Category: contemporary social

Power Paradox and Asuras

Dacher Kelter, psychology professor at the University of California Berkeley has written the book Power Paradox. In this book he outlines parallels between behaviors he has seen in research labs and corporate America. The book is is an eye opener to those who believe in gaining power through force. Dacher shows that our power is granted to us by others. Besides, anyone can gain power by improving the lives of others. Thirdly, anyone’s power goes simply as far as what others are willing to let them have. The story of an Asura by the name, Taraka is a poignant reminder of the dark side of power. The story of Taraka Asura is similar to the additional observation made by Dacher. In Summary, a person with power tends to forget how they got it in the first place, namely, by improving the lives of others. Unfortunately, most with power get stuck to money and status. Obviously, this is the dark side of power. We

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Directionally qualified Hell in the Vedas

Religions around the world present a gory view of Hell. In contrast, the idea of Naraka hell was more meaningful in an earlier ear. There are four pits of hell according to the Vedas (in the Aruna Prasna Mantras). They are each assigned to the directions Southeast, Southwest, Northeast and Northwest. Secondly, they relate to the mental turmoil someone experiences in life. Southeast is the direction of Visarpi Naraka, or the pit of hell of agitated seeking. For example, pain or a strong discomfort can make someone seek relief, desperately. This desperation relates to Visarpi Naraka. Some other time, one may feel completely frozen. For example, this may be due to an overwhelming sensation. This type of turmoil is the Avisarpi Naraka experience. This Naraka is in the Southwest direction. Self-loath creates intense mental turmoil in anyone. This is Vishadi, the pit of hell of anguish. For example. someone may not immediately grasp the gravity of injustice he has meted

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A memory experiment from 4000 years ago

The Chandogya Upanishad text of the Vedas contains an interesting dialogue between a teacher and a student. In this episode, the teacher explains the connection between food and the subtle aspects of life in the body. Certainly, everyone knows about the gross aspects. Firstly, the body uses nutrients from food and forms the cells such as our muscles, tissues and bones. Further it excretes the gross wastage. First, the teacher explained this to his students. Further, he explained the subtler aspects of food. Subtler aspects become the energy of the mind, intellect and memory. However, one student had a doubt about food being responsible for the mind. He felt that mind is merely an abstraction. This student expressed his doubt to the teacher. Strangely, in response, the teacher sent him to fast for fifteen days. The young student protested that he may die without food. The teacher told him to drink water during the fifteen days. He sent him on

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Dumpster Diwali – Recycling lessons

Indians, especially those who live along river Ganga celebrate Dev Diwali on the full moon of the Karthik month (Nov-Dec). It is the culmination of the fortnight of the Diwali festivities in Northern India. South Indians celebrate Dev Diwali as Karthigai Deepam. Firstly, people in Tamil Nadu decorate the front porches of households in Tamil Nadu with earthen lamps at Sunset on that day. Next, they celebrate the following day as Kuppai Karthigai by lighting Earthen lamps near garbage dumpsters, bathrooms and back yards. The word Kuppai in the Tamil language refers to garbage. The cycle of existence is formed by the positives and the negatives. The human mind in its strife for the best can forget this principle and fall into depression, especially when it encounters a negative side effect. Certainly, waste and garbage are a part of a human society. Today the world in its quest for modernization is struggling to handle its waste. Surely, citizens seldom think

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Canadian Native languages, the last to adopt the Devanagari script

For decades missionaries held a love-hate relationship with the native knowledge systems across the world. For example, in the19th century, they created new alphabets for the languages of the Canadian Natives. Initially, they tried to use European language scripts. Soon, they found how their alphabets were a misfit because the natives followed Phonetically oriented scripts earlier. In fact. the languages used by Canadian natives phonetically resembles languages from India. In 1827 James Evans arrived to do missionary work in Ontario. He wanted to teach the Ojibwe Indians the gospel in their tongue. His first challenge was to produce the sounds of the Ojibwe language with European alphabets. Immediately, he remembered the Devanagari script. Secondly, Europeans were associated with India and its languages for several decades by this time. Thirdly, Devanagari suits Ojibwe Indian sounds well. There is one other similarity. Ojibwe language sounds are constructed by appending a vowel sound to a constant sound. This is similar to all Indian

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What does Brahma have to do with Collapsing Quantum Systems?

Does Brahma dream the universe? If Creation exists only within the mind of Brahma, can it not dissolve like a dream? Is this similar to a collapsing quantum system? Let us review these two ideas. The popular idea among scientists is that human intelligence is an accident. A certain biological evolution created the power of thinking in the human brain. Consequently, everything in nature and in the cosmos is like a machine. Machines work on one principle, namely, the cause-and-effect principle. However,  Sir James Jeans, made a striking discovery. He says that the discoveries in Physics suggest the universe to be less of a machine and more of a great thought. The core elements of mechanical philosophy began in the Cartesian era, in the late 16th century. The idea that “I exist because I think” is slowing waning. Consequently, the older idea of the mind being the creator and the governor of the realm of matter is reviving. Sanskrit literature celebrates

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Celebrate a cosmic scale birthday!

One’s birthday as per the conventional calendar is only a crude approximation of the configuration in the sky when one was born! Tropical dates identify the position of Earth with respect to Sun ignoring the background of fixed stars. In a sense it distances our awareness from the wider cosmos by limiting it to a Heliocentric existence. While the complex molecules that make up our cells may have formed within the Solar system, every atom of our body was created in deep space out there!  Astronomers use the term “sidereal” to distinguish observations against a stationary background. A sidereal year is slightly longer than a tropical year. Vedic civilization recognized this and included the notions of tropical and sidereal in its calendar system. This calendar system utilizes the position of the moon as an additional peg to mark one’s birth cosmically. Moon too returns to its original position against the fixed stars and is close to its original phase on

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A piece of Zirconium – Beginning of Life on Earth

A Zirconium crystal can tell its own age. One such crystal specimen from Australia gives a puzzling picture of when water arrived on Earth. This challenges assumptions about life on earth. During formation, a Zirconium crystal accumulates less on more Titanium atoms based on the temperature. Firstly, geo-chemists recently discovered a piece of Zirconium, almost as old as planet Earth. This crystal was inside a hard rock in hilly western Australia. Secondly. Geologists say that the planet earth formed about 4.5-4.6 billion years ago. Geochemists Watson and Thomson say that the above crystal formed at temperatures around 680 degrees Celsius. They assert this based on the amount of titanium in the crystal. Secondly, there is one more interesting factor. These crystals can form only in the presence of water. Therefore, the discovery of the zirconium specimen is exciting. Earth had surface water right from the beginning! Surface Water and Asteroids All scientists consider surface water a good sign of life.

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