Archive for the ‘inspiring’ Category

Science

Posted: October 27, 2019 in education, inspiring, Mathematics, philosophy, Science

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If you find science boring, you’re learning it from a wrong teacher!

 

Rules of good scientific practice

  1. See failure as a beginning.
  2. Never stop learning.
  3. Assume nothing, question everything.
  4. Teach others what you know.
  5. Analyze objectively.
  6. Practice humility.
  7. Respect constructive criticism.
  8. Take initiative.
  9. Give credit where it’s due.
  10. Love what you do.

Nature

Posted: July 8, 2019 in inspiring, philosophy

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“Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshiping.”
― Hubert Reeves

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Śulbasūtras are collection of sanskrit works from the vedic period which supplements kalpa as appendices. kalpa is one of the six veda-angas which deals with procedures to perform vedic rituals. Śulbasūtras provide as the source of ancient Indian mathematics in the area of geometry developed during the vedic period.

The mathematics in the vedic period should not be confused with the 20th century work titled “Vedic Mathematics” by former Shankaracharya of Puri, the late Jagadguru Swami Shri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji Maharaj. Tirthaji’s “Vedic Mathematics” is neither vedic nor mathematics of any significant importance except for some alternate methods in arithmetics and elementary algebra. The title of the work is actually a misleading one, and people without understanding the facts propagate it as something from ancient Indian epistemology. The claim that the sanskrit aphorisms mentioned in his text were from the appendix (parishishta) of Atharva-Veda is controversial, and so far, no versions of Atharva-Veda contained such aphorisms. Since the book was published posthumously, we are not sure whether the author or the editor is to be blamed for such a misleading book title. For a more detailed discussion about this topic, please refer to the article titled “Myths and reality : On ‘Vedic mathematics’ ” by S.G. Dani, a renowned mathematician at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India.

The importance of mathematics were indeed well cherished in ancient Indian mathematical works, and the Jyothisha-Vedanga (attributed with Rig-Veda) glorifies mathematics as follows:

yatha shikha mayurānam nāgānām maṇayo yatḥa |
taḍvad vedāṅga shāstrāṅām gañitham mūrdhin stḥitḥam ||

“Like the crest of the peacock, like the gem in the hood of the king cobra, so is mathematics the top-head of all branches of science/knowledge”.

The geometry in Śulbasūtras particularly laid out details for the design and construction of fire altars for vedic rituals. The vast corpus of works developed in Śulbasūtras are mainly attributed to Baudhāyana, Mānava, Āpastamba and Kātyāyana. The oldest being developed by Baudhāyana during 800 BCE, and the youngest by Kātyāyana during 200 BCE.

One of the most significant work which gained popularity among contemporary mathematician is the statement about hypotenuse theorem (which is currently called as Pythagoras Theorem) contained in Baudhāyana Śulbasūtras which belongs to Taittiriya branch of the Krishna Yajur-Veda.  Though, Baudhāyana did not wrote proof to his theorem, he laid out the sūtra as follows:

dīrgha chaturasrasya akṣaṇayā rajjuḥ pārśvamānī tiryagmānī cha
yat pṛthagbhūte kurutah tat ubhayāṅ karoti. (Chapter 1, sutra 12)

A rope stretched along the diagonal of a rectangle makes a squared length which is made by the squared lengths of the horizontal and vertical sides of the rectangle together.

Other important concepts contained in Śulbasūtras are as follows:
1) Pythagorean triples.
2) Formula to find square roots.
3) Finding a circle whose area is same as a square.
4) Diagonals of rectangle bisecting each other.
5) Diagonals of rhombus bisecting at right angles.
6) Areas associated with squares, rectangles and rhombus.
7) Methodology to handle fractions.

Further reading:
http://www.math.cornell.edu/~dwh/papers/sulba/sulba.html
http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Projects/Pearce/Chapters/Ch4_2.html

The negative energy which manifests within an individual, and consequently, a negative energy within the society is basically due to the imbalance of human mind. This imbalance of mind eventually leads to sufferings. Every life is an integral part of the divine, and is capable of rising to experience the bliss. This capability is dormant with some, and with others they are active, or more conducive to be activated quickly. To bring the mind to a balance towards activating the bliss, the following 13 impurities of mind should be controlled which are the root cause of suffering:

1) Ragam: desire to indulge in recreational sexual activities rather than for procreation.
2) Dvesham: to take revenge on those who disturbed us or inflicted pain.
3) Kamam: desires or passion for materialistic pleasure.
4) Krodham: anger, or restlessness due to unfulfilled desire.
5) Lobham: unwillingness to give or share with others.
6) Moham: blind towards distinguishing good and bad while satisfying the desire.
7) Madham: arrogance in achieving the desire based on wealth and power.
8) Maatsaryam: envy/jealousy upon the success/achievement of others.
9) Irshya: thoughts about why do I experience this sorrow and not others.
10) Asuya: indignation at the merits or goodness of another.
11) Dambham: pretending to do good things for publicity/popularity (hypocritical/deceitful).
12) Darpam: pride in believing that no one else can match with one’s quality or skill.
13) Ahamkaram: impudent or insolent behavior.

Even if any one of the above impurity dominates the mind, we end-up driving ourselves to inauspicious circumstances eventually. We should learn to eradicate any impurity arising in our mind at its beginning stage itself. Then, we will be able to put ourselves in auspicious circumstances to experience the divine bliss.

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Consistent indulgence in ignorance (māyā) by humans over several of previous births makes him strongly associated with the accumulated/consequent subtle impressions (samskaras) and tendencies (vasanas) which hinders from listening to the voice of God. The pursuit of spiritual path to know the purpose of life appears contrary to human nature, and his conscious mind is always agitated. The humongous effort to make the conscious mind stable is to start with controlling one’s lust/passion/desire (kāmam) and anger (krodham). Adopting a yogic lifestyle makes it easier to achieve stable mind.

“The beginning of saintliness is killing of egoism or Ahamkara. The end of saintliness is Eternal Life. The key to saintliness is humility and self mortification. The light of saintliness is silent meditation. The garb of saintliness is virtue and tolerance, not the Gerua cloth alone.”  – Sivananda

Once the conscious mind is stable, the superconscious mind will start to manifest which is the faculty for pure intellect, reasoning and intuition towards realizing the truth. Then, in silent meditation, it will be possible to hear the voice of God. This inner voice which is very divine, pure and clear will guide us in the spiritual path to know the purpose of life. Meditation is a beautiful way to connect with God and enjoy the bliss of divinity. Finish up the daily meditation with this shloka (from Śivamānasapūjā) :-

Ātmā tvaṁ girijā matiḥ sahacarāḥ prāṇāḥ śarīraṁ gṛhaṁ
pūjā te viṣayopabhogaracanā nidrā samādhisthitiḥ|
Sañcāraḥ padayoḥ pradakṣiṇavidhiḥ stotrāṇi sarvā giro
yad-yat-karma karomi tat-tad-akhilaṁ śambho tavārādhanam||

“Thou (Lord Shiva) art Atma; Buddhi is Thy consort, Parvathi (who is born of mountain); the Pranas are Thy attendants; this body is Thy house; the action of sensual enjoyment is Thy worship; deep sleep is the establishment of Samadhi; walking by my feet is the perambulation around Thee; all my speeches are Thy praise; whatever actions I perform, are all Thy worship; Oh Shambhu!”

Further reading:
1) Śivamānasapūjā
2) Yoga in Daily Life – by Sri Swami Sivananda