Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fwd: Vedic Traditions for Education and Learning -- Proceedings of WAVES2018. A tour de force in Vedic studies

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: kalyan

ByS. Kalyanaramanon July 12, 2018
Since its first conference in Atlanta 22 years ago, the World Association for Vedic Studies which is a truly open forum has published in 2018, a stellar volume titled 'Vedic traditions for education and learning, a compilation of 51 papers presented in the 13th international conference held in Dallas. Narayanan Komerath and Shashi Tiwari, Editors of the book published by Amazon note: "Abstracts were requested early. Each abstract was sent to at least 3 reviewers with a quantitative and qualitative evaluation form, and each author was asked to participate by reviewing at least 3 abstracts. Full papers were solicited based on accepted abstracts, with a simple template adapted from engineering conferences…all content in this document has been subjected to full peer review. This was required to bring out the Proceedings volume before the conference, instead of the 2-year process followed in past conferences." The product of these academic efforts performed with high-fidelity is a compilation of 51 path-breaking contributions to the study of the Vedas in their multi-disciplinary splendor. The range of topics covered is of interest to a number of disciplines spanning science, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, sociology, philosophy and governance. The tracks of thought and action which are contemporary are organized in over-lapping, but five eclectic sets: Vidya:Education, Purana: History and Social Debates, Atharva: Technology, Skills and Practices, Yajur-Sama: Bhakti and the Arts, Rg: Philosophy. Narayanan Komerath and Kurur A. Damodaran present a breath-taking treatise on Pavamana Soma, the missing link in the birth of the material universe. "The 9th Mandalam of the Rg Veda deals with the multifaceted and much misunderstood concepts of Pavamāna Sōma. The crux of this Mandalam is that Sōma (unreal), the flowing essence of Ātma, and not Indra, causes manifestation of Nature. This Sōma is a superimposition on the One-ness State, which is the Base and not the cause of this manifestation. Sōma-Pavamāna becomes identified as the Permanent Moving Perceiver 'I' of this ever-changing Universe and the scribe of the Treatise is non-different from that 'I'. Thus he becomes an accomplisher of the Great Sacrifice of Creation; and the mind, freed from the body by Ātmīya Sōma, attains the Painless State." The volume includes Dr. Shiv Shankar Sastry's review of the PIE controversy and suggests a re-think on the formation and evolution of ancient languages of Eurasia. Dr,. Kalyan Chakravarty presents two papers on education as well as on the Śiva tradition. Ms. Aditi Banerjee underscores the realization of knowledge through shraddha, shastras and sadhana with this overview: "The metaphysical framework of the Vedic tradition is one of the last extant traditional knowledge systems in the world today. Accessing the treasures of this heritage requires unlocking the tradition through traditional means and approaches. Trying to understand the Vedic system through Western means is to try to fit a square peg into a round hole. In addition to increasingly losing the wisdom of the Vedic tradition, we have also lost our collective civilizational memory on how to know, what to know and the step-by-step methodology of transforming knowledge from that which is indirect to that which is direct, personal experience. Preservation of the Vedic tradition requires also preserving the Vedic methods of belief, knowledge and experience – the means by which we know and believe" Rajeev Srinivasan suggests a radical rethink on education: "A confluence of three forces suggest a radical rethink of the educational mechanism in India: one is the predicted arrival of general Artificial Intelligence; the second is the apparent urgency to migrate away from the exclusive focus on mechanical learning and to engender creativity; the third is the arrival of technological infrastructure that can (re)enable customized, suitably updated traditional education with a special focus on Mother Tongue education. An added bonus from such a shift would be the opportunity to reduce the influence of Western tropes and memes on Indian students, which could reduce the level of what is often referred to as 'intellectual colonialism', a hurdle in India's rise to the G3. The fact that the end of rote learning is at hand is evident in that even the US and UK systems, which form the bases for the Indian system, are now falling behind in standardized global achievement metrics such as the PISA scores. Thus, not only are we following a system which was designed for a conquered population (as in Macaulay's infamous 'Minute' or in Gauri Viswanathan's 'Masks of Conquest'), but that system is losing ground rapidly to, say, Singaporeans or South Koreans. So that puts Indian students in double jeopardy. This paper is an overview of the technological breakthroughs that can be harnessed for this purpose, and indeed force this rethink, as well as a proposal for a pilot keeping in mind the ground realities of what parents and students will find interesting and useful."
Both Dhirendra Shah and Srinivasan Kalyanaraman focus attention on a remarkable insight provided by the Cambridge Economic Historian, Angus Maddison who posited in his report to the OECD prior to the formation of the European Union, an economic history bar chart demonstrating how Ancient India contributed to 33% of World Gross Domestic Product with China accounting for about 24 percent. This statistic leads them into divergent enquiries. Dhirendra Shah provides a pen-picture of the contours of Indic Civilization: "An attempt is being made here to inquire and analyze the reasons for the Indic civilization's downfall from the most prosperous and enlighten country in the world till 1000 AD to a poor third world country at the time of independence from the British rule in 1947. The paper is divided into four parts: (1) Importance of teaching and study history in general and particularly the Indian history; (2) Sapta Sindhu/Saraswati/Vedic civilization beginning from approx. 10,000 BC to 1000 AD; (3) Medieval Islamic Aggressions and rule in India; (4) British Empire.
Srinivasan Kalyanaraman goes back in time to present a revolutionary re-think on the roots of civilization which led Ancient India to be in the epicentre of a Metals Age Industrial Revolution, dominating an Ancient Maritime Tin Route from Hanoi (Vietnam) to Haifa (Israel) along the Indian Ocean Rim and the navigable riverine Himalayan waterways. This Tin Route which predated the Silk Road by about two millennia rendered possible a truly Eurasian renaissance powered by industrial-scale organisations with a remarkable corporate and social-responsibility form called śreṇi or seafaring merchant guilds and artisan guilds. The evidence he marshals includes translations of over 8000 Indus Script inscriptions (a decipherment of Indus hieroglyphs and language achieved without the aid of a Rosetta Stone) which are wealth accounting ledgers and metalworking catalogues document archives of wealth of nations of Greater Indian civilization, a story narrated by the famous American historian, Will Durant with extraordinary compassion and sharp historical perspective. Nagendra Rao presents a succinct introduction to Sanatana Dharma with an example of an interaction among diverse thought-processes of mankind. These are but glimpses of scintillating thought-provoking enquiries. In summary, the 61 stellar, scholarly contributions constitute a documentation, rendered with academic rigour and integrity, which should be studied and researched further. The book should adorn the shelves of every academic institution of the globe and be read by every citizen of the world.

Russia Cancels Fifth-Generation Fighter (Su-57)

Russia has canceled its Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft program, also known as Su-57.

Woman Defaces Xi's Image in Live Stream, Now Disappeared

A woman in China who threw ink on pictures of Xi Jinping on live stream has now disappeared after posting a picture of men who had arrived at her door.

Her social media accounts have been revoked, and her phone no longer responds.

More defaced images of Xi Jinping are now being posted online by others.

Quick notes: x86 chips, FGFA re-look...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Fwd: Why Only Hindus, Buddhists, Jains And Sikhs Should Be Allowed Entry Into Puri Jagannath Temple by Sanjeev Nayyar in

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sanjeev Nayyar

Why Only Hindus, Buddhists, Jains And Sikhs Should Be Allowed Entry Into Puri Jagannath Temple
By Sanjeev Nayyar
July 11 2017 

Governments and courts must also realize that one, Sikhs-Buddhists-Jains are allowed entry into Jagannath temple because culturally and spiritually there is a lot ie common with Hindus.                              

The Jagannath Temple Puri is recently in the news after the Supreme Court took over its management and suggested that non-Hindus should also be allowed to enter the temple.


At the outset it must be said that today and earlier too the word Hindu includes those communities covered by the Hindu Marriage Act i.e. Hindus, Buddhist, Jains and Sikhs. Simply put the temple is open to followers of Dharma or Indian Religions.


Indian History


According to a respected scholar and author of Attack and Robberies on Jagannath Mandir, Dr Surendra Mishra (retired Research Officer in Sri Jagannath Sanskrit University, Puri) there were never any restrictions in Sanatana Dharma on entry of non-Hindus into Jagannatha Mandir Puri. The restriction started after repeated destruction of the temple by Muslim invaders.


Dr Mishra said that two prominent temples of India that were and continue to be revered across India were repeatedly looted and destroyed namely Somanatha in Gujarat and Jagannatha in Puri.


For the record Somanatha temple was looted and destroyed seventeen times for eg by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1026, by Alauddin Khilji's Chief Afzal Khan in 1298 and Muzaffar 1395 who burnt the temple and broke the idol.


Likewise the Jagannath Temple Puri was invaded 18 times. For the record the first Muslim invasion was waged by Illlias Shah the Sultan of Bengal in 1340. Firuz Shah demolished the temple of Jagannatha and desecrated the images around 1360. Sultan Husain Shah of Bengal captured Puri in 1509 and destroyed the idols in Jaganatha Temple. The fifteenth invasion was waged by Amir Fateh Khan in 1647.


Every such raid resulted in destruction, loot and damage to the deities of Puri. During various attacks the deities were hidden at distant places or shifted from one place to another.


Also read: Invasions of the Temple of Lord Jagannath, Puri


Author of the above article Abhimanyu Dash, Lecturer in History at the Surajmahal Saha Mahavidyala Puri, wrote, "The most significant feature in the history of invasion on the great temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri that in no case the 'Brahma' of the deities were destroyed which continued till today. The servitors played an important role in safeguarding the triad at the time of danger. The Kings have taken care of the temple from destruction by surrendering before the invaders. The people of Puri have suffered but kept the temple safe."


With the advent of Maratha rule over Orissa (now Odisha) about 1751, its Dewan Bahadur Khan wrote to King Birakishore Deva that no attack on the Jagannatha temple would take place under Maratha rule.


Also read: When Lord Jagannath witnessed the great Maratha devotion


The pain caused by repeated destruction, loot and efforts by the people of Orissa to save the temple of Lord Jagannath have become part of the collective consciousness of the people of India, more so of the people of Puri. At the same time there is an inherent pride and happiness that their ancestors did not allow a mosque to be constructed on temple site as is the case at Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura.


Entry Barrier To Non-Hindus


Inspite of repeated destruction of the temple of Jagannath, starting 1340, Muslims were allowed entry into the temple till 1620 says Dr Mishra. Inspite of that Muslim invasions and loot did not stop. It was then that entry into temple was restricted to Hindus meaning Hindus, Buddhist, Jains and Sikhs. This closure to Muslims was effective June 1, 1660 says Dr Mishra.


Entry Restricted To Orthodox Hindus


According to Dr Mishra, the British as part of their divide and rule policy, put a board outside temple that read 'Only Orthodox Hindus allowed'. Unfortunately this board continues to exist. Practically speaking the temple today allows entry to Hindus of all communities, Buddhist, Jains and Sikhs. Note that ISKCON devotees (including foreigners) who are not Hindu by birth are not allowed entry into the temple. 


Gurudwara in Puri


Guru Nanak Ji visited Puri twice. Once in 1508 and again in 1510 when he eventually could meet Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. From Puri Nanak left for Sri Lanka via Rameshwaram.


Just to jog your memory one of the 'Panch Pyare or Five Beloved Ones' who were baptised by Guru Govind Singhji on March 30, 1699 was from Puri. His name was Himmat Chand Kahar later renamed as Bhai Himat Singh Ji.


Bhai Almast, a notable Udasi preacher of the 17th century built Mangumath Ashram now called Mangumath Gurudwara. "The great saint of Orissa and lyric poet Bhagat Jaidev finds a place of eminence for his hymns in the Guru Granth Sahib."


So, can Muslims and Christians offer their respects to the deities of Jagannath Mandir?


Yes they can, but only once a year during the annual Rath Yatra.


Why should tradition of not allowing Muslims and Christians in Jagannath Mandir continue?


Historically the decision to stop Muslims from entering the temple was due to destruction caused by Muslim invasions.


Has the situation changed today? Not really! More than 50,000 soldiers protect Hindus during the annual Amarnath Yatra. Such arrangements are not required when Muslims visit Ajmer Sharif.


Further prominent Hindu temples continue to be guarded like fortresses for eg Somnath, Akshadham Gandhinagar, Vaishnudevi and Krishna Janmabhoomi amongst others not to forget the Muslim community's refusal to hand over the holy sites of Kashi, Mathura and Ayodhya to the Hindus. Till that happens the wounds caused by destruction of temples by Muslim invaders shall continue to fester.


It is not to imply that all Muslims who visit Hindu temples will cause destruction. That would be mischievous and wrong to say. However, the sentiments of the people of Odisha, larger Hindu community and the ground reality of temples being under constant threat make it imperative for the existing tradition to continue.


This New Indian Express report of July 8 says, "Manoj Rath, spokesperson of Gobardhan Pitha, the seat of Puri Shankaracharya Nischalananda Saraswati, said the decision of the seer is final on the issue. Quoting an earlier letter of the seer on the issue, Rath said the Shankaracharya had clearly mentioned that any deviation in the tradition of Jagannath temple in relation to entry of non-Hindus was not acceptable. On abolition of hereditary rights of servitors, he said the puja of every deity in the temple is conducted every day as per Shashtras. Any deviation would harm the divinity, Rath added.


Courts are not trained to know and appreciate the importance of religious practices and must stop interfering in Hindu traditions.


Governments and courts must also realize that Sikhs-Buddhists-Jains are allowed entry into Jagannath temple because culturally and spiritually there is a lot ie common with Hindus.


Also read: What is common to various schools of Indian Philosophy

Also read: India only home of the Followers of Dharma


Like any other organization management of the Jagannath Temple offers scope for improvement and reform. Let the Hindu community reform itself.


In a secular state it is inappropriate for the government or courts to interfere in the management of places of worship of the majority community. If they insists on doing so then the Courts and State must be involved in managing affairs of all communities and ensure that devotee donations made in temples, mosque, churches, gurudwaras, monasteries become of the State Treasury like it is in the case of South Indian temples today.

Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Australian Experiment Eliminates Over 80% of Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes

An experiment carried out in Australia's northern Queensland region eliminated over 80% of disease-carrying mosquitoes there:

The experiment, conducted by scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and James Cook University (JCU), targeted Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which spread deadly diseases such as dengue fever and Zika.
In JCU laboratories, researchers bred almost 20 million mosquitoes, infecting males with bacteria that made them sterile. Then, last summer, they released over three million of them in three towns on the Cassowary Coast.
The sterile male mosquitoes didn't bite or spread disease, but when they mated with wild females, the resulting eggs didn't hatch, and the population crashed.
With the rise of more severe mosquito-borne diseases including Zika and Dengue, it's important for India to get a handle on its mosquito problems.

Fwd: The military and 4 years of Modi – need for course correction+ A new twist to insurgency in the Valley+ India and Korean Dream

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sanjeev Nayyar

Today, India is in a position to develop a more strategic view of the Korean Peninsula, as Moon seeks reconciliation with the North. At a moment when there is much international scepticism about the prospects for peace, strong public Indian support for Korean reconciliation would be of immediate political value to Moon
Delhi and Seoul should focus on building flexible middle power coalitions in Asia to limit the impact of the current volatility in the relations between US and China.'
2. India's mistakes have allowed China to make inroads into Nepal 7.7.18
3. A new twist to insurgency in the Valley 9.7.18 by Lt Gen Syed A Hasnain
SN – Attack on cops. When the State is perpetually defending it can do little to reduce attacks on security forces. Take the battle into the enemy camp and things will change.
4. Taking Union Cabinet for a ride and getting away 8.7.18 by Lt Gen Prakash Katoch
The fact that Defence Estates have been granted NFU with retrospect from 2016, concurrent to opening cantonments to civilians indicates something amiss. 
Army's Advance Base Workshops have been taken over by MoD already and some 20,000 acres land of military farms is up for grabs. 

5. Air India name change Taipei offers lesson to others 9.7.18
SN – The new FS is changing Indo China relations.
6. Agreement on Rohingy misses the central issue of citizenship 9.7.18 by tapan bose
'Scandals that have now come to light, such as the manner in which allegedly corrupt MOD bureaucrats have changed service rules of the supporting cadre to the detriment of the Services must be dealt with expeditiously.
'Of course, Mr. Modi, being the hardheaded politician that he is, is fully conversant of all of this. That is probably what has forced him to try and appease the Chinese. The Wuhan Informal Summit, the treatment of Tibetan refugees, the silence on the CPEC and Doklam are visible pointers to this, though whether that will help him in the coming elections is questionable. It is quite likely that President Xi will rub his and our collective noses in the mud in the coming weeks and months.
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

the man who knows plastic and paves our roads with it. much better than dumping in water bodies

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

the mother of all rice came from india, not china

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Friday, July 06, 2018

Quick notes: Air-India caves in, Ghost airport...

  • Orwellian nonsense: Air-India caves in to China's demands and wipes all mention of Taiwan from its website. Instruction came from the Ministry of External Affairs.

  • Why India is paying millions for world's emptiest airport: "It's clearly strategic. Since the days of Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao, India has been trying to build a military base in Sri Lanka".

  • Made-in-India: With a top speed of 120 km/h and 0-60 km/h in under 4 seconds, the Surge electric motorcycle offers a range of 100 km on a single charge.

  • App Traps: How cheap Chinese smartphones siphon user data in developing countries

  • Jon Higgins, the bhagavatar:

  • Control your own data: How to remove third-party access to your Gmail inbox w/ Google Security Checkup

  • Lucrative business-model: Sister, staff of Missionaries of Charity held for selling baby in Ranchi

  • Temples or Museums? SC wants Jagannath temple to allow non-Hindus

Thursday, July 05, 2018

ISRO's Crew Escape Test for Future Manned Spaceflight

Here's another particularly useful article on ISRO's latest testing of its 'Crew Escape System' meant to protect astronauts in the event of a serious malfunction/catastrophe during launch:

Video of test released by ISRO

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Quick notes: Hamas apps, Aadhaar theft...

  • Indian defence establishment should take note: Hamas 'created dating apps and fake Facebook profiles to try to lure Israeli soldiers' 

  • 13-feet walls not enough: Stealing your Aadhaar details costs just Rs 125  

  • China's penetration of Silicon Valley: More than 20 Silicon Valley venture capital firms have close ties to a Chinese govt fund or state-owned entity. The U.S. Congress is finalizing legislation to expand the govt’s power to block foreign investment in “critical” technologies, including venture investment. 

  • Threatened by Trump: China presses Europe for anti-U.S. alliance on trade

  • Ghar Wapsi: Lithuanians seek identity in their pagan roots ....(Hindus should support their liberation from church)

  • Raga Mohanam by Chong Chiu Sen: A Malaysian-Chinese disciple of D.K. Pattammal

  •  Pallavi: Ninnu kori yunna nura nikila loka nayaka
      Anupallavi: Nannu palimpa samayamura nameeda krupa judara
      Charanam: Sannuthanga Sreenivasa

  • Matthew 10:32 to 10:37: 32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Fwd: Indo Pacific strategy cost India development opportunity+ Jordon is the pivot to Modi’s approach to Israeli Palestine conflict+Trump, Putin and future of the West

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sanjeev Nayyar

2. Transforming Military Academies to an Annual Intake and Academic Cycle 30.6.18 by Rear Ad S Y Shrikhande
3. Jordon is the pivot to Modi's approach to Israeli Palestine conflict 1.7.18 by P R Kumaraswamy
4. India US: A High Maintenance Relationship 30.6.18 by rajesh Rajagopalan
Expect this to remain a high-maintenance relationship but as long as the China problem remains, expect also that both sides will work hard at it.'
SN – If Indians expectations from the U.S. could be realistic and stop swinging like a pendulum relations might be smoother. Unless India learns to fight its own battles and becomes a bigger economy with a domestic defence production base the relationship with the U.S. shall invariably be high maintenance.
4a. The separation of powers complicates U.S. foreign policy 2.7.18 by Kanwal Sibal
If Trump's heresies survive the hostility of the Atlantic foreign policy establishments, key Eurasian actors, including India, will have to take much larger responsibility for shaping the regional order. That, in turn, would mean managing Eurasia's deep internal contradictions that have been smothered by America's heavy hand since the Second World War.'
5. The Shillong Khasi Sikh clash was not just over a small colony and its relocation 2.7.18 by Jaideep Mazumdar
 (read this article by prominent journalist and The Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim) since 1979. As Mukhim writes in the article, it was the Bengali community who faced attacks in 1979 and a large number fled Shillong permanently then and in subsequent years. Since then, the Biharis, Nepalis and Marwaris have also faced attacks. This time, it is the Sikhs who are the targets.
Trade licences from the Autonomous District Councils are mandatory to conduct any sort of business, and once again, non-tribals find it almost impossible to get these licences. Even if one manages to get such a licence, getting a space to set up a shop or an office is next to impossible," said a Marwari businessman who is a third-generation resident of the state. The Khasis deny the charges of discrimination and say the reservation in government jobs and the restrictions on buying property or conducting business are constitutional safeguards to preserve the identity and interests of the tribals.'
6. BJP indulging in theaetrics to conceal failures says Harish 1.7.18
8. Indo Pacific strategy cost India development opportunity 1.7.18
From this perspective, it is China, not the United States, that can provide more support and knowledge to India. If India follows the US strategy step by step, it will lose future opportunities to cooperate with China and many other neighboring countries. India should be able to understand the situation.
Warm Regards
sanjeev nayyar

sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity