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Dr K K Aggarwal

Do we get a human birth each time we die?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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As per Vedic sciences, Hindu philosophy believes in rebirth unless your Sanchit and Prarabdha Karmas are totally exhausted. It also believes in liberation wherein once your past karmas debt is over, you do not take a rebirth.On the other hand, Garuda Purana says that you can take rebirth in animal species, which means you can be born like a donkey or a dog. Vedic science, on the other hand, says that once you get a human body, you will either be liberated or only get another human body.The message of Garuda Purana can be read and interpreted in a different perspective. In mythology, humans have been linked to animal tendencies. For example, bull is linked to sexual and non–sexual desires, peacock to vanity etc. Probably, people who wrote Garuda Purana meant that if you do not live according to the Shastras, you will end up getting another human body but with animal tendencies and behavior

Why are most temples located in faraway places?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Most temples represent God or the spirit or the deity located in the temple or mandir situated in an area at the outskirts of the city. A spiritual atmosphere is one that is devoid of pollution and which promotes rajasik or tamasik behavior. The silence of the spiritual atmosphere reduces the internal noise and helps us onward in our inner journey. The inner journey of being in touch with one’s consciousness requires detachment from worldly pleasures and the withdrawal of the five senses of the body.

To be in touch with one’s consciousness, one needs to bypass the disturbed state of consciousness controlled by emotion, memories and desires, through mind, intellect and ego. This usually requires a prolonged period of persistence and undertaking the inward journey devoid of external stimuli. The parikrama, which means “the path surrounding something”, incorporating many long walks helps to detoxify the mind and thus shifts the consciousness from a disturbed state to an undisturbed, calm state.

A long walk not only offers physical benefits but one also gets the benefits of nature as one’s inner stimuli are exposed to the outer stimuli during the parikrama. The person is often required to walk bare foot on natural ground, inhale pure air and concentrate and listen to the sounds of the nature, birds and trees. This proximity to nature helps in the inward spiritual journey and shifts one from the sympathetic to parasympathetic mode described by lowering of blood pressure and pulse rate. The final happiness invariably comes from within us at the time of final darshan when a person invariably closes his eyes and experiences God within his heart.

Most temples today are being constructed in residential colonies and provide a holy atmosphere to people right at their doorstep. However, they do not have the same spiritual significance and benefits as a temple located at the outskirts of a city.

There is no way a person can go to a temple in the vicinity of his house and detoxify his mind as this can hardly be achieved in minutes unless you are a siddha yogi, and if you are one, you need not go to a temple as the temple is within you.

In Vedic texts, it has been clearly mentioned that to acquire powers and inner happiness, rishi, munis had to do tapasya for months and years together. This tells us that spiritual well-being is acquired over an extended period of time as the process of detoxification is a long drawn process. Cars and other vehicles should not be allowed near temples as the basic motive is to have a pollution-free atmosphere and to give time and space for the mind to detoxify.

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

The Vedic meaning of Mahamritunjaya Mantra and the Gayatri Mantra

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Any activity should always engage the 3 H model of Heart, the Head, and the Hand. The same has been advocated by the western scholars of today. The concept involves that while doing any work one should ask the head for choices and then refer these choices to the heart to choose one and finally order the hands to carry out that action.

In his book ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’, Deepak Chopra also talks about this. He writes that conscious–based decisions are the best decisions. Before taking any decision he recommends asking the body for the signals of comfort or discomfort and if the signals of discomfort are perceived, then one should not carry out that action.

All the above concepts come from our ancient Vedic knowledge. The two main mantras of our times are the Mahamritunjaya Mantra and the Gayatri Mantra.

The Mahamritunjaya Mantra is from the Rig–Veda and needs initiation for attaining any Siddhi. This is the greatest reliever from all evils and reads as under: Aum Trayambakam Yajamahe, Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam; Urva Rukamiva Bandhanan, Mrityor Mokshiye Mamritat. It means we worship Shiva – The Three–Eyed Lord; who is fragrant and nourishes all beings; May he protect us (bandhanana) from all big (urva) diseases (aarookam). May he liberate us (mokshiye) from death (mrityor), For the sake of immortality (mamritat, amrit); as the cucumber is automatically liberated, from its bondage from the creeper when it fully ripens.

The meaning of the mantra is the importance of the third eye and the benefits of its opening. The two eyes are at the level of the physical body. The third eye means the eyes of the mind and the eyes of the soul. It also indicates that in difficulty one should look inward from the eyes of the mind and ask for the choices. Like the cucumber, one should chose the good ones and drop the bad choices (Jo acha lage use upna lo, jo bura lage use jane do).

The mantra for the conscious–based decision comes from Gayatri mantra: Om Bhur Bhuvaha Suvaha Thath Savithur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayath. It means we meditate on the glory of the Creator; who has created the Universe; who is worthy of Worship; who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light; who is the remover of all Sin and Ignorance; may He enlighten our Intellect.

It talks about the importance of conscious–based decisions and its directions to the intellect to choose the right and not the convenient actions.

The Gayatri is the Vedic prayer to illuminate the intellect. Gayatri is considered as Vedasara –– “the essence of the Vedas.” Veda means knowledge, and this prayer fosters and sharpens the knowledge–yielding faculty. As a matter of fact, the four mahavakyas or ‘core–declarations’ enshrined in the four Vedas are implied in this Gayatri mantra.

Choosing the right decision from the consciousness was later defined by Buddha. He taught that before any action ask yourself the following four questions and if the answer to any of the question is no, not to indulge in that actions. These four questions are: is it the truth, is it necessary, will the actions bring happiness to you and to the others.

The Vedic meaning of Mahamritunjaya Mantra and the Gayatri Mantra

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on The Vedic meaning of Mahamritunjaya Mantra and the Gayatri Mantra

Any activity should always engage the 3 H model of Heart, the Head, and the Hand. The same has been advocated by the western scholars of today. The concept is that while doing any work one should ask the head for choices and then refer these choices to the heart to choose one and finally order the hands to carry out that action.

In his book ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’, Deepak Chopra writes that conscious–based decisions are the best decisions. Before taking any decision he recommends asking the body for signals of comfort or discomfort and if the signals of discomfort are perceived, then one should not carry out that action.

All the above concepts come from our ancient Vedic knowledge. The two main mantras of our times are the Mahamritunjaya Mantra and the Gayatri Mantra.

The Mahamritunjaya Mantra is from the Rig Veda and needs initiation for attaining any Siddhi. This is the greatest reliever from all evils and reads as under: Aum Trayambakam Yajamahe, Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam; Uruva Rukamiva Bandhanan, Mrityor Mokshiye Mamritat. It means we worship Shiva, the Three–Eyed Lord; who is fragrant and nourishes all beings; May he protect us (bandhanana) from all big (urva) diseases (aarookam). May he liberate us (mokshiye) from death (mrityor), For the sake of immortality (mamritat, amrit); as the cucumber is automatically liberated, from its bondage from the creeper when it fully ripens.

The meaning of the mantra is the importance of the third eye and the benefits of its opening. The two eyes are at the level of the physical body. The third eye means the eyes of the mind and the eyes of the soul. It also indicates that in difficulty one should look inward from the eyes of the mind and ask for the choices. Like the cucumber, one should chose the good ones and drop the bad choices (Jo achcha lage use apna lo, jo bura lage use jane do).

The mantra for the conscious–based decision comes from Gayatri mantra: Om Bhur Bhuvasvaha Thath Savithur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayath. It means we meditate on the glory of the Creator; who has created the Universe; who is worthy of Worship; who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light; who is the remover of all Sin and Ignorance; may He enlighten our Intellect.

It talks about the importance of conscious–based decisions and its directions to the intellect to choose the right and not the convenient actions.

The Gayatri is the Vedic prayer to illuminate the intellect. Gayatri is considered as Vedasara –– “the essence of the Vedas.” Veda means knowledge, and this prayer fosters and sharpens the knowledge–yielding faculty. As a matter of fact, the four mahavakyas or ‘core–declarations’ enshrined in the four Vedas are implied in this Gayatri mantra.

Choosing the right decision from the consciousness was later defined by Buddha. He taught that before any action ask yourself the following four questions and if the answer to any of the question is no, not to indulge in that actions. These four questions are: is it the truth, is it necessary, will the actions bring happiness to you and to the others.

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.

Debts in Mythology

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It is said that there are three debts which everybody has to pay in his or her lifetime. In Vedic language, they are called Dev Rin, Pitra Rin and Rishi Rin.

In medical language the body consists of soul, physical body, mind, intellect and ego. The soul is given to us by God or Devtas (Drv Rin), the physical body by our parents (Pitra Rin) and the mind, intellect and ego by our Gurus (Rishi Rin).

In terms of computer language, if I see my body as a computer, then my body as a computer is made by my parents; operating software and my inner internet represent the soul or consciousness given by the Devtas and the application software i.e. Word, Excel and Power point which we learn over a period of time are given to us by our Gurus. Therefore, all these three debts we have to pay when we are still alive.

Why We Close Our Eyes For Meditation?

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Whenever we pray, think of God, undertake an internal healing procedure, make love, kiss someone, or meditate, we automatically close our eyes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A physical body becomes useless once the life force is gone. The same body, which was lovable to everyone, becomes a liability after death. Everyone wants to dispose it as early as possible as keeping a dead body at home is considered a bad omen.

During the transfer of dead body from one place to another nobody wants to keep the body in a vehicle other than a harsh van whose job is only to carry dead bodies. No family will be willing to carry the dead body of a person in a car in which the deceased person has been traveling or driving for years.

May be for any reason, health or rituals, once you touch a dead body you are required to take a bath before you commence your daily routine.

Within a matter of hours in absence of life force, the physical body starts disintegrating and in matter of days, it shows signs of self-destruction and purification.

This vital force is nothing but the Soul, Atman, Brahma, Spirit or Consciousness described in different Vedic texts.

Aadi Shankaracharya in his book Bhaja Govindam shloka 6 says:

yávat-pavano nivasati dehe
távat-pøcchati kuùalam gehe,
gatavati váyau dehápáye
bháryá bibhyati tasmin káye.(6)

“Till the life force remains in the body, people come and enquire about your welfare. But, the moment the life force goes out, even your wife is afraid of coming anywhere near your body”.

Life force can be equated to the network of information in computer, radio, television or mobile phone. All these gazettes without a energized information are useless and are thrown away. This silent data retrievable by operational and application software represent the life force or soul of these electronic gadgets.

Shankara says that as one does not give importance to a computer without data one should not give importance to the physical body. It is the life force within the body which is respected and cared for and that is what real “I” or “We” are. All glories of the body are only until the life force remains in it. In Bhagavad-Gita, Lord Krishna in Chapter 2 (2.23) says about this life force or ataman “fire cannot burn it, weapon cannot cut it, water cannot wet it, air cannot dry it, it is immortal”.

The most defined relationship in Vedic text is between husband and wife. The very fact even a wife after the death does not want to touch the husband signifies the importance of life force.

The life force has no dimensions: height, weight, colour or image. It is immortal, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. The weight of a live and a dead body immediately after the death is the same.

It is the same life force, which dwells in everybody and during life is modified by the action, memory and desire cycle. If one gets attached to any of the three one starts getting detached from the soul or the life force. People who are in touch with their life force all the time attain peace and happiness and die young in old age.

Most Vedic mahavakyas talk about, that it is the same spirit, which dwells in everybody and hence every person in the society should be welcomed and treated with equal importance. Ahambrahmasami, tatwamasi, Vasudeva kutumbakam, etc. are a few of the examples.

According to Aadi Shankara one can achieve non-duality only by seeing God in everyone. Athithi-devo-bhava is also based on the same principle.