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Seeing is believing?

A great debate is brewing on what our ancient education and wisdom was. There are people on both sides of the debate with emphatic arguments. Is absence of written documents a reason to disbelieve? We seem to have forgotten our roots, our ancient writings and teachings. Does the western world influence us in everything we do? Should we not reinvent our ancient wisdom that stood the test for thousands of years?

Theism is built into atheism. ‘Ishwar-vada’ is built into ‘nir-ishwar-vada’. Can one exist without the other? Hindu philosophy is not ontological but epistemological. We must rationally analyse our experience, rather than rationally analyse our being. Our being is grouped with consciousness and bliss and is based on experience alone. Normally, the problem is to distinguish between what appears and exists, and hence real and what appears, but does not exist and so is illusory. However, is existence sought only within the realm of experience?

Computers communicate over the internet. Wireless communications where data travels through electromagnetic signals broadcast from sending facilities to intermediate and end-user devices is also not seen. Does that make it illusory? Perhaps the best real-life example of a perceptual illusion is the Moon illusion. When the Moon is at the horizon, it appears to be much larger than it does when it is high in the sky.

Both arguments seem straightforward, and yet in both cases we are relying on an assumption that an absence of evidence is a good reason to infer that something doesn’t exist since it is not seen.

Our ancestors existed. Their creativity existed. Their science and mathematics existed. Their abodes existed. Their wisdom existed. Perhaps, their ways to reach conclusions were different. Would it have been possible to write the Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Upanishads and Vedangas thousands of years back, if the people living then were not extremely learned?

Were abstract ideas like the origin and shape of the universe, meaning of time, concepts of infinity, infinite God, infinitesimal soul, that were the subject matter of academic discussions during the Vedic period mere stories?

A meaningful film that lost its substance as a consequence of its beautiful narrative, was “The Man who knew infinity” that spoke of Ramanujan. In the film, Ramanujan, walking the beach in Madras with his wife, asks her as to what she saw. “Sand” said she. Ramanujan then picks up sand in his hand and says, “Imagine if you could look closely, you could see each grain, each particle and various patterns. The lesson was to see beyond what the eyes comprehend.

Arithmatic is axiomatic. It is the ultimate truth of everything upon which the entre cosmos and even its chaos is based. Everything is measured within the matrix of time and motion. In the good old days, the essence of research meant approaching an outcome from different perspectives and hence the word re-search. It is time we reinvented the relevance of research in modern times. The dichotomy between western and Indian belief has always been on the inflection point between evidence and existence.

In that difference of thought lies the delta of intuition that is owed to the Indian beliefs and systems. Ramanujan was the first Indian exponent who with his ‘Summation Theory’ proved Infinity. His postulation was acknowledged by the Trinity college. In that, he bridged a major divide between the western thought and Indian belief. That theory of summation found its application in quantum mechanics too, which acknowledges that vacuum is not empty, but seething with activity populated by fleeting electromagnetic waves and particles that pop, in and out of existence all the time.

Goswami Tulasidas, born in 1497, wrote “Hanumaan Chalisa” in 40 days in the Jail of Third Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar. In it and in less than 10 words, he describes the distance between earth and sun and how his deity, Lord Hanuman jumped to eat the sun. Was this fiction or the then understanding of science?

The theory of gamification, a potent tool that can bridge the divide between evidence and existence, is the new show on the Broadway of our consciousness that will likely put our conscious and conscience too, to sleep. Seldom, neither the less than imaginary teaching, nor the ineffective assessments, will build logical reasoning or analytical skills, to understand the past. Should we not then, reinvent the way we teach and learn?

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