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Dr K K Aggarwal

I want to live after my death

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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In my workshops, whenever I ask delegates as to how long they want to live, the answer I get from most of them is 60, 70 or 80 years. While answering they forget that they are only talking about the death of the physical body but what about the mental, social, intellectual and spiritual bodies.

It is well known that the soul never dies and so do your Sanskars and good work done. The aim of life should be that one should live even after the death of his or her physical body. It is your good Karmas, which keep your memories alive even after your physical death.

It is equally true that your bad Karmas too can make people remember you after death but that is not the purpose of life. We would like to be remembered as Rama and not like Ravana after death.

In Vedic language your present is decided by your past and your future is decided by your present. To improve your future you need to work positively in your present.

When you start working positively in your present moment, you will start neutralizing your bad karmas. It is like washing a dirty shirt, which will not become stain free in one washing. Only with repeated washings can it become stain free. Similarly washing away your bad karmas with good karmas will take time.

It is possible that even when one starts doing good Karmas, one may still suffer as the sum total of past karmas may not have been neutralized by that time.

For example, if a dacoit surrenders and wants to live a civilian life he may be pardoned to some extent but may still be jailed for some duration of time. In other word he may be pardoned from death sentence and given life sentence.

As per Bhagavad Gita, whatever your thoughts are at the time of death will decide the atmosphere you will get in your rebirth.

It also says that whatever will be your thoughts throughout your life will be your thoughts at the time of your death.

So do not expect that you can acquire positive thoughts at the time of death if you have been thinking negative throughout your life… The gist is to start doing good actions in the present.

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

To know the Mental States of a Person

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The mental state of a person in Vedic language is described in terms of gunas. The present state of mind of any person is a result of mixing of three gunas of nature called Tamoguna, Rajoguna and Satoguna. In terms of states of mind they are called Tamas, Rajas and Satwa and the nature of a person is called Tamsik, Rajsik and Satvik.

Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Ayurveda all talk about these gunas. The Sankhya philosophy also says that a mixture of the three makes up the cosmic mind as well as the human mind. Bhagwad Gita talks in great detail about the Nature, Yagna as well as diet depending upon these gunas.

A Satvik diet is the one, which makes a person full of Satoguna and makes him or her with predominant Satvik nature. The same is true for other two gunas. According to Ayurvedic text and in Atharvaveda, any food, which comes from the roots or underground part of the tree, is Tamsik in nature. Tamsik foods should not be eaten raw. They should either be slow cooked or soaked in water for hours before consumption.

Foods which are from the top part of the tree like coconut, fruits, leaves and flowers are Satvik in nature and can be consumed fresh, as they are. Foods which come from the middle part of the tree are often Rajsik in nature.

Fresh, soaked, sprouted, natural foods are often Satvik and old, left over foods are Tamsik in nature. Most Satvik foods are naturally white.

In Ramayana, Kumbhakaran represents a person with Tamsik nature, Meghnad & Ravana with Rajsik nature and Vibhishana with Satvik nature. One can see that the diet of Kumbhakaran was left over foods, onions, radish, carrots and non vegetarian food, all are tamas–producing.

Shastras also teaches us about Satvik food. In Vedic knowledge, God is represented by the consciousness and whatever is offered to God is the one, which is offered to consciousness and hence all offerings to God are soul healing and soul nurturing food items. Only Satvik foods are offered to God as one can live on Satvik food forever. Examples are dry fruits, fruits and milk. One cannot live on Rajsik or Tamsik food; hence, they have to be taken in moderation only.

The offerings to God include honey, milk, curd, fruits and vegetables, etc. Panchamrit offered in Puja is a mixture of milk, curd, ghee, honey and sugar is a classical example.

Yogashastra also talks about the role of Satvik diet in great detail. It says people who eat less are yogis, people who eat in moderation are bhogis and people who eat a lot are rogis. The synonyms are Tamsik for Rogi, Rajsik for Bhogi and Satvik for Yogi.

In terms of proper diet one should eat dinner lighter than lunch, eat only natural food during the night and follow the principles of moderation and variety.