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Janma-Mrityu-Jara-Vyadhi

May 2, 2016 Leave a comment

Birth. Death. Old age. Disease. That’s what the title stands for, in Sanskrit.

It’s been a long and tough period of several months to date. With work being a bit relaxed in the past few weeks, I have been reflecting on this thing we call LIFE. Not surprisingly, LIFE also constitutes the other inevitable parts of living… disease, growing old and, finally, death.

The reason for this line of thought gaining prominence is because of my father. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer several months back. As it is, the prognosis for such a thing is not good… but still given his healthy condition, doctors thought he might pull through for some more time. But all of them, and us, were fooled. What we thought as an improving situation actually turned out to be worse with the disease no showing any signs of even slowing down.

The deterioration in my father’s health and physique was a complete shock to most of the people who knew him… and he is still on the slide, so to say. Everyday is still a struggle for him. And with everyone being informed only last month, there has been a slew of guests streaming in, with pretty much the same sentence on their lips – “Oh no, why did it have to be cancer? And that too for you?”

Now, me being myself, I had some things to say which I then decided that those are better left unsaid. But here I can. Why cancer? Pretty stupid thing to say, in my opinion. Why cancer… would it be have been fine if he had gotten AIDS, or Ebola? And the “Why you” question doesn’t make sense either. Do we have privileges to chose what can afflict us? We seem to be laboring under the delusion that we can avoid disease and death by just not thinking about it or assuming we will not be afflicted. The other big delusion we have is that we assume ourselves to be “good” people and so nothing “bad” should happen to us.

I am a strong believer of things happening for a reason. We may not know it right then and there, but reason is there. Now people might think that to be an absurd notion, but this is what I have seen, experienced and realized to be true over the last 20 years. So, we gotta roll with the punches instead of trying to slide in to a death spiral of depression, self-pity and become mentally inept.

The world around us is programmed to condition us in to forgetting that our part in this cosmic drama is extremely minuscule and our puppet strings can be cut at any time. Only those who realize this and turns the mental faculties towards understanding what and who drives this drama can attain peace at the end of the show.

Srimad Bhagavad Gita Chapter 8 Verse 6

yam yam vapi smaran bhavam
tyajaty ante kalevaram
tam tam evaiti kaunteya
sada tad-bhava-bhavitah

“Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.”

Descending Knowledge

September 30, 2009 23 comments

This was posted by me as a comment in the ‘Atheist or Intellectual’ post. Thought it might actually be good to have this as a blog post.

Vedic methodology acknowledges that we are limited in our knowledge gaining capabilities, through direct sense perception, logical inference or historical records. These processes have their uses, but cannot guarantee correct knowledge at all times, especially so when the object they are trying to understand is infinitely complex and our position and capabilities are infinitesimal.

This understanding is the first prerequisite for what the vedic methodology recognizes as the process of descending knowledge, called ‘Shabda’ or revealed sound, in which perfect knowledge descends from the absolute being, AKA God, who is conscious of all time and space simultaneously.

This knowledge is passed down through an unbroken line of qualified, unalloyed loving devotees who are bonafide spiritual masters. That line of teachers is commonly known as ’sampradaya’ or disciplic succession.

Now comes the question – How can we differentiate what is true Shabda?

Absolute or perfect knowledge is one that is never subject to change. Contrary to modern scientific methodology where theories are almost always being ‘improved’ upon, there absolutely no place for speculation in the process of shabda. Given that this knowledge comes from, and is basically part of, the absolute being, it is perfect and if someone attempts to change any of that information through speculation, it would inject inherent imperfections in to that knowledge too. So, any speculative changes made in transit would render the knowledge, as well as the person passing it on, as non-authoritative.

In summary, the objective of the vedic methodology is to know the absolute being. Understanding that the knowledge descends from the absolute being through the line of masters is the only way to progress in this methodology.

Of course, if a person considers the vedic literature to be imaginative creations of mortals with their inherent defects, then they hold no authoritative value for that person.

Categories: Philosophy, Science

Do your bit to save this Earth!

August 31, 2009 4 comments

The next time you order take-away from a restaurant, carry a hotpack and some smaller metal vessels to pack the food from the restaurant.

That way, you can save a lot of plastic bags, heat-seal wraps and paper from getting wasted.

Sounds absurd? Think.

Lord Krishna existed. School texts are wrong.

August 30, 2009 35 comments

So says a nuclear medicine physician.

The interesting interview can be found here.

Categories: Religion, Science

Atheist or Intellectual?

August 22, 2009 54 comments

I was reading through a magazine last week wherein there was this in response to a reader’s query: “You need to be an intellectual to be an atheist!”.

Is that really so? Then, are all atheists intellectuals?

My friend in the blogworld, Ketan states in his profile that elements of honesty, introspection, analysis go into someone turning an atheist.

That made me wonder: Is it that one who is not an atheist is not honest nor does that one possess the gift of introspection and analysis?

Cannot one be endowed with all that and still be a strong believer in God?

What makes 2 individuals, having the same skills at analysis and ability to ascertain things and their causes, end up with completely different conclusions and yet lets them feel the other person’s conclusion is the wrong one?

Robots and Humans

November 16, 2007 Leave a comment
Categories: Futuristic, General, Science

Ockham’s razor… can it cut everything? – recycled

July 25, 2006 1 comment

Yet another post of mine, which was actually read by some faculty member from the place I worked! Google can a bane… sometimes. 😛

I was reading about some stuff for my tutoring sessions and I came across a principle known popularly as ” Ockham’s Razor”. Intrigued, I started digging deeper. This was a medieval principle used by 14th century English logician and Franciscan friar, William of Ockham that forms the basis of methodological reductionism and he was known to use it so frequently that his name stuck to it. William wrote, in Latin, Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate, which translates literally into English as “Plurality should not be posited without necessity”. In the layman language it is stated as ,”Of two competing theories or explanations, all other things being equal, the simpler one is to be preferred.”Now, this principle of simplicity, has a bigger consequence. This Methodological reductionism is the basis of scientific research. Any problem in Science is dealt by this reductionist principle. Meaning, given a problem, it is reduced in to a cluster of simpler problems and the accumulated solutions for the simpler problems gives the over all solution to the problem itself. This might look logical for the thinking minds. After all, we have been known to make advancement in science for all time.

But then I remembered the arguments rendered by my teacher around 3 years ago. I was not aware of the name of this principle, but was very familiar with the reductionist approach. Let’s consider this Universe. People have racked their brains over finding answers to the many questions posed by the space around us. And believe me, they use the reductionist approach to solve the origin of the Universe.

So the question is, ” What if the Universe is irreducibly complex at its present state?”. Meaning, if the present state of the universe is the simplest state it can be in, the reductionist approach will fail miserably. And another question will be, “What if the Universe was meant to be infinitely complex?”. Then whatever reduction we make, a solution will never be formed.

My opinion on this topic: There are things that escape human comprehension… things that are subtle enough to dazzle the most brilliant scientist and shield its truth from us.

To me, Ockham’s razor loses its sharpness when the subtle and the gross meet.

Categories: Philosophy, Science