A wish. Looking for a couple of suitable post-docs. Covid-19 in India.

1. A wish…

I wish there were a neat, scholarly, account of the early development regarding the relativity theory. …

… There are tons of material on the topic, but not a single one seems to be to my liking…. I mean, even while rapidly browsing through so many of them, they all seem to fall short—rather, so awfully short. Reason: Most, if not all of them, seem intent on deifying Einstein, and / or, the primacy of maths over physics. [Did I cover all the eigenbases? May be not. So, let me add.] … The worst of them spend themselves out on promoting the idea that coming up with good but radical ideas in physics is all about getting lucky in some day-dreaming involving some mathematical ideas. 

OTOH, The “model” for the book which I have in mind here is something like what Prof. Malcolm Longair has done for QM; see his book: “Quantum concepts in physics: an alternative approach to the understanding of quantum mechanics.” [^].

… High time someone should have undertaken a similar effort. But unfortunately, it’s entirely lacking.

… The wish isn’t without purpose. The more I study the quantum mechanical spin, the more I realize the handicap which I have of not having already studied the relativity theory.

I can always postpone the fully consistent description, following my new approach, for the QM spin. [No one / no organization has ever sponsored my research. [Though, they all are hell bent on “following up” on me.]]

However, now that I have developed (what I believe to be) a good, basic, ontology for the QM phenomena, I have begun to see a promising pathway, at least from the viewpoint of a basic ontology, from a non-relativistic description of QM to a relativistic one—I mean the special relativistic one.


2. Looking for a couple of suitable post-docs…

Another possibility I am toying with, currently, is this:

Over a considerable period of time, say over a year or so, to build a series of Python/C++ scripts/programs that illustrate the classical EM in action, but following my new ontological ideas. These ideas are for the Maxwell-Lorentz EM, but I do anticipate that these would provide the easiest pathway to integrating the Special Relativity with the non-relativistic QM.

The trouble is: I will have to get into the FDTD algorithmics too, and I don’t have the time to do it. (In case you didn’t know, when it comes to EM, the best technique is FDTD.)

Wish I had a competent post-doc—actually two—working simultaneously with me! Right now!!

One could build the above-mentioned FDTD applets, but following the way I want them to be built.

The other one could work on “FEM-ization” of my FDM code (i.e., for the He atom, done with my new approach, and yet to be published). Once he is done, he could explore doing the same with FDTD (yes of course!), and compare and contrast the two. The FEM-ization of my FDM code won’t be very highly demanding, in the sense, people have done the finite elements formulation for the helium atom, and also have implemented it in code—decades ago… But of course, they did so following the mainstream QM. It would be a fun for the post-doc to implement it using the ideas I will be proposing—shortly.

Then, both could work on the ideas for the relativistic QM. … The pace of the work would depend on what they bring to the table, and how they perform.

Fallout? If you are a smart PhD in the concerned areas, I need not provide even a hint about it…


3. Status update on my QM research:

Currently, I am typing a set of notes on the topic of the quantum mechanical angular momentum, including the spin. For the time being, I am mostly following Dan Schroeder’s notes (which I mentioned in the post before the last, here [^]). Once done, I don’t mind uploading these notes—for proofreading by you the potential post-docs. [Who else?]

While typing these notes, it has become once again very clear to me—crystal clear, in fact—as to how my “theory” for the QM spin (following my new approach) falls short. … So short, in fact. … My “theory” doesn’t just look awfully arbitrary; it is so.

All in all, don’t expect the same kind of confidence from me for the spin-related aspects as for the spin-less ones. I mean, in the upcoming document on my new approach.


4. Back to the potential post-docs:

Exciting enough?

If yes, drop me a line. Especially, if you are working with Google / similar company. I gather they officially allow you some fraction of your official time for your own hobby projects too…


5. If you are someone young and enthusiastic, say from the Pune city and all (and in general, from India):

They have relaxed the curbs. However, I have a word of advice for you.

Don’t step out unless absolutely necessary, and if so doing, take all the precautions.

It’s just a matter of a few months now…

…BTW, I am also thinking whether the government shouldn’t relax the enforced gap of three months in between the first and the second dose for the jabs. … There are circumstantial matters which indicate that a gap in between two to three months might be ideal; that three months might be too long a period. (Actually, this matter had struck me right on the day that the Central Government increased the gap from 6 weeks to 12 weeks in one, single, move. …However, at that time, I had thought it prudent to wait and watch. Now, I think I can—nay, should—share my opinon. … I also have some other points about these matters, but these are not so important. I will sure mention these as and when it becomes necessary to do so.)


In the meanwhile, you all take care, and bye for now…


A song I like:

(Hindi) ज़िंदगी आ रहा हूँ मैं… (“zindagi aa rahaa hoon main…”)
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Music: Hridaynath Mangeshkar
Singer: Kishore Kumar

[

Credits happily listed in a random order. A good quality audio is here [^]. … Although I haven’t seen this movie, recently I watched the video for this song, and found that I enjoyed it too. A good quality video is here [^].

… I always loved this song, esp. the tune and the arrangement / orchestration. … And of course, Javed Akhtar’s awesome lyrics. … Well, yes, Kishore does sound, at places in this song, just a slight bit… and how shall I put it?… He doesn’t sound as if he were in his best frame of singing, here. His voice sounds a bit too “broad”, and perhaps heavy, and even a bit “tired” perhaps? as if he were straining a bit?…  Even then, of course, being Kishore, he does manage to pull a great job. [It’s just that, knowing Kishore, one wants to note this aside… I know, hair-splitting, it is. … Can’t help. … Sometimes.]

… [BTW, if you are young and dynamic and result-oriented etc.: The guy in this video is Sonam Kapoor’s dad. He used to be young. Once upon time. Me too. [Though I never ever had the hair-style he displays here. A lot of my class-mates did, mostly following The “Bachchan”. Not me. […Yeah, I know.]]

… All the same, all that you’ve to do now is to wait for just a few more months, that’s all… 2021 isn’t a meme on Twitter the way 2020 was. Nevertheless, in India, we have to wait. So, just listen to songs like this for just a wee bit more. … I can tell you, from experience: The scenery, esp. the Sahyaadri’s, does stay great also well until January / February next year. (And if you really love Sahyaadri’s, well, they are there, forever…)

…So there.]

…And if you are new to this song, see if you too like it…

Take care and bye for now…

]

 

On the Bhagavad-Geetaa, ch. 2, v. 47—part 1: कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते (“karmaNyevaadhikaaraste”)

A Special note for the Potential Employers from the Data Science field:

Recently, in April 2020, I achieved a World Rank # 5 on the MNIST problem. The initial announcement can be found here [^], and a further status update, here [^].

All my data science-related posts can always be found here [^].


1. A series of tweets on the Bhagawad-Geetaa, chapter 2, verse 47, posted by me today:

Today, I posted a series of tweets. These are quoted (plain copy-pasted) below:

With a good knowledge of the original Sanskrit here, and with my philosophic convictions, I am happy to state that I *don’t* believe in this verse of the Geeta: कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन | मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि || “karmaNye vaadhikaaraste…” 1/n

This verse quotes one principle that *in principle* can *never* be realized, in practice, by any one. Reason: It goes against the nature of man. So, the only use it can be put to, is: as a means of exhortation. That’s the only viable use-case it at all has. 2/n

BTW, it also goes against Aristotle, *and* *against* the better (more consistent) parts of Vedant (वेदांत) i.e. Upanishad (उपनिषद). It’s quite likely that this verse represents a later-day interpolation by the priestly / Intellectual class as the original जय “Jay” became 3/n

laden with many^2 extraneous things and eventually became महाभारत “Mahaabhaarat”. … Go through the literal translation of this verse, and then ask yourself: Who could have done it? For what purpose? To answer those two questions, ask yourself, in turn, the following: 4/n

Who was at all allowed / authorized to recite and transmit *any* *Sanskrit* verses for a few couple of millennia at least? Who would benefit from its insertion? Who would prescribe it to the *common man*—i.e., reaching beyond the संन्यासी i.e. the renunciates? 5/n

Answers: Power-lusters among the Intellectual/Priestly *castes* (a word which means much more than just “class”). Totalitarian rulers (of any caste, Brahmins/Dalits included.) Other powerful people from society who collude with, or help, both the former. 6/n

The only virtues of this verse are: a superlatively smooth way of *expression*, and the purity of the formulation. Its formulation is so pure, so direct, so open, so *undiluted* by anything extraneous, that these very qualities are likely to make you disregard its actual, 7/n

directly given, meaning. So, you are likely to add your own *loving/lovable* layers of meaning on to it. Which is what people do! Not just foreigners/Christians/Muslims/others, but primarily Indians / Hindus themselves. Which isn’t just a mistake—it’s a grave error. 8/n

What the verse *actually* says to the common man is nothing but a purest form of naked evil. (Telling it to the “sanyaasi” is superfluous / redundant.) Some day, I’ll give you the exact translation sans any interpolations / extraneous additions, 9/n

so that you can see the whole thing by yourself. Yes, many sources (e.g. ISKON’s “as it is”) do give split-ups of words & meanings. But their stated meanings are *not* exact—there’s a lot of distortion in them! 10/n

Till date, I haven’t come across a fully accurate translation—one which hasn’t added something extraneous or given a slant towards a more palatable meaning, etc. (Certainly not S. Radhakrishnan’s version either!_ So, guess, I will have to write the translation myself. 11/n

Fortunately, I do happen to know all the words & the roots (बीज) operative here. (Else, I wouldn’t write this series of tweets either!) Remind me after a few days… 12/12

I have been working on my new approach to QM. Frankly, I have been struggling through it—in trying to showing how my new approach does make sense. (If I find some error in my approach in this process, well and good! I will abandon it. However, things aren’t even as easy as that. So, working through the details takes time.)

I reached a certain definitely identifiable stage in my own thoughts over the past couple of days. So, a break away from QM would have been welcome too. At the same time, I saw someone (once again!) praising the verse in the title of this post. So, I tweeted the above series. Then, to continue with my break (for today or so), I also decided to write a blog post offering a translation of the present verse.

It so turned out that one blog post wouldn’t be enough. A more circumspect approach is called for. Accordingly, I am making a series of posts on this single verse. This post is the very first in this series, it covers just the कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते (“karmaNyevaadhikaaraste”) part. This joint-word is split up as: कर्मण्य (“karmaNya”) + एव (“eva”) + अधिकार (“adhikaar”) + : (the sound “h!” called by the name of हलन्त (“halant”)) + ते. Let’s see each part, one by one, splitting each part down to its most basic Sanskrit root, and then building back the meaning in a bottom-to-top manner…


1. कर्म (“karma”):

कर्म (“karma”) = क् (the elemental sound “k”, not the completely uttered sound of क “ka”, and certainly not the “ka” with a long “aaa” as in “kaa”) + “:” (“h!”) + म (“ma”, not “maa”).

क् (the elemental “k”, not क “ka” let alone का “kaa”):  It means (here): A negligibly small or insignificant part. Something for which “what is that? where did it get lost?” can be raised. Here, something which is so negligibly small as it might have to be searched for. Note: the same seed also means a lot of other things too.

Related: कण (“kaNa”) means embodiment of क (“ka”), the imperceptibly small part of the material world, a material particle.

BTW, क “ka” also lies at the base of the more direct seed of the sound कृ (“kru”), which itself is a seed sound for words like “cutting” and “action”. However, क “ka” by itself does not mean “action”. “Action” (whether as a noun or as a verb) lies at way too higher level. क “ka” is very basic. (The usual translators simply rush through, and declare the whole word कर्म (“karma”) to be merely only an action. It is not. Read on…

“:” (the हलन्त), whichi is pronounced as the sharp “h!” sound, and which is modified according to the vowel preceding it (e.g. “hi!”, “hoo!”, etc.). Think of this as a postfix operator which denotes the following sense: “the aforementioned word-part has been completed, though the full jointed word may still continue”.

म (“ma”, not “maa”): It connotes: the self, the direct self-awareness, a consideration or assertion of a distinctive (differentiated) self-identity, the direct awareness of emotions, emotions. It is also the root or seed-sound (बीज) for: eating/drinking, mother, moon, water, liquids, attractions, attention, etc.

Related: मम् (“mam_”) means: “my own”, or “pertaining to my own [self or attributes or possessions]”.

कर्म (“karma”, not “karmaa”) = क्  + : + m, therefore,  literally denotes:

1. That state of being in which the following characteristics or attributes are so small as to be insignificant or vanishingly small: an awareness of your own self, yours being engaged in exploring or weighing alternatives for your own person, or your deliberations over something (anything) of interest to your conscious individuality. Everything of the kind given in the preceding list is, by etymological roots, made insignificant in the concept of कर्म (“karma”).

Realize, कर्म (“karma”) is not mean just “action”. It means “action” in which nothing coming from the self participates—no emotions, no love, no thought, no thinking, no creativity, no judgement, no maths, no poetry, no words, no expression, no communication, nothing whatsoever of this sort—one that involves the self or the mind. That’s what the “self-less-ness” required in the concept of कर्म (“karma”) actually and directly says. Like it or not, but that’s what the word actually means.

2. By implication, qua noun, कर्म (“karma”) also means something which exists whether you exercise self-awareness, self-interest, free-will, or not.

3. By further development, qua noun, it means: an apersonal but life- or consciousness-altering effect caused in the universe by your even just deliberations. An effect which will continue influencing you in future regardless of your present or future self-awareness, your free-will, possibly to avoid it.

4. By implication of 3.: Something outside of you which you set in action and which revisits you, and which is such that your self-consciousness, thinking, actions to evade or counter it cannot evade or counter it.

5. By implication of 4. All consequences (foreseen and unforeseen) of the actions you undertake.

This last sense is how people use the word when they say “law of karma”. However, this is a highly derivative sense. The most primary sense is that given in 1.

Examples in which कर्म (“karma”, not “karmaa”) qua a quality of action in the sense of 1. above is the most saliently visible:

Yours being totally engrossed in some manual work which does not involve even a trace of a deliberation while the action is going on. Your being engrossed in a manual or menial kind of a labour requiring minimal application of the mind. Your being engaged in activities which do not involve any weighing of evidence or any explicit mental processes like judgement, thinking, maths, even just feeling.

Examples also include: Being so engrossed in such a kind of an activity that you lose the sense of self-awarenes, while performing it. The actions which best fit this description are those involved in the manual labour such as: weaving, forging, chipping away wood or rock, manually sowing etc.

As an example on the bad (or undesirable) side: the well known phenomenon of the driver-fatigue induced by the monotony of driving a vehicle. If you drive your car in after mentally reaching in a certain “zone” wherein all thought, all feelings have ceased, when you don’t even care whether you are driving safely or crashing into a wall but you just simply keep driving on…. Such an action does positively qualify to be called कर्म (“karma”), in the primary sense of the term. Remember, not just deductive thinking but every function of the mind is to be minimized to a vanishing size. That includes exercising judgment about road conditions and your driving, too!

Contrast: Being so intently absorbed in stepping through a piece of code for debugging that you don’t notice someone calling out for a cup of coffee. This instance does not count. A crucial element of कर्म (“karma”) is the negligibly small extent of any deliberate or distinctly identifiable conscious thought processes. In short, in the literal sense, कर्म (“karma”) means: Your turning into manual, menial labourer who has lost himself in the activity.

After exaggeration, i.e. not as a part of the meaning of the word, but just to extra-polate the meaning purely for clarification: Your turning into a robot specializing in repetitive tasks.

कर्मण्य (“karmaNya”) comes from कर्म (“karma”). It means: assiduosly or diligently performed “karma”. The sense here is something like: (As seen from a higher viewpoint) pertaining to or about or over “karma”.


2. एव (“eva”):

एव (“eva”) = ए (“e”) + व (“va”)

ए (“e”) connotes pointing out to an end of a de-finite something or a definite point in some progression of concretes.

व (“va”) connotes the action of efflux, going out, pointing out setting forth, throwing out, etc.

एव (“eva”) literally denotes: By direct pointinng out, i.e. by enumeration of some positively or definitively pointed out concrete instances: “Up to this point within this collection”. That is: “Only this much”.

The actual usage is like: “From A, B, C, एव”, but it is understood that the actual sense is: saying explicitly only “A, B, C”, and then, also implying, “but not D, E, F,…, Y, Z”. Thus, एव (“eva”) stands for: “this, this, this, this, and that’s it! Done! Nothing more!!”

Confusing: In Hindi, एवम (“evam”) means: “and”, as while enumering some concretes. Thus, it denotes a concrete continuation, an inclusion of one more instance. In Sanskrit, it denotes the exclusion of every other instance; it means: “[having seen every concrete in the list], thusly”.

Contrasts:

इति (“iti”): It denotes: The end of an abstract composition: a completed sentence, proposition, idea, poem, thesis, book, etc. It also denotes coming to the end. (Think: “The End” in movies, though not the climax scence when the police arrive.) इति (“iti”) doesn’t apply to a *boundary* or an *end-point* of a mere collection of *concretes*. It denotes the *completion* of a piece of *thought* (which is necessarily occurs at an abstract or conceptual level).

आदि (“aadi”): It denotes: An indefinitely specified continuation of the aforementioned list, lit. “and others”.

When someone says रविचंद्रादि देवता (“ravi chandraadi devataa” lit: “Sun, Moon, and other gods”), you can take a reasonable guess that the author should be talking about the 7 gods after whom the 7 days of the week have been named. However, you can’t be very sure whether he also means to include राहु केतु (“raahu, ketu” i.e. the northern and southern lunar nodes) in the same list or not. That’s because the continuation of the sequence implied by आदि (“aadi”) is rather vague; its meaning in a usage has to be determined by reference to the context.

In contrast, इत्यादि (“ityaadi”), from इति (“iti”) + आदि (“aadi”), does give you a complete definition of the sequence and also indicates continuation. Enough concrete instances are given, or the abtract definition is given in sufficient detail, that the nature of the continuation is unambiguous, it is not very indefinite.

To come back to एव (“eva”), it literally means something like this. Imagine someone saying the following to you:

“Don’t mistake me! What I am saying is not a mere hint or an idea; it is an exact enumeration. You are not supposed to imagine a continuation of the list of objects in here. Every thing to be stated has been stated in its full and complete entirety. Nothing else is to be included.”

That’s the एव (“eva”, not pronounced as “evaa”), for you.

For example, it does not mean “certainly” (the word chosen in “Bhagavad-gita As It Is”). The closest English word is: “only”, though the emphasis on concrete instances, implied by एव (“eva”), is not conveyed by “only”.

Related: अत: ए्व (“ata-h! eva”) = अत: + एव (“eva”). अत: = अ (“a”) + त (“ta”) + “:”. In brief, the parts mean: अ (“a”), meaning “Logical complementation or negation (like in non-A)” + त (“ta”) meaning “that which is directly pointed at”, + “:” denoting a sense of a completion of a part, as explained earlier. अत: (“ata-h!”) then literally means something like “no more direct pointing out the instances is necessary any more!” or “Enough said already!”. In the usual Sanskrit usage, it is taken to mean: “[Pause to indicate a break,] so / therefore.”

अत: ए्व (“ata-h! eva”) thus just adds one more emphasis about completion of enumeration. The sense is this: “OK! I have shown you this, this, this, and that. That’s all there is to it! Done! No more concerete instances are left to be pointed out! [Don’t include anything else in this list! Etc.]” Having established the sense, a good translation given, for the closely related अतए्व (“ataeva”) is this: “for this very reason”.


3. अधिकार (“adhikaar”):

अधिकार (“adhikaar”): अधि (“adhi”) + कार (“kaar”). More technically: अध् (“adh_”) + इ (“i”) + कार (“kaar”).


3.1 अधि (“adhi”): अ (“a”) + ध् (the elemental “dh_”) + इ (the soft vowel “i”).

अ (“a”) as a prefix denotes the logical complement of that which follows. It also denotes the absence of or the end of that which follows. The meaning here is: the “non-A”, given a proposition/set “A”.

ध् (the elemental sound “dh_”) connotes: striking down, holding (one given object with another given object), holding fast, supporting, spanning, bridging, stead-fast, etc. Related: धन (“dhana”) means: Holdings, i.e., fixed assets. Related: अध: = अ + ध् + : = in the (naturally) downwards direction, not holding up, not supporting or supported (hence, by implication, in “free fall”), below, down, etc.

इ (the soft vowel “i”) connotes: the soft spiritual energy, the animating spirit, the living force, etc. Related: धैर्य (“dhairya”) means the ability to hold on, integrity, courage, etc.

धि (“dhi”) = ध् (the elemental “dh_”) + इ (the soft vowel “i”) connotes: The living energy that supports (someone else) from below (by being at a lower station in a social hierarchy).

अधि (“adhi”), therefore, first and foremost (i.e. literally, paying respect to the actual language-roots) means:

1. Being supported by others’ living energies from down below. Being obeyed by the people below.

2. By (Sanskrit) usage, this word-part has come to mean:

“Primacy or higher station in a hierarchical social arrangement of people, gods, or things.”

However note, the word “social” is important, nay, crucially essential. Also crucial to the meaning is the sense of there being a hierarchy. The support being referred to here is not of a material kind; it is a support of other people—their lives, living energy, minds, spirits included.

3. By (Sanskrit) usage, this word-part has come to also mean:

“Primacy or precedence in any hierarchical arrangement of anything.”

Note, the last usage is what your ordinary Sanskrit teacher would tell you. But realize, the meaning he conveys to you quite loose, secondary, derivative, usage-driven sense. The primary sense has to do with the specifically social hierarchy, and specifically with mental energies of the people below you. It has a military kind of a command-and-control structure built right into it—no escape from it.

Related: अधोमुख (“adhomukh”) = अध: + मुख = Facing downwards: lit.: with own mouth turned downwards (so as to directly point the head towards the ground below).


3.2 कार (“kaar”)

कार (“kaar”) means “form”/”essence”/—“ness”; also, “the person who gives form to something”.

Here, “form” is to be taken in exactly the same sense in which Aristotle received and used this term. It means that which is in common to every part, even in a vanishingly small part (after a process of reification or a limiting process), and hence, “of essence”. Perhaps one way to grasp कार (“kaar”) is to translate it as “ness”, as in “man-ness”. However, do note, कार (“kaar”) is often used in a more narrower, material sense too. Thus, its meaning is closer to “state” (as in a state of a physical system or software) or “position” in some unspecified “abstract space”.

Does कार (“kaar”) split up further? Sure it does. Let me not get too much into it. But the very nature of Sanskrit is like that. It derives all its words in reference to some attributes or adjectives possessed by the entity in question, using a simple small set of seed roots.

कार (“kaar”) splits up as: क् (the elemental “k_”) + आ (“aa”) + र (“ra”).

You know a bit about the seed क् (the elemental “k_”) already from the discussion in the section on कर्म (“karma”). आ (“aa”) means that form or essence which is obtained after taking into account (after “taking together”, “collecting”, or “integrating”) the forms or essences of *all* the constiutuent parts. र (“ra”) here means “nature”. (Actually, it basically stands for things like “removal” or “taking away”, but the exact sense depends on the context. Here, it is to be taken in the sense of “reification”.)

Related: आकार (“aakaar”) = आ (“aa”) + कार (“kaar”), Thus, आकार (“aakaar”) means: “The form of something in its totality”. Usage-wise, it means (even in Sanskrit, not just in Indian languages): The geometrical shape (of an object), the geometrical form, the extent of an object, the distinctiveness of an object’s externally visible contours, etc.

Another Meaning: Be careful! कार (“kaar”) is also taken to mean as the person who is responsible for giving the form to an object. For example: 1. ग्रन्थकार (“granthakaar”) means: the author of book; lit. (and if I am fully correct): one who grasps or catches unyielding hold of [pieces of knowledge] and compiles them into an enduring form. 2. शिल्पकार (“shilpakaar”) means: sculptor; lit. (if I am any correct): one who imparts an appearance of motion / life by chipping away at an inanimate object (like a piece of rock). 3. चित्रकार (“chitrakaar”) means: painter / fine-artist; lit. (if I am fully correct, but here, I think, I am): one who makes an attention-capturing or attention-rivetting object (actually, an object that makes you lose all your attention into it). By implication, a beautiful work of fine arts. Etc.

Related: धिक्कार (“dhikkar”) = धिक् + कार. All the elements used in this compound word have already been spelt out by now. This word denotes: Being put into the state of being a living energy that supports the higher ups from below. That is, to be relegated to a lower station in the social hierarchy. By implication, धिक्कार (“dhikkar”) also has come to mean moral denunciation, censure, etc. However, note there are better fitting words like निषेध (“nishedha”) too. In terms of the actual original meaning, धिक्कार (“dhikkar”) cannot be used if there is no context of an implicit *social* hierarchy. (Merely a worse off condition does not qualify. It’s the living energy which must go down below, to support and hold something—obviously, someone—else up.)

Anyway, to wrap up the current discussion: कार (“kaar”) here is to be taken in the sense of: “essence”, “form”, “nature”, “that which makes a thing itself”, etc.


3.3 अधिकार (“adhikaar”):

Given the meaning of अधि (“adhi”) and कार (“kaar”), you know can figure out what अधिकार (“adhikaar”) means, in a *literal* sense:

अधिकार (“adhikaar”) literally means, first and foremost:

1. A position of primacy that is supported by other living people in a social hierarchy from below the given person, primarily via their life-energy, spiritual energy, mental energy.

It also means:

2. A state of being in a primary or commanding or principal position among people where other people serve you with their “body and soul”.

Secondary/implied/derivative/by usage meanings: By implication, and after diluting the meaning in mundane usage, अधिकार (“adhikaar”) has also been used (both in Sanskrit and in other Indian languages) variously to mean:

3. Power, Powerful position, 4. Controlling position, 5. Authority (whether of declaration by fiat or by virtue of scholarship), 6. License (as issued by the state so that you can buy a can of beer in India), etc. However, notice, there are other, more fitting words to denote each of these latter usages.

Speaking of the derivative usages, notice, inasmuch as you choose to forget the essential element of the layer of people holding you from below, you are that much going away from the very essence of this formulation, viz., अधिकार (“adhikaar”).


3.4 अधिकारस्ते (“adhikaaraste”):

अधिकार: (“adhikaar-h!”) indicates that the preceding word part (अधिकार “adhikaar”) has been completed, with a sharp stress.

ते (“te”) means: “of you”. (Qua a masculine plural, it also means: “they”. However, this verse doesn’t make as much sense with this meaning, as it does with “of you”.)


4. Wrapping up the discussion for today:

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते (“karmaNyevaadhikaaraste”) means:

The one and only explicitly stated position of command or primacy in the social hierarchy which you have is that pertaining to (or about) being so totally absorbed in, or being so thoroughly engrossed in doing, such a kind a menial (or as mindless as possible) work [prescribed by your higher ups] that it simply cannot have any connection left with you performing any deliberation, undertaking any thought, exercising any part of your mind, or have any concern left with your own self as such.

That, dear reader, is the exact, literal, sense of the opening compound word of what, arguably, is the most oft-quoted verse from the Geetaa.

Speaking off hand, perhaps the only verse which gets as frequently quoted as कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते “karmaNyevaadhikaaraste” is: यदायदाहि धर्मस्य “yadaa yadaahi dharmasya”. However, comparatively speaking, the latter is quite straightforward to translate. The reason is, it is not very philosophical or abstract in nature! It is just an assuarance from The Divine.

In contrast, I find that the present verse (कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते “karmaNyevaadhikaaraste” ) is quite attractive—it’s very difficult to translate it right!

Finally, just one more thought / comment before parting ways for now, in the next section.


5. अधिकार (“adhikaar”) has absolutely nothing to do with the modern concept of “rights”, let alone that of “individual rights”:

Let me first of all note this very curious fact:

In the context of the verse currently under discussion, every source I ever consulted has translated अधिकार (“adhikaar”) to “right”.

Uh oh! Not at all right! Bad! Very bad and misleading sort of a translation it is! (Why, they don’t even mention just “primacy”. They go all the way to “rights”!)

Let me explain the issues here in the briefest possible way:

The concept of rights, as a moral-political abstraction is, comparatively, a very, very recent development.

Now, note carefully that Sanskrit has no word whatsoever to denote the exact sense of the word “rights” as we use it today.

The idea behind the meaning of the word “rights” (in the sense we today use it and the sense which we recognize it in any literature from the past), began only after Aristotle’s philosophy gained ascendency in the West, about a millenium ago (or slightly later, I think). The British Common Law is a landmark in this development. The meaning of the word “rights” already had begun acquiring noticeably modern undertones by then. This is a certain sense which is not at all discernible in any ancient literature or language, whether Sanskrit, Greek, or others (say from Egypt, or other cultures).

The idea of rights got further developed by great thinkers like John Locke. In its well-refined form, the idea came to be known as “individual rights”. The inclusion of the word “individual” most clearly announces the radical nature of the change in the meaning of the term. See the entry in the Ayn Rand Lexicon, here [^].

अधिकार (“adhikaar”), as we saw, by very roots must have other people to define its basic sense. In fact, as a crucial essence, it must have other people—their mental/spiritual/psychological energies—available at a lower hierarchical station. Only then does the word begins to make any sense. Even if you take the word in the loose sense of just a “primacy”, the actual sense in the Sanskrit word is in a collectivised sense: “primacy of one man in a hierarchy of men”, and not “the metaphysical primacy of man qua individual to take any action he chooses to take (so long as it does not interfere with similar rights of other people)”.

Thus, the idea of “rights”, properly defined as “individual rights”, stands completely on its own—it doesn’t need any primacy or elitism or elevated prestige/station with respect to other people.

Also realize: The Founding Fathers of USA well understood that “rights” are a part of the metaphysical nature of man, that their source is not to be found in any other order, whether social or divine (in the sense, of preachers’).

That sense of “rights” is not just absent in अधिकार (“adhikaar”), but worse, as we saw above, the concept behind this word also positively includes for its crucial essentials, the ideas of social hierarchies and of the people below you. The exact sense of the discourse in the verse would be impossible to convey without including these two elements.

Therefore, if the word अधिकार (“adhikaar”) is at all to be included in a discourse on this verse, then elements such as these two must invariably enter the discourse too. That’s what the Sanskrit language itself says—whether other people tell you this fact or not, and regardless of how they put up sweet layers on top of this ugly truth, how many such layers they lay on, and what precisely is the extent of evasion they do engage themselves in. The truth of matter remains just as it is, regardless of their evasions.

The actual verse does actually tell you the actual story.


6. Wrapping up:

In the next part, we will continue examining the rest of the phrases from this verse—my favorite verse, in a sense! However, please note, blog posts on other topics of interest may also come in between. … The thing is, we have already past the most badly translated—and the most critical—part of the verse. So, we can afford to be a bit leisurely about it. Also, something else to do with my interests (like QM, data science, foundations of physics, etc.) may come in between…

Homework: In the meanwhile…

1. Work out the meaning of: अन्ध (“andha”) usually used (even in Sanskrit), and invariably translated, as “blind person” or “darkness”, though the exact shade of the meaning here is slightly different. With the material explained above, you should be able to easily work your way through this word too.

2. Also try a few good English-to-Sanskrit dictionaries, and see the various meanings of the word “right” and also “rights”. You should find that there is none, but do give it a try… (Remember, स्वाम्य “swaamya” means “ownership” but not the “right” of the “rights”. Of course, you should also think about the other terms…)


Caveat Emptor: As always, I am not an expert of Sanskrit; I am just a happy dilettante who loves to explore it. But sometimes, yes, I do reach the right meaning, and I do share it, that’s all. You are, however, encouraged to consult the actual Sanskrit experts. (Fee free to share with them what I said here in this post too.) All the best!

Take care, and bye for now…


A song I like:

(Marathi) घाई नको बाई अशी, आले रे बकुळफुला (“ghaaee nako baaee ashee, aale re bakuLaphulaa”)
Music: Pt. Jitendra AbhiSheki
Lyrics: Raja Badhe
Singer: Asha Khadilkar

[Though I have tried to order the credits right, I also think that all of them are so excellent here, that the order, really speaking, doesn’t matter!]

 

TL;DR: Why am I jobless?

TL;DR: Why am I jobless?

Because, they had no guts (or even sense) to give me a job in time, and thereby allow even me to become a rich man—even if they had always had the wealth to do so. Only if they were honest enough!


Simple enough a formulation, no?

But does it carry even a ring of a truth? The responsibility of finding an answer to this question rests with those who raise it.


A song I like:

(Hindi) “dil mein kisi ke pyaar kaa…”
Music: Ravi [Sharma]
Lyrics: Saahir Ludhiyaanvi
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar

[Lata is good here but I like her much better in the original song (i.e. another song of the same tune, by the same composer): “woh dil kahaan se laaoon…” If I were to rate that song, I would put her at the top, followed by Ravi and then by Rajinder Kishen (the lyricist for the original one). Rajinder Kishen’s lyrics for the original song were very good too, and he is a great lyricist—he has penned some really memorable songs in his career. But somehow, I like the theme and the tone of the present lyrics by Saahir better. “dil mein kisi ke pyaar kaa jalataa huaa diyaa, duniyaa ki aandhiyon se bhalaa yeh boojhegaa kyaa?” … Sublime!

Kishore Kumar, in comparison to all the four, comes across as a much lesser guy in his version of the present song. Having appreciated and admired him very deeply over so many years, it was not exactly a simple statement to make, but that’s the way things are here.]