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Dr K K Aggarwal

Why do we not offer Vanaspati Ghee at the time of cremation or worship?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Vanaspati Ghee is never offered to God at the time of Aarti in the Diya or to the dead body at the time of cremation. Only pure ghee is offered. It is considered a bad omen to offer Vanaspati ghee at the time of the cremation ritual even though the consciousness has left the body. What is not offered to God should not be offered to our consciousness and this is the reason for this ritual in a temple. Vanaspati ghee increases bad cholesterol and reduces level of good cholesterol in the blood. On the other hand, pure ghee only increases bad cholesterol but does not reduce the level of good cholesterol. The medical recommendation is that one should not take more than 15 ml of oil, ghee, butter or maximum ½ kg in one month. It is a spiritual crime to offer vanaspati ghee to God.

Seven Common Causes of Forgetfulness

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• Lack of sleep is the most common cause. Too little restful sleep can also lead to mood changes and anxiety, which in turn can contribute to memory impairment.

• Many drugs can affect memory, which includes tranquilizers, antidepressants, blood pressure drugs and anti–allergic drugs.

• Low functioning thyroid can affect memory.

• Drinking too much alcohol can interfere with short–term memory.

• Stress and anxiety can lead to memory impairment. Both can interfere with attention and block the formation of new memory or retrieval of old memories.

• Forgetfulness can be a sign of depression or a consequence of it.

• If you are vegetarian, vitamin B12 deficiency can loss memory impairment.

What is the importance of silence?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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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. Meditation is the process of achieving silence. Observing silence is another way of deriving benefits of meditation. Many yogis in the past have recommended and observed silence now and then. Mahatma Gandhi spent one day in silence every week. He believed that abstaining from speaking brought him inner peace and happiness. On all such days he communicated with others only by writing on paper.

Hindu principles also talk 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 observes complete silence all through the 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, if not the whole day.

In his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra 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 every day. Silence helps to redirect our imagination towards self. Even Swami Sivananda in his teachings recommends observation of mauna daily for 2 hours. For ekadashi, take milk and fruits every day, study one chapter of Bhagwad Gita daily, do regular charity and donate one-tenth of your income in the welfare of the society. Ekadashi is the 11th day of Hindu lunar fortnight. It 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 known for his Bhoodaan movement. He was a great advocator and practical preacher of mauna vrata. Mauna means silence and vrata means vow; hence, mauna vrata means a 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 consciousness dwells. There is no religious tradition that does not talk about silence. It breaks the 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.

When is your doctor at fault while prescribing antibiotic?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• Prescribing antibiotics when no bacterial infection exists.
• Prescribing the wrong antibiotic or the wrong dose.
• Prescribing antibiotics for longer than necessary.
• Prescribing strong antibiotics, when a less strong would be as effective.
• Prescribing an expensive antibiotic when a cheaper but equally effective antibiotic is available.

When are you at fault?

• You demand antibiotics even when the doctor thinks it is unnecessary
• You buy an antibiotic without prescription.
• You buy an antibiotic without a bill
• You stop antibiotics as soon as your symptoms start improving and you do not take a full course of antibiotics.
• When you change brands without the doctor’s knowledge.

You can reverse heart disease

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Every cell in the body eventually dies and is replaced by a new cell. Every day is a new opportunity to build a new body. The entire body totally rebuilds itself in less than 2 years with 98% in less than one year.

• Stomach lining rebuilds itself in 5 days.
• Skin rebuilds itself in one month.
• Liver rebuilds itself in 6 weeks.
• DNA rebuilds itself every 2 months.
• Bone rebuilds the whole new skeleton in 3 months
• Blood rebuilds itself in 4 months.
• Brain rebuilds itself in 1 year.

You cannot swim in the same river twice. With every breath, we inhale 1022 atoms coming from all cells present in the universe. We share everything with everybody with every breath. Quadruplet atoms in the last three weeks have gone through our breath. Billion atoms out of them may have been those of Christ or Mohammad.

The very fact that our body rebuilds itself, it is possible to change the Dharma of the new cells and even prevent or regress cancers and heart diseases.

My answer is yes, not tell me your problem

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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This was the best statement I have ever come across in my life. One of the medical superintendents at Moolchand Hospital when he joined had this statement on the wall above his head. It clearly indicates that he was sitting to solve the problem and not to create problems.

If all the service provider agencies follow this statement, the scenario of the country can change. Our job should be to solve the problems and not find mistakes. None of us is 100% truthful, honest or hardworking. Each one of us will have some positive points and some negative points. Our job should be to remove our negative points and convert them into positive. Remembers SWOT analysis taught in marketing i.e. ”Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat”. Our job should be to convert our weakness into strength and threat into opportunities.

Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha of Medical Profession

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The eras of Ram and Krishna represent two different perceptions of life. While Rama taught us the message of truthfulness, Krishna taught us when not to speak the truth and when speaking a lie is justified. The medical profession today cannot survive on the principles of Rama. According to principles of Krishna, a truth which if spoken may cause harm to someone and if not spoken does not cause any harm, may not be spoken. Similarly, a lie, which without harming the community may help a particular person or situation, may be spoken. Doctors come across situations every day in their medical practice, where speaking the truth may be harmful to the patient. Quite often false hopes are given and patients of terminal cancer are not told about their exact nature of illness and the prognosis. There is no way a doctor is going to tell the patient that you are going to die in the next 24 hours even if it is medically true.

Dharma, artha, kama and moksha are the four basic purposes of life for which we are born. The basic purpose of life is to fulfill our desires in such a way that we end up in inner happiness. Fulfillment of desires should be done by following the principles of righteous or ethical earning. Most charges in the hospital settings are different depending upon the categories chosen by the patient. A single room patient invariably has to pay more than a patient admitted in the concessional three–bed room or general ward. Even the charges of the treatment, operation theatre, investigations and consultations may be different depending upon the categories. Taking more money from the rich and helping the poor. This principle is more according to Krishna’s principle than Rama’s.

Placebo therapy is a well–established therapy in medical science, which means treating the patient without giving the actual drug to a patient. The information that the drug does not contain any ingredient is withheld from the patient in this type of therapy. As per the literature, 35% of illnesses and symptoms may resolve using a placebo and is based on the principle that the very feeling that a medicine is being given stimulates the inner body pharmacy and produces healing substances and chemicals. Nocebo effect, on the other hand, means that if the patient is told that your illness is not going to be cured even if medicines are given they may not act as the patient’s body produces negative chemicals, which neutralize the effect of medicines that otherwise are effective.

Indian doctors were known for their social medicine, which involves proper assessing of patients’ and their families’ financial status before deciding the treatment. There is no point giving options to a family to spend 10–15 lakhs of rupees for getting an ICD device implanted in the heart, which may increase life span only by 1 or 2 years or improve quality of life for a few years to a family who cannot afford this amount of money and may have to sell their house or spend all the money saved for the marriage of their daughters.

But today, with the Consumer Protection Act applicable to the medical profession also, not informing the family may even amount to negligence.

Sugar, not salt, may be at fault for high BP

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Sugar, not salt contributes to the majority of the hypertension risk associated with processed food and a reduction in the consumption of added sugars and, in particular, processed foods may translate into decreased rates of hypertension as well as decreased cardiometabolic disease. James J. DiNicolantanio, PharmD, from Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, and Sean C. Lucan, MD, MPH, from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York, published their review of epidemiological and experimental studies in the journal Open Heart. They concluded that high-sugar diets may make a significant contribution to cardiometabolic risk. Highly refined processed foods should be replaced by natural whole foods.

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 the 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 and has anti–cholesterol and also 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.

Heart disease begin in childhood

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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All heart diseases begin in childhood and, therefore, preventive measures need to be started at that age. Two major problems of childhood are pre–hypertension and obesity and if they can be tackled well in time, future heart diseases can be prevented. Pre–hypertension is a blood pressure of more than 120/80 and lower than 140/90 mmHg. The Bogalusa Heart Study was the first study to give a message that coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, hypertension and heart disease all begin in childhood. It was the longest and most detailed study of a biracial population of children and young adults in the world. In the study, 27% of young adults were found to have pre–hypertension, while only 13% had true high blood pressure. School health programmes in India must focus on checking the blood pressure of children and also regarding their obesity status. Both can be controlled by promoting regular exercise and proper diet. A diet high in trans fats and refined carbohydrates like refined flour, sugar and rice promote both obesity and pre–hypertension.

Types of Memory

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The easiest way to remember types of memory is by understanding the concept of Suno, Samjho, Jano and Karo (hearing, listening, knowledge and wisdom). Hearing is the shortest lasting memory. We hear and we forget is the rule. Once we listen and understand, the memory is longer lasting but the same memory become everlasting if we not only hear, understand and know but also incorporate the knowledge in our practice.

These principles have been used by marketing people in brand recall. I know many pharmaceuticals play a game and ask 100 doctors to enter into a competition in which they have to write the company’s brand a number of times in one minute and the one who writes the maximum number of times is given a prize. By repeatedly writing the brand name, you create a permanent impact of their brand in the soul and it is unlikely that you will forget the brand and its recall value will increase every time you think about the molecule.

The same principle has been used by devotees of Rama and Shiva where they ask people to write the name of Rama repeatedly everyday and the devotees of Shiva makes people writing the Om Namaha Shivai in a peace of a paper for years together. By doing so you inculcate the teachings of Lord Rama and Shiva.

Many spiritual Gurus give a Mantra, which is also based on the same principle. A mantra is nothing but a positive affirmation which you have to follow every minute of your life throughout your life. Once you start doing it a time will come when it will become a part of your sole consciousness and you will start living and behaving in a way as of your positive affirmation. For example, Brahma Kumaris say that always say a positive affirmation to yourself that I am a peaceful soul. After some time you will start behaving like a peaceful soul and you will lose agitation, anger and negative affirmations of life.

Walnuts good for semen

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The daily addition of 75 g of whole–shelled walnuts to a typical Western–style diet appears to have positive effects on the vitality, morphology and motility of sperm in healthy men, according to the findings of a randomized, parallel, 2–group, dietary intervention trial by Wendie A. Robbins, PhD, from the University of California, Los Angeles. The study is published in August 15 inBiology of Reproduction.

Why do we put on Tilak on the forehead?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The Tilak is a mark of auspiciousness and invokes a feeling of respect in the wearer and others. It is recognized as a religious mark. Its form and color vary according to one’s caste, religious sect or the form of worship of the person in question. Tilak is applied on the forehead with sandal paste, sacred ash or kumkum, a red turmeric powder. In a wedding, a Kumkum tilak is applied on the forehead of both the bride and groom.

In earlier times, the four castes (based on varna or color) – Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra – applied marks differently. The Brahmin applied a white chandan mark signifying purity, as his profession was of a priestly or academic nature. The Kshatriya applied a red kumkum mark signifying valor as he belonged to the warrior race. The Vaishya wore a yellow kesar or turmeric mark signifying prosperity as he was a businessman or trader devoted to creation of wealth. The Shudra applied a black bhasma, kasturi or charcoal mark signifying service as he supported the work of the other three castes.

The devotees of Shiva apply sacred ash (Bhasma) on the forehead as a Tripundra (three parallel horizontal lines); the devotees of Vishnu apply sandal paste (Chandan) in the shape of “U” and the worshippers of Devi or Shakti apply Kumkum. The tilak is applied in the spot between the eyebrows, which is the seat of memory and thought. It is known as the Aajna Chakra in the language of Yoga. The Tilak is applied with the prayer – “May I remember the Lord. May this pious feeling pervade all my activities. May I be righteous in my deeds.” Even when we temporarily forget this prayerful attitude, the mark on another reminds us of our resolve. The tilak is thus a blessing of the Lord and a protection against wrong tendencies and forces. The entire body emanates energy in the form of electromagnetic waves – the forehead and the spot between the eyebrows especially so. That is why worry generates heat and causes a headache. The tilak cools the forehead, protects the wearer and prevents energy loss. Sometimes the entire forehead is covered with chandan or bhasma.

Using plastic reusable “stick bindis” is not very beneficial, even though it serves the purpose of decoration.

Wound Hygiene

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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It is a common occurrence that simple wounds may be sustained at home as a result of fall, animal bite etc. Following are the ways to manage them:

• Irrigation is the most important thing for reducing bacterial impact.
• Irrigation should be urgently done in every wound. It can be done by warm normal saline or simple running tap water.
• One can add dilute iodine or any aseptic solution if required.
• Irrigation can be low or high pressure. At home, low pressure injection is sufficient, which can be done using any of the infant milk bottle system.
• In case of burn injury, irrigation should be done continuously till the burning disappears.
• In case there is a foreign body with irritation, continuous irrigation should be done till burning disappears.
• Do not forget to wash your hands with soap and water before cleaning the wound and wear medical gloves, if available.
• It is good idea to let the injured person clear his or her own wounds, if possible.
• Rinsing of the wounds should be done for at least 5–10 minutes.
• Cool water may feel better than warm water on the wound.
• If there is a mild bleeding, clean the wound first and then stop the bleeding.
• Moderate scrubbing can be done if the wound is very dirty.
• If there are foreign bodies or objects, remove them using a clear tweezers. Do not push the tweezers, deeply into the wound.
• Apply the dressing and bandage to the wound as the need may be.

Managing grief by free expressive writing

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The loss of a loved is often painful. The resultant grief makes it hard to eat, sleep and leads to loss of interest in routine life affecting behavior and judgment. Some can feel agitated or exhausted, to sob unexpectedly, or to withdraw from the world and others may find themselves struggling with feelings of sorrow, numbness, anger, guilt, despair, irritability, relief, or anxiety. It is well known that disclosing deep emotions through writing can boost immune function as well as mood and well–being. Conversely, the stress of holding in strong feelings can ratchet up blood pressure and heart rate and increase muscle tension. One can write on a piece of paper, in your personal book, on the open website with nick name or keep it in the mind. One doesn’t have to preserve the emotions and can through away the writings. In absence of deeply troubling situations, such as suicide or a violent death, which are best explored with the help of an experienced therapist, one can choose writing as a way to express out the grief.

• Start writing for 15 to 30 minutes a day for three to four days
• Continue up to a week if it is helping
• Continue writing for 15 to 30 min once a week for a month.
• Writing has stronger effects when it extends over more days.
• Remember, writing about grief and loss can trigger strong emotions (one may cry or feel deeply upset)
• Many people find journal writing valuable and meaningful and report feeling better afterward.
• Don’t worry about grammar or sentence structure.
• Truly let go. Write down how you feel and why you feel that way. You’re writing for yourself, not others.

(Source Harvard News Letter)