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Dr K K Aggarwal

Why do we not offer Vanaspati Ghee at the time of cremation or worship?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Vanaspati Ghee is never offered to God at the time of Aarti in the Diya or to the dead body at the time of cremation. Only pure ghee is offered. It is considered a bad omen to offer Vanaspati ghee at the time of the cremation ritual even though the consciousness has left the body. What is not offered to God should not be offered to our consciousness and this is the reason for this ritual in a temple. Vanaspati ghee increases bad cholesterol and reduces level of good cholesterol in the blood. On the other hand, pure ghee only increases bad cholesterol but does not reduce the level of good cholesterol. The medical recommendation is that one should not take more than 15 ml of oil, ghee, butter or maximum ½ kg in one month.

It is a spiritual crime to offer vanaspati ghee to God.

Spiritual Prescriptions: Satsang

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Satsang is a common household word and is often held many residential colonies. Traditionally, Satsang means the regular meeting of a group of elderly or women of an area with a common intention of attaining inner happiness or peace through Bhajans or devotional songs for a particular God or Gods. In Satsang, people realize that it is the Self, communing with Self.

The Sanskrit word ‘Satsang’ literally means gathering together for guidance, mutual support or in search of truth. It may involve talking together, eating together, working together, listening together or praying together.

Most scriptures describe Sat and asat. They discriminate that this world is maya (asat) and God is Divine. Furthermore, they state that maya is not yours; Divine is yours.

Sang means to join, not just coming close, but to join. And how do you join? Only with love, which acts as glue. So Satsang is: Sat—Divine. Sang—loving association. In non–traditional Satsang, people verbally express themselves to others in an uninhibited way. Here, each participant talks free of judgment of others, and self. In this way, each person is able to see many viewpoints, which may serve to diminish the rigidity of their own.

Satsang is one way of acquiring spiritual well–being. Many scientific studies have shown that when mediation or chanting is done in groups it has more benefits than when done individually. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi once said that if 1% of the population meditates or chants together it will have a positive influence on the entire society.

Satsang also helps in creating a network of people with different unique talents. Satsangi groups are often considered in a very deep–rooted friendship.

Adi Shankaracharya in his book Bhaja Govindam also talks about satsang in combination with sewa and simran and says that together the three can make one acquire spiritual well-being. Nirankaris and Sikhs also give importance to satsang and in fact every true Sikh is supposed to participate in the Gurudwara on a regular basis.

Chanting of mantra or listening to discourses in a satsang helps to understand spirituality through gyan marga. Group chanting continued on a regular basis is one of the ways of meditation mentioned in the shastras. It shifts consciousness from sympathetic to the parasympathetic mode.

The medical educational programs of doctors of today can be called medical satsangs as whatever is discussed is for the welfare of the society.

Satsang also inculcates in us, one of the laws of Ganesha, the law of big ears, which teaches everyone to have the patience to listen to the others.

In satsang, nobody is small or big, everybody has a right to discuss or give his or her views. Over a period of time, most people who regularly attend satsang, start working from the level of their spirit and not the ego.

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 symbolize earning righteously with a desire to fulfill the inner happiness.

Righteous earning is called ‘Artha’ and mistakenly it has been 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.

The spiritual meaning of the word ‘Artha’

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on The spiritual meaning of the word ‘Artha’

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 it has been mistakenly 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.

 

The spiritual prescription “I am sorry”

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Two hardest words for a doctor to say: “I’m sorry.”

Most defense lawyers counsels doctors not to apologize to patients. Their view is that if you say you’re sorry for something, you are implicitly taking some degree of responsibility for whatever has happened or in other words you are pleading guilty. The complainant’s lawyers may use a doctor’s apology to the maximum extent possible to show the doctor knew what they did was wrong. The usual approach is deny and defend.

But

  1. Apologizing after a medical error is the humane thing to do.
  2. Patients often sue simply because it’s the only way to find out what went wrong.
  3. Erecting a wall of silence is “enough to make someone very angry. And it’s awfully easy for an angry person to find a lawyer who will listen to them. At that point, it’s too late for sorry.
  4. Over 35 states in the USA have passed laws prohibiting doctors’ apologies from being used against them in court. {apology laws)
  5. By promptly disclosing medical errors and offering earnest apologies and fair compensation one can hope to restore integrity to dealings with patients, make it easier to learn from mistakes and dilute anger that often fuels lawsuits.

Apology the spiritual answer

  1. The word ‘sorry’ is synonymous with apology.
  2. To err is human, to admit one’s error is superhuman.
  3. Sorry should be heart felt and not ego felt. You should not only say sorry but it should look like that you are sorry.
  4. Tremendous courage is entailed to face the victim of our wrong doing and apologise.
  5. It is generally seen that those who are in harmony with their life and consequently with themselves, find it easier to say ‘I’m sorry’. They are the positive, conscientious ones who are at peace only after making amends for their misdeeds.
  6. The word ‘sorry’ in itself is imbued with so much potential and power. Within a fraction of a second, grave mistakes are diluted, tepid and estranged relations are brought alive, animosity and rancour are dissolved, misunderstandings resolved and tense situations ease out resulting in harmony and rapprochement.
  7. To forgive and forget is a common spiritual saying
  8. Remember we all do mistakes and seek forgiveness form GOD every day.

Why spiritual gurus do not suffer?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Most spiritual gurus do acquire disease but they do not suffer from them. This means that they have learnt the art of facing or fighting a disease without mental suffering. They face any adversity as an opportunity to do something different in their life.

Classical examples are Lord Krishna who suffered from a nonhealing wound and Jesus Christ who at the time of his crucifixion was calm yet positive in his approach.

The Spiritual Meaning of Lord Shiva

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Most of us worship Lord Shiva without understanding the deeper meaning behind him. In Hindu mythology, Shiva is one of the three forms of God (Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh).

The Parmatama or spirit or GOD can be equated to a mixture of three forces representing Generator, (Creator or Brahma); Organizer; (Maintainer or Vishnu); Destroyer (Winding up or Mahesh or Shiva).The same three forces are also present inside our body to perform any work, which can be linked to create or generate an idea, maintain or organise the contents of the idea, and then destroy or wind up so that new work can be undertaken through Ganesha – the Lord of new happenings.

For day to day life, one has to understand and implement the principles of Lord Shiva which can be known by understanding the meaning of Shiva.

Shiva is worshipped in the sitting meditating pose, sitting on a deer’s skin at white Himalaya in the background of blue sky. Shiva is also depicted in the form smeared with the ash of graveyard, having a snake on neck, Ganga coming out of his matted hairs, three eyes, blue neck, trishul on one hand and damru on his other hand.

All these symbolic representations have a deep spiritual meaning and tell us about Shiva’s principles of success.

Shiva’s third eye means thinking differently or using the eyes of our mind and the soul. The message is, whenever you are in difficulty, use your intelligence and wisdom or think differently for getting different options. The third eye opening also represents the vanishing of ignorance (darkness or pralaya).

Shiva sitting in an open–eye meditating pose indicates that in day–to–day life one should be calm as if you are in the meditation rose. Calmness in day–to–day practice helps in achieving better results. In allopathic language it is equivalent to mindfulness living.

The snake around the neck represents one’s ego. One should keep the ego out and control it and not let it overpower you. The downward posture of the head of the snake represents that ego should be directed towards the consciousness and not outwards.

The blue neck (Neelkanth) represents that one should neither take the negative emotions out nor suppress them but alter or modify them. The blue color indicates negative thoughts.

The same in the neck indicates that negative slow emotions akin to negative emotions are neither to be drunk nor to be spitted out but to be hold temporarily and with continuous efforts (matted hairs) with cool mind (moon) and with positive thoughts (Ganga) should be directed towards the consciousness keeping the ego directed towards it (sheshnag).

Suppressed anger or any other negative emotions will release chemicals in the body causing acidity, asthma, angina and diarrhea. Expressed anger on the other hand will end up into social unhealthiness.

The ash on the skin of the body of Shiva reminds that everything in the universe is perishable and nothing is going to remain with the person. The message is that ‘you have come in this world without anything and will go back without anything, then why worry’.

The Trishul in one hand represents control of three factors i.e. mind, intellect and ego. It also represents controlling your three mental gunas i.e. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. The damru, the hollow structure, represents taking all your ego and desires out of the body.

The blue sky represents vastness and openness and the White Mountain represents purity and truthfulness.

If one adapts to Shiva’s principles in day–to–day life, one will find no obstacles both in his routine life as well as to one’s spiritual journey.

On the Shivratri day, the custom is to fast. The fast does not just indicate not eating on that day, but its deeper meaning signifies fasting of all bad things in life like – “seeing no evil, hearing no evil and speaking no evil”. Fasting also indicates controlling the desires for eating foods (like fermented, sweet, sour and salt) and control the negative thoughts both in the mind, deed as well as actions.

Spiritual prescriptions: Namaskar and Namaste

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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We are virtually nobodies, while the Cosmos is the Ultimate Being

While greeting any one in Hindu culture one takes the name of GOD, the supreme Brahma. It reminds us that we are nothing, every thing is GOD.

This traditional greeting of India has a deep spiritual meaning. It signifies non-arrogance or negation of ego.

NAMASKAR is made of three words: NAMAH + OM + KAR

NAMAH means NOT ME. It is a negation of one’s identity and hence of one’s ego or arrogance. It signifies that I am nothing.

OM is the sound of life, the primordial sound of nature. In Vedic language it signifies soul, the spirit or the GOD.

KAR means shape/form of or manifestation of.

OMKAR therefore signifies manifestation of OM, the UNIVERSE, the cosmos, BRAHMA, SHIVA or GOD. OMKAR is omnipresent and omnipotent.

NAMASKAR therefore indicates that I am nothing while OMKAR is everything. IT also gives respect to the one you say Namaskar. That I am nothing and you are GOD. In Vedantic text we are taught to give respect to atithi (atithi devo bhava).

When you bow to say namaskar, try to get angry. You cannot, because the body posture does not allow you to do so. For an angry posture you must have expansion of the chest wall and not the flexion of the chest wall.

Other schools of thought

NAMASKAR= NAM + AS + KAR

NAM is the root form of NAMAH and has the same meaning as NAMAH – NOT ME. (I am nothing).

AS means “To Be” or “To Exist” … a word derived from Astitva which means existence.

KAR means doer or one who makes or creates. For example, KAR can be seen in the words Kalakar, Chitrakar, Karmkar, Charmkar. In the above words, the suffix kar leads to the meaning of one who creates work.

ASKAR therefore means the creator of all that exists, the GOD.

Namaskar therefore has the same meaning: I am nothing every thing is the GOD

Other meanings

1. Some people interpret NAMAH as “I Bow to”. Ultimately the deeper meaning remains the same. I bow to GOD. Here you are considering the other person as GOD, which is one of Mahavakyas from Chandogya Upanishad in Sam Veda, “Tat Tyam Asi” (you are that).

2. “I salute the Almighty within you.” The true Namaste gesture is accompanied by bowing the head and shoulders slightly. This is a gesture that lessens our sense of ego and self-centeredness, requiring some humility to do it well — whereas shaking hands can be quite an arrogant event.

3. It is a sign of respect and peace

4. I bow to God in you; I love you and I respect you, as there is no one like you.”

5. The word ‘Namo’ can be split into ‘Na’ + ‘Mama’ – meaning ‘Not mine’.

6. In AHIRBUDNYA SAMHITA, Siva explains the meaning of Namah in three ways:

• STULA ARTHA: Gross etymological derivation referring to the inherent nature of the Jeeva as Sesha. Bowing the body is acceptance of the greatness of the one bowed to; when done with the eight angas (limbs), it is ‘Sashtanga’ and is the perfect Namas.

• SUKSHMA ARTHA: Subtle meaning as seen in ‘Nirukta’ when it refers to bowing in thought, word and deed with an understanding of the bowing to be a Sadhyopaya (means).

• PARA ARTHA: Supreme meaning derived from the Shastras thus: NA indicating the Upaya; MA indicating its importance and S indicating Bhagavan, the Siddhopaya.( goal )

NAMASTE

Namaste = NAMAH + TE
Namah means Not Me
Te means “they”.
The literal meaning of NAMASTE hence is “Not me, they”. The word they refer to “GOD”.

NAMASTE = that the doer of everything is not me but the Gods.

Other means of greetings

1. RAM–RAM

2. JAI SHRI KRISHNA

3. HARE KRISHNA

4. JAI SHRI RAM

5. JAI SIYA RAM

6. Sikhs say SAT SHRI AKAL, which means that Truth is the God and is timeless.

7. Sikhs also say WAHE GURUJI KA KHALSA, WAHE GURUJI KI FATEH. This is a declaration that the ultimate victory will be of the Guru and his followers.

8. Muslims say KHUDA HAFIZ, which means Khuda is the Protector.

The spiritual prescription “I am sorry”

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Two hardest words for a doctor to say: “I’m sorry.”

Most defense lawyers counsel doctors not to apologize to patients. Their view is that if you say you’re sorry for something, you are implicitly taking some degree of responsibility for whatever has happened or in other words you are pleading guilty. The complainant’s lawyers may use a doctor’s apology to the maximum extent possible to show the doctor knew what they did was wrong. The usual approach is to deny and defend.

But

• Apologizing after a medical error is the humane thing to do.

• Patients often sue simply because it’s the only way to find out what went wrong.

• Erecting a wall of silence is “enough to make someone very angry. And it’s awfully easy for an angry person to find a lawyer who will listen to them. At that point, it’s too late for sorry.

• Over 35 states in the USA have passed laws prohibiting doctors’ apologies from being used against them in court. (apology laws)

• By promptly disclosing medical errors and offering earnest apologies and fair compensation one can hope to restore integrity to dealings with patients, make it easier to learn from mistakes and dilute anger that often fuels lawsuits.

Apology the spiritual answer

• The word ‘sorry’ is synonymous with apology.

• To err is human, to admit one’s error is superhuman.

• Sorry should be heartfelt and not ego felt. You should not only say sorry but it should look like that you are sorry.

• Tremendous courage is entailed to face the victim of our wrong doing and apologize.

• It is generally seen that those who are in harmony with their life and consequently with themselves, find it easier to say ‘I’m sorry’. They are the positive, conscientious ones who are at peace only after making amends for their misdeeds.

• The word ‘sorry’ in itself is imbued with so much potential and power. Within a fraction of a second, grave mistakes are diluted, tepid and estranged relations are brought alive, animosity and rancor are dissolved, misunderstandings resolved and tense situations ease out resulting in harmony and rapprochement.

• To forgive and forget is a common spiritual saying

• Remember we all make mistakes and seek forgiveness form GOD every day.

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.

The Spiritual Meaning of Lord Shiva

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Most of us worship Lord Shiva without understanding the deeper meaning behind him. In Hindu mythology, Shiva is one of the three forms of God (Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh).

The Parmatama or spirit or GOD can be equated to a mixture of three forces representing Generator (Creator or Brahma), Organizer (Maintainer or Vishnu) and Destroyer (Winding up or Mahesh or Shiva). The same three forces are also present inside our body to perform any work, which can be linked to create or generate an idea, maintain or organize the contents of the idea, and then destroy or wind up so that new work can be undertaken through Ganesha – the Lord of new happenings.

For day to day life, one has to understand and implement the principles of Lord Shiva, which can be known by understanding the meaning of Shiva.

Shiva is worshipped in the sitting meditating pose, sitting on a deer’s skin against the white Himalayas and the background of blue sky. Shiva is also depicted as smeared with the ash of graveyard, snake around his neck, Ganga coming out of his matted hairs, three eyes, blue neck, trishul in one hand and damru in the other hand.

All these symbolic representations have a deep spiritual meaning and tell us about Shiva’s principles of success.

Shiva’s third eye means thinking differently or using the eyes of our mind and the soul. The message is, whenever you are in difficulty, use your intelligence and wisdom or think differently to get different options. Opening of the third eye also represents the vanishing of ignorance (darkness or pralaya).

Shiva sitting in an open–eye meditating pose indicates that in day–to–day life one should be calm as if you are in the meditation pose. Calmness in day–to–day practice helps in achieving better results. In allopathic language, it is equivalent to mindfulness living.

The snake around the neck represents one’s ego. One should keep their ego out and control it and not let it overpower you. The downward posture of the head of the snake represents that ego should be directed towards the consciousness and not outwards.

The blue neck (Neelkanth) signifies that one should neither take the negative emotions out nor suppress them but alter or modify them. The blue color indicates negative thoughts.

The same in the neck indicates that negative slow emotions akin to negative emotions are neither to be drunk nor to be spitted out but to be held temporarily and with continuous efforts (matted hairs) with cool mind (moon) and with positive thoughts (Ganga) should be directed towards the consciousness keeping the ego directed towards it (sheshnag).

Suppressed anger or any other negative emotions will release chemicals in the body causing acidity, asthma, angina and diarrhea. Expressed anger on the other hand will end up into social unhealthiness.

The ash on the skin of the body of Shiva is a reminder that everything in the universe is perishable and nothing is going to remain with the person. The message is that ‘you have come in this world without anything and will go back without anything, then why worry’.

The Trishul in one hand represents control of three factors i.e. mind, intellect and ego. It also represents controlling your three mental gunas i.e. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. The damru, the hollow structure, represents taking all your ego and desires out of the body.

The blue sky represents vastness and openness and the White Mountain represents purity and truthfulness.

If one adapts to Shiva’s principles in day–to–day life, one will find no obstacles both in his routine life as well as to one’s spiritual journey.

On Shivratri, it is customary to fast. The fast does not just indicate not eating on that day, but its deeper meaning signifies fasting of all bad things in life like – “seeing no evil, hearing no evil and speaking no evil”. Fasting also indicates controlling the desires for eating foods (like fermented, sweet, sour and salt) and control the negative thoughts both in the mind, deed as well as actions.

Spiritual marriage

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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I recently attended a marriage of the daughter of one of my colleagues. The marriage took place in one of South Indian temple located at Mayur Vihar.

The marriage was simple yet spiritual. Only traditional South Indian food was served.

Marriage is a spiritual bond between two members and if it is held in a spiritual atmosphere, it has lot of Vedic meaning.

Today, marriages have more to do with show–off and are held in noisy non–spiritual atmosphere either in five star hotels or in farm houses where serving of alcohol and non–vegetarian food has become a routine.

Conducting marriages in a spiritual atmosphere saves money. The money saved can be given to the young couple who are starting a new venture; they are also more spiritually relaxing and meaningful.

I personally feel that spiritually minded people should opt for a simple marriage in a spiritual atmosphere and can do a rajasik or tamsik reception after some time when the two partners have settled together for a few days.

Inaugurating a 2-day 10th national summit on Stress Management and a workshop on “How to be Healthy and Happy”, Mr. Rakesh Mehta, Election Commissioner of Delhi said that meditation should be taught as a part of our school curriculum. Yoga, pranayama and meditation, if taught early, can take care of rising problems of diabetes, heart attack and blood pressure in the society.

Speaking on the occasion, Padma Shri & Dr. BC Roy National Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India and Vice-Chairman, World Fellowship of Religions, said that by learning the Vedic lifestyle, one acquires the strength to bear any illness. Spiritual people develop disease but learn not to suffer from it. Ninety percent of happiness lies in our hands. One can choose to be happy and healthy either by making informed choices or re-experiencing the past experiences.

The seminar was organized by Heart Care Foundation of India jointly with Prajapati Brahmkumaris Aishwarya Vidyalaya, eMedinewS and World Fellowship of Religions at Om Shanti Retreat Centre, Pataudi Road, Manesar, Gurgaon.

BK Brij Mohan said that meditation and not medication is the answer for most of the lifestyle disorders. Rajyoga meditation is the answer for today’s stressful environment.

BK Asha said that even observing silence for 20 to 30 minutes a day can help one achieve inner happiness. BK Sapna present on the occasion said that meditation under a pyramid is much more powerful than under the sky.

Dr. Anil Goyal, President (Elect), Delhi Medical Association said that even doctors need to de-stress. The incidence of heart attack in doctors is no less than that in the general public. Doctors should practice what they preach.

Others who spoke on the occasion were Dr. Ramesh Hotchandani, President IMA New Delhi Branch; Dr. NK Gupta, Past Vice President, IMA South Delhi Branch; Dr. Pawan Gupta, Past President, IMA Haryana; Dr. AK Kansal, Past President, IMA, Janakpuri Branch.

Meditation can change the genes

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Amarnath cave was chosen by Lord Shiva to narrate the secrets of meditation, immortality and creation of Universe to Parvati.

A spiritual journey requires a spiritual frame of mind and a commitment of 7-10 days for self purification. Most spiritual destinations are located at up into mountains to provide a pollution free environment and involve a difficult travel so that nobody can reach the destination before 7-10 days.

This duration helps in controlling the mind, intellect, ego and getting rid of the desires, attachments and greed.

On the path of spiritual journey as one is travelling alone without carrying the worldly attachments one invariably reaches the destination in a positive state of mind and in a meditative phase to experience the truth of life and answers to unanswered questions.

The Amarnath Story

Once Parvati asked Shiva to let her know why and when he started wearing the beads of heads (Mund Mala). Shiva said whenever you are born I add one more head in my beads. Parvati said,” My Lord, my body is destroyed every time and I die again and again, but you are Immortal. Please let me know the secret of this.” Shiva replied that it is due to Amar Katha.”

Spiritual Significance

The spiritual significance of the above is, that here Shiva represents the Soul and Parvati the Body. The soul never dies and is immortal. The soul is the energized filed of information and in computer language is like the web of energized information. Every time any work is done (sanskara) a copy of the same is kept in the memory in both the soul and the spirit.

The further part of the story is the katha or the process of doing meditation and its benefits

The story

 “Parvati insisted that she may be told that secret. For long Shiva continued postponing.  Finally on consistent demand He made up his mind to tell the immortal secret. He started for lonely place where no living being could listen it. He choseAmarnathCave.”

Spiritual Significance

For learning to meditate the first principle is dedication and persistence. Second is silence or a place with no internal and external disturbance. In asthanga yoga it is called Pratyahara (the withdraw of senses).

The story

“Shiva left His Nandi (The Bull) at Pahalgam or Bail Gaon; his moon from his hairs (jatha) at Chandanwari; his snake at the banks ofLakeSheshnag; his Son Ganesha at Mahagunas Parvat (Mahaganesh Hill) and his five elements at Panjtarni.

As a symbol of sacrificing the earthly world Shiva and Parvati had Tandav Dance. After leaving behind all these, Shiva enters theHolyAmarnathCavealong with Parvati. Lord Shiva takes his Samadhi on the Deer Skin and concentrate.

 Spiritual Significance

In process of meditation one first gets rid of desires (Bull Nandi or the mind), discriminating, expectations and power of analyzing thoughts power (moon or the intellect) and ego (snake). Once that is done one is away from the worldly desires totally (Ganesh and finally the five elements). Now the body is in symphony with the soul (Tandava dance).

The story

To ensure that no living being is able to hear the Immortal Tale, Shiva created Rudra named Kalagni and ordered him to spread fire to eliminate every living thing in and around theHolyCave. After this He started narrating the secret of immortality to Parvati. But as a matter of chance one egg which was lying beneath the Deer skin remained protected. It is believed to be non living and more over it was protected by Shiva -Parvati Asan (Bed). The pair of pigeons which were born out of this egg became immortal having listened the secret of immortality (Amar Katha).

Spiritual Significance

It again signifies the importance of undisturbed state of mind at the time of meditation. Fire indicates the internally meditation generated spiritual fire or agni which burns all the negative thoughts and negative energies. The egg of the pigeon indicates that spiritual knowledge can transform at the level DNA. It also tells us that those who are sitting near the meditating persons also get benefitted.

About the author: Dr Aggarwal is Padmashri, Dr C Roy National Awardee and National Vice president Elect IMA.

The Spiritual Meaning of Lord Shiva

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Most of us worship Lord Shiva without understanding the deeper meaning behind him. In Hindu mythology, Shiva is one of the three forms of God (Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh).

The Parmatama or spirit or GOD can be equated to a mixture of three forces representing Generator, (Creator or Brahma); Organizer; (Maintainer or Vishnu); Destroyer (Winding up or Mahesh or Shiva).The same three forces are also present inside our body to perform any work, which can be linked to create or generate an idea, maintain or organise the contents of the idea, and then destroy or wind up so that new work can be undertaken through Ganesha – the Lord of new happenings.

For day to day life, one has to understand and implement the principles of Lord Shiva which can be known by understanding the meaning of Shiva.

Shiva is worshipped in the sitting meditating pose, sitting on a deer’s skin at white Himalaya in the background of blue sky. Shiva is also depicted in the form smeared with the ash of graveyard, having a snake on neck,Ganga coming out of his matted hairs, three eyes, blue neck, trishul on one hand and damru on his other hand.

All these symbolic representations have a deep spiritual meaning and tell us about Shiva’s principles of success.

Shiva’s third eye means thinking differently or using the eyes of our mind and the soul. The message is, whenever you are in difficulty, use your intelligence and wisdom or think differently for getting different options. The third eye opening also represents the vanishing of ignorance (darkness or pralaya).

Shiva sitting in an open-eye meditating pose indicates that in day-to-day life one should be calm as if you are in the meditation rose. Calmness in day-to-day practice helps in achieving better results. In allopathic language it is equivalent to mindfulness living.

The snake around the neck represents one’s ego. One should keep the ego out and control it and not let it overpower you. The downward posture of the head of the snake represents that ego should be directed towards the consciousness and not outwards.

The blue neck (Neelkanth) represents that one should neither take the negative emotions out nor suppress them but alter or modify them. The blue color indicates negative thoughts.

The same in the neck indicates that negative slow emotions akin to negative emotions are neither to be drunk nor to be spitted out but to be hold temporarily and with continuous efforts (matted hairs) with cool mind (moon) and with positive thoughts (Ganga) should be directed towards the consciousness keeping the ego directed towards it (sheshnag).

Suppressed anger or any other negative emotions will release chemicals in the body causing acidity, asthma, angina and diarrhea. Expressed anger on the other hand will end up into social unhealthiness.

he ash on the skin of the body of Shiva reminds that everything in the universe is perishable and nothing is going to remain with the person.  The message is that ‘you have come in this world without anything and will go back without anything, then why worry’.

The Trishul in one hand represents control of three factors i.e. mind, intellect and ego. It also represents controlling your three mental gunas i.e. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.  The damru, the hollow structure, represents taking all your ego and desires out of the body.

The blue sky represents vastness and openness and the White Mountain represents purity and truthfulness.

If one adapts to Shiva’s principles in day-to-day life, one will find no obstacles both in his routine life as well as to one’s spiritual journey.

On the Shivratri day, the custom is to fast. The fast does not just indicate not eating on that day, but its deeper meaning signifies fasting of all bad things in life like – “seeing no evil, hearing no evil and speaking no evil”. Fasting also indicates controlling the desires for eating foods (like fermented, sweet, sour and salt) and control the negative thoughts both in the mind, deed as well as actions.