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Dr K K Aggarwal

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

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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According to the 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.

  1. Disorders of the desire (Ayurvedic equivalent Vata Imbalance): These are due to disharmony of the wind or energy. The seed of these disorders are 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 Buddha 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 the 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.”

Bhagavad 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.

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

Rome was not built in a day

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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With ‘Abhyas’ or constant practice, one can conquer all the obstacles in life. The sutra “Rome was not built in a day” has a deep spiritual meaning. In the path for self–realization, regular practice is the principle behind all paths: Bhakti, Karma or the Gnana marg. Persistence is the key in any spiritual attainment.

Regular hard work can also change one’s past bad karmic actions. All karmas irrespective of their nature should be converted into good karmas. This can be better understood by the following example. While painting a red colored wall with green paint with the intention to make it green, it first gets converted into yellow color. But repeated painting with green will ultimately make it green.

The red color here can be compared to bad past karmas and green color to good present karmas. By doing positive activities time and again, one can dissolve the impressions of the bad actions done in the past. To start with, there may be a reaction from the others (which is equivalent to the yellow color in the above example) but if the person does not lose his confidence at that moment and continues with his good present karmas, he will ultimately end up in changing his bad past converting it into a good present and a better future. This requires continuous and repeated practice.

Self–realization and meditation are difficult processes. They involve attaining a thoughtless state, in other words, a state of experiencing the silence. All the paths for self realization are difficult, but with regular practice, one can achieve it without any problem. The path of Bhakti is often considered the path of choice for the majority of people as it is the easiest path to follow. The path of Bhakti involves a triad of “duty, devotion and discipline”. But any duty, devotion or discipline done only for a short time will not end in success, unless it is practiced over a longer period of time.

A classical example can be seen in Islam. Ramadan is a classical example of hard work leading to an atmosphere of brotherhood, love, compassion and truthfulness with significant reduction in negativity amongst the community. For one month, all the Muslims participate in a self-training program to reduce negativity and build positivity in their lives. During this month they are prohibited from indulging in sexual activities, entering into marriage ceremonies, and are encouraged to make endeavors towards self realization. The classical discipline to be maintained is fasting. Fasting here does not mean only fasting food or water alone. It also means controlling negative thinking, negative speech, and indulging in any negative action.

The Bhagavad Gita has described the five gateways to hell as attachment, desire, anger, greed and ego. Controlling them requires practice. A month of observance of controlling one’s five senses and not indulging in the five gateways of hell trains one enough to make these parameters a part of one’s life. The positive attitude practiced over one month tends to stitch it in one’s consciousness, and ultimately in a majority, becomes a part of one’s life.

There is a similar practice in Hindu religion during “Navratras”, but unfortunately, not all people observe this as dedicatedly as the Muslims.

Apart from the internal journey to self–realization, hard work plays a role even in day–to–day outer journeys be it married life, family life, social life or office life.

Hard work is the key to success, provided one controls the above five gateways to hell and practices the triad of non–expectation, detachment and being non–judgmental. Attaching oneself with actions but detaching from the results is the key to both internal as well as external success.

The Right Action

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Dharma is the path of righteousness and living one’s life according to the codes of conduct as described by the Vedas and Upanishads. Its western equivalents might include morality, ethics, virtue, righteousness and purity. The term dharma can best be explained as the “law of being” without which things cannot exist.

The word dharma is derived from dhri, which means “to hold”. It literally means “that which holds” the people of this world and the whole creation. The same is described in the Vedic Text, in Atharva Veda as: Prithivim dharmana dhritam, i.e. “this world is upheld by dharma”.

In Hinduism, Dharma is the very foundation of life. Tulsidas, the author of Ramcharitmanas, defined the root of dharma as compassion. Buddha has also described this principle in his book Dhammapada. According to Hindu philosophy, it’s GOD who holds us through “Truth” and/or “Love”. “Dharma prevails” or “truth prevails” is the essence of Hinduism.

In order to achieve good karma, Vedas teach that one should live according to dharma (the right action). This involves doing what is right for the individual, the family, the class or caste and also for the universe.

According to the Bhagavat Purana, righteous living or life on a dharmic path has four pillars: truthfulness (satya), austerity (tap), purity (shauch) and compassion (daya). It further adds that the adharmic or unrighteous life has three main vices: pride (ahankar), bad company (sangh), and intoxication (madya).

Manusmriti prescribes ten essential rules for the observance of dharma: Patience (dhriti), forgiveness (kshama), piety or self control (dama), honesty (asteya), sanctity (shauch), control of senses (indriya–nigrah), reason (dhi), knowledge or learning (vidya), truthfulness (satya) and absence of anger (krodha). Manu further writes, “Non-violence, truth, non–coveting, purity of body and mind, control of senses are the essence of dharma”.

In Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna says that in the society dharma is likely to fall from time to time, and to bring dharma back, a GOD representative is born from time to time.

The shloka “parithraanaaya saadhoonaam vinaasaaya cha dhushkr.thaam| dharma-samsthaapanaarthaaya sambhavaami yuge” (Chapter IV; 8)” says that “For the protection of the virtuous, for the destruction of evil-doers, and for establishing the rule of righteousness (Dharma), I am born from age to age [in every age]”. Another shloka “yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham” means that O descendant of Bharata “Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, and a predominant rise of irreligion – at that time I descend Myself”.

Deepak Chopra in his book Seven Spiritual Laws of Success talks about the “Law of ‘Dharma’ or Purpose in Life’”. According to him, everybody should discover his or her divinity, find the unique talent and serve humanity with it. With this, one can generate all the wealth that one wants.

According to him, when your creative expressions match the needs of your fellow humans, then wealth will spontaneously flow from the un–manifest into the manifest, from the realm of spirit to the world of form. In spiritual terms this is an attempt to find out whether one’s life is progressing as per the Laws of Dharma (Dharma in Sanskrit means ‘purpose in life’) which, according to the scriptures, is said to be the sole purpose for a human being to manifest in this physical form.

For one to achieve ‘dharma’ he suggests the following affirmative exercises:

• Today I will lovingly nurture the God or Goddess in embryo form that lies deep within my soul. I will pay attention to the spirit within me that animates both my body and my mind. I will awaken myself to this deep stillness within my heart. I will carry this consciousness of timeless, eternal being in the midst of time-bound experiences.

• I will make a list of my unique talents. Then I will list all of the things I love to do while expressing my unique talents. When I express my unique talents and use them in the service of humanity, I lose track of time and create abundance in my life as well as in the lives of others.

• I will ask myself daily, ‘How can I serve?’ and ‘How can I help?’ The answers to these questions will allow me to help and serve my fellow human beings with love. Karma, dharma and samsara are three fundamental aspects of Hinduism. Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism are all built on these aspects. Dharma is one’s appropriate role or attributes. Karma measures how well one performs one’s dharma, explains why one is born where he or she is, and why there is suffering and seeming injustices. Samsara is the continuous cycle of birth, death and rebirth, and the context for all experience.

Dharma sutras from Dharma Shãstras are the basic texts which talks about the morality of individuals and the society. Most Indian laws are made from these Shãstras.

In Jainism also, the wheel of Dharma (Chakra) with 24 spokes represents the religion preached by the 24 Tirthankaras consisting of nonviolence (Ahimsa) and other virtues.

The very first word of the Gita is “Dharma”. The Gita concludes with the word “Mama”. The whole of Bhagavad Gita is contained in the two words ‘Mama’ and ‘Dharma’. When you join these two words it becomes mamadharma, meaning ‘your true Dharma’. This is what the Gita teaches. ‘What is your Dharma?’

How to achieve your dharma?

• Do unto others what you do unto yourself and satisfy your conscience. That is your Dharma.

• The word ‘Living Dharma’ signifies right action in every moment of the life.

• Do not follow the dictates of body, and do not indiscriminately follow the mind, for the mind is like a mad monkey. Hence, follow the conscience.


Dr Deepak Chopra Endorses Hands only CPR10

Heart Care Foundation of India completed practical training of 10500 members of the general public in hands-only cardio pulmonary resuscitation, said Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal. The campaign began on 1st November and lasted till 16th November as part of the recently concluded 19th MTNL Perfect Health Mela celebrations. The training was conducted in person by Dr Aggarwal.

The following records were made

1. Crossed 10,000 number and trained 10392 members of the public in hands-only CPR over “a period of 16 days” (1st to 16th November). A total of 12613 have been trained so far.

2. Trained 1050 children and teachers in one session in multiple rescuer hands-only CPR on 1st November 2012 at Birla Vidya Niketan School using 200 human manikins.

3. Trained 201 nurses in one session in single rescuer hands-only CPR on 9th November 2012 at Constitution Club of India, Rafi Marg,New Delhi.

4. Trained 96 physically and mentally challenged students “in one session” in single rescuer hands-only CPR on 9th November 2012.

5. Trained 2217 members of the general public “in one day” in single rescuer hands-only CPR on 8th November 2012 at Constitution Club of India, Rafi Marg,New Delhi

Releasing these statistics Dr Aggarwal said that the Foundation intends to train 100,000 people in the next one year.

Dr Deepak Chopra, New Age Guru and an internationally acclaimed author, chief guest for the function said, that hands-only CPR should be taught to every school child, health care worker and relations of heart patients. He said that every effort should be made to revive a person within 10 minutes of sudden death. It is good Karma.

The CPR manta is within 10 minutes of death, earlier the better, for the next at least 10 minutes, compress the centre of the chest, continuously and effectively, with a speed of 10×10, hundred per minute.

The general public must learn CPR as Doctors often cannot reach the site or the victim cannot be taken to the medical facility in 10 minutes. Therefore, it is the public who has to learn and provide hand-only CPR, revive the heart and take the victim to the nearest medical facility.

Harshita Gupta, a 16 years old girl form Birla Vidya Niketan successfully revived her uncle last week from Cardiac arrest.

Most Hindus are vegetarians and avoid non-vegetarian items like meat and fish. They believe that taking somebody’s life creates bad Karma. Some Hindus will not even eat onion and garlic because as per them, these things are against spiritual health.

The spiritual practices observed in Hinduism are Bhakti or devotion to God; Karma or selfless work; Jnana or study of holy texts and Dhyana or Rajyoga which means meditation.

 In Hinduism, death means the death of the body and not of the soul. As per Hinduism, after leaving the body, either the soul will reenter another body or attain salvation. The mind, intellect and ego accompany the soul from one lifetime to the next. When the soul is about to attain salvation, it gets permanently separated from the mind.

During life, mind, body and soul are one, at death soul and mind are separated from the body and in salvation, soul gets separated from mind and body.

The death ritual in Hinduism involve removing the dead body from the bed, placing it on the floor and pouring the Holy Ganga water into the mouth of the dying person and reciting Gayatri Mantra or any other Mantra near the dying individual.

 Lighting a lamp near the dead person is another traditional ritual. Orthodox Hindus consider death and dead body as highly polluting. The rites end for four days, 13 days or one year depending upon the orthodoxy of the family.

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.

“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.”