Thursday, May 14, 2015

Circumstantial evidence of Chandragupta Maurya's victory over the Macedonians

Regrettably no account of Chandragupta Maurya's campaigns against Seleukus Nicator survive ala Caesar's Commentaries on his decade long wars against the Gauls.

So this gives agenda driven Western historians a further face saving measure about the ultimately pitiful and fruitless Greek adventure in India.

Firstly historians neglect to mention that Alexander's rival Porus was not even a proper king with an empire but just happened to be a glorified chief of a frontier republic who only took on the Macedonian warlord because he alone in that area had the traditional four division army.

And Alexander very nearly lost even this engagement.

Now there are Indian nationalist historians who see his disengagement from India as a strategic retreat and some go as far as to claim that he was defeated by Porus but I am inclined to give Alexander benefit of the doubt. Bactria and Persia were the verge of rebellion and Porus was apparently pacified so Alexander saw fit to deal with them. Furthermore his ill conceived and disastrous trek through the Gedrosian desert (present day Makran) where he left he lost half his men and suffered a wound from the local tribesmen that ultimately killed him only convey his ego and vain glory were fully intact. Especially considering it was believed that the god Dionysus returning victorious from his conquest of India used that route(I'm still not quite sure what that legend means).

To this end he left his Indian and Central Asian holding in the charge of a very able Seleucus Nicator I, associated with Macedonian nobility. Alexander being clannish to the core filled the best posts in his empire with his brethren. Not unlike how belligerent and tribal Saddam Hussein gave away the most plum jobs to members of his al Tikriti clan or today the rural collectivist and aggressive  Mahinda Rajapakshe of Sri Lanka has jobs for his 40 odd brothers, nephews and nieces at his disposal.

Fortunately for Alexander though, nepotism did work in his favor and these Macedonian individuals performed with distinction on the battlefield.

Nevertheless there were inevitably rumblings from the more "original" Greeks over Alexander's fondness for Persian customs including that of proskynesis( the traditional Persian manner of bowing or prostration before a superior). It was one thing for this eccentric and crank to think himself of a God by assuming the title of Pharaoh thanks to his mentally unbalanced mother(she thought of herself as possessed by various Middle eastern fertility goddesses and to this end ,stuck snakes inside her vagina).

Not only that but he went as far as to marry a Bactrian woman (Roxanna) as well as two Persian noblewomen thus engaging in polygamy. As if all this wasn't bad enough he compelled a good chunk of his soldiers to engage in a mass marriage with Persian women in a display of his Hellenizing cosmopolitanism.

The Greeks had enough. As it was Macedonians were a derided group considered outside Greek society proper(their equivalent of mlecchas) who were ridiculed as a people "From whom one couldn't even get a decent slave" and now these barbarian nobility were forcing them to make nice with the Persians-the very people who burned their beloved Athens to the ground.

That coupled with the might of the Nanda army which made Porus's look miniscule and substandard in comparison sapped their morale and loathed the very idea of carrying on further into the Gangetic valley(Alexander believed that following the path of Ganges would lead him to the end of the world)

At the same time it has to be mentioned that while Greeks married various Persian women no Greek woman was forthcoming for a Persian aristocrat. So there was certainly a strong racial and eugenic element to the Alexander's Hellenized coupling. It may well have been an intention to wipe out Persian genes at least of those of the ruling classes.

In that light, Chandragupta Maurya's results seem even more impressive. Not only was there a failure of Seleukus to achieve his aims as the Roman historian Appian demurely states and Strabo also gingerly mentions that "Seleukus gave...them(the northwestern India and Bactrian holdings)...onto Sandracottus(Chandragupta) upon terms of intermarriage and receiving in exchange five hundred elephants"

It was with the help of these elephants that the Seleucid Empire which covered pretty much all the Near East was born. Chandragupta Maurya could well have asked for that and have his empire stretch up to the Mediterranean but the turbulence in his native Magadha was constant and unceasing (due to the Nanda loyalists) and he needed to keep an eye on his subjects. Not to mention quite a few Pauravans(the tribesmen of Porus) Persians, Bactrians and Gandharans who had served in his army on the understanding that they would be given their lands and sovereignty upon the defeat of the Greeks. However CGM had reneged on those promises and these tribes were also up in arms.

So Chandragupta Maurya was given the honor of marrying a Macedonian noblewoman(Elena) which other general or warlord had no matter how cozy his relation with their Macedonian overlords.

On that alone I may say QED


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  3. @ YSV

    This article is so beautifully written by you that I probably didnt even blink while reading it :) I could learn some hitherto unknown things from this post.

    "However CGM had reneged on those promises and these tribes were also up in arms." - Here I understand that CGM's condition was pretty much like Modi,ie,making promises which are too tall to be filled up in a short span :P In a democratic set up CGM would have been tagged as an anti-minority communal leader :)

    "but I am inclined to give Alexander benefit of the doubt" - I second you on this point. The later events indirectly show that Alexender was atleast not in the backfoot after the war with Porus.The only caveat to this is that Porus's empire grew in size after the war with Alexender and this is the main point which nationalist historians use to argue in favour of Porus.

    Western historians seem to be suffering from a pathetic need to glorify alexender.While the plain truth is that India had produced better kings and emperors throughout ancient and medieval times in contrast with the ruling class around the world,or atleast along the west.
    the communist Nehruvian historians have ensured that we worship Alexender over Chandragupta in ancient times or Che Guevara as the God of socialism in modern era ,while our own heroes remain neglected.

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    2. Sorry Iniyavel but to me che guevara is anything but a hero .For your musing,here are some links :

      YSV will be able to enlighten us on Kennedy.I do not know much about him so wont opine for or against him.

      I just cant understand the obsession of Indian youth in worshipping Che.Iniyavel if you look more into your home state,I believe you will get 10 heroes atleast who deserve more accolade than Che .The glorificaion of Che,in my views ,is one of the successes of the international communist machinery.

    3. @Iniyavel Most whites really don't hate Hindus because most whites don't care about HIndus one way or another. I keep saying that the painful thing for Hindu super patriots is not that whites hate them but that whites don't care about them.

      Only recently did some whites start getting somewhat interested in Hindu affairs
      1. The growth of the Indian economy and the success of Indian immigrants in the West
      2. Renewed interest in the British empire after Iraq and Afganistan

      Those who are racist against Indians are generally racist against everyone

      re Kennedy @JAM

      Iniyavel ,enough of this silly propaganda about Patton and Eisenhower . Eisenhower killing Patton makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. And this theory was not even considered a possibility even back then. Even the paranoid John Birch society which believed that Eisenhower as closet communist during his years as U.S President never made such claims. This is made by some present day idiot neo Nazi cranks who have a burning hatred for Eisenhower as they see him as some sort of race traitor for punishing Germans in the aftermath of WWII. Its true that Eisenhower was a second generation German American, his mother was more comfortable in German than English.
      But OTOH the Germans preferred to surrender to Eisenhower who was appointed military governor of West Berlin instead of the Russians who would itching for vengeance against the Germans because the Germans had killed 10s of millions of Russians in cold blood. This is something your beloved neo Nazi sites avoid mentioning

      Also neo Nazis hate Eisenhower since he was visionary in denying them the face saving measure of denial of Holocaust as he insisting on filming the death camps and detailing each and every aspect of them as much as possible.
      At the same time he was against the creation of Israel since he felt it would only be a source of instability and as President , he actually leaned on Israel to halt the war against Egypt when the latter nationalized the Suez canal.

      So Eisenhower is far more nobler, valorous, complex and intelligent than your dipshit caricature that you garner from those idiot sites.

      But yes he was devious , he had to be go toe to toe against the Soviet Union and he unleashed the CIA against them and kept them on the defensive for the most part during the 50s.


    4. Che Guevera was simply a murderer and a butcher , he wasn't much of a warrior at all. There is no record of him fighting any serious engagement. Indeed he surrendered without a shot shouting "Don’t Shoot! I’m Che. I’m worth more to you alive than dead!” when cornered by Bolivion special ops even as he ordered his men to fight to the last bullet (and they did) Just as your other hero Saddam who was captured like a rat and didn't even fire his pistol.

      Youd best look out for other heroes to emulate. start from home and no please not Periyar(who wanted the British to stay in India as a impediment to Brahminism or some such rubbish).

      JFK was really a clown. His election was a very very close one and it all down to Chicago , the most corrupt Democratic pols where it is joked that the citizenry are so passionate about politics that even their dead vote! And they vote Democrat(JFKs party) overwhelmingly! His rival Nixon(Eisenhowers VP) yielded the election as he didn't wish to see the country torn apart in a vote recount ala Florida 2000.

      As an aside I believe GWB was legitimately re elected President despite the fiasco in Florida and yes despite the fact that his brother Jeb Bush was Florida governer at the time. It was Al Gore who was trying all sorts of dirty tricks to disenfranchise absentee ballots from the military(who were pro Bush) and other Republican constituents. But it was too late by then , the votes were counted beyond a margin of error and he had to concede.

      JFK was handed a pretty straightforward Cuban operation by Eisenhower which he managed to bungle horribly and it led to the Cuban Missile Crisis where he humiliatingly had to remove missiles from Turkey in order to placate the Soviets. He started the Vietnam war and dragged his feet on civil rights for blacks (which Eisenhower initiated) so much so that his brother the Attorney General Robert F Kennedy had wiretapped Martin Luther King Jr and tagged him as national security risk.
      He was a serial abuser of women so much so that he forced one of his female subordinates to provide oral sex to his brother and a couple of his friends.

      The cultural destruction of U.S with feminism ,sexual revolution and rebellion against traditional mores started with him. The Kim Kardashians and the gay marriage mania are their direct descents.

      The last great President was Ronald Reagan. Even liberals are coming around to this view.

    5. Thanks JAM
      Please note Porus's empire grew because he was reinstated by Alexander as a satrap as sorts and may have been given additional lands conquered by Alexander as a reward or he may have done so on his own with Greek support.

      Among Americans conservative people who cherish the republican experiment loathe people like Alexander ,Julius Caesar and Napolean ie those who upturn a Republic in order to create an Empire for their own personal glory and corrupt themselves in the process.
      To this end they are against American interventionism- a good number of conservatives were against the Iraq war and increasingly GWB has lost his conservative credentials(what few he had to begin with).

      Their ideological ancestors were similarly against the British rule in India which they saw as cruel and exploitative. At that time they were more prominent then they are now . FDR, Harry Truman ,Eisenhower belonged to this school all of whom who pressured the British to leave India.

      Now Churchill mania is all the rage, I covered this in an essay I did last year.

    6. @ysv

      Nixon screwed up in his own ways since he tried to wind down the American space program (which made the spectacular moon landing possible under JFK), and the mother of political scandals aka Watergate whose name was used in a pattern as Gamergate, Deflategate etc., his sidekick Henry Kissinger who supported Pakistan simply to infuriate India.

      Gay marriages are gay people's problem. It really doesn't concern the wider world, except when it comes to adoption which alone can be delegitimized. The sexual revolution happened as a result of the invention of contraceptives and also second-wave feminism which was about fair job opportunities for women.

      Kim Kardashians etc is actually a problem with the media which is out of control.

    7. @Premchand
      Eh? The moon landing occurred under the Nixon Presidency. The entire space program was initiated by Eisenhower using a lot of Nazi scientists incidentally, also overseen by Nixon as VP.

      Nixon was responsible for Watergate but it was really a comedy of errors rather than anything incredibly sinister. It fails miserably compared to the debauchery,fraud,treachery and all manner of shady quid pro quos under the Clintons. Heck they are still going on now!

      Anyway I am not defending Nixon wholesale, I am more interested in defending Eisenhower. Nixon was a disturbed man and made too many errors in judgement, not least of which were affirmative action, delinking the dollar from the gold standard and yes support for Pakistan during 1971 but that was business as usual for the Cold war era. "non aligned" India chose the Soviet Union as its ally and routinely snubbed the U.S and U.S simply returned the favor
      Mind you I don't begrudge India's choice of ally but if you wish to call yourself non aligned, why not get the best of both worlds? A free market system with access to U.S markets and defense relationship with USSR?
      Its not impossible as it sounds. Today Indian has warm relations with both Iran and Israel! A large regional behemoth like India has more options than it realizes.
      But it wasn't meant to be as Nehru/Gandhi were doctrinaire socialists.

      Gay marriage is just one aspect of this gay phenomenon. Gays have managed to ostracize and hound ordinary folks like bakers and photographers who chose to not offer their services to gay weddings. They have managed to do this by not just social pressure but twisting the arms of legislators to equate discrimination against gays to segregation ie. a civil rights issue.

      this is coming soon to an Indian city near you.

      It was part of KGB's long term focus to use societal disruption to weaken the U.S social fabric and therefore U.S itself.
      Sure increased sexual relations had occurred even with technological improvements but it received a shot in the arm from the corrupt and amoral media which continues to foist and praise nonsense like the Kardashians

      Women made a good chunk of the workforce during WWII to pick up slack from men who were drafted and it did not affect their behavior adversely back then.

    8. @ YSV

      "this is coming soon to an Indian city near you." - Is it so? I think the current modi govt has clearly mentioned a few months back that they will not repeal the law which categorises gay activities as criminal offence,ie the section 377.But probably I could not get to the core of your point .If I am shooting way off the mark then do rectify me.

      I didnt know the true extent of gay power in USA,until I read your comment :)

    9. The moon landing was a decade-long effort which was completed during Nixon's presidency but started with fervour by JFK ("I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.")

      We could safely exonerate Nixon from the Watergate scandal if only Nixon hadn't tried to cover it up.

      India's warm relations with Israel (which I dont begrudge) is slowly beginning to strain its relationship with Iran. I forget the details but it appears Modi's snubbing of an Iranian representative was paid back in kind.

      If a baker or photographer refused service to a mixed-race wedding or a senior wedding on principle(not for practical reasons), the social pressure and hounding would be the same.

      The media is indeed often corrupt and amoral, but media coverage of these issues is the effect, not the cause. Without a certain level of activism on both sides (liberals and conservatives), society would inevitably slide towards bigotry and intolerance.

    10. There was talk of moon landings as early as the 50s but yes for JFK as President to articulate such a bold vision so clearly deserves credit

      I am not exonerating Nixon for Watergate but that other Presidents have done far. The liberals favorite hero FDR threw thousands of innocent Japanese Americans into internment camps for no other reason that their Japense ancestry in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor.One of whom was the transportion secretary under George W Bush -Norman Mineta. His experience made him loathe ethnic profiling and scrapped FBI requests in early 2001 that Arab passengers in airports be given closer scrutiny, we all know what happened later!
      Italian and German Americans were also treated roughly (ironic since 2nd gen German American Eisenhower was serving as Allied Commander).

      I would like to know the details of the snubbing of the Iranian rep but I hope it had something to do with the Iranian assassination attempt in India a couple of years ago on an Israeli embassy staff I believe

      I disagree- discrimination on basis of sexuality cannot be equated to that of racial bigotry. Distaste for homosexuals is a religious choice. Where the state has a right to step is to ensure that gays are stoned to death ala the Book of Leviticus or otherwise discriminated.
      It is not gays that bakers objected to but a gay wedding which goes against religious sensibilities.
      Discrimination and violence against gays is active bigotry and but non participation in a gay event is really a thought crime and is immoral for a state to prosecute crimethink

      The media is corrupt because it is full of liberals and these are totalitarian in instinct and insist that others share their depraved interests.

    11. As an aside, Neil Armstrong was a very observant Christian . So it amused to learn that Muslims went around claiming that he heard the azaan on the moon. While addressing his neighborhood church, all he said was "let us pray for God to remove the ignorance of our Muslim friends" or some such

      Also on a trip to Jerusalem , he asked a tour guide if Jesus walked where he currently stood and when the guide replied in the affirmative, Armstrong stated that he was more excited to be standing in that spot than when he landed on the moon.

    12. oops I meant to say that

      Where the state has a right to step is to ensure that gays are NOT stoned to death ala the Book of Leviticus or otherwise discriminated.

    13. But other presidents have done far WORSE....damn...typos and ommissions out of control today!

    14. Some Japanese expats in South America did engage in subversive activities in support of their Emperor so the internment was not altogether imprudent. Note that we are talking about a different era of race relations when racism was PC in the West. That said, I maintain that I am not in favour of racial profiling on a large scale like the Japanese internment.

      German and Irish Americans (but not the Italians to their credit) threw all-night parties at the height of WW2 in support of Hitler for his treatment of Jews although it should be noted that the true extent of the Holocaust was not known at that time.

      The snubbing was a low-level incident so google is giving disappointing results and I didn't save the link where I found it, sorry! I'll search for it later when I have time.

      Not just distaste, but religion actually commands that homosexuals be executed as you mentioned in Leviticus (vide Iran and now Iraq, also Saudi Arabia etc). So it is already 'immoral' for the state when it prohibits people from killing gays (and yeah is no shortage of fundies who want to do that).

      Leviticus also recommends that the punishment for disobeying parents is death, for having a relationship outside marriage is death, for working during the Sabbath is- (you get the picture). So yeah, as long as the state prohibits all this, it is infringing on freedom of religion.

      Armstrong was a Navy pilot before he was an astronaut so it isn't surprising that he was religious. Although, many of the brains behind the Apollo mission were atheists/agnostics.

      Another lunar astronaut Edgar Mitchell financed the founding of a pseudo-scientific field of study called 'Noetics' not to mention supported a wide variety of crank beliefs.

      If a baker decides not to serve a gay event exactly because it is gay instead of any other reason, then yeah that falls under discrimination.

    15. Actually Judaism being a religion of laws , the rabbis recognized that Laws do change or have to adapt with the times and re interpret them accordingly. As such no rabbi today calls for stoning of homosexuals though the Hasidim do observe strict Shabbath and gender segregation. No one called a shabbath violator or an apostate from Judaism to be killed. though they do perform a death ritual for that individual

      You assume too much , most Americans were NOT agnostic/atheists in the 50s and 60s and that goes for the scientists and engineers as well.
      Especially in the paranoid 50s when a less than religious person was considered a communist of some sort. You can be sure that such people are not likely to receive security clearances to work on such projects for better or worse
      The scientists as extreme atheist is a recent trend.

      The problem with this "I am a victim, I am discriminated" hysteria is that ultimately it gets out of control and you are left with what is too weird even for the twilight zone

      Hard Rock Café Removes Ad as Guitar playing orangutan is found offensive
      People now whining extroverts have social privilege
      Clorox accused of racism for wondering why there is no bleach emoji
      Fracking is a feminist issue
      High school coach"Help me burn down a bakery that wont cater to gay wedding"
      Straight women in baggy clothes appropriating Lesbian culture

      and many more here

      THIS is the world your princess and the pea victim groups have created, constant whining and persistent victim mentality irrespective of their wealthy and privileged upbrining.


    16. I was talking about homophobia specifically, but I don't support the general trend of victim culture. Not all gays are wealthy and privileged that is a stereotype. What about those down-to-earth people in tough and competitive work environments, high-school teenagers etc who really go through living hell from bullies and tattlers? There is a world between the victim culture and intolerance. Fundies on the right-wing fuel cranks on the left.

      I was talking about Christianity rather than Judaism. Yes most Jews nowadays take a liberal approach to religion but another factor is that Jews are also relatively irreligious in modern times.

      "You can be sure that such people are not likely to receive security clearances to work on such projects for better or worse"

      That explains why scientists today are more irreligious than their forebears. But scientists in the past largely held unorthodox religious beliefs if they weren't faking their entire religiosity for the reasons you mentioned. At times, their religiosity came in the way of scientific thinking like the 19th century physicists who refused to accept that the Universe could be older than what the Bible says or Darwin's struggle to compromise his discoveries with his faith.

    17. What are you living in the 1950s? SInce when are gays the target of bullies in the last 20 years atleast. If anything they are the cock of the walk! It is considered a hate crime to say anything untoward against gays.
      There was this reality TV star who stated that he doesn't see the appeal of homosexuality and that he prefers female genatalia. And there was this jihad against him to get him fired from the show.

      This is what you are dealing with now.
      To simply dismiss such trends this as the reation against right wing fundies is not just sloppy thinking but downright immoral. The left wing is responsible for its own inquisitions and calls to "holy" war against those who don't subscribe to its tenets.
      I would take issue with the very term "homophobia" as its a nonsensical one like "Islamophobia" which indicates a fear of gays rather than a personal dislike for their lifestyle choices.

      You mentioned the Book of Leviticus so I brought a fundamentalist Jewish sect which doesn't practice most of what is prescribed in that text.

      Most scientists in the past operated within the bounds of science. There are very few who were considered apostates by modern standards.
      Charles Darwin ,himself a Deist, posited that the earth wasn't created in a 6 days or spontaneously. Well ancient Jewish and Christian scholars rarely took the Bible as literally as it became fashionable after the Counter Reformation.

      BTW Ibn Khaldun, a rather religious guy, was a fore runner of Darwin when it came to evolution.

    18. The culture and politics of South America are radically different from those of that of its Northern counterpart. A good chunk of South America was actually pro Nazi , it was not for nothing that fleeing Nazis after the destruction of Germany made a beeline for Brazil and Argentina.

      Racism may have been PC but internment was still out of the realm of bigotry of the era. No less than J Edgar Hoover, the longtime director of the FBI and no friend of civil rights or minorities chastised FDR for his heavy handed approach and said that it made fighting the war even more difficult from their POV.

      Japanese Americans displayed their patriotism when they served honorably in the 442nd regiment


    19. Most scientists in the past operated within the bounds of science. "

      I meant within the bounds of religion, when I say the past I mean predating the 18 century. There is a perverse trend these days to dismiss them as not "real scientists" because they indulged in the crimethink of believing in the supernatural (horror of horrors, cant have that can we!)

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    23. Social opinion is like a pendulum. It swings back and forth to the extremes before settling down and then becomes tradition. All I am saying is the left has made positive contributions towards combating real problems like racism and homophobia although power corrupts, so it needs the right to keep it in check.

      And yes about homophobia. There is a general misconception that phobia means only fear actually it means fear/hatred ie aversion in general. Another misconception is about the meaning of the word theory in the 'Theory of Evolution'.

      And what is this business about lifestyle choices? This argument has already been tried and tested by the conservative lobby and has failed miserably. Numerous 'Conversion therapy' practitioners have abandoned their practice and openly admitted their failure although credit must be given to their courage and open-mindedness to change their mind.

      Fundamentalist Jews don't hand out physical punishments anymore partly because an important element in their jurispudence- the Sanhedrin was broken up after the Jewish-Roman wars. This is a variation of Ubi non accusator ibi non iudex.

      Darwin's problem was not with the age of the Universe but the origin of Man- whether it was from clay as mentioned in Genesis or from apes as deduced from evolution. He faced a lot of flak for accepting the latter.

      Ancient scientists/philosophers who could easily fall under the definition of heretic if not apostate are Galileo, Giordano Bruno, Baruch Spinoza, Nicholas Copernicus among others.

      Rarely? Jewish scholars beginning from Maimonides embraced the mystical tradition of multiple interpretations but only from the Middle ages. Christianity from day 1 has adopted literal interpretation until the Second Vatican council. Counter Reformation was aimed at Protestants who even now swear by literal interpretation.

      Ibn Khaldun's theory would be more accurately described today as Social Darwinism, a pseudo-science. This is the view of life-forms as a sort of ladder from 'primitive' plant-life to the 'pinnacle' humans as if plants and animals have nothing better to do than sit around being primitive. This is the same sort of lazy thinking adapted by National Socialists although the nastiness and hatred was their own addition. Darwin's primary contribution is not his discovery of evolution, but his discovery of evolution from natural selection, a true scientific theory that is supported by facts.

    24. "There is a perverse trend these days to dismiss them as not "real scientists" because they indulged in the crimethink of believing in the supernatural (horror of horrors, cant have that can we!)"

      Ok, which scientists are dismissed thusly? I had previously accepted that Newton was a Christian and a scientist (and also an alchemist and occultist) which is the prevailing view. Modern academics have long past moved on beyond this after recognizing the phenomenon of cultural zeitgeist.


      You don't say :) I thought you respected in religion? Well I am glad that you atleast don't engage in the usual denial and cop-out ("allegory") when it comes to the absurd corners of Faith.

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    26. Just FYI , it was the Republicans who overwhelmingly supported the civil rights issue and passed it into law.
      Even as phobia means aversion, the popular perception is that it means fear and that is why the left has seized upon that term.
      We cant cure pedophilia either as of yet but that doesn't mean we give up.

      Whatever the motivations of Jews for reforming their laws, they did it. If you want to hem and haw and find qualifiers as to WHY they did , you will get nowhere.

      Galileo was considered an apostate because he fell on the way of the politics of the Catholic church. They had little problem as such with his his tinkering with astronomy.
      Same goes for the others

      Much of early Christianity passed through Greek thought and there were multiple schools of interpretation.

      Reformation and Counter Reformation had enormous influence on the hardening of attitudes and viewpoints of both Catholics and Protestant.

      Ibn Khaldun may not have the had the resources of Darwin but he did do solid work . Social Darwinism may be primitive Darwininism but it is still Darwinism. It wasn't considered a pseudo science in the past but only after the terrible PR of the Nazis that it was thrown under the bus as "pseudo science" . Just as socialists wish others to forget that Nazis stands for National SOCIALISTS!

    27. @ Iniyavel

      I agree with your proposition that much of religion is incoherent with science.but the quote "If a bee falls into your water, don't worry. One wing has the disease, the other the cure. " seems to be more of a metaphor and not to be taken literally.

    28. Yeah, I understand what you are talking about re NT and Quran. But then Christians and Muslims would have similar opinions about the Thirumurai ;)

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    30. @SMME I prefer religious codswallop to neo Nazi and Japanese apologist garbage that you bring here like a cat dragging in a half eaten plague ridden rat.

      I honestly find those texts to be far less fantastic than your version of history

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    32. @Premchand
      Well you and others in various forums did ridicule pre Enlightenment scholars in a previous conversation as not real scientists due to their pre modern mindset.
      Us traditionalists believe that we stand on the shoulders on giants while your lot is content with pygmies like Darwin and Marx. The sorry results are there for all to see.

      Believing that much of religion is allegory is not "copping out". I explained why and how god knows how many dozen times. If you still don't understand that and are only able to respond with snark and glibness , then this is your problem not mine.

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    35. @INiyavel

      Why do you allow your mind to be moulded so easily?Religion is a very personal pathway to bringing out your inner potential and goodness,and also enforcing a positive social organization.Technically it should have no conflict with science.For example I believe that the universe was created by the will of God,and I am also ready to accept any future theory of physics which might be able to explain this "divine" will in scientific terms.So what's the problem here?

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    37. Glad you can laugh at yourself. ALl hope is not lost!

      The Japanese and Germans squashed the British power structure thus weakening their hold on the empire. We were the fortunate beneficiares but let us not forget what monsters these were.

      Sure the Japanese had Chinese collaborators, they had even Filipino and Taiwanese collaborators. That's why they are called collaborators

      By this logic I suppose we should absolve the British of any sins they committed in India since they had overwhelmingly Indian support!

      And why do sway so easily to differing beliefs, don't you have a core or base viewpoint from which build all others.
      You speak highly of Tamil civilization which is a worthy foundation but I don't see you influenced by it at all as you keep chasing these willow the wisps of coherence

    38. @Iniyavel

      I did read NT and quran but still I find your point a bit incomprehensible :)

    39. Conservatives and Republicans were not always synonyms. Yes it was the Republicans who also abolished slavery. Nobody is stupid enough to believe that bigots are afraid of gay people. Kindly defend this 'seized upon' point with some references.

      "We cant cure pedophilia either as of yet but that doesn't mean we give up"

      Sorry, I am completely lost here.

      I prefer reform in religion to bigotry. My WHY is simply an attempted explanation of how it happened not a dismissal of the reform. Having reformed their religion, Jews are now strongly leaning towards liberalism.

      Not just politics. It wasn't like Galileo threatened the legitimacy of the Papal office or anything. He was a heretic because he rejected the doctrine of Geocentrism. Even Martin Luther who did indeed go against the church politically would consider Galileo to be a heretic.

      Yeah, there were multiple interpretations with each trying to establish itself as the Truth. Atleast by the Nicene council, the canon of Christian faith was approved and thereafter became the dominant religion. So for most of Christian history, there was one Bible and one interpretation of it.

      Reformation only hardened the opinions about which they disagreed with each other. Their common beliefs like Hell for the unbelievers etc has been hardened since at least the Nicene Council.

      It is not because of the Nazis that SD became a pseuso-science. Science doesn't work through popular opinion! The similarity between Social Darwinism and Darwinism doesn't run much deeper than their names.

      I am fairly certain that I never ridiculed pre-modern scientists. When I mentioned pre-modern discoveries, it would have been to remark on how much science has progressed in the past 3-4 centuries alone.

      I know we stand on the shoulders of giants like Newton said and I respect him unmindful of his non-scientific pursuits because I don't discriminate or engage in Us vs You matches.

      You can criticize Darwin's personal beliefs etc all you want but please don't call him a pygmy w/o understanding half of his ideas. And when did I defend Marx? I know his understanding of economics and society was flawed.

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    41. @JAM

      "Religion is a very personal pathway to bringing out your inner potential and goodness,and also enforcing a positive social organization."

      If you see religion as a source of morality, then well and good. Facts and theories must not come in the way of morals. But that doesn't automatically make religion compatible with science, no matter how badly we wish it to be so.

      Would you accept science only if it proves this 'divine will'?

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    43. @ PremChand

      I see religion as one of the earliest means of mankind to enforce some discipline on the individual mind and the social structure.Religion can only prescribe the best moral path you should tread,it cannot enforce anything on you.Legal system is there to enforce things on you.If you are devoted to your religion,then it is imperative that you will follow the discipline which your religion prescribes.However you are bound to follow the constitution of India but not your religion.This is why I have said that religion is more of an inner journey.Please note that religion is the creation of civilization and not uncivilized man.

      "But that doesn't automatically make religion compatible with science," - what's the need to make it compatible with science?Let religion stay in it's place.You will surely find accomplished Jewish scientists who believe in Jehovah's will more than many ordinary jews do,or stalwart hindu scientists who visit temple or holy places regularly.

      "Would you accept science only if it proves this 'divine will'?" - again you failed to grasp my point in its entirety.This is what I wrote : "I believe that the universe was created by the will of God,and I am also ready to accept any future theory of physics which might be able to explain this "divine" will in scientific terms." -By this I mean that I am open to both religious and scientific interpretation,ie,I would continue to believe in God's will but I would not underestimate physics by saying that it cannot ever explain this will in its own terms.Infact modern physics is trying to incorporate the phenomenon called consciousness within physical definitions.

      I believe it is not religion but real mysticism(in hinduism it is the path of Kundalini,Raja yoga,Tantra etc) which is actually a form of science,albeit a bit different from the physics that we are accustomed to see.But even this physics didnt have the same shape 500 years back.So who knows within the next 500 years in future,the entire structure of physics would completely change to include abstract and mystical notions like consciousness etc.

      @ Iniyavel

      Trying to search science behind the miracle stories of Qurun or NT was incomprehensible to me.Nothing else .

    44. This comment has been removed by the author.

    45. @JAM

      Of course religion was invented by civilized people, but as you said, in the earliest times. In the modern age it is becoming increasingly outmoded and it appears spiritual heads are not doing much to bring religion up to date with the modern world. All we see is evangelicals and bloodthirsty clerics and trickster swamis trying to make a quick buck. Today religion is in a deep crisis.

      Laws can only go so far in controlling our behavior lest it becomes a nanny state. Individual accountability is necessary and contrary to popular opinion, it is possible without traditional religions also.

      Religion is, among other things, an attempted description of our world. While in some ways religion does a pretty good job pf explaining, in others it fails miserably. Any version of "science will validate religion in the future" is an attempt to make these two compatible with each other.

      Today there are more scientists of Jewish origin who have quit their religion or only hold on to it for nostalgia than truly religious scientists.

      A hypothetical question- If science turns out to disprove religion, hypothetically, would you still accept science?

    46. Haha talk about wishful thinking! Religion is not in a deep crisis. Despite all the mud being thrown against it, it still thrives. Perhaps some religions like Islam may split up even more or go underground and reform themselves but they will endure.
      It is the atheists with their low birth rates who are willing themselves out of existence.
      Sure there are trickster swamis out to make a quick buck but so are secularist hucksters like Al Gore and his global warming fraud which has earned his hundreds of millions with this nonsense of carbon credits.
      Global warming is merely one of the many substitute religion for the atheist crowd.

      As GK Chesterton once said "When man stops believing in God, he doesn't believe in nothing, he believes in anything!"

    47. Actually yes the Left is stupid enough to believe that right fears gay people, muslims, blacks and what have you. Jeez man don't you read your own literature? A good start will be The Paranoid Style of American Politics which is a bible for the left when it comes to Right bashing.

      I view homosexuality as a deviance as I do pedophilia. That's what healthy societies. They may tolerate homosexuals as its between consenting adults as opposed to pedophiles which target children. Im sorry I am not interested in being PC and view homosexuality as somewhat normal
      Gays are deviants and gay marriage is a freakshow which only mocks bourgeois and religious sensibilities.

      The WHY is not really relevant because I am not talking about secular Jews but religious ones.
      You had prophets like Jeremiah, Isiah and Amos who implored the Hebrews to observe Gods law more in the spirit than the letter otherwise he would do it for them ie temple destruction.

      My point is no one needs the left.One needs the left like one needs a tumor or an infection. Having leftists in your midst is an indicator of serious decline in your society. A healthy society would keep its left in check.

      And did the Catholic Church execute these so called apostates as was its wont. Oh, who pray were those angelic leftists who came to their rescue as one sees in Hollywood movies!

      Martin Luther was considered an apostate but ended up with his own church.

      "Science does not work through popular opinion" Hahaha keep on dreaming , nowadays science is nothing but consensus building amongst scientists and the best way of getting government grants and contracts from the large corporates. Your view of science is like a devouts view of religion! That it is infallible and incorruptible.
      Fact of the matter is that the "Science" of that era relegated humans to inferior and superior races and hardly any scientists had the courage to come out against it. All the protestations of scientists were ad hoc ...after popular opinion and public policy were against racism.

    48. Religion is not in a deep crisis.. So religiosity is not going in the US? Is it not true that Jews, one of the most intellectual groups are also one of the most irreligious and leftist these days?

      At some point everyone's birth rate will go down for better or for worse as population growth slows down.

      Global warming is not a religion and it is accepted by religious people as well, not just atheists. Even major republican presidential candidates like Romney accepted it for which some fundys tagged them as RINOs. Not to mention most major scientific academies around the world, both public and private sectors. So what, all these people, along with the Nobel committee etc are all lying? Talk about conspiracy mindset. The 'skeptics' are a minority and more often than not libertarians. But even among libertarians, there are some like Michael Shermer who are not GW skeptics.

      The usual comparison of homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality. The American Psychiatric Association has removed homosexuality from its list of afflictions but of course these learned people are all engaging in groupthink and KGB plots dont you know. Only the libertarians are right and of course they never engage in groupthink.

      Next the 'normal' argument. As if air-conditioning, agriculture, plastics etc are 'normal'. This is like the usual hippie 'natural' argument against GM plants but serving a different purpose. So what shall we do about these deviant homosexuals and freakshows, send them to T4 camps?

      Whats with all this foaming in the mouth about mocking sensibilities. This is just live and let live. When we enter the public space, not everything is under our control and pleasing to our sensibilities.

      Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake and Spinoza was stabbed by religious conservatives. Galileo narrowly escaped execution because he was the Pope's friend and also recanted his heresy so I am going to say yes, the Catholic church and its counterparts in other religions did plan to execute them and succeeded occasionally. Left and right did not exist in their time what was that about.

      "Martin Luther was considered an apostate but ended up with his own church."

      Ok.. and that disproves my point how exactly?

      I won't call myself an expert in economics, so I don't comment on the politics in their field. But all this hot air against science is totally unwarranted especially when given without an insight on how the field works or even what discoveries are being made. Scientists used to be more PR-friendly in the past when their grants were from public funds. Now that this has been moved to the private sector, they are only presenting their ideas to corporate heads and public interest in science has declined. But all this is not an argument against contemporary progress in science, especially in fundamental research which does not benefit anyone commercially.

      There were anthropologists, scientists in the 20th century like Claude Levi-Strauss and many others who rejected the conventional racialist school of thought but no lets ignore all that and examine Nazi boogeymen because that's what science is all about. Of course in those times these people kept a low profile, because public opinion was all in favour of racialism. Here you have reversed the direction of causality.

    49. @ Premchand

      "A hypothetical question- If science turns out to disprove religion, hypothetically, would you still accept science?" -Religion is not something to be proven through the route of science.I have said it multiple times,religion is a set of methods to bring out your inner potential in such a way that it will benefit you as well as the community.And I am again repeating,I believe in future physics will have to accept mysticism into their fold.Already scientists are trying to experiment with the phenomenon called consciousness and conscious observation,which even a few decades back was a neglected hocusfocus type of thing among physicists.I believe mysticism is also a whole science in itself.Kundalini does exist,if science chooses to remain blind to this then it is their choice.How else will you explain the positive effects of yogic poses and pranayam on our body,if you do not accept that Patanjali was a great master of human physiology,albeit in his own yogic way?Even modern science is swallowing their pride,by accepting that effects of yogic stretches are deeply scientific in nature.Patanjali didnt have any of the apparatus used by modern science,yet he has gifted the world a whole system of exercise and pranayam which even science is sucking up to at present.So frankly I dont understand your stance of outright rejection of yogic mysticism. Now if you tell me to give empirical evidence that kundalini does enhance our consciousnes to higher dimensions,I cant do that.But I can suggest you to take up a kundalini meditation course(though if you get shocks from kundalini don't blame me :) )

    50. correction: I meant "So religiosity is not going down in the US?"


      Since religion makes claims upon the natural world, some of its claims come under the purvey of science and they can be proved or disproved.

      Yoga can pranayam can help with stress and blood pressure and such ailments, nothing more. Pathanjali would have done a great job for his time in analysing the human physiology, but cannot be compared to modern knowledge of physiology. I specifically don't make these comparisons because I don't want to treat pre-modern scholarship with contempt. However, putting them on a high pedestal also trivializes the sweat and tears expended by modern researchers.

      This stereotype about modern scientists tinkling around with fancy apparatus is also wrong-footed. It is the product of the sci-fi generation. There is much more analysis and thinking to the modern scientific process than what is generally shown in mass media.

      I have mentioned that I used to be much more permissive towards mysticism in the past and despite sincere efforts, found no more results than the serenity etc. but you doubt my sincerity. It is unlikely that we can move forward with this particular topic :)

    51. @ PremChand

      "Yoga can pranayam can help with stress and blood pressure and such ailments, nothing more." - Oh really :) ? Now I am dead certain that you have wrong info/perception regarding yoga,pranayam and the likes .I will elaborate on this point after I get your next feedback over this issue.

      "Pathanjali would have done a great job for his time in analysing the human physiology, but cannot be compared to modern knowledge of physiology." - Rather modern physiology is yet to catch up with the concept of ojas shakti which Patanjali has described through his elaborate process of Hatha yoga.

      "This stereotype about modern scientists tinkling around with fancy apparatus is also wrong-footed. " - Now this seems contradictory to me.You are always searching for empirical evidence on mystic and yogic topics and yet you are not willing to accept the dependence of modern science on instruments.At present science has reached so complicated a stage of development that it is really hard to bring out something new or unforeseen without tinkling the apparatus.THe stage of theoritical and mathematical derivation-based discoveries has passed away.Ofcourse there is analysis and thinking,but my point is that you wont be able to bring out and establish a wholly new theory of physics based solely on paperwork like Newton or Einstein did.That era has passed,science has become far more evolved and complex to be derived through plain thinking.And this is why I think Patanjali deserves credit for what he had done.And yeah I do not think Patanjali's system to be as shallow as you do,but as I said I will elaborate on this only after getting your next response .

    52. I am getting my info from double blind studies that have been performed on yoga practitioners. If someone proves that yoga can cure more serious illnesses like cancer/AIDS, they would be getting a Nobel prize for that.

      I am asking for empirical evidence as a way to validate a claim. If any theory makes a claim about the natural world, it needs to support it with evidence. This is not needed in maths because maths does not attempt to describe reality, it creates its own reality. Other than maths, every other field of inquiry needs to work with evidence, no exceptions :) This is not just my whimsical belief but a cardinal law.

      My point is when mysticism makes such extraordinary claims about reality, where is it getting the empirical data from? If we come up with the facts first and then expect them to be validated by science in the future, then what is the contribution from mysticism? 'Perceiving' it from 'higher dimensions' is neither one thing nor the other. Usually this kind of complexity is smokescreen for mischief.

      No the stage of theory has not passed. Currently there is just a small lull in theoretical physics while experimental physics is chugging on. This happens from time to time. We still have Grand Unified Theory, Theory of Everything, explanation of dark matter etc if at all we can ever achieve all that in Fundamental physics alone.

    53. @ PremChand

      "I am getting my info from double blind studies that have been performed on yoga practitioners. If someone proves that yoga can cure more serious illnesses like cancer/AIDS, they would be getting a Nobel prize for that." - Yoga poses were not meant just for stress/blood pressure.For every study which demeans yoga,there's another study by another group which shows the disease curing effects of yoga poses.Hence I have little faith in these studies as such.Practical experience of practitioners clearly shows that doing a particular set of yoga poses benefits a particular medical condidition effectively.Yeah but I must concede one thing,ie,yogic poses become far more potent and fast in their benefits if you combine modern allopathy with it.But overall yoga helps out in numerous diseases.Pawanmuktasana or yogamudra poses can detoxify the liver easily,which in turn cures many liver ailments over time,or atleast speedens up the recovery process of allopathic medicine.Similarly uddiyan or nauli strengthens all abdominal organs.It has been seen that mandukasana strengthens the pancreas and is helpful in curing some forms of diabetes.As I said in one of my comments while discussing with you in another thread,even modern medical science is cosying up to yoga.I have seen medicine book by western authors who have accepted the fact that yoga does help in cure of a particular disease.

      "No the stage of theory has not passed. Currently there is just a small lull in theoretical physics while experimental physics is chugging on." - Well I dont think any future developments(theory of everything,grand unified field etc) in physics will be possible purely on the basis of theory and without the support of beasts like LHC.My point is not to demean theoritical physics.I am just trying to say that modern physics has progressed too much to be solved on the basis of theory alone.

      Mysticism is about inward journey and expansion of consciousness,something which empirical science is not comfortable with.Modern physics is only trying to make some inroads into the phenomenon of consciousness at present.Science till now was not accustomed with such abstract concepts(though the double slit experiement was proven a few decades ago).Quantum physicists today are accepting the fact that consciousness is probably intricately linked to the reality around us.

    54. Kindly provide a list of the diseases that can be treated by Yoga/Pranayama and peer-reviewed studies where this has been proven. The author of the study being a westerner alone is not an impressive qualification.

      Also, provide a list of quantum physicists who have accepted that consciousness is linked to reality. Not the early 20th century physicists like Bohr or Heisenberg who were attracted to Eastern philosophy out of disillusionment with Abrahamic religions but of course even those physicists never claimed that consciousness is linked to reality.

      I would refer you to the sleeper hit New Age movie 'What the Bleep Do We Know?' which makes the same claim and was roundly panned by scientists from all disciplines.

    55. Aren't you aware of the quantum mind or quantum consciousness hypothesis?AFAIK the phenomenon of consciousness and it's links to quantum mechanics is no more a neglected and ridiculed field of study.The double slit experiment was the first to give a basic indication of this.The real problem is the lack of empirical ways to evaluate and judge consciousness.

      " The author of the study being a westerner alone is not an impressive qualification." - while that is not impressive in itself,my pov was that if an Indian scientist makes the same claims on yoga,there is a chance that he might be internally biased towards the subject of yoga.Not that westerners cant be biased in favour of Indian wisdom,but the relative chance is lesser.
      Yoga/Pranayama does cure diseases.It is about doing and experiencing and not collecting some random research publications for or against it.Even then if you are interested in that,here's a link from ncbi :

      But even then I do not believe in random studies on yoga for or against .I believe more in the real experience of practitioners who are getting medically benefitted through yoga.

    56. @PremChand

      Regarding the list of diseases and the corresponding yoga poses,a yoga teacher will be able to help you out.For example,uddiyan bandha is particularly beneficial for the health of abdominal organs and uterine problems of women.However there are many precuations and intricacies involved in this ,hence I wont try to give too simplistic a picture here.But just showing contempt over yoga and avoiding the branch altogether will help you in no way.

    57. From the paper you cited:

      "managing symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, mood disturbances and stress, and improving quality of life"

      This is exactly what I am saying. Yoga helps with such neurological symptoms and I am glad that it has been studied scientifically. But it doesn't cure cancer and whole lot of other diseases which it is claimed to cure in popular literature.

      "But even then I do not believe in random studies on yoga for or against .I believe more in the real experience of practitioners who are getting medically benefitted through yoga."

      I don't mean to put it so bluntly, but that is a bit nonsensical. Clinical trials and real experience of practitioners are not two different things. These researches are done by actual practioners who are highly qualified otherwise they wont be allowed to publish in reputed journals.

      The double slit experiment demonstrates that light can behave as particle and wave. This has nothing i repeat nothing to do with human consciousness.

      I am not aware of any serious discussion of quantum consciousness in science (see below for an exception) and I have only found it in New Age or the charlatan Deepak Chopra's self-help books.

      Roger Penrose is the only reputed physicist who attempted to merge quantum physics with animal consciousness and he got nowhere with his project. This is worse than fringe opinion in modern physics, however if you are interested I urge you to read a bit on Penrose's work and give a wide berth to anything that looks like New Age or Deepak Chopra :)

    58. JAM, I have mentioned several times that I have practised yoga and felt its benefits which I have noted. Currently my circumstances don't enable me to take up yoga again which is not out of contempt but I will surely take it up at some point in the future.

    59. @ PremChand

      "The double slit experiment demonstrates that light can behave as particle and wave. This has nothing i repeat nothing to do with human consciousness." - I guess you aren't aware of the observer effect in quantum double slit experiment.

      "I don't mean to put it so bluntly, but that is a bit nonsensical. Clinical trials and real experience of practitioners are not two different things." - Yet I would rely on the real experience of practitioners getting cured of diseases using yoga/pranayama.One thing I know for sure,ie,science is yet to catch up the process of internal healing through pranayama /hatha yoga by the activation of dormant ojas shakti to some extent.Let me remain nonsensical if that is what it looks like.And I have no problem with bluntness in the presentation of POV.

    60. Firstly, double slit experiment and observer effect are different although they are both tangentially related to Quantum mechanics.

      I am aware of the usual half-baked generalization of the observer effect to normal human experience seen in New Age literature.

      Its very simple. The observer effect is only powerful at nanometer levels. When you direct a photon at a subatomic particle (say electron), the electron's position/velocity changes. This is because the electron is very tiny. Now if you direct the same photon at a macro-world object like, say a truck the truck's position/velocity is affected negligibly because the truck is orders of magnitude more massive than the photon. So neither the double slit experiment nor the observer effect in physics have anything to do with the complex problem of human consciousness. Consciousness is largely a neurological problem and to some extent philosophical. I hope I got my point across to you.

      Medicine is a multi-billion dollar business. If yoga can cure so many serious ailments, it will get a huge share of the market not to mention a Nobel prize for sure. We can shutter the allopathy cancer research institutes and teach yoga instead.

    61. @ PremChand

      "I am aware of the usual half-baked generalization of the observer effect to normal human experience seen in New Age literature." - It is not as simple as you are making it out .The observer effect is one of the lesser understood parts of quantum physics.One of the broader problems in theoritical physics is that whether the universe as we are seeing would be considered to be existing if there were no consciousness to observe it.

    62. @ PremChand

      "Medicine is a multi-billion dollar business. If yoga can cure so many serious ailments, it will get a huge share of the market not to mention a Nobel prize for sure. We can shutter the allopathy cancer research institutes and teach yoga instead." - the correct comparison of medicine will be with ayurveda and not yoga.Yoga is a long term process and a system of exercise but is sure to benefit anyone who takes it up diligently.But medicine is here to stay because of the shortterm solution that it offers.the original ayurveda of ancient times is dead now and it will never be able to compete allopathy atleast not anytime in the near future.but the popularity of yoga in treating diseases in conjunction with allopathy will only increase in the future.

      Modern global pharmaceutical industry is not all as holy as you think it to be .

    63. The observer effect in Physics is fully understood and its importance to Quantum Mechanics is because of the uncertainty principle. Please cite any contemporary physicist who says observer effect is not fully understood. We have moved far ahead in Quantum Mechanics with Quantum chromodynamics and Quantum electrodynamics. It is said that Quantum electrodynamics is the most perfect scientific theory humans have come up with.

      "One of the broader problems in theoritical physics is that whether the universe as we are seeing would be considered to be existing if there were no consciousness to observe it."

      Firstly life is essential for consciousness. The Universe may have turned out a different way, without life but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist! The Moon doesn't have life but that doesn't means that its craters and rocks which are not seen by conscious eyes don't exist. What you are talking about here is not a scientific problem, but a philosophical one and a rather trivial one at that.

    64. I don't think the pharmaceutical industry is holy I am aware of Big Pharma. Here I have to quote Ben Goldacre: “Repeat after me: pharma being shit does not mean magic beans cure cancer.” His words not mine.

    65. There is no evidence whatsoever that yoga can cure cancer short-term or long-term. Sure, it can lessen the symptoms like pain but not cure.

      If yoga can cure cancer, it would mean yoga teachers don't die of cancer, but they do, even without unhealthy habits like smoking.

    66. @ PremChand

      you have better knowledge than me on finer aspects of quantum mechanics,hence I am asking you a question.Doesnt the theories of quantum physics advocate that the past of a quantum phenomena gets shaped up only with the present observation?

      I was not arguing about cancer specifically.but yoga does cure a host of other diseases and ailments.
      On the point of pharma,your quoting of Ben Golacre's line is pretty much an overkill.I have already admitted the fact that allopathy is here to stay because ayurveda is down and out,unless vigorous investments and r&D is initiated in the field of plant based medicine,but even then it will take many many years to substitute allopathy with something more natural or holistic,keeping in mind the muscle power of pharma sector.I mentioned the point of pharma industry in response to your line on cancer research institutes.Cancer treatment and care is alone turning out into a multibillion dollar industry,and hence my suspicion .

    67. The direction of causality is always forward whether it is quantum or macroscopic phenomena. In other words, the present cannot affect the past according to our current understanding of physics.

      My point about yoga and cancer also applies for other diseases like diabetes, Parkinsons, Alzheimers etc.

      With or without R&D, I doubt that herbal systems like Ayurveda will go beyond a certain level, because from an evolutionary perspective it makes no sense that plants would hold the cure for all sorts of myriad human ailments beyond the common ones.

      I have to admit that part of the reason for the booming business in cancer is because of higher cancer rates caused by carcinogenic chemicals and toxins in the environment. So in a way this is a modern human-created problem.

    68. @ PremChand

      "With or without R&D, I doubt that herbal systems like Ayurveda will go beyond a certain level, because from an evolutionary perspective it makes no sense that plants would hold the cure for all sorts of myriad human ailments beyond the common ones." - Going by this logic,even common problems shouldnt have been solved by neem or tulsi leaves,as they are from a wholly different biological system or different line of evolution.

      "I have to admit that part of the reason for the booming business in cancer is because of higher cancer rates caused by carcinogenic chemicals and toxins in the environment. " -yeah it is a valid point,but my worry is that cancer research/care and treatment processes have become so lucrative a business that I doubt they will ever accept any easier and cheaper treatment alternative to the disease.The whole pharma sector is a big den of moral corruption.

    69. @PremChand

      What's your opinion on the fact that Stephen Hawking recently admitted that intelligent design of the universe is highly probable(the fine-tuned universe hypothesis)?

      Again what do you think about people's testimonials that pranayam has helped them in curing cancer/tumour and a host of other diseases etc?
      The above two questions are not to argue with you but to know your views,as you have far better knowledge than me on the aspects of modern physics :)

    70. @ PremChand

      I forgot to mention this point.Our brains create a separate reality of its own in vivid dreams.At that time we cannot distinguish between the created universe and out original world unless we wake up.Hence I think that our consciousness and brain processes are intricately linked to the reality around us.For example we cannot see beyond visible light range,and cannot interact beyond 3 dimensional reality.But if it were possible,probably we would have experienced a different reality around us.My point is that it is our consciousness which shapes the reality.
      As you are sceptical about Kundalini meditation,you will reject this ,but yogis who raise kundalini to the 1st chakra(mooladhar chakra) start sensing their individual consciousness floating on the ocean of cosmic consciousness.
      As of now science doesnt have the reqd gadget to dive deep into these things,but I believe the near future holds more secrets that will be deciphered on the point of consciousness.

    71. Common problems like fever etc have herbal cures because for millions of years animals and humans would have selected plants and participated in their evolution for their pharmaceutical properties. That explains why plants produce chemicals that doesn't help in the plant's survival. Usually bitter plants have antibiotic compounds and animals and ancient humans would have unknowingly consumed them when they felt ill.

      The pharma industry is greedy about patents. That is why ayurvedic remedies are neglected- because they cannot be patented.

      Regarding Stephen Hawking, he usually makes hypothetical statements that are sometimes misunderstood. Could you pls give me a quote from him so I can clarify? Meanwhile here is another quote from Hawking which I took from wikipedia:

      "We are each free to believe what we want and it is my view that the simplest explanation is there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization. There is probably no heaven, and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that, I am extremely grateful."

      It might be that they are talking about the symptoms like pain, etc. It could be that they underwent conventional treatment like surgery, chemo and at the same time did yoga and the cure was because of the former. I am not dead certain that yoga doesn't cure cancer. What we need is rigorous clinical trials to show whether it cures or not.

      You have touched on a very interesting topic objectivity vs subjectivity. I believe that reality exists objectively and this is the consensus among modern scientists and philosophers. Our brain and sensory organs are the only tools we have to experience reality. So what we experience subjectively is determined by the capability of these organs. If our eyes can only see visible light, we experience the world only in visible light and so on. However, instruments outside our body can be used to extend our sensory perception eg infrared/UV sensors.

      When our brains create a separate reality for our consumption, it is not the same as objective reality, but a shadow of that reality. For eg, when some is playing music when we are asleep, it appears in our dream as something else.

      Here is a rational explanation of out of body experiences:

      If you are interested, check this link for a skeptical take on how Quantum physics is used by mystics. But you might find it a bit objectionable :)

    72. JAM & Prem Chand, sorry for barging in like this but how can you explain the behavior of kids who remember their past lives, which has been studied by Ian Stevenson

      Or those with near death experiences who could recall what all had transpired after their supposed 'death'. From this source (
      One man, however, gave a “very credible” account of what was going on while doctors and nurses tried to bring him back to life – and says that he felt he was observing his resuscitation from the corner of the room.

    73. Lets divide this into two problems- out of body experience and past life memory. I believe the article I mentioned above satisfactorily explains about of body experience.

      The problem with Stevenson's work is that it is anecdotal and not sufficiently peer-reviewed. Many who did review his work have criticized his possible gullibility and neglect of confirmation bias.

    74. @ Anu

      The phenomenon of recalling past life does exist,there is just enough instances of this from collective human experience.But as science in general does not endorse this idea of spirituality,so I guess scientists are yet to open up their minds on this :) One of my own relatives had this power or recalling his past life in his early life (upto the age of 6-7 years),and strangely his claims regarding his past life were found to be true!but his family chose not to popularise and bank on the matter.He had another strange power in his childhood,ie,he could predict certain things with ease.For example he would claim that one particular fruit or flower is going to fall off from the plant,and strangely that fell off withn a few seconds.Probably this was not a prediction but that he could direct his will power on that particular flower or fruit,so that it fell off on its own.He lost these powers slowly from the age of 5.He himself doesn't recall any of this today as an adult :)
      Regarding NDEs ,there is a scientific explanation that our brain might be fooling us.You might be interested to know that Prof Sarkar had written a book named "In search of the Soul"(rough english translation).There he had discussed elaborately this topic of NDE,past life etc.He clearly wrote that he could understand many of the NDE experiences and books have exaggarated the matter too much :) Prof Sarkar had seen the structure of the higher realms through his meditation and hence he could understand this.Also yogis who have raised their kundalini to the Ajna will be able to tell the underlying truth behind any claim just by focussing on the Jyoti Samudra of Ajna.Hence I guess Prof Sarkar might have detected the lies and falsehoods through this also.But all is not false.Human soul does exist and NDEs are real.
      Prof Sarkar was categorical on one point regarding past-life/reincarnation etc.He clearly mentioned with authority that a muslim/christian /jew might despise the theory of reincarnation as much as they like,but reincarnation according to Karmic principle is the only truth.No amount of believing in the qurun or Bible will save you from reincarnation,unless your own Karmic frequency is strong enough to take your soul to the level of Ajna chakra.In some cases,souls might automatically rise from lower chakras to higher chakras without reincarnation also,but that is also possible because of their good karma.This is the one thing which I find is highly stressed in the instructions of the Quran and Bible(particularly the quran),ie,accumulation of good karma.hence like the modern Hindutva online warriors(who are however not visible offline in the real world :) ) ,I do not bash the Quran and Bible unduely.
      Out of the body experiences are not uncommon.But prof sarkar wrote that practising out of the body meditation,bringing the soul out of the body through meditation, might not be all that beneficial .He mentioned that this in itself is not as tough as it sounds and practising meditation for a few days under correct guidance will give success.But he was sceptical about its spiritual benefits and/or associated dangers.he recommended serious aspirants of spirituality to take up kundalini yoga instead,which will eventually give them the supreme realisation.BTW when you visit distant planets or higher dimensions in kundalini meditation,that is not because your soul is visiting these places,but because the frequency of consciousness is matching with the frequencies of these places,hence you see these places vividly inside your eyes,just like the olden days TV antenna grabbing the signal and showing the pic.

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    78. YSV my comment addressed to PremCHand is getting spammed multiple times.Please check it.


    79. @ PremChand

      This is the fourth time I am putting the comment :) zionism has reached even YSV's blog :P

      "Common problems like fever etc have herbal cures.." -Even then the fact remains,ie,the first set of plants had medicinal properties for the first set of humans who had experimented it :) I believe this is because nature in herself is a conscious/intelligent entity.Hence rig veda had focussed so highly on nature worship.Anyway you won't agree with me and no probs with that :)

      "The pharma industry is greedy about ....." - Yeah this is a point where I am in complete agreement with you.I believe that ayurveda could have been resurrected back to some extent but then the problem is that they might rob the profit making pharma industry.

      "It might be that they are talking about the symptoms like pain ..." -Well i accept the logic in your point.But the fact is that onfield experience tells a completely different story.If you ask the persons who visit the Ramdev yoga camps,and are doing pranayam 1 hr everyday for the last 9-12 months (as prescribed by ramdev) ,you will be amazed to know the list of dangerous ailments which they have cured solely with regular pranayama(and in many cases the ayurvedic medicinal supplements which patanjali yogpeeth prescribed for them).A few days back I saw in the live telecast of Ramdev's yga shibir,many people were thanking Ramdev with all their heart for curing their ailments.Look you can say that some of the online testimonials and some of the people in the yoga shivirs might be implants of Ramdev himself,but still I dont think all of it is fake.A sikh army officer who was attending the shivir told his experience how the pranayam cured his almost failed kidney,which allopathy doctors had suggested to be removed .
      Regarding the clinical trials,do they give enough time to the test group.For reasonable improvements,a minimum of 6-9 months should be given to the pranayam schedule.Also what's your opinion about the testimonials below :

      Some of the testimonials can be fake,but there are just so many thanksgivings to Ramdev's pranayam all over the net that I doubt whether all of them are being paid by Ramdev or are faking :) Then there's this link(below):

      Also check the link below :

      In the comments section of the above link check one comment made by someone named Rajesh.You will understand what I am trying to convey.The ground reality clearly says that people are getting benefitted from pranayam specially on a large scale.This is why I have started doubting the clinical trials which give a totally negative report.I am not doubting their intent,I am just doubting their methodology(ie duration of time,discipline of the test group etc).Please note that this is not to debate with you :) I am asking for your opinion,as you said you are experienced in yoga.

      Now coming to the point of Stephen Hawking ,here's his quote : " "The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. ... The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life."

      Sorry it was not intelligent design,it was more about finetuned universe.But the fact is that going by calculations the probability of a fine tuned universe starting from vacuum fluctuation is so overwhelmingly odd that it does seem something or someone willed to bring out the life-sustainining universe in the first place.It might be the will of the process itself(as Hawking believes since he doesnot believe in God).

    80. @ Premchand

      no luck bro :) I again tried to load the comment and it got spammed .

    81. we were having such a good discussion before this Rothschild sponsored spam filter started interfering :P !

    82. May be it is filtering you message because of particular words you have typed. One option is to find out those words and bowdlerize them like our Captain does. For example: bull$hit.

    83. I don't still understand why messages get spammed every now and then...Anyway I put it up. I check messages in the mail but cant participate as am real busy till the weekend due to some projects which fell in my lap. Anyway you folks enjoy!

    84. @ YSV

      Thanks for that.And bad luck,we are dearly missing you in the discussions :) Anyway try to visit and participate whenever you have free time.

    85. Ok finally your comments got displayed, but all four of them :D. I commiserate with your frustration JAM.

      "Even then the fact remains,ie,the first set of plants had medicinal properties for the first set of humans who had experimented it"

      The first set of plants produced (rudimentary) medicinal compounds because of random mutation. Of course random mutation alone cannot explain why a particular gene like the one that produces medical compounds survives for many generations. It does because in every generation humans have selected the plants with medical properties hence they survived until present day. The same process is involved in the evolution of dairy cows and agricultural crops.

      It is possible to conduct clinical trials over several months. Heck some clinical trials have been conducted over decades. But I doubt Mr. Ramdev will allow that when so much money is involved. Before I read your link, I had no idea about what a big business he is running. Whether it is pharma or Ramdev, it is all business :)

      Ultimately only the evidence gathered from clinical trials which have been conducted properly, rigorously and objectively can tell us the truth. It is customary even for charlatans to put up online sites where people post rosy testimonials. I have forgotten another point- cancer sometimes relapses on its own without any treatment.

      The site is not allowing me in unless I login.

      If the patients' disease is cured, then well and good. But in some cases the patients neglect to take allopathy treatment, only go for alternative treatment and die. Yes this has also happened which is why rationalists are up in arms against alternative medicine.

      The fine-tuning argument is very famous nowadays. Actually our current knowledge of physics is incomplete so what looks like fine-tuning today might tomorrow be explained by another theory. One of the candidates is multiverse theory- the idea that there are many universes out there. Some universes have physical constants conducive to life while others may not. Our universe obviously would fall under the former category. This is of course not the final argument as I said we are still waiting for the Theory of Everything which may or may not come (hope it does!)

    86. @ PremCHand

      "The first set of plants produced ...." - Your analysis of the point is totally perfect but still I think biologists need more research into understanding how plants became cooperative with animals in the first place,by producing compounds in the first place that would be of greater benefit to the animal kingdom and specifically humans.As I said I dont think it is all that random.Even if it is random,then I must say randomness in the theory of probability/statistics has surpassed all limits and broken all records atleast in this case.

      "It is possible to conduct clinical trials ..." - to be frank I doubt the efficacy of the clinical trials for the reasons I have mentioned in my previous comment.Note that this is not to demean the scientists involved in the trials or the power of science,but out of my suspicion for the activities of test group in case of long trials spanning some months or years as you are hinting at.
      You are missing out an important point on the comparison of Ramdev with Pharma,ie,the main thing with which Ramdev got popular is his simplified pranayam practice(the original vedic/rajayoga versions of these pranayams are more complicated) ,which is freely available all over the net and in the TV programs that are telecast daily.He isnt charging a single penny for watching his videos where he teaches yoga/pranayam.Money is required for every activity to sustain itself in an economy,hence I do not blame him for the relatively nominal fees that he charges in the yoga camps.
      But the fact remains,ie,if you interact with people who are practising his pranayam on a daily basis for a few months,you will see many of them joyfully describing how the practice cured them of chronic diseases for which the only answer in allopathy is lifelong drug support.

      "If the patients' disease is cured.... "- yeah here i completely agree with you.Infact Ramdev himself recommends all persons to take up the pranayam practice only as an alternative and not ditch allopathy until the symptoms are completely cured.He says that the chronic diseases or the incurable diseases(through allopathy) will be cured with the combination of allopathy and pranayam.Hence I do not club ramdev into the same group as pharma giants like you are doing :)
      And in this case when somebody puts up a rosy testimonial,I have seen in mostly such people were tired of using allopathy to just keep their ailments in check,while after they combine pranayam with allopathy,they get permanent and complete cure(like in the case of getting back a fully functional kidney which I mentioned in my last comment).If you read the testimonials you will see most of them are of this nature,and most of them do not encourage you to pay Ramdev and join the yoga bandwagon.They just request you to add pranayam with your conventional treatment .This is the fundamental difference between ramdev and pharma.

    87. "Actually our current knowledge . ... " - But now you are contradicting yourself :) In one of your previous comments,you clearly mentioned that you dont accept there can be more dimensions beyond the 3 dimensions and time.All the extra dimensions,according to you,are the creations of string theorists who try to match up the equations.I believe this was your opinion.Now multiverse theory is inherently dependent on the fact that there are more dimensions than 3.Anyway I personally believe in this possibility,ie,every possible universe in every possible condition has been created.This is something which Ramakrishna had hinted,when he was asked about the concept of ether(which had become a very popular theory at that time) and universe.I am roughly translating his bengali words " Whatever theory you might create,I have seen infinite number of universes getting created and destroyed on the KaranSagar(ocean of cosmic consciousness) every second." Ramakrishna,it seems,had touched the multiverse theory much before modern physics had taken it up :) Another interesting thing is that Ramakrishna is saying the whole creation and destruction of universes are occuring every moment.This is also something which mathematicians say,ie,in the higher dimensions ,what is a million years to us might be a second there,or even time might not hold any significance in a multidimensional reality. I would like to have your opinion on this.

    88. JAM, I have very clearly stated that our current knowledge is incomplete, that multiverse theory is one of the candidates, and that this is not the final argument. For the sake of clarity let me reiterate that I don't believe in the multiverse theory. However I care more about facts than opinions hence I didn't mention my personal opinion here.

      You would doubt the efficacy of an objectively conducted trial, but believe in in hearsay and internet testimonials? The trial can be conducted by yoga practitioners themselves not necessarily scientists. The principle is very simple.

      The free online yoga sessions may be free trial but I am sure Ramdev has private clients from whom he makes a lot of money.

      "He says that the chronic diseases or the incurable diseases(through allopathy) will be cured with the combination of allopathy and pranayam."

      I agree with Ramdev completely. A combination of allopathy and pranayam cures serious ailments like cancer. Because allopathy provides the cure and pranayam does nothing.

      "Even if it is random,then I must say randomness in the theory of probability/statistics has surpassed all limits and broken all records atleast in this case."

      How so?

    89. JAM, If the patients' disease is cured, then well and good. But in some cases the patients neglect to take allopathy treatment, only go for alternative treatment and die. I agree with Prem Chand on this. Yoga and pranayama help improve the quality of life and ensure better physical and mental health but I don't think they can cure diseases. I'm giving you an example of my distant relative from Bengaluru. He had high blood pressure and he had learnt yoga and Pranayam from "Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana" in Bengaluru and not through TV. His blood pressure had normalized and he stopped taking his meds. Then one day, his blood pressure shot up and he had a brain hemorrhage and he died. If only he had taken his meds, maybe he would be still alive today.

    90. JAM, Regarding NDEs ,there is a scientific explanation that our brain might be fooling us. Sure, there is a scientific explanation but my question is how do some of them accurately describe what happened when they were lying dead on the operation table. Some even describe the surgical instruments used and all that as if they had watched everything from above.

    91. @ Anu

      "JAM, If the patients' disease is cured, then well and good. But in some cases the patients neglect to take allopathy treatment, only go for alternative treatment and die. I agree with Prem Chand on this. " - If you check my comment ,you will find that I myself have agreed completely with the observation of PremChand.Premchand has made a very apt observation here,actually.I never support complete replacement of allopathy with pranayam,I always mean to keep it only complimentary to allopathy.

      " Then one day, his blood pressure shot up and he had a brain hemorrhage and he died. If only he had taken his meds, maybe he would be still alive today." - THis condition exactly matches with one of my relatives also,though in my case,he didnt die immediately after brain hemorrhage and lived for 1 or 2 years with reduced brain functions.It was pathetic to see a previously healthy person live like an imbalanced person in the last few days of his life.Coming to the point,in his case the BP shot up because he had worried excessively on that day when hemorrhage occurred.And he didnt practise any pranayam,he just relied on BP tablets prescribed by the doctor.Probably he forgot to take his meds that day.But my point is that probably you cannot blame BP shooting up on pranayam(though I dont know the details in your relative's case).I think it was due to some abrupt irregularity on his part,like it was in case of my relative,who btw didn;t practise any pranayam and relied only on allopathic meds.My point is that neither in my relative's case does it indicate a failure of allopathy,nor in your case should it indicate a failure of pranayam.Moreover,I am not sure what the yoga routine was that had been prescribed to your relative.For high bp patients,the only routine prescribed is the Anulomvilom,Sheetali pranayam,chandrabhedana pranayam(this one is optional) along with shavasana after the pranayam session is over.Some mild yoga poses can be recommended,as mild yoga doesnt generally make bp go high.Infact bp can climb with non yogic exercises more than it can with yoga.

      Now I am telling you why I have started thinking that the healing powers of Pranayam might not be all bogus.One of my sister's school teacher had been suffering from advanced 3rd stage cancer.The doctors didnt give her family much hope for a cure(as is the usual case in some advanced cancer patients).But strangely when she combined daily pranayam with her chemo routhine, her health started showing steady and gradual improvement.It seemed that the same chemotherapy and allopathy which was previously only sustaining her life,now got healing powers.BTW this teacher is a christian who had little faith in Hindu babas previously,but now she leads a healthy life and never misses her pranayam schedule.
      My point is that among the alternative therapies,pranayam and yoga should be experimented more by the doctors before abruptly rejecting them on the basis of a limited span test group methodology.Because whatever you might say,the ground reality suggests that people are getting benefitted by pranayam,particularly in some cases where allopathy can only recommend lifelong drug support .

      AS a final point,check this link below :

      I am quoting the second-last paragraph :

      "This department has researched into our ancient wisdom also and has discovered that combination of yoga, pranayam, meditation and sudershan kriya-a rhythmic breating process induces positive changes in brain. These processes enhance antioxidant defence and immune functions of body, and thus may prevent onset and/or progression of cancer."

      Note that this comes from the observation of AIIMS doctors.I am not saying that this is itself is the ultimatum on pranayam,but atleast it suggests doctors have noticed the benefits of pranayam.Anyway I am open to both of your views on this.

    92. @ Anu

      "Sure, there is a scientific explanation but my question is how do some of them accurately describe what happened when they were lying dead on the operation table" - I did mention that not all NDEs are fake :) But prof sarkar spoke against a few popular NDE books which,according to him,had exaggarated the descriptions to glorify the respective authors probably.Not all NDEs are fake.If you can bring out your soul out of your body through meditation,then why not NDE?

    93. @ Anu

      I don't remember at this time but there is one popular NDE book by a famous female author(she actually became famous with her NDE).I dont remember her name,but she wrote the book probably in the 80s or 90s and the concept of NDE became famous worldwide mostly because of her bestselling book.Shit I cant remember her name at this moment(she was most probably british or american ).Prof Sarkar clearly mentioned in one of his books written on the scientific analysis of nature of soul,that the claims in this book were very much exaggarated,but ofcourse the whole of it was not a lie.It was just that many parts pertaining to the description of heaven etc given by the author(who has passed away I think) were hyperinflated,according to Prof Sarkar .

    94. @JAM

      There is no mechanism through which Pranayam which is enhanced breathing or Yoga which is stretching can possibly cure cancer. Worse, it also claimed that they can cure multiple diseases which all have different causes and symptoms. Usually when such grandiose claims are made, it is not true.

      For example in the West in 19th century, unscruplous salesmen would prepare concoctions from this and that sell it saying it cures a variety of diseases like headache, fever, cramps, diarrhea, and so on. They might get cured for some other reason and it would be claimed that the medicine has worked. If the disease was not cured, it was not popularized and people fell victim to confirmation bias. One such 'medicine' also had a pleasant taste and it was later sold as soda. It became very popular and now we drink it in the name of Pepsi and Coca-Cola.

    95. @ PremChand

      Even then I think pranayam and yoga is qualitatively different from a fake life saving soda drink :P And on this point of fake life savers,even there are claims that reciting some bible lines can cure cancer :) But my belief is that pranayam/yoga are a better candidate for alternative healing therapies than any of the other competitors,like those miracle soda :) But thanks for sharing this soda info,had a long laugh on this :)

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    97. @JAM

      We still need the mechanism of how yoga and pranayam can cure multiple diseases like an all-in-one-formula, and in that respect, I still hold that they are similar to the 19th century concoctions. Also, off subject I have to note that the modern pharma industry evolved out of these snake oil salesmen hence it still has a whiff of that immorality :P

      Pharma research currently relies too much on trial and error and needs to become more scientific.


      Phenolic compounds being antioxidants can help in cancer prevention, but antioxidants are not very effective in treating especially advanced stages of cancer.

      My granfather was given Siddha treatment for about 4 years for his cancer but ultimately he succumbed to it.

    98. @ Premchand

      Forgot to mention,going by the amount of soda I have consumed till now (the figure will run into 1000 gallons atleast :P ) ,I should be immortal by now LOL

      @ Iniyavel

      To be frank I would rely more on hatha yoga than I would on ayurvedic wisdom.This is because the ancient prowess of ayurveda has been lost.It is said that our ancient scriptures has described the use of more than 5000 different kinds of medicinal plant species.But at present most of these plants cant be identified properly,and the major blame for this lies on the Islamic invasions where our ancient seats of learning were destroyed,and a gap in the flow of knowledge was created.I believe modern ayurveda is only a shadow of the past,and as Premchand pointed out ,pharma industry is least interested in researching ayurveda due to lack of profitability.But the govt should become proactive in researching the last remnants of ayurveda and keeping the knowledge from getting lost permanently.Who knows,if we can sustain continued r&d in the field of ayurveda,we might recover much of the ancient wisdom on this field,or even create far better herbal medicines than our ancestors had created,with the help of modern science.
      The bottomline is that at present siddha and ayurveda should not be relied upon for serious diseases atleast.

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    100. JAM, I too don't know all the facts that led to my relative's death. So, I wouldn't want to blame Pranayam, yoga or allopathy.

      how do some of them accurately describe what happened when they were lying dead on the operating table This is what I actually meant to ask. Decreased oxygen supply to the brain may cause hallucinations and make a person experience OBE, see a white light or pass through a tunnel and such things but how can you explain this part when that person exactly describes what all happened in the operation theatre after he resuscitates. He was clinically dead for at least for a few minutes and his sense organs weren't functioning then, right? Then how did he 'see' or 'hear' things during that period and that too from an aerial view?

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    102. @Anu

      They may have been declared dead by inept or tired doctors who were not alert. We can't expect medical practitioner to do their job perfectly 100% of the times. Some errors do creep in. The problem with the evidence here is that it is in the region of 'statistical noise'. That is why most people are not convinced that OBEs are real.

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    104. @ Premchand & Iniyavel

      "They may have been declared dead by inept or tired doctors who were not alert" - This still doesnt solve the query of Anu on aerial view.I do not consider either OBE or NDE to be anything unbelievable,since I believe human soul exists.

    105. @JAM

      Often those who experience OBE feel that they are looking down upon themselves. This can happen due to a mixture of hallucinations and imaginations. If the person involved also believed in a soul like you, JAM, it would be that much easier to convince themselves they had a genuine OBE. But even OBEs are more believable than visiting other planets and galaxies through meditation.

    106. @ PremChand

      "But even OBEs are more believable than visiting other planets and galaxies through meditation." - There is very little we know about the inner space inside your body,and particularly the horizon through our eyebrows inside the closed eye (along the line of the ajna chakra).Hence yogis call the human body a "colour box" for the vast panoroma of experiences it throws up to the mind when you start looking inward (in the right way).The only religion which has fully assimilated this aspect is our Sanatan Dharma.This is not to demean any other religion but some things need to be put in the right perspective.There is still very little science knows about chaitanya and ojas shakti inside the human body.

    107. @PremChand

      "Its very simple. The observer effect is only powerful at nanometer levels. When you direct a photon at a subatomic particle (say electron), the electron's position/velocity changes." - I revisited some physics forums in the meantime.Now I think you have confused Heisenburg uncertainty principle with observer effect.However I cannot blame you fully for this,except for creating some confusion in my mind :) ,since even serious students of physics confuse the two.And after searching in details on the net,I think modern physics is yet to come up with a single definiton or explanation for the observer effect.There are multiple theories as of now on the observer effect.Howeever the phenomena of HUP is now completely understood and you have misfired it on the observer effect.The above instance of the system you gave doesnot indicate observer effect,it is more of an explanation of HUP.
      Anyway thanks for confusing me :) I had to revisit the physics forums where I used to spend hours in the past and it was pretty nostalgic.I spent much of my college life reading modern physics discussions on the net.

    108. @JAM

      You have taken a single line from my comment without looking at the rest of the comment and have declared me confused. I am fairly certain I made the distinction between HUP and observer effect. One could say that the observer effect is a subset of HUP. Please go back to my comment and read it entirely. Again I hold that the observer effect is fully understood like HUP. So far I have not seen evidence to the contrary :)

      However, I think the point you are trying to make is about wave-function collapse rather than observer effect, am I right?

    109. @ PremChand

      OK so if you have been irked with my copying of the main statement in your comment,then I am giving the whole comment of yours :

      "Its very simple. The observer effect is only powerful at nanometer levels. When you direct a photon at a subatomic particle (say electron), the electron's position/velocity changes. This is because the electron is very tiny. Now if you direct the same photon at a macro-world object like, say a truck the truck's position/velocity is affected negligibly because the truck is orders of magnitude more massive than the photon. So neither the double slit experiment nor the observer effect in physics have anything to do with the complex problem of human consciousness. Consciousness is largely a neurological problem and to some extent philosophical. I hope I got my point across to you." - Now what difference does it make to your proposition?I copied the whole para instead of the main line in your comment.You have explained the HUP in the name of observer effect.

      "One could say that the observer effect is a subset of HUP. Please go back to my comment and read it entirely. Again I hold that the observer effect is fully understood like HUP. " - If this is your proposition then I would say you are still confused.HUP is not a subset of observer effect neither is it the other way round.They are similar phenomena and that is the reason why people always confuse the two.But while HUP has been explained totally,even today,physicists propose multiple hypothesis for observer effect.

      I am giving a few links :

      All of the above articles touch on the point of confusion between HUP and observer effect and people wrongly confusing the two .
      Even then if you don't want to believe me ,just do a google search with the tag line "confusing HUP with observer effect/HUP and observer effect are different" type of keywords ,and you will get probably a hundred more links where this issue on confusion has been addressed.As a final touch,I am quoting from wiki HUP article :

      Historically, the uncertainty principle has been confused[6][7] with a somewhat similar effect in physics, called the observer effect, which notes that measurements of certain systems cannot be made without affecting the systems. Heisenberg offered such an observer effect at the quantum level (see below) as a physical "explanation" of quantum uncertainty.[8] It has since become clear, however, that the uncertainty principle is inherent in the properties of all wave-like systems,[9] and that it arises in quantum mechanics simply due to the matter wave nature of all quantum objects. Thus, the uncertainty principle actually states a fundamental property of quantum systems, and is not a statement about the observational success of current technology.[10] It must be emphasized that measurement does not mean only a process in which a physicist-observer takes part, but rather any interaction between classical and quantum objects regardless of any observer.

      Even then if you want to group the two at all into a related set,then it is HUP which will be a basic subset of the observer effect in case of electronics .But I have clearly understood that scientists who know both,do not group them into same category.THey are vastly different in their nature,and HUP has been explained fully at present.

    110. @ PremChand

      I should have touched this point earlier.I got so engrossed in discussing yoga with you that I completely missed this out.While revisiting the older comments on this thread yeasterday,I read this one and decided to address it.

      "Firstly life is essential for consciousness. The Universe may have turned out a different way, without life but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist! The Moon doesn't have life but that doesn't means that its craters and rocks which are not seen by conscious eyes don't exist. What you are talking about here is not a scientific problem, but a philosophical one and a rather trivial one at that." -

      Now I am copying the whole para or else it might irk you again :) But to be frank in the counter argument I will be making,only taking your first line would have been sufficient :)
      You are fundamentally wrong in your observation.The theory of non-existence of universe without any consciousness states that if there is no "aware" entity to feel and observe the universe/multiverse ,then it is as good as non existent.It is a phiosophical problem but not a very trivial one,ie,if you give a deeper thought to this.Imagine if there is no self-conscious entity to observe/feel/understand the multiverse,then its practically as good as nonexistent.Your moon crater theory is wrong because we are conscious beings and we are there to observe any part of the universe if tech permits us .But imagine a condition where there's no bit of consciousness in the whole of creation to understand the creation,then it will be considered non -existent.Even if there is one bit of self-aware conscious entity in any part of the multiverse,then also the whole multiverse will be considered to be existing.

      But there is another philosophical caveat even to this theory.We have very poor understanding of the phenomenon of consciousness at present,ie,we usually link consciousness to animate entities.But there might be another form of consciousness prevailing inanimate objects also.For example the system of the moon might be aware in a different way that it is being hit by a meteor.As of now there is very little breakthrough in this matter.and it almost wholly lies in the realm of philosophy.But the point is that without any form of awareness the whole of creation might be considered nonexistent of truly "dead".
      For example,to an unconscious person,the existence of a whole universe and nonexistence is pretty much the same.Similarly if you escalate the analogy of a single unconscious person to the whole of creation,ie,if you consider the whole of creation to be unconscious,then it will also be the same,ie,existence and nonexistence will be equal for it.

  4. @ Iniyavel & others

    got these links from a friend.Shit our whole childhood was spent learning only the pastimes of Gandhi !

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    2. I was aware of all of these but I couldn't help but notice the ridiculous inclusion of Periyar with this weasel line "he also fought the British"

      Err no he did not, he wanted the British to stay in India as he saw them as an antidote to "Brahmin" rule

    3. I know Arabic mostly conversational-giving directions, ordering food, little bit of chit chat. But not so much literary...takes me an hour to read and understand a newspaper article , have to go to the dictionary back and forth
      My Urdu vocab is pretty strong and that is the sole basis of my Persian(about 50% vocabulary is shared with Urdu)

      Anyway so much for self dabba! What do you need

    4. @ YSV & Iniyavel

      "I was aware of all of these but I couldn't help but notice the ridiculous inclusion of Periyar with this weasel line "he also fought the British" - yeah and actually there's one more caveat :) Some heroes included in the list are from 18th century.Now in 18th century when kings fought against brits ,they were not considered freedom fighters ,as the concept of indian nationalism didnt start in that phase.Going by the same logic, Siraj or Tipu Sultan are also not freedom fighters,though both of them were against brits.But apart from this there are some other heroes about whom I didnt know anything.My respect for TN and its valiant people increased manifold after reading these two links.My only remorse is that probably all Indian states have such great charecters ,about whom I don't know anything,thanks to our Nehruvian education.
      And I also support your view on Periyar.I understand that he had achieved success on the front of social reforms,but supporting the brits at the time of Indian independence is not something that I find coherent :-) For the same reasons I have a slight angst against RSS.The present day services of RSS for Indian society cannot be overlooked,but it is a sad reality that they had chosen to morally support the British govt.Individual swayamsevaks might have fought in the independence movement but the organization took a pro-incumbent stance before 1947.

    5. @ Iniyavel

      See this is why crackpot conspiracy sites should not be followed.You will understand this after reading YSV's facts on JFK.The conspiracy theorists either glorify a person to gigantic levels or equate him with Satan.whereas the real world is far more complex.

    6. @ JAM

      Yes Periyar and the RSS 's efforts were social and not nationalist. There is nothing wrong with that. They did good work on those fronts but the revisionist tendencies to ascribe to them participation in freedom struggles should be resisted.

      JFK was lionized by the media because he was considered handsome and very well educated. That's it really. The media and academia always promotes such silly and superficial candidates. Look at Barack Obama for instance
      The same media ridiculed Eisenhower for being a dunce and a rather silly fellow only because he had a plain, old fashioned and direct manner. Despite the fact that Eisenhower was in charge of the European theater during WWII and planned amongst other things the D Day invasion, a massive risky,secretive operation which was a triumph of logistics and planning.

      Eisenhower though graduated middle of his class at West Point military academy (he grew up poor unable to afford even books and was able to get in on the basis of his athletic prowess) , was appointed President of Columbia University shortly after he stepped as Supreme Commander of Nato.
      This same Columbia University 15 years earlier had honored and facilitated Nazi representatives as the Nazis quite an appreciative following among academics!
      This is something that the media and academia wish to sweep under the rug today.
      BTW Obama's alma mater is also Columbia. He is supposed to be super duper trooper smart guy but they refuse to release his academic transcript..

    7. @JAM

      Tipu Sultan was indeed a freedom fighter, though he did not fight for India's freedom, rather his own. Periyar was wrong in his belief that the Brits were an alternative to Brahmin hegemony since it was the British bureaucracy that facilitated the middle-class Brahmins and other upper castes who formed the cream of the nationalist movement. Periyar was a good social reformer, but not much of a scholar.

      @YSV re Obama

      from Wikipedia:

      "Obama entered Harvard Law School in the fall of 1988. He was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year, president of the journal in his second year, and research assistant to the constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe while at Harvard for two years. During his summers, he returned to Chicago, where he worked as an associate at the law firms of Sidley Austin in 1989 and Hopkins & Sutter in 1990. After graduating with a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991, he returned to Chicago. Obama's election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review gained national media attention and led to a publishing contract and advance for a book about race relations" (emphasis added).

    8. @ YSV

      "but the revisionist tendencies to ascribe to them participation in freedom struggles should be resisted." - Our beloved Rothschild sponsored Capt is one of the morons who nurtures this kind of revisionist zeal :) Some unconfirmed sources even say that when Netaji had come to meet Golwalkor all the way to Nagpur,the latter didnt even have a courtesy meeting with him,under false pretense of sickness.He was actually afraid that Netaji's earnest appeal would have influenced the RSS people in changing their ideology to anti-British nationalism from a purely religious line.Netaji had to return with an empty hand sans the minimum respect which hinduism prescribes for guests .

    9. @ PremChand

      "Tipu Sultan was indeed a freedom fighter, though he did not fight for India's freedom, rather his own. " -When we use the word freedom-fighter wrt modern Indian history,I guess it invariably means the anti-british Indian nationalism.Otherwise your proposition is correct,ie,Tipu Sultan is indeed a freedom fighter in the broader sense of the term :) and so is Siraj doulah ,I guess :P or even Periyar,who fought for freedom from social evils prevailing in TN :D

    10. @Premchand
      I would go as far as to say that Tipu Sultan while not an agent of the French as would claim , was certainly was conducive to a French presence in India. He just preferred one colonizer over another. His pro French stance was another strong motive for his spirited wars against the British.

      Yes I am aware of all these credentials. But where are the transcripts?
      I am sure you aware of affirmative action which was in full swing at the time and Harvard would go out of its way to admit a black student with a fancy sounding name to bolster its diversity credentials.

      The editor of the Harvard Law Review is an honorable post but it is quite often an honorary post.
      Truth be told quite a few alumni of Harvard have stated that the editor of the Harvard Lampoon were much brighter, discerning and articulate than that of the Law Review!
      I am not saying Obama is a fool or a dunce, he is a bright enough guy with academic leanings ala Nehru.
      But like Nehru (who never graduated college) his credentials are in doubt due to his lack of transparency in his college record and his privileged yet minority status which propelled him into those institutions with relatively less merit.

    11. If affirmative action was indeed the reason for Obama's qualifications, we might not be able to trace it with the transcripts! I am sorry but this sounds a little bit like the birther conspiracy :) How many American presidents before Obama have been asked by anyone in the media to prove their citizenship, qualifications etc. that too after being elected to office? Meanwhile there is not a peep made in the media about Ted Cruz who was born in Canada to a Cuban father who supported Fidel Castro!

    12. Au contraire, affirmative action students usually do poorly or at best average work.
      It is not complicated to prove me wrong , just release the transcripts. Both Bushes, Reagen,Clintons, Nixon,Ike, JFK and other presidential contenders academic record was laid bare.
      Why is our super genius Obamas sealed up?

      Please note I am not a birther. My position is that Obama's mother is a US citizen so therefore citizenship is conferred on to him.

      Ted Cruz announced he is running for President. So wait for it , the media will come after him hammer and tongs. I believe his father who initially supported Castro had a falling out with him ,later becoming an evangelical anti communist.

      I would prefer someone like Scott Walker , the governor of Wisconsin who stared down and defeated the union mafia and survived numerous recall elections as President but Ted Cruz is much more sound on foreign policy.

    13. I forgot to mention that even if the bizarre charge that Obama was born in Kenya is proven true, so what? It doesn't disqualify him as he is born an American citizen.

      The same goes for Cruz. Yes some conservative cranks who were birthers will have a tough time justifying their support for Cruz for the same reason.
      But by and large birthers are a minority in the anti Obama constituency.
      It is not his place of birth or his citizenship status which is doubt amongst those who dislike but whether or not he is a practicing Christian as he claims to be .
      I believe that despite his pro Muslim leanings(and Muslim childhood) , he is not a Muslim ,certainly not a Christian but an atheist/agnostic.

    14. Affirmative action does promote weak students who would have otherwise failed the class, but magna cum laude? Were the Harvard academics knowingly foisting an average student on the American people?

    15. @ YSV

      "I believe that despite his pro Muslim leanings(and Muslim childhood) , he is not a Muslim ,certainly not a Christian but an atheist/agnostic." - Some news reports brought to light the fact that Obama keeps (or kept till a few years back) an idol of Monkey-God (Hanuman) with him as a good luck charm :) So I think he is not agnostic,and certainly not a stern Muslim sympathiser .

    16. @Premchand
      We wont know until they release the transcripts. Harvard may have engaged in grade inflation in order to get him that magna cum laude. It has been known to happen in elite institutions.

      @JAM yes I am aware of his Hanuman "charm" ,actually lots of Westerners keep momentos of Eastern spirituality even if they are not religious.Ironically he picked it up from his Indonesian Muslim stepfather Lolo Soetoro.
      I am not sure if a good luck charm makes oneless agnostic but I suppose one cannot assign him a slot in any religion.
      Also he mentioned that the Islamic azaan is the sweetest sound he heard.
      He said that the future should not belong to those who slander the Prophet Mohammad
      His Nasa chief appointee said that his primary goal was to ensure Muslims are aware of their scientific heritage. PRIMARY goal of NASA chief!!!
      He is really a hodge podge of odds and ends of different religions ala the average multiculturalist who doesn't really believe in anything.

      Btw here is a semi literate dunce Glenn Beck mocking Obamas fondness for Hanuman ,well Hanuman particularly .

    17. I'd say as a multiculturalist Obama tries desperately to hold on to faith by compromising, but of course in the end it is impossible. Obama is being a glib multiculturalist when he says stuff like Islamic azaan is the sweetest sound he heard, India is a beautiful country, yada yada.

      I suppose Obama would appear agnostic when compared with his predecessor who said that he invaded Iraq because God told him.

      YSV, I read that link about the NASA chief but right there in the top it says that the White house actually disagrees with the NASA chief's opinion.

    18. @Premchand Yes GWB made many foolish statements but that was possibly the worst.

      Obama goes through the motions of being a Christian but from his biographies and the company he keeps it is apparent that his beliefs are thoroughly post modern.

      Of course the White House would deny it ....after all the backlash he received on espousing that claim. The NASA chief is an appointee who serves at the pleasure of the President and as such represents the Presidents views. While he is certainly not a political appointee, his credentials are very impressive, NASA administrator is mostly a management position and involving dealing with beureacracies.

      He mentioned this in an interview with Al Jazeera, he may have been coached by the Presidents PR team to say such things to humor AL Jazeeras audience.
      But anyway you cut it, it is still nonsensical and there is nothing in Boldens biography to indicate any personal affinity for Muslims. But there is in Obama's. Here Occams Razor applies

    19. BTW I am aware that Ted Cruz also graduated from Harvard Law magna cum laude and was editor of Harvard Law Review ;-)
      I believe he earned it but you may make the argument that he too is an affirmative action admittance as he is Hispanic.
      But then I say his academic pedigree is more transparent,open and impressive(national debating champion) than Obama's.

      Anyway that doesn't matter to me, as I said I prefer Scott Walker who is not even a college graduate.

    20. Well if we decide that presidential nominees parrot the opinions of their respective presidents, then it follows that Supreme Court judge Antonin Scalia's fundy opinions are shared by his nominator, Reagan :)

    21. Haha sure, Reagan did believe in the Rapture and had a somewhat disturbing interest in eschatology but Jimmy Carter was actually more fundamentalist than Reagan, he got a greater percentage of the evangelical Christian vote.
      The last time a Democrat would win that demographic.

      Antonin Scalia's personal views aside , how many of his rulings were deemed an affront to the Constitution?

    22. "how many of his rulings were deemed an affront to the Constitution?"

      Well, maybe none but constitutional interpretation is a tricky business, so it is not as simple as that. At any rate, the justice seems to have some difficulty with the Establishment Clause.

    23. I think he was right on the Hobby Lobby decision , not so much on the case of seminal school events being conducted in the church. But I know relatively little about the latter case.

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    agree with all the points in the above link except point number 5.I dont understand why modern Hindu stalwarts are hellbent on demeaning the abrahamic God.You need not respect Islam or christianity,and both of them deserve this.But I believe God is the same ,whatever path you might take.Religions are only the pathways to bring out your inner goodness,which will eventually take the human soul to the level of God.

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    2. @ Iniyavel

      When your soul enters nirvikalpa samadhi,I guess you become God.But here's a yogic paradox.If "I" becomes "He" ,then "I" ceases to exist.Hence all yogis have remained silent on the nature of God.It is incomprehensible for the human soul unless the consciousness itself merges into infinity to experience the state.

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    4. @Iniyavel

      " but remember, God cannot be consumed by anger, fear, lust, etc. but we can" - I believe the Jivanmukta and Paramhamsa state of an yogi,or Kaibalya state of mind is similar to this description of God .

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    6. Paramhamsa is the highest state an yogi can achieve in mortal body and this state is equivalent to the God consciousness that you are this state the soul becomes similar to a swan which floats on the KaranSagar and yet remains conscious in the material world simultaneously.

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    8. @Iniyavel

      A soul which has reached the level of Paramhamsa is also constant and all pervading .Rama and Krishna were example of Paramhamsa yogis.

    9. Ok so now I get the point where we differ.I believe that when a human soul merges into God ,it becomes God,like a glass of water merging into ocean becomes ocean and doesnot remain a glass of water anymore.But you have a differing view.Anyway hinduism accomodates both and hence no problem with that .

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    11. If it remains a log of wood then it is not kaivalya mukti/nirvikalpa samadhi,rather it is the dualistic mukti /savikalpa samadhi.this is the basic flaw in your analogy.

    12. believing that the soul should remain a separate entity from God is the main tenet of Bhakti Yoga.However this philosophy that the soul can never be one with God,which you are proposing, is also a derivative of the Abrahamic philosophy .Whereas Sanatan Dharma goes to a far higher level with its concept of Nirvikalpa .

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    15. JAM, regarding the 5th point, probably he meant to say that since the desert cult religions consider their religion to be the only true religion and their prophet to be the only true messenger of God and that only their followers can attain God /salvation, there is no point in arguing with them by saying that there are different ways to reach God since they are so rigid in their belief. Also you have already mentioned in one of your comments that compared to Sanatan Dharma, the tenets of these religions appear childish. So no point is saying that all religions are the same to such bigots; they will never understand.

      BTW, in the very first comment on this post, Iniyavel wanted to know your opinion of the effects of our thoughts on water molecules. Though I’m a bit skeptical (, I would like to know your views on this. Prem Chand (and perhaps YSV also) may probably reject it as pseudoscience. Don’t know how thoughts affect inanimate objects, but I have found that when I approach people with a positive frame of mind, they do respond positively. What is your experience?

    16. @ Anu

      I overlooked Iniyavel's comment.I am coming to that later.Your analysis of the point is quite good.Now it makes some sense.I was taking the point at face value only.I didn't think about it in such a holistic way as you have done :)

      "So no point is saying that all religions are the same to such bigots; they will never understand." - I cant agree more with this line . We hindus are always open-minded about the concepts of other religions ,though this is plain and simple truth that Hinduism,with its Tantra,Kundalini,Raja Yoga,Hatha yoga and such facets is the deepest,greatest and ofcourse the oldest religion in the world.If people of other religions dont accept this plain truth then they are blind .

      @ Anu & iniyavel

      I do believe that sound and thoughts can affect water molecules.I am giving you a real life example in my case. check the link below :

      I had recommended the technique of mantra chanting on a bottle of water to one of my relatives whose family-member was suffering from some minor physical and mental ailments.My relative started giving this mantra chanted water to his ailing kin,though keeping the whole process undisclosed.On the very first day when the kin was given the water for drinking in the morning,he exclaimed that the water tasted unusually sweet.He didnt know that the water he drank had been treated with the mantra chant.At present his physical and mental problems(well this part was more than the minor physical ones,to be frank ) have reduced drastically.Before this I never gave any serious thought on this aspect of water.But after hearing this experience of finding the simple water unusually tasty/sweet,I now believe that such things do have some significance.
      BTW Anu just now I can vaguely recall that Prof. Sarkar ,in one of his books on Tantric practices,had probably written about the mantra shakti getting absorbed in water.He also believed this thing to be true,but the caveat is that at present the world is so full of negative vibes that we have lost the original and correct frequencies of the mantras.Hence mantras have lost their inherent power.If you utter the name of "Rama" or "Krishna" or "Shiva" etc . with the exact correct frequency,you will see/feel their divine forms with your consciousness or inner eye.The names of God or the mantras are transcendental vibrations which come from a higher plane of existence.Prof. Sarkar wrote in one book that he used to hear the names of deities,Om and many other sanskrit mantras coming into his ears when he used to float on the bisuddha chakra blue chidakaash.For this he understood that these sanskrit mantras were not created artificially by man,rather they were revealed to rishis who meditated and raised Kundalini.Hence the vedas were initially passed down orally,only to keep the vibrations of the transcendental mantras intact.However though mantras have technically been weakened to a great extent,still your inner Bhakti might bridge the gap.
      If mantras can affect water then I am sure thoughts will also affect them,because even our thoughts carry a subtler frequency,which is often accessed by some yogis,who can tell your mental demeanour just by glancing at you.

    17. @ Iniyavel

      "Glass of water is not a very good analogy though, since we are different from God. " - We are not inherently different from God.At our core(the sahashrar chakra) we are the same consciousness as God.Maya has ensured that we look at God with a feeling of duality.The reason why I like Bhakti yoga is that this philosophy has even converted this dualistic existence into an advantage and not a liability like Gnana yoga .


    18. Thanks JAM for your views. That's why they keep the water kalash during pujas I think, and later that water is sprinkled over all. Would love to know more on the significance of water kalash if you have the info.

      I had asked you about your experience with people when you approach them with positivity or negativity. You forgot to reply to that.

    19. @ Anu

      I always approach people with positivitiy and get similar reciprocation .The only times when this has failed is when I had tried to interact positively with Capt and his followers :)
      In general we do not have access to the intricacies of our subconscious and/or unconscious mind.I believe our subconscious mind can catch the thought frequencies and tries to send appropiate signals to conscious mind .This is what we call gut feeling or intuition.This is a poorly understood phenomenon in modern science at present but things will hopefully get better in the future.

      water kalash worship is the methodology of installing a particular deity in the kalash patra.In west bengal there is a concept that if you once start performing your personal Durga Puja in your home ,then you and and your successors will have to continue doing that ,whatever the economic situation might be(full fledged durga puja requires an extensive buidget).there are a few ancient family durga puja traditions in WB ,where the original puja was started 4 to 5 centuries ago,but the successors of the dynasty are still carrying out the puja rituals diligently even to this day.I saw on TV last year that the puja tradition of one such aristocratic family goes back to the 13 th century (ie 700-800 years back) ! Anyway coming back to the point,often dynasties might not be able to sustain their economic prowess,and hence they perform the puja by installing Durga in a Kalash Patra(to reduce the expenses of the Puja).
      Water Kalash might have the same significance of absorbing mantra shakti which I have elaborated in my previous comment .
      An inverted Kalash philosophically represents that fullness and emptiness are inseparable from each other and not some Rothschild implant as the messiah from Kerala would like you to believe ;) At the highest level of spirituality(Karan sagar of Sahashrar) fullness and emptiness all become the same all-pervading singularity.

    20. Positive approach doesn't work with extremely negative and bigoted people, I guess.

      Has Prof. Sarkar written books on Tantric practices also? He must have written many books on spirituality then, besides the one which I purchased.

      BTW, have you seen the new channel started by Sri Sri called as 'Anandam Active'. It's preview is free until May 31st and after that the price per month is Rs.59, can you believe that? Everyday the same stuff is repeated and no new programs are shown. (the new stuff will be shown when it becomes a full-pledged pay channel, I think) Mostly there is the discourse on "Ashtavakra Gita" which the Kerala Messiah calls as Rothschild concocted and 'Ashtavakra' as a fake character introduced by Rothschilds.

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    23. @SMME

      What exactly do people do when in Shiva Loka? Do they have bodies and bodily desires? Is it a place of pleasure or nothingness?

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    26. It would have been easier not to lift him to Saaruubam before the task is completed. Then there would have been no need to involve the women and bring Sundarar back to earth right.

    27. @ Anu

      Yeah Prof Sarkar wrote a large number of books on spirituality.The one which you bought was the book where he had revealed the meditation technique with which normal persons can explore the world of Kundalini .He wrote another book on the comparison of mystic practices among world religions.Another classic book written by hims discusses the concept of mother worship in world religions.He has a whole book dedicated on Aghori and the path of Aghora.Now to be specific ,I have thrown Kerala messiah's opinion on spirituality into the dustbin after I came to read his views on aghoris.He thinks that aghoris are Rothschild creations.Rothschild was an accomplished Tantra practitioner,it seems,apart from the multitude of talents he had in different fields of knowledge :) Capt understands shit about aghoris and aghora.Not that I understand anything better,but atleast I do not claim them to be coming from Rothschild :) Aghora is not the path for weak and coward men,it requires a superman among men to be aghori.
      Apart from this another book by Prof Sarkar named "DivyaDarshan(divine vision)" deals with prophecies,their nature ,Nostradamus etc.
      Though I understand that Ravi Shankar is instrumental in popularising Hinduism worldwide,still I am sceptical about his Sudarshan Kriya.I think Ramdev's pranayam technique will be better for anyone than Sudarshan Kriya.

    28. @ Iniyavel

      The basic concept with which you are approaching the concept of God and human soul is wrong,in my views.Human soul is the same consciousness which come from the all-pervading sea of consciousness/chaitanyaMaya state.If we think each other and God to be different,it is because Maya is encircling us.This maya is to be progressively overcome by passing kundalini through the 6 chakras and finally into sahashrar.When you raise your kundalini to the chaitanya Loka above Ajna and below Sahashrar chakra,you will get the distinct feeling that the whole of creation is possible because of your own will.This is God consciousness.At this level of consciousness you will understand that there is no difference between your consciousness and the chaitanya of God.This can be described by the allegory of onion.Human soul is like the onion .As you progressively raise kundalini through chakras,you peel off the outer layers of onion,until at the sahashrar,the inner space of onion becomes one and inseparable from the outer space(God).After peeling off all the layers of onion,we cant further demarcate the inner small hollow space inside the onion with the outer space.Everything becomes the same.You cant point out to a particular point in air and say that this was the inner onion space .The layers of onion(Maya) were preventing this inner space( human soul) from merging inseparably with the outer space(ParaBrahman).Kundalini/ojas shakti is the energy which cuts th e layers of onion.However bhakti yoga insists on keeping the last layer of onion intact ,so that human soul might enjoy dualistic bliss with God,and not merge inseparably with Him.and at the level of singularity in Sahashrar everything becomes the same Parabrahman.

      "Saayuchyam is the final step to attain God Shiva permanently. "- If that is so,then I guess Shaivite bhakti is incomplete in nature.I mean to say that the Gopi's mad love for Krishna,or Hanuman's devotion to Rama are far better a form of Bhakti than Saayuchyam.

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    30. @SMME, I got that but my doubt was different- why did Shiva not allow Sundarar to sing his greatness first and then reach Saaruubam. It seems a little elaborate to do all that just to get him back to earth.

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    32. @Iniyavel Both old vampires are living in a world of their own, completely out of sync with reality. That was a ROFL statement. I have completely stopped visiting the messiah's blog; the last time I visited when you dropped a link about Lawrence of Arabia. After seeing Sri Sri's channel, I remembered capt's disdain for Ashtavakra and Ashtavakara Gita and mentioned it here.

    33. JAM, have you read the 'Ashtavakra Gita"? I haven't read it, but from what is mentioned in Wikipedia (, I found that many great people like Ramana Maharshi, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa , Swami Vivekananda, Swami Chinmayananda etc. had appreciated it. What does capt. find so objectionable in this book? Also did you read all of Prof. Sarkar's books?

    34. @Anu

      I did not read astavakra Gita.But since Chinmayananda,Ramakrishna and VIvekananda has praised it,that's enough evidence for Capt to say that it was written by Rothschild :P However here capt sadly made a mistake,ie,his hero Ramana Maharshi(btw I myself respect Ramana Maharshi very much) has also praised this piece.But as usual Maharshi will not be put into the club of R agents,as he is capt's beloved hero :)

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    36. @ Iniyavel

      Sure .Ramana Maharshi was a great sage .Who cares for the crackpot analysis of a crackpot sailor.

    37. @ Anu

      I didn't read your last query.I haven't read all his books,but I did read many of them.He wrote atleast 20-25 books on differents aspects of spirituality,tantra etc.Some of them deal with scary Birachaar tantra like his book named " In search of the SarpaTantrik".He wrote another book on the mystical analysis of Lalan Fakir's songs.Lalan Fakir(a sahajiya tantrik) used to compose amazing songs with dual meanings.The apparent word meaning would appear funny/incoherent to you ,until you can decipher the inner spiritual meaning of the song.For example Lalan used the word "ArshiNagar" which means "city of glass" to describe the chaitanya Loka above Ajna chakra.Chaitanya loka will appear to be mirror like with the colour of ash to you in meditation.Here's the song with english translation :

      The "Great Neighbour" mentioned in the song is probably Chaitanya Mahaprabhu(Lord Gouranga).Sahajiya Tantriks worship Mahaprabhu as the supreme ParaBrahman and as the harmonization of Radha and Krishna(Purusha and Prakriti).

      And if you are interested,here's the wiki link on Lalan :

      A statutory disclosure : Whatever discussions on spirituality and mysticism I persue in this blog has been lifted from books on the same subject which I have read in the past.In a sense I am plagiarising but with due respect to the original authors :)

    38. JAM, capt. does speak highly of Sw. Chinmayananda also. BTW, we also say "arshi" for mirror in Konkani.

      Iniyavel, don't trust that S. Roy. He wrote against the capt. in this blog but at the same time I had seen him singing capt's praises in capt's blog.

    39. @ Anu

      Yeah that S Roy fellow is another crackpot,I think :) He writes here that capt seems to be a freemason,and goes to capt's blog to praise him.The definition for the word "moron" should include S roy .

    40. It is strange that bong and konkani languages have so many similarites.BTW arshi is an old bengali present it is not used (atleast I have not heard the use in colloquial bong).but it might be a common word in the bengali dialect of Bangladesh,I dont know for sure.

    41. Forgot to mention the similarity might be attributed to the Sena dynasty.

    42. "Arshi" is a commonly used word in "konkani". What did you mean by similarity might be attributed to the Sena dynasty.

    43. And what do you call a mirror in spoken Bengali nowadays.

    44. We use "Kaach" for glass and "ayna(same as hindi word)" for mirror in colloquial bong

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    46. @ Iniyavel

      both a and aa exist in bengali,v also exists .According to the english pronunciation of your name its bengali will be ইনিয়াভেল .

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    48. JAM, we also say Kaach or Kaaj for glass but for mirror specifically we say 'arshi'. Even though Konkani and Bengali may have few words in common, if I switch on a Bengali channel, I cannot understand anything. But Konkani and Marathi are very similar; if you know one you can understand the other.

      Konkani is not a very developed language. It's mostly a spoken language. Konkanis from Karnataka write it in Kannada script, whereas Hindus from Goa write it in Devanagiri script and christians form Goa mostly write it in Portuguese or Roman script. Now Devanagiri is declaraed as the official script for Konkani in Goa.

      The konkani spoken in Karnataka has many Kannada words while Konkani spoken in Goa has more of Marathi and Portuguese words. I sometimes cannot understand Goans konkani if they speak too quickly.

    49. Iniyavel Anu, seems to me there are far more 2 faceted entities roaming around. By the way, are you somewhere else like Australia, New Zealand, Korea, or Japan? Just like how you went to Japan the other day, I probably am in Japan too.

    50. @ Iniyavel

      "Any changes to the language as a whole? Since I did try to learn it, and I don't remember finding 'v' there. My mom also told me 'v' is pronounced as 'b' by the Bengalis, so I asked. Moreover, I noticed that Bengalis keep names like Bishnu, Chakraborty, etc., so I asked. " -

      Now I understand your point.Technically B is used instead of V in bengali both in writing and pronunciation,but you can produce V in writing or pronunciation in bengali also,with this alphabet ভ .B is produced by this alphabet ব .I used ভ in your name as you write V in english spelling of your name.Now ,after you have clarified your hindi spelling,the corresponding bengali spelling will be like this : ইনিয়বেল (I have removed aa and replaced it with a,according to your hindi spelling )

      Bengali and Hindi are very similar to each other .The alphabets are almost 100% same,difference exists in the accent and style of pronunciation.

      @ Anu

      I meant that the sena dynasty claimed it's ancient south indian origins.Moreover the root of bengali is magadhi prakrit,though modern pure bengali mirrors sanskrit almost fully. The bengali transcripts of most of the sanskrit words are actually exact same .However there is a chance that bengal had some ancient forgotten link with South Indian culture.

    51. @ Iniyavel

      "and a few years later, he'll say that he was a Freemason." - ROFL :) Maharshi and freemasonry,what a combination :P but for capt anything is possible.

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    53. So you really went to Japan? I thought you were joking. I access Internet only in the mornings, so you don't see my comments in the late evenings.

      Tulu is spoken in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts and it is a mixture of Kannada, Malayalam and also Tamil, I think. I cannot understand a word of it. (The Kerala messiah must have learnt it by now since he has shifted there.) As I mentioned earlier, Konkani is more or less similar to Marathi. BTW, the population of Konkanis in Karnataka is far more than the entire konkani speaking population of Goa. Devanagiri is now the accepted script for Konkani though the people of different states choose to write in the scripts of their home states.

    54. Konkani has many Hindi words just like Marathi and Bengali. So that's why both JAM and I didn't find it tough to learn Hindi, I guess.

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    57. Iniyavel, Not just Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka, Konkani people are also staying in Kerala. During Portuguese inquisition of Goa, many left their homes and shifted to these places. Kerala messiah has also written about this. That's why even though we are now staying in Karnataka, all temples of our Kuladevatas are in Goa since our ancestors were from Goa.

      Not all people staying in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi speak Tulu. But Kannada is spoken by most people there, followed by Tulu and then Konkani.

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    59. @ Anu

      Yeah you are right.Hindi isn't tough for any bong as the two languages are 80% similar.Add to this the fact that many Biharis,Marwaris,and a large number of people from Hindi heartland have made Bengal their permanent home.

    60. @ Iniyavel

      I saw you discussing physical exercises in Vivek Iyer's blog.If I am not wrong ,you are contemplating weight training in the near future to maintain your fitness. don't mind I am giving you an unwarranted suggestion,but this is only to help you get better :) Instead of getting back to weights,I would suggest you start doing Hindu pushups and Hindu squats(and if your are interested,then Suryanamaskar along with this).Hindu pushups is one of the exercises in the "5 tibetans",and the 5 tibetans are said to keep a person forever young.Hindu pushups also play a strong role in ensuring a healthy youthful lifespan,ie,if you can do them regularly for the rest of your life.Though weight training might be the cup of tea for some,still I would advise people against it,mainly because it will become progressive harder for you to continue weight training as you age.But not so with Hindu pushups /Hindu squats.And I have seen people (and also read on the net) about people suffering from the adverse effects of intense weight training.And even if you take the point of strength building,then also hindu pushups are a massively underestimated exercise.If you slowly increase the number of reps of hindu pushups to around 500-600 everyday,you will have better functional strength than many body builders and weight lifters.You can also use hindu pushups to chant Shiva's name along with the breath.I chant the word Rama while doing Hindu pushups (mentally chanting Raaa with inhale and Maaa with exhale in each round).Believe me this will keep you better than hours of gym work.

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