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Dr K K Aggarwal

Everyday noise exposure over time has an impact upon our ability to hear and on the degree of hearing loss that develops. Constant exposure to loud noise can cause high frequency sensory neural hearing loss.

Noise pollution causes direct mechanical damage to cochlear inner ear structure.

The international guidelines for noise exposure are defined – people who are continuously exposed to a noise level of greater than 85 dB must be under hearing conservation programme and should be provided hearing protection.

An exposure of 90 dB (which is equivalent to the noise made by a power lawn mower or passing motorcycle) is allowed for 8 hours, 95 dB for 4 hours, 100 dB only for 2 hours, 105 dB ( power mower) for one hour and 130 dB for (live rock music) 20 minutes.

Listening to music at 110 to 120 decibels damage hearing in less than an hour and a half.

A short blast of loud noise can cause severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss, pain, or hyperacusis (pain associated with loud noise). This usually involves exposure to noise greater than 120 to 155 dB.

Hearing protection in the form of muffs or plugs is highly recommended anytime a person is exposed to loud noise.

The manufacture and sale of fire crackers generating a noise level of more than 125 dB at 4 meters distance from the point of bursting are prohibited.

Most unregulated large bombs can produce a noise of more than 125 dB.

A normal conversation is about 60 dB.

Many personal stereo systems at maximum level are over 100 dB.  Rock concerts and firecrackers can be 140 dB and higher. Noise levels need to reach 120 dB to 140 dB to become uncomfortable or painful.

1.     Diwali is time to renew your fire insurance as on this day there are maximum episodes of fire in the community. It’s also the time to check that the fire extinguishers at home are totally filled and are ready for use.

2.     It is also the time to keep the phone number of your GP on Diwali day.

3.     One should avoid wearing cloths which are amenable to fire on this day.

4.     Superficial burn is usually painful and deep burn is usually not painful.

5.     Absence of pain is a bad sign as it indicates death of tissue.

6.     If there is a fire burn, one should pour continuous water on the burn area till the burning disappears.

7.     The burn wound bleb should not be punctured as it works like a natural dressing.

8.     Any simple antiseptic can be applied on the burn area.

9.     Burning and pain is a good sign as it indicates presence of alive tissues.

10.   Moderate to severe burn patients requires immediate medical attention.

11.   Keep enough water stored in your house for use if unfortunate fire takes place. Also keep few buckets of sand ready at home.

12.   Make sure that you do not light Diwali diyas near any wooden structure.

13.   Keep windows of your room closed to disallow any burning rocket fire from entering your room.

14.   Similarly, keep windows of your cars closed on the day of Diwali.

While mythological studies knit stories of the Almighty’s existence, the fact remains that human being is bestowed with the untainted potential of recognizing heavenly facets in his own self.

 Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati is likewise the name given to the harmonious Aacharan or characteristic disposition of man. Remembered and ritually worshiped before starting a new venture, the entity of Ganesha has in store the facets of a complete man.

The magnanimous head of the Ganesha, which is that of an elephant, represents wisdom, intelligence and a healthy mind capable of making sound decisions.  Not in vain is it said that ‘think before you speak’, which implies Ganesha’s huge head, that is identified with the need for a thoughtful and retrospective attitude.

The big ears of this elephant-deity instills among the earthly man the patient channel of lending ears to the echo produced by others’ deeds and speech. It is said that half the dispute is resolved when an ear is lend most patiently.

 Ganesha or the Ganapati’s extremely small mouth characteristically represents the need for a limited dialogue and the vanity of chattering. Over-expression through words triggers unsought problems many a times which otherwise could be avoided by a tight-lip.

Ganesha also represents the guru of stress affected individuals. Shiva’s most promising son, Ganesha, by virtue of his small eyes, highlights the need of a focused outlook in life.  Such an outlook not only redefines and foresees the right goals, but also relieves one from the stress-manifested episodes from the various chapters of life.

The long trunk identifies with the power of discrimination.  The sensitivity of the Ganesha long nose has the strength to uproot a tree and the competency of picking up a pin from the ground.  Such should be the approach of an individual who should be capable enough to perceive the good and the bad for himself besides the undaunted strength of overcoming all odds.

The tusks and the small teeth of Ganesha should however, be recollected with the loss and gains in the life of a man. Man similarly ought to engrave his mental stature in such a manner that the ups and downs may not deter him from his honest endeavor and the balance of inevitable bliss and sorrow is maintained to add spice in the earthly existences. This stable healthy mental stature is only possible if the physical, social, spiritual and environmental requirements of the body are fulfilled. For the needful, individuals need to be bestowed upon a complete mental and physical health.

Further the big tummy of Ganapati Deva preaches the need for retaining information.  Acquiring knowledge, utilizing it and retaining it for years to come, becomes the crux of ‘big-belly commandment’.

 The Char-Bhuja Dhari Ganesha, further represents strength by virtue of the four hands in which the Lord entraps his attachments, desires and greed.  Two of the arms of Ganesha, which hold rope, symbolize control over the attachments.  The laddo or sweet in the other two shows command over the desires and earthly delusion.  The mouse sitting near the feet of Ganesha represents greed and gluttony upon which the Almighty rides, propagating a control over the evils.

Ganesha’s physical traits are an assembly of the characteristics most required in an individual of substance.  Disposition incarnated with the goodness of such features will result in success in life and will positively procure an ailment-free survival.

 Specifically for executives, Ganesha’s characteristic principles may be incorporated in a time-table format which will help in the dawn of a conformable work-atmosphere along with congenial relationship between the management and the union of workers. Deciding the first day of the week to hear all grievance and woes of the workers, the second for thinking and planning strategies to work upon and finally setting targets to be achieved may utilize three days of the week very constructively. Further a day devoted to evaluating losses and gains (Ganesha’s teeth principle) may help additionally in business management. Retaining the information and filing all the pending work can affirmatively call upon the fifth day of the week, which works entirely on the principle of Ganesha’s tummy, which is massive by the virtue of holding tremendous loads of information.  Contemplation, discrimination and judging the good and the bad for the entire unit may take another day, leaving the Sunday for self-retrospection through meditation and yoga. One should strive and adopt Ganpati Bappa Maurya’s principles of life management rather than worshiping him with vanity.  Life has much in store besides bothering about unnecessary qualms. Giving into a disciplined attitude may assuredly dawn upon a peaceful life.  Heaven is where you are, it’s only a matter of perception which makes life as difficult as hell.

Diwali a festival of lights can be hazardous to people.

Candles: With Diwali approaching, one should be careful of candle pollution. Candles made from beeswax or soy, although more expensive, apparently are safer because they do not release potentially harmful pollutants.

However an occasional paraffin candle and its emissions does not harm but lighting many paraffin candles daily or lighting them frequently in an unventilated bathroom around a tub, may cause problems. Pollutants from burning candles can also cause respiratory irritation and allergy. The candles, which are made from petroleum, are a source of known human carcinogens and indoor pollution.

Diwali Sweets: White sugar in sweets can lead to uncontrolled diabetes and gain weight in individuals. Adulterated khoya can cause GI upset. Artificial coloring in sweets can cause cancer in long run. Eating chocolates can add to calories in blood sugar. The best item for Diwali is fruits and dry fruits.

Diwali Fire Hazards: Diwali should not lead to fire with resulted burns and loss to life. In case of burning the effected part should be put in the running water till burning disappears. Blisters should not be punctured, as they work like a natural dressing.

Eye injury- Particle of crackers can cause eye burn. Continuous water should be poured into the effected eye till the burning is over.

Safe dressing- if medicated bandage is not available, one can use a piece of cloth and iron it. It will work like a medicated bandage.

Alcohol Hazards: Diwali is often used as a festival of gambling and alcohol drink. One should not drive after consuming more than 30 ml in one hour. While gambling one should not argue with others as someone under the influence of alcohol may cause harm.

Diwali Pollution: Patients with COPD (Adult Asthma) may worsen in Diwali festival and they should use wet clothes whenever they are exposed to smoke.

Noise Pollution: Excessive noise pollution during Diwali day can cause hearing loss. One should wear ear plugs to avoid noise related ear injury. Noise pollution can also cause high blood pressure and mental irritation.

Many of us know the story of ‘Sagar Manthan’ or the churning of the ocean. The story goes like this.

Once Indra lost his kingdom due to the disrespect he showed to sage Durvasa. He approached Lord Vishnu who advised him to seek the help of the demons to churn the ocean of milk (Ksheer Sagar), so that he and Devas could partake the Amrita (ambrosia) which would make them immortal and help them regain their lost kingdom.

As per his advice, Devas approached the demons, and they all agreed in the end to churn the ocean of milk. They sought the help of mount ‘Mandhara’ and the great snake ‘Vasuki’ for this purpose. Vasuki, the snake god, was used as the rope and Mandhara, the mountain, as the churning stick to churn the ocean. While they were churning the great ocean, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a tortoise and held the Mandhara from sinking. While the churning was going on, several wonderful objects came out of the ocean.

The first to come out was ‘Halahal’, the deadly poison, which threatened to engulf the world and destroy it. When no one was willing to accept the poison, Lord Shiva came forward to accept it. He swallowed it and Parvati who was standing beside him, pressed his neck as he swallowed it and thus, prevented it from going into his stomach. Thus the poison remained struck there forever in his neck, neither going up into his mind nor going down into his stomach.
Then came Kamadhenu (the wish-fulfilling cow), the Ucchaisrava (the white horse), Airavata (the white elephant), Kaustubhamani (a rare diamond), Kalpavriksha (the wish-fulfilling tree), Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth), Sura or Varuni (the goddess of wine), and finally Dhanvantari (the divine physician) with the vessel of Amrita in his skilful hands. These objects, except the last one, were divided between Devas and the demons.

The nectar of immortality was, of course, finally denied to the demons and was distributed among Devas only, through a fine piece of trickery enacted by Lord Vishnu. He assumed the form of Mohini to delude the demons and make them temporarily forget all about the ‘Amrit’, while he went on distributing it among the gods who took it. Because of the effects of ‘Amrit’, they not only became immortal but also defeated the demons summarily. But two of the Daityas (demons) managed to partake of the Amrit. And they both became immortal. Therefore, the strife between good and evil continues to this day.

Spiritual Symbolism
The story represents the spiritual endeavor of man for achieving immortality and inner happiness through concentration of mind, withdrawal of senses, control of desires and practice of austerities and asceticism.
1 The Devas represent the pleasure principle in us. They also represent the senses.
2. The Demons represent the pain principle and the negative thoughts and impulses.
3. Indra represents the Intellect, which can become egoistic.
4. Ksheer Sagar or the ocean of milk is the mind or the human consciousness. The mind is always compared to an ocean (mano sagaram) while the thoughts and emotions to the waves.
5. Mandhara, the mountain stands for concentration. The word “mandhara” contains two words “man” (mind) and “dhara” (a single line) which means ‘holding the mind in one line’. This is possible only during mental concentration. The mountain Mandhara was upheld by Lord Vishnu as a tortoise.
6. The tortoise stands for the withdrawal of the senses into oneself as one practices mental concentration and meditation or contemplation. It also suggests that the mind should rest upon itself or freely surrender itself to the divine will.
7. The participation of both Devas and the demons signify the fact that when one is seeking immortality through the spiritual practice, one has to integrate and harmonize both the positive and negative aspects of one’s personality and put both the energies for the common goal.
8. The great serpent Vasuki stands for desire. The desire is always compared to a thousand hooded serpents.
9. Halahal represents the turmoil of mind one suffers in the initial phase of meditation
10. The celestial gems represent the spiritual powers or the Siddhis one can attain during meditation
11. ‘Amrit’ or nectar represents the inner happiness
12. Immortality represents Moksha.

The story represents the need for doing meditation (churning of the mind in the ocean) to gain control over ego, which takes over when the mind and intellect (Indra) lose their track.

The process involves intention to do the meditation (Devas approach the Vishnu or the consciousness who in turn advises to do the manthan) and attention (focus, concentration) on the object of concentration (God or consciousness and here the tortoise). The process involves concentrating on a mantra or the breath continuously and giving preferences to the object of concentration over the thoughts. Meditation is incomplete without withdrawing the senses (tortoise). By yoga sutras of patanjali it is called ‘pratihara’ by creating a spiritual atmosphere. The contemplation or the continuing concentration is a must (mandhara).

Meditation is the process of slipping in the silent gaps between the thoughts. Negative thoughts are the Asuras, the devils or the demons. Meditation involves bypassing the thought and needs both the positive and the negative thoughts to cooperate with each other like in a rope.

While meditating, one is bound to be affected by a chain or rope of desires (Vasuki). The same needs to be tightened up caught firmly by the thoughts, and ignored by giving preference to the object of concentration, the self (the tortoise). When in difficulty, every one has to take the help of God (in the form of Mohini).

To summarize, the Vasuki used in the churning of the ocean denotes that Devas and the demons held desire (to seek immortality) as a rope and churned the mind with the help of concentration and withdrawal of the senses. You can hold the desire in your hands and manipulate it only when you have control over your desires.

In the initial phase of meditation or intense churning by opposite forces, one is affected by turmoil of the mind. Most people who start meditation leave it in this phase only, as they cannot bear this turmoil and get agitated or disturbed. That is one reason it is said that one should learn meditation under the guidance of a teacher, doctor or a guru.

The Halahal represents this suffering and pain one undergoes at the beginning of spiritual Sadhna. The problems get intensified because of inner conflicts, when one part yearns to pursue the spiritual path (Devas) while the other opposes it (demons). In short, ‘Halahal’ is the instability of the body and the mind that arises as a counter-reaction against one’s spiritual practice.

One can compare this to the release of the mental toxins comparable to the physical toxins which gets released when we rest and after a daylong rest complain of leg pains.

The mental turmoil representing all kinds of reactions, negative thoughts, desires and impulses associated with some degree of physical turmoil (body movements, flickering and tingling) need to be tackled here to complete the process of meditation.

One cannot take out these negative thoughts in the open nor can one keep it in (you can not throw the Halahal out or swallow it). It needs to be managed or ignored by keeping it in the throat which is what was done by Shiva. Shiva here represents the ascetic principle (leading a life of self-discipline and self-denial).

It also means that another mode of controlling the turmoil is by controlling the breath. Shiva is the controller of breath and is called a ‘prananath, or praneshwar’ – The Lord of Breath. In meditation, it is essential that one gains complete mastery over one’s breathing pattern. Most sages hold their breath in their throat, near the palate, as they meditate to control this turmoil of mind.

The various objects that came out of the ocean during the churning stand for the psychic or spiritual powers (siddhis) which one gains as one progresses spiritually from stage to stage.

These siddhis are spiritual powers, which come to a seeker as he progresses on the spiritual path. We are told that a seeker should be careful about these powers as they can hamper his progress unless he uses them judiciously – not for his selfish gains but for others’ welfare. This is the reason why the gods and demons distributed these powers among others without keeping anything for themselves as they did not want to lose sight of their original aim, which was to gain immortality (inner happiness).

Dhanvantari stands for health. The vessel containing the Amrit was brought before the gods and the demons by Dhanvantari, the divine physician. This signifies that immortality can be achieved only when the body and the mind are in a perfect state of health.

Lord Dhanvantari is worshipped on Dhanteras, 2 days before Diwali as the lord of Ayurveda. He has four hands with herbal medicines, Ayurveda book, Amrit kalash and a Shankh in each arm. It defines the principles of treatments (herbal drugs for the physical body, pranayama and mantras represented by Shankha for the mind, rasayanas for spiritual health represented by the kalash and prevention by understating the knowledge of true self by reading the Ayurveda.

These spiritual powers are the ones which one can attain while doing basic and advanced meditation and includes the capacity to fulfill desires, to give boons to others, to acquire health, wealth etc. Meditation is not possible in case of a person who is mentally or physically sick or whose gross body is not fit for receiving meditation benefits.

Lord Vishnu in the form of Mohini stands for ‘delusion of the mind’ in the form of pride. It is the pride of achievement to which the Asuras or the demons succumbed and thus, lost their right to enter into the world of immortality. Pride and egoism are the final hurdles one has to overcome in spiritual life before being able to experience self-realization.

Dhanteras is also observed in worshipping Lord Yama: the god of death. On this day the “Owl” form of Goddess Laxmi is worshiped. When the Gods and demons churned the ocean for Amrita or nectar, Dhanvantari also emerged carrying a jar of the elixir (wealth of wisdom) on this day.

The Story of win over the Yama goes like this. “Once as per the horoscope, 16 year old son of King Hima was doomed to die of a snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage. On the 4th day his wife did not allow him to sleep, laid gold ornaments and lots of silver coins in a big heap at the entrance and lighted innumerable lamps all over the place and went on telling stories and singing songs. When Yama, arrived there in the guise of a serpent his eyes got blinded by the dazzle of those brilliant lights and he could not enter the Prince’s chamber. So he climbed on top of the heap of ornaments and coins and sat there the whole night listening to the melodious songs. In the morning he quietly went away. The wife saved her husband from the clutches of death. Since then this day of Dhanteras came to be known as the day of “Yamadeepdaan” and lamps are kept burning throughout the night in reverential adoration to Yama, the god of Death.

The story has a lot of spiritual significance. It indicates that with continuous positive thoughts one can win over the death. Lights here means a illuminate positive atmosphere and silver cum gold means continuous positive thoughts.

There was a time in the past when the terminal patients were kept in open sunny well illuminated sanatoriums.

In Bhagavad Gita in Shloka 8.24 also Krishna talks about the importance of positive thoughts at the time of death. “agnir jyotir ahah suklah, shan-masa uttarayanam, tatra prayata gacchanti, brahma brahma-vido janah”.

He said that people attain salvation if they leave the body in Uttarayana, during the fortnight before full moon, in day light, near fire, at an auspicious moment of the day. These are all situations and times with positive state of the mind. Salvation here means either getting liberation from the cycle of death and birth or the revival from a terminal sickness.

Dhanteras is the only day in a year when we are talking about spontaneous positive thoughts day before new moon (Amavasya) and that is the benefit we get of Navratre and then subsequent fasts of Sharad Purnima, Karvachauth, Ahoi Ashtami and Dhanteras.

  • A re-examination of The Women’s Health Initiative Calcium/Vitamin D Supplementation (WHI CaD) has shown a modest increase in risk of heart attack and paralysis for those taking calcium supplements, with or without vitamin D. The study originally found no risk associated with the supplements after studying more than 36,000 patients over seven years.
  • The study analyzed data from 16,718 women who were not taking calcium supplements at the start of the trial and found that those allocated to combined calcium and vitamin D supplements were at an increased risk of heart attack. By contrast, who were taking calcium supplements before entering the trial, combined calcium and vitamin D supplements did not alter their cardiovascular risk.
  • There was no relation between the dose of the supplements and heart attack. The abrupt change in blood calcium levels after taking a supplement causes the adverse effect, rather than it being related to the total amount of calcium consumed.
  • The increase in serum calcium concentrations from calcium supplements influences vascular calcification by altering regulators of calcification such as fetuin A, pyrophosphate, and bone morphogenic protein-7, or by directly binding to the calcium-sensing receptor that is expressed on vascular smooth muscle cell.
  • The size of this increase in risk is about 25% to 30% for heart attack and 15% to 20% for paralysis but, because of the widespread use of calcium supplements either alone or with vitamin D, even small increases in cardiovascular disease incidence may translate to a substantial population burden of disease, particularly in older age groups.
  • Treating 1,000 patients with calcium or calcium and vitamin D for five years would cause an additional six myocardial infarctions or strokes and prevent only three fractures.

Source: MedpgeToday

“Yogastha kuru karmani sangang tyaktva Dhananjaya 

Sidhyasidhyoh samo bhutva samatvang yoga uchyate”
……..
2/48 Bhagwad Gita

(Be steady in yoga, Arjuna, and do whatever you must do; give up attachment, be indifferent to failure and success, and this stability is yoga).

The essence of Bhagavad Gita can be summarized in one Shloka (Chapter 2.48) where Krishna says to Arjuna “Yogastha Kuru Karmani” which means ‘concentrate on actions’ (do all actions while remaining in yoga). He further says that one should take success and failure in the same stride. (Yogastha: = steadfast in yoga, Kuru = perform, karmaani = duties or action).

Concentration on action means concentration on the present. While concentrating on the present, one cannot be in the past or in the future, and the past regrets and future anxieties cannot make one suffer. Once one is in the present moment, one can only take consciousness-based decisions.

Krishna says “do your best and leave the rest”. One should be attached to actions and de-attached to its results.  He compared this to the lotus leaves where a drop of water gives the impression of a pearl but once the drop falls of, the leaf is completely dry as if nothing was there.

The so called de-attached attachment is the philosophy, and the mantra to do it is “Yogastha Kuru Karmani”. One can only practice de-attached attachment by concentrating on the present or living in the present moment awareness.

One should start practicing this for few minutes a day, say for e.g., one can start with eating awareness. The practical teaching is that while eating one should have all five senses focused on eating. One should enjoy the sight, touch, smell and taste of the food and concentrate on the sound it produces while chewing. Eating in awareness reduces one’s weight as one cannot overeat while concentrating on it.

Smoking “in awareness” similarly can help in de-addiction. It is said that during smoking, the mind is not on smoking, but somewhere else. If one starts concentrating on smoking by making all the five senses experience the act of smoking one is surely going to dislike it.

Similarly when one concentrates on relaxation, it is called body-mind relaxation (shavasana). It is the deeper state of relaxation, which has healing properties.

Meditation is nothing but one-point concentration on the present which can be learnt by concentrating on breathing, sound or on an object (external or internal).

There is no safe duration for NSAID pain killers use in patients with a history of heart attack according to an analysis of data from more than 83,000 patients and published in Circulation, Journal of the American Heart Association. Use of NSAIDs after heart attack increased the relative risk of death or second heart attack by as much as 45%.

NSAID treatment was associated with a statistically significantly increased risk of death at the beginning of the treatment, and the risk persisted throughout the course of treatment. We must limit NSAID use to the absolute minimum in patients with established cardiovascular disease.

  • All NSAIDs increased risk of death or recurrent heart attack by 45% after a week.
  • Naproxen increase the risk of death or recurrent heat attack by 76% after a week but for treatments lasting 30 to 90 days the risk increased risk was 15%
  • Ibuprofen had the lowest initial risk, just a 4% increase for treatments lasting seven days or less

When you see real as unreal or unreal as real medically it is called as illusion. In illusion once you are told about the reality you correct yourself. On the other hand in delusion though one is also away from the reality but stays in that without correcting oneself.

For example a person by mistake thinks a snake as a rope. A psychotic will persist that it is a rope and not snake but the person in illusion will immediate correct himself once he goes near by and actually sees a snake.

Delusion is a disease and hallmark of schizophrenia and psychosis. Illusion is normal phenomenon and quite often-used in mental counseling.  The natural examples of illusion are mirage in a dessert (water illusion); movies are interpreted as one in motion though they are nothing but the continuity of pictures (the illusion of motion) and the story of Tulsidas in Indian history where he mistook a snake as a rope.

Most architects use illusion phenomenon to make the newly build houses look big. This phenomenon is classically understood by the example of four identical lines with two moving inwards and two outwards.

I recently visited two hospitals undergoing construction and renovation work. The first hospital started its renovation from the lobby and made it look like a seven star but all other interior work was less than three stars.  They created an outside illusion of the mind giving a feeling that the whole hospital was having a seven star structure.

The other hospital started their renovation from inside keeping the lobby for renovation at the last. At the first instance from the lobby or at the entrance it looked like a C-grade hospital though actually it had all five star facilities and infrastructure in the newly build areas. The public impression is influenced by the unreal. When it comes to infrastructure the first impression is always the best impression.

The ideal thing is that one should be the same from outside or inside but the process of illusion uses the principle where if one looks look good from outside it seems that one is also good from inside.

The role of plastic surgeons is to make one look good from outside. But the plastic surgeon will never be able to change the inside look of a person which depends upon the mind and soul of the person.

The classical example of this in Vedic science is that of Rishi Ashtavakra who wrote Ashtavakra Gita, a narration of his teachings to Raja Janak. Ashtavarka had eight body curves and looked horrible from physical point of view but had deep knowledge of the subject.  When Durbari of Raja Janak laughed at him and Raja Janak also smiled at him he told Raja Janak that by mistake he has come to a country of chamars where people assess others only by looking at their skin and not the intellect, mind and soul present inside the body.

In hotel industry also the technique of illusion is used by creating seven star lobbies and bathrooms but if you really want to judge the status of a hotel go and see the kitchen and you will be able to decide whether it is a three or a five star hotel.

Not to get influenced by the illusions of the life one should start seeing others from the eyes of the mind and the soul and not from the two physicals eyes.

1. Caffeine is consumed in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and small amounts in chocolate.

2. It is the most widely used pharmacologically active substance in the world.

3. Caffeine can acutely raise blood pressure by 10 mmHg in patients who are infrequently exposed.

4. There is no effect on blood pressure in habitual coffee drinkers

5. It does not increase the risk of incident hypertension.

6.There is no evidence that caffeine in doses used in routine can provoke a spontaneous arrhythmia in individuals with or without a history of cardiac arrhythmia. There is no protective effect of caffeine abstinence also. In heart patients with coronary disease, the risk may be increased in individuals who are slow metabolizers of caffeine and drink two or more cups of coffee per day.

7. Ingestion of large quantities of caffeine is associated with arrhythmic and cardiovascular events, especially in patients with underlying cardiac disease.

8. Patients with a history of cardiac arrhythmia or at increased risk for cardiovascular events should moderate their caffeine intake from all sources.

9. Consumption of caffeinated beverages is associated with some short-term benefits like increased mental alertness and improved athletic performance.

10. Consumption of caffeinated beverages is associated with short term adverse effects including headache, anxiety, tremors, and insomnia.

11. In the long term, caffeine is also associated with generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and substance abuse disorders.

12. Long term benefits of caffeinated beverages are dose-dependent. Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, alcoholic cirrhosis, and gout.

13. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

14. Several studies have linked coffee consumption with prevalence of various cancers.

15. The majority of studies show there may be a modest inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality.

16. Caffeine withdrawal is a well-documented clinical syndrome with headache being the most common symptom.

[Source Uptodate]

There are three main Vedanta schools of thoughts: Dualistic or Dvaita, Qualified Monism or vishistha Advaita, and Advaita Vedanta or Absolute monism.

All these perceptions are true. All expound the relationship between the individual Jiva (soul), this world or nature (Jagat), and the Ruler of the universe or God (Spirit or Brahman).

Dualism, mainly propounded by Madhvacharya (1199-1278), maintains that the individual soul and the Spirit (supreme soul) are different and there cannot be unity between the two. Spirit is the Ruler of this universe and is creator, sustainer, and the destroyer. Mostly, the path of dualism is path of Bhakti Yoga.

Qualified monism of Ramanujacharya (1040-1137) differs from dualistic thought on the ground that whatever we see or perceive is, in fact, God and nothing else. The universe includes the nature and ourselves. Thus Soul, Jagat, and Spirit are one. Just as individual being has a body and a soul, so also this God has universe as the body and He is the soul of all souls. We are one of the cells of the universe.

Advaita Vedanta: Advaita literally means “not two”. This is the highest concept as realized by Adi Shankacharya (788-820). Advaita Vedanta maintains that the Highest Reality or Existence or Truth cannot be two, but must be one. It has to be all pervading, only One, and Infinite.

Many scholars have talked about this philosophy

1.  That the soul exists is the main gist of Upanishads. According to Sri Sankaracharya one can sum up the entire message of Vedanta in three crisp aphorisms. Brahma Satyam, Jagat Mithya (there is only one truth and that is Brahman or the spirit) “Jivo Brahmaiva naparah” means that every jiva – the apparent limited and finite entity is actually the infinite and limitless Brahman, and nothing else. Every Jiva is basically God himself with his limited identity.

2.  One of the two Hindu principles that symbolize the outcome of freedom of thought was conceptualized four thousand years back by some unnamed rishis in Rig-Veda as, “The Universal Reality is the same, but different people can call it by different names” (Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vadanti). The other one is “This world is one family” (Vasudaiva Kutumbakam)

3. “Om Poornamadah Poornamidam
Poornaat Poornamudachyate
Poornasya Poornamaadaaya
Poornameva Avasihyate

The whole is whole; if you take away the whole away from the whole the whole still remain. (That is infinite, this is infinite. From the infinite, the infinite has come out. Having taken the infinite out of the infinite, the infinite alone remains. In Vedanta ‘That” represents super consciousness, the God or the Brahman and “THIS” the visible universe.

One may ask that if the Whole is divided into parts, how can the individual part be taken as the Whole. Advaita Vedanta maintains that there is only one Reality as Absolute Consciousness. Out of ignorance we perceive this One Reality as multifarious. This cosmic ignorance is called Maya.

 4. There are 3 stages of spiritual life: Dvaita (dualism); Visishtadhwaitha (Qualified Non dualism); and Advaita (Non-dualism). Man passes through all of these. In the first stage, God and man are separate, and then man realizes he is God but still 2 exist. For if he says, I am God (that means there are 2, he and God). Only in the advanced stage of realization does man say, There is no ‘I’ and only God. Here he claims God and I are one and all traces of ego (self identity) are lost.

Lifetime breast cancer risk below 15 percent
1. Women between the ages of 50 and 70 should be screened with mammography.
2. Information about the risk of breast cancer and the benefits and harms of screening should be reviewed.
3. Discussion of the risks and benefits of mammography between women age 40 to 50 and their clinician. Mammography decision should be determined by individual patient risk and values through shared decision making.
4. Women over the age of 70 are screened with mammography if their life expectancy is at least 10 years.
5. Screening mammography should be done every one to two years.
6. Women being screened for breast cancer also undergo clinical breast examination.
7. Breast self-examination (BSE) should only be performed as an adjunct to mammography and clinical breast examination, not as a substitute for these screening methods.

Lifetime breast cancer risk 20-25 percent or higher
1. Women at high risk for breast cancer (lifetime risk ≥20 to 25 percent) should be referred for genetic counseling, to determine the likelihood of a BRCA mutation and to decide on management options
2. For women with a lifetime risk of breast cancer ≥ 20 to 25 percent (mutation carriers and others) who choose intensified surveillance for breast cancer, one should go for annual mammography and MRI, as well as clinical breast examinations every three to six months, and monthly breast self examinations.
3. Screening be initiated at age 25 for these women.

Mild to moderately increased lifetime breast cancer risk (15 percent or greater and less than 20 to 25 percent)
Women with mild to moderately increased breast cancer risk follow the recommendations for women at average risk.

(Risk score at http://www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool/)

Two Hindu principles that symbolize the outcome of freedom of thought were conceptualized four thousand years back by unnamed Rishis in Rig-Veda which says, “This world is one family” (Vasudaiva Kutumbakam) and that “The Universal Reality is the same, but different people can call it by different names” (Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vadanti).

In these two statements made in ancient Hindu India, we see the seeds of globalization and freedom of thought.

Most religions teach belief in One God. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are, in fact, Semitic religions essentially speaking of One God. Even Hinduism that talks of many gods, in its highest form speaks only of One God.

This was defined in the Sanskrit verse in the Rig Veda: “Ekam Sat vipra bahuda vadanti” (The Truth is One, but scholars call it by many names.)

“Vasudaiva Kutumbakam” defines that you and me are not different from each other and we are the part of the same web of life. The same spirit is shared by you and me and we are just the two sides of the same coin. And hence, it adds on to say, how can there be any conflict between us?

The truth is one, but is perceived differently because different people are at different levels of evolution in spiritual terms. Everybody perceives it with their level of understanding and perception. For an uneducated village society even an entry of intelligent person in the village will be perceived as of GOD.

Vedanta upholds the reality of this indivisible, immanent and transcendent truth called Spirit. Vedanta denotes one’s identity with the rest of humanity. According to it, there is no stranger in this world. Everyone is related to one another in the kinship of the Spirit. In Vedanta, there is no ‘I’ and ‘for me’; but is ‘ours’ and ‘for us’; and ultimately ‘His’ and ‘for Him’.

If the Vedanta philosophy is rightly followed upon, it will obliterate all evils. It is the science of right living and it is not the sole monopoly of the Hindus. It is for all and it has no quarrel with any religion. It preaches universal principles and Vedanta is the only universal and eternal religion. It is a great leveler and it unites all, giving room to all.

A number of lifestyle changes may reduce breast cancer risk:

1. Minimize the use of postmenopausal hormones. For osteoporosis one should give non-estrogen alternatives like bisphosphonate rather than hormones.

2. Having a first child at an earlier age may decrease risk.

3. Breast feeding for at least 12 months reduces the risk.
4. Avoid adult weight gain

5. Maintain a healthy weight reduces postmenopausal breast cancer risk.

6. Limit alcohol intake.

7. For those who drink, add folic acid to the diet.
8. Regular physical activity.

9. At risk women, the risk can be reduced by 50 percent by taking tamoxifen or raloxifene for five years.

10. The risk of death from breast cancer can be reduced with regular mammography screening.

11. Women with removed ovaries before age 35 are at lower risk of breast cancer. However, removal of the ovaries places women at higher risk for coronary heart disease and osteoporosis, and ovaries removal is not recommended for breast cancer prevention.

12. But women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation may be encouraged to have their ovaries removed.

13. Women with cancer of the uterus, ovary, or colon are more likely to develop breast cancer than women who do not have these cancers.

14. Women of high socioeconomic status are more likely to develop breast cancer.

15. Women who live in urban settings are more likely than women who live in rural settings to develop breast cancer.

16. There may be an association between exposure to light at night (such as with night shift work) and the risk of breast cancer.

17. Black women are more likely than Asian women to develop breast cancer before the age of 40 years, whereas White (non-Hispanic) women are more likely than Asian women to develop breast cancer at the age of 40 years and older.

18. Smoker women are at increased risk of breast cancer.