MAY 2018
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida





Namaste. In the last article, we discussed what the Bhagvad Geeta is and what it is not. In this article, we will present some of its basic principles. These principles represent few of the oldest and the highest truths known to humankind, ideas we call the wisdom of the ages.

In the information age, power comes from raw data and what is now called big data. However, data by itself is not very useful. It must be processed and patterns must be analyzed to discover information that’s useful for a purpose. Nevertheless, information useful for one purpose might not be beneficial in another situation or even in the same situation at another time. When information is valuable at all times for everyone in any situation, it is called wisdom. The information at the core of the Bhagvad Geeta is pure wisdom. Although the ideas in Bhagvad Geeta were written down thousands of years ago, they have remained true for every human being that has walked on the planet no matter when, where, their age, gender, socioeconomic status, marital status, education level or vocation. Furthermore, these timeless truths remain relevant now. As you examine our world carefully, you will be able to see many examples.

One such idea contained in the Bhagvad Geeta is that life is eternal. This idea has been paraphrased in recent times as “we are not human beings on a spiritual journey. Rather, we are spiritual beings on human journey.” The idea that “our spirit lives eternally” is the basis for many different religions of the world. However, it was recorded first in the Bhagvad Geeta. In fact, the idea itself predates the Bhagvad Geeta. The spirit is referred to as “atma” and when it resides in the physical body as “jiva,” according to the Vedas.

This is important because it serves as the basis for another main idea contained in the Bhagvad Geeta. That is the concept of karma. Karmic laws dictate that everything has a cause and a consequence. Furthermore, everything happening at this moment is caused by other things that happened before. Not only that, everything happening now is also the cause of things that are going to happen in the future. As such, the word karma refers to both the cause and the effect. So, living in a world that is covered by rules of cause and effect, if we can remember this understanding from the Bhagvad Geeta, we are able to accept what is happening as a natural consequence of what happened previously. We are also able to keep in mind the choice of our current actions as they will become the cause for our future results. As for those people who committed fraudulent actions, it may appear in the short run that they have “gotten away.” However, under the universal laws of karma, no bad deed goes unpunished. They will “reap later, what they sow now.”

Another related idea of the Bhagvad Geeta is that nothing ever goes to waste. A positive action, no matter however small, results in a positive outcome. Larger good deeds get rewarded with a larger prize. The only catch is that in the theory of karma, we are not privileged to know when the result of a behavior or action will result. Therefore, humans are only supposed to keep making their endeavor in the best way possible, guaranteed results that are directly linked to their efforts.

Finally, another main idea from the Bhagvad Geeta is that one’s karma is directly joined with their atma or soul. As such, the credit and the debit accounting of your Karma always travels with you eternally connected with your soul.

So, the next time your mind is stressed by a situation caused by another person's actions that are not truthful or kind, remember the theory of karma. Instead of feeling trapped in misery by another person's actions, remind yourself that you do not have to suffer for another person's misdeeds. You are only expected to continue making your choices in accordance with your karmic duty.

In the next article, we will continue with expansion of this concept of “karmic duty.” Until then, keep choosing good karma and I hope you find enjoyment in the results of your past karma. Namaste.

Maulik K. Trivedi M.D. is board certified in general adult psychiatry, and child and adolescent psychiatry. He specializes in the MindBody approach to behavioral health at Florida Medical Clinic and can be reached at (813) 973-1304.


HOW TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST Tenacious Hypertension!



As people get older, they need to pay attention to their blood pressure. The normal range for diastolic blood pressure is less than 80 mmHg and systolic pressure is less than 120 mmHg. For most people, systolic blood pressure rises steadily with age because of the increasing stiffness of large arteries, long-term build-up of plaque, and an increased incidence of cardiac and vascular disease.

A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that stroke and high blood pressure was more common among every Asian-American subgroup compared with non-Hispanic whites. Asian-Indians had greater mortality from coronary artery disease, a condition that occurs when the heart’s arteries narrow as plaque builds up on blood vessel walls.

A substantial body of evidence has shown that diet plays a prominent role in the development of hypertension. Changes in diet can reduce blood pressure, prevent hypertension, and reduce the risk of hypertension-related complications. Dietary strategies include reducing sodium intake, limiting alcohol consumption, increasing potassium intake, and adopting an overall dietary pattern such as the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet or a Mediterranean diet.

Current average sodium intakes, about 3,000 to 4,500 mg/day in various industrialized populations, are high, about two to three times higher than the Dietary Reference Intake of 1,500 mg, ¾ teaspoon. Those sodium intakes markedly exceed even the level of 2,500 mg, which was recently considered the maximum safe level of daily intake.

In the United States, the average intake of calcium, potassium and magnesium is only 35 to 50 percent of the recommended requirement. Convincing evidence indicates that the imbalance of high sodium intake versus the low intakes of magnesium, potassium and calcium produce and maintain elevated blood pressure in a big proportion of the population. The susceptibility of blood pressure to nutritional interventions varies greatly among individuals, depending on age, race, genetic background, and chronic conditions.

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in our body. It’s responsible for production of the enzymes involved in synthesis of energy molecules of your body, action of your heart muscle, proper formation of bones and teeth, and relaxation of blood vessels. The recommended dietary intake of it for adults 19 to 30 years old is 400 mg/day for men, 310 mg/day for women. For adults 31 and older, it’s 420 mg/day for men, 320 mg/day for women.

Normal body levels of potassium are important for muscle function, including relaxing the walls of the blood vessels. It lowers blood pressure and protects against muscle cramping. Adequate intake is 4700 mg/day.

Calcium helps blood vessels tighten and relax when necessary. It's also crucial for healthy bones and the release of hormones and enzymes we need for most body functions. Recommended dietary intake for adults: 800 mg/day. 1,000mg for perimenopausal and 1,200 mg for menopausal women. For calcium to have the greatest positive effect on blood pressure, levels of potassium, magnesium and sodium must be adequate as well.

Foods that may lower blood pressure include bananas, oranges, watermelon, berries, grape juice, avocado, spinach, beets, sweet potato, celery, whole grains, milk, sunflower seeds and black beans. That because of their respective high potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate, fiber content and polyphenols.

Recipe of the month

Stir fry Tofu with spinach and sunflower seeds

Put the entire slab of firm tofu between layers of paper towel. Place weight on it such as a gallon of water or heavy plates for an hour. Then cut the tofu into 1-inch chunks and sprinkle with the mixture of flours. Put the coated tofu in an air fryer for about 12 minutes at 370 degrees or pan fry the tofu with light olive oil.

Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil and sauté chili ginger garlic paste for a minute. Add sunflower seeds and sauté for two minutes. Add diced celery, sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, then add red bell peppers, spinach and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Add tofu, stir fry for another 3 to 4 minutes at high flame, drizzle tamari sauce, tomato puree, white pepper powder. Stir fry for about 3 to 4 minutes and squeeze 1/2 fresh orange over the stir fry.

Turn off the flame and drizzle 1/2 tbsp honey over the tofu. Serve hot with rice or noodles.

To Our Health!

Bhavi Nirav is a Registered Dietitian/M.S., R.D., L.D., certified yoga practitioner, and can be reached at [email protected].

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