Posted in Article, Philosophy

Charavak, Millennials’ way of life

In a quest to seek knowledge, I come across a variety of books from multiple different genres.

In pursuit of the same quest, I know I should be pragmatic, which means I need to keep my mind open for all schools of thought.

Recently, I started studying the Charavak Philosophy, ancient school of Indian materialism. The Charvaka epistemology states that whenever one infers a truth from a set of observations or truths, one must acknowledge doubt; inferred knowledge is conditional.

This school of thought actually appealed to my intellect.It just meant that now my mind and my intellect can be on the same page for once.

I believe, the practicality of all the things will also give way to a simpler lifestyle, though it might also take a toll on the emotional aspect of life. For eg. If you have a 6-year-old, asking how he gets a gift or a cash gift every time he keeps his tooth for the tooth fairy, it is better to lie to him out of love, rather than explain the dynamics of how economy works or how his father/mother replaces the tooth in the middle of the night.  Maybe, that is a practical thing to do, but it is still driven by emotion.

I know of how the practical approach to life fails, but I also know of how it succeeds in life. In Hindu literature, it is brilliantly explained with the notion – Ram Rajya. Named after the famous, godly king of India in 3400 BC, a kingdom, wrought in Chaos and corruption was morphed into a beautiful and law-abiding place almost similar to the concept of Eden. The citizens were very strict in following the laws which were laid down by the great Lord Ram.

Yet, the practical way of life was flawed, as the emotions came second to practicality. Over the centuries, there grew a discontent and that became the downfall of this once great philosophy.

Does it mean that the philosophy itself is wrong ? perhaps not. Each person has his own thought process. Hence the individuality of humanity comes into picture.

Now a days, due to social media, it seems like the next generation would rather “google” the answers and accept the first result (or the most convenient one)  than actually  think on whatever task they had at hand. In such a scenario, wouldn’t it make sense that we have the Charavak Philosophy integrated into the lifestyle ?

The only word which the millenniums seem to have integrated is materialism.  They think a fancy mobile, expensive clothes and fast cars is the ultimate aim of life. Hence, they spend truck loads of money on items, just to post it on social media, and then go into an endless pursuit of checking how many people “like” it. Have we become so needy ? If we are, when will we start liking our inner self ? When will we get in touch with our inner self ?

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Posted in Article

The atoms…

Recently, I was reading an article from one of the science magazines. It was an article that I came across, relating to the research being conducted using LHC or the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. The worlds most complex and advanced machine.
This article provided the details about how the scientists are trying to unravel the mysteries of the Universe and its inner workings on a level that one cannot even grasp! And they are trying to unravel the workings by smashing atom together, so that it could decay into its smaller constituents… Which could be further studied…
It got me thinking, we as humans, who are trying to understand what makes up the Universe, what are the basic components? How they came into existence? Why they are the way they are? This is something which really tips the scales of awesomeness to the MAX!!
If you think of it in this way, we are smashing atoms in tiny bits to understand their makeup, to decipher those grand and big hidden mysteries of the natural world..
But, when you think a bit further, humans and the machines used to smash those atoms, are themselves made up of countless number of atoms…
So, in a nutshell, its the atoms themselves who are smashing these other set of atoms, to find out what they are really made up off?
At the first feels a tad bit creepy, but then one tries get a grip of how grand it is! It makes the head spin even thinking about it…
Makes you wonder, how could something which has no life, comes to existence to study itself?
Is that not a big mystery in itself? Is it not like the maker himself is trying understand what he is?
Any thoughts?
Posted in Article, Philosophy

Does Power beget evil ?

I was having a chat with one of my colleges yesterday. The topic of the discussion was -how it is evil to strive for power. I was the champion of power. I don’t believe power itself is evil.

Let me explain myself.

Power is nothing but the will to be the best. To be so good, that people would follow your advice/ teaching without question. This “advice” could be through the show of force or through show of knowledge. The power which is enforced through a show of force, though powerful in itself can always be nullified or countered with someone who is more adept in the “intelligence” department. Let’s see an example :

You are in a bar, and a few beefy bullies try to show power by pushing you around. Now you, a skinny, powerless but intelligent person can do a lot of things to save themselves. You may call the cops. But they may take some time to arrive at the place. You may simply pay the football team in the bar room, who are causing a lot of ruckus, to beat the bullies up.  If you are short of cash, simply order a drink and serve one of the groupies in the football team, hinting that the drink is from one of the bullies. The high testosterone levels in the football team members will help you to beat the bullies up to save their “honor”.

In any case, you overpowered an enemy who was in superior strength and numbers and hence – more powerful.

Now you, in this case, used your intelligence as power and saved yourself from getting bullied. Does this make you evil ? I don’t think so. It is natural to save ourselves and those we love.

Now, power itself is not evil then. But the person wielding that power, could inherently be evil, which would just mean that even though power itself is not evil, it was used to spread the evil.

Let’s take another example.

Imagine two accomplished neurosurgeons. They have the power to save people by performing very critical and complex surgeries. One of them uses his skill to heal the people and the other uses the skill to sell the body parts on the black-market.

Does this mean the power to perform complex surgeries is evil ?

Posted in Article, Life

The balancing act…

My transition from childhood to teenage to an adulthood, has not been that bad, but not that good as well… its somewhat been like where in the difficulty level settings for the life have been preset to medium… Oh well…

The memories are not that vivid, but quite faint of me being a child and being in the first grade, I was one of those introverts, trying to cope with the chattier ones, (what a pain those kids were…).. As being an Asian (Indian for that matter) there has always been a pressure to perform in the academics, but, since I knew my own capacity, I always used to manage to stay in the lot of top 20 kids of the class… and soon this became an balancing act for me to keep the same pace till my grade 10… (but little did I know that this pressure to perform would stick to me in the coming years as well…)

What a relief it was, when I joined in the junior college, and as a freshman I was pretty much able to choose the subjects and branch of my liking, (options, being, science, commerce and arts) looking my well balanced marks, was able to get a seat in the science branch, along with subjects of my liking. Little did I know, this will initiate another set of 2 in the balancing act.. this time it was, balancing the marks, completing the assignments, completing the experiments, (for me, I had 4 subjects) spending 7 out of 4 days just completing the experiment sheets… rest of the 3 days, studying hard to keep the Asians standards or just staying at the edge of them…

Then with all this balancing was able to graduate and join a good company and start another journey… initially all was good, able to learn new things and was happy about the progress as well.. Seems that Life was set and then would just go with the pretty good Life that I had always wanted in those yesteryears…

But little did I know that I have entered one of the grand schemes ever!! Still being part of it, but this time the stakes are pretty much high and pressure and the time all seems to have mingled together…

This time around, it is huge, its time to balance, work, work pressure, money, the finances, relationships and still there is Asian standard of performance, the balancing act has never been this huge and it has become more intricate.. no matter what…

The conclusion would be, Life itself is a one big balancing act!! sigh….

Posted in Article, Life

Old tech…

I know that this has been said by many and many more times, that the old tech was the best tech… or old school as they call it…
Came to a realization this Dashera, why the old tech or the old school as you may call it, is called that way and why its the best way?

Let’s take small trip down the memory lane, shall we..?

During 80’s, with every Diwali, Dashera, or any big festival, there used to be this hustle…
Which included, (as some of you may recall), head to the post office, get a dozen or two letters… Come home, sit at the study desk, make list of all the relatives, start writing well wishes and all the pleasantries, and that too mind you in really, really and I mean really good handwriting the best ever…! Finish the writing, put down the addresses accurately (you know India post, ahem!) In a week or a two head back to the post office and post them…
Phew! Come back and wait for the responses…

Then came the 90’s, the telephone had started to become the house hold appliance, but still not that common… An entire area of 100 house hold would be sharing one phone number… Then there were also those STD booths, where in people used to flock during the night, for the lower call rates and so they could have those really long conversations with all the relatives and friends… Still this was exciting and magical, to listen the person, who was hundreds of Kilometers away, but felt like he was just besides us…

Enter the 2000’s or Y2K as they called it.. hehehe!
We had the intrusion of phones and sms messaging was just gaining popularity, but was not main stream.. the call rates were pretty low as compared to 90’s and the conversations used to last a little longer… the best part was that only the required person could be reached out and no one would even know, wink wink…

Enter the 2010’s, Internet is a common thing, the “smart” phone is in every person’s hand…. Now we just wish each other by sending a mass text, or an image or just a gif, searched and downloaded from some heck of a server, we don’t even know…?
Or best, just put a greeting one of many Whatsapp groups and you are done… The hassles of calling, writing have become a thing of past…

This type of communication has lost the personal touch, which was there during the 90’s and well late in the Y2K… but, these days, all seems pretty mechanical, there is no personal touch, heck! your friends so called close friends as well, will not bother to memorise your birthday, they heavily rely on online services…

Still there are so many other who are still going with old school way… but, they are just the endangered species… seems that this is how the future, pretty non-personal, and mechanical… sigh…!