Thursday, November 24, 2011

An interdisciplinary view of higher education

Yesterday I attended a talk by Avi Loeb on the future of research for young astronomers. A copy of a similar talk can be found here:

I was very inspired about what he had to say about the current state of scientific research, and spoke to him about his views on introspection and intuition in the scientific method, as well as looking for clues in ancient texts.

His view was that not (m)any researchers are looking into that area, and it could be a possible area of research after acquiring a PhD in astrophysics and moving forward with the connections and clue digging.

I also sent him this email, summing up most of my thoughts:

Dear Avi,

Thank you for taking the time out to talk today.

I've only started thinking about the philosophies of Hinduism and Buddhism (since 2009), but immediately get the feeling that they have a lot to offer science. I imagine other cultures have similar warehouses of information and knowledge that should be explored in a scientific and coordinated manner.

Personally, I see disciplines of cosmology, spirituality, and philosophy as languages that employ completely different methods and approaches but all work towards the same goal: explaining life and consciousness and the role of humans (if any) in the universe.

What's happening in the world today is people and scientists in particular tend to disconnect the two worlds: that of intuition and knowing with that of knowledge and discovery. This disconnect and much larger political and economic forces have divided spirituality (the intangible and not yet explained by science) and science (the tangible and proved within reason) to the extent that a person feels scared to very honestly accept both as real or explore two thoughts (or two methods) in parallel.

My intent (and of this email) is of an information propagator and inter-connector, in the hope of sparking thought and creation.

Regarding Sagittarius, it is considered as the abode of Yamraj (who is the carrier of death), not of Brahma, who is considered the creator, which makes better sense relating to the black hole at the centre of our milky way. What is also interesting is the texts talk of forces, and not "beings"; and it acknowledges that "beings" are the face for comprehension and imagination. And regarding the source of the universe, I couldn't find an online account of "initial" creation, just one of creation involving darkness and emptiness, a state of sleep, and a golden egg, out of which Brahma emerges and creates the universe dividing light and matter (in Sanskrit, the root "bṛh" means to swell, grow, enlarge). I am also fascinated by the Hindu cosmological time cycles as they deal with timescales of 10^-7 s to 10^22 s.

What I try to constantly take away from most of the literature is the essence rather than concentrating on the known inaccuracies in the schematics (with regard to the positions, time scales, distance scales, nomenclature etc.). As you said, those were different times with different limitations, and clearly a different thought process. I think the coincidences in scientific findings and ancient pursuits is undeniable. It could also be a chicken or the egg effect: where our current pursuits lead to future coincidences based on past knowledge.

At this present time and with our current technology, I would really like to see science combine its methods with "all" existing knowledge to make a newer, stronger framework, without bias. Such a line of thought may help answer questions that are neither being explained by science, nor philosophy, nor spirituality. So far, no one discipline has been able to show the whole picture and I believe that it's because we are failing to see the interconnectedness of it all.

As one approach, I propose literally digging through all the cultures and using the main scientific ideas as data to develop new possible theories or areas of investigation. I am sure that this has been done in part through our history, but I believe never in a coordinated manner. (Similarly, astrophysics, molecular genetics, neuroscience, and psychology need to start cracking their heads on consciousness).

Regarding a direction of innovation in terms of gigantic leaps rather than incremental steps, mixing knowledge and interdisciplinary studies are definitely a gateway. For example, interdisciplinary astronomy could look at:
> comparative studies between ancient cosmologies and modern cosmologies
> whether there is any legitimacy in the energy vortexes of planet earth (also called earth's chakras -- similar to energy chakras in Hinduism/Buddhism or the Chi in the orient)
> the accuracy of the Mayan calendar and evaluating it in their contextual knowledge framework (for example, according to the Mayan calendar, which speaks of the evolution of consciousness, the birth of the universe was 16.4 billion years ago)
> evolution of energy and human culture (where energy encompasses all the energy that falls on humans, so extending the SED)

If you meet thinkers or groups that have similar views, I would greatly appreciate being put in touch with them to take these thoughts further.

Thank you once again for your time and attention.

Kind regards,

Jaya Ramchandani
MS Astronomy and Science Based Business (2012)
p. +31 646 208 017

Ancient Science by Rakesh Maniktala

© Rakesh Maniktala

Introduction: Spiritualism, Modern Science and Ancient History
Spiritualism, Modern Science, Ancient History. These three words at one place might appear to many as highly unrelated – but they are as much related to each other as the three corners of an equilateral triangle. Without any one of the corners, the identity of the triangle itself (i.e. Humanity) would not be there.
Scientific advancement sans spirituality is like body without soul – the form of science we see today. It leads to a society with all the attributes of self-destruction: Greed, Selfishness, Intolerance and Bloated Egos. Today we have become slaves of the gadgets and scientific infrastructure we have put together for our service.

What humanity needs is a humane and progressive culture on Earth, where spiritualism and scientific development go hand in hand. A culture based on the principles of love, tolerance, brotherhood and a desire to grow, to move forward… And do we have any precedence for such a culture, such a society? That’s where ancient history comes into picture.

Human race on our planet Earth is very old, as discussed further in the "Beliefs" section. In ancient history, there have been times when our culture was highly advanced – scientifically as well as spiritually. The society was guided by highly evolved rishis (sages), master exponents of metaphysical skills who had conquered death through yoga and meditation. These sages, the great scientists, knew of environment friendly and unlimited resources of energy. People traveled to farthest stars and solar systems in sophisticated spacecraft, and by astral travelling. They had mastered anti-gravity, and had contacts with other advanced civilizations of the universe. But human culture and its development always follow a sine wave. People leave the middle path tilting more towards materialism, and knowledge decays. There were natural calamities due to toying with environment, and nuclear wars, resulting in total destruction.

Radioactivity mutated human genes and so there were primitive Neanderthal men. And this has happened not once, but many a times in the past. Physical evidence for this might not be available today, but documentary information in symbolic or parable form is still available in some ancient Indian scriptures (Puranas), and in scriptures of other civilizations too.

Can We Revive Our Glorious Past?
To realize the dream of a spiritual-scientific culture on Earth, the spiritual level of the society has to go up. There must be a large number of people with high spiritual level to bring about a change at a very fast rate (referred to as a critical mass by some). This might sound difficult, but things are actually moving in a positive direction. Despite all the greed, hatred and materialistic hullabaloo, many of us are feeling a need for an inner quest: What are we here for? Why so much misery and pain in life? Can we rise above this and make our lives more meaningful… can we? This inner quest is actually helping us rise above the ordinary. And so the long queues at the doorsteps of Gurus and religious preachers.

But only the desire for an inner quest may not help much. To hasten the pace of this change, something more is required: dedicated and evolved groups of people, working specifically and steadfastly to bring about the change. And one of the paths for them is to look for scientific-spiritual advancements of the past.

To Find Scientific Advancements In Ancient History
A two pronged action plan is required for this:
1. One certain source of scientific knowledge is Vedas, the ancient Hindu scriptures, written in the ancient and sophisticated language of Sanskrit. Many other Sanskrit scriptures and ancient books from other parts of the world and in other languages may contain advanced scientific knowledge. Various research programs on Vedas are already in progress, here in India and abroad. Specific and coordinated research programs on such texts have to be initiated.
2. Scientific remains of certain ancient civilizations must still be hidden somewhere - beneath some ancient ruins, or pyramids, or in some caves/ highlands of Himalayas. Or there could be some ancient library, or manuscripts/ texts, which might have survived the ravages of Dark Age wars. These have to be traced - through dedication, meditation and intuition.

The aim of these words is to bring together all such like-minded people who resonate with these thoughts, to launch a concerted and dedicated effort in this direction (points 1 & 2 above).
The evidence for many of the ideas mentioned above might not be forthcoming, and so may appear to some of us as hypothetical, and based on wild imagination and faith. But imagination and faith are amongst the strongest forces of nature capable of doing many a miracles in life. So if we have faith in our imaginations and in our inner quests, we surely can do some miracles. Let’s come together.

There is one Supreme being, called by the names of GOD, the Parmatma (the soul of universe), the Almighty Lord. God is sat (truth), chitta (intelligence) and ananda (happiness). He is absolutely holy and wise. He is omnipresent, incorporeal, unborn, immense, omniscient, omnipotent, merciful and just. He is the creator, protector and destroyer of the worlds. He is the lord of the universe.1

There are three distinct eternal identities: (1) God, (2) Souls, (3) Prakriti – the material cause of the universe. All three have the attributes of eternal existence in common. But they differ in other respects. Matter is inanimate and inert while God is all-life and all-power. The soul is limited in its intelligence and powers, while god is unlimited. The soul is confined in a body – God pervades all space. The former is finite – the latter infinite.2

The Universe
In the early part of this century, two opposing theories about the origin of the universe were postulated. (1) The Steady State theory, which says the universe is never born, never dies, and is always like what it is. (2) The Big bang theory, which says the universe began with a point of energy exploding in a "big-bang". All the matter came into being from energy continuously expanding and changing form. Ultimately the expansion will stop and it will start contracting, ending into nothingness with a "big-crunch". What is before big-bang or after big crunch, the theory doesn’t know.

In reality, both the theories are correct. The universe begins from a point with a bang and ends in a point with a crunch. This duration we call one Kalpa (cosmos) or Brahma Diwas (eternal day). It is preceded and succeeded by an equal period during which matter lies in a dormant, inert state and that is called a Brahma Ratri i.e. a divine night (for the nature that sleeps as it were). All the souls also remain in a dormant state, a sort of hibernation, during this period. The evolution of cosmos from dormant state may be called a ‘creation’ or ‘srishti’, and its involution back into inert state is called dissolution (pralaya). As days and nights succeed each other, so do cosmos and divine nights in this eternal sinusoidal cycle of evolutions and involutions 3 (Figure 1).

All matter, i.e. nature, has three basic attributes/forces – satva, rajasa and tamasa. During brahma ratri, these forces remain in a balanced state. After the big bang, the three forces get realigned to form elementary particles called Mahat or Aapah, which combine further to form other basic particles, atoms and so on. 4

A – "Big Bang" B – "Big Crunch" A to B – One "Kalpa"
Figure 1

Age of the Universe
The age of each Kalpa (eternal day) is 4.32 billion years (4,320,000,000 years). According to Hindu scriptures this is further subdivided as below:
1 Kalpa = 1000 Chaturyugis
= 14 Manvantars + Buffer Periods of 6 Chaturyugis
1 Manvantar = 71 Chaturyugis
1 Chaturyugi = 4,320,000 years

Of the 14 manvantars, the universe expands for the first seven, and contracts for the next seven.
Each chaturyugi is subdivided into four Yugas:
1. Krit yuga = 1,728,000 years
2. Treta yuga = 1,296,000 years
3. Dwapar yuga = 864,000 years
4. Kali yuga = 432,000 years

At present, kaliyuga of the 28th chaturyugi of the 7th manvantar is in progress. According to this calculation, 1,972,949,100 years have elapsed since the evolution of present cosmos began, and it has 2,347,050,900 years still to go before the "big-crunch".5

The Earth
All planets prior to their formation are part of their parent stars, like the nine planets of our solar system were part of the Sun. After parting from the Sun, it took millions of years for our Earth to cool and become solid. The Earth is hollow inside, with a tiny white-dwarf "sun" at its center. Most of the other planets in this universe are hollow inside. And most of the planets are inhabited too, because the basic purpose of planets is to support life – as that of stars is to support planets. On a planet, both the outside surface and the inside surface, or any one of them, could be suitable for life. For our Earth, both the surfaces support life – in fact, the "inside world" (referred to as Pataal Loka in Hindu scriptures) is more suitable for life as is protected from outside natural calamities. 6

Life on Earth
Presently, the twenty eighth chaturyugi of the seventh manvantar is in its last phase. The Earth was formed in the second manvantar, while the Moon was formed in the third. Continents came out of the oceans in the fourth manvantar. Vegetation was born in the fifth, animals in sixth and humans at the beginning of the current seventh. So, human life on Earth is roughly 120 million years old.7

At first the humans were born by asexual means – in fully grown-up and knowledgeable state – in the Meru Parvat region in Himalayas (Tibet). They further carried on the chain of life through sexual means.8 At the birth of every cosmos the complete knowledge of God is transmitted in wave-form and spreads out with the expanding universe. This knowledge was received by the foremost of the earliest humans – the four rishis (sages) – through meditation, and given to the humankind in the form of the four Vedas. 9

Population increased, Vedic knowledge spread, and human society flourished. Since the very beginning, humanity has taken two paths, the Devas and the Asurs, the believers in God and the worshippers of nature, the good and the evil. The society got divided along these two paths. The Deva or Aryan culture believes in scientific development supported by equal spiritual enlightenment for the ultimate betterment of humanity. On the other hand, the Asur culture believes in extreme materialism and considers the nature to be all powerful, leading to usage of science for destructive purposes.10

The fight for supremacy between the two cultures, between good and bad, follows a sinusoidal path, and so do peace and wars, and the scientific and spiritual development of humanity. Today it’s the asur culture that is on top, but the fight is still on.

Human Body: Birth to Rebirth
What we call human body actually is a combination of three bodies
1. The Physical body (Sthula sharira), one which we ‘see’ and ‘feel’ with our senses.
2. The Astral body (Sukshma sharira), our higher dimension body, and connected with our physical body by means of an infinitely extensible ‘silver cord’ at the naval.
3. The Cause body (Karana sharira), much subtler than the astral body, plus the wave form record of all our Karma and desires (vasana), good or bad.

This "combination" human body is the carrier, the vehicle of our "Atma", the Spirit, the actual "me". During our sleep – unconsciously, and during meditation – consciously, our astral body can leave the physical body. For astral body being at a much higher vibration level, physical things are no barrier to it. When we "die", only our physical body is destroyed. We, the "spirit" along with the astral body and cause body are born again in another physical body, as directed by our Karmic record. In between the death and rebirth, the spirit, along with the astral body goes to a particular astral plane depending on its level of evolution. There it experiences a detailed review of its latest life before being born again in another life. And this cycle of birth & death continues. The process of rebirth causes a memory loss, and we humans forget the real purpose of our lives. The aim of human life is to remember who we are, and to work towards the goal of evolution and the ultimate "moksha" (freedom from the cycle of birth and death). 11

The Law of Karma
All human actions/deeds, performed voluntarily or involuntarily, are termed as Karma. Broadly, karma are divided in two categories.
1. Nishkama Karma – performed as a duty, without expecting any "karma-phal" (result/ benefit) out of it. Karma of highly evolved yogis fall into this category.
2. Sakama Karma – where the performer wishes a particular result out of the karma. Karma of most humans falls into this category only. It can be good, bad or mixed type of sakama karma.

Hindu scriptures consider nishkama karma to be the highest form of karma that leads the soul towards salvation. 12

Categorizing as per mode, human beings perform three types of karma
1. "manasa" – by thought
2. "vacha" – by speech
3. "karmana" – by actions

All three have different karma-phal, and based on it a spirit’s next incarnation is decided. Three attributes of the next life are decided by karma-phal
1. "yoni" – Species (human/ animal/ plant)
2. "aayu" – Age
3. "bhoga" – Comforts

Only human form is the one where a spirit is free to do karma. In rest all life forms – all animal and vegetation species – spirit is not free to do karma, only to endure the results of previous karma.
Apart from the above classification, the karma is also classified in two types
1. Personal Karma, a persons individual karma which effect him alone
2. Societal Karma, the karma of individuals of a society counted together, whose reward/ punishment has to be borne by every individual of the society, in addition to the effect of the personal karma.

Knowledge is Eternal
The knowledge of God is eternal, and is present everywhere around us in energy form. So are the past and prospective futures. These can be "tapped in" by sufficiently spiritually advanced individuals. Without the spiritual development, knowledge and science always decay.

At the end of every chaturyugi, there is always a pralaya – mass destruction in the form of natural or man-made cataclysms – in which most of the knowledge in physical form is destroyed. But humanity survives in the form of a few human beings to carry forward the human race into next chaturyugi, like "Manu" (Noah) did at the end of last chaturyugi 3,893,100 years ago. Scientific remains of ancient, advanced civilizations of present chaturyugi may still be present and could be discovered by evolved and dedicated groups of people.13

Suggested Topics for Research
Before starting any research program, following points have to be taken care of:
1. Identification of ancient texts/manuscripts known to contain scientific knowledge.
2. Programs to trace out such texts/manuscripts which are not available today.

Research programs on available texts can then be initiated. Research topics could include the following.
• Anti Radioactivity: Chances of a nuclear war can never be ruled out, until of course, the earth rids itself of the piles of nuclear weapons. And in this context, research on anti-radioactive device/ radiation assumes paramount importance. Some basic leads are available – they need to be further researched and put together.
• Vimanas: Research on Vedas and other texts like "Brihad Vimanashastra" for developing special airplanes and space vehicles. This will also involve research on special alloys/ materials/ fuels as described in these texts.
• To realize Anti-Gravity.
• The study of human Aura for research in medicine and surgery.
• To find unconventional and environment friendly Energy/ electricity resources.
• The study of Yajna, and how to achieve special effects, like health and medicine, reinforcement of ozone layer and removal of atmospheric pollution, through it.

Above all this, blueprint for a program to educate specially chosen children in ancient spiritual and scientific techniques should be prepared, so as to produce leaders for a new world order.

1. RigVeda 10-129-7
YajurVeda 13-4; 31-1; 40-1; 40-8
Bhagwad Gita 13-16
Brahma Sutra 1-3-10
2. RigVeda 1-164-20
Shwetashwatara Upnishad 4-5
Sankhya Darshan 1-97, 98
3. RigVeda 10-129-1 to 4; 1-163-1
RigVeda 10-190-1, 2, 3
Vrihadaranyaka Upnishad 1-1-2
Manu Smriti 1-5, 6, 7, 80
4. Sankhya Darshan 1-61
Manu Smriti 1-14, 15
RigVeda 1-163-2, 3, 4; 10-129-5, 6
RigVeda 10-121-7 or YajurVeda 27-25
Shatpath Brahman 11-1-6-1
Brahma Sutra 1-4-6
5. Surya Siddhanta 1-14 to 23
Manu Smriti 1-67 to 73; 1-79
AtharvaVeda 8-2-21
YajurVeda 30-18
Bhagwad Gita 8-17, 18, 19
6. Ramayana & Puranas
7. Manu Smriti 1-62
8. RigVeda 1-164-7, 8, 9
Vaisheshik Darshan 4-2-5
Mahabharata (Aadi Parva) 65-10, 11
9. RigVeda 10-130-4 to 7; 8-100-10, 11
10. RigVeda 1-51-8
YajurVeda 40-3
11. Bhagwad Gita 15-8; 2-22
Kath Upnishad 2-18
Mundaka Upnishad 3-2-2; 3-1-10
Vrihadaranyaka Upnishad 5-4-6
Brahma Sutra 3-1-1
12. Bhagwad Gita 2-47
Mundaka Upnishad 2-2-8
Yoga Darshan 2-12, 13
13. Mahabharata (Vana Parva) Ch. 187
Vayu Purana 50-88
Shatpath Brahman 1-8-16

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wake Up Action Plan: Step 1

will there ever be one?

i was thinking of all the things to personally do to start the change i so desperately want.
so how do i go about doing it?

here's some (that have already started):
1. stop to purchase things i don't really need
2. stop wasting water and electricity, really trying, not fake trying
3. regularly practice yoga and meditation
4. smile at everyone, irrespective
5. really stop judging, it's fucking tough, but can be done, discern but don't judge
6. love without expectation, this is an even tougher one!
7. find out where everything you consume comes from and make responsible choices
8. try and make my moral code as sincere and living by that moral code also sincere (though they can and should still be fluid morals)
9. send out as many good thoughts as i can in a day to everyone who needs them
10. start to connect with people more without being afraid of their judgement
11. don't eat non-veg food with bad animal-living practices (i.e., become vegetarian)

harder ones:
1. towards making "learning" a lifelong process through different media
2. towards taking the "evil" out of money
3. towards helping people realise their natural calling in karm

Waking up in Kymatica

Most of the evil in the world is the fear that lives within us.
The remainder of evil feeds off that fear.

Kymatica from Ressourcenbasierte Wirtschaft on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Too lazy to be ambitious"

Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days' worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Useful software to transfer big files

If you don't have FTP or Dropbox, try these:

1. We Transfer (simple interface, 2 gb limit, no registration required)
2. You Send It (2 gb limit in trial account, registration required to send and receive)
3. Send Space (500 MB limit in free plan, no registration required; paid members have larger storage and fewer ads)

"Fire on the mountain" by Asa

There is fire on the mountain and nobody seems to be on the run
Oh there is fire on the mountain top and no one is a’ running

I wake up in the morning - tell you what I see on my TV screen
I see the blood of an innocent child and everybody's watching

Now, I'm looking out my window and what do I see?
I see an army of a soldier man marching across the street, hey...

Hey Mr. soldier man, tomorrow is the day you go to war
But you are fighting for another man’s 'cause and you don’t even know him

What did they say to make you so blind to your conscience and reason?
Could it be love for your country or for the gun you use in killing?

So there is fire on the mountain and nobody seems to be on the run
Oh there is fire on the mountain top and no one is a’ running.

Hey, Mister Lover-man can I get a chance to talk to you?
'cause you are fooling with a dead man's corpse and you don't know what you do.

So you say you have a lover and you love her like no other
So you buy her a diamond that someone has died on
- don’t you think there’s something wrong with this?

Tell me, who’s responsible for what we teach our children?
Is it the internet or the stars on television?
Find More lyrics at
Why oh why? Why oh, why oh? Oh!

So little Lucy turns sixteen and like the movie she's been seeing
she has a lover in her daddy - she can't tell nobody till she makes the evening news.

For there is fire on the mountain and nobody seems to be on the run.
Oh there is fire on the mountain top and no one is a’ running. Oh yes.

One day the river will overflow and there'll be nowhere for us to go
and we will run, run...wishing we had put out the fire, oh no...

For there is fire on the mountain and nobody seems to be on the run.
Oh there is fire on the mountain top and no one is a’ running. So yeah, yeah, yeah!

There is fire on the mountain, (fire in Africa) and nobody seems to be on the run (everywhere,in the city)
Oh there is fire on the mountain top and no-one is a’ running (no-one is a running)

There is fire on the mountain (fire, fire, fire) and nobody seems to be on the run….

The irony of the relationship between technology and idleness

One of the purposes of everyday technology (mobiles, laptops, etc.) is to make us more efficient. But we rarely use our 'freed up&...