Header image alt text

Dr K K Aggarwal

Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee

Sangat and smoking

Filed Under Wellness  | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on Sangat and smoking

Sewa, Simran and Sangat are the three principles of life as per the Vedic literature. Even Adi Shankaracharya described Sangat as the main force for living a spiritual life.

Sangat is the company of people you live with. Living in the company of good people makes one good and the reverse is also true.

The same is now being proved in the allopathic context. A research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that when one person quits smoking, then others are likely to follow. One person quitting can cause a ripple effect, making others more likely to kick the habit.

  1. If your spouse stops smoking, youre 67% less likely to continue smoking.
  2. If your friend kicks the habit, its about 36% less likely that youll be smoking.
  3. When a sibling gives up cigarettes, your risk of smoking decreases by 25%.
  4. Your risk of smoking drops by 34% if a co-worker in a small office quits smoking. Its sort of like watching dominoes. If one falls, it very quickly causes others to fall.

People should be treated in groups, rather than as individuals. Friends and family need to be involved. If you want to quit, try to get close friends and family to quit as well.

Quitting smoking may have the side benefit of improving social well-being, just as it improves physical health.

Music as a Drug

Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals  | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Music as a Drug

Our body is the largest pharmaceutical group in the world and has the capacity to heal each and every disease. The very fact that there is a receptor for every drug in the body means that the body has the capacity to produce that drug. Music is one such modality, which can heal by initiating various chains of chemical reactions in the body.

  • Chanting vowels produces interleukin-2 in the body, which works like a painkiller.
  • Chanting nasal consonants produces tranquilizers in the body.
  • Sounds like LUM are associated with fear, VUM with attachments, RUM with doubt, YUM with love, HUM with truthfulness and AUM with non-judgmental.
  • Various chemicals can be produced in the body by chanting of various vowels and consonants.
  • Nasal consonants are vibrant sounds and produce vibrations of the autonomic plexus causing balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic states. More the nasal consonants in music, the more will be its relaxing healing power.
  • Listening to overtone chanting in music can also heal people in the vicinity of the music.
  • Recitation of music can also increase or decrease the respiratory rate of the singer. Lyrics, which reduce respiratory rate will lead to parasympathetic healing activity. The respiratory rate of a listener too can increase and decrease if he is absorbed in the song.
  • Listening to a song word by word and by understanding its meaning can also change the biochemistry of the listener. A song can create an excitement or a feeling of depression.
  • A song can also work like intent by speaking in the form of prayers. Group prayers can have powerful effects and convert intent into reality through the concept of spontaneous fulfilment of desire.
  • Music is often linked with dance, both classical and western, which provides additional healing.
  • Gestures, mudras, bhavs and emotions associated with songs produce parasympathetic state in both the singer and the listener.

A mix of exercise protocol is better

Filed Under Wellness  | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on A mix of exercise protocol is better

A combination of weight training and aerobic exercise is the best prescription for overweight patients at risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Only aerobic exercise is also good as it reduces weight and inches off the waistlines. Just weight lifting alone has very little benefit.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, people in the weight-training group gained about 1.5 pounds and those in the aerobic group lost an average of 3 pounds and half an inch from their waists.

Those who did both weight and aerobic training dropped about 4 pounds and 1 waistline inch. This group also saw a decrease in diastolic blood pressure and in metabolic syndrome score.

Both the aerobic-only group and the combined-exercise group also lowered their levels of triglycerides.

Ganesha, the Stress Management Guru

Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals  | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on Ganesha, the Stress Management Guru

If Lord Krishna was the first counselor who taught the principles of counseling, Lord Ganesha taught us the principles of stress management.

We should worship Lord Ganesha and become like him whenever we face any difficulty or are stressed out.

The elephant head of Lord Ganesha symbolizes that when in difficulty, use your wisdom, intelligence and think differently. It can be equated to the Third Eye of Lord Shiva. Elephant is supposed to be the most intelligent animal in the kingdom. Here, wisdom means to think before speaking. Lord Buddha also said that don’t speak unless it is necessary and is truthful and kind.

The big elephant ears of Lord Ganesha signify listening to everybody when in difficulty. Elephant ears are known to hear long distances. Elephant eyes see a long distance and in terms of mythology, it denotes acquiring the quality of foreseeing when in difficulty. The mouth of Lord Ganesha represents speaking less and hearing and listening more.

The big tummy of Lord Ganesha represents digesting any information gathered by listening to people in difficulty. The trunk denotes using the power of discrimination to decide from the retained information. It also indicates doing both smaller and bigger things by yourself. The elephant trunk can pick up a needle as well as a tree.

The teeth, broken and unbroken, signify to be in a state of balance in loss and gain. This implies that one should not get upset if the task is not accomplished and also not get excited if the task is accomplished. In times of difficulty, Ganesha also teaches us not to lose strength and control one’s attachments, desires and greed.

The four arms of Lord Ganesha represent strength. Ropes in two hands indicate attachment; Laddoo or sweet in one hand represents desires and mouse represents greed. Riding over the mouse indicates controlling one’s greed.

Lord Ganesha is worshipped either when a new work is initiated or when one finds it difficult to complete a job or work. In these two situations, these principles of Lord Ganesha need to be inculcated in one’s habits.

All about Fits or Epilepsy

Filed Under Wellness  | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on All about Fits or Epilepsy

  • Seizure is a sudden change in behavior that is the consequence of brain dysfunction.
  • Approximately 0.5-1% of the population has epilepsy.
  • Some seizures are provoked, i.e., that occur in the metabolic derangement, drug or alcohol withdrawal and in situations like acute paralysis or acute encephalitis. Such patients are not considered to have epilepsy because these seizures would not recur in the absence of the provocation.
  • Less than 50% of epilepsy cases will have an identifiable cause such as head trauma, brain tumor, paralysis, infection, brain malformation, etc.
  • Having one seizure does not always mean that the patient would always get a seizure.
  • One episode of seizure may not require treatment.
  • Hospitalization is required in the first seizure only if it is associated with prolonged post-seizure altered level of consciousness.
  • Patients with unprovoked seizure may not be allowed to drive for some time.
  • In children, seizure can occur with high grade fever.
  • In adults, the first episode of seizure may be due to worms in the brain. In such a situation, it may be necessary to do an MRI test.
  • A patient with seizure can get married, live a normal life and produce children.
  • It is a misnomer that during a fit, you need to make the person smell a shoe.
  • During a seizure, use a spoon instead to prevent tongue bite. Never put the fingers inside the mouth of the patient as you could be bitten.
  • A patient with epilepsy fall will have stiffness in the body; on the contrary, a patient with cardiac loss of consciousness will fall loose.
  • A seizure that lasts for more than 5-10 minutes requires specialized attention.

The Five Interior Powers

Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals  | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on The Five Interior Powers

To be in a state of happiness, bliss and ananda is what the ultimate goal of life is. Everybody is born with certain inherent powers, which if cultivated in the right direction will lead to inner happiness.

The ancient Shiva Sutra text talks about the concept of Shiva and Shakti. Shiva is silence, Shakti is power; Shiva is creativity, Shakti is creation; Shiva is love, Shakti is loving.

In computer terminology, Shiva is the knowledge or the information and Shakti is the operational software. Shiva and Shakti both together form consciousness, in other words, the soul.

Shiva sutra – teaching about Shiva – describes five inherent powers of Shakti which everybody is born with. These are ”Chitta Shakti”, “Ananda Shakti”, “Gyan (Gnana) Shakti”, “Ichha Shakti” and “Kriya Shakti”.

Kriya Shakti is the one which is most visible. Kriya is not same as karma. Karma is action born of cause and effect. Kriya Shakti is at the level of body and mind.

Ichha Shakti is the inherent desires, which control the mind. Gyan Shakti is the inherent desire to learn and is at the level of intellect. Both Ananda and Chitta Shakti are at the level of consciousness and represent the desires or aim to be blissful.

These five powers also decide the needs of a person, which can be at the level of physical body, mind, intellect, ego or the soul. The needs activate the Shakti, which in turn leads to action. The purpose of life should be to direct the needs and the Shaktis towards the soul and not towards the ego. The power of Kriya Shakti should have all the actions directed towards the soul; Gyan Shakti should be directed towards the knowledge of the true self; Ichha Shakti towards the desire or intention to unite with the self; Anand Shakti and Chitta Shakti towards the awareness of God and to experience the bliss of God.

All thoughts, speech or actions in life should be directed on two basic goals: providing happiness to others and achieving self-happiness. Every action and relationship in life should involve these five powers to attain inner happiness.

Most computers in the body require a key to get activated and the key in the case of Shakti is “intention or intent”. Intentions are something which are under the control of a person, or one can practice control over them.

“Intention” always requires the association of its buddy “attention” with it. Attention is the focus of action on that particular intention. The combination of intention and attention can change perceptions of life and ultimately change the reality. It has been an old Upanishad saying that you are what your thoughts are. Right intention leads to the right thought; the right thought to right action; the right action to the right habit; the right habit to the right character and the right character leads you to what you are. The punch-line, therefore, is to have right intention which should be directed towards one of the five Shaktis to acquire spiritual well-being.

Health is not mere absence of disease but a state of physical, mental, social, environmental and spiritual well-being. Spiritual well-being now has been added as the fifth dimension of health. It has been said that the body is the largest pharmaceutical armamentarium in the world and has the capacity to produce each and every drug available in the universe. This is based on the fact that no drug can go into the body without a receptor. The very fact the body has a receptor for every drug means it has the capacity to produce that drug.

All yogic paths to liberation are also directed towards these Shaktis. One adopts the path of karma by activating Kriya Shakti, Gyan Marg by activating Gyan Shakti and Bhakti Marg by activating Ichha Shakti.

Faulty lifestyle also involves distractions of three of these powers: Ichha, Gyan or Kriya Shakti.

Correct lifestyle involves the correct use of Kriya Shakti in doing actions, correct use of Gyan Shakti by acquiring knowledge about self and healthy behavior and correct use of Ichha Shakti by learning the dos and don’ts of life and controlling the mind towards various addictions of life, which can be addiction of food, sex, drugs, alcohol, smoking, sleeping, not walking and/or eating faulty Rajsik cum Tamsik high refined carbohydrate diet.

How to answer and make calls on mobile phones

Filed Under Wellness  | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on How to answer and make calls on mobile phones

  • Say ‘hello’ and not “yes” when calling or answering calls. It’s hard and rude.
  • Always put the phone gently if you need to put the telephone down during the conversation. Also hang up gently. Never slam the phone. The person at the other end may still be on the phone and sudden bang can be hurtful as well as rude.
  • Make sure the number is correct so as not to risk disturbing strangers.
  • Make your call as brief as possible, especially with busy people.
  • When calling people who do not recognize your voice, introduce yourself.
  • Time your calls. Do not interfere with the work schedule of others.
  • Make business calls well before the close of the office hours.
  • After dialing a wrong number, apologize.
  • When the number you are calling is not answered quickly, wait long enough for someone to put aside what he or she is doing. It is very annoying to have been disturbed just to pick up the telephone and find the caller has hung up.
  • Never take a personal mobile call during a business meeting.
  • Never talk in public places.
  • Dont talk emotionally in public.
  • Dont use loud and annoying ring tones.
  • Never make calls while shopping, banking or waiting in line.
  • Keep all talks brief and to the point.
  • Use an earpiece in high-traffic or noisy locations.
  • Demand “quiet zones” and “phone-free areas” at work and in public venues.
  • Never call people at odd hours. If you sleep at 2am does not mean, others also follow the same.
  • When calling on mobile, always ask if the other person is free to talk.
  • Learn to text if it is not an emergency.

The Buddhist Description of a Disease: Desire, Hatred and Ignoranc

Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals  | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on The Buddhist Description of a Disease: Desire, Hatred and Ignoranc

According to Buddhism, three negative emotions cause a disease and they are “ignorance, hatred and desire”. According to the Buddhism philosophy, physical sicknesses are classified into three main types –

  • Disorders of the desire (Ayurvedic equivalent Vata imbalance): These are due to disharmony of the wind or energy. The seed of these disorders is located in the lower part of the body. It has cold preferences and is affected by mental desires. A person suffers from the disorders of movement functions.
  • Disorders of the hatred (Ayurveda equivalent Pitta imbalance): It is due to disharmony of the bile. The seed of these disorders is centered in the middle and upper part of the body and is caused by the mental emotion hatred. In Ayurveda text, it is equivalent to “Pitta” disorder. The person suffers from metabolic and digestive abnormalities.
  • Disorders of the ignorance (Ayurveda equivalent Kapha imbalance): It is due to the disharmony of phlegm, which is generally centered in the chest or in the head and is cold in nature. It is caused by the mental emotion ignorance.

Desire, hatred and ignorance are the main negativities mentioned in Buddhism philosophy. They are all produced in the mind. Once produced, they behave like a slow poison. The Udanavarga once said, “From iron appears rust, and rust eats the iron”, “Likewise, the careless actions (karma) that we perform, lead us to hellish lives.

According to other scriptures, six afflictions are most troublesome – ignorance, hatred, desire, miserliness, jealousy and arrogance. Patience is the most potent virtue a person can acquire. According to the Shanti Deva, “There is no evil like hatred, and there is no marriage like patience. Therefore, dedicate your life to the practice of patience.”

Bhagvad Gita mentions the enemies as Kama, Krodha, Lobh, Moh and Ahankar and out of these, Kama, Lobh and Ahankar as the three gateways to hell.

Ten ways to ease neck pain

Filed Under Wellness  | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Ten ways to ease neck pain

  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.

Mindful meditation

Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals  | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Mindful meditation

  • Sit on a straight–backed chair or cross–legged on the floor.
  • Focus on an aspect of your breathing, such as the sensation of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, or your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.
  • Once you’ve narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and ideas.
  • Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judging it good or bad. If your mind starts to race, return your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again.

Tips to prevent future heart disease in women

Filed Under Wellness  | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on Tips to prevent future heart disease in women

  • Do moderate intensity physical activity for at least 30 min and for 60 to 90 min for weight management on most days of the week.
  • Avoid and stop cigarette smoking and passive smoking.
  • Keep waist circumference less than 35 inches.
  • Consume a heart-friendly diet.
  • Control cholesterol level, high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Women who smoke should avoid oral contraceptive pills.
  • Aspirin 80 mg should be added for women older than 65 years of age.
  • Treat underlying depression.

The Infinite Powers of the Spirit

Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals  | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on The Infinite Powers of the Spirit

Om Poornamadah

“Om Poornamadah Poornamidam

Poornaat Poornamudachyate

Poornasya Poornamaadaaya

Poornameva Avasihyate”

‘The whole is whole; if you take away the whole away from the whole the whole will still remain.’ (That is infinite, this is infinite, from the infinite, the infinite has come out. Having taken the infinite out of the infinite, the infinite alone remains). (In Vedanta, “That” represents superconsciousness, God or the Brahman and “This” the visible universe)

Atman, which makes up our body, is 99.99 per cent space or void and if we look at the rest, it is also nothing but space or void. This void or ‘akasha’ is what is called Brahman, God or consciousness and is a web of energized information.

This web of information of inner space called inner consciousness is the Atman or the Soul. This is connected with the outer space in the universe, having a similar web of energized information called the Spirit or Brahmand.

The Spirit has been given many names by different religions: Allah, Buddha, Brahman, Christ or Wahe Guru. They all signify the same. This spirit, the energized field of information, is a powerful expression of live energy which can move faster than the speed of light. Soul is nothing but an individualized expression of the spirit.

This energy containing information in the spirit cannot be seen, felt, touched, tasted or smelt. It is beyond the perception of the five senses. One cannot destroy it with a weapon, fire, water or air. This consciousness is embedded in the space of each and every cell of the body. It is like sugar added to the milk. Once added, you cannot find it as it gets embedded with each and every drop of the milk.

Soul originates from the spirit. Each soul differs from the other by way of the subtle layer of consciousness called the ‘Sukshma Sharir’, which is controlled by the triad of actions, memories and desires.

Spirit is like the light, which is always positive and removes darkness. The basic nature of consciousness is “truth and bliss”. The soul and the spirit are devoid of hatred, anger or jealousy and are full of unconditional love. They are nothing but a treasury of information about everything. This infinite information is capable of doing anything, including miracles.

It is like the flame of a candle, which can light an infinite number of candles, while still retaining its illumination to the same degree.

Deepak Chopra once said that the soul is like the voice of Lata Mangeshkar coming through a radio; but, if you break the radio, you will not find Lata Mangeshkar in it. Similarly, if you cut the body into pieces, you cannot find the physical presence of the spirit. Spirit is omnipresent and any amount of spirit taken out from it will not make any difference to it.

In religious terms, the infinite or the vastness is equated and described by the blue color, and that is one reason why most gods are represented in blue color, or are shown in the background of blue sky. This only represents the vastness and infinite character of the consciousness.

A guru explained the Spirit to his disciples by the following equation: 1 × 1 = 1, 1/1=1 or, in other words everything is One. One can also explain it by the equation that infinity when added, subtracted, multiplied or divided by infinity will result only in infinity.

This infinite potential in our minds is present in between the thoughts and can be experienced by enabling oneself to go in between the thoughts by a process called meditation. The silent gap between the thoughts can be experienced either with the use of primordial sound mantra as a vehicle or by way of yoga. People who have learnt meditation and have achieved the ability to go into the silent gaps can accomplish everything in their life using the principles of intention and attention. After any intention is introduced in the silent gap, a new reality can be created.

“That which is born of the flash is a flash; that which is born of the spirit is spirit” (John)

5 ways to boost bone strength early

Filed Under Wellness  | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on 5 ways to boost bone strength early

  1. Monitor your diet. Get enough calcium and vitamin D, ideally through the foods you eat. Although dairy products may be the richest sources of calcium, a growing number of foods, such as orange juice, are calcium-fortified. Fruits, vegetables, and grains provide other minerals crucial to bone health, such as magnesium and phosphorus.
  2. Maintain a reasonable weight. This is particularly important for women. Menstrual periods often stop in women who are underweight — due to a poor diet or excessive exercise — and that usually means that estrogen levels are too low to support bone growth.
  3. Don’t smoke, and limit alcohol intake. Smoking and too much alcohol both decrease bone mass.
  4. Make sure your workouts include weight-bearing exercises. Regular weight-bearing exercise like walking, dancing, or step aerobics can protect your bones. Also include strength training as part of your exercise routine.
  5. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors. Certain medical conditions (like celiac disease) and some medications (steroids and others) can increase the chances that you will develop osteoporosis. It’s important to talk with your doctor to develop a prevention strategy that accounts for these factors.

(Source: Harvard)

Let the mud settle down

Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals  | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Let the mud settle down

Once, Buddha, while traveling, happened to pass a lake. Buddha told one of his disciples, I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.

The disciple noticed that some people were washing clothes in the water and, right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, how can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink! So he came back and told Buddha – The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.

After about an hour later Buddha asked the same disciple again to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. This time the disciple found that the lake had absolutely clear water in it. The mud had settled down and the water was fit for drinking. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water and said – See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be … and the mud settled down on its own and you got clear water… Your mind is also like that. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.

First aid for poisonous bites and stings

Filed Under Wellness  | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on First aid for poisonous bites and stings

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.

Adhere to 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 on 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 of 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 center 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.