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Dr K K Aggarwal

Prakriti, Vikriti and Sanskriti

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Prakriti is 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.

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

Why do we place our hands over the flame?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Flame is the “flame” of true knowledge. At the end of any aarti, we place our hands over the flame and then touch our eyes and the top of the head. It means “May the light that illuminated the Lord light up my vision; May my vision be divine and my thoughts noble and beautiful.”

The metaphysical implication of aarti extends further. The sun, moon, stars, lightning and fire are the natural sources of light. The Lord is the source of these wondrous phenomena of the universe. It is due to Him alone that everything exists.

As we light up the Lord with the flame of the aarti, we turn our attention to the very source of all light which symbolizes knowledge and life. Also, the Sun is the presiding deity of the intellect, the moon, that of the mind, and fire, that of speech. The Lord is the supreme consciousness that illuminates all of them. Without Him, the intellect cannot think, the mind cannot feel and the tongue cannot speak. The Lord is beyond the mind, intellect and speech.

How can these finite entities illuminate the Lord? Therefore, as we perform the aarti we chant:

Na tatra suryo bhaati na chandra taarakam, Nemaa vidyuto bhaanti kutoyamagnib

Tameva bhaantam anubhaati sarvam, Tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhaati

“He is there where the sun does not shine, nor the moon, stars and lightning. Then what to talk of this small flame (in my hand), everything (in the universe) shines only after the Lord, and by His light alone are we all illumined”

In our spiritual journey, even as we serve the guru and society, we should willingly sacrifice ourselves and all we have, to spread the “perfume” of love to all.

We often wait a long while to see the illuminated Lord. But, when the aarti is actually performed, our eyes close automatically as if to look within. This is to signify that each of us is a temple of the Lord.

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

The Concept of Second Opinion

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In legal system when you are not satisfied with a judge, you re–appeal in the same court and if you are still not satisfied, you go to double bench before going to higher court.

Practice the same when you take a second opinion about your health.

Never go to a different doctor. First go to the same doctor and ask him to give his opinion again and, if you are not satisfied, then go to a team of two doctors and finally go to a doctor with qualification higher than the initial doctor. If your second opinion is from another doctor, it may be wrong or partial.

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

Why do we close our eyes for meditation?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Whenever we pray, think of God, undertake an internal healing procedure, kiss someone, or meditate, we automatically close our eyes.

It is a common Vedic saying that the soul resides in the heart and all the feelings are felt at the level of heart.

Most learning procedures in meditation involves sitting in an erect, straight posture,  closing the eyes, withdrawing from the world and concentrating on the object of concentration. Yoga Sutra of Patanjali describes pratihara (withdrawal of senses) as one of the seven limbs of yoga, Yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratihara, dharma, dhyana and Samadhi.

After pranayama, one needs to withdraw from the world and the senses and then start dhyana on the object of concentration. The process of pratihara becomes easy and is initiated with the closing of the eyes.

The inward journey starts with the detachment of the body from the external world and in yogic language, it is called Kayotsarga.

In the initiation of hypnosis also, a person is made to lie down, look at the roof and withdraw from the world. The procedure involves asking the person to gently roll the eyeball up until he goes into a trans. Rolling of the eyeballs upward has the same physiological significance as that of closing the eyes.

When we close our eyes, there is a suppression of sympathetic nervous system and activation of para sympathetic nervous system. During this period, blood pressure and pulse reduce and skin resistance goes up. A person goes into a progressive phase of internal and muscular relaxation.

The inward journey is a journey towards restful alertness where the body is restful yet the consciousness is alert. The intention is to relax the body and then the attention is focused on the object of concentration. Most visualization and meditation techniques involve closing of the eyes.

By detaching from the external stimuli, one suppresses the activities of the five senses and shifts ones awareness from disturbed to undisturbed state of consciousness. The inner journey helps in producing a state of ritambhara pragya where the inner vibrations of the body become in symphony with the vibrations of the nature.

People who visit Vaishno Devi by traveling long distances on foot enter the cave and as soon as they see Maa Vaishno Devi they close their eyes. This is natural and instant. Because Maa Vaishno Devi is not felt in the murti but her presence is felt in the heart and that presence can only be felt by closing the eyes.

Most yogic techniques like shavasana, yoga nidra, body-mind relaxation, progressive muscular relaxation, hypnosis involves closing the eyes in the very first step. Daytime nap is also incomplete without closing the eyes. Shok sabha and 2 minutes maun sabha are also practiced with the eyes closed. When we think of someone or try to remember something the body automatically closes the eyes and one starts exploring the hidden memories. For recalling anything one must withdraw from the external world through its five senses.

Only advanced yogis or rishis acquire the power where with eyes opened they are in a state of ritam, bhara, pragya. These yogic powers are acquired by practicing advanced sutra meditation for hours, days and years. Lord Shiva has been shown in a meditative pose sitting on Kailash Parvat with the eyes semi opened. But for ordinary persons like us where the aim is to be in that phase only for 20 min. twice a day, the best is to close our eyes as the first step towards the process of meditation.

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