“The spiritual heritage of India”

I wrote a few comments at Prof. Scott Aaronson’s blog, in response to his post of the title: “30 of my favorite books”, here [^].

Let me give you the links to my comments: [^], [^], [^] and [^].

Let me reproduce the last one of my four comments, with just so slight bit of editing. [You know I couldn’t have resisted the opportunity, right?]:

Since I mentioned the “upnishad”s above (i.e. here [ ^]), and as far as this topic is concerned, since the ‘net is so full of the reading material on this topic which isn’t so suitable for this audience, let me leave you with a right kind of a reco.

If it has to be just one short book, then the one which I would pick up is this:

Swami Prabhavananda (with assistance of Frederick Manchester), “The Spiritual Heritage of India,” Doubleday, New York, 1963.

A few notes:

1. The usual qualifications apply. For instance, I of course don’t agree with everything that has been said in the book. And, more. I may not even agree that a summary of something provided here is, in fact, a good summary thereof.

2. I read it very late in life, when I was already past my 50. Wish I had laid my hands on it, say, in my late 20s, early 30s, or so. I simply didn’t happen to know about it, or run into a copy, back then.

3. Just one more thing: a tip on how to read the above book:

First, read the Preface. Go through it real fast. (Reading it faster than you read the newspapers would be perfectly OK—by me).

Then, if you are an American who has at least a smattering of a knowledge about Buddhism, then jump directly on to the chapter on Jainism. (Don’t worry, they both advocate not eating meat!) And, vice-versa!!

If you are not an American, or,  if you have never come across any deeper treatment on any Indian tradition before, then: still jump on to the chapter on Jainism. (It really is a very good summary of this tradition, IMHO.)

Then, browse through some more material.

Then, take a moment and think: if you have appreciated what you’ve just read, think of continuing with the rest of the text.

Else, simple: just call it a book! (It’s very inexpensive.)


No need to add anything, but looking at the tone of the comments (referring to the string “Ayn Rand”) that got generated on this above-mentioned thread, I find myself thinking that, may be, given my visitor-ship pattern (there are more Americans hits today to my blog than either Indian or British), I should explain a bit of a word-play which I attempted in that comment (and evidently, very poorly—i.e. non-noticeably). It comes near the end of my above-quoted reply.

“Let’s call it a day” is a very neat British expression. In case you don’t know its meaning, please look it up on the ‘net. Here’s my take on it (without looking it up):

Softly folding away a day, with a shade of an anticipation that a day even better might be about to arrive tomorrow, and so, softly reminding yourself that you better leave the party or the function for now, so as to be able to get ready for yet another party, yet another function, some other day, later…

A sense of something like that, is implied by that expression.

I just attempted a word-play, and so, substituted “book” for the “day”.

Anyway, good night. Do read my last post, the document attached to it, and the links therefrom.

Bye for now.

Oh, yes! There is a song that’s been playing off-and-on at the back of my mind for some time. Let me share it with you.

A Song I Like:

(Hindi) “dil kaa diyaa jala ke gayaa…”
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultaanpuri
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Music: Chitragupt

[PS: The order of the listing of the credits, once again, is completely immaterial here.]

Anyway, enjoy the song, and the book mentioned in the quotes (and hopefully, also my past few posts and their attachments)… I should come back soon, with a maths-related puzzle/teaser/question. … Until then, take care and bye!


Check Out These Two Pieces + Incidental Things

The position in the last paragraph of the Update to a recent (2012) blog post by the American physicist Dr. Sean Carroll here [^] is, at least on the face of it, remarkably different from the opinions expressed by this same guy concerning QM, entanglement, etc., as reported in the last paragraph in a news report in the ScienceMag here[^] (2008).

The difference in what the reader would take home, is interesting. Dr. Carroll seems to have developed a facility to shuttle effortlessly between different “multiverses” without caring about confinement or coherence, so to speak.

In case you care, do point out to him that I said so. I have no desire to dignify his blog by offering my comments there—in reciprocation of so many things that Americans have done and continue to do, in general, and the curious emphasis that Dr. Carroll now places in his writing, in particular. (Check out also his interaction with Dr. Scott Aaronson at the above-mentioned blog post of his.)

But, while we are at it, if you at all are going to point this post to him, do also point out one of my past posts found here [^] too (duly noting that Dr. Apoorva Patel had his PhD from CalTech, the current employers of Dr. Carroll)

(Where are you, you bastard G. T. Brown, who was found commenting at Prof. Abinandanan’s blog “nanopolitan” recently, here [^]?)

And, while we are at it, further, also check out my recent comments concerning the Prof. C. N. R. Rao plagiarism row, made at “nanopolitan” and “horadecubitus” (the blog of Prof. Rahul Sidhharthan of IMSc, Chennai), in chronological order, here [^], here [^] and here [^].

BTW, if you are an Indian, have a happy National Science Day! It’s been exactly XYZ years (do the maths!) since C. V. Raman announced in 1928 the discovery of the physical effect named after him—the same one which won him a Nobel.

Finally, a reminder, once again: I remain out of a job. CalTechies (and Americans, Indians, etc.) may be itching to make an emotionally satisfying killing by denying any respectability to my research, but, do notice, they are (and have been) doing so while remaining in their jobs, whereas I had gone without any jobs for 6+ years, and even currently remain out of one. The most important take-home message I have for you in this post is that—and I will say it even if it means that I have to postpone marriage if at all possible.

Prospective girls—call them women if you wish—have already begun: (i) abruptly interrupting my talk in the middle of the conversation on a “date” by telling me that they were on the look out for a more stable guy (this particular bitch was an IIT Bombay graduate; she had no qualms asking me to see her even when I had disclosed my financial and health condition in previous 3–4 phone calls with her family); or (ii) simply promising to return my call and never doing so; or (iii) politely postponing seeing me even for the first date. And, they do read my blog—it’s often-times I myself who tells them about my blogging. (They would get to know anyway!) Now, while the heart condition + diabetes which I have already was a huge barrier, some of the girls would at least feign at least something of an initial reciprocation (I mean, even if not an initial interest in almost all cases). That is, until I was in my last job.

But, now, in 2012, even such girls have begun politely postpoing even the first meeting (or as close to first “date” that you can get in the Indian context), I have noticed.

So, it’s been two months of being out of job for me by now (four and a half months to be most accurate, but more on that, later), and it does not feel very nice to be jobless and making no money if I also know all my achievements, and if I consider my age of 5o (running)—esp. when all these American and British and Indian etc. fuckers with jobs are paying attention to my research but not acknowledging it, and if they instead are using their intellect to find every trick in the book to create the grounds to eventually deny any respectability to it. American fuckers! And, British thieves!! (More on this last, later.) And, their Indian friends!!!

[If I feel like it doing so, I may tone down the expletives a bit later on. Or move some material from this post to some other post, or possibly simply delete it. Yet, I will let it all remain as is, in this first version, esp. since it’s the Raman Discovery Day and India’s National Science Day. There is a black sort of a contrast about it all. Black, as in the black humor—not as in the black magic, even if the Americans and British fuckers—or the little dictatorships they protect—most likely are very actively engaged in practising all such things.]

[Update on March 12: I have added the links but left most other content as is.]