that 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.

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Every arthritis is not the same. While osteoarthritis, also called as green arthritis, may require only painkillers and rehabilitation exercises, the red inflammation arthritis called rheumatoid arthritis, if not treated early and aggressively can end up with serious deforming complications

Any arthritis in young women of child-bearing age should not be ignored, especially if it is worse in the morning and improves by movement. Most of them will have high platelet count on blood examination. These patients require aggressive treatment with disease-modifying drugs within days of the onset of symptoms and diagnosis. Approximately 1-2% of population may have this type of disease.

Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is a disease of age 50+ and is due to wear and tear of various joints in the body and break down of the cartilage cushion in the joints. It mainly affects the weight-bearing joints like the knees, hips, neck and lower back joints. Inflammation is not a major feature of osteoarthritis.

Another form of joint disorder is gout, which is never seen in children and in people below 40 years of age and is almost never seen in young women before the onset of menopause unless there is a known underlying kidney disease.

The progression of osteoarthritis can be arrested with appropriate exercises, weight reduction and preventing posture and movement that worsen the disease.

Typical wear and tear of osteoarthritis is caused by sitting cross legged, doing Padmasana, squatting, other non physiological postures, sitting on low level surface like floor and low chairs, doing push ups, going up and down on stairs, etc.

Most yoga postures should be done under medical supervision and should follow with a counter yoga exercise.

Most patients of serious arthritis end up with treatment with other systems of medicines or with quacks.

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Satt means ‘truth or knowingness’ Chitta means ‘conscious based’ Ananda means ‘bliss or inner happiness’ The soul in Vedic description is described as Sattchittaananda. People in touch with their soul speak the truth, take consciousness–based decisions and experience inner happiness. The great rishis of India have described a formula of how to be in touch with your soul and get inner happiness. The formula is based on three questions, which you should ask yourself before performing any action. 1. Is it the truth? 2. Is it consciousness–based? 3. Will it give happiness? If the answer to all three is ‘yes’, go ahead. In other words, if the answer to any of the three is “no”, do not perform that action. Later on, many dharma groups modified this formula for their own use. 1. Buddha’s Law of Action summarizes these questions as: • Is it the truth? • Is it necessary? • Will it bring happiness to me? • Will it bring happiness to others? If the answer to any of the questions is ‘no’, then do not do that action. 2. Buddha’s Law of Speech summarizes the questions as: • Is it the truth? • Is it necessary? • Is it kind? If the answer to any of the question is ‘no’, do not speak 3. The Rotary four–way test comprises of: • Is it the truth? • Is it fair to all concerned? • Will it build goodwill and better friendship? • Will it be beneficial to all concerned? If the answer to any of the answer is ‘no’, do not perform that deed. 4. Formula of three H: Head, Heart and Hand Before doing any action ask your head for the choices. Then listen to the heart to give you the best consciousness–based advice and finally order the hand to do the action. 5. The formula Satyam Shivam Sundram is based again on three questions: Is it the truth; is it God (consciousness based); and is it going to build my inner beauty (happiness). 6. ‘May I help you?’ is another formula given in Srimad Bhagwat where once you agree to help, you end up with truth, tapa of hard work, purity of mind and daan or charity.

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1. Wait until the afternoon to shop for shoes — your feet naturally expand with use during the day and may swell in hot weather. 2. Wear the same type of socks that you intend to wear with the shoes. 3. Have the salesperson measure both of your feet. If one foot is larger or wider than the other, buy a size that fits the larger foot. 4. Stand in the shoes. Make sure you have at least a quarter– to a half–inch of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. 5. Walk around in the shoes to determine how they feel. Is there enough room at the balls of the feet? Do the heels fit snugly, or do they pinch or slip off? Don’t rationalize that the shoes just need to be “broken in” or that they’ll stretch with time. Find shoes that fit from the start. 6. Trust your own comfort level rather than a shoe’s size or description. Sizes vary from one manufacturer to another. You’re the real judge. 7. Feel the inside of the shoes to see if they have any tags, seams, or other material that might irritate your feet or cause blisters. 8. Turn the shoes over and examine the soles. Are they sturdy enough to provide protection from sharp objects? Do they provide any cushioning? Also, take the sole test as you walk around the shoe store: do the soles cushion against impact? Try to walk on hard surfaces as well as carpet to see how the shoes feel.

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Somebody once asked Lord Buddha, “After meditating for years, I have not been able to gain anything.” Then Lord Buddha asked, “Did you lose anything?” The disciple said, “Yes, I lost my anger, desires, expectations and ego.” Buddha smiled and said, “That is what your gain is by meditating.” To be happy, one must learn to let go the following: • Let go of your desires. In Amarnath Ki Yatra, Lord Shiva firstly let go of the Bull, which represents the sexual desires. In Hanuman ki Lanka yatra, desires are represented by Samhiki, a creature who used to catch birds by their shadow. Hanuman killed the desires. So, it is possible to kill your desires. Again in Ramayana, desires are linked to Rajsik mind and in mythology, Meghnath represents the Rajsik mind. Meghnath was killed by Lakshman, the determined mind. Therefore, one should let go of the desires by killing them by focused concentration of the mind on the desires. • Let go of your expectations. In Amarnath Ki Yatra, the second thing which Lord Shiva discarded was the moon, which in mythology symbolizes letting go of expectations. • Let go of your ego. In mythology, ego represents Kansa in Krishna era and Ravana in Rama era. Both were killed by Krishna and Rama respectively, who symbolize the consciousness. Ego can never be killed by the mind and can only be killed by the consciousness (conscious-based decisions). Ego is also represented by Sheshnaag and we have Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu both having a Sheshnaag each with a mouth downwards indicating the importance of controlling one’s ego. Also remember never to hurt somebody’s ego. Hurting somebody’s ego in terms of allegations of sexual misconduct, financial corruption or abusing one’s caste is never forgotten and carries serious implications. In Hanuman Ki Lanka Yatra, ego is represented by Sursa; Hanuman managed her by humility and not by counter ego. In Naag Panchami also, we worship Naag, the ego, by folded hands and by offering milk. • Let go of your inaction. One should learn to live in the present. In Hanuman Ki Lanka Yatra, Hanuman first meets Menak Mountain, which indicates destination to rest. One should never do that and wilfully divert his or her mind towards action. • Let go of your attachments. Let go of your attachments to your close relatives and the worldly desires. In Amarnath Ki Yatra, Lord Shiva first leaves Bull (desires), moon (expectations), sheshnaag (ego) and then he gives up Ganesha and worldly desires (five elements). In mythology, this is practiced as detached attachment and in Bhagavad Gita is equated to Lotus. In Islam, detached attachment is practiced in the form of Bakra Eid. • Let go of your habit of criticizing, complaining and condemning people. One should always practice non-violent communication and speak which is truth, necessary and kind. One should not criticize, condemn or complain about people, situation and events. Wayne Dyer said, “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you do not know anything about.” • Most of us often condemn people without knowing their capabilities and label them as unmatchable to us. One should also let go habit of gossiping as it is a form of violent communication. • Let go of your habit of blaming others: One should learn to take the responsibilities and people believe in team work. Good leader is the one who learns to be responsible in life. • Let go of your need to be always right: It is a form of ego. Remember, in arguments either you can win arguments or relationships. Always try to win relationship and not arguments. • Let go of your need to control situations, events and people: Learn to accept people as they are. The world is won by those who let this habit go. • Let go of your habit and the need to impress others: This is also a type of ego where we always seek appreciation. • Give up your belief that you cannot do it: Remember ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ is ‘I M POSSIBLE’. A belief is not an idea held by the mind but it is an idea that holds the mind. (Elli Roselle). • Give up your resistance to change: Remember change is the only constant which will happen and always welcome it. Joseph Campbell once said that one should follow one’s bliss and will open doors to your where there are only walls. • Let go of your fear and all negative thoughts: Remember, the mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. It becomes very destructive if used badly. (Eckhart Tolle). • Let go of your habit of giving excuses. Let go of always being in the past.

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Nosebleed is a common problem, occurring in up to 60% of the general population and is often because of a respiratory illness or dry conditions. Nasal drying is common in the hot summer months because of the extreme temperature and dry air due to use of air conditioners. Here are some typical reasons for nosebleeds: • Nasal allergies • Blowing your nose too hard or trying to remove something from inside the nose • A result of “popping” the ear • Nasal exposure to chemicals • Frequent sneezing or having an upper respiratory infection • Use of nasal spray or a blood-thinning drug, such as aspirin • Inhaling air that is extremely dry or cold • Having recent surgery on the nose or elsewhere on the face • Breaking the nose or a similar injury • Uncontrolled blood pressure Bleeding can be controlled by direct pressure i.e. compression of the nostrils rasping the alae distally so all mucosal surfaces are opposed. Direct pressure should be applied continuously for at least five minutes, and for up to 20 minutes. The patient should be encouraged not to check for active bleeding. Patients who are properly instructed may control their bleeding while the evaluation gets underway. Other maneuvers include bending forward at the waist while sitting up (to avoid swallowing blood), placing a plug of cotton wool or gauze into the bleeding nostril (sometimes coated with antibiotic ointment), expectorating out blood that accumulates in the pharynx and a cold compress applied to the bridge of the nose. These maneuvers also should be taught to high-risk patients for use at home. Many ENT specialists recommend initial treatment with two puffs of oxymetazoline to hasten hemostasis.

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‘Dharmasaya Dharata’ which means religion is what we practice. Hence, whatever the wise thought was good for health and hygiene has been enforced in the garb of religion. Several religious practices are in reality linked with health and the use of kush grass is no exception. No traditional Hindu Indian pooja ritual is complete without the use of Durva (Doob) and Kush grasses. Durva grass is used for Ganesh pooja and signifies the removal of obstacles from life. The peculiarity of Durva grass is that if you plant it in one area it will proliferate by itself and spread out in a wide area. This implies that a human family should be like the Durva grass, having spontaneous, effortless and obstacle-less growth. The second herb, which is used in pooja, is the kush grass, known for its purity. In Ramayana, Valmiki named Sita’s two sons Luv and Kush. At the time of birth, Valmiki took a blade of kush grass and broke it into two and he named Sita’s first son Kush and other Luv. Kush is a benevolent grass, a symbol of progress and alertness. It is a satvik plant and stands for intelligence. The term ‘kushal buddhi’ originates from the word kush meaning alert, pure and bright mind. In Bhagwad Gita (shloka 6.10), Lord Krishna says that for meditation one should sit on his or her own firm seat that is neither too high nor too low; covered with sacred Kush grass; deer skin and a cloth, one over the other, in a clean area. Kush grass is used to make asanas (a mat for sitting) for worshipping and during yagnas. It is also used in the making of vedi during marriages. The Garuda Purana has described rituals for a Panchak death. It says when the death of a close relative takes place during the period of Panchak, within one year, five family members may die if proper post–death rituals are not observed. These involve the placement of four small ‘dolls’ made of Kush grass (described as the hair of Lord Vishnu) on shoulders and knees of the dead body before cremation. This is accompanied by the chanting of mantras. Garuda Purana also talks about the cremation of a person whose body has not been found as in natural calamities, bomb blasts, drowning, etc. It prescribes that under such circumstances, an effigy of Kush grass should be made to represent the physical body of the deceased and the usual rituals of cremation should be followed. Medically too, this representative cremation is therapeutic as it helps to alleviate sorrow and reduce post traumatic stress disorders in the concerned family members. Sankalp, a firm intent to do something, is a routine ritual in one’s life. When one takes a sankalp to do something, it becomes obligatory for him or her to do it. It is like taking a vow. Kush grass is often held in the hands before taking a sankalp. In Ayurveda, the Kush grass is called Desmostactya bipinnata. It is a clean, pure and brittle grass that grows in abundance in the plains and hills of India. It is acrid, cooling, oleaginous, aphrodisiac, and diuretic and has been known for its use in the treatment of blood disorders, asthma, thirst, jaundice, stone in the urinary bladder, disease of skin, uterus, etc. Traditional Chattisgarh, known for herbal medicines, uses the medicinal properties of Kush grass in many herbal ingredients. Kush sharbat, made from Kush roots, is a routine drink in that area. The traditional healers of Chattisgarh use this preparation for women patients for gynecological disorders. A mala or garland made from the roots of Kush grass is also used for sacred and virtuous activities. Most Hindu believes that Lord Vishnu resides in stone (Shaligram), tulsi plant, peepal tree and kush grass. Every ritual has a significance for health. Whatever is offered to God can be taken in the body for the well–being of the soul. Kush grass root/leaf juice should be consumed by everybody as a health drink. At least it should be offered in the form of a charnamrut whenever a ritual is being performed. The Kush grass has medicinal effects and helps to increase the alertness in the body and in detoxification of the body.

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Using effervescent, dispersible or soluble drugs on a regular basis leads to greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events. Regular use of prescribed effervescent and other sodium-containing drugs have a 16% greater risk for nonfatal stroke, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) and vascular death compared with regular users of low or no-sodium versions of the same drug as per a study reported in the BMJ by Dr Jacob George, at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Taking the maximum daily dose of drugs like effervescent aspirin or acetaminophen may exceed the recommended daily limit of sodium. Effervescent paracetamol 500 mg can contain 18.6 mmol of sodium in each tablet. Sodium-loaded effervescent, soluble or dispersible tablets should be avoided in patients at risk of hypertension. Current US guidelines recommend that people at low risk for CVD events limit their sodium intake to no more than 2,300 mg (1 teaspoon or 100 mmol/L) per day. Certain populations, including people over 50, African Americans, diabetics, and people with high blood pressure or chronic kidney disease, should limit their daily sodium intake to 1,500 mg. American Heart Association recommends intake of less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day for everyone. World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations call for limiting daily sodium intake to no more than 2,000 mg per day.

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