Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sanskrit - Opportunities for students

When we say Sanskrit, people generally think of Kalidasa and the likes, which fall in the category of Literature (sahitya) and not Science (shaastra). Sanskrit Shaastras require the study of Vyakarana (grammar). Due to the wrong perception that Grammar is difficult, etc. which is carried over during the past three generations in India and also due to economic compulsions which require the study of English, we have moved away from this wonderfully scientific language and the shastras - which are the largest storehouse of great scientific treatises unsurpassed till 1920. Since then many original scientific texts of Sanskrit are translated to English and also those were in German /French - thus now English holds the highest Scientific treatises - still Sanskrit comes as a second largest storehouse of scientific texts and many are still in manuscript form !
Unlike English, Sanskrit has entirely original Scientific thoughts and concepts - In English till 1920s most works are translations from other languages.

The five Shastra (science) disciplines that are popular in Sanskrit are 1. Ayurveda, 2. Sanskrit Computational Linguistics, 3. Yoga, 4. Manuscriptology, 5. Mathematics.

Rashtriya Sanskrit Samsthan University - 10 campuses spread across the country, and 15 Exclusive Sanskrit universities (totalling 26 university campuses), 3 Yoga universities, over 30 Sanskrit colleges, and over 20 Ayurvedic colleges. All are requiring people with various Sanskrit Shastra background as well as aspiring students

In addition to the above Sanskrit pundits are also in demand with respect to Jyotisha and also to teach Vedanta and Natyashastra - this is particularly required as today people blindly quote many Vedantic texts without any proper study or understanding of the original text. Also Phalita Jyotisha (predictive astrology) - the word Jyotisha means Astronomy - all these also needs basic Sanskrit knowledge

All these things need to be communicated to aspiring college entrants those who are bright yet couldn't get into Engineering /Medicine etc. Particularly Ayurveda and Computational Linguistics fields hold good career path as a mainstream or as an alternative career option for such students, other shastras are also equally in demand.

The above are specific to opportunities in Science including Health science in the universities and colleges alone. In addition to these Research positions in 3 Sanskrit linguistics research institutes, Indological and Oriental study institutes.

Also School teaching positions in over 20000 schools in India. are also open for Sanskrit students - these jobs are well suited for people who are not looking for a stressful corporate career.

These apart there are many positions outside India in Germany, France, USA, Japan and Canada are there for Sanskrit linguistics Research and Programmers.

So making our children study Sanskrit not only protects the language and culture but also offers them good career options. As today we are short of quality Sanskrit Teachers everywhere... as well as students!.

To ensure quality and standards - Sanskrit has to be studied through Sanskrit medium alone. In the universities such as Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Karnataka Sanskrit University, and also in many Sanskrit colleges nowadays Sanskrit is taught in Sanskrit medium itself - this was something that wasn't prevalent in the past.

Sanskrit can be easily studied as a home-schooling subject also, with out much expenses. All learning can be done through Distance Education mode itself.

More over for informal adult education of Sanskrit - Samskrita Bharati has 10 day spoken, 3 level classroom learning curriculum as well as a 4 level correspondence learning curriculum - all instructions are through Sanskrit medium itself. In addition many online learning audio and video files are also available free of cost for Sanskrit learning. Today it is inevitable to learn Sanskrit to know deep about our culture. As we have lost our roots with so much of corruption, distortion and loss due to migrations of Indians with in and outside India - we have slowly drifted away from our scientific culture and are not able to scientifically understand even a simple custom. With Sanskrit it is possible to just look at the meaning of the word itself and inquiry into the meaning and also the Ritu to understand the culture from a physical /material aspect. Further study would reveal culture's benefits for the Self, Social from a Spiritual stand point also. The simple practice of "Pranaagnihotram" before taking food itself has deep material and spiritual benefits - which is not just a prayer.

If you're interested in a deeper aspect of Sanskrit shastra, my earlier post
would give some more ideas - for even more details with respect to Sanskrit Computational Linguistics please goto

Friday, March 15, 2013

Prasthana-trayam - The starting point of Spiritual Journey

In Bharatiya Spiritual journey there are 3 main treatise /pathways that help the spiritual seekers - rather named as the starting points - depending on their followers' mental /emotional makeup - they are called as "Prasthana-trayam" (Prasthana means starting - here it means starting of spiritual journey) - they are Bhagavad-Gita, Upanishads, Brahma Sutra. (Note each is mutually complementary and thus it is sufficient if one is studied well - contemplated and practiced

1. The Pouranikaah (means anyone who takes Itihaasa-Puranaas as the foundation texts and accepts the Gods as described in them - to whom "idihyam" is a pramaana or evidence) - In today's Bharatam we are all mostly Pouranikaas including many vaideekaas - all the deity forms to which we do Pooja and we prey = Shiva, Vishnu, Shakthi, Ganesha, Subramanya, Rama, Krishna, etc. in Murthi form, forms the basis of prarthana and also the prarthana vidhi and pooja slokas found in Itihaasa-puranaas. The Vedic reference of Shiva, Hari, are different from the Puranic references. In Itihaasa - the references are similar to Veda in essence - later in Puranaas the form is evolved and given importance - for the masses to easily grasp the concept of God - Sagunatva Eshvara - due to which Hindus are idol worshipers - such misconceptions have arisen

Thus the starting point of spiritual journey for those who pray is Srimad-Bhagavad-Gita - which by itself is found as part of Itihaasa itself - Gitopanishad as it is called - is equivalent to Upanishads (the forth part of Vedas) in letter and essence. This has no varna /ashrama restrictions for deep study and contemplation - this alone is sufficient for moksha - but it is to be noted that the study is just the starting point and saadhanaa needs to follow (means only study is not sufficient living life as instructed is also essential). For those evolved souls it is also the end in itself in their search of the ultimate.

||  Vande Ashtaadashadyaayineem Gitaam  ||

2. The Vaideekaah means those who follow strictly the aachaaraas found in Veda - Nowadays very few people are pure Vaideekaah though some exist. Some Sroutaas (vedic pundits) who follow only Srutis (Vedas) are also in this category - these people use yagna as the main method of worship - to vedic gods Agni, Indra, Surya, Varuna, Vayu, etc. (with form and formless natural phenomenon) again Sagunatva -Brahman in the Karma Kaanda of Veda - here varna/ ashrama restrictions are to be strictly followed - though many varna/ ashrama dharmas are difficult to follow. However some do follow - they need to protected as without them we will loose the edicts and "shistaachaaras"

The starting point of spiritual journey for this group is Upanishads -called as the Gnaana Kaanda of Vedas (if not all the upanishads - 10 major ones - Isa, Kena, Kata, Mandukya, Mundaka, etc. starting with the upanishad of their specific Veda /Shakha) - Here Nirgunatva Brahman is conceived as God. Again deep study and contemplation and practices are required - here knowledge of Vedic Saastras is essential such as Shiksha, Chandas, Nirukta, Vyakarana, Kalpa and Jyotisha for correct study and understanding of the meanings and contemplation of the meanings, teaching, etc.

||  Vande Sarvopanishadah Veda vidhushahscha ||

3. The third category of people are Shaastragnaah who can be termed as Scientists /Rationalists/ Philosophers or even in some case Atheists - this category mostly consists of people who are Naiyaayikaah, Mimaamsakaah, Vaiyaakaranaah, (all are scientists) etc. - I have not come across any such person who is a pure traditional shaastragna (may be in some respect Sri. J Krishnamurti falls in this category) and to my knowledge minuscule percentage of people may exisit in this category in today's Bharatam. But in our country there were many such people - people like Nagarjuna, Dharmakeerti, Dinnaga, Bhartrhari, Kumarila Bhatta, Mandana Mishra, Vatsayana, Arya Bhatta, Varaha Mihira, Vachaspati Mishra and many more belong to this category. Many Boudha scientist were in those days belonged to this category.

Though many are Bhattaas (means vedic scholars who received Bhaatam (certificate) - the sub-title later become Bhatt in Gujarat / Karnataka, Bhattacharya in Bengal, Battar in Tamil Nadu, Bhattatiripad in Kerala, Battoji in Andra; and Dwivedi ,Trivedi, Chaturvedi in North. Nowadays these are not scholarly titles but are merely surnames carried on from the ancestors and certainly many don't have anything to do with Vedas (Sad thing). Yet in Kerala and in Tamil Nadu still only those who are vedic scholars get the title of Bhattatiris and Bhattars or they are just Nampoothiris and Iyers - the tradition is still somewhat intact)

The starting point of spiritual journey for these Shaastragnaah is Bhrahma Sutra (atleast to a majority of them) - which is a terse difficult to understand treatise in sutra form (sutra=formula) by Maharishi Bhadarayana. For the correct understanding one should study and master Vyakarana, Mimamsa and Tarka (Nyaya/Vaisheshika) before getting into Brahma Sutra - Even though Shankaraacharya Bhashya is there, still only with a scientific /epistemological mindset one can study this deeply and contemplate on Brahman or the ultimate. Being part of this group is the most difficult as each siddhanta (theory) differs only slightly from the other. Each one has hair-splitting arguments and minute difference which even a scholar would find difficult to comprehend. Only a true scientist can interpret Eg: If you know Sanskrit and with a dictionary it is easy to read and understand Bhagavad-Gita - but it is difficult to understand Shankara Bhashya of Bhagavad-Gita because Adi Shankaracharya has used the language of science (Nyayaparam) in the bhashya of Gita. Each has its own Language, Epistemology and Ontology. Here Sagunatva and Nirgunatva Brahman /Eshvara are found in most Shaastras

||  Vande Sarvashaastrani   ||

Thus the prasthana trayam - Bhagavad-Gita, Upanishads, Brahma Sutra is meant for Normal people, Vaideehaas (disciplined people) and Shastragnah (Scientists) respectively - in mindset also bending towards Bhakti, Shruti and Yukti respectively, also the path of dharma is governed by shraddaa (as per Itihaasa-puranaas), Vaideeka aachaaras (as per vedas) and shaastra (as per science and cause-effect) respectively for these 3 groups.

4. In addition to these there is a 4th group which is wide in its philosophical base and practices - Sankhya/Yoga/Tantra which is not fully accepted by the scholars as a clear path for moksha as some of its practices are very subjective such as found in Tantra shastra. The path of Patanjali's Ashtanga yoga (also called as Raja yoga) which outlines a clear path for moksha is accepted with out the mystical elements of other forms of yoga. Yoga prescribes a set of practices not just spritual but worldly also for daily life as well as for the spiritual journey. Yogasutra of Maharshi Patanjali is a cannonical text and part of Shat Dharshana (6 philosophies). Some of the other texts related to Yoga /Tantra are - Tripura Rahasyam of Avadoota Datta Shiromani Dattatreya (the karma kanda is lost forever), Shat Chakra Nirupana, Hatayoga pradipika, etc. and all of the Tantra texts (Such as Vignana Bhairava tantra, Kaoularnava Tantra, etc.) also fall in this category. All most all Tantric texts are mystical and need a guru to just to even read let alone practice.

Ayurvedic texts follow many of Principles of Sankhya /Yoga /Tantra. (one of the earliest Ayurveda grantha is Agnivesa Tantra - Maharshi Agnivesa is Acharya Charaka's Guru)

Adi Shankaracharya the great reformer happens to be the only person who could appeal to all the groups because he was a Bhaktimaan, Vaideeka, and Shastragnah in addition he was also a great Tantrik. He could debate and rationally win over - with a Naiyaayika (Rationalist + Realist, Eshvara), Mimamsaka (Vaideeka + Exegesis person), Boudha (Atheist + Karma phala - chakra acknowledger), Jaina (Atheist + Karma phala - chakra, swarga acknowledger), Tantrik (Subjective scientist), Vaideeka (Vedic scholar, Sagunatva & Nirgunatva), Pouranika (bhaktimaan - Sagunatva), Sankhya (dualist /Karma phala - chakra), Vaiyakarana (grammarian /Saguna). A person who could achieve so much in just 30 years of life itself means that the hand of Vibhu is there.

Every time when there is a threat to or decline of Dharma, Vibhu takes different forms suitable to that occasion - Adi Shankaraacharya, Maharaja Bhoja, Shivaji Maharaja, Swami Vivekananda - great reformers and defenders of Dharma are indeed avataraas suitable to the occasions...

||   Vande Guruparamparaam Avataaraparamparaancha  ||

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wrote in 2009- Environmental Education - the What, Why and How?

Our ancestors were born into the illustrious cultural cradle of tree worshiping and reverence for all lifeforms. We seem to have retained only the customs and not inherited the true culture. After the independence, particularly after 1970s India followed the path of economic models of the west - which resulted in development (though inequal in many cases) coupled with large scale environmental degradation.

As forewarned by the Noted economist Mr. Fritz Schumacher, the economic path of the west were not suitable not only for the west but would be disastrous for India - a populous country. Yet we followed with more vigor and allowed the uncontrolled explosion of industries in the water rich agricultural belts without adequate infrastructures to handle the waste or depletion of water resources.

We failed to grasp the sustainable and equitable growth underlined by the Gandhian Economist Sri. JC Kumarappa before our independence itself. We were in a hurry to prove to the world of our capacity to ape the mindless development of the west. The resultant environment damage is slowly becoming evident now with drought and floods and the prise rise of essential commodities. The costly failure of not creating the necessary awareness begun in the school itself - part of the so called modern education. Which, by the time a student moves into college, subsequently become part of the mainstream society, the wrong perception that "Governments are responsible for the protection of environment" is firmly established in his/her mind. The 'real education' that we are discussing, need to create the necessary awareness that environmental protection must be everybody's primary concern, for we all live in and with it.

Environment Education need to evolve from an 'extra curricular' or a rote-learning mark-oriented subject into an integral part of all subjects. Unless the young don't understand it properly to shape the future, our existence will become questionable. Environment education should go beyond occasional tree planting into issues like social inequity and poverty and how they contribute to environmental degradation, development patterns, lifestyles, culture, social system, etc.

Having stated that it must go beyond simple ecology it is also critical to keep it simple for easy understanding and a resultant positive action. Environment education can't be imposed upon in this age of burnout due to heavy academic load. It cannot and must not be taught as a separate subject. It is inherently inter-disciplinary and forms a vital part of all subjects. One need not specialize in environmental science to be an environment educator.

Environment education can easily be incorporated into all subjects i.e.: without understanding the damage to the environment caused by of humans from the perspectives of - chemical, physical, biological, technological, social, economical, political, historical..., we cannot move to a sustainable future. As Sri. J Krishnamurti points "The right kind of education starts with the educator, people who have no academic degrees often make the best teachers, not being specialists they are interested in learning, in understanding life".

The curriculum and text books need a overhaul /simplification with the inclusion of critical environmental perspective which they lack today. As experts become ever more specialized and governments rely ever more heavily on experts, critical information gets lost. With media focusing only popular culture and viewership, it has become harder for ordinary people to understand and engage with the issues that affect their lives. In this scenario the educator's job becomes all the more important as he/she needs to simplify all the jargons to get engagement from students and society.

Environmental coverage in media and Books in schools (ICSE, CBSE, etc.) are full of jargons like Carbon neutral, Eco-footprint, Climate change, El-Nino, Green house gases, Azola effect, entrophication, and even the most talked about one - 'Global warming'. When I was a Environmental Science Teacher I asked students what these terms meant - they reproduced verbatim the definitions found in the textbooks and not understood the big-picture!.

Students quoting every now and then the most mis-guided phrase of all time "Eco-friendly" - what this term really means nobody knows. (in true sense nothing can be termed eco-friendly except cannibalism). I have seen many corporate houses printing beautiful full-colour glossy brochures and circulating of their so called eco-friendliness! and so called CSR etc.

I am sorry sir, the purpose of Environmental education for which you fought many years for, is defeated Sri. MC Metha... (the Sr. lawyer in Supreme Courts of India who fought for Environmental Education).

Firstly environment educators need to get oriented towards the real purpose. A localised method of environment education is necessary which can come only in observing ones environment and not from books. E.g.: 3200 Metric Tons of solid waste is generated everyday in the city of Chennai as of 2008. God only knows what it is in Delhi and Mumbai. As per the Pollution control board more wastes are actually generated in the affluent parts of the city. - Can we equate "misguided education and affluence = environmental degradation" may be and may need to be...

All projects exercises concerning environment education to be simplified to the point of practice (practical action) by all concerned. In addition rote methods to be completely avoided for it to be effective. Information alone is not enough. The objective of environment education is to move from awareness to action, and this is not possible by facts alone or for that matter marks or examinations.

The environment educator should involve the students in various simple activities within the school premises to begin with, accompanied by necessary information. Students should also be motivated into, understanding and getting involved /solving real life problems by participating with Government bodies, NGOs, etc. with the help of schools, which would deepen their learning and understanding. Parents also need to be involved in the (lab) practical aspects of the environment education.

Simple (simplified) sustainable activities like - Reducing each person's (energy) consumption of both electricity and fuel, reducing paper usage, reducing travel, reducing unnecessory mobile phone usage and long phone calls, carefulness in using all natural resources including water, reducing waste particularly food, carrying a bag while going for shopping, usage of public transportation, buying vegetable from farmer's market or kirana /mandis instead of supermarkets, supporting farmers by creating farmer's markets in ones own locality, supporting organic products, putting-up a home vegetable garden, tree adoption (why adoption and not planting - many tress are planted and left to die), being/becoming a vegetarian, stop bursting crackers due to air pollution, noice pollution and waste during Deepavali and New year times, stoping of immersing PoP and painted idols in ponds /sea, etc. all of these can be jointly done by the student, parent and teacher. A sustained campaign of real awareness and action by all can only prevent any further damage to the environment.

Fortunately we all have an entire community (Bishnoi in Rajastan) and a socio-environmental movement (Chipko - which was the reason for Indian Forest preservation act in late 60s) to look-up to for clear understanding and action as to how ordinary people can participate in environment protection. The learnings of Chipko movement and the lifestyle of Bishnoi community should become part of us like Ramayana and Mahabharata in these needy times. Finally, able minded Parents themselves can act as an environment educators /campaigners to take up the responsibility in their localities.

And a note from a Respectable Educator in Response !

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 06:20:48 +0530
Subject: Re: Environment education - why, what and how... some thoughts... From:

Dear CGK,
excellent piece!

I was recently at the conference of Bhoomi in Bangalore where I coordinated a discussion among educators and students...

ANd the paper i wrote for the first issue of the magazine is here.

WOuld you like to submit this as a piece for their magazine?

In any case I will send this to them and also mention your name as 'deeply interested in food, agrgiculture and environment matters'. And Vallipuram is growing rapidly. I am hoping that we will launch the campus in June or July.

With warm regards

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Science - in Sanskrit, with Sanskrit, is Sanskrit

As a student entering into the vast ocean of Sanskrit Sciences I am compelled to write the sorry state of our country's grate scientific and mathematical heritage and also my views on some of the remedial steps.

First Science in Sanskrit is called as Shastra (the word Vignana has different meaning). The Shastra treaties in Sanskrit in comparison with the Kavya /Sahitya (the literature part of the Sanskrit) is like an Ocean with a Pond - that much is the vastness of Science in Sanskrit

Though Sanskrit has science treatises covering various topics, Indians stopped studying Sanskrit and particularly Science through Sanskrit. With the introduction of wide spread English (only) education since 1900s. Sanskrit studies are also down-graded to humanities in Universities and Language studies in Schools - this way people are kept away from the core of Sanskrit - which is Science and are taught only the Literature part. For example when we think of Sri. Narayana Bhattathiri we think of only of Narayaneeyam and not his work on science of language called "Prakriya Sarvasvam" (grammar) neither the fact that he is a shishya of Achyuta Pisharati who is a Grammarian, Mathematician, Astronomer and Narayana Bhattathiri himself is grammarian, scientist (most of the scientists are grammarians)

Sanskrit is not only a scientifically created language. It also has the second highest repository of science treatises (after English) and entirely original Scientific thoughts and concepts - unlike in English till 1900s most works are translations from other languages. There is a 800 page book published 10 years back containing just the names of the Mathematics treatises from Kerala region alone during the past 500 years - imagine how many book names could be covered in 800 page book in fine print - (we can write atleast 50 book names in one page) - that many original books are available in manuscript forms in many of our countries archives.

Sanskrit as a language inherent with phonetic, syntactic and semantic ingenuity and the widest morphological verity. Studying Sanskrit not as a language but as a tool for science would be the best approach. Contained in the depths of the language the most sought after ideas to solve not just the problems of today, individual, national or international. The particular emphasis on Objective and Subjective scientific inquiries into the ontological aspects of the earth to the nature of human thought and understanding. Many of the scientific /philosophical treaties looks at the God more from a Cause/Effect PoV than anything else. Thus the basis found in the Sanskrit science offers is on the scientific thinking which starts with the material ontological aspects of the visible world and proceed towards the logics of proof and the methodology of inquiry, etc.

By not communicating this (Science) part of Sanskrit effectively to younger generation we are doing injustice to this great language as well as our tradition of a scientific society and also to the future generations. Many of our cultural and traditional activities stemmed out science and not from any blind superstitions.

Why elders are not able to communicate - they themselves don't know !. Not only many of our elders themselves are unaware of these facts also ridicule our culture as they are the first /second generation of English learners or Macaulay's children

The fact that many treatises are available on the objective (materialistic) sciences for Eg.: On the Mathematical front starting with Vedic mathematics (Vedangani) - Sulba Sutras; Bodhayana sutra; The nature of Zero - difference and usage between poojya, shoonya, poorna; The 6 different Infinity concepts; KATAPAYAaadi Sankhya system, Bhaishali manuscripts, the Khagolajnah (astronomer) parampara from Aryabhatta onwards and their works, Kerala Ganitha parampara (Kerala Mathematical lineage), Basis for Quadratic equations, Trikonamiti (Trigonometry), Calculus, etc.

On the Health sciences front - Ayurveda (I need not elaborate here as it is a holistic health science including objective and subjective aspects of the medicine including the spiritual health of subjects). The Ecology /Botany /Agriculture combined into one group of science called Vrukshayurveda (Science of Plant health); the chemical and physical science treatises; Science of construction - Vaastu - our countries Temples, Forts, Dams, etc. stands as testimony to the advanced science;

Chandas shastra (phonetics), The science of music (Shastriya sangeeta) and its connections to science of sound, Akshara-Shabda shastra (Shiksha - science of sound), Pada shastra (vyakarana /Grammar - science of the word and the meaning), Nyaya /Vaishesika (Epistemological /Ontological view of the world from cause and effect to sub-atomic views - Science of reasoning and methodology of reasoning) Psychological and Para-psychological sciences covered in Tantra sastra; philosophical and scientific debates in Mimamsa and Saankhya shastra and finally the core-subjective science parts propounded in Upanishads (spiritual - adhyaatma).

If one notices carefully many of the Scientific texts in Sanskrit deals with subjects very rationally and some even denounces God itself - not like a Nastika vada point of view but more from a rational inquiry and critical thinking point of view


Parents those who are studying Sanskrit - if they need to inspire /motivate their children into studying Sanskrit - first they should themselves pick-up knowledge on Science and also focus on the aspects of Scientific /Rational analysis - science of reasoning - rather than just the standard monologue that "Sanskrit is a Deva Bhasha" or "Samskriti" etc. though they are essentially truth but don't cut ice with the modern students who are looking at studying engineering then Sanskrit.

Probably parents themselves want their children to study applied science and applied mathematics than pure science or pure mathematics (pure science is research oriented and applied science is job oriented). Sanskrit would be an excellent starting point for those who pursue pure science /pure maths. Few of my Sanskrit teachers are teaching to IIT students both UG & PG students Sanskrit grammar and Tarka (Nyaya /Vaishesika) - as there are few pockets of awareness exists among students that the science part of Sanskrit is indeed a great boon for researchers who are seeking radical topics, ideas, concepts and even out of the box thinking itself.

India had many great scientists and mathematicians till 1950s and slowly the decline started - due to ignoring pure science and mathematics and our inborn logical /critical thinking. As a society when we slowly moved to applied science purely for economical benefits we are loosing our edge on innovation and scientific thinking.

Some of the non-fiction general science books covering ancient Bharatam's science glory may need to be studied by Parents especially the books by authors such as Fritjof Capra, Erich Von Daniken, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Carl Sagan, etc. would help to kindle some scientific perspectives

CDAC (center for development of Advanced computing) the institution which brought out PARAM super computer is having a large team of Sanskrit scientists. GOOGLE and few other software giants are having teams of software engineers who are working on Sanskrit NLP, Computational Linguistics and Semantics. Some other Open source teams are also into Sanskrit NLP open source projects

(NLP - Natural Language Processing is a field of computer science and linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages; it began as a branch of artificial intelligence.) for more info on Sanskrit NLP - or or

NASA is working on Mercury Vortex based vertical take-off /landing Vimana (some of the concepts for this are taken from Yantra Sarvasvam of Maharishi Bharadwaja). Though some of the vimana concepts are disputed scientifically - the ideas are indeed rich and thought provoking

Most IITs, IISc and Major universities have some sort of Computational Linguistics /Sanskrit studies - departments including the Left-leaning JNU in Delhi. These universities are having funds and grants for Research for Sanskrit-Science. The sorry state is that we don't have enough students who are into both Science and Sanskrit.

Economically also these research students are paid well (fellowships, aids, etc.) and on completion there are plenty of career options available which are both intellectually & economically fulfilling and also global in nature - in simple language this means that one can also land in a well paid career inside as well as outside India as many universities and research bodies outside India focusing on Sanskrit-Science

No point in boasting our past glories when we ourselves are not ready to learn Sanskrit or science for our own rational-critical-thinking. As a society we simply develop conclusions based on News reports and advertisements instead of doing our own bit of research and investigations.

This translates to we are becoming a large group of consumer of propaganda and opinion fed to us by media as a proof for many of our decision making with respect to health, religion, medicine, food, education, etc. We slowly become idiots controlled by media and addicted to it. Which is one of the reason for our decline as a society and being Ruled by people who are unfit. The rational scientific thinking which is a pre-requisite for getting into Sanskrit Science hopefully will relieve us from stupidity of becoming a consumer of all junk.

Please forward the link to many people studying Pure science and Maths and also people in the IT Industry - who could contribute to Sanskrit-Science by learning Sanskrit. Many of you may be able to recall the large Science exhibition during the World Sanskrit Book Fair conducted by by Samskrita Bharati in Bangalore in Jan 2011 - Some Scientists came and presented - many such people are there to guide us...

Friends over 300,000 Science manuscripts are waiting to be explored - what is hidden in those treatises - we don't know !

Shouldn't we know ??

Some information about a book by name " Sanskrit Computational Linguistics" published by "Springer" given below:

This volume constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Sanskrit Computational Linguistics, held in New Delhi, India, in December 2010. The 18 revised full papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected from numerous submissions. The papers can be categorized under following broad areas such as phonology and speech technology; morphology and shallow parsing; syntax, semantics and parsing; lexical resources, annotation and search; machine translation and ambiguity resolution.
Content Level » Research
Keywords » computational linguistics - dependency trees - finite state calculus - morphology analyzer - paninian grammar - parsing - sanskrit analyzing systems - sanskrit grammar - sanskrit tagger - text analysis
Related subjects » Artificial Intelligence - Communication Networks - Theoretical Computer Science
Cost - 46 Euro
Many such publications are also available for serious students...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Food grain Exports - Good or Bad ?

Many so called NGOs are demanding lifting the ban on Food grain exports - As an Organic farmer, Environmentalist, Development economist, Researcher in Vrukshayurveda my views.

Instead of increasing the MSP Government is trying to promote food grain Export which is actually anti-farmer and pro-corporate farming this policy will result in many dangerous consequences... some are stated below

1). Initially export will start with Rice and Wheat (this itself will increase the price in local market) then slowly the world would wants us to grow Corn (already 10% of wheat farms are converted GM Corn fields) because they want to import Corn (mainly as poultry feed) Canola, Soya, Oats and host of other food grains which are unsuitable to Indian weather conditions.

Note: These non-native crops need lot of fertilizer, herbicides (in the case of GM), huge amount of water etc., when grown in an unsuitable area. Posing as a saviour some chemical co. will come out with a patented GM seed claiming that their GM variety offers better yield ?! just to sell their seeds and herbicides - then sometime later when soil is spoiled after dumping their poisonous chemicals and synthetic seeds and when land became desert the business will move to Congo or Papua New Guinea and spoil the environment there - this kind of moving to a green patch and making it a desert is happening from 1900s

2). These export specific grains will be grown at the cost of Indian Vegetables and food products like Kootu, Barley, Ragi, Baajra, jowar, wheat, etc. - these may not fetch big money to farmers but they are the lifeline of many poor and most of them are rain-fed and Arid crops grown on wayside lands - India has wonderful varieties of these native species (Note if India didn't have these native germplasm wealth then the foreign giant ICRISAT won't be here to so called learning from us. (they are stealing our germplasms and patending our native seeds is another matter altogether)

3). many of the so called human food grains that are imported by foreign countries are for poultry feed - why we should sell our land's fertility, productivity, land's grain for the people of rich countries to eat Red meat - which by itself causes the largest global warming as well as poultry originated diseases - H1N1, SARS, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Mad-cow disease, etc.

4). we can't equate everything with money - the poor farmer may not have big money but what is to be ensured is that he has food, water and other basic amenities and not money because money is a poor substitute for real goods with price rise money will just be another paper. Today the poor farmer may afford some with his money tomorrow when the prices rise that may not be the case

5). Already millions of acres of Indian agricultural land in the past 15 years have transferred hands from small and marginal farmers to large /corporate farmers - particularly in Maharashtra, Haryana and Punjab - many have Vine yards, Corn farms and export /sell to poultry corporates - this has in no way improved the life of poor farmers - 90% all farmer suicides post independence have taken place only in the past 15 years - this is due to wrong agricultural policies - let this also not become one among them

6). The big farm-corporates may have the muscle to play in the commodities market thus can control their losses (The fact is that 99.99% of all commodities trading is nothing to do with commodities buyers or sellers but by speculators and investors for hedging purpose - which is another dirty secret known to all in the Govt. but none want to talk about it )

7). Rice and wheat instead of being seen as food for the children of the country will be seen as money and whereever more money, there these will flow there thus will lead to price rise and scarcity in many places in rural India.

It appears that there is a lack of exposure to root cause by the NGOs who are demanding lifting of Foodgrain export ban (Root-cause and not superficial ones) of the problems faced by small and marginal farmers in many rural areas are out of sight for many of the City based power hungry NGOs - which goes by the demands of one small section of farmers and demanding changes to national policies - the sad part is that our Government is also listening to these big corporate funded NGOs.

People like Bhaskar Save, Nammaalvar, Vandana Shiva, Claude Al-wares, Subhash Palekar, Thanal, OFAI, Virendra Bhatt, SFA - many of these people are witness to the region specific damages of green revolution & chemical agriculture and its effects on health as well as rural economy and now in some regions the bigger danger of Transgenic agriculture. They all have written many valuable articles but those are not brought to limelight in a big way

If Government stops all food grains exports and stop all trading of food items in commodities exchange - we can witness a straight 60% drop in food prices and thus poor will have sufficient food items to eat - they may not have big money or be able to afford the lifestyle of the city dwellers - but there won't be single death health deterioration due to malnutrition.

But even in Cities 80% of people's life is not good, the population of downtrodden in cities are increasing day by day. Let the farmers live in peace in village itself instead we are making them as slum dwellers in cities with short sighted agricultural policies and stupid media which boasts city-life as superior!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Systemic Corruption

In my view the corruption is of 2 types - Systemic and Operational - we have been focusing only on the operational one, which has been our fundamental mistake for a very long time

By looking at 2 examples this would become clear - First - In Tamil Nadu the State Govt. earns enormous income (estimated to be Rs. 15000 crores per month) from Liquor sales (the liquor is distributed and sold by State TN). We have been only focusing on the scams with respect to Liquor manufacturing licensing and the associated corruption, the cost of the liquor when it was sold to Govt., the tendering process, etc. and the associated corruption, the accounting and the associated corruption, distribution and associated corruption. Now even if all the operational corruption is curtailed still the fact remains that the State Government's revenue comes from Liquor sales - which is what I would term as systemic corruption. With money from the poor labours (which they spend on liquor daily) we have roads, street lights and even Govt. festival celebration - isn't this a bigger shame. Dent in revenue will be witnessed if toddy is allowed, that's why Govt. doesn't allow the healthy natural sedative Toddy and promotes unhealthy liquor which costs 10 times

Second - Our central Govt. is making huge money out of Petrol - around 35% of the entire national revenue - if one reads various analysis post budget published in press - the income to Govt. - the pie-chart of how each rupee comes - there one can see that - 2 pieces of the pie, customs duty and import duty - one of these refers exclusively to petroleum. Another major source of income (the pie) excise duty - in which also the major portion is contributed Petrol and by other petroleum products (fertilizer, etc.) and by-products (naphtha, chemicals, plastics, etc.). For a nation which is not a producer of Petrol earns a whopping 35% national revenue (central Govt. alone) from petrol - this by itself is the prime reason for Govt. not promoting, not even encouraging Alternative source of Energy etc. - isn't this a classic example of systemic corruption.

One the one hand Govt. allows Iron ore export - revenue. Also iron ore import - again revenue. Food products export as well as food products import - Govt makes money from both export and import - duties, taxes, licensing fees, Corporate and income tax from both importers and exporters. - what a wonderful way to make money - isn't this the biggest corruption. And why we all don't know about these things because we don't know any other model of governance - know only the model of earn-spend - The model of Earn-Spend only generates the so called GDP.

The solar cell module of a simple solar water heater - costs around Rupees. 5000/- in India (manufactured in India) - whereas in China a similar module costs only Rs. 1500/- equivalent in retail. - where is Government's role in promoting this - this alternative energy product should in fact be encouraged even at the cost of or even loss to Govt's exchequers. - If each household installs a small wind-turbine and a 10ft x 10ft solar cell added with a portable anaerobic digester based natural gas (very similar to Gobar gas but portable one with out the need for Cow dung but works with Organic waste - costs around Rs. 30,000 - 40,000). If all these are subsidized and easily available - One need not look towards Government for energy for the rest of his/her life. If this happens then the Govt. will loose its controlling power over its subjects - the people - which is the primary worry of the Govt. in not decentralization of Energy production. (I'll be writing another article on this) and not encouraging alternative energy sources.

Similarly if the Government promotes Organic farming at national level - people's and environmental health will improve - fertilizer /pesticide sales will drop and the associated revenue to Govt. - Our central Govt. is not even banning the internationally banned Endosulfan - how would they promote Organic farming? - Isn't this a bigger corruption ?

The western ideology is that there should be no operational corruption but they don't care for systemic corruption rather they encourage and exploit - whether the Govt. revenue comes from liquor sales or Arms sales or Seeds patenting or occupation of other countries natural resources like Oil, Gas and even Agricultural lands or countless other white collar crimes

The TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL which publishes the corruption index don't care about these corruption - what double standards. This is like AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL which has double standards for Human Rights violation in the West and East. The biggest human rights violation is when one pays for drinking water, seeds and soon for clean air - yet the so called human rights activists don't care for these violations simply because these watchdogs are leashed and held by businesses which are ones responsible for systemic corruption. I the west it is led by Walmart, Shell, GM, Northorp and the likes and in India it is by Tata, Reliance, Bharti, Vedanta, Essar and the likes.

Gandhiji time and again repeated that it is individual simplicity leads to collective goodness which is what really matter not a so called freedom for namesake - where instead of a khaki (military) oppressor we have white collar (businesses) oppressor. The collective Revenues of the World's Top 1000 corporations are more than the collective GDPs of the G8. (this is for GDP crazy modern economists) - which simply means that the corporations have more financial muscle than the so called Elected /Democratic /people governments. In many western countries the military is controlled almost by businesses - which directly sponsors many military events including R&D and veteran programs.

If one visits - one can clearly understand

What is the solution for all these:

The principles of Gandhiji particularly the Gram swaraj model of Governance - very clearly documented and proven by the great People's Economist - Sri. J C Kumarappa is the solution clearly detailed in his book "Economy of Permanence" but ever since Independence our governance models were not even remotely connected to those principles. All countries are doomed to fail as all have the system developed by Adam Smith in some form or the other including be it communist or capitalist or socialist or military or dictatorship. For those who worship anything foreign the same principles were echoed by the world renowned Economist Dr. E.F Schumacher in his book "Small is beautiful"

But I don't think we have the right education, conviction and perseverance to adopt such a simplistic lifestyle at Individual level and alternative models of governance

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Collective stupidity

The number of registered vehicles in and around Chennai as on April 1, 2010 was 26,58,083, within a span of 5 months an increase of 5 lakhs vehicles were recorded and as on September 1, 2010 the number stood at 31,97,575.

That was the essence of news item giving us the facts - now some perspectives on these facts - which were not published:

It is estimated that over 40,00,000 vehicles ply in Chennai city as on today (with an estimated 15 lakh 4+ wheelers) - of these about 15,000 are city buses, 1.5 lakh vehicles are passenger auto rickshaws - WHO IS REALLY CHOCKING THE ROAD - a public vehicle or the private one ?? - Just one in every 15 vehicles on the road is an auto rickshaw and one in every 25 vehicle is a bus - certainly they are not the ones causing a traffic jam.

Except a handful none of the US /Europe cities have a vehicle population more than one million - in each of our 6 metros we have four million plus.

What these private vehicles do ??

- 1. They permanently occupy (consuming real-estate) a whopping 60 million sq.feet of space (either on the roads or parking places) - if this space is calculated as paddy fields - 800 tons of rice can be grown on the land per year that is being used to park all these 4 wheelers alone

2. On an average day they occupy 5 million sq.feet of space on the road (8% vehicles on road on an average working day - peak hours or Saturday is even worse) - more cars means more roads - no space for us to live and the civic administration spends money and time only on constructing roads

3. This huge population of vehicles consume a lot of fuel which is a different story by itself - BUT THE IMPORTANT FACT is that 600 million liters of water per month is used just for washing these vehicles alone - (100 lts of water per wash - one washing @ 3 buckets of water per vehicle in a week) - this much of water would otherwise be useful for about 5,00,000 people in the City - about 8 lakh people in Chennai are constantly under "water-stress"

4. Such high water consumption for washing vehicles itself amounts to so much energy waste with respect to - pumping water up from deep-wells etc. and electricity is produced with Coal /Nuclear plant leading to pollution and environmental problems - a vicious cycle

5. About the amount of fuel the we need to import - BETTER NOT TO TALK ABOUT IT (just because we equate everything to money this appears trivial - That fact is that even if the petrol price is Rs.300 a liter we would still buy and use it - just like a drunkard complaining of high liquor prices and still drinking)

6. About Pollution from these vehicles - BEST NOT TO TALK ABOUT IT - (One in 4 people in the city is suffering from some form of respiratory problem throughout the year - 90% of the cause points to vehicular pollution)

Why we are here ??

Multiple factors led to this state that we are in right now - Car from being a luxury now considered to be a necessity - it is truly a necessity ? if so, how big a car and with how much fuel efficiency, how many cars required per family (nowadays many households own 2 cars) - all these vital questions are forgotten

What we can do (rather what I do)

Using office bus /van or public transport for office commute; As much as possible we can share our 4/2 wheelers with others; Can avoid using car for long city drives - public transport is faster, cheaper and less tiresome; Can avoid taking car for a single person; Having a fixed monthly budget for fuel and sticking to it; Walking or cycling for short distance (1-2 km) travel; etc.

Already Chennai city roads are chocked not because of cars are plying simply because of parking on the road sides as no space left to park anywhere in city - the purpose of having a car itself defeats that very purpose - what an irony

The idea propagated by car companies and advertisers - that each one of us must own a car - is western ideal - which is not suitable for India and our huge population and certainly not sustainable - the east Asian model is most appropriate for India.

Where we failed - is it due to our myopic vision in the past - instead of demanding (I repeat demanding) public transport we demanded low car prices, loans and roads from Govt. - one can still notice that village folks do demand public transport to their village /locality

The situation if not worse, is equally bad in 10 other cities across India - and about 20 other cities are trying to catchup to this state of stalemate

Let us be Mindful that in another 5-10 years there will only be space for cars to parked in the city and not for people to live - those who can afford will convert whatever open space left in the city into road or parking space.

Car is a dream for another 100 million households in India - Is it wrong ?? - who implanted this idea into their mind - who to blame ?? - how can one convince that person who worked hard and saved to have a car all along - who can deprive his/her right to his own 4 wheeler - yet we all would collectively suffer due to consequences as Car /private vehicle population increases - isn't this a stalemate.

I'm writing this not because I don't have a car (I used to have one few years back - thus I'm also equally responsible) simply because I look forward to a social awakening to demand public transportation and self transformation towards simplicity