Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Why most temples are located in far away places?

Why most temples are located in far away places?


Most temples represent God or the spirit the deity located in the temple or mandir situated in an area at the outskirts of the city. A spiritual atmosphere is devoid of pollution and anything which promotes rajsik or tamsik 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 bypass 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 has 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  of 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 and rise in skin resistance.
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, this does 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 were also required 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.

Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya and Filaria are diseases spread by mosquitoes and are totally preventable. Here are a few tips:

Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya and Filaria are diseases spread by mosquitoes and are totally preventable. Here are a few tips:


  • Both malaria and dengue mosquitoes bite during day time.
  • It is the female mosquito which bites.
  • Dengue mosquito takes three meals in a day while malaria mosquito takes one meal in three days.
  • Malaria may infect only one person in the family but dengue will invariably infect multiple members in the family in the same day.
  • Malaria fever often presents with chills and rigors. If the fever presents together with joint and muscle pains, one should suspect Chikungunya.
  • Both dengue and malaria mosquitoes grow in fresh water collected in the house.
  • The filaria mosquito grows in dirty water.
  • There should be no collections of water inside the house for more than a week.
  • Mosquito cycle takes 7-12 days to complete. So, if any utensil or container that stores water is cleaned properly once in a week, there are no chances of mosquito breeding.
  • Mosquitoes can lay eggs in money plant pots or in water tanks on the terrace if they are not properly covered.
  • If the water pots for birds kept on terraces are not cleaned every week, then mosquitoes can lay eggs in them.
  • Some mosquitoes can lay eggs in broken tires, broken glasses or any container where water can stay for a week.
  • Using mosquito nets/repellents in the night may not prevent malaria and dengue because these mosquitoes bite during the day time.
  • Both malaria and dengue mosquitoes do not make a sound. Therefore, mosquitoes that do not produce a sound do not cause diseases.
  • Wearing full sleeves shirt and trousers can prevent mosquito bites.
  • Mosquito repellent can be helpful during the day.
  • If you suspect that you have a fever, which can be malaria or dengue, immediately report to the doctor.
  • There are no vaccines for malaria and dengue.

Over 1000 students trained in CPR 10 at Bal Bharati Public School


Giving the practical training at Bal Bharati Public School, Dwarka, Padma Shri & Dr. BC Roy National Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India and Vice President (Elect) IMA said that the origin of CPR is well described in our mythology. Savitri fighting with Yamraj to save the life of Satyavan probably was the first example of CPR in the Vedic era.
Dr. Aggarwal who gave training to over 1000 school children said that every person should learn the Savitri CPR 10 Mantra “Marne ke dus minute ke bheetar (jitna jaldi utna behtar) kam se kam agle dus minute tak (jitni der tak ho utna behtar) apni chhati peetne ke badle mare hue vyakti ki chhati peeto”.
Because of this mantra, many lives have been saved in the past few months.
Eighty percent of sudden cardiac deaths can be revived if the bystander learns CPR 10 and performs CPR 10 on a dead person within 10 minutes of death. Remember, in 10 minutes the victim cannot be taken to the hospital or a doctor may not be able to reach the victim’s site.

About HCFI : The only National Not for profit NGO, on whose mega community health education events, Govt. of India has released two National commemorative stamps and one cancellation stamp, and who has conducted one to one training on” Hands only CPR” of  46674 people since 1st November 2012.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Why AUM is recited before every mantra?

Why AUM is recited before every mantra?

Aum is a complete Asthanga Yoga in itself. Asthanga Yoga is the basis of all yoga and was introduced by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali based on the Vedic teachings. Its eight limbs are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharna, Dhayana and Samadhi.
Chanting of AUM with “UM” part chanted through the nose during expiration and slowly, with eyes closed, in a relaxing posture with mind preferentially concentrating on the sound fulfills all the criteria of Asthanga Yoga and should be advocated as a stand-alone Yoga exercise.
For doing Yoga one needs to follow the dos and don’ts of yogic life (Yama and Niyama). These incorporate the principles of moderation and variety and satvik balance in life. A person is also asked to avoid smoking.
Yogic Asanas are based on the body-mind awareness and stretching of any of the seven chakras, the crown area, the third eye area, the throat (thyroid) area, the heart area, the celiac umbilical area, the gonad area and the sacral area. These seven chakras in allopathic parlance are represented by one endocrine gland each and have autonomic plexuses located in that area. We bestow aashirwad on the Crown chakra; smack our forehead on the Third Eye chakra when we do something wrong, swear by the Throat chakra and love from the Heart chakra. Celiac chakra controls doubt, Gonadal chakra attachments and the Sacral chakra the emotions of fear.
When we chant aum it is a combination of “AU” a vowel sound and “UM” the nasal vibratory consonant sound. The chanting of vowels has been shown to produce interleukin-2, a pain killer and chanting of the sounds based on the last words of each line of Sanskrit varnamala (M, N, Ong, Un, Unn etc) produces delta activities in the brain suggesting tranquility of the mind. Whenever we have pain we automatically produce a vowel sound and each time we are disturbed, we weep and end by producing a nasal UM sound. These sounds are also vibratory in nature and vibrate all the chakras simultaneously with maximum effect on the chakra where the awareness is.
When we cry, the respiratory rate increases and when we relax, the same decreases. The reverse is also true. To relax therefore one needs to reduce the rate of respiration willfully. This can be done by prolonging either the inspiration or the expiration. Normally the respiratory rate is 15 per minute, or one respiration in four seconds (two seconds each for inspiration and expiration). The respiratory rate can be slowed by either prolonging the inspiratory or expiratory period or by adding gap in between inspiration and expiration. This process of slower and deeper respiration is called Pranayama.
If we chant the UM part of AUM during expiration and prolong it till the expiration is over, it has the same effect as Pranayama and is called the AUM Pranayama. It has the added advantage of being a vibratory sound, of stimulating the endocrine glands and the parasympathetic nervous plexuses with the result of reducing the heart rate and the respiratory rate.
While chanting AUM when the eyes are closed, the inward journey starts, called Pratayahara. Chanting starts with the intention of chanting (dharana). It is then made repetitive (dhayana) and continued for a few minutes, and ends with one’s absorption in the sound and then into “nothing” or shunya called samadhi.
Chanting of AUM therefore is complete Asthanga Yoga by itself with Yama and Niyama representing the do’s and don’t of lifestyle, posture with stretch over the chakra as the asana, nasal expiratory prolonged chanting of “UM” as the Pranayama, closing of the eyes as the Pratayahara, and being aware (living in the present moment awareness) till one is lost in the repetitive chanting as Dharana, Dhayana and Samadhi.
The chanting of AUM  vibrates the endocrine glands, has pain-relieving action, increases tranquility of the mind, balances the endocrine glands, shifts the awareness from sympathetic to the parasympathetic mode, reduces heart rate and respiratory rate and shifts one to an internal healing mode. Twenty minutes of AUM chanting, morning and evening, has the same effect as that of seven hours of deep sleep.
All letters of the alphabet are hidden in the word ‘Om’ (AUM). The sound A is produced from the deeper part of the throat; the word U from the middle part of the mouth, and the word M from the lips, labials and the teeth, the front part of the mouth. The word ‘AUM’, therefore, represents the production of complete speech.
The Mandukya Upanishad describes ‘Om’, and other Upanishads also dwell upon it. According to Kathopanishad, ‘Om’ is a great word, which all the Vedas talk about.
All of us have learnt about vowels and consonants. The consonant is a sound which cannot be spoken without the aid of a vowel. The letters ‘A’ and ‘U’ in Sanskrit are the parents of all other vowels. The alphabet ‘M’ is a consonant, which when spoken produces powerful vibrations as it involves the movement of the lip, the mandible and the teeth.
During inhalation and exhalation (process of respiration), one produces the sound ‘so’ (inhaling) and ‘ham’ (exhaling), the word ‘soham’, therefore, is repeated with every breath. From the word, ‘soham’, if the consonants (s and h) are deleted, the word ‘oam’ remains, which is also the form of ‘Om’. In Sanskrit, ‘A’ is the first letter of alphabet and ‘M’ the last. Thus, ‘A’ and ‘M’ represent everything from ‘a to z’ i.e., from beginning to the end.
If one listens to the sounds of nature like the sound produced by the flowing Ganges, the sound from the Himalayas, the sounds heard in the bustle of the city and its markets, sound produced when the fly wheel of an engine is set in motion, or of landslides,  rain, and fire or thunder, you will find that these are nothing but manifestations of ‘Om’ in nature. The creating force ‘Om’ is the symbol of that creating source which many religions call as ‘God’. It is a monosyllable of sacred value and is the essence of the tradition of the Vedas. It can be considered like a boat, which can carry you to a journey towards internal happiness.
Summary
Whenever one suffers a physical pain, the body produces a vowel sound – ‘ah’, ‘ee’, ‘oui’, ‘ma’, ‘ii’, ‘oo’ etc. The chanting of vowels produces physical health. When one is disturbed, he or she becomes relaxed after crying. Weeping sounds are ‘um, un, ong, unn’ spoken from the nose during expiration. Each one is the last sound of each line of the Sanskrit alphabet. Chanting of weeping sounds has been known to produce delta activity in the brain EEG waves, which is consistent with the tranquility of mind. Weeping sound, therefore, produces mental relaxation. If one chants both a ‘vowel’ and an ‘M’ in the weeping sound, one will achieve physical as well as mental relaxation and this is what spiritual relaxation is. All healing sounds have a ‘vowel’ and the weeping sound ‘M’ in common. ‘Ahmeen’, ‘ameeen’, ‘hoong’, ‘im’, ‘um’, aoung etc. are all mantra sounds in different religions and have the same spiritual significance as the sound of ‘AUM’.
The word ‘Om’ by its mere vibrations can destroy disease-causing germs. The only thing required is to sit quietly at a place detached from the outside world and chant ‘Om’ for just three to five minutes, two to three times in a day. This practice can help drive away all the worldly thoughts from the mind and help in achieving a state of mental relaxation. This practice, therefore, can be a good relaxation technique in today’s stressful lifestyle.

Never tell a patient that you are suspecting a diagnosis of cancer

Never tell a patient that you are suspecting a diagnosis of cancer

Informed consent and a premature communication can be dangerous. Communicate the diagnosis only after it is confirmed that too if it is necessary.
Suspicions of a cancer or any serious illness should not be communicated unless it is confirmed as it can cause more harm and the harms can persist for years, added Dr S Arulrhaj Past President Commonwealth Medical Association.
A prospective cohort study reveals that negative psychological consequences of false-positive findings on screening mammography may persist for at least 3 years after the initial diagnosis. Women with false-positive findings had similar psychosocial outcomes to those diagnosed with breast cancer at 6 months in the study. At 6 months, psychological testing showed that women who received false-positive results remained as upset as women who had breast cancer.
Three years after the false mammography results, women still exhibited greater psychosocial consequences compared with women who had normal mammograms Dr John Brodersen and Dr Volkert Dirk Siersma, PhD, of the University of Copenhagenin Denmark wrote in an article published in Annals of Family Medicine.
The reported frequency of false-positive mammography results ranges from 20% to 60% in the U.S.and Europe, said Dr Anita Kant Senior Gynecologist at Faridabad.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What are the thirteen steps of a Vedic marriage ceremony?

What are the thirteen steps of a Vedic marriage ceremony?


The basic purpose of marriage is the union of mind, body and soul of two persons. This can only occur when a person has acquired full knowledge about the ‘self’ which is the purpose of Brahmcharya. Once a person has decided to enter Grihasth Ashram, he has to abandon his childish behavior and start behaving in a mature manner.
The signs of maturity in a person are controlling the senses, acquiring humility, controlling ego and taking a vow to work in the interest of the family, society and the community. After the ‘Ghudchadi’ Ceremony, which is a ritual depicting control of the senses and practicing humility i.e. bowing in front of each other in  public (varmala), the main marriage ceremony involves understanding the very purpose of marriage and taking a vow in the presence of Agni (Fire)and people  and God.
The sankalp denotes commitment to each other and to fulfill jointly the very purpose of life, which is to earn righteously, to fulfill the desire of acquiring inner happiness. Most of us know this ceremony as the seven pheras or Saptapadi which actually came as an offshoot of the four vows, fulfilling the four Purusharthas or the very purpose of our life.
The thirteen steps of a Vedic marriage ceremony may vary among communities, from north to south and from priest to priest who conducts the  ceremony.
But the essence remains the same and that is, the parents give away their daughter to the boy and his family, and the boy and his family accept the girl as their daughter and take a sankalp in the presence of people, Agni and God that from that day onwards, their basic purpose in life will be to look after the interest of each other, community, family and the nation. The sequence of the rituals is self-explanatory. In some marriages, the pheras are four, and in others, seven. Traditionally, the seven pheras have now become synonymous with marriage.
Though the steps may have regional differences, the following thirteen steps form the core of a Vedic wedding ceremony.
1. Vara Satkaarah, Aarti and Varmala:  The reception of the bridegroom and his family and friends at the entrance of the wedding hall where the officiating priest chants  mantras and the bride’s mother blesses the groom with a garland, rice and trefoil, and applies a tilak of vermilion and turmeric powder; then she offers a small sweet piece and pan (beetel leaf). The ceremony signifies the importance of forging strong family ties as the counterparts of each family meet and greet each other over milni offerings.
Then the groom steps down from the horse and is taken to the wedding place where the bride and groom exchange garlands of fresh flowers and acknowledge their lifelong bond in front of everyone. The varmala ceremony teaches the next compulsory step in any marriage and that is to surrender to each other. The exchange of garlands is not possible without bowing to each other and this symbolizes the giving up of ego as the main step in committing to  the marriage bond.
The next series of steps take place in the mandap (canopy) where the actual marriage ceremony takes place and where the partners take their vows in front of the fire, God or the community, which bind the couple together to fulfill the very purpose of life.
2.  Madhuparka Ceremony: The reception of the bridegroom at the altar (mandap) and bestowing of presents by the bride’s father.
3.  Kanya Dan: The bride’s father gives away his daughter to the groom amidst the chanting of sacred mantras.
4.  Vivah-Homa: The sacred fire ceremony ascertaining that all auspicious undertakings are begun in an atmosphere of purity and spirituality.
5.  Pani-Grahan: The groom stands with the bride still seated. He takes  her right hand in his left hand and accepts her as his lawfully wedded wife by chanting “I take your hand in mine for fortunes and happiness for both of us. Live with me up to the days of old age, for all the wise people present here and God Himself have consented into us getting married…” Hathleva is another ritual of joining of hands. In this ceremony, some henna is put in the right hands of the couple and are tied with a cloth. The couple then prays to the gods to bless their union. This signifies an eternal bond that will join the couple forever and emphasizes that although they are separate individuals, from now onwards they are one in mind and spirit.
6.  Pratigna-Karan: It is also called Pradatishine. The groom leads the bride around the Havan Kunda three times, chanting, “I am Vishnu, you are Lakshmi.  I am the Harmony of music; you are the words of wisdom.  I represent heaven, while you are the earth personified.  Let us become one, with minds in harmony. Let us live a long life together, and while living, let us see and hear the best things in life”. To put it simply, they take solemn vows of loyalty, steadfast love and life-long fidelity to each other.
Shila Arohan: The mother of the bride assists her to step onto a stone slab and ritually counsels her to prepare herself for a new life. Or the groom asks the bride to put her right foot on a slab of stone, exhorting her to be firm like a rock when the winds of wrongdoing come to make her fickle minded.
Always remember the divine.
Always treat each other with sympathy, love and compassion.
Help each other in all good deeds.
Keep in mind pure and virtuous. Be strong and righteous.
Show goodwill and affection to parents, brothers, sisters and other family members.
Bring up the children to be strong in mind and body.
Always welcome and respect guests.
Laja-Homah:  Puffed rice offered as oblations into the sacred fire by the bride while keeping the palms of her hands over those of the groom.
9.Parikrama or Pradakshina or Mangal Phera: The couple encircles the sacred fire four times (making it a total of seven). This part of the ceremony legalizes the marriage as per customs and also according to the Hindu Marriage Act.
10. Saptapadi: The marriage knot is symbolized by tying one end of the groom’s scarf with the bride’s dress. Then they take seven steps in the northeast direction representing nourishment, strength, prosperity, happiness, progeny, long life and harmony and understanding, respectively. As each step is taken, a promise is made. The seven promises are:
1. The first step to nourish each other
2. The second step to grow together in strength
3. The third step to preserve wealth
4. The fourth step to share  joys and sorrow
5. The fifth step to care for children
6. The sixth step to be together forever
7.  The seventh step to remain lifelong friends, the perfect halves to make a perfect whole Commitments of Marriage
11. Abhishek – Sprinkling of water, meditating on the sun and the pole star.
Jai Sinchane: The priest sprinkles water over their heads, asking them to cool their powers of thought in life.
Soorya avalokan: The groom points out the sun to the bride, saying, “Here rises the glorious eye of heaven, ever rising and pure. May we live a long life to behold the golden color of the rising sun.”
Hridya sparsh: They touch each other’s heart, saying, “I take your heart into our vows, may your mind follow mine. May you listen to my voice attentively and lovingly, because God has given you to me and me to you to live together in wedded life.”
Sindoor daan/mangalsutra: The groom puts a sacred necklace around the bride’s neck as a symbol of a happy and prosperous married life. He applies sindoor in the parting of her hair, and asks the audience to bless him and his bride.
12. Anna Praashan:The couple makes food offerings into the fire and then feed a morsel of food to each other expressing mutual love and affection.
13. Aashirvad: Benediction or blessings by the elders. This is followed by Vidai in which the bride is bid farewell. This is the most emotional part of the marriage ceremony. After the wedding is over, the bride’s parents give a warm and tearful send-off to their daughter. They wish her a harmonious and long married life. From now onwards their daughter does not belong to them.

Revival of heart after death

Revival of heart after death


It is possible to save the life of a person within 10 minutes of death.
Consciousness does not leave the body till the brain is alive.
It takes upto 10 minutes for the brain to die permanently and once that happens, life cannot be brought back.
Savitri-Satyavan incident can be equated to be the first mythological example of revival with Savitri fighting with Yamraja and reviving Satyavan’s life back after sudden cardiac death.
Following are the terms which, if learnt properly, can save the life of a person:
1. Savitri Yagna  is the process of learning as to how to revive a person after death and the technique is called CPR 10.
2. Savitri Dharma means my purpose of life should be to save somebody who has died accidentally and suddenly before time.
3. Savitri Mantra is the mantra which should be recited by everybody till it is remembered at the level of your consciousness and the mind, “Marneke dus minute ke under kam se kam das minute tak 10×10=100 per minute ki speed se apni chhati peetne ke badle mare hue aadmi ki chhati peeto”.
4. Nest step is Savitri Aasan which means in which position to save the life of the person. For this the dead person is made to lie on the floor and bystanders should stands on his knee on his side.
5. Next is Savitri Mudra which means getting ready for compressing the centre of the chest of the dead victim with both arms stretched with elbow straight.
6. Savitri House: is the location where the compression has to be done on the dead person and this location has to be in between the two nipples.
7. Savitri Karma: Is to compress the centre of the chest of the dead victim with a speed of 10×10=100 per minutes.
With all this, it is possible to revive 80% of the people who die suddenly before time especially due to heart attack, drowning and electrocution.

One should die young in old age


 One should be remain active each day of our life and not die old in old age, said Padma Shri & Dr. BC Roy National Awardee Dr. KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India and Vice-Chairman World Fellowship of Religions.
 
 He was delivering the key note address at Om Shanti Retreat Centre, Pataudi Road, Manesar during 10th National Summit on Stress Management and Workshop on ‘How to be Healthy and Happy’ organised by Heart Care foundation of India in association with Prajapati Brahmkumari Aishwarya Vidyalaya and World Fellowship of Religions.

In another seminar on ‘Life After Death’ organised by the Foundation at IMA House, Dr. Aggarwal in conversation with Swami Parmananda Bharati said that all hospitals and medical establishments should have both a humor room as well as a prayer room. The dead body and the dying person should both be respected as it is only the physical body which dies and not the mind, intellect, ego and soul.

The aim of life should be to continue living after one’s physical body has died and that is only possible by doing positive Karmas.

Dr. Aggarwal said that the fact that we did not get moksha or liberation in our last birth means that some sufferings still remained for us to bear and the very purpose of our present birth is to face those sufferings. We should face them with happiness and not with sorrow. By doing positive karmas, we can not only neutralize our karmas of the past birth but also the bad karmas from birth till date.

In their introductory remarks, Prof. Uma Devi, Formerly at Delhi University, and Prof. Sunil Kumar, Hindi Scholar, said that the very purpose of life is to earn righteously to perform one’s Dharma with a desire to achieve inner happiness.

10th National Summit on Stress Management


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.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Why is a group of people required for a wedding function or for a religious event like Satsang?

Why is a group of people required for a wedding function or for a religious event like Satsang?


A Satsang is a meeting of a group of people with the common objective of attaining inner happiness or peace through bhajans or devotional songs.
The Sanskrit word Satsang’ literally means gathering together for guidance, mutual support or in search of truth. It may involve talking , eating , working , listening  or praying together.
The word Sang’ means ‘to join’. Not just coming close, but to join. And how do you join? Only with love – this acts as glue. So Satsang is:  ‘Sat’—Divine and ‘Sang’—loving association.  It is one way of acquiring spiritual well-being In Satsang, people realize that it is the Self, communing with Self. Many scientific studies have shown that when meditation or chanting is done in groups it has greater benefit than when done individually. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi once said that if 1 per cent of the population meditates or chants together, it would have a positive influence on the entire society.

Diagnosis of hypertension in childhood requires repeated BP measurements

Diagnosis of hypertension in childhood requires repeated BP measurements


One needs to confirm presence of hypertension based on three blood pressure measurements at separate clinical visits.
Normative BP percentiles are based upon data on gender, age, height, and blood pressure measurements from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and other population-based studies.
In a study initial BP measurement was normal (below the 90th percentile), pre-hypertensive (systolic or diastolic BP between the 90th or 95th percentile) and hypertensive (systolic or diastolic BP ≥95th percentile) in 82, 13, and 5 percent of children.
At follow-up, subsequent hypertensive measurements were observed in only 4 percent of the 10,848 children who had initial hypertensive values. In the cohort, the overall prevalence of hypertension was 0.3 percent.
Source: Lo JC, Sinaiko A, Chandra M, et al. Prehypertension and hypertension in community-based pediatric practice. Pediatrics 2013; 131:e415.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Why do we prostrate before parents and elders?

Why do we prostrate before parents and elders?


Most of us are taught to prostrate before our parents, elders, teachers and noble souls by touching their feet. The elders in turn give us their blessings by placing their hand on or over our heads.
This is done daily or on important occasions. Touching the feet in prostration is a sign of respect for age, maturity, nobility and divinity.
Good thoughts create positive vibrations. Good wishes and blessings arising from a heart full of love, divinity and nobility have immense power through a transfer of energy. When we prostrate with humility and respect, we invoke the good wishes and blessings of elders which flow in the form of positive energy to envelop us. This is why the posture, whether it is in the standing or prone position, enables the entire body to receive the energy thus received.

Role of Folate Or Folic Acid In Cancer Prevention

Role of Folate Or Folic Acid In Cancer Prevention


The role of folic acid in cancer prevention is uncertain.
Large observational studies have suggested a decrease in risk of colorectal and other cancers with dietary folate but others randomized trials have raised the possibility of harm.
In the largest meta-analysis of individual patient data from randomized trials of folic acid for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and colorectal adenoma during an average of 5.2 years of treatment, there was no significant difference in overall cancer incidence for patients assigned to folic acid or placebo.
Vollset SE, Clarke R, Lewington S, et al. Effects of folic acid supplementation on overall and site-specific cancer incidence during the randomised trials: meta-analyses of data on 50,000 individuals. Lancet 2013.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Why do we Place our hands over the flame?

Why do we Place our hands over the flame?


Flame is the “flame” of true knowledge. At the end of any aarti, we place our hands over the flame and then touch our eyes and the top of the head. It means – “May the light that illuminated the Lord light up my vision; May my vision be divine and my thoughts noble and beautiful.”
The metaphysical implication of aarti extends further. The sun, moon, stars, lightning and fire are the natural sources of light. The Lord is the source of these wondrous phenomena of the universe. It is due to Him alone that everything exists.
As we light up the Lord with the flame of the aarti, we turn our attention to the very source of all light which symbolizes knowledge and life. Also, the Sun is the presiding deity of the intellect, the moon, that of the mind, and fire, that of speech. The Lord is the supreme consciousness that illuminates all of them. Without Him, the intellect cannot think, the mind cannot feel and the tongue cannot speak. The Lord is beyond the mind, intellect and speech.
How can these finite entities illuminate the Lord? Therefore, as we perform the aartiwe chant:
Na tatra suryo bhaati na chandra taarakam, Nemaa vidyuto bhaanti kutoyamagnib
Tameva bhaantam anubhaati sarvam, Tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhaati
“He is there where the sun does not shine, nor the moon, stars and lightning. Then what to talk of this small flame (in my hand), Everything (in the universe) shines only after the Lord, and by His light alone are we all illumined”
In our spiritual journey, even as we serve the guru and society, we should willingly sacrifice ourselves and all we have, to spread the “perfume” of love to all.
We often wait a long while to see the illuminated Lord but when the aarti is actually performed, our eyes close automatically as if to look within.This is to signify that each of us is a temple of the Lord.

Gums bacteria can cause preterm delivery

Gums bacteria can cause preterm delivery

Proper dental care can prevent heart attacks, heart blockages, asthma and COPD. Bacteria present in the gums have been linked to many diseases in the past.
Periodontal treatment should be included in prenatal care programs, as per a study in the Journal of Periodontology, which has shown that treating gum disease in pregnant women may prevent preterm birth.
The study has shown that while pregnant women, in whom the periodontal disease was treated, were no more likely to deliver their babies prematurely than women with no gum disease. Those who did not get treatment had a nearly 90-fold increased risk of premature delivery.
Another study found that the more bacteria women with periodontal disease had in their gums during and after pregnancy, the more likely they were to deliver their infants prematurely.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Birth of Hanumana: was it a case of sperm donation?

Birth of Hanumana: was it a case of sperm donation?


Story
1. When Lord Shiva spurted semen on seeing Vishnu in the form of the celestial enchantress Mohini (semen donation after getting excited), sages collected this semen (semen bank) and gave it to the wind-god Vayu (centrifugation to select the best of the sperms) who poured it into the ‘ear’ (mythical metaphor for the womb) of Anjani, who gave birth to Hanuman.
2.In another story a part of the sweet food given to Dashratha was snatched by an eagle pudding and dropped it where Anjana was meditating, and Pavana, the god of wind delivered the drop (centrifuged sperms) to her outstretched hands ( famale genitilia). After she took the divine dessert, she gave birth to Hanuman.
Scientific explanation
1. When Lord Shiva spurted semen on seeing Vishnu in the form of the celestial enchantress Mohini (semen donation after getting excited), sages collected this semen ( semen bank) and gave it to the wind-god Vayu (centrifugation to select the best of the sperms) who poured it into the ‘ear’ (mythical metaphor for the womb) of Anjani, who gave birth to Hanuman.
2.In another story a part of the sweet food given to Dashratha was snatched by an eagle pudding and dropped it where Anjana was meditating, and Pavana, the god of wind delivered the drop ( centrifuged sperms) to her outstretched hands (the female genitilia). After she took the divine dessert, she gave birth to Hanuman.

Fecal Microbial Transplantation for Ulcerative Colitis

Fecal Microbial Transplantation for Ulcerative Colitis


Fecal microbial transplantation (FMT) via enema is shown to be effective, tolerable, and feasible for treating children with ulcerative colitis (UC), according to findings from a phase 1 pilot study published online March 29 and in the June issue of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
It involves infusion of human stool from a healthy adult donor into the patient’s intestine and has been proposed as an option for recurrent [Clostridiumdifficile infection and possibly for ulcerative colitis as perSachin Kunde,MD, MPH, from Spectrum Health Medical Group, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital inGrand Rapids,Michigan. The procedure may restore ‘abnormal’ bacteria to ‘normal’ in patients with [UC].
Ten children, aged 7 to 21 years, who had mild to moderate UC, received freshly prepared fecal enemas daily for 5 days.
The investigators collected data on tolerability, adverse events, and disease activity during FMT and weekly for 4 weeks thereafter. At baseline, pediatric UC activity index ranged from 15 to 65. The investigators considered a reduction in PUCAI by more than 15 to be clinical response, and PUCAI lower than 10 to be clinical remission.
There were no serious adverse events. Self-limiting adverse events were mild cramping, fullness, flatulence, bloating, diarrhea, blood in the stool, and moderate fever. Although 1 child could not retain fecal enemas, average tolerated enema volume in the other 9 children was 165 mL/day.
Clinical response within 1 week occurred in 7 (78%) of the 9 children, including 3 (33%) who had clinical remission and 6 (67%) who maintained clinical response at 1 month. Compared with baseline, median PUCAI significantly improved after FMT. (Medscape)