Sunday, July 19, 2015

Understanding and Realisation

Science & Technology has been conquering frontiers for mankind and breaking down all the obstacles that tends to put us in the darkness. This unrelenting pursuit is part and parcel of our evolutionary process that will continue till the next major catastrophe puts mankind to square one once again. According to all the significant and sensible scriptures in all major civilizations so far, this cycle of mankind fluctuating between the heights of knowledge and valleys of ignorance is an eternal one. Science and Spirituality will appear to be in conflict but will always form the twin tools that will take us up the mountains when the superstitious religious beliefs and practices pull us down the hills.

It can always be noticed that while the spiritual & scientific leaders make us comfortable, their religious counterparts always flourish on our fears. Our progress so far has always been determined by Science and Spirituality and never by the Religions. Yet Spirituality is very much connected with Religions just like milk and ghee. Spirituality is something like a final chapter in a Religious book. Those religious humans who do not graduate into spirituality have simply missed the bus. It is something like the unintelligent students who repeatedly fail to pass the tests and get into to the spiritual classes. Their lack of intelligence make them stick with the low level religious ideas and tend to pollute the younger generations who are also following the same path.

The question of Understanding and Realisation becomes important for those who have graduated into spiritual pursuits. Science is the best tool for our learning and understanding of anything in this world. Mankind could not have progressed so far but for this unique tool that helps us analyse and understand all the phenomena. Science has helped to reduce Man’s fears exponentially in the brief time frame so far. But the understanding that has developed so far cannot help us in completing the evolutionary process. We need the spiritual tool for that. Man must understand that Realisation is a vital necessity in this inevitable pursuit of truth. If Understanding comes from outside, Realisation is something that comes from within. We cannot understand but realise the taste of salt or sugar. Sooner this happens it is better for anyone who wish to complete a life worthy of living. 

But very rarely we do come across a convergence of understanding and realization in unique individuals. Perhaps the case of Srinivasan Ramanujam was one such. But quite unfortunately, like all such extra-ordinary human beings, his life was also too short.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Non-Duality in Assets and Liabilities

Black and White era has almost come to an end in all fields of human endeavour. The Grey area is getting bigger and bigger everywhere. With the advent of Quantum Theory in 1920s’ the Grey colour has established its strong relevance even in the field of Physics and the fundamental material existence of the universe. Nobody in this universe can be 100% confident about anything that we notice, see or observe. The surety about everything is merely statistical. The Grey theory can be extended to any field and branch of human knowledge.

In Finance and Commerce, we often talk of Assets and Liabilities as two diametrically opposite concepts. But on a closer look, is it really correct? Assets are some positive things that one owns and Liabilities are exactly the opposite. It is a highly subjective idea. Assets of one entity can and must be the liabilities of another. Then only we can have a financially neutral world of finance and commerce. My own Assets must have created Liabilities for another and Liabilities of someone else must have become the Assets for another. It sounds perfect for the net financial neutrality of humanity.

But even more intriguing is the fact that Assets and Liabilities can also oscillate with time for the same individual. Something akin to the Observer effect in a Double-Slit experiment in Finance & Commerce. Attempt a thought experiment about someone who is amassing real estate over a period of time as Assets. If he or she is alone and falls suddenly sick, these Assets will turn Liabilities in no time. Same is the case with many other aspects of life. Anything material considered as Assets in our lives can become our biggest Liabilities at any time. It is high time for all of us to become a bit spiritual to understand the non-duality creeping into all aspects of our lives. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Future of Friendships

We are slowly reaching an era when we have more e-friends than actual friends. FaceBook (FB) profiles with more than 500 friends is now commonplace and it is almost sure that none of them have actually even seen more than 25% of them. The same scenario is catching up in the world of Whatsapp and other similar networks. Our world is slowly emerging into a new kind of friendship era when the whole concept of friendship needs a new definition. Unlike olden days, when it took years to build up a friendship, it now takes only a few clicks to establish one. But the whole arrangement seems to be alive and clicking.

The significant casualty in e-friendships is the lack of intimacy, sincerity and camaraderie which were considered essential in a normal friendship. But that is no more needed anyway. If it is possible to help another one more by sending an SMS or an email than be physically present at his or her side, the requirements on friendship have clearly changed. In this electronic age of super speed physical presence is not of much significance and more can done at lightning speed through the internet and smart phones. Perhaps e-friendship is a natural development in keeping with the fast pace of a society more and more dependent on technology.

The real consequences of e-friendships surpassing conventional ones will only unfold in the years to come. Older generations are slowly getting used to unseen friends and friendships. Younger generations are already used to it and they seem to be comfortable with such arrangements of convenience. The ‘convenience’ of having friends and unfriending them at convenience is an attractive arrangement for many. The prevalent degeneration of quality of relationships in all walks of life has affected friendships too. Change is the only aspect of life that is constant and newer times call for newer types of relationships. We can only hope that e-friends in the future will do better than friends in the past.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Indian National Secret

There is no other nation in the entire universe which is as diverse as India and yet remaining united for atleast 5000 years by now. Diversity of incredible India can be seen in almost all aspects of life that we can think of. Take a crowd of about a thousand people in any major city in India today and see the diversity among the people with regard to their colour, language, features, religion, beliefs, attire, mannerisms or even their behaviour. Such a diversity cannot be found in any part of the world, even in Dubai or London. We should learn to appreciate such a diversity bearing in mind the simple fact that we are talking about people of one single nation unlike in Dubai or London.

Many theories have been put forth in the past about the great secret behind this national unity that is unique to only Indian nation. Some people have suggested geo-political reasons for this and some others the racial ones. And quite recently the reasoning reached ridiculous levels when one egocentric and cacophonous eternal attention monger even credited King Akbar for the unity that Indians possess. Some others have credited Emperor Asoka and some others even the British. There are others who give the credit to Adi Sankara citing the four Mutts he set up at the four corners of India for strengthening the religious identity of India. And then there are others who argue strongly for Sardar Patel for uniting all the small geographical kingdoms under a single constitution. But all such physical acts cannot bring about such a unique emotional unity.

There may be some contribution by all these elements in strengthening the national unity of India. However, the ultimate credit for this unique strength of Indian nation shall always rest with Hindu Sanatana Dharma (HSD), which is the hallmark of our national identity. But for its liberal nature, logical strength and unimaginable flexibility, the national identity of India and Indians would have died a natural death during the testing times of Mughal dynasty and colonial rulers which lasted about a full one thousand years. The unique combination of Vedic knowledge and ideological resilience to repudiate any foreign alternatives have stood the test of time. With all its diversities, India remains and will continue to remain a single nation thanks to the mysterious cultural concoction called HSD.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Obamian Preaching

It has taken more than six decades for the head of state of World’s strongest (militarily) democracy to attend the most important day in the current phase of world’s largest (and longest) functioning democracy. An American President took part in the Republic Day parade of India for the first time in history on 26th January 2015. By all accounts it was a great day for both India and USA. The visit of American President Barak Obama was a great success and the bonhomie that had developed between the first ever non-White President of USA and the first ever real Aam Aadmi (ordinary man) who became Indian Prime Minister was completely unexpected and full of promise. As they keep saying, USA and India are most natural partners in the World scenario and it remains a diplomatic puzzle as to why it has not been so.

But all the goodwill that has been generated during the visit is now threatened to be upset immediately after the President’s return to USA. Obama’s preaching about the need for religious tolerance in India has snowballed into a major storm. American preaching about religious tolerance in India is like its own preaching about racial equality, Pakistani preaching about terrorism and Rahul Gandhi’s preaching about democracy. He is simply forgetting the fact that a non-White (or even half-White) could become US President only after more than two centuries of democratic rule. Whereas in India, members of religious Minorities have always dominated the national scene and a foreign born Roman Catholic could virtually rule the nation for a full decade without any constitutional post within the first century of the current phase of Indian history.

Obama might have been playing to the Christian gallery in his home country or obliging the orders from Vatican. But he should have remembered for once that India is the World’s only continuing civilisation that has remained essentially unchanged for over 5000 years and it’s the only nation in the World that still accommodates all the religions. He should have realised the condition about the religious minorities in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan etc., and the amount of racial discrimination in USA and Africa before making such unwanted observations. The World’s strongest democracy must realise that the one and only sustainable model for World Peace is the Indian model of plurality and equality of beliefs, and its greatest message of “Ekam sat vipraha bahudha vadanti” - Truth is one, the wise call it by many names, as enunciated in its Hindu Sanatana Dharma (HSD). And definitely not the ones that use ONLY and LAST as the adjectives for its ideologies. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

PK Film and Charlie Hebdo Cartoon

Nothing could have been more contrasting to the modern world in recent times – the huge boxoffice success of a Hindi movie PK which makes a complete mockery of the religious rituals of the Hindu Sanatana Dharma (HSD) majority in India, the world’s second largest populated nation, and the horrendous massacre of journalists in the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo for a cartoon purportedly of a religious Prophet. Atleast a few hundreds of innocent and related lives of human beings have been lost in different parts of the world on account of these cartoons in the last few years. The fundamental differences between preaching in the two underlying faiths are too obvious to be elaborated any further.

Outside faiths have always made fun of the beliefs and rituals of India’s own Hindu Sanatana Dharma without realising its true meanings and real reasons. Ridiculing the native faith is part and parcel of any invading faith. This is bound to be so when the main motive of the invading faiths is to capture as many followers as possible in order to capture political power. Isn’t it astonishing to note that both the invading faiths have failed (so far) in their political mission only in the case of India? All other civilisations (and cultures) of the ancient world viz. Greek, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Mayan, Chinese, Japanese, African etc., have been either overrun or changed beyond recognition by the two or three invading ideologies.

This necessarily calls for a study on the inherent strength of HSD in the face of tremendous onslaught by the invading ideologies. The answer is its inclusiveness and openness. In modern parlance, HSD is the only religious ideology with an Open Source Code. It is freely available for everyone to modify according to their own requirements and interpretation, except for its basic tenets of Advaita, Rebirth, Karma and Moksha, which are very much in tune with modern Science.  There is no pre-eminence for any God or Prophet or any individual. What else can be better ideology for the emancipation of mankind relevant at all times?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Why not a Phone4Ever?

Every time we buy a new electronic product, the fear of obsolescence starts ticking at the back of our minds. The fear reaches its peak when we buy a mobile phone. Be it the cheapest 2G variety or the costliest 4G one, the inevitability of obsolescence far outweighs the momentary thrill of possessing a brand new mobile phone. Impending obsolescence of mobile phones has become something like the inevitable death of human beings. There is no way we can overcome it except for the risk of being labelled as an oldtimer.

But why the inevitability of obsolescence for a simple instrument which is used only for convenience? It is nothing but the greediness of market forces that has made it so. Many of the multinational companies have become greedy beyond tolerable limits and the only reason behind many of the world’s humanitarian tragedies is precisely this greediness. Otherwise why can’t they spare atleast the basic necessities of mankind from their never ending profit motives. Communication is as important and inevitable for humans in twenty first century as air, water and electricity.

The world bodies for common good and multinational companies must arrive at a consensus to start manufacturing some form of a communication instrument for ever (phone4ever). There must be a mobile phone whose hardware will need no upgrade for atleast two decades. Software upgrades are reasonable and often meaningful. In the emerging world of ubiquitous wifi free of cost, software upgrade is not an issue at all. But the need of a phone4ever is all the more important and has become a bare necessity in today’s world.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Learn to Deal with Indians

If there is one human being whose words are keenly heard, decisions awaited and deeds hopefully desired by most humans in today’s world, it is that of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. No other leader in human history, especially in the last five decades, has assumed office with so much hopes and aspirations from his fellow countrymen. What he will achieve (or not achieve) will decide the fate and future of millions and millions in a developing nation like India. The nation which controlled almost 40% of the world’s GDP almost two hundred years ago is now struggling with almost 40% of its people clinging to the ever changing Poverty Line.

It is in this context that the ‘Make in India’ campaign launched by Modi becomes very relevant and strategic. If India can convince the developed world that India and Indians are the most legitimate claimants in the democratic world to host the world’s production factories we can show and teach the whole world a few important points. We can reiterate to the whole humanity that democracy in the form of elected governments is the most legitimate form of governance. And in the process, a vast majority of Indians will be pulled out of the poverty trap by the millions of employment opportunities raised by these production facilities.

But for the ‘Make in India’ campaign to succeed, we must also alert the world with the slogan of ‘Deal with Indians’. The developed world is aware of how to deal with Germans, British, Americans, Russians, Japanese and now with the Chinese. But they have little clue about the nature of Indians and the ways to deal with them. Whether others like it or not, the world must realize that India will dominate the world stage in the years to come once again and Indians have the following likes (and dislikes):-

- Eat with hand
- Predominant vegetarianism. No Beef, but milk
- Indian English, Indian accent
- No Toilet Paper, only Water
- No Tie
- Respect for Elders
- No cheerleaders, but Ganesh pooja

Indians must assert our identity and not try to ape the West again, as during the colonial days. Like the Japanese and Chinese, we should make our mark and let the world know our likes and dislikes.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Make Objective Decisions in Life

For most us Seeing is Believing. Whatever be the descriptions and personal anecdotes that others may present before us, most of us start believing in Something only after seeing it in front of our own eyes. And for most of us, once we start believing in Something we begin to become less objective, rational and even slip into the dangerous realm of blind belief. Here lies the main problem that is afflicting many of our so-called educated and intelligent human beings.
Nothing can illustrate the topic more than the video below. So let us watch it first.

We can confidently assume that the audience here belongs to the top 1 to 2 % of the world’s population in terms of their education, intelligence and background.  But see how they are prone to a grave error of judgment. If some of them happen to be in a jury for a case of assault, there is an overwhelming chance of making a big mistake. It is all because we tend to believe in what we believe we saw. And consequently we become more and more adamant about our belief.
The same mistake of error in judgment happens to many of us in our lives. Thanks to constant association, the belief of Something starts growing in us. Sometimes we ourselves may not be aware of it. Because we are inside the very system, our natural objectiveness and rationality starts diminishing. Often it takes our well wishers outside the system to tell us that we are indeed wrong. The lesson to learn is very clear – Whenever you want to decide about something very important in life, take a step outside and then decide. The consequences can be disastrous otherwise.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Why is Adi Sankara considered the most intelligent human being ever?

There are two fundamental features about almost all basic phenomena in nature - that they are symmetric and/or cyclic. This can be noticed in the form and functioning of all tangible and intangible matter and phenomena around us. Almost all ancient civilizations across the globe have noted this and have developed their own postulations and philosophies about nature. Many of them have even developed the concept of an all powerful God based on these observations. However, for an impartial and unprejudiced observer, none of the civilizations have approached a near perfection in these aspects as the Vedic civilization of India. Some of the theories intrinsic to Vedic civilization like Adi Sankara’s Maaya theory are indistinguishable with those of the most modern Science.

India’s Vedic civilization started at immemorial times with the revealing or recitation of Vedas and continues unabated in the core of India even now. Many historians want to contain it within a specific period but have failed miserably because of the simple fact that Indian continues to the only ‘civilisational” entity that remains essentially unchanged in the entire world, despite the worst atrocities by the invading Muslim forces and the colonial masters for about one thousand years. All the other civilizations like Chinese, Greek, Mayan, Japanese, Egyptian etc., have undergone paradigm changes and maintains only minimal or no continuity with their glorious pasts. The main reason for this remarkable achievement is the contribution of our own Sastras and outstanding Gurus like Adi Sankara.

Sastras and Science

Many of the concepts and words which are central to India’s prestigious ancient language viz. Sanskrit have suffered from translation. Sastra and Dharma are just two of them. Very often Sastra gets wrongfully interpreted as modern Science and Dharma as Righteousness as we use now. Many of the outstanding postulations and literary works by ancient Rishis of India get ridiculed in modern times, especially by Indians with very clear vested interests, mainly because of this utterly wrong translation. In ancient India, all those fields of knowledge which has a rational base were considered Sastras. This is in stark contrast with modern Science which is all about measurement, objective evidence and zero nonconformity. 

Quite in keeping with such a rational definition of the Sastras, we have several branches of knowledge like Astrology, Vaastu, Ayurveda, Yoga, Yagam, Tantra, Temples etc in ancient India which are continuing to catch our attention even today. All of them have solid rational basis but many of the theories within these fields may not have the solid proofs that modern Science is asking for. But that does not belittle the importance of all these fields of knowledge in the lives of common Indians. Despite India’s great achievements in modern Science, most of the Hindu Indians still continues to abide by these Sastras in their individual lives. Quite surprisingly, the latest developments in the field of modern Science has started matching with these Sastras in recent times.

Sankara’s Advaita

Ever since the Europeans started illegitimately and immorally colonizing the rest of the world, they have usurped the leadership in Science from the ancient civilizations like India, China and Japan. Quite expectedly history of Science is also being written by the Europeans because Indians are one of least history-conscious people in the world. Though the latest mathematical tool of Calculus was quite popular in India in 14th century (Madhava of Sangamagrama), European historians have given the credit for its discovery to Newton and Leibnitz who lived in the 17th century. And when almost all the Vedic literature refers to heavenly bodies as Golas (meaning Spheres), the claim goes to Greek and Roman astronomers. Luckily the credit for the modern numeral system and zero still belongs to India even though it is designated as Arabic numerals because Arab traders carried it West from India.  

Physics has always been the cutting edge branch of Science that has shaped modern history of mankind. Modern Physics owes its development so far to the continuous thread of development from Aristotle to Galileo to Newton to Einstein. It has successfully established Big Bang and answered most of our questions with Stephen Hawkings in the lead. But for the unexpected development in Quantum Theory, Albert Einstein, the most brilliant scientist in history so far would have attained his Theory for Everything. The spooky behavior of minute particles at a distance resulted in the failure of Einstein who sincerely hoped that God will not play dice. As it stands today, most of the definite measurement theories of Physics fail at the sub atomic level and only probabilities are possible. It has been proven that the same particle can be present at different points of space at the same time. Current talks about eleven dimensional multiverses (Edward Witten) make it more evident that God is indeed playing dice.

The latest developments in our relentless pursuit for unraveling the universe bring the European Sciences face to face with Hindu India’s Sastras once again. One of India’s greatest Rishis, Shri Adi Shankaracharya (CE 788-820) had established almost 1500 years ago that the world we see is really unreal, which essentially means it is only probabilistic. The crux of his Advaita theory is that Brahman (not Brahma or Brahmin) alone is real, and the phenomenal world is unreal or an illusion. Modern Science is coming to the very same conclusion. Based on the quintessential symmetry and cyclic nature of universe, it is quite possible that there are trillions and billions of Micro Bangs occurring every nanosecond and what we perceive as reality is the sum total of the interference of the after effects of these staggered Micro  Bangs. Jagat is the Sanskrit word for the universe and it literally means Create, Sustain and Destroy. No wonder the most brilliant mind that humanity produced so far is called Jagatguru Adi Sankaracharya.