Wednesday, April 26, 2006
A Movement Toward East
While stating 'Toward East', it is aimed at Satyayuga, the best system or state in Hindu Dharma shastras. Generally people use the words 'East' and 'West' to give hint of the geographical direction but whenever we say 'Not West Toward East' as a movement the geographic directional situation is of no more importance. When this movement was started, the terms 'East' and 'West' were not used in their general sense. Yeah, 'East' means sunrise, getting brightness and 'West' means sunset, falling in darkness. The universal natural process of sunrise and sunset can be taken as a symbolization of rise and fall of human life. Actually, in the 'Not West Toward East' movement, 'East' and 'West' are being used to distinguish between two different cultures, two different thoughts, two different civilizations and two different attributes. This is worth informing that this movement is to suggest a correct path for human society. It is a positive revolution in totality.
We know that the Vedic Hinduism tells us and shows the way to leave the state of truth less ness, darkness and demise and achieve the state of truthfulness, brightness and immortality (In Sanskrit language: asatomaa sadgamaya tamasomaa jyotirgamaya mrityormaa amritam gamaya). Now by stating 'Not West Toward East' movement we are following the same path. It guides us to the state of truthfulness, goodness and beauties (In Sanskrit language: satyam shivam sundaram). We give priority to Vedic thought and also we appreciate and accept all the good parts of every culture, every religion, every principle, every philosophy, and every thought and of every system. We want this world to be 'Ram-Rajya', an ideal state described in Hindu Dharma-shastras. We want this world to be Satyayuga, state of truth, as described in Hindu Dharma-shastras. I have told that this is a positive revolution in totality. It is path of self-dedication, self-restraint, self-advancement and finally renunciation of and welfare of whole human civilization.
In the 'Not West Toward East' movement, we accept harmonization in between Dharma (religion) and Science. In another words, we favor the one-ness of the Dharma and Science. Dharma gives us contemplation of pacifism, amity, compassion and love. The aim of both of these Science and Religion is social progress, advancement, development and happiness along with social welfare and peace.
We favor and accept the moral values established by Vedic Hinduism but at the same time we refuse unscientific blind faiths. Any thing disagreeing with trusted Vedic moral-values as well as Science is unacceptable in the 'Not West Toward East' movement. We examine everything in the touchstone of both Dharma and Science. In the result, there are two categories: anything good is 'East' and anything bad is 'West' and our path is toward east, not west.
My unwillingness toward all of Capitalism, Communism, Feudalism, Socialism etc is obvious. I don't believe that any of these political systems has capacity to give good governance to the people. People have to reject these thoughts as soon as possible. There are many alternatives in choosing a political system or thought. But the best one is the Satyayuga. I know that way toward Satyayuga is not comfortable, but it has delightful ending. It leads us to the eternal pleasure. Here you may lose many things, but get sacred philosophy of life. You live meaningfully and even die meaningfully. Thus you get victory in every condition in the movement toward Satyayuga.
I have clarified that 'Toward East' is aimed at Satyayuga. Before fulfillment of aim, human society has to do many things. Now human civilization is at the crossroads. If we choose right track, we will be forwarded toward brightness and if we headed wrong track then human society will be fallen in darkness or destroyed. We have to a decision whether we want brightness or darkness. Brightness, that is 'East' – sunrise and darkness, that is 'West' – sunset. Come to join us in the journey toward 'East'.
Hindu mathematicians' contribution
Many people think mathematics as basic computational skills but it is much more than that. It is the language of science. Mathematics is a way of thinking, a way of organizing, analyzing, and synthesizing a body of data. It uses carefully defined terms and symbolic representation that enhance our ability to communicate. Many scholars view mathematics as an organized body of knowledge in which each proposition follows as a logical consequence of proved proposition or assumptions. In other words, we can say that mathematics is a body of knowledge in the area of science, with its own symbolism, terminology, contents, theorems and techniques. It can be broadly classified as pure and applied mathematics. However, mathematics education itself is an applied discipline.
Number is one of the basic concepts of mathematics. Its origin dates back to ancient times. Human society created or invented the counting numbers by developing it through practices. Or, we can say, man developed counting numbers in order to concretize the idea or notion he got through the matching (e.g., laying aside a stone for each cow) and while considering the order of occurrence of some events. Many kinds of numbers are known today. In fact, they were not discovered or created simultaneously. Of all the kinds of numbers, the counting numbers are certainly the first ones to be used by human society.
The counting numbers- also known as natural numbers- is probably the simplest and most familiar numbers known to us. Although the notion of counting numbers is a universal one, these are called by various special names or number-names by different people in different parts of the world. Similarly, these numbers are represented by different symbols or numerals such as "1" in Hindu-Arabic system, "!" in Devanagari script, "I" in Roman system, and "▼" in Babylonian system. That is, there are many ways of using counting number symbols or numerals (system of numeration) to represent numbers.
The Devanagari system of numeration (), !, @, #, $, %, ^, &, *, () and the Hindu-Arabic system (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) are practically one and the difference is only of the written script or lettering. Here, the ten number symbols are used and hence each of these systems is known as a "base ten system". The number zero, denoted by "0", is one of the most valuable contributions of the Vedic Hindu mathematicians. This number had been used by Pingal in his famous book Chhandasutra, which was written in two century before Christ. Even great mathematicians of the West hesitated to accept it as a number for a long time. The traditional Western number system, that is the Roman system of numeration uses the Roman letters and their combinations to represent various numbers. There is no counter part of the number symbol "0", called zero, in the Roman system. Similarly, there is no symbol for "zero" in Babylonian as well as Egyptian number system too. Without this "0", the digital world could not be developed. As we know, a computer, essentially, is a machine that can process, store and retrieve information and it understands every data in terms of either "0" or "1".
Mathematics should be a central part of the curriculum. As stated by Mathematics Association, London, there are experiences that the education should provide: a sense of culture and history, the development of skills, a climate that encourages inquiry, opportunities to discover and develop individual talents, a sense of community and of the worth of the individual within it, the enjoyment that comes with sustained creative effort, opportunities for both individual action and co-operation, a perspective which keeps these elements in balance. Mathematics can play a major role in contributing to all of these aspects. In some areas the role of mathematics is pre-eminent. The power of mathematics can be demonstrated in many ways. Mathematics is empowering and is fundamental to the study of other subjects. It is both an essential part of the world's intellectual and cultural heritage and the door to its scientific and technological future. There is a much wider need for mathematical skills; every day life as well as science and engineering, production management, and investment decisions are just a few example which illustrate our dependence on these skills.
In Nepali context, though much emphasis has given to mathematics education, we are studying it as a borrowed subject. In fact, since Nepal is the inheritor of culturally rich civilization having a history of thousands of years a tradition of mathematics education, rich and refined both in theory and practice, has been an inseparable part of our culture and civilization. There are numerous achievements of our ancestors in the field of mathematics. As mentioned above, the number zero, denoted by "0", is one of the most valuable contributions of the Vedic Hindu mathematicians. Do our students know the fact that methods of Square Root and Cube Root also were invented or developed by Vedic Hindu mathematicians? The method of solving Equation has developed by Hindu Brahmins in more than three centuries before Christ and it was brought to Europe in 1668 A.D. Hindu mathematicians Varahmihir and Lalla had used the value of "Pi" (which is equal to 3.1416) in 505 and 578 A. D. respectively. Great Hindu mathematician Aryabhatta had determined this value previously. Do our students know these facts? If we read a Hindu text Shulbasutra, which was written in eight centuries before Christ, vast knowledge of Geometry is there. The famous Pythagoras theorem is actually suitable to call "Baudhayan theorem" because it had been propounded by Hindu saint Baudhayan much before than the birth of mathematician Pythagoras. It is injustice not to give renown to our ancestors (Vedic Hindu mathematicians) for their contribution in the field of mathematics. While teaching mathematics in our schools and universities, we must inform our pupils to such facts too.
Srikrishna and Bhagavad-Gita
Everything new is not necessarily good, and not all the old should be thrown out. One must always distinguish between good and bad. Now the world is becoming drawn together one great communications network. We are no longer simply citizens of a city or of a particular country, but we are living in a worldly civilization. Scientific and technological developments are bringing all the societies nearer. So societies have chances to share each other.
The so-called modern civilization as a whole is on a fundamentally wrong track, running toward a head-on collision with the limits of what our world can tolerate. We have many problems to face. There is something basically wrong and to correct that the human civilization have to distinguish between good and bad as soon as possible and have a right track. And, here is a solution that the principles delivered by Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita has capacity to guide the society in the right path. Bhagavad-Gita, as a whole the Vedic-Hindu philosophy, gives the right direction for human civilization. No other book even remotely approaches its influence on human life. Srimad Bhagavad-Gita (or simply Gita) represents a clear, simple, psychological as well as practical blueprint for the spiritual regeneration of man. It is the document for the knowledge and the way we should live. It sets forth the charter of human duties and rights.
Telling about Bhagavad-Gita, set in the heart of the Mahabharata, first of all we have to know the background. The occasion for Gita is significant. On the battlefield, when both the parties (the Pandavs and the Kauravs) had drawn their Armour ready for battle, Arjun (one of the Pandavs) refuses to battle. Instead of doing his proper duty, Arjun sobs and trots out arguments in favor of 'Ahimsa' (non-violence) and the glory of 'Sanyas' (renunciation). That is, he is not convinced of the rightness of his duty. Sentimental self-pity overpowered Arjun and he sought refuge in falling a victim to inactivity. He could not face the reality of evil and encounter it in the face. It is in such a context; Lord Srikrishna delivered the sermon on the battlefield. Here Arjun is nominal representative and the Gita is delivered for all human beings through Arjun. Srikrishna, the Bhagavan, imparts wisdom to drive away the gloom and the temporary moral confusion set in Arjun's mind.
The Pandavs were in favor of truth and the Kauravs were the representatives of evil. So Srikrishna, the Bhagavan, supported the Pandavs. It gives a moral that 'God is always with truth'. Due to the attributes of Pandavs towards the truth led the Bhagavan in favor of Arjun. Each one of us is an Arjun and we need wisdom of the Bhagavad-Gita to set us on the right path and fight evil. The central message of the Gita is the Lord's insistence on us all to fight evil, not to run away from it nor seek to compromise with it. One should count no cost as too much to oppose evil. We must oppose evil with all our power against all who support it at all costs.
Life is a battlefield. There is no freedom in inactivity. The common Dharma of all is to do the duty and fight evil, not to become a victim of inactivity. The most important thing we have to keep in our mind is that the command of the Bhagavad-Gita is not only to do the duty and fight evil but with devotion to the Lord. Devotion and duty are the watchwords of Bhagavad-Gita. The Gita approach to human life is functional and practical and not only theoretical.
Just like the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, (that is Lord Srikrishna), the ninth incarnation of Vishnu, (that is Lord Buddha, whose followers are famous as Buddhist all over in the world), also gave us wisdom to set us on the right path and fight evil. Another incarnation of Vishnu, Lord Sriram also taught us the same moral. Hence we come to a conclusion that the Lord, in any type get-up, delivers us wisdom to battle against the gloom in our mind, against evil and in favor of the truth. They all have love to humanity in common.
The Dharma and The Science
Most of us think that Science and Dharma (religion) are contradictory things. People, who think that science and religion cannot have a meeting point just as the two rims of a river cannot meet at a single point, are found here and there. Some people think that spiritualism and scientific ness are two different poles. Really, more and more people think that science and religion repulse each other. But, neither there is original contradiction in between Science and Dharma (religion) nor vast difference. The action wise difference between science and religion is that the science investigates truth remaining in the state of inquisitiveness based on physical world, where as the religion guides us to meet the truth through physical as well as spiritual realm. The target of both scientific investigation and religiosity is to uncover the truth. The aim of both Science and Dharma (religion) is social progress, advancement, development and happiness along with social welfare and peace.
To view Science and Dharma (religion) as contradictory things is the visionary defect. What the fact is that they are two sides of a coin and are complementary to each other. If imperfectness is to lead to perfect ness Science and Dharma (religion) are to be practiced equally. Human society is uncompleted without any of these two.
People give ambiguous, hotchpotch and amazing definitions if we ask them what the religion is now days. People are divided in different religion-like trademarks such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islamism, Jainism and Sikhism etc. Well, they all have elements of real religion but these are sectored trademarks of specific communities. Sectored trademarks may or may not represent the religion in totality but each of them represent school of thought. I think Hinduism is more extensive and generous than others and represent the real religion to a great extent. Since it has the continuity of Vedic philosophy and simultaneously has capacity to associate all the schools of thought it can be taken, as real religion not sectored religious trademark only. But, we cannot neglect the fact that some non-scientific blind faiths had also been imposed in our Hinduism and some of these things are present in these days also. The unscientific blind faiths must be removed. Although our Hinduism approaches scientific ness to a great extent than other religious disciplines even at its present state also.
I am fully convinced that the region of pure religion (Dharma) and the region of completed science are one. Science is systematized study and is realized philosophy. Since the Dharma (religion) is the best philosophy, the completed science unites it. In viewing our contemporary practical life the harmonization between Dharma and Science is more essential ever before in the days to come.
by- Nirmala Mani Adhikary "Aayod Dhaumya"