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Dr K K Aggarwal

The Vedic meaning of Mahamritunjaya Mantra and the Gayatri Mantra

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Any activity should always engage the 3 H model of Heart, the Head, and the Hand. The same has been advocated by the western scholars of today. The concept is that while doing any work one should ask the head for choices and then refer these choices to the heart to choose one and finally order the hands to carry out that action.

In his book ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’, Deepak Chopra writes that conscious–based decisions are the best decisions. Before taking any decision he recommends asking the body for signals of comfort or discomfort and if the signals of discomfort are perceived, then one should not carry out that action.

All the above concepts come from our ancient Vedic knowledge. The two main mantras of our times are the Mahamritunjaya Mantra and the Gayatri Mantra.

The Mahamritunjaya Mantra is from the Rig Veda and needs initiation for attaining any Siddhi. This is the greatest reliever from all evils and reads as under: Aum Trayambakam Yajamahe, Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam; Uruva Rukamiva Bandhanan, Mrityor Mokshiye Mamritat. It means we worship Shiva, the Three–Eyed Lord; who is fragrant and nourishes all beings; May he protect us (bandhanana) from all big (urva) diseases (aarookam). May he liberate us (mokshiye) from death (mrityor), For the sake of immortality (mamritat, amrit); as the cucumber is automatically liberated, from its bondage from the creeper when it fully ripens.

The meaning of the mantra is the importance of the third eye and the benefits of its opening. The two eyes are at the level of the physical body. The third eye means the eyes of the mind and the eyes of the soul. It also indicates that in difficulty one should look inward from the eyes of the mind and ask for the choices. Like the cucumber, one should chose the good ones and drop the bad choices (Jo achcha lage use apna lo, jo bura lage use jane do).

The mantra for the conscious–based decision comes from Gayatri mantra: Om Bhur Bhuvasvaha Thath Savithur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayath. It means we meditate on the glory of the Creator; who has created the Universe; who is worthy of Worship; who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light; who is the remover of all Sin and Ignorance; may He enlighten our Intellect.

It talks about the importance of conscious–based decisions and its directions to the intellect to choose the right and not the convenient actions.

The Gayatri is the Vedic prayer to illuminate the intellect. Gayatri is considered as Vedasara –– “the essence of the Vedas.” Veda means knowledge, and this prayer fosters and sharpens the knowledge–yielding faculty. As a matter of fact, the four mahavakyas or ‘core–declarations’ enshrined in the four Vedas are implied in this Gayatri mantra.

Choosing the right decision from the consciousness was later defined by Buddha. He taught that before any action ask yourself the following four questions and if the answer to any of the question is no, not to indulge in that actions. These four questions are: is it the truth, is it necessary, will the actions bring happiness to you and to the others.

Fever

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Fever does not always mean presence of infection. There are many situations where fever may occur without any infection and hence needs no antibiotics.

  • Sepsis is a clinical syndrome, which results from the dysregulation of inflammatory response to an infection. The temperature is between 36°C to 38.30°C. Heart rate is often more than 90 per minute.
  • Symptomatic inflammatory response syndrome means a clinical syndrome, which results from dysregulated inflammatory response to any infections such as inflammation of the pancreas, inflammation of the vessels, clot formations in the veins.
  • Many antibiotics can cause fever; unless they are discontinued, fever will not subside.
  • Hyperthermia is a condition with elevated body temperature but it is not called fever. Examples are exposure to heat or heat stroke and in response to anesthetic drugs and anti–psychotic drugs.
  • Hyperthermia may not respond to anti–fever drugs.
  • When fever is more than 41.5°C, it is acute hyperpyrexia.
  • Hyperpyrexia is usually seen in patients with severe infections but it may also occur in brain hemorrhage. It responds to anti–fever drugs.
  • High temperature without infection is found in condition of hyperfunctioning of the thyroid gland.
  • Recreational drugs such as Ecstasy can also cause fever without any infection.
  • Mild fever can also occur after exertion.

All about depression

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Depression is a major public health problem as a leading predictor of functional disability and mortality.
  • Optimal depression treatment improves outcome for most patients.
  • Most adults with clinical significant depression never see a mental health professional but they often see a primary care physician.
  • A non–psychiatrist physician misses the diagnosis of depression 50% of times.
  • All depressed patients must be specifically asked about suicidal ideations.
  • Suicidal ideation is a medical emergency.
  • Risk factors for suicide are psychiatric known disorders, medical illness, prior history of suicidal attempts, or family history of attempted suicide.
  • Demographic reasons include older age, male gender, marital status (widowed or separated) and living alone.
  • World over about 1 million people commit suicide every year.
  • Seventy–nine percent of patients who commit suicide contact their primary care provider in the last one year before their death and only one–third contact their mental health service provider.
  • Twice as many suicidal victims had contacted their primary care provider as against the mental health provider in the last month before suicide.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death worldwide and account for 1.2% of all deaths.
  • In the US, suicidal rate is 10.5 per 100,000 people.
  • In America, suicide is increasing in middle aged adults.
  • There are 10 to 40 non–fatal suicide attempts for every one completed suicide.
  • The majority of suicides completed in US are accomplished with fire arm (57%); the second leading method of suicide in US is hanging for men and poisoning in women.
  • Patients with prior history of attempted suicide are 5–6 times more likely to make another attempt.
  • Fifty percent of successful victims have made prior attempts.
  • One of every 100 suicidal attempt survivors will die by committing suicide within one year of the first attempt.
  • The risk of suicide increases with increase in age; however, younger and adolescents attempt suicide more than the older.
  • Females attempt suicide more frequently than males but males are successful three times more often.
  • The highest suicidal rate is amongst those individuals who are unmarried followed by those who are widowed, separated, divorced, married without children or married with children in descending order.
  • Living alone increases the risk of suicide.
  • Unemployed and unskilled patients are at higher risk of suicide than those who are employed.
  • A recent sense of failure may lead to higher risk.
  • Clinicians are at higher risk of suicide.
  • The suicidal rate in male clinicians is 1.41 and that in female clinicians is 2.27.
  • Adverse childhood abuse and adverse childhood experiences increase the risk of suicidal attempts.
  • The first step in evaluating suicidal risk is to determine presence of suicidal thoughts including their concerns and duration.
  • Management of suicidal individual includes reducing mortality risk, underlying factors and monitoring and follow up.
  • Major risk for suicidal attempts is in psychiatric disorders, hopelessness and prior suicidal attempts or threats.
  • High impulsivity or alcohol or other substance abuse increase the risk.

Heart disease starts in youth

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Autopsy studies of young people who died in accidents have shown that by the late teens, the heart blockages, the kind of lesions that cause heart attacks and strokes are in the process of developing. The best opportunity to prevent heart disease is to look at children and adolescents and start the preventive process early. More than a third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese.

The first signs that men are at higher risk of heart disease than women appear during the adolescent years despite the fact that boys lose fat and gain muscle in adolescence, while girls add body fat.

Between the ages of 11 and 19, levels of triglycerides, a type of blood fat associated with cardiovascular disease, increases in the boys and drops in the girls. Levels of HDL cholesterol, the “good” kind that helps keep arteries clear, go down in boys but rise in girls.

Blood pressure increases in both, but significantly more in boys. Insulin resistance, a marker of cardiovascular risk, which is lower in boys at age 11, rises until the age of 19 years.

Any protection that the young women have for cardiovascular protection can be wiped out by obesity and hence obesity in girls at any cost should be handled on priority.

Why do we never eat a breakfast of onion?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Anything which cannot be taken as a full meal is not good for health and either should not be taken or taken in a small amount. For example, we never eat a breakfast of onion or garlic or radish. These are food items, which either should not be taken or eaten only in small quantity only as an accompaniment to the main meal. Onion is good for health. It has anti–cholesterol and blood thinning properties, yet it is consumed only in small quantity. In Vedic language, onion has both rajasik and tamasik promoting properties, which make a person more aggressive and dull.

Turmeric can prevent heart failure

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Traditional Indian turmeric prevents heart failure, lowers cholesterol, prevents cancers and gall stones and augments scar formation in a wound.

Studies from the University of Toronto’s Cardiology Division and published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation have shown that curcumin, an ingredient in the curry spice turmeric, when given orally to a variety of mouse models with enlarged hearts (hypertrophy), could prevent and reverse hypertrophy, prevent heart failure, restore heart function and reduce scar formation.

In the studies, curcumin was given to rats, who then underwent surgery or received drugs designed to put them at risk of heart failure. The rats that received curcumin showed more resistance to heart failure and inflammation than comparison groups of rats that did not get curcumin.

Curcumin treatment also reversed heart enlargement. Curcumin short–circuited the heart enlargement process, though itis not clear how it did that.

The healing properties of turmeric have been well–known. The herb has been used in traditional Indian medicine to reduce scar formation. For example, when there is a cut or a bruise, the home remedy is to reach for turmeric powder because it can help to heal without leaving a bad scar.

Curcumin has come under the scientific spotlight in recent years, with studies investigating its potential benefits for reducing cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health and fighting cancer.

As an herb, turmeric should to be taken 300 mg thrice–daily with meals. It has useful actions like antioxidant, anti–inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, cholesterol–lowering, anti-cancer and prevention of gall stones. It is also found to be useful in situations like dysmenorrhea, dyspepsia, HIV, muscle soreness, peptic ulcer disease, scabies and uveitis.

Curcuminoids act as free radical scavengers. They also inhibit leukotrienes and synthesis of prostaglandins. The anti–inflammatory activity has been claimed to be comparable to NSAIDs (such as indomethacin).

Curcuminoids lower blood lipid peroxides, decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, and increase HDL cholesterol. Turmeric has also been claimed to inhibit platelet aggregation.

Understanding the concept of Shiva and Shakti

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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After the life force leaves the body even the wife does not like to come near the body (Bhaja Govindam). This life force has no weight, water cannot wet it, air cannot dry it, and weapons cannot cut it (Bhagwad Gita Chapter 2).

The scientific description of this life force comes from the first Maha Vakya, from Aitareya Upanishad in Rig Veda, which describes that “Consciousness or Intelligence is the Brahman (Pragnanam Brahma).

This life force or the intelligence represents the conscious energy, energized consciousness or energized information.

In computer language this intelligence is both the data that has been fed and the software to operate this data. The software is driven by the power of intention and by the process of attention.

In Vedic language, the data is the “Purusha or Shiva” and the software the “Shakti” (Sakti). While the data or the Shiva is inactive and idle, without Shakti or energy, the data has no value and it makes” Shiva” a “SAVA”. When Shakti moves toward Shiva it becomes awareness or consciousness. In Vedanta language, it is called as soul or Brahman.

For comparison, the relationship that Matter and Energy have in Physics; Purusha and Prakruti in Samkya Philosophy; Infinite and Zero in Mathematics; Potential and Kinetic Energy in Energetics; Meaning and Word in Linguistics; Father and Mother in sociology; so is the relationship between Shiva and Sakti in understanding the mystery of Vedanta.

Shiva and Sakti are thus two inseparable entities in Indian mysticism. Just as moonlight cannot be separated from the moon, Shakti cannot be separated from Shiva. Kashmir Shaivism says that “Shiva without Shakti is lifeless (Sava) because wisdom cannot move without power”.

Shiva and Shakti are different from the masculine and feminine aspects of the human body. In tantric spiritual path, one seeks to develop a perfect harmony and balance between masculine aspects (example mental focus, will, intellect) and feminine aspects (example sensitivity, emotion).

Shiva or the data is classified in the body in three subgroups: creation, protection and destruction. These in Hindu mythology are called “Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh”. Some add another two more dimensions in them making them five and these are “revelation and concealment”. One can find these qualities in anything that’s alive.

The Shakti or the forces (power) are also subclassified into five subtypes.

  1. Chitta Shakti: Pure consciousness or the awareness of God.
  2. Ananda Shakti or pure bliss.
  3. Gnana Shakti or the ‘knowledge of God’. It is pure knowledge, which organizes and orchestrates the infinite correlative activity of the universe.
  4. Kriya Shakti or ‘pure action’, which is the action directed toward God (action which does not have the bondage of karma. Action which has the bondage of karma comes from the ego. It is based on beliefs and expectations and interpretations and fears and judgments and past memories, whereas non–binding action, which is non–Karmic, is called Kriya—action rooted in pure awareness and creativity)
  5. Desire (Ichcha Shakti: the desire or intention to unite with God)

Deepak Chopra in his Book ‘Path of Love’ describes Shakti as under:

If the voice of God spoke to you, Her powers would be conveyed in simple, universal phrases:

  • Chitta Shakti: “I am.”
  • Ananda Shakti: “I am blissful.”
  • Gnana (Gyana) Shakti: “I know.”
  • Kriya Shakti: “I act.”
  • Ichcha Shakti: “I will” or “I intend.”

These powers, if used towards acquiring spiritual wellbeing, any action (pure kriya) directed by the desire (pure ichcha) leads to pure knowledge (pure gnana) and ends with internal bliss (ananda).

On the other hand, in routine life if these powers are governed by the ego, then the Action (Kriya) leads to Memory (Gnana) and memory leads to desire (Ichcha) and then action again.

According to Tantra, Satchidananda is called Shiva–Sakti, the hyphenated word suggesting that Shiva or the Absolute and Sakti or its creative power, are eternally conjoined like a word and its meaning; the one cannot be thought of without the other.

Water Hygiene

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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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:

  1. Travelers should avoid consuming tap water.
  2. Avoid ice made from tap water.
  3. Avoid any food rinsed in tap water.
  4. Chlorination kills most bacterial and viral pathogens.
  5. Chlorination does not kill Giardia cysts.
  6. Chlorination does not kill amoeba cysts.
  7. Chlorination does not kill Cryptosporidium.
  8. Boiled water is safe.
  9. Treated water is safe.
  10. Bottled water is safe.
  11. Carbonated drinks, wine and drinks made with boiled water are safe.
  12. 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.
  13. Alcohol does not sterilize water or ice. Mixed drinks may still be contaminated.
  14. Hot tea and coffee are the best alternates to boiled water.
  15. Bottled drinks should be requested without ice and should be drunk from the bottle with a straw rather than with a glass.
  16. Boiling water for 3 minutes followed by cooling to room temperature will kill bacterial parasites.
  17. Adding two drops of 5% sodium hydrochloride (bleach) to quarter of water (1 liter) will kill most bacteria in 30 minutes.
  18. Adding 5 drops of tincture of iodine to a quarter of water (1 liter) will kill bacteria within 30 minutes.

What is the importance of silence?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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True silence is the silence between thoughts and represents the true self, consciousness or the soul. It is a web of energized information ready to take all provided there is a right intent. Meditation is the process of achieving this silence.

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 speech brought him inner peace and happiness. On these days, he communicated with others only by writing on paper.

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

Deepak Chopra in his book ‘The Seven Laws of Spiritual Success’ talks in great detail about the importance of observing silence in day to day life. He recommends that everyone should observe silence for 20 minutes everyday. Silence helps to redirect our imagination towards self from the outer atmosphere. Even Swami Sivananda in his teachings recommends daily observation of mauna for 2 hours during ekadashi, take milk and fruits every day, study one chapter of Bhagwad Gita daily, do regular 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 a great sage of our country who is known for this bhoodaan movement. He was a great advocator and practical preacher of mauna vrata.

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

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

Can diabetes be warded off?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Adhering to Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits and vegetables and low in animal products may protect from type 2 diabetes. The Mediterranean diet gives emphasis to olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, legumes and fish and de–emphasizes meat and dairy products. It is a healthy eating plan that prevents heart disease.

In a study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers tracked the diets of 13,380 Spanish university graduates with no history of diabetes. The study participants filled out a 136–item food questionnaire, which measured their entire diet (including their intake of fats), their cooking methods and their use of dietary supplements. During an average of 4.4 years of follow–up, the researchers found that people who adhered to a Mediterranean diet were at a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, those who very closely adhered to the diet reduced their risk by 83 percent.

Moreover, the people who tended to stick closest to the diet were those with factors that put them at the highest risk for developing diabetes, such as being older, having a family history of diabetes and being an ex–smoker. These people were expected to have a higher rate of diabetes, but when they adhered to the Mediterranean diet this was not the case.

Type 2 diabetes is typically brought on by poor eating habits, too much body weight and too little exercise. One key factor that might be responsible for the protective effect of the Mediterranean diet is its emphasis on olive oil for cooking, frying, putting on bread and mixing in salad dressings.

Tips to prevent diabetes

  • Eat less
  • Omit refined carbohydrates (white sugar, white rice and white maida)
  • Use olive oil, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals, legumes and fish, and reduce meat and dairy products.

Doctors are God Later and Human Beings First

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Doctors are regarded as God because their primary job is to save the life of a patient. In fact, they are the messengers of God to look after the health of the sick person. But, Doctors are God later and human beings first.

To err is human and every doctor is likely to make mistakes. The very fact that a doctor gets himself/herself insured under Indemnity insurance means that medical errors are recognized as a part and parcel of Government policies.

For any error, the Court has decided a financial compensation to the patient and that compensation is paid by the insurance company as the doctor is covered under the Indemnity insurance. Medical negligence on the other hand, if proved, is not covered under the insurance. Therefore, medical negligence has to be differentiated from medical errors.

The error of judgment and difference of opinion are accepted in the law as not negligence and there are ample Supreme Court judgments to support this. Medical accidents are also exempted from being termed negligence by various Supreme Court clarifications/judgments. For a doctor to be punished under medical negligence, there has to be a proof that he willfully did some omission or commission which led to the death or caused harm to a person.

A doctor is also not required to possess the maximum degree of skill and knowledge but is required to possess only an average degree of skill and knowledge. Therefore, when an expert is called for an opinion, he should never give an opinion from his level of perception and knowledge but should take into consideration the knowledge of an average doctor of that specialty.

Recently, one of my friends forwarded a report to me, which showed that in US when the doctors went on a strike, the number of deaths in the city during the strike period reduced.

I totally agree with this observation and I am of the firm opinion that if allopathic medical profession ceases to exit, the number of deaths per day will be reduced. But at what cost?

It will invariably be at the cost of increased morbidity, impaired quality of life and more sufferings. In that scenario people with sexual dysfunction will live without enjoying sexual life; people with heart failure will be bedridden, patients with TB will be back in sanitariums, patients with fractures will remain on the bed for months together and patients requiring orthopedic surgeries will remain with life–long deformations. To have a better quality of life, one has to pay the price as any intervention or surgery done to improve the quality of life invariably will carry some risk and mortality. Even a simple bypass surgery of the heart carries a mortality of up to 0.5–1%. But for the family whose patient dies that 1%, the mortality is 100%.

In a follow up program on Aaj Tak, the film actor, Aamir Khan, said that every household in India has a negative story to tell about medical doctors. He probably misunderstood or could not differentiate medical errors, medical accidents from medical negligence. People equate money with medical success. Most medical disputes occur in private sector when the patient’s relatives have to pay money for an unsuccessful surgery or treatment. Attempts have been made to compare the results of medical treatment in India with the results of similar treatment abroad. They are totally incomparable as the amount of fee charged by doctors in India is practically a fraction of what is charged in the west. The patients load in India per doctor is also responsible for potential medical errors. One should also remember that the Drug Controller Government of India does not inform doctors about banned drugs, introduction of new drugs or introduction of new equipments. Most doctors depend on learning latest technology through the manufacturers of respective machines. The manufacturers either bring the training persons from abroad or support the training of Indian doctors abroad. Their interest is ultimately covered as the doctors once trained ultimately end up in purchasing their technology.

When a new drug is launched, as there is no information from Drug Controller of India to individual doctors, they are forced to attend symposia by drug companies, which have now come under the purview of unethical doctor–pharma relationship.

Most doctors will write pharmaceutical drugs of a company, which people think is in lieu of a commission they are getting. The reality is that a doctor will invariably write a drug of a company who is constantly engaged in efforts in educating doctors about new technologies and innovations as both Medical Council of India and the Government of India Health Ministry have no such provisions for the doctors. On the other hand, not attending medical educational programs is considered a professional misconduct by MCI and many state councils.

First aid for poisonous bites and stings

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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People often panic if they have been bitten or stung. You should tell the patient that many snakes, spiders, insects and sea creatures are harmless and that even the bites and stings of dangerous animals often do not cause poisoning.

Keep the patient calm and still. Moving the bitten or stung limb speeds up the spread of venom to the rest of the body. Fear and excitement also make the patient worse. The patient should be told not to use the limb and to keep it still and below the level of the heart. The limb may swell after a while, so take off the patient’s rings, watch, bracelets, anklets and shoes as soon as possible. A splint and a sling may help to keep the limb still.

Avoid doing the following:

  • Do not cut into the wound or cut it out.
  • Do not suck venom out of the wound.
  • Do not use a tourniquet or tight bandage.
  • Do not put chemicals or medicines in the wound or inject them into the wound (for e.g., potassium permanganate crystals).
  • Do not put ice packs on the wound.
  • Do not use proprietary snake bite kits.
  • The patient should lie on one side in the recovery position so that the airway is clear, in case or vomiting or fainting.
  • Do not give the patient anything by mouth – no food, alcohol, medicines or drinks. However, if it is likely to be a long time before the patient gets medical care, give the patient water to drink to stop dehydration.
  • Try to identify the animal, but do not try to catch it or keep it if this will put you, the patient or others at risk. If the animal is dead take it to hospital with the patient, but handle it very carefully, because even dead animals can sometimes inject venom.
  • As soon as possible, take the patient to a hospital, medical dispensary, or clinic where medical care can be given. The patient should not walk but should keep as still as possible. If there is no ambulance or car, carry the patient on a stretcher or trestle, or on the crossbar of a bicycle.
  • Antivenom should only be given in a hospital or medical Centre where resuscitation can be given, because the patient may have an allergic reaction. If available, antivenom should be used if there is evidence of severe poisoning. It should not be used when there are no signs of poisoning.

What is the importance of life force?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A physical body becomes useless once the life force is gone. The same body, which was lovable to everyone, becomes a liability after death. Everyone wants to dispose it as early as possible as keeping a dead body at home is considered a bad omen.

During the transfer of dead body from one place to another nobody wants to keep the body in a vehicle other than a hearse van, whose job is only to transport dead bodies. No family will be willing to carry the dead body of a person in a car in which the deceased person has been traveling or driving for years.

May be for any reason, health or rituals, once you touch a dead body you are required to take a bath before you commence your daily routine.

Within a matter of hours in absence of life force, the physical body starts disintegrating and in a matter of days, it shows signs of self–destruction and putrefaction.

This vital force is nothing but the soul, aatma, brahma, spirit or consciousness described in different Vedic texts.

Adi Shankaracharya in his book Bhaja Govindam Shloka 6 says:

yávat–pavano nivasati dehe
távat–pøcchati kuùalam gehe,
gatavati váyau dehápáye
bháryá bibhyati tasmin káye.(6)

“Till the life force remains in the body, people come and enquire about your welfare. But, the moment the life force goes out, even your wife is afraid of coming anywhere near your body”.

Life force can be equated to the network of information in computer, radio, television or mobile phone. All these gadgets without data are useless and are thrown away. This silent data, which can be retrieved by operational and application software, represent the life force or soul of these electronic gadgets.

Just as one does not give importance to a computer without data, one should not give importance to the physical body. It is the life force within the body which is respected and cared for and that is what real “I” or “We” is. All glories of the body are only until the life force remains in it.

In Bhagavad–Gita, Lord Krishna in Chapter 2 (2.23) says about this life force or ataman: “Fire cannot burn it, weapon cannot cut it, water cannot wet it, air cannot dry it; it is immortal”.

Life force has no dimensions: height, weight, colour or image. It is immortal, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. The weight of a live and a dead body immediately after the death is the same.

It is the same life force, which dwells in everybody and during life is modified by actions, memory and desire cycles. If one gets attached to any of the three, one starts getting detached from the soul or the life force. People who are in touch with their life force all the time attain peace and happiness and die young in old age.

Most Vedic mahavakyas say that it is the same spirit, which dwells in everybody and hence every person in the society should be welcomed and treated with equal importance. Aham Brahmasami, Tat Tvam Asi, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, etc. are few such examples.

According to Adi Shankaracharya, one can achieve non–duality only by seeing God in everyone. Athithi–devo bhava is also based on the same principle.

Most uncontrolled asthmatics think they are controlled

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Two thirds of patients with uncontrolled asthma think that their disease is well under control. Asthmatics on proper medicines can not only live a normal life but also reduce their future complications.

Uncontrolled asthmatics invariably end up with complications related to right heart due to persistent lack of oxygenation in the blood.

Dr Eric van Ganse, of University of Lyon, France, in a study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, examined 1,048 subjects with inadequate asthma control. When asked how they would rate their asthma control over the past 14 days, over 69 percent considered themselves to be completely or well controlled. Failure to perceive inadequate asthma control was more likely to be found in patients between the ages of 41 and 50 years.

The reasons are:

  • Most asthmatics fail to perceive their level of disease control and with an uncontrolled state they often feel that their asthma is under control.
  • In severe asthma, low blood oxygen levels might impair a person’s ability to assess their own breathing difficulty.
  • The notion of asthma control seems poorly understood by asthmatic patients.
  • Mild to moderate asthma limits the activities of a person and over a period of time they take that as their normal limits.

You Get What You Give

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on You Get What You Give

A son and his father were walking on the mountains. Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

Curious, he yells: “Who are you?” He receives the answer: “Who are you?” and then he screams to the mountain: “I admire you!” the voice answers: “I admire you!”

Angered at the response, he screams: “Coward!” He receives the answer: “Coward!”

The boy is surprised, but does not understand. Then the father explains: “People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions. If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart. If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence. This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life. Life will give you back everything you have given to it. (Shared by Man Mohan Mundra)