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Dr K K Aggarwal

Spiritual prescriptions learnt from patients

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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As doctors we are witness to human suffering. When we were young in medical college, we were quite disturbed seeing the sufferings of the people. But, in our practice, we have learnt many spiritual prescriptions from our patients. These have not only helped us to heal our patients but also changed our perception to health and sickness.

I recall Swami Bodhanand, a disciple of Swami Chinmayananda, was once hospitalized under our care. When I asked him to give me a spiritual message, he said only two words “Detached Attachment”. He said, “As a doctor you should behave like a lotus leaf. It is wet as long as there is a drop of water on it, but once the drop is out, the leaf is as dry as if the water was never there.” The message was that “we should be attached to our patients as long as they are with us. The day they die, we should be completely detached from them or else we will not be able to treat other patients”.

I saw another spiritual guru through our Chief Anesthetist. The fee he paid me was a spiritual message “Suno Samjho Jano Karo – Hear Understand Wisdom and Do”. He said that hearing is different from listening, listening is different from wisdom and wisdom is different from doing. Unless you hear, understand what you have heard and implement, the learning has no value.

One of my Buddhist patients gave me a spiritual learning, which has helped me a lot in my routine clinical practice. He taught me the basic Buddhist message that there is suffering all over, there is a reason for every suffering and it is possible to maintain sufferings. This message fits into the main message of Hinduism and also the main teaching from Garud Purana.

In Hinduism, we know that the very fact that we are born in this life means that in our last life, we could not get liberation as Hinduism believes that after liberation you are not reborn. Not getting liberated in the last birth means that some sufferings were left in our life. The basic purpose of this birth, therefore, is to face sufferings. When the basic purpose of our birth is to face sufferings, then why suffer from these sufferings. Every time we suffer, we should thank God that he has reduced one more. The period in between two sufferings is called a happy period (Sukh). In fact that period is nothing but a period of rest given by God to us to prepare the body for next suffering. This as a concept of counseling helps my patients in managing most of their mental disturbances.

Not telling a patient that he is suffering from terminal cancer sometime works. One of my patient’s father aged 83 years was found to have extensive cancer of the prostate. Medically, we all gave him three months to live. My patient did not have the courage to tell his father or the family members that he (the father) had extensive cancer. He took me into confidence and played a game with the family. We gathered all the family members and told them that with the surgery this cancer had been cured. A party was organized in the evening to celebrate the cure. The magic happened; he lived almost a symptom–free life for the next 9 years. I have tried this on many of my patients thereafter and it works. The probable explanation was loss of fear of death, a confidence in his doctor and faith in himself.

The way to live up to the age of hundred is to go on working in life. My great grand–father–in–law was 75 years old, when I got married. That year, he gathered all family members across the world and said that his purpose of life was over and, he would like a collective family photograph and like to quit the world. Nothing happened for a year and he did this again next year. The Entire family from across the world gathered but he remained alive for another year. This went on for three years. Suddenly, we played a spiritual trick on him and told everyone to convince him that he is going to live for 100 years as he has many more work of the family to be done. Every year, we gave him law students from within the family to be taught (he was a lawyer himself), or gave him the responsibility of finding a boy for some eligible girl in the family. We made him teach and search for suitable bride/bridegrooms for years together and he actually died at the age of 100 years. This is the beauty of positive attitude in life.

Spiritual Prescriptions – Controlling the Inner Noise

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Spiritual Prescriptions – Controlling the Inner Noise

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define yoga as restraint of the mental states (Chapter 1.2). In the state of total restraint, the mind is devoid of any external object and is in its true self or the consciousness. Many Vedic scholars have given their own formulae to control the mind. Being in touch with one’s own consciousness requires restraining of the mind, intellect and ego on one hand and the triad of rajas, tamas and satwa on the other hand. Every action leads to a memory, which in turn leads to a desire and with this a vicious cycle starts.

The mental turmoil of thoughts can be equated to the internal noise and the external desires and objects to an external noise.

The process of withdrawing from the external noise with an aim to start a journey inwards the silent field of awareness bypassing the internal noise is called pratihara by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It involves living in a satwik atmosphere based on the dos and don’ts learnt over a period of time or as told by the scriptures. To control inner noise-based thoughts, we either need to neutralize negative thoughts by cultivating opposite thoughts or kill the origin of negative thoughts.

Not allowing thoughts to occur has been one of the strategies mentioned by the scholars. One of them has been neti–neti by Yagnayakya.

The other method is to pass through these inner thoughts and not get disturbed by it and that is what the process of meditation is. This can be equated to a situation where two people are talking in an atmosphere of loud external noise. For proper communication one will have to concentrate on each other’s voice for long till the external noise ceases to disturb. In meditation, one concentrates on the object of concentration to such an extent that the noisy thoughts cease to bother or exist.

One of the ways mentioned by Adi Shankaracharya in Bhaja Govindam and by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Chapter 2.35) is that whenever one is surrounded by evil or negative thoughts, one should meditate open the contrary thoughts. For example, if one is feeling greedy, one can think of donating something to somebody. Deepak Chopra in his book Seven Laws of Spiritual Success talks in detail about the importance of giving and sharing. He says you should never visit friends or relations empty handed. You should always carry some gift of nature, which if nothing is available can be a simple smile, compliment or a flower. By repeatedly indulging into positive behavior and thoughts, you can reduce the internal noise, which helps in making the process of meditation or conscious living a simpler one.

Washing out negative thoughts is another way mentioned by many Vedic scholars. Writing for 3 min is one such exercise which anybody can do. Just before sleeping, take 3 min and write down all your emotions and then discard the paper. Another exercise is to reward or punish oneself at bed time for the activities done during the day by either patting or slapping yourself.

Spiritual prescriptions learnt from patients

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on Spiritual prescriptions learnt from patients

In a hospital practice, we all are a witness to suffering all the time. When we were young, in medical college, we quite often were disturbed seeing the sufferings of the people. But, in our practice, we have learnt many spiritual prescriptions from our patients. These have not only helped us to heal our patients but also changed our perception to health and sickness.

I recall Swami Bodhanand, a disciple of Swami Chinmayananda, was once hospitalized under our care. When I asked him to give me a spiritual message, he told me only two words “Detached Attachment”. He said, “As a doctor you should behave like a lotus leaf. It is wet as long as a drop of water is there, but once the drop is out, the leaf is as dry as if the water was never there.” The message was that “we should be attached to our patients as long as they are with us. The day they die, we should be completely detached from them or else we will not be able to treat other patients”.

I saw another spiritual guru through our Chief Anesthetist. The fee he paid to me was a spiritual message “Suno Samjho Jano Karo – Hear Understand Wisdom and Do”. He said that hearing is different from listening, listening is different from wisdom and wisdom is different from doing. Unless you hear, understand what you have heard and implement, the learning has no value.

One of my Buddhist patients gave me a spiritual learning, which has helped me a lot in my routine clinical practice. He taught me the basic Buddhist message that there is suffering all over; there is a reason for every suffering and it is possible to maintain sufferings. This message fits into the main message of Hinduism and also the main teaching from Garud Purana.

In Hinduism, we know that the very fact that we are born in this life means that in our last life, we could not get liberation as Hinduism believes that after liberation you are not reborn. Not getting liberated in the last birth means that some sufferings were left in our life. The basic purpose of this birth, therefore, is to face sufferings. When the basic purpose of our birth is to face sufferings, then why suffer from these sufferings. Every time we suffer, we should thank God that he has reduced one more. The period in between two sufferings is called a happy period (Sukh). In fact that period is nothing but a period of rest given by God to us to prepare the body for next suffering. This as a concept of counseling helps my patients in managing most of their mental disturbances.

Sometimes not telling a patient that he is suffering from terminal cancer works. One of my patient’s father aged 83 years was found to have extensive cancer of the prostate. Medically, we all gave him three months’ to live. My patient did not have the courage to tell his father or the family members that he (the father) had extensive cancer. He took me into confidence and played a game with the family. We gathered all the family members and told them that with the surgery this cancer had been cured. A party was organized in the evening to celebrate the cure. The magic happened; he lived almost a symptom–free life for the next 9 years. I have tried this on many of my patients thereafter and it works. The probable explanation was loss of fear of death, a confidence in his doctor and faith in himself.

The way to live up to the age of hundred is to go on working in life. My great grand–father–in–law was 75 years old, when I got married. That year, he gathered all family members across the world and said that his purpose of life was over and, he would like a collective family photograph and like to quit the world. Nothing happened for a year and on 20th July next year, he again played behaved the same way. Family from across the world gathered but he remained alive for another year. This went on for three years. Suddenly, we played a spiritual trick on him and told everyone to convince him that he is going to live for 100 years as he has many more work of the family to be done. Every year, we gave him law students from within the family to be taught (he was a lawyer himself), or gave him the responsibility of finding a boy for some eligible girl in the family. We made him teach and search for suitable bride/bridegrooms for years together and he actually died at the age of 100 years. This is the beauty of positive attitude in life.

Spiritual prescriptions: Namaskar and Namaste

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , | | Comments Off on Spiritual prescriptions: Namaskar and Namaste

 

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, everything is GOD. 

This traditional greeting of India has a deeper 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 denotes 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). 

Try to get angry, when you bow to say namaskar. 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 everything is the GOD. 

Other meanings

  • 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 Tvam Asi” (you are that).
  • “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. Shaking hands can be quite an arrogant event.
  • It is a sign of respect and peace
  • I bow to the God in you; I love you and I respect you, as there is no one like you.”
  • The word ‘Namo’ can be split into ‘Na’ + ‘Mama’ – meaning ‘Not mine’.
  • 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 ways of greetings

  • Ram–Ram
  • Jai Shri Krishna
  • Hare Krishna
  • Jai Shri Ram
  • Jai Siya Ram
  • Sikhs say Sat Shri Akal, which means that Truth is the God and is timeless.
  • 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.
  • Muslims say Khuda Hafiz, which means Khuda is the Protector.

Spiritual Prescriptions – Controlling the Inner Noise

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Spiritual Prescriptions – Controlling the Inner Noise

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define yoga as restraint of the mental states (Chapter 1.2). In the state of total restraint, the mind is devoid of any external object and is in its true self or the consciousness. Many Vedic scholars have given their own formulae to control the mind.


Being in touch with one’s own consciousness requires restraining of the mind, intellect and ego on one hand and the triad of rajas, tamas and satwa on the other hand. Every action leads to a memory, which in turn leads to a desire and with this a vicious cycle starts.

The mental turmoil of thoughts can be equated to the internal noise and the external desires and objects to an external noise.

The process of withdrawing from the external noise with an aim to start a journey inwards the silent field of awareness bypassing the internal noise is called pratihara by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It involves living in a satwik atmosphere based on the dos and don’ts learnt over a period of time or as told by the scriptures. To control inner noise-based thoughts, we either need to neutralize negative thoughts by cultivating opposite thoughts or kill the origin of negative thoughts.

Not allowing thoughts to occur has been one of the strategies mentioned by the scholars. One of them has been neti–neti by Yagnayakya.

The other method is to pass through these inner thoughts and not get disturbed by it and that is what the process of meditation is. This can be equated to a situation where two people are talking in an atmosphere of loud external noise. For proper communication one will have to concentrate on each other’s voice for long till the external noise ceases to disturb. In meditation, one concentrates on the object of concentration to such an extent that the noisy thoughts cease to bother or exist.

One of the ways mentioned by Adi Shankaracharya in Bhaja Govindam and by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Chapter 2.35) is that whenever one is surrounded by evil or negative thoughts one should meditate open the contrary thoughts. For example, if one is feeling greedy, one can think of donating something to somebody. Deepak Chopra in his book Seven Laws of Spiritual Success talks in detail about the importance of giving and sharing. He says you should never visit friends or relations empty handed. You should always carry some gift of nature, which if nothing is available can be a simple smile, compliment or a flower. By repeatedly indulging into positive behavior and thoughts, you can reduce the internal noise, which helps in making the process of meditation or conscious living a simpler one.

Washing out negative thoughts is another way mentioned by many Vedic scholars. Writing for 3 min is one such exercise which anybody can do. Just before sleeping, take 3 min and write down all your emotions and then discard the paper. Another exercise is to reward or punish oneself at bed time for the activities done during the day by either patting or slapping yourself.

Spiritual Prescriptions – Controlling the Inner Noise

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Spiritual Prescriptions – Controlling the Inner Noise

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define yoga as restraint of the mental states (Chapter 1.2). In the state of total restrain, the mind is devoid of any external object and is in its true self or the consciousness. To control the mind many Vedic scholars have given their own formulas.

Being in touch with one’s own consciousness requires restraining of the mind, intellect and ego on one hand and the triad of rajas, tamas and satwa on the other hand. Every action leads to a memory, which in turn leads to a desire and with this a vicious cycle starts.

The mental turmoil of thoughts can be equated to the internal noise and the external desires and objects to an external noise.

The process of withdrawing from the external noise with an aim to start a journey inwards the silent field of awareness bypassing the internal noise is called pratihaara by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It involves living in a satwik atmosphere based on the dos and don’ts learnt over a period of time or as told by the scriptures.

To control inner noise based thoughts we either need to neutralize negative thoughts by cultivating opposite thoughts or kill the origin of negative thoughts.

Not allowing thoughts to occur has been one of the strategies mentioned by the scholars. One of them has been neti-neti by Yagnayakya.

The other method is to pass through these inner thoughts and not get disturbed by it and that is what the process of meditation is. This can be equated to a situation where two people are talking in an atmosphere of loud external noise. For proper communication one will have to concentrate on each others voice for long till the external noise ceases to disturb. In meditation, one concentrates on the object of concentration to such an extent that the noisy thoughts cease to bother or exist.

One of the ways mentioned by Adi Shankaracharya in Bhaja Govindam and by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Chapter 2.35) is that whenever one is surrounded by evil or negative thoughts one should meditate open the contrary thoughts. For example, if one is getting evil desires after seeing bare breasts of a young lady, one can think that these very breasts gave me an opportunity to drink milk when I was born.

Similarly when one is feeling greedy, one can think of donating something to somebody. Deepak Chopra in his book Seven Laws of Spiritual Success talks in detail about the importance of giving and sharing. He says one should never visit his friends or relations empty handed. One should always carry some gift of nature, which if nothing is available can be a simple smile, compliment or a flower. By repeatedly indulging into positive behavior and thoughts, you can reduce the internal noise, which helps in making the process of meditation or conscious living a simpler one.

Washing out negative thoughts is another way mentioned by many Vedic scholars. Three minutes writing is one such exercise which anybody can do. Just before sleep anybody can do three minutes writing where you can write down all your emotions and then discard the paper. Another exercise is to reward or punish one self at bed time for the activities done during the day by either patting or slapping yourself.

Spiritual Prescriptions: Satsang

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Satsang is a common household word and is often held in many residential colonies. Traditionally, Satsang meant 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 the 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.

Spiritual prescriptions learnt from patients

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Spiritual prescriptions learnt from patients

In a hospital practice, we all are a witness to suffering all the time. When we were young, in medical college, we quite often were disturbed seeing the sufferings of the people. But, in our practice, we have learnt many spiritual prescriptions from our patients. These have not only helped us to heal our patients but also changed our perception to health and sickness. I recall Swami Bodhanand, a disciple of Swami Chinmayananda, was once admitted with us. When I asked him to give me a spiritual message, he told me only two words “Detached Attachment”. He said, “As a doctor you should behave like a lotus leaf. It is wet as long as a drop of water is there, but once the drop is out, the leaf is as dry as if the water was never there.” The message was that “we should be attached to our patients as long as they are with us. The day they die, we should be completely detached from them or else we will not be able to treat other patients”. I saw another spiritual guru through our Chief Anesthetist. The fee he paid to me was a spiritual message “Suno Samjho Jano Karo – Hear Understand Wisdom and Doing”. He said that hearing is different from listening, listening is different from wisdom and wisdom is different from doing. Unless you hear, understand what you have heard and implement, the learning has no value. One of my Buddhist patients gave me a spiritual learning, which has helped me a lot in my routine clinical practice. He taught me the basic Buddhist message that there is suffering all over; there is a reason for every suffering and it is possible to maintain sufferings. This message fits into the main message of Hinduism and also the main teaching from Garud Purana. In Hinduism, we know that the very fact that we are born in this life means that in our last life, we could not get liberation as Hinduism believes that after liberation you are not reborn. Not getting liberated in the last birth means that some sufferings were left in our life. The basic purpose of this birth, therefore, is to face sufferings. When the basic purpose of our birth is to face sufferings, then why suffer from these sufferings. Every time we suffer, we should thank God that he has reduced one more. The period in between two sufferings is called a Happy period (Sukh). In fact that period is nothing but a period of rest given by God to us to prepare the body for next suffering. This as a concept of counseling helps my patients in managing most of their mental disturbances. Sometimes not telling a patient that he is suffering from terminal cancer works. One of my patient’s father aged 83 years was found to have extensive cancer of the prostate. Medically, we all gave him three months’ to live. My patient had no guts to tell his father or the family members that he (the father) had extensive cancer. He took me into confidence and played a game with the family. We gathered all the family members and told them that with the surgery this cancer had been cured. A party was organized in the evening to celebrate the cure. The magic happened; he lived almost a symptom–free life for the next 9 years. I have tried this on many of my patients thereafter and it works. The probable explanation was loss of fear of death, a confidence in his doctor and faith in himself. The way to live up to the age of hundred is to go on working in life. My great grand–father–in–law was 75 years old, when I got married. That year, he gathered all family members across the world and said that his purpose of life was over and, he would like a collective family photograph and like to quit the world. Nothing happened for a year and on 20th July next year, he again played behaved the same way. Family from across the world gathered but he remained alive for another year. This went on for three years. Suddenly, we played a spiritual trick on him and told everyone to convince him that he is going to live for 100 years as he has many more work of the family to be done. Every year, we gave him law students from within the family to be taught (he was a lawyer himself), or gave him the responsibility of finding a boy for some eligible girl in the family. We made him teach and search for the bride for years together and he actually died at the age of 100 years. That is the beauty of positive attitude in life.

Spiritual prescriptions: Namaskar and Namaste

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on Spiritual prescriptions: Namaskar and Namaste

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, everything 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).

Try to get angry, when you bow to say namaskar. 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 everything is the GOD.

Other meanings

  • 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 Tvam Asi” (you are that).
  • “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. Shaking hands can be quite an arrogant event.
  • It is a sign of respect and peace
  • I bow to God in you; I love you and I respect you, as there is no one like you.”
  • The word ‘Namo’ can be split into ‘Na’ + ‘Mama’ – meaning ‘Not mine’.
  • 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.

Spiritual Prescriptions – Controlling the Inner Noise

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define yoga as restraint of the mental states (Chapter 1.2). In the state of total restraint, the mind is devoid of any external object and is in its true self or the consciousness. To control the mind many Vedic scholars have given their own formulas.

Being in touch with one’s own consciousness requires restraining of the mind, intellect and ego on one hand and the triad of rajas, tamas and satwa on the other hand. Every action leads to a memory, which in turn leads to a desire and with this a vicious cycle starts.

The mental turmoil of thoughts can be equated to the internal noise and the external desires and objects to an external noise.

The process of withdrawing from the external noise with an aim to start a journey inwards the silent field of awareness bypassing the internal noise is called pratihara by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It involves living in a satwik atmosphere based on the dos and don’ts learnt over a period of time or as told by the scriptures.
To control inner noise based thoughts we either need to neutralize negative thoughts by cultivating opposite thoughts or kill the origin of negative thoughts.

Not allowing thoughts to occur has been one of the strategies mentioned by the scholars. One of them has been neti–neti by Yagnayakya.

The other method is to pass through these inner thoughts and not get disturbed by it and that is what the process of meditation is. This can be equated to a situation where two people are talking in an atmosphere of loud external noise. For proper communication one will have to concentrate on each other’s voice for long till the external noise ceases to disturb. In meditation, one concentrates on the object of concentration to such an extent that the noisy thoughts cease to bother or exist.

One of the ways mentioned by Adi Shankaracharya in Bhaja Govindam and by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Chapter 2.35) is that whenever one is surrounded by evil or negative thoughts one should meditate open the contrary thoughts. For example, if one is feeling greedy, one can think of donating something to somebody. Deepak Chopra in his book Seven Laws of Spiritual Success talks in detail about the importance of giving and sharing. He says you should never visit friends or relations empty handed. You should always carry some gift of nature, which if nothing is available can be a simple smile, compliment or a flower. By repeatedly indulging into positive behavior and thoughts, you can reduce the internal noise, which helps in making the process of meditation or conscious living a simpler one.

Washing out negative thoughts is another way mentioned by many Vedic scholars. Three minutes writing is one such exercise which anybody can do. Just before sleep anybody can do three minutes writing where you can write down all your emotions and then discard the paper. Another exercise is to reward or punish oneself at bed time for the activities done during the day by either patting or slapping yourself.

Spiritual Prescriptions: Meaningful Coincidences – Synchronicity

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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If you bump into someone you haven’t met for a long time, then it is advisable to stop and talk to him or her. Remain aware of a message from the universe that they might be carrying for you. Follow the coincidence through, and you’ll be amazed to find where it takes you.

Time and again, we all experience coincidences that has some special meaning or significance, and that appears to defy the laws of probability. Most of us tend to ignore them as something amusing or insignificant.

Today scientists define these coincidences as “Synchronicity.” In laymen terms, they mean ‘coming together of seemingly unrelated events.’

Deepak Chopra calls ‘Synchro Destiny’ as the inherent Power of Meaningful Coincidence (present in everyone) to manifest ‘ Abundance’ in one’s Life. 7l ‘Abundance’ may include material wealth, emotional well–being, spiritual fulfillment, ability to fully experience love and compassion, and feel the joy and being able to spread it to others.

Synchro–Destiny is more than a coincidence as it contains a purpose or a meaning, has a direction and a force of intention. All these come from within us, and each one of us has the power to activate these.

‘Synchro–Destiny’ as a phenomenon is not uncommon and is highly significant. Every meaningful coincidence has a force and direction, and it requires understanding and participating in the process of meaningful coincidence. It requires lending our attention and intention in order to bring the process to fruition. When this happens, there occurs a spontaneous fulfillment of desire in the field of infinite possibilities. It is not about waving a magic wand to gratify ego-based desires. It is about something very different – it’ s actually the fulfillment of intentions that exist at much deeper levels, and of desires that are based in spirit rather than ego.

To understand the genesis at Synchro–Destiny, one needs to know that that our lives are truly connected at every moment to the creative power of the universe (called ‘ Brahman’ in Vedas). These connections require acquiring a state described in Vedic description as ‘ Ritam bhara pragya’ (Ritam (rhythm), Bhara (full of), Pragya (mind), or in other words “a mind full of rhythm”). It represents that state of mind where the thought waves are synchronous with the order of the universe and where the microcosm and macrocosm are in coherence with each other.

Consciousness or the ‘ soul’ is the silent state of mind with full powers. These powers are hidden under the smoke of mind, intellect and ego which is controlled by the software of action, memory and desires. The interface between the two layers, the disturbed and the undisturbed state of consciousness, is what the “ritam bhara pragya”is. Once you cross into this state, the intentions becomes powerful and one start experiencing spontaneous fulfillment of desires.

In Vedas, this term is loosely translated as “a state where only truth is known”. It is said that if one can be conscious in this state, a desire can be manifested as it is right at the level of manifestation onto the physical plane. This is also the level where one experiences the Siddhis or super normal powers as described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras.

Deepak Chopra in his latest book on this subject describes seven key principles for mastering Synchro–Destiny.

  1. The existence of the Conscious Energy Field: It indicates the presence of an underlying intelligence within and outside the body. The whole universe can be called as an extended part of our body. (Sri Ramanuja, the proponent of qualified dualism). When one lives one’s life with an appreciation of coincidences and their meanings, one has connected to the underlying field of infinite possibilities.
  2. Creating Cosmic Connections: Creating Cosmic Connections means creating a human environment in which Synchrondash;Destiny can take place. In mastering Synchro–Destiny, the ability to create positive human relationships is much more than a tactic or a manipulative necessity, and is rather very fundamental to life, in the same way as ‘gravity’ or ‘having air to breathe’ is fundamental.
  3. Mastering Inner Dialogue: Controlling the disturbed state of consciousness.
  4. The art of Penetrating the Conspiracy of Improbabilities: It means learning to recognize meaningful coincidences and to see them as opportunities rather than just little breaks in your daily routine (synchronistic moments).
  5. Harnessing Emotional Turbulence: Once we understand that the universe really is our extended body, it becomes very clear that negative energy within ourselves is very self –destructive. Emotional Turbulence is a major barrier to the spontaneous fulfillment of desire. Transforming negative energy into a higher level of awareness is the fifth principle of mastering Synchro-Destiny.
  6. Learning to use the Infinite Organizing Power of Intention: Understanding that beyond known forces like gravity or electromagnetism that control the universe, there is a strong internal thought force called ‘intention’.
  7. Celebrating the Cosmic Dance: When you have mastered Synchro –Destiny, and have learned to synchronize your life with the universe itself, you are Celebrating the Cosmic Dance.

Once you follow these principles, the following transformations take place.

o You see the world as an extension of your inner self, as part of the bigger biosphere.
o Through relationships you learn about your non–local self (spiritual, soulful self) and the higher realm that connects us.
o You become aware of when your thoughts are coming from the spirit and when they are coming from the ego.
o You understand the power of intention and how it works.
o You let go of the grievances and resentment which overshadow your spiritual self.
o You value both the masculine and feminine aspects of your being.
o You start appreciating the wonders of the universe and stay alert to coincidences.

SynchroDestiny can be learnt as a procedure that involves gaining access to a place deep within us (restful alert state of consciousness during meditation), willfully recognizing and noticing the coincidences in the daily routine and looking for the message behind them; and using the power of intention to take advantage of them.

It can be learnt in stages:

  • Stage 1: Start seeing coincidences while they are happening in daily routine.
  • Stage 2: Develop an awareness of coincidences while they are happening and take advantage of the opportunities they may be presenting. Awareness translates into energy hence the more attention you give to coincidences, the more is the likelihood for them to happen.
  • Final stage: Become fully aware of the interrelatedness of all things, how each affects the next, and how they all are ‘in sync’ with one another. ‘In sync’ is a colloquial way of saying ‘in synchrony’, which means operating in unison, as ‘one’. This synchrony is choreographed by a great, all pervasive higher intelligence that lies at the heart of nature (Universe), and is manifest in each of us through what we call the ‘soul’. By applying attention and force of intention to these coincidences, we can create specific position outcomes in our lives.

Quotes

“Synchronicity can be defined as a non–causal but meaningful relationship between events or states of mind within the human psyche and events in the outside world. Putting it more simply, we can call synchronicity as the experiences of “meaningful coincidence”. We have all had experiences that we intuitively recognize as meaningful, though we would be hard pressed to explain them in rational terms. In fact, these “meaningful coincidences” are not coincidences at all but spontaneous realizations of the underlying interconnectedness of all things within the Universe.” (Laurence Boldt – Tao of Abundance)

  1. Acausal (karmically connected) Atemporal Non–Local Quantum Mechanics Interrelatedness: (Deepak Chopra)
  2. As Heraclitus put it, “The unseen design of things is more harmonious than the seen.”
  3. James Redfield, in the ‘Celestine Prophecy’, describes the first insight as about following meaningful coincidences. Coincidences, if followed through, are seen as a way of evolving to a higher level of vibration consciousness. When we are in the flow, we experience more synchronous events and hence more pleasure and less pain. The flow of coincidences is our path to higher grounds of evolution.
  4. The Law of Synchronization or the Harmonics of the Universe: It is taught in metaphysics, according to ancient writings…also according to modern mystics, including the respected Carl Jung that everything in this Universe, at any given moment at time is synchronized to everything else all working together, interlocked and interdependent and all related. The inseparable astrology itself is a pure demonstration of this Law.
  5. C G Jung: “We talk about synchronicity when two or more seemingly ‘pure chance’ events coincide to form a connection that has a special meaning for the perceiver.

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 meant 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. However meetings held to discuss implanting a blast couldn’t be called a satsang.

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.