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Dr K K Aggarwal

Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha of Medical Profession

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The eras of Ram and Krishna represents two different perceptions of life. While Rama taught us the message of truthfulness, Krishna taught us when not to speak the truth and when is speaking a lie 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.

In medical profession doctors come across situations every day, 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 the 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 one or two 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.

Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha of Medical Profession

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha of Medical Profession

The eras of Ram and Krishna represents two different perceptions of life. While Rama taught us the message of truthfulness, Krishna taught us when not to speak the truth and when is speaking a lie 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.

In medical profession doctors come across situations every day, 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 the 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 one or two 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.

The Vedic Will – as I understand it

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Sometimes back, I used to think that a ‘will’ means after my death how my finances will be controlled by me wife and my children.

As I started acquiring Vedic knowledge, my interpretation changed. Following is the gist for writing a Will, as I understand it the Vedic way.

Of course, writing a will requires a sound state of mind, two witnesses, signed registered paper with accompanying, if possible audio–visual link.

  • The first step is to calculate your life earnings. The earning is not only your finances earned but also your respect, dignity and image earned in the society.
  • Now the next step is to pay off your unpaid debts (Hrins). Apart from actual loans we have taken from banks, friends and others, there are three more debts (Hrins) which we need to pay before we die and define in our Will to be paid from our earning if we die unexpectedly. These as per mythology are Pitra Hrin, Dev Hrin and Rishi Hrin and mean that we have not been able to fulfill the committed desires of our ancestors and commitments made to our GOD and teachers respectively. All these debts, if unpaid, need to be paid out of the finances you are leaving at the time of death. A percentage of your finances, therefore, should be kept to pay these debts. These commitments are usually fulfilled by the eldest son and eldest daughter if there is no son or wife till she is alive.
  • Rest of the finances need to be divided to fulfill your Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha or purpose for which you were born.
    • Artha: A percentage of your finances should go and be equally divided within your immediate family. A percentage of this amount should be converted into a family trust account to be used for the minus 18 years of age children in future.
    • Dharma: Dharma in literal meaning is to hold. A percentage of your finances should be kept into a reserve account and this account interest can be used by the family only if they stick to the code of family conduct (includes rituals, religious activities etc) you have created in your life and mentioned in the will or this amount may be given for charity as defined in your will.
    • Kama and Moksha: Kama means the unfulfilled desires at the level of intellect and ego and Moksha the same at the level of our soul.

We must enlist both our desires at the level of mind and at the level of soul and a percentage of our finances should be converted into a trust or defined to fulfill these desires.

The examples of desires at the level of soul are to do some charitable work without any publicity. The same at the level of ego are to open some dispensary, Dharamshala etc. in our own name.

In your desires you also need to fulfill and document your desired rituals at the time of death. These rituals must answer the following questions

  • Should my death be celebrated (band, lunch) as I have completed all my purposes of life?
  • How should my death anniversary be celebrated or observed?
  • What should be my last rites?

Final Note: If my children and wife are not willing to take care of the finances other than Artha, I nominate the following persons to manage my finance to look after my other desires (……………………………).

The spiritual meaning of the word ‘Artha’

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are the four fundamental principles of our very existence, which means earning righteously with a desire to fulfill the inner happiness.

Righteous earning is called ‘Artha’ and mistakenly it is linked to materialistic money. In mythology, Artha is synonymous with Lakshmi, Saraswati and Kali, where Lakshmi represents righteously earned materialistic wealth, Saraswati represents wealth of knowledge and Kali represents wealth of wisdom to fight the bad in you and in the society.

In any country, it is the wealth of knowledge, which is more important. India was ruled initially by warriors (Kali), later by money (Lakshmi) and in future will be ruled by knowledge (Saraswati).

It is the human resources, which today decide the growth of a company and the amount of money invested. If you have good human resources, your company is going to succeed.

Definition of Health

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Health is not mere absence of disease; it is a state of physical, mental, social, spiritual, environmental and financial well being. All aspects of health are not defined in allopathy.

During MBBS, medical students are taught more about the physical health. Social and mental healthcare covered only in few lectures. Community health is a separate subject but never given its due importance. Spiritual health is not defined at all and financial health is hardly covered.

Yet, in day today practice it is the social, financial, spiritual and community health which is the most important during patient-doctor communication. It is incorporated in the four basic purposes: dharma, artha,kamaand moksha.

Dharma and artha together forms the basis of karma which righteous earning. You are what your deep rooted desires are. Most of the diseases today can be traced to a particular emotion, positive or negative. Anger and jealously are related with heart attack, fear with blood pressure, greed & possessiveness with heart failure. Unless the mind is healthy, one cannot be free of diseases.

The best description of health comes from Ayurveda. In Sanskrit health means swasthya, which means establishment in the self. One is established in the self when there is a union of mind, body and soul. Most symbols of health are established around a shaft with two snakes and two wings. The shaft represents the body, two snakes represent the duality of mind and the two wings represent the freedom of soul.

Sushrut Samhita in Chapter 15 shloka 10 defines the ayurvedic person as under:

Samadosha, samagnischa, Samadhatumalkriyah,Prasannatmendriyamanah, Swastha iti abhidhiyate.

From ayurvedic point of view for a person to be healthy must have balanced doshas, balanced agni, balanced dhatus, normal functioning of malkriyas and mind, body, spirit and indriyas full of bliss and happiness.

Human body is made up of structures (Kapha) which have two basic functions to perform; firstly, metabolism (pitta) and movement (vata). Vata, pitta and kapha are called doshas in ayurveda. Samana dosha means balance of structures, metabolism and movement functions in the body. Agni in Ayurveda is said to be in balance when a person has normal tejas and a good appetite.

Ayurveda describes seven dhatus: rasa, rakta, mamsa, medha, asthi,majja, shukra and they are required to be in balance. They are equivalent to various tissues in the human body.

Ayurveda necessitates proper functioning of natural urges like urination, stool, sweating and breathing and that is what balances in malakriya means.

Ayurveda says for a person to be healthy he has to be mentally and spiritually healthy which will only happen when his or her indriyas are cheerful, full of bliss and devoid of any negativities. For indriyas to be in balance one has to learn to control over the lust cum desires, greed and ego. This can be done by learning regular pranayama, learning the do’s and don’ts in life, living in a disciplined atmosphere and learn to live in the present.

Regular pranayama shifts one from sympathetic to para sympathetic mode, balances the mind and thoughts and helps in removing negative thoughts from the mind. For living a disabled life one can follow the yama and niyama of yoga sutras of patanjali or do’s and don’ts taught by various religious gurus, leaders and principles of naturopathy. Living in the present means conscious or meditative living. This involves either learning meditation 20 minutes twice a day or learning subtle mental exercises like mind-body relaxation, yogic shavasana, self-hypnotic exercises, etc.

According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali a person who eats thrice a day is a rogi, twice a day is a bhogi and once a day is yogi. The take home message is: to live more one has to eat less.

Swar yoga defines the importance of respiration and longevity. According to this yoga shastra, everybody has a fixed number of breaths to be taken during the life span. Lesser the number a person takes in a minute more is the life. It also forms the basis of pranayama which is nothing but longer and deeper breathing with reduced respiratory rate. To be healthy one can remember to follow the principle of moderation and variety in diet & exercise, regular pranayama & meditation and positive thinking.

 

The spiritual meaning of the word ‘Artha’

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Dharma Artha Kama and Moksha are the four fundamental principles of our very existence which means earning righteously with a desire to fulfill the inner happiness.

Righteous earning is called ‘Artha’ and mistakenly it is linked to materialistic money. In mythology Artha is synonymous with Lakshmi, Saraswati and Kali where Lakshmi represents righteously earned materialistic wealth, Saraswati represents wealth of knowledge and Kali represents wealth of wisdom to fight the bad in you and in the society.

In any country, it is the wealth of knowledge which is more important. India was ruled initially by warriors (Kali), later by money (Lakshmi) and in future will be ruled by knowledge (Saraswati).

It is the human resources which today decide the growth of a company and the amount of money invested. If you have good human resources, your company is going to succeed.

A birthday is usually regarded as a special day in a person’s life. But, I believe that each day is a special day in a person’s life…a gift from God.

 Each birthday we are one year older and hopefully wiser. It is the day when we reflect on the year gone by, our unfulfilled tasks and our future goals.

 Birthdays reminds us of our purpose in life, which are Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Dharma, which means to hold together, is one which unites people and earning money (righteous earning) for that act is Artha. These righteous acts should be directed towards fulfilling the desires of acquiring inner happiness…Kama and Moksha.

 I am deeply touched by the blessings and greetings from all of you on my 54th birthday. I reciprocate with my best wishes to each one of you.

The era of Ram andKrishnarepresents two different perceptions of life. While Rama taught us the message of truthfulness,Krishnatold when not to speak the truth and when speaking a lie is justifiable. Medical profession today cannot survive on the principles of Rama. According to principles ofKrishnaa truth which if spoken may cause harm to someone and if not spoken does not end in any harm may not be spoken. Similarly, a lie which without harming the community may help a particular person or situation may be spoken. In medical profession doctors come across situations on a daily basis 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 fulfil 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. Taking more money from the rich and helping the poor is what the medical professionals are taught from day in and day out. This principle will fall more onKrishna’s principle than on Rama’s. 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. Placebo therapy is a well established therapy in medical science which means treating the patient without giving the actual drug to a patient.this information that the durg does not contain any ingredient is withhold from the patient in this type of therapy. As per the literature 35% of the 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.

Nacebo effect on the other hand means that if the patient is told that your illness is not going to cure even if medicines are given they may not act as the patient’s body produces negative chemicals which neutralizes the effect of even effective medicines.

Indian doctors were known for their social medicine which involve 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 one or two years or only give good quality of life for a few years. But 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 in today’s Consumer Act era not informing the family may even amount to negligence.

I am in US to attend the marriage of my nephew Kunal. Though there was a mix of four cultures (Hinduism (my sister Bina), Jainism (My brother-in-law Naresh), Gujarati (Rechal, Kunal’s wife) and Western (being brought up in the US). The main principles still remained the same

1.Marriage is a union of two souls and two families

2. The main ritual involves ghudchadi on female horse, reminding the groom to leave his childish behavior, tighten the reins of his senses and enter in a new era.

3. Varmala : reminding the bride and the groom to learn to live with humility. Bowing to each other in front of the community is the second step.

4. Mangl Phera or the steps of vows around the agni (fire of fire knowledge) to earn righteously with a desire to fulfill inner happiness. (Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha)

5. Rest rituals are linked to prepare the bride and the groom to be happy and healthy both physically and mentally so that they can end up with a healthy procreation. (Haldi, Mehandi, solah shringar, etc)

6. Post marriage ceremonies are linked to provide a stress free environment to the bride and are done in the form of games.

The Four Purusharthas: Dharma, Artha, Karma and Moksha

Purusha means human being and artha means object or objective. Thus Purusharthas means objectives of a man.

Here, ‘Purusha’ does not mean a male in its physical sense of the word. It means any soul in its differentiated form. The Purusharthas are applicable to both men and women.

According to Vedanta, a person should strive to achieve four main objectives (Purusharthas) in his life. They are:

  • Dharma (righteousness)
  • Artha (material wealth)
  • Kama (desire)
  • Moksha (salvation)

Every person is expected to achieve these four objectives and seek fulfillment in life before death. The four principles can be summarized as “acquiring material wealth through righteousness to fulfill the desires of acquiring inner happiness”

The word dharma means, “To hold together”. It represents “any act” of omission or commission, which holds people together in the society. The purpose of earning money should be to hold one’s dharma and the money should be earned using the principles of dharma.

Moksha is the very purpose of life and in broader sense denotes acquiring inner happiness. The same can only be acquired using the principles of duty, discipline and devotion. Only if the desire or intention to acquire one’s happiness is focused on it one can get it. Intention and attention are thus the main two tools of acquiring any thing in life. With right intention and focused attention, one can overcome all adversities in life.

These main principles also enlighten us about the message of the Trimurti: Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiva), the three Gods of our existence. Brahma teaches us about Dharma, Vishnu about righteous earning and Mahesha about fulfilling the desires.

All the four Purusharthas are also related to the Ashrams of life; Bramhacharya Ashram with dharma, Grasthya Ashram with Artha, Vanprastha Ashram with Kama and Sanyasa Ashram with the Moksha.

Vedic texts are available on each of the objective: Dharmashastra, Arthashastra, Kamashastra and the Upanishads.

Summary
“Using dharma to earn money which in turn can be spent on fulfilling the desire to get inner happiness” or “Fulfilling one’s desire of inner happiness using the means earned through righteous earning.”

Health is not mere absence of disease; it is a state of physical, mental, social, spiritual, environmental and financial well being. All aspects of health are not defined in allopathy. During MBBS, medical students are taught more about the physical health. Social and mental health is covered only in few lectures. Community health is a separate subject but never given its due importance. Spiritual health is not defined at all and financial health is hardly covered.

Yet, in day today practice it is the social, financial, spiritual and community health which is the most important during patient-doctor communication. It is incorporated in the four basic purposes: Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Dharma and Artha together forms the basis of karma which righteous earning.

You are what your deep rooted desires are. Most of the diseases today can be traced to a particular emotion, positive or negative. Anger and jealously are related with heart attack, fear with blood pressure, greed & possessiveness with heart failure. Unless the mind is healthy, one cannot be free of diseases.

The best description of health comes from Ayurveda. In Sanskrit health means Swasthya, which means establishment in the self. One is established in the self when there is a union of mind, body and soul. Most symbols of health are established around a shaft with two snakes and two wings. The shaft represents the body, two snakes represent the duality of mind and the two wings represent the freedom of soul.

Sushrut Samhita in Chapter 15 Shloka 10 defines health as under:

Samadosha, samagnischa,
Samadhatumalkriyah,
Prasannatmendriyamanah,
Swastha iti abhidhiyate.

From Ayurveda point of view for a person to be healthy must have balanced doshas, balanced Agni, balanced dhatus, normal functioning of malkriyas and mind, body, spirit and indriyas full of bliss and happiness.

Human body is made up of structures (Kapha) which have two basic functions to perform; firstly, metabolism (pitta) and movement (vata). Vata, Pitta and Kapha are called doshas in Ayurveda. Samana dosha means balance of structures, metabolism and movement functions in the body. Agni in Ayurveda is said to be in balance when a person has normal Tejas and a good appetite.

Ayurveda describes seven dhatus: rasa, rakta, mamsa, medha, majja, asthi, shukra and they are required to be in balance. They are equivalent to various tissues in the human body.

Ayurveda necessitates proper functioning of natural urges like urination, stool, sweating and breathing and that is what balances in malakriya means.

Ayurveda says for a person to be healthy he has to be mentally and spiritually healthy which will only happen when his or her indriyas are cheerful, full of bliss and devoid of any negativities. For indriyas to be in balance one has to learn to control over the lust cum desires, greed and ego. This can be done by learning regular pranayama, learning the do’s and don’ts in life, living in a disciplined atmosphere and learn to live in the present.

Regular pranayama shifts one from sympathetic to para sympathetic mode, balances the mind and thoughts and helps in removing negative thoughts from the mind. For living a disabled life one can follow the yama and niyama of yoga sutras of patanjali or do’s and don’ts taught by various religious gurus, leaders and principles of naturopathy. Living in the present means conscious or meditative living. This involves either learning meditation 20 minutes twice a day or learning subtle mental exercises like mind-body relaxation, yogic shavasana, self-hypnotic exercises, etc.

According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali a person who eats thrice a day is a rogi, twice a day is a bhogi and once a day is yogi. The take home message is: to live more one has to eat less.

Swar yoga defines the importance of respiration and longevity. According to this yoga shastra, everybody has a fixed number of breaths to be taken during the life span. Lesser the number a person takes in a minute more is the life. It also forms the basis of pranayama which is nothing but longer and deeper breathing with reduced respiratory rate. To be healthy one can remember to follow the principle of moderation and variety in diet & exercise, regular pranayama & meditation and positive thinking.