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Dr K K Aggarwal

Spiritual prescriptions: Namaskar and Namaste

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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We are virtually nobodies, while the Cosmos is the Ultimate Being

While greeting any one in Hindu culture one takes the name of GOD, the supreme Brahma. It reminds us that we are nothing, everything is GOD.

This traditional greeting of India has a deep spiritual meaning. It signifies non–arrogance or negation of ego.

NAMASKAR is made of three words: NAMAH + OM + KAR

NAMAH means NOT ME. It is a negation of one’s identity and hence of one’s ego or arrogance. It signifies that I am nothing.

OM is the sound of life, the primordial sound of nature. In Vedic language, it signifies soul, the spirit or the GOD.

KAR means shape/form of or manifestation of.

OMKAR therefore signifies manifestation of OM, the UNIVERSE, the cosmos, BRAHMA, SHIVA or GOD. OMKAR is omnipresent and omnipotent.

NAMASKAR therefore indicates that I am nothing while OMKAR is everything. IT also gives respect to the one you say Namaskar. That I am nothing and you are GOD. In Vedantic text we are taught to give respect to atithi (atithi devo bhava).

Try to get angry, when you bow to say namaskar. You cannot, because the body posture does not allow you to do so. For an angry posture you must have expansion of the chest wall and not the flexion of the chest wall.

Other schools of thought

NAMASKAR= NAM + AS + KAR

NAM is the root form of NAMAH and has the same meaning as NAMAH – NOT ME. (I am nothing).

AS means “To Be” or “To Exist” … a word derived from Astitva which means existence.

KAR means doer or one who makes or creates. For example, KAR can be seen in the words Kalakar, Chitrakar, Karmkar, Charmkar. In the above words, the suffix kar leads to the meaning of one who creates work.

ASKAR therefore means the creator of all that exists, the GOD.

Namaskar therefore has the same meaning: I am nothing everything is the GOD.

Other meanings

  • Some people interpret NAMAH as “I Bow to”. Ultimately the deeper meaning remains the same. I bow to GOD. Here you are considering the other person as GOD, which is one of Mahavakyas from Chandogya Upanishad in Sam Veda, “Tat Tvam Asi” (you are that).
  • “I salute the Almighty within you.” The true Namaste gesture is accompanied by bowing the head and shoulders slightly. This is a gesture that lessens our sense of ego and self–centeredness, requiring some humility to do it well. Shaking hands can be quite an arrogant event.
  • It is a sign of respect and peace
  • I bow to God in you; I love you and I respect you, as there is no one like you.”
  • The word ‘Namo’ can be split into ‘Na’ + ‘Mama’ – meaning ‘Not mine’.
  • In Ahirbudnya Samhita, Siva explains the meaning of Namah in three ways:
    • Stula Artha: Gross etymological derivation referring to the inherent nature of the Jeeva as Sesha. Bowing the body is acceptance of the greatness of the one bowed to; when done with the eight angas (limbs), it is ‘Sashtanga’ and is the perfect Namas.
    • Sukshma Artha: Subtle meaning as seen in ‘Nirukta’ when it refers to bowing in thought, word and deed with an understanding of the bowing to be a Sadhyopaya (means).
    • Para Artha: Supreme meaning derived from the Shastras thus: NA indicating the Upaya; MA indicating its importance and S indicating Bhagavan, the Siddhopaya (goal).

NAMASTE

Namaste = NAMAH + TE
Namah means Not Me
Te means “they”.
The literal meaning of NAMASTE hence is “Not me, they”. The word they refer to “GOD”.

NAMASTE = that the doer of everything is not me but the Gods.

Other means of greetings

  1. Ram–Ram
  2. Jai Shri Krishna
  3. Hare Krishna
  4. Jai Shri Ram
  5. JAI SIYA RAM
  6. Sikhs say Sat Shri Akal, which means that Truth is the God and is timeless.
  7. Sikhs also say Wahe Guruji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guruji Ki Fateh. This is a declaration that the ultimate victory will be of the Guru and his followers.
  8. Muslims say Khuda Hafiz, which means Khuda is the Protector.

All About Calcium Carbide

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Under PFA Section 44AA, the use of calcium carbide for artificial ripening of mangoes, apple, plum, banana is prohibited and can attract both imprisonment and fine.
  • Calcium carbide powder is usually kept wrapped in paper between the fruits (unripe mangoes) in a basket or box.
  • Once the basket of mango is closed from the top, calcium carbide absorbs moisture and produces acetylene gas, which accelerates the ripening process of fruits.
  • The health hazards are related to the gastrointestinal tract, kidney, heart, liver and brain and in long run cancer.
  • Calcium carbide 1kg is available for Rs. 25/– and is sufficient to ripe 10 tons of fruit.
  • How do we know that the fruit has been artificially ripened with calcium carbide?
    • It will be less tasty.
    • The aroma will be different
    • It is uniform in color.
    • The color of the mango changes from green to dark yellow.
    • It will have a less shelf life.
    • It will be overtly soft.
    • There may be black patches on the mango skin.
    • There may be multi color patches on the skin of the mango (Red, yellow, green patches)
  • How should artificially ripened fruits be handled?
    • Never eat off-season fruits, especially before time
    • Rinse all fruits in running tap water for few minutes before use.

I am the Best

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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People who lack self–confidence and self-esteem face recurrent episodes of depressions. They suffer from inferiority complex as all the time they compare themselves with others.

It’s a common saying that “everyone like someone else’s wife, money and their own buddhi or intelligence”.

An organization is good or bad is decided by its people. If the people are good the organization is good and if the people are bad the organization is bad. An organization without people is only a building made up of bricks.

Imagine a situation where two students of a school are asked “how is his school”. The first student answers: “my school is the best” and the second one says: “my school is not the best”. The teacher’s reply to both the students is the same: “it has to be because student like you are there in this school”. It’s you who will make the school best or not the best.

Which ever organization you work for, it has to be the best, because you are working there and because you are the best. If it was not the best you would not have been there. The mantra of success lies in the self affirmation of “I am the best”

Everybody is born with a hidden talent. One should only look for positive things in oneself and others. One should never compare oneself with others, as one does not know how many bad things they might be harboring in them.

You have to be the best As the God selected you as a human being. Remember, a human being is born passing through 84 lakhs of different kinds of living species.

The Eastern scripture explains that in this world there are approximate 84 lakh of species of living beings which include 3 million species of plant life; 2 million 7,00,000 species of insects; 1 million 4,00,000 kinds of birds; 9,00,000 kind of water animals and 4,00,000 kind of land animals including men.

One therefore, should not only look oneself through the eyes of flesh but also through the eyes of mind and soul. One should not only analyze one’s physical profile but also the ego and soul profile.

External beauty is important but is incomplete without the beauty of the mind and of the soul. Ashtawakra Gita was a dialogue between the sage Ashtawakra and Raja Janaka. Ashtawakra was a person with eight curves in the physical body. But his soul profile was unmatchable.

Eating junk food: It’s in the brain

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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When it comes to eating junk food one may blame the brain. Addiction is a disease and the same has been proved by a study.

Two areas of the brain have to work together to give the self–control to reject unhealthy foods. California Institute of Technology researchers used MRI to scan the brains of volunteers as they looked at photos of dozens of types of foods and decided which ones they’d like to eat. They found significant differences in the brain activity between people who had self–control in terms of making food choices and those with no self–control.

An area of the brain called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is involved in all value–based decisions. When ventromedial prefrontal cortex activity decreases, a person will probably reject an item, whereas increased activity means they’ll probably choose it.

The study published in the issue of Science found that in people with no self–control, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex seemed to take into consideration only the taste of a food.

In people with good self–control another area of the brain called dorsolateral prefrontal cortex becomes active and modulates the basic value signals so that the self–controllers also incorporate health considerations into their decisions.

The study showed that ventromedial prefrontal cortex is active during every decision and that the DLPFC is more active when a person is using self–control.

Identify seven types of mothers and give them mother’s day gift

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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As per Vedic literature “&ā;tma–mātā guroh patnĩ, brāhmanĩ rāja–patnikā, dhenur dhātrĩ tatha prthvi, saptaitā matarah smrtāh,” there are seven types of mothers.

  1. Atma mata: The mother who gave me birth
  2. Guru patni: The wife of my teachers, guru or master
  3. Brahmni: The wife of our Brahmin to whom we call for our religious functions
  4. Raja Patni: President’s wife
  5. Dhenur : Cow
  6. Dhatri: Anyone who has helped in my growing (sister, ayah or domestic help, grandmother, nurse, gynecologist)
  7. Prithvi: Mother earth

The possible gifts are

  • Non materialistic: Appreciation, care, love, affection, time, compliments.
  • Materialistic gifts.
    • Vitamin D sachets, once per month, 12 sachets.
    • One year supply of iron folic acid, weekly one tablet.
    • One year supply of calcium supplements.
    • Four tablets of albendazole, to be taken one every three months.
    • Pneumonia vaccine once five years or once for life if mother above 65.
    • Flu vaccine once a year.
    • Typhoid vaccine once in three years.
    • Round trip for pilgrimage tour.
    • Sumer supply of Sattu, jaggery, fruits or dry fruits.
    • Filter for safe water supply.

How to recognize cardiac arrest

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Rapid recognition of cardiac arrest is the essential first step of successful CPR 10.

As per Guidelines, the lay rescuer who witnesses a person collapse or comes across an apparently unresponsive person should confirm unresponsiveness by tapping the person on the shoulder and shouting: “are you all right?”

If the person does not respond, the rescuer calls for help or ambulance and initiates excellent chest compressions.

Lay rescuers should not attempt to assess the victim’s pulse and, unless the patient has what appear to be normal respirations, should assume the patient is apneic or without respiration.

Remember even well–trained professionals can have difficulty determining if breathing is adequate or pulses are present in unresponsive adults.

After assessing responsiveness, health care providers should quickly check the patient’s pulse.

While doing so, it is reasonable to visually assess the patient’s respirations.

It is appropriate to assume the patient is in cardiac arrest if there is no breathing or abnormal breathing (gasping) or if a pulse cannot be readily palpated within 10 seconds.

The key point is not to delay CPR.

Is the time and place of death pre–defined?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Some gurus teach that the time and place of death is predefined and some do not. I personally feel that the life and respirations are predefined and not day and time of death.

It is something like water in a sponge will become empty when every drop of water comes out but it does not matter how much time it takes to come out. It is therefore possible to postpone or prolong the fulfillment of Prarabhdha Karma and postpone death.

As per the Karma theory, unless our Prarabdha Karmas (decided at the time of death and birth) are enjoyed and fulfilled, one cannot die. But once the Prarabhdha Karmas are fulfilled, death is inevitable.

Another unanswered question is, can Prarabdha karma be modified? The fate or destiny may not change which means one may not be able to prolong the quantity of life but can definitely change the quality of life. The quality of life can be changed by modifying Agami (present Karmas).

Sanchit Karmas can be burnt with the file of knowledge about self. Prarabdha Karmas have to be experienced and Agami Karma can be neutralized by positive and negative Karmas to Zero in the present life.

The last few Prarabdha Karma experienced can thus be slowed down by the net positive result of their Agami karmas.

First Aid in Burns

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Patients with severe thermal burns are at significant risk of death and major morbidity.
  2. Look for evidence of respiratory distress and smoke inhalation injury, a common cause of death in the acute burn victim.
  3. Laryngeal edema can develop suddenly and unexpectedly.
  4. Burn depth and size determine fluid resuscitation and the need for transfer.
  5. Vascular collapse from burn shock is a critical component.
  6. Rapid, aggressive fluid resuscitation to reconstitute intravascular volume and maintain end–organ perfusion is crucial.
  7. The fluid requirement during the initial 24 hours of treatment is 4 mL/kg of body weight for each percent of TBSA burned, given IV. Superficial burns are excluded from this calculation. One–half of the calculated fluid need is given in the first eight hours, and the remaining half is given over the subsequent 16 hours.
  8. Monitor urine output is important
  9. Hourly urine output should be maintained at 0.5 mL/kg in adults.
  10. Carbon monoxide and cyanide – Burn patients may be exposed to carbon monoxide, requiring immediate treatment with high–flow oxygen.
  11. Cool and clean wounds, but avoid inducing hypothermia.
  12. Remove any jewelry and any hot or burned clothing and obvious debris not densely adherent to the skin.
  13. Irrigation with cool water may be used.
  14. Topical antibiotics are applied to all non superficial burns.
  15. Give opioids (morphine) to treat pain and give tetanus prophylaxis.

Relieve Stress by Changing the Interpretation

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Stress is the reaction of the body or the mind to the interpretation of a known situation. Stress management, therefore, involves either changing the situation, changing the interpretation or taming the body the yogic way in such a way that stress does not affect the body.

Every situation has two sides. Change of interpretation means looking at the other side of the situation. It is something like half glass of water, which can be interpreted as half empty or half full.

Studies have shown that anger, hostility and aggression are the new risk factors for heart disease. It has been shown that even recall of anger can precipitate a heart attack.

Many studies have shown that in front of unconscious patients in ICU when doctors talk positive their outcome is better than those in whose presence if doctors talk negative.

The best way to practice spiritual medicine is to experience silence in the thoughts, speech and action. Simply walking in the nature with silence in the mind and experiencing the sounds of nature can be as effective as 20 minutes of meditation. He said that 20 minutes of meditation provides the same physiological parameters as that of seven hours of deep sleep.

Patients with acidity should avoid chocolates and peppermint

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Persistent acidity is usually due to reflux of acid from the stomach into the food pipe. Mild cases of acidity reflux can usually be managed with lifestyle and dietary modifications along with antacids, H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors.

However, patients in whom lifestyle management along with empirical treatment is unsuccessful or who have symptoms suggestive of complicated diseases should undergo endoscopy to rule out cancer of the food pipe, a condition linked with persistent acidity.

Symptoms that may suggest complicated disease include loss of appetite, loss of weight and difficulty in swallowing food, bleeding and signs of systemic illness.

Lifestyle changes for reflux involve elevation of head and of the body, avoidance of food before sleep and avoidance of food which makes the food pipe valve lax. The examples of such foods include fatty food, chocolates, peppermint and excessive intake of alcohol.

Hurry, worry and curry are the three main factors for causing acidity apart from alcohol and smoking. People with acidity should consume less of fermented, sour, salty and pungent foods.

Prayer for Inner Happiness

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Stress is defined as the physical and mental reaction to the interpretation of a known situation. In absence of a known situation there cannot be a stress. One cannot be stressful for a person who has just died in New York in an accident unless he or she is a known person.

There has to be a right, conscious–based interpretation of the situation as the same situation can bring happiness to one and stress to the other.

The most important consequence physical or mental of stress, therefore, depends on the right interpretation of the situation.

The interpretation or judgment in the body is governed by chemical reactions and is controlled by the balance of autonomic balance system, which in turn is governed by the interaction of parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system.

During the phase of acute stress when the sympathetic system is predominant, heart rate and blood pressure rises and a person cannot take correct and decisive decision.

He or she is likely to make mistakes, which can often be detrimental to living. Sympathetic mode is basically the mode of flight or fight reactions of the body.

Right conscious–based decisions can only be taken in a state of relaxed mind when the intention is inserted in the field of consciousness. The relaxed mind state of the body is the parasympathetic mode, which is healing and is evident by reduction in heart rate, blood pressure and increase in the skin resistance. Most conscious-based decisions will be based on truthfulness, will be necessary and will bring happiness to both the persons and the surroundings.

The yogic lifestyle by which a person learns the dos and don’ts of living, does regular practice of correct postures, daily pranayama and practices regular withdrawal from the outer atmosphere, helps in preparing a state of physical and mental body state, which is more receptive for conscious-based decisions. Yoga Sutras of Patanajali included them in his ashtanga yoga as the processes of Yama, Niyama, Asanas, Pranayama and Pratihyar.

Prayers have no value when the mind is not at rest. All of us have participated in hundreds of mourning prayers with two minutes of silence. This prayer has no value if the two minutes of silence is not observed. If prayer is done without it the mind will remain restless and we will keep on thinking these two minutes are not over yet.

The process of silence does shift our awareness towards test and parasympathetic state and temporarily we get to be in contact with the memories of the departed soul and we pay homage to him or her. Today a large number of organizations are teaching the process of meditation but the same cannot be taught unless a person practices procedures by which the mind gets relaxed.

The eight limbs of Patanjali focus in detail about premeditation preparations and once that is learned one can go to the other three limbs which are Dharna, Dhyana and Samadhi.

Yoga asanas are different from exercises. They stimulate and stretch all or one of the seven charkas, autonomic plexuses, and ganglion and there located ductless endocrine glands. Also during a yogasana the mind is in the exercise and not wandering here and there.

While yogic exercises at rest are termed yoga asanas and the same yogic meditative exercises with activity are called traditional Indian dances. Western exercises and dances do not follow the principles of yoga. Many international studies have shown that over one–third of the people during their lifetime pray either for their own illness or for somebody else.

All hospitals should have spirituals areas. The prayer and meditation rooms in a hospital setting invariably will provide an arena which will improve patient-doctor relationship and will reduce the rising disputes amongst them in the country.

Honey excellent for Cough

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A spoonful of honey can quieten children’s’ night time cough and help them — and their parents — sleep better.

When compared to the cough syrup ingredient dextromethorphan or no treatment, honey came out on top. As per a study from Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, the results are so strong that it can be said that honey is better than no treatment and dextromethorphan was not. There is currently no proven effective treatment for cough due to an upper respiratory infection like the common cold. While dextromethorphan is widely used, there is no evidence that it works, and it carries risks.

Honey is used around the world as a home remedy for cough, and might provide a safe, effective alternative to cough medicine. To investigate, the researchers compared buckwheat honey, a honey–flavoured dextromethorphan preparation, and no treatment in 105 children who had sought treatment for night time coughs due to colds. Among the three groups, children given honey had the greatest reduction in cough frequency and severity, and the most improved sleep, as did their parents. Its sweet, syrupy quality may be soothing to the throat, while its high antioxidant content could also be a factor. Honey also has antimicrobial effects. Honey is not recommended for infants younger below one year of age because of the risk of botulism spores.

Should doctors detach themselves?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In dealing with patients, the traditional Patient–Doctor relationship model has been that doctor should remain cool, calm and collected at all times.

The doctor’s approach needs to be strictly scientific, logical, objective, methodical precise and dispassionate. This has been the model since the era of William Osler, the father of modern medicine. The term used is imperturbability, which means coolness and presence of mind under all circumstances.

Osler said a rare and precious gift to doctor is right of detachment. The right of detachment insulates the doctors and protects them from powerful emotions that patients display in their presence like anger, frustration, grief, rage and bewilderment. It also insulates patients from the rolling emotions that doctors may at times feel towards them.

However, a detached attitude also insulates doctors from empathizing with patients. A detached doctor may talk in a language that is over patient’s head.

Detachment is not like a light switch that you can turn on and off to suit the situation. Detachment as a practice cannot be in isolation if it becomes your personal style of distracting from the world, it may not be just for the patients but also from your colleague, family friends and even yourself.

I recall when I joined by hospital, the first lesson given to me by my boss was not to get unduly attached with patients. As part of etiquettes, we were taught not to socialize with patients. Even today the new American Guidelines talk that doctors should not socialize with their patients on social media including Facebook. Even doctors are human beings and their personal life should not be known to the patients. As far as lawsuits are concerned, it is equally true that known patients file a lawsuit much more than unknown people because over a period of time they know your weakness. One should learn to empathize with the patients and yet be detached from its results. Doctors who follow Bhagawad Gita understand this concept very well.

Restricting salt in diet can lower heart disease risk

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Restricting salt in the diet can lower the risk of developing heart disease by 25 percent and the
risk of dying from heart disease by 20 percent.

• Dietary intake of sodium among Indians is excessively high. Lowering the intake of sodium has been well recognized to lower the blood pressure in hypertensive individuals. A study published in British Medical Journal has shown that reducing salt also has an effect on cardiovascular disease.

• When people with pre hypertension (blood pressure more than 120/80 and lower than 140/90), reduced their salt intake by about 25 to 35%, they were 25% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease 10 to 15 years after the trial ended. There was also a 20 percent lower death rate from cardiovascular disease among those who cut their salt consumption.

• Salt restriction is best achieved by avoiding salted, salt cured and salt smoked foods such as lunch meat, hot dogs, ham, olives, pickles and regular salted canned foods, and other prepared foods, which often use more salt than homemade equivalents. Foods we would never think of as salty, such as breakfast cereals, cookies, and even some soft drinks, often contain copious additions of

sodium.

• WHO recommends limiting the salt intake daily to less than 5 grams.

How to remove negative thoughts

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Darkness is absence of light and similarly negative thoughts are absence of positive thoughts. The answer

to negative thoughts is to bring positive thoughts back. Ideal mind is devils workshop and will always think

negative.

Here are the ways by which you can remove negative thoughts.

• Think differently as taught by Adi Shankaracharya. Once Menaka approached Arjuna with lust and

said that she wanted to have a son like him with him. Arjuna said that why wait for 25 years consider

me as you son from today.

• Think opposite as taught by Patanjali. For example if you are thinking of stealing, then silently start

thinking of charity.

• Think positive as taught by Buddha. Make a list of positive actions to be done today the first thing

in the morning and concentrate on that list. Divert your mind to the pending works. This is a type of

behavioral therapy.