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Dr K K Aggarwal

The 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. The process of achieving silence is what meditation is.

Observing silence is another way of getting benefits of meditation. Many yogis in the past have recommended and observed silence now and then. Mahatma Gandhi used to spend one day of each week in silence. He believed that abstaining from speaking brought him inner peace and happiness. All such days he used to communicated with others only by writing on paper.

Hindu principles also talks about a correlation between mauna (silence) and shanty (harmony). Mauna Ekadashi is a ritual followed traditionally in our country. On this day the person is not supposed to speak at all and keep complete silence through out day & 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 if not the whole day but for few hours in a day.

Deepak Chopra in his book 7 Laws of Spiritual Success talks in great detail about the importance of observing silence in day today life. He recommends everyone should observe silence for 20 minutes everyday. Silence helps redirecting our imagination towards self from the outer atmosphere. Even Swami Sivananda in his teaches recommend to observe mauna daily for 2 hours for ekadashi, take milk and fruits everyday, study daily one chapter of Bhagwad Gita, do reguarl charity and donate one-tenth of the income in the welfare of the society. Ekadashi is the 11th day of Hindu lunar fortnight. Ekadashi is the day of celebration occurring twice a month, meant for meditation and increasing soul consciousness. Vinoba Bhave was the great sage of our contry who is known for this bhoodaan movement. He was a great advocator and practical preacher of mauna vrata.

Mauna means silence and vrata means bow hence mauna vrata means bow of silence. Mauna was practiced by saints to end enemity and recoup their enemity. 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 consciouns dwells. There is no religious tradition which does not talk about silence. It breaks a out world communication and forces a dialogue towards inner communication that one reason why all prayer, meditation and worship or any other practice whether we attune our mains 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 benefits 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.

Water Hygiene

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Safe water is an essential commodity for prevention of most water and food-borne diseases like diarrhea, typhoid and jaundice. These diseases are 100% preventable. All of them can be lethal if not prevented,diagnosed or treated in time.

Transmission of parasitic infections can also occur with contaminated water. Here are a few tips:

i.      Travelers should avoid consuming tap water.
ii.     Avoid ice made from tap water.
iii.    Avoid any food rinsed in tap water.
iv.     Chlorination kills most bacterial and viral pathogens.
v.      Chlorination does not kill giardia cysts.
vi.     Chlorination does not kill amoeba cysts.
vii.    Chlorination does not kill cryptosporidium.
viii.   Boiled water is safe.
ix.     Treated water is safe.
x.      Bottled water is safe.
xi.     Carbonated drinks, wine and drinks made with boiled water are safe.
xii.    Freezing does not kill the organisms that cause diarrhea. Ice in drinks is not safe unless it has been made from adequately boiled or filtered water.
xiii.   Alcohol does not sterilize water or the ice. Mixed drinks may still be contaminated.
xiv.    Hot tea and coffee are the best alternates to boiled water.
xv.     Bottled drinks should be requested without ice and should be drunk from the bottle with a straw rather than with a glass.
xvi.    Boiling water for 3 minutes followed by cooling to room temperature will kill bacterial parasites.
xvii.   Adding two drops of 5% sodium hydrochloride (bleach) to quarter of water (1 liter) will kill most bacteria in 30 minutes.
xviii.  Adding five drops of tincture of iodine to a quarter of water (1 liter) will kill bacteria within 30 minutes.

Can Prasad cause poisoning?

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Normally, when we attend any spiritual ceremony, we consume Prasad without any fear or taking any precautions as a gift of the God. The devotees feel that Prasad is different from food as after being offered to God or touching the God’s lotus feet, any offered food becomes Prasadam.

In Vedic rituals when we visit a temple the worshipping involves offering flower and sweets and receiving Prasad in turn.

In actual meaning, temple is a place for mental detoxification. When we go to God, we offer our sins, sorrows, guilt etc to God and accept the resultant happiness as a Prasadam.

The contaminated sweet offered to God in all likelihood will remain contaminated and, if consumed, can cause food poisoning. We do see a lot of cases of food poisoning occurring because of Prasadam offered to people from a temple.

Cases of Kuttu flour poisoning are well known in Navratras. There are priests who wash the stone deity with milk and water and offer the same milk and water as Prasadam to people. If pre-washed water and milk were hygienic and safe, there are chances that remain hygienic and safe but if they were contaminated it is unlikely that this contamination will be removed by washing the stone deity.

I personally feel Prasadam mentioned in our ancient era literature means a mental Prasad in the form of inner happiness when you remove your guilt and you end up into a phase of relaxation, satisfaction or inner happiness. That is what I feel Prasadam is. Today, Prasadam made of vanaspati ghee and white sugar, if taken everyday, is going to cause harm in long run.

World No Tobacco Day: Benefits of smoking

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Smoking also has many advantages.

  • Smokers don’t get old (they die in young age).
  • Smokers don’t get second heart attack (first heart attack may be fatal for them).
  • Smoking cures a cancer in six months (most smoking related lung cancers patients die in six months).
  • Wives don’t suspect smokers (smoker husbands often have erectile dysfunction).
  • Thieves don’t enter smoker’s house (most smokers will develop COPD and continue to cough in the night).
  • There is no fight between smoker brothers (smoking treatment is costly and the patient may have to sell his property for the treatment; once there is no property, the chances of any property-related quarrels are zero).


Sewa the best dharma

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Offering help is the best service to the humanity. As per Sikhism, Sewa (unconditional service), Simran (meditation) and Satsang (company of good people) is the trio for acquiring happiness and spiritual health.

In Sikhism, Sewa is the main path for acquiring spiritualism. In Gurudwara, one even offers sewa by cleaning the shoes of others or by cleaning the entry paths to any Gurudwara.

Offering help covers all the paths of being a Satyugi i.e. truthfulness, unconditional hard work, purity of mind and finally, Daya and Daan. When you offer help, you always do it in a positive state of
mind and it involves hard work, mercy and charity.

The five pillars of Jainism are Ahimsa (non-violence in action, speech and thoughts), satya (being synonymous in action, speech and thought), Brahmcharya (disciplined life), Asaseya (non-stealing) and Aparigreha (not storing more than required).

Any offering therefore should be without any reward same in actions, thoughts and speech.

Jainism also prescribes not storing things which are not required and therefore anything more than required can be donated or offered to people in the form of sewa.

All professions which primarily do sewa are given special status in the society. for example, doctors are allowed to prefix ‘Dr.’ in front of their  names and eminent people who offered help to the society are allowed to prefix names like Raja, Deewan, Rai Bahadur, Rotarian, Lion etc.

As per Government policy every PSU has to spend a 2% budget for charity in corporate social responsibility.

Similarly, each one of us should spend 2% of our time, money or assets for charity or community service.

Nursing profession is considered more nobler than medical profession as they provide selfless sewa to the patients.

Binge Eating: New Epidemic of the Society

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Binge eating disorder is a newly recognized condition. People with binge eating disorder frequently eat large amounts of food while feeling a loss of control over their eating.

This disorder is different from binge-purge syndrome (bulimia nervosa) because people with binge eating disorder usually do not purge afterward by vomiting or using laxatives. But most people with serious binge eating problems have:

  • Frequent episodes of eating what others would consider an abnormally large amount of food.
  • Frequent feelings of being unable to control what or how much is being eaten.
  • Several of these behaviors or feelings:
  • Eating much more rapidly than usual.
  • Eating until uncomfortably full.
  • Eating large amounts of food, even when not physically hungry.
  • Eating alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food being eaten.
  • Feelings of disgust, depression, or guilt after overeating.
  • The binges occur at least twice a week for 6 months.

The major complications of binge eating disorder are the diseases that accompany obesity. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, gall bladder disease, heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Out-of-control binge eating is the biggest eating disorder of today more common than anorexia and bulimia combined and contributing to a rise in obesity. Binge eating afflicts 3.5 percent of women and 2 percent of men at some point in their lives.

Binge eating disorder is a little more common in women than in men; three women for every two men have it.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches people how to keep track of their eating and change their unhealthy eating habits. It also teaches them how to change the way they act in tough situations. Interpersonal psychotherapy helps people look at their relationships with friends and family and make changes in problem areas. Drug therapy, such as antidepressants, may be helpful for some people.

Large amounts of food high in carbohydrates and sugars are rapidly consumed in a short period of time. The binge itself may only last fifteen to twenty minutes. Proper levels of serotonin and dopamine aid in impulse. Proteins supplement may reduce the craving.

Binge eating differs from compulsive overeating in that the binge eater enjoys the rush and stimulation of planning the binge.  Compulsive overeaters tend to crave foods high in carbohydrates, sugars, and salt.


Is it necessary to take a dip in Ganga to remove your sins?

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Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswati, the trio sangam in Allahabad is believed to be the holiest place in the country where if one takes a dip one washes his or her past sins.

After death, ashes are also submerged in Ganga water with an assumption that the past sins will be removed.

In Vedic era what was the intention of the rishis and munis while making this ritual?

In mythology, moon represents cool mind andGangarepresents the positive flow of thoughts. And sea turmoil indicates the disturbed state of mind.

Hanuman ki samudra yatra indicate your meditative journey through the flow of thoughts. Samudra manthan represents the journey of the mind during meditation.

Taking a dip can be equated to shifting your mind towards your consciousness which can happen when you introspect in a relaxed state of mind or when you practice meditation. Meditation is defined as a journey from sympathetic and parasympathetic state of mind or a journey from disturbed state of consciousness to undisturbed state of consciousness.

Every time you meditate, you dip into your consciousness and clean your guilt and negative thoughts. It is something like reformatting your hard disk and removing the bad sectors and viruses in your software.

It is, therefore, possible for you to do Ganga snan (bath) at your house in the morning while meditating or during pooja by drifting away from disturbed state of mind to non disturbed relaxed state of mind clearing your guilt and negative thoughts.

Smoking makes you 5 years older

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Men have a greater chance of dying then women, and smoking increases any adult’s risk of death just as if five years were suddenly added to their age.

  • For men who have never smoked, heart disease presents their greatest risk for death at any age, exceeding the odds of dying from lung, colon and prostate cancer combined.
  • Male smokers face a lung cancer risk that is greater than the odds of heart disease taking their lives after age 60, and is tenfold higher than the chance of dying from prostate and colon cancer combined.
  • The chances of dying from heart disease and breast cancer are similar for nonsmoking women until age 60, when heart disease becomes a greater risk.
  • For female smokers, dying from lung cancer or heart disease is more likely than dying from breast cancer after age 40.


Why you remove shoes before entering temple?

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There are etiquettes that when you enter a worship area in all religions, you are required to take off your shoes before you enter any spiritual place. It is better to remove them in your car or a vehicle or give to an authorized shoe keeper otherwise all the time; the shoes will remain in your mind when you are visiting the temple.

The Thai etiquettes involve before you visit a Thai temple, you remove shoes, hats and sun glasses. You also turn off your mobile phones and lower your voice. In our Gurudwaras, you are supposed to remove your shoes and cover your head before you enter the holy place.

A house is also considered a temple, therefore, when you enter your house, you take off your shoes at the gate.

Removing the shoes has both medical and spiritual reasoning. The medical reasoning is that  your shoes invariably carry infections and dirt from outside and can infect both the home and temple atmosphere. It can end up into a disease. In a temple where large number of people visit, it is important to provide a safe and hygienic environment.

Removing shoes also has a spiritual reasoning. In mythology shoes represent your perception towards dirt and dirt in mythology basically means mental dirt. In any Shiv temple, Nandi is always worshipped outside the temple. Nandi represents sexual desires which mean that you should never enter a holy place with sexual desires in. That is the reason why pilgrimage places are never used for honeymoon. Similarly, removing your shoes means that before entering a temple, you take away your negative thoughts. You cannot enter a temple under anger, aggressiveness, cynical behavior or anger or hostile behavior. You are not supposed to abuse inside a temple.

It is said that even if you are angry, the temple atmosphere still makes you calm. Removing your shoes

outside temple means a type of Pratiyahar as mentioned in the Yoga Sutra Patanjali which is start of a new journey by keeping your negative thoughts out and then entering the temple premises with a positive state of mind.

Removing your shoes also makes you bend which also teaches you to remember that to acquire inner happiness, you need to learn to bend first. In a temple, you learn to bend which you do by touching your head on the floor or on the Lotus Feet of the God.

Ideally, you are not only required to remove the shoes but also wash your feet. Washing of feet is essential in Islam which again is both for physical hygiene as well as in Vedic terms washing of feet means removing your mental negativity by starting thinking positive. Here flow of water basically means a continuous flow of positive thoughts. Ganga or any holy water in mythology depicts flow of positive thoughts.

Natural Fast Food is Good for Health

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Natural fast food consists of eating fruits, vegetables, milk products, sprouts and sattu. On the contrary, unnatural fast food, also called as junk food, is bad for the heart’s health as it consists of items like refined ‘bad’ carbohydrates and either animal ‘bad’ fat or trans fats.

Sattu is a grounded roasted powder of soaked pulses and cereals. It is consumed along with fruit slices, gur or milk. Green chili, lemon juice and salt can be added to add flavor.

The commonest form of sattu is grounded roasted black gram or chana. Other common variety is grounded roasted black gram with barley.

Originally, sattu was made of seven Anaja (7 cereals, millets and pulses). The seven ingredients are maize and barley (cereals), black gram, pigeon gram or Arhar, green pea, khesari daal and kulath daal (pulses).

Sattu is a high fiber diet with low sugar producing properties. It is a cooling and refreshing fast food with anti diabetic and anti-obesity properties.

It is a full breakfast, mid day or lunch meal and has minerals and vitamins.

Sattu drink can be sweetened by adding gur or honey, sour by adding lemon and salted by adding black or rock salt. Roasting is one of the best forms of cooking. Sattu is both a fast food and a summer fast soft drink but healthy.

The so-called energy drinks available in the market are harmful as they contain three times the caffeine content of coffee or tea.

Can A Mantra Or Sound Be Used As A Medicine?

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The answer is yes. The difference between a Mantra and a sound is that Mantra sound is an energized sound with medicinal values. There are many aspects of Mantra as a sound:

1.      The type of sound matters. It is a well known that chanting of vowel sounds produces interleukin 2 in the body which has the same action as that of aspirin and works like a natural pain killer.
Chanting of nasal consonants produces delta activity in the EEG and has similar action like tranquilizers. Chanting of other consonants has different actions in the body for example chanting of LUM reduces
fear, VUM reduces attachments, RUM reduces doubt, YUM increases love, HUM increases truthfulness and AUM non-judgmental activities.
2.       Mantra sounds can be vibratory or non-vibratory. Vibratory sounds use nasal consonants and vibrate bones starting from mandible, spine, and the automatic plexus lying along the spine. Chanting of nasal consonants leads to parasympathetic state.
3.       Any Mantra chanting associated with reduced respiratory rate leads to parasympathetic state of the body. Ideal is to reduce the respiratory rate to 4 per minute and then continue it for next 20
minutes that means 80 breathes in 20 minutes. This can be done by chanting for exam-le the whole Gayatri mantra in on respiratory cycle.

4.      How does one chant also matters? The yogic way of chanting is when the mind is in mantra or the chanting. This leads to deeper relaxation.
5.        Whether you chant with the understanding the meaning of the Mantra or not also matters? If you do that the chanting benefits will be more. Foreigners do not understand the meaning of Indian Mantras
but yet they get benefits. But if they chant with understanding the meaning of the Mantra, the health benefits will be more.
6.      Chanting a mantra with its meaning in the mind invokes the power of intention. It’s like getting connected to any search engine on the internet and typing your query. Your consciousness in our body is the internet and the intention the search button.
7.       Chanting a mantra with its meaning in the mind also results in emotions and expressions which have an added advantage.
8.       Overtone chanting has additional benefits. The new sound heals not only those who are chanting but also those who are listening and bystanders.
9.      Group chanting is more powerful. If 1% population chants together, rest 99% also gets the benefits.
10.      One can also do distance healing by chanting at a far distance. The only way one can explain this is by understanding consciousness as an internet cum social site model. In this understanding each one of
us has our page in the internet (soul) as well as a page in the cloud internet (spirit). All our pages are connected with every person in this earth through the cloud internet. People can chant at a distance
and their audio file with intent automatically gets posted on their soul internet and the cloud internet. The person for whom we are prayer chanting gets the benefit whenever he is connected to the cloud
11.     During chanting the mind diverts. Continuously chanting of Mantra for 12 seconds means concentration, 12×12 seconds is contemplation and 144×144 seconds is meditation. So by concentrating on the object of concentration, the mantra, one can avoid diversion of the mind.
12.      The intensity or the loudness of the chanting sound also matter Higher the loudness less will be the effects. Japa meditation involves two hours of Mantra chanting to get the benefit. In a non Japa
meditation, these benefits can be acquired in 20 minutes. Thoughtless chanting is more powerful than verbal Mantra chanting.   Vipasana is chanting without Mantra where you are just aware of the breath and one has to do this type of meditation for hours together to get the benefit.
13.     In Chautha or Teravi (mourning period), we have one hour of sangeet, or chanting of Mantra or prayers. This helps relax the mind, shifts one from sympathetic to parasympathetic mode. In the initial 15 minutes, there is sympathetic over activity and the person is restless.  As the time passes, parasympathetic state takes over and by the time one hour is over, parasympathetic state is at its full blown activity and at that time getting connected to cloud internet is easier.

Full attending for one hour of Chautha ceremony is only for those who are connected to the dead person and want to get distressed. These people have empathy for the diseased person. Those who have sympathy mostly show up before or after the Chautha ceremony to complete their formality.

In Chautha, we say that Bhagwan Uski Aatma Ko Shanti De. God will forgive him only if the soul is under distress which can only happen if there are some non-fulfilled desires and these desires will always
be linked to a particular person. Therefore, only those who have guilt will feel that the diseased person’s soul is not at rest.

In a Chautha ceremony one can only remove this guilt in the parasympathetic phase towards the end of the Chautha ritual and seeks forgive and forgiveness.

14.     In different religions, this has different implications. In Hinduism, we only attend Chautha of whom we know but in Islam people attend the mourning ceremony of people whom they not even know. They believe in mass prayers and pray for the soul of the diseased person. In Islam this mass prayer message gets written on the cloud internet and has mass effect in the community.

In Islam, a person usually says Mein khuda se tumhare liye dua mangunga. It is possible for them as they do Namaz prayer five times in a day and when they ask for Dua for someone they put the intent in the cloud internet which can be retrieved by others.

In Christians, it is different. The dying patients or the relations ask the doctors and others to pray with them and not only for them.

Vaccination for elderly

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The best gift to your grandparents is to get them vaccinated if they have not been vaccinated earlier.

  • Annual influenza or flu vaccine is recommended for all persons aged 6 months and older.
  • Pneumonia vaccine should be given to all adults aged 65 years and older.
  • Tetanus Toxoid should be given to all irrespective of age after every 10 years.
  • A single dose of herpes zoster vaccine is recommended for adults aged 60 years and older regardless whether they have had a previous episode of herpes zoster. The vaccination begins at 60 years of age.
  • Hepatitis B vaccine should be given to all if they have not been vaccinated earlier.
  • All diabetics aged 60 years or older should be vaccinated for hepatitis B. This recommendation is based on increased need for associated blood glucose monitoring in long term care facilities.
  • All patients with chronic liver diseases should also be given the Hepatitis B vaccine.

Have Depression, Encourage Others

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Student says: I am very discouraged. What should I do?
Guru says, “Encourage others”

The above is a classical Buddhist teaching and the same principles are used today in counseling and allopathic psychiatry. Whatever you want in life, give it to other. The more you give, the more you will receive. You will only get respect in life if you learn to give respect.
Remember darkness is absence of light. You can not physically remove darkness. Similarly negative thoughts are absence f positive thoughts. You cannot remove negative thoughts. Only by building positive thoughts you can remove the negative thoughts.
Depression is due to low serotonin levels in the body. They can either be increased by drugs or by counseling. Counseling involves cognitive behavior therapy and positive thinking or positive behavior.

Do not ignore warning signals

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Often people ignore warning signals and do not address them until they fall ill, often with grave consequences. Here are certain rules that you should follow.

  • Never ignore any symptom or sign, which has occurred for the first time, unexplained or unusual.
  • If you run and then get exhausted, this exhaustion is understandable. But if you get up exhausted after hours of rest, this needs to be investigated.
  • The first episode of acidity after the age of 40 can be a heart attack.
  • Acidity usually starts in young age but if it occurs after the age of 40 years, the symptoms may indicate underlying heart disease.
  • You have been getting headaches for years but if the present episode of headache is unusual, severe and unexplained, you need immediate medical attention.
  • It is expected whenever you go to your doctor for a particular disease, they may warn you about the following:
  • Signals for emergent attention mean to call the doctor right away.
  • Symptoms for urgent attention mean to contact the doctor same day.
  • Symptoms for attention mean doctor to be informed in the next visit.
  • One should be able to differentiate emergent from urgent symptoms and signs. Emergency warrants medical attention within minutes.
  • The window period for cardiac arrest is 10 minutes, for heart attack 3 hours, for stroke 3 hours and for stoppage of bleeding 1 hour.

2% versus 10% sugar

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White sugar is a slow poison. In our ancient Indian era, people used to consume either sugarcane juice, jagry or brown sugar (khand). There is no mention of use of refined white sugar. White sugar has high glucose index and is slow poison as over a period of time, it is responsible for high levels of insulin in the blood and subsequently,

insulin resistance.

Traditional soft drinks today have over 10% sugar and sweats have 30-50% sugar. Any sweet has minimum of 30% sugar but if made of chashni (concentrated sugar), the amount of sugar may be upto 50%. WHO recommends 2% of the sugar in oral rehydration solution as treatment of diarrhea and as rehydrating solution. The best way to take a soft drink to dilute it three times with water and soda and make it 2% solution which in a lemonade drink makes it like the ORS.

Both jagry and brown sugar are safe. The classical summer refreshing drinks are lemon, jagry and salt. Similarly, other refreshing drinks are sattu, khas khas, rose petal water etc. which can be made with jagry. Similarly, unripe mango panna or ripe mango shake can also be made using jagry or brown sugar.

A typical Laddu which is offered to God is never made in vanaspati ghee and refined sugar. They used to be made in desi ghee and either unrefined sugar or jagry.

Why Lord Ganesh despite having pot belly obesity ate lots of laddu yet did not suffer from diabetes? If he was offered present day laddu made with refined white sugar, he might have developed diabetes in that era.