Thursday, March 28, 2013


     I tried to write about the prayers and if they work or not and was trying to make a point that if they work , there must be some other way than they being "granted" by the GOD . Let me make a point , In bible it states that God made Man in His image . So now think about it if we were made in His image , it certainly could not be the 'physical ' image . If he did it in physical image , then which one of us has 'image ' of the Lord or the other way around which one of us is in his image ?. Is He white , black or Asian ? Since it does not make any sense than when Jesus stated that He made us in His image he must mean something other than physical image . So this is where I was talking about the soul or the all pervading Conscience . If He was talking about anything short of that i.e .astral body or causal body ( please see previous blog to understand 3 bodies ), then these bodies are perishable , and God is certainly not perishable . So now coming to the prayers , when we are praying 2 or 3 things happen .
     1 When we pray , we tend to surrender to to the supreme being , and we develop strength to endure the adverse conditions .Since we don't know as to what is the future , we tend to 'accept ' the outcome . If the outcome is good , then we give credit to the prayer , if the outcome is not so good then we accept it saying that if we had not prayed , it might have been worse . So the prayers give us power to tolerate whatever is the outcome .
     2. When we pray to a particular God ,may it be Jesus , Allah or any Indian God , we have an Image in our mind . We are too weak to have concept of the God , which has no form , shape or any character . So when we pray the god we mentally create an Image . IT is stated that when we 'chant' or pray we create certain 'vibrations ' . These are energy waver and no energy can be destroyed , it may be changed to some other form , but not totally destroyed . e.g. if we use heat to warm the water , then heat is transferred to the water . When the water cools down then the heat from it goes in the atmosphere and surrounding air has increase temperature . So if no energy can be destroyed , then the energy from the prayers have to create something . These waves or energy will have the effect in changing the outcome . The positive thoughts will have positive outcome , and negative thought  will have negative outcome .So  if the prayers are intense , then the  energy created will be more  and they are likely to be more effective . But if we pray casually, and there is not much thought behind it , it will not be effective . I believe that when we pray to a certain form, we do create that God /image / energy , and that helps us in making a difference .
   3.In an Indian scriptural book called Patanjali Sutra Yoga, there are several 'powers ' that are described , called "sidhdhi ''. These are obtained , when one meditates , and concentrates and devotes . There are 8 of them that are described . e.g.power to get heavier or power to become very light like piece of Cotton or see thing that are far out , and many more .So if we have reached that 'high' level in our prayers then we can do miracles . But if get caught in doing these miracles , then we are wasting our achievements and will not progress. One must remember that even when these powers 'change' the destiny , it is at a cost . In the book by Paramhaunse Yoganand, his Guru, was asked by him to 'grant ' more life , The guru did grant him the extra life of a month or so , but also stated that this extra life will come at the cost of life from his next life . Which means , his next life will be shortened by 1 month , if he survived an extra month in this life . So highly evolved Yogis can change the outcome .
     I am not sure if this explains the effects of prayers or if this is true , but I have tried . I am sure that this will change when I get better , in my own PRAYERS . 

Thursday, March 21, 2013


     I wrote about the destiny, law of karma and importance of efforts . So the question comes up what about prayers . Do they work , and if they do work , then how do they work and how can we explain them in the setting of law of karma . There is also a greater question . If prayers do work , then are we not giving 'human ' qualities  to the God .If the God answers to our prayers then is it not like a father full filling wishes of his children or the Boss granting a wish of his subordinate .There more questions , like if the God does responds to our 'wishes' , then whose wishes he will respond to . Lets say there are 2 teams that have NBA finals and two different men are supporting different teams , then whose prayers will be answered . Would  the out come of the contest or match or war be decided by the prayers and not by skills or the law of karma or the destiny ?
    I truly don't have answers to these questions . But I do believe in the prayers , in their strength and their effectiveness .So do I have any explanation for this statement . NO ,I don't have , but I am going to try to see if we can discuss this rationally .
    Let me start by saying that there are 3 kind of ordinary people . One group , does prayers for completely selfish motives . The example of this could be more money , better car or getting better girl or boy . This is at the lowest level of the prayers . ( may be those who pray for destruction, or wish bad luck to others may be the worst kind . ) then there are people who think little better . they pray for family or community or the country.Then there are people who pray for nothing for them self.They want to be one with God and want nothing more nothing less.
    There have been studies done to see if prayers change the outcome or help . In one study done in nineteenth century , one guy did look at the longevity of British Royalty. His assumption was that every one in the country 'prayes ' for the health and longevity of the Royalties . So if the prayers were effective, then the longevity of the royalties should be longer than the life expectancy of ordinary people . It turned out that there was no difference . So his conclusion was that the prayers do not work .In a another study done on post cardiac patients the patients for whom there were prayers ,had more complications, than those patients for whom no prayers were done . So we don;t have much proof that prayers work .
    There are number of problems with these studies . The major one is that neither the royalties nor the patients them self did the prayers . If I study for the examination, that my son is going to appear , my studies will not change the outcome of his examination .So how can the prayers done by some one other than  subjects them self , can change the outcome .
    I think prayers work . On e thought is related to the universal consciousness . Many a times we think of someone and he or she calls >(then we say your ears must be burning ). There is universal consciousness .This pervaded through the universe .Since we all have it if we try at right time and right way , we can communicate with each other , though we may not know . It remind me of a story of One great saint Yukteshwar, Guru of Yoganand .One day when Yoganand came to Yukteshawar's ashram from the college , he brought with him cauliflowers for cooking .(some one has to provide the food and cook it )When they started walking on the sand , the Guru asked if the ashram was locked . The last person to come out was Yoganand . He had forgotten to lock . But he answered ,'yes '.Yukteshwar thought for a second and told him that he had forgotten and and so he must be punished . (when one is involved with devotion ,he can not forget practical matters of day to day life )He told him to watch . While all the disciples were watching ,a man came , walking on the street , passed the ashram , then went back , went in the ashram and came out with one head of cauliflower and ran away . Yoganand had left his wallet , his watch , none of which was touched by the thief . His explanation was that he (Yukteshwar )telecommunicated withe thief and told him to take on a cauliflower head . He also stated ( which astonished me more ) that the thought waves are just like any other waves and in future man will be able to 'receive ' various waves .The TV and radio etc are example of these waves . Think about the dog whistle . Man can not hear the frequency that dog can . So if we have the 'anteena' to receive , we can perceive . In one of the books of Jose Silva , title Mind control , he describes how on can change the behavior of others . (provided 3 conditions are met , it can not be bad command like kill some on , here should be possibility of that occurring i.e one can not sell winter coates in Florida in summer . and one must try sincerely . )
      I think some lower level prayers work in this way . How do other prayers work , in next blog .

Saturday, March 16, 2013


   I often see patients with chronic cough or shortness of the breath. When I tell them the diagnosis of asthma , they are surprised ,as the concept among non medical population is that the asthma occurs at younger  age .Then when I explain it to them that asthma can occur at any age and is very common, the next question is what causes it or how can I cure it . I tell them that the asthma like many other diseases has no cure , and if allergic in origin , anything under sun  including sun can cause the asthma . The story that I am going to tell is that of a patient who had cure from unusual place .
   I started seeing Joe foe the shortness of breath . He was 45 years old male who was mildly overweight. He was getting more and more short of breath over period of time . He was not a smoker and owned a radiator shop . He had no previous medical history. When I checked his blood pressure and it was high . I did the pulmonary function test and it did confirm my diagnosis . He did have asthma .I put him on medicines and did follow up . When he came for the follow up , he was doing better as far as shortness of the breath is concerned .But his blood pressure was still elevated and he had gained 10 lbs of weight .I did not change his medicines for the asthma , but did tell him to contact his primary doctor and started him on medicine for the blood pressure .The next time I saw him was in the hospital . He got more short of breath on one of the weekend and went to ER and was wheezing and was admitted . His blood pressure was high and it needed more medicines .I was not sure why he got so bad so quickly . He was on the medicines that I had started and still got attack We gave him steroids and he was discharged . I did see him in the office and he was off the steroids . I told him to call me if he got bad , I told him that ,sooner we treat asthma , less medicines we need and it gets better quickly . So I told him to call me if he got short of breath or started wheezing . I had to treat his 'attacks ' at least 3 times and he was admitted 3 more times in next 2 years .
      I do not know as what happened to him but he was not seen by me for next 8 or 10 months . I got a call to see a patient who had 'history of asthma ' and was admitted with irregular heart rhythm, atrial fibrillation . When I saw him I recognised him and asked him as to why he did not keep his appointment . The answer did surprised me a little bit . HE HAD NO PROBLEM WITH THE ASTHMA , I have seen patients with asthma , who have fluctuations in their disease severity . But he was not on any medicines and was not short of breath and his lungs sounded clear . I was not sure as to the reason . He had also lost some weight .When I started asking him some questions , the answer got clear . .
    He had problem with his wife . The had started fighting with each other about 3 years ago , about the time that he got asthma .He continued to have problem . Then they got divorced . He became single . Started exercising and lost weight . His shortness of breath got better and he decided to cut medicines . In spite of stopping medicines , he was OK .
  SO JOE'S ASTHMA GOT CURED WHEN HE DIVORCED HIS WIFE . I have heard that a patient got attack of asthma when he entered the room in which there was bouquet of roses in the center of the table as he was allergic to roses , When paramedic came , he realised that those roses which 'triggered asthma attack , were silk roses .But HAVE NOT SEEN ALLERGY TO WIFE , that was triggering asthma .  

Friday, March 15, 2013


     We often use the word 'destiny' . When we see somethings go wrong , or things don't turn out to be the way in which we want or expected , we say that the destiny was predetermined.So then the question comes up , "if destiny is predetermined, then what good is our efforts or for that matter praying "?.Then we talk about law of karma , where we sow the seeds of karma and get the fruits of it . If we do 'bad' karma , then we get bad outcome .So it appears that the "effects " of our past karma is bound to happen then why should we do anything, any effort to change it as the outcome is not going to change .
      This question made me think . The answer lies in our confusion about the word destiny and karma . Both the statements are correct . The destiny is predetermined and law of karma does exists. But there is a difference between the these two . The destiny is what is going to happen 'NOW'. What I mean by that is that I can not change what is going to happen 'NOW' .THAT IS DESTINY. This is because this destiny is predetermined by what I have done in past .So the effect is bound to be there and no matter what I do now is not going to 'change' the outcome . So I can't change destiny .But what is going to happen in the future time is dependent upon my NEW KARMA that I will be doing  from now onwards.So in that way I can determine my destiny and my efforts will determine my destiny .
       But then the question is why do the efforts . Can we change the resultant by doing the efforts ? The answer is yes .Let me explain . Now a days there is a direct flight from NJ to Bombay and Bombay to NJ . The interesting part is the time required to get to Bombay from New Jersey,is less than time taken to fly from Bombay to New Jersey . This has to do with the direction of the wind . The wind direction (and its speed ) helps when flying from New Jersey to Bombay , while the wind velocity and direction causes delay when we fly from Bombay to New Jersey . The speed of aeroplane can be same The speed of the plane is like the effect of the previous karma , but the wind will make difference . Our efforts are like the direction and speed of the wind . If we make more efforts (higher speed ), and in right direction , then it will help , but if the efforts are poor or in wrong direction , then it will change the Destiny even in near future . If we have longer time to work on this change , which means destiny far out , then we can change it or even make it . Now let me warn you of somethings . Let us take an example of a kid who did not study for the whole year, and started studying a month before the examination , he will have less time to 'change 'his destiny the kid that started studying for 3 months before examination , than the kid who studied regularly for the entire school year . We can also take example of painting a wall .If we try to paint a wall , which is all ready painted with some color , then the color that we apply on it will look different than what we have in the paint bucket .So if we are painting a yellow color wall with blue paint , the the color seen will be not blue , but it will be green , which results from the mixture of yellow and blue . But if we continue to paint blue color paint over and over and again , then we will finally get blue color . So what we did in past has an effect , (which is the yellow color of the wall ) , what we paint is the new color blue is our NEW KARMA or NEW EFFORTS .This new effort or new karma will change the destiny. If we have good destiny related to good karma  and now do bad karma , then the destiny will get worse , but not as bad as if we had bad karma even in the past . If we have bad destiny due to bad karma of the past , then by doing good karma , we can change the color or the destiny. If the color of the wall -the yellow is too strong or too dark,then no matter how much we try to paint on it , we may not be able to change it much .Again ideally we should use term destiny for immediate future and not the far out future as we don't have enough time to change immediate future , but we do have ability to to change, if if have time and make enough efforts .
     So how about prayers , Do they help to change the destiny or the future ? I will attempt to talk about this in next blog.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


     I often talk about body , mind and intellect. everyone knows that the body and mind are different .But I am not talking about the philosophy. In medicine we need 'presence of mind '. We talk about this in case of emergency , but even in  ordinary situation a doctor needs presence of mind .But in some situation , we need presence of BODY. What I mean by that will be clear with the story that I am about to tell .
    I saw this young male patient , who was about 50 years old . He had a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis for last few years .He was doing OK , but then started having more cough . He had some cough for long time , but with his arthritis  as  main problem , he had not paid much attention.Now that it got worse , he had X-ray and then was treated by Primary Care physician and then was referred to me . I saw him and saw his X-ray , he had clear cut scar tissue in the lungs , fibrosis.I did do CT scan  of the chest to confirm my diagnosis . The CT scan did show extensive fibrosis. I also did bronchoscopy and biopsy and the the breathing test . All the tests confirmed the diagnosis of fibrosis . It was most likely related to the rheumatoid arthritis . Lot of patients are not aware of the fact that the rheumatoid arthritis can affect lungs .It can cause fibrosis , it can cause nodules in the lungs and sometimes  other problems too . I explained it to patient and his wife the diagnosis of scar tissues and it's treatment . We tend to treat it with steroids . We also sometimes use other immunosupressents to treat it . In many patients this does the job . The fibrosis does not get 'cured ', but it's progression can be stopped .
       I started him on large dose steroids , and told them that I will see them again and do the follow up tests like oxygen check on walking , breathing test , and even CT scan .I saw him sooner than planned , as he continued to get more short of breath and had worsening cough.I saw him and felt that he looked worse . Even at rest he was breathing little fast .When I had checked his oxygen first time it was OK . This time when I did it it was still acceptable , but lower than before . I warmed his fingers and checked it , and it was still low normal .I thought that the crackles that I was hearing on the lungs were more pronounced . I made him walk in our office . We usually do what is called 6 minute walk test . We walk patient for 6 minutes and watch blood pressure , pulse and oxygen saturation . This is to find out if the oxygen level would drop with exercise . If it does then patient needs oxygen at home . We put patient on oxygen and the check the saturation again to male sure that the oxygen flow is adequate . I did ask him to walk and he could walk 3or 4 minutes and his oxygen level dropped .I put him on oxygen , which he did not like , but I had no choice and I told him that neither had choice as his oxygen level was too low .I was concerned and so I upped his steroid dose and discussed with about adding a new drug called methotrexate .They agreed and I started him on methotraxate too . I asked him to see me in 3 weeks .
     I saw him in 3 weeks . He looked much worse . He was quite short of breath and could not do much walking even with the oxygen on and increase to 4 l.I did not know what else to do . I decided to admit him . I talked to his wife and told her that he was getting worse quite rapidly and I was going to try to to what else could be done . I also told her that if things don't get better , he may need to be on respirator . I admitted him in ICU  and put him on BI PAP, in hope that with applied pressure the oxygen would improve . I also called a cardiologist , to rule out any cardiac reason for his worsening shortness of breath . The cardiologist saw him and did ultrasound of the heart and it did not show any heart problem. As I expected he continued to get worse and I had to put him on respirator .I was talking to his wife daily and had told her the poor prognosis . Due to his young age I had to and wanted to try everything . As he continued to get worse , I decided to get second opion . I did not want to 'miss anything '.The other doctor had nothing to add or change in his treatment .
     It was Saturday . I had seen him in the morning and talked to his wife . Not much had changed . He was on respirator ,need for oxygen was worse and there was no possibility of weaning was not there on 10 the day of respirator .I was eating out in a restaurant, and I got a call from ICU . We had reached oxygen need to 100 % , which means that we could not increase it anymore . His wife was in ICU and I talked to her and told her the worsening. I wanted to to tell her in straight words that I can not do anything anymore . But cold not . She asked me if I could talk to her again after she had talked to her parents . Her kids were on their way to the hospital . I told her off course . It was 10-30 pm . I wanted to go home .But decided to go to the hospital . I wanted to talk to her face to face . I knew that I was not going to be in any position to change anything .I could have easily talked to her on telephone .But I felt that my "physical" presence was more important than my "mind " or "intellect". I went there . Her whole family was there , her both parents , her both kids,age 14 years and 16 years . She had decided to call it off . She wanted to stop all the treatment and so called "pull the plug". I knew that I could not 'save' him .(In fact I have stopped thinking that I  can save anyone ).But I had hard time accepting it due to his age or may be because of his young kids , who were close to my kids' age . I agreed .
    I knew I could have done this on phone as she had made up her mind , but presence  of 'physical body' was more important at this stage of game .