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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Modern physics and Vedanta.

Ok, I agree the topic seems to be a turn-off but the ensuing article might just not be one. Actually I read a book of the same name by swami jitatmananda (a gem by all accounts –google him if u like). That along with a few observations of mine constitutes this post. So, back to the topic .Vedanta defines maya as sthana-kala-nimitta (ie space time causation). Without either one of these the other one has no meaning – nor does maya. Rings a bell –einstein’s space time continuum et all?-it should.
There is also the question of consciousness. It has already been mentioned in the Upanishads (or vedantas for that matter they are the same), that consciousness/awareness/opinion, whatever one may call it, affects the surroundings. And it has only recently been proved that the outcome of an elementary experiment (which can have only 2 outcomes) can be affected if the scientist conducting it has a biased opinion –all this is actually much more complicated than it sounds- but that’s that. There are similar mergers in oriental philosophy and occidental science that are increasingly evident even as we speak. Scientists like john a. wheeler have coined mouthful names for the phenomenon but I left the book at my hostel so I cannot quote. But this still might open avenues of thought open to many of u. and if u ask me, gita seems lifeless to me- Vedanta packs in much more excitement & cloudy aura. Issue a translation from ur library and go through it. Gita, on the hand was a part of Mahabharata which was purely a literary creation. Gita, once translated seems bland but yeah it uses devices and metaphors well. I don’t know that much Sanskrit but ppl seem to go gaga over gita – its just common sense! Or thus I think,well then each to his own.
How do u ppl like resonance though? For me some articles drive well, while most yield a tangent (vidyapith colliloquy for did-not-quite-get-that).
Now look here I am absolutely greedy on feedback so do comment.


Arun Chaganty said...

Hello, and a hearty welcome. Scroll back to the archives to find out who I am, cause I wasn't with you all in Kolkata.
I've repeatedly come across articles about predictions made by our ancient texts (they weren't overly religious mind you) and have heard of a lot of parallels. In fact, I've read something about oscillating universes from the same source (@surya).
I also must admit, I wonder why we bother looking around if it's all been done. I have a theory, whose validity I can not confirm, and may hurt peoples sentiments, but bare with me. My argument is:
These texts were no doubt great, but their meaning like a poem is ambiguious, and can be seen from many angles. When we discover some elementary physical concepts, and we read them, we can see the connection, but prior to the discovery, in no way could we draw that interpretation out. So it's entirely plausible that the text was written entirely with a different meaning, but can be interpreted in this manner. Besides, due to the oneway interaction of it, we'll have to rediscover/discover these facts by ourselves.
One of the things that puts me off is that many people (I mean no insult to the greater minds), do then to distort reality to fit their mental state. I'm sure if you introspect, you'll see the same. You've just come across some interesting observation, and then everything you see for the next 2 days will try to fit into your observation.
One such thing is that QM and intangled quantum states (I don't really understand the nitty-gritty, but two states up and down spin are intricely related. If a pair has an up and other part must be down. So if you change one's state, you inadvertently change the other). Technically speaking, if you take a particle, and flip it, it's partner no matter where it is will have to flip also, and that to at the SAME instant of time. Due to the relativity, there arises a contradicttion, which QM wins. So many gurus/pandits/reglious figures, have pointed this out as proof of an underlying interdependence of the universe.

obiwankenoby said...

To arun,
Perfectly yes.ppl do incorporate a bit of hype about how hindu texts are all that great and science seems to be predicted blah blah- but there are only some merging points that truly attract attention and not forcefully misinterpreted. What originally made me a believer was that a certain atharva veda verse that we were parrot trained and I can recite the whole part without knowing the meaning. Although my Sanskrit is not all that good it was easy to translate a part of it that seemed to tell of the properties of infinite (purna)-a part is this ‘purnasya purnamadaya purnmevavshishyate’ i.e. something like inf+inf=inf and the sort. But pure maths seems too far fetched to be brought about in a veda – remember they didn’t debate 1/0 as we seem to be able to –inf was an original new concept. As per the QM part I think I know something about that. It was originally thought to be a way of faster than light communication but there was always a hitch- u can’t control the change in properties in the two photons. I think the photons were produced colliding an e- and a e+. And they absolutely resembled each other in the changes, independent mind u, and the scientists said that it was like seeing the same object from separate cameras. Well how did your ftse fare?

Arun Chaganty said...

ooo, you know about it. I kinda wasn't in the 'groove' when i wrote it, but i managed to scrape a 207 rank. I personally think that the exam results are determined by a blind monkey (I'd like to sue for animal right violation), because they are no way near accurate. The maths genius of our class said that he'd done every single subj. question except one (the differential equation), and he got a staggering '1'. So as I was saying, it doesn't really count as an exam. What about you?

And onto more important things, yeah, I remember the thing about it not being able to be controlled and all. I have a lot of respect for our vedas, and again secularly, I find it remarkable and of note that Hinduism is perhaps the only religion whose texts are not entirely relgious, and do contain scientific and mathematical (more maths than science) knowledge aswell. But you'd be a better judge of that.

obiwankenoby said...

relieved actually. i got a 7 in maths!can u believe it.but i got good marks in the subjective part though.ill tell my father -he keeps on saying 'i had gr8 hopes' and the sort-u know!well 207 means 15000/- good luck.if we meet ever i m up for a treat.
(who says u r the only beneficiary ;-))

Arun Chaganty said...

I got 8. What was your rank finally? and where do you stay (to determin the remote possibility of us meeting and recognizing each other

obiwankenoby said...

rank 628 and live in calcutta.ok dont put ur tongue out but its the way it is.the rank WAS bad but i didnt go tht wrong.

TwIsTeR said...

Heyyy !

I've read the post & I've read the comments. I hav'nt personally read the Vedas so I'm not very sure. But yeah, one thing I'd like to point is that Gita may be very poetical but in no way is it a mere poem. Or a mere literary work. I'm saying this by my own personal experience. What it says somehow seems to be partly true if not completely.

As for the Vedas, mayb we assume more than wat's actually to it but the Veda's sure are a treasure for info. Take Vedic Maths for instance ! I feel that those methods calculation should be taught in place of what they teach us. They are far more effective & if I'd been practicing those with the same rigour till now, I think my calculation-standards would certainly have risen.

And as far as I can tell, the experiment about the two particles, isn't it the Eienstien's paradox ? That u create two particles at some place take them at a distance then check the spin of one particle to know the other spin as well ( since they always have opp spins ). If this is wat u're talking about, the matter's been long resolved and the particles must be interacted with each other for this to take place...

I think Ill POST more in a couple of days. Until then C ya !

Anonymous said...

hey dude, sorry if I hurt ur sentiments..... Physics is NOT abt stories.... it has more 2 do with equations.....

saurya_time_travel said...

Hi guys (and GALS),

I think I am a bit late on this discussion but I will comment on everything being discussed here. First I have a grudge to settle. (Do not take it otherwise)
@ Anonymous,
Physics is never about mathematics equations. It’s about rock bottom Philosophy. The philosophy comes first, mathematics later.

And guys please don’t talk about ftse …plz plz plz … done miserable. Math 33, Chem 34, Phy 19 (Believe me Physics is my strong point) and guess my rank … guess guess ?? 747 !!! Believe me the monkey who corrected my paper was not only blind but I think even his brain had tunneled out of its head.

firstly about the sloka u wrote about …
“Purnamandam purmanidam, purnat purnammaduchyate,
purnat purnamadaya, purnamevavashishyate.”
This sloka does a more important thing than telling the properties of infinity. It denotes some properties of zero as well. If u have read ancient scripture, (I have … well versed in Sanskrit …studied or 4 years)u should know that the ancients meant that zero and infinity were all the same. Purna means zero.(Don’t get startled … done a lot of study on this) The Romans distorted the concept of zero. They used it as a dummy number, we used it for a different purpose. Sigh … It’s a long story.

At last if u believe in QM u ought to believe our scriptures (Gita, Vedas, Dwaita and Adwaita Vedanta, etc) The philosophy put in simple words, “There is no reality”. Its just what we observe (Maya … if u like it ….or Matrix). In word of my guru – the great Neils Bohr, “Its wrong to think that the task of physics is to discover what nature is. Its about what we can say about nature.” And about the two particle problem, I hate to say this but God likes all sorts of Spooky actions and dice games.

Time Saurya

Arun Chaganty said...

@Time&the weird non-scientific freak:
I totally agree with Time. Physics is THE story. When you look at a phenomenon, the PHYSICS tells you what assumptions to make, what properties it has, and math does the rest. It's physics that says force and velocity, etc. are all vectors, and math says how to use these.

@Everyone who wrote the FTSE:
I think that the exam is arguably the worst I've written on such a scale (that's very few, but it's goes really low in my standards). The marking is absolutely off the chart. I didn't gain ANYthing from that exam, not even a picture of where I stand. I think it's just given to act all tough, and make the brighter (and in there view more dedicated, which isn't always the case) to get scared and come to them for coaching.
@the entire article:
Actually I liked the Gita a lot. It says stuff rather clearly, and has some really nice observations. My favorite (I don't know why) is that when I die, don't weep for I have left my pain and all behind, and if anyone is suffering it is YOU. (in not so many words). After which, I didn't really feel sad when my grandparents passed away 7-9 years later. I'd like to post that sloka on my epitaph.
@twish: I'm not able to post (just when I'm in the mood, and have 2 topics to post about). Could you send a mail to me to join your blog again?
As far as the QE thing goes. Yes the issue is resolved, and is called Quantum Entanglement. But no it CAN happen if the two particles are at the opposite ends of the universe, and instantly. But it can't be used.


I like our scriptures a lot, mainly because they include science into it. But mainly math. I wonder why there's less science, and why there isn't any vedic physics.

Twish, don't forget to post me that mail.