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Dr K K Aggarwal

The lips of truth shall be recognized forever

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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This sutra from Bible has a very deep significance in day to day life. The truth is ever lasting and always ends up in internal happiness and self-realization. And, in the long run, it always gives you happiness and an all-win situation. A lying tongue, on the contrary, will only give you a momentary pleasure but will lead to or create some difficulty later in life.

Spoken words cannot come back just as in the case of a released arrow from the bow. Once lost, one cannot get back his youth, virginity, or respect. Similarly, spoken bad words cannot be taken back and once spoken will create negative waves in the other persons (on whom they were spoken) mind which will persist as repressed thoughts or memory in the people’s mind forever. Such bad memories will keep on coming back in the person’s mind causing damage to the personal relationships.

A spoken word is a karmic expression. For every karmic action there is an opposite and equal reaction. For every negative karmic action, one has to pay the debt either now or in future. The law of karma says that every debt has to be paid.

It is always better to avoid negative language both in spoken words as well as in the mind. The yoga sutras of Patanjali describe thinking, speaking or doing anything wrong as having the same karmic significance. We should not only purify ourselves in actions and spoken words but also in the mind. If a person keeps negative thoughts in the mind, sooner or later the same will be reflected to the outside world.

The momentary pleasure which one gets by “lying” has no spiritual significance as it only satisfies your ego sense or makes you attached to any of the five senses. The transient pleasure experienced by the body stimulates a chain of reactions, consisting of action, memory and desire leading to action again, which will only intensify the greed & attachments.

In the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna has given only two examples, which work as an exception to such a situation. Any truth, which harms others, may not be spoken and any lie which does not harm anyone but benefits a few may be spoken.

Truth is the opposite of doubt and it is always better to clear all the doubts from the mind as any repressed doubts can end up into causation of heart attack, paralysis and cancer.

Truth also means taking conscious-based decisions as the consciousness will never lie. While taking any decision one should always ask oneself— Is it the truth? Is it necessary? And will it bring happiness to me and the people around?

Lord Krishna is also described as “Satchitanand”, which only indicates qualities like truthfulness, conscious-based decisions and internal happiness. Truthfulness has to be practiced for over a period of time and made a part and parcel of your daily life. To start with a person may have bad experiences but in the long run truthfulness will always win.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).

Top 10 ways to keep the kidneys healthy

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol.
  2. Control weight.
  3. Dont overuse over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers.
  4. Monitor blood glucose.
  5. Get an annual physical exam.
  6. Know if chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetes or heart disease run in your family. If so, you may be at risk.
  7. Dont smoke.
  8. Exercise regularly.
  9. Follow a healthy diet.
  10. Get tested for chronic kidney disease if you are at risk.

Why are most temples located in faraway places?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Most temples represent God or the spirit or the deity located in the temple or mandir situated in an area at the outskirts of the city. A spiritual atmosphere is one that is devoid of pollution and which promotes rajasik or tamasik behavior. The silence of the spiritual atmosphere reduces the internal noise and helps us onward in our inner journey. The inner journey of being in touch with one’s consciousness requires detachment from worldly pleasures and the withdrawal of the five senses of the body

To be in touch with one’s consciousness, one needs to bypass the disturbed state of consciousness controlled by emotion, memories and desires, through mind, intellect and ego. This usually requires a prolonged period of persistence and undertaking the inward journey devoid of external stimuli. The parikrama, which means “the path surrounding something”, incorporating many long walks helps to detoxify the mind and thus shifts the consciousness from a disturbed state to an undisturbed, calm state.

A long walk not only offers physical benefits but one also gets the benefits of nature as one’s inner stimuli are exposed to the outer stimuli during the parikrama. The person is often required to walk bare foot on natural ground, inhale pure air and concentrate and listen to the sounds of the nature, birds and trees. This proximity to nature helps in the inward spiritual journey and shifts one from the sympathetic to parasympathetic mode described by lowering of blood pressure and pulse rate. The final happiness invariably comes from within us at the time of final darshan when a person invariably closes his eyes and experiences God within his heart.

Most temples today are being constructed in residential colonies and provide a holy atmosphere to people right at their doorstep. However, they do not have the same spiritual significance and benefits as a temple located at the outskirts of a city.

There is no way a person can go to a temple in the vicinity of his house and detoxify his mind as this can hardly be achieved in minutes unless you are a siddha yogi, and if you are one, you need not go to a temple as the temple is within you.

In Vedic texts, it has been clearly mentioned that to acquire powers and inner happiness, rishi, munis had to do tapasya for months and years together. This tells us that spiritual well-being is acquired over an extended period of time as the process of detoxification is a long drawn process. Cars and other vehicles should not be allowed near temples as the basic motive is to have a pollution-free atmosphere and to give time and space for the mind to detoxify.

Cholesterol tips

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Blood lipid levels may exhibit mild seasonal variation with a drop in the summer and total cholesterol levels peaking in the winter. The variation can be up to 5 mg/dL.

Serum total and HDL-cholesterol can be measured in fasting or non-fasting individuals. There are only small clinically insignificant differences in these values when measured in the fasting or non-fasting state.

The total cholesterol can vary by 4 to 11 percent within an individual due to multiple factors including stress, minor illness and posture. Values may also vary between different laboratories, with data suggesting that a single measurement of serum cholesterol can vary as much as 14 percent. Therefore in an individual with “true” serum cholesterol concentration of 200 mg/dL, the range of expected values is 172 to 228 mg/dL.

More than one measurement of total cholesterol should therefore be obtained when treatment considerations demand a precise determination. Measurement of serum HDL-C and triglycerides may demonstrate even greater variability.

A standard serum lipid profile consists of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and HDL-cholesterol. Lipid profile should be performed after 12 to 14 hours of fasting to minimize the influence of postprandial hyperlipidemia. One can use either plasma or serum specimen. The serum cholesterol is approximately 3 percent lower than the plasma value.

Prakriti, Vikriti and Sanskriti

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Prakriti is defined as when a person lives for himself or when his actions are centered towards oneself.

Sanskriti is when one lives for the sake of others and vikriti is nothing but distortion in one’s living.

Greed is one type of vikriti which can make a ‘nar’ a ‘narbhakshi’ and later ‘nar rakshas. On the other hand, if a person works towards sanskriti it can convert him or her ‘nar’ to ‘narottam’ and from ‘narottam’ to ‘Narain’.

The aim in life, therefore, should be to work not for oneself but for the welfare of the others. These people gradually start working for themselves often for the family, society, nation and universe respectively.

Lord Buddha also said that any action done should follow the rule that it is directed for the welfare of all. Gandhi also propagated Sarvodaya or dedicating one’s actions to the welfare of all.

The basic fundamental teaching of the Vedic science is also based on Sarvodaya. Sahdev in Mahabharat and Bharat in Ramayan also talked about the sarvodaya properties, which every human being has.

Dr. Deepak Chopra in his book ‘7 Spiritual Laws of Success’ also writes that one should always ask his or her consciousness when meeting a person as to how one can help the other person.

Even a feeling of helping someone can make a difference.

Temple enhances soul to soul connectivity

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A Temple, Gurudwara or a Masjid can also be understood by studying the concept of computer internet-based virtual e-communication. The physical body can be compared to that of a computer hardware and the subtle body with three application softwares of a computer namely, Mind (Microsoft Word), Intellect (Excel) and Ego (Power Point). These three application softwares are controlled by Chitta or the life force, which is a combination of PranaTejas and Ojas (or Operational Software in computer language). Without chitta or operational software, the body cannot function. A dead person (dead computer) will be devoid of chitta (operational software). The application and operation softwares in turn are controlled by the soul, which is nothing but energized information or soul. This energized information in the body in Vedic language is called Shiva Shakti, where Shiva represents information and Shakti represents the energy or the power of the software. This energized information or the soul can be equated to a very high speed internet connection www.god.com-drkkaggarwal for me. For another person, for example, Mr B S Sokhi, the soul communication will be www.god.com-bssokhi. Both these souls will be communicated to a virtual internet called GOD or SPIRIT. The same can be represented as www.GOD.com and in this virtual consciousness or GOD, these pages will be similar to Facebook pages for individual members. For example, there will be a page called www.GOD.com-drkkaggarwal and another page called www.GOD.com-bssokhi. Whatever you do is converted into a virtual memory and a copy of that is saved in both www.god.com and www.GOD.com. This way the phrase that GOD is watching each and every action can be explained. Increasing one’s connectivity with GOD is like increasing the bandwidth of a computer internet. The same can be done in the body by controlling the mind, intellect and ego and by learning the process of Meditation, Pranayama and living a parasympathetic lifestyle. Mobile towers or satellites are used to enhance connectivity for computers. The natural towers in the body are called Chakras or the automatic ganglion. They behave like internal towers and intensify our communication with the soul and the spirit. In the outside world, this work is done by a Temple, Gurudwara or a Masjid. According to the Vedic philosophy, we should practice focusing on our Chakras or ganglions regularly to increase our internal communication. With collective consciousness of people (more than 1% of the population) focusing on a particular area or a stone, it acquires the powers of a communication tower or satellite. A stone that becomes a focus of the collective consciousness of the people becomes a GOD ideal and the process is called Pratishthan. A Mandir, Gurudwara or a Masjid, where the collective consciousness of the people gets focused, becomes a source of increase connectivity between the body and the soul. A person sitting in such an environment therefore, finds himself more near God, Allah or Wahe Guru. The story of Hiranyakashyap where God comes out of the pillar on the request of the Prahlad and kills Hiranyakashyap basically proves that even the impossible is possible if you focus your concentration on the object of concentration and give preference to object of concentration over other thoughts. This explains how in the past the collective consciousness of the people could bring rains or light candles or diyas. This also forms the basis of collective prayer. The collective thoughts of the people get posted to the virtual Mandir, Gurudwara and Masjid and when a critical mass of 1% is reached, everyone will start working towards what is taught.

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 the 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 had 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.

Do not tell others, it’s a Secret

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Most Asians are known for two habits, firstly a ‘crab’ nature and secondly the habit of telling others that “I am telling you a secret and please do not tell others.”

Crab nature mean pulling each other’s legs and not allowing any one to rise. Most people, especially women, will gossip and tell all secrets that they know. For clearing their own consciousness they will add a sentence “I am telling you the secret and do not tell others.” The very fact you have told it to someone, it no more remains a secret.

In India we do not respect confidentiality laws and do not sign a non disclosure agreement. In hospitals you will hear the names of the hospitalized person being shouted loud outside the ICU; the list of operation theatre is displayed at every corner of the hospital.

Ten ways to ease neck pain

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Don’t stay in one position for too long
  2. Keep the computer monitor at eye level.
  3. Use the hands–free function of the phone or wear a headset.
  4. Prop your touch–screen tablet or the ipad on a pillow so that it sits at a 45° angle, instead of lying flat on your lap.
  5. Keep your prescription up to date, if you wear glasses to prevent leaning your head back to see better.
  6. Don’t use too many pillows as it can stifle your neck’s range of motion.
  7. Before you move a big wardrobe across the room, consider what it might do to your neck and back, and ask for help.
  8. Sleep well.
  9. Call your doctor if neck pain is associated with radiating pain, weakness, or numbness of an arm or leg.
  10. Also call the doctor if you have fever or weight loss associated with your neck pain, or severe pain.

Panchamrit body wash

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Panchamrit is taken as a Prasadam and is also used to wash the deity. In Vedic language, anything which is offered to God can also be done to the human body. Panchamrit bath, therefore, is the original and traditionally full bath prescribed in Vedic literature.

It consists of the following:

  • Washing the body with milk and water, where milk acts like a soothing agent.
  • Next is washing the body with curd, which is a substitute for soap and washes away the dirt from the skin.
  • The third step is washing the body with desi ghee, which is like an oil massage.
  • Fourth is washing the body with honey, which works like a moisturizer.
  • Last step is to rub the skin with sugar or khand. Sugar works as a scrubber.

Panchamrit bath is much more scientific, cheaper and health friendly.

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 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.

Work-related Stress can kill

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Job stress raises the risk of heart disease by disrupting the body’s internal systems.

The findings from a long–running study involving more than 10,000 British civil servants also suggest stress–induced biological changes may play a more direct role than previously thought.

The researchers measured stress among the civil servants by asking questions about their job demands such as how much control they had at work, how often they took breaks, and how pressed for time they were during the day.

The team conducted seven surveys over a 12–year period and found chronically stressed workers – people determined to be under severe pressure in the first two of the surveys – had a 68 percent higher risk of developing heart disease. The link was strongest among people under 50.

Stressed workers also eat unhealthy food, smoke, drink and skip exercise – all behaviors linked to heart disease.

In the study, stressed workers also had lowered heart rate variability – a sign of a poorly–functioning weak heart and higher than normal levels of cortisol, a “stress” hormone that provides a burst of energy for a fight–or–flight response.

Too much cortisol circulating in the blood stream can damage blood vessels and the heart

How to Finish your Pending Work?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. This involves principles of time management including some Vedic principles.
  2. The first thing to do is to make a checklist of all the pending work by writing it down and re–categorizing them depending upon the urgency and importance.
  3. Pending work can be classified under following four sections:
  • Urgent and important: Should be done immediately.
  • Important but not urgent: Should be scheduled as per the time available
  • Urgent but not important: This work should be delegated to others
  • Not important and not urgent: One should learn to say no and dump it

4. Urgency of the work is decided by the deadlines available.

5. The importance of the work is decided by directing the result of the work to the mind, body or the soul. One should see whether the result of the work gives pleasure to the body, mind or the soul. The one that gives pleasure to the soul will be free of fear or guilt.

6. When choosing between simple or difficult tasks, choose the difficult first so that you do not carry them back home in the mind. In terms of importance, difficult files are more important than simple files.

7. When choosing right versus convenient action, give priority to the right action and not the convenient action.

8. Delegation of work: Team work is very important.

9. When deadlines are available, it is always better not to keep the work just near the deadlines.

10. Anticipate delay and keep time for unforeseen movements.

11. Work is work and not something personal.

12. Always remember the spiritual principle that you get what you deserve and not what you desire. So never associate yourself to the results of your actions.

13. Yoga, pranayama, afternoon naps and meditation help to prioritize your work.

14. Follow the principles of creativity and learn to take breaks in between the work so that the mind is relaxed and can take soul boosting decisions.

15. Remember, Yudhishthir never kept anything pending for tomorrow. This way you can have a fearless, undisturbed sleep.

16. Organizing your pending list always helps.

17. Do not waste time on learning material on which you are already an expert.

18. Take advantage of down time. If you find free time in your routine, then convert it into a creative time so that you can plan strategies or do something new.

19. Always get up at the same time and never disturb your sleep time.

Plate Your Food Now

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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A ‘Food Plate’ symbol has replaced the traditionally recommended ‘Food Pyramid’ of the USDA. These guidelines break down a healthy diet into 4 main quadrants on a plate: red for fruits, green for vegetables, orange for grains and purple for protein. A small blue circle attached to the plate signifies dairy products.

Fruits and vegetables occupy half of the plate space, with the vegetable portion being a little bigger than the fruit section. Eating more fruits and vegetables means consumption of fewer calories on the whole, which helps to maintain a healthy body weight. Fruits and vegetables are also a rich source of fiber along with vitamins and minerals.

The other half is divided between grains and proteins. Grains, with emphasis on whole grains make up one quarter of the plate. Protein is a smaller quarter of the plate. The recommendation is to aim to eat different kinds of protein in every meal.

In a major shift from the food pyramid, the Plate does not mention the number of servings for any food group or portion size. Nor does it mention fats and oils.

Remember the following tips for a healthy meal:

  • Eat less and enjoy your food by eating slowly
  • Fill half your plate with fruit and vegetables.
  • Avoid oversized portions which can cause weight gain.
  • At least half of your grains should be whole grains.
  • Reduce intake of foods high in solid fats and/or added sugar.
  • Use fat–free or low fat milk and/or dairy products.
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid sugary drinks.
  • Avoid foods that have high sodium levels such as snacks, processed foods.
  • Above all, balance your food choices with your activity level.