Monday, January 16, 2017

884 How could Swami Vivekananda, a person with photographic memory, grasp, intellect, brilliance score so low in his FA (B.A.)?


Triggers for this particular blog post: 1. Swami Vivekananda Birth day 12th Jan. 2017. 2. News reports about Swami Vivekananda scoring low marks in his Intermediate and B.A. Title: "Do you know Swami Vivekananda scored 46 per cent in English". Click to go to http://indiatoday.intoday.in/education/story/swami-vivekananda-scored-average-in-english-examinations/1/852811.html and study the news. This news has also appeared in Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle, ND TV, Economic Times etc. It is based on PTI inputs. 3. A new book titled "The Modern Monk: What Vivekananda Means to Us Today", by author Mr. Hindol Sengupta. A Penguin publication. The book is available for purchase @ Rs. 279 for paperback, and Rs. 399 regular. Link to buy:Click to go to Amazon.in and buy. Note: I have myself not purchased the book, or read the book. By giving this link, I do not get any commission or incentive. Shri Hindol Sengupta, is also author of another book titled "Being a Hindu", also available with the Amazon. The introduction to the book, as per Amazon.in:--

He loved French cookbooks, invented a new way of making khichdi, was interested in the engineering behind ship-building and the technology that makes ammunition. More than 100 years after his death, do we really know or understand the bewildering, fascinating, complex man Swami Vivekananda was? Vivekananda is one of the most important figures in the modern imagination of India. He is also an utterly modern man, consistently challenging his own views and embracing diverse, even conflicting arguments. It is his modernity that appeals to us today. He is unlike any monk we have known. He is confined neither by history nor by ritual and is constantly questioning everything around him, including himself. It is in Vivekananda’s contradictions, his doubts, his fears and his failings that he recognize his profoundly compelling divinity—he teaches us that to try and understand God, first one must truly comprehend one’s own self. This book is an argument that it is not just because he is close to God but also because he is so tantalizingly immersed in being human that keeps us returning to Vivekananda and his immortal wisdom.


This book was launched on 10th Jan. 2017, at Nehru Memorial Museum, New Delhi, in the presence of Swami Shantatmananda, President, Ramakrishna Mission, Delhi, Shri Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, New Delhi, Shri Ram Madhav, National General Secretary, Prof. Y.S. Rao, Chairman, ICHR, Ddr. Kapil Kapoor- Eminent Indic Scholar, Smt. Tulsi Badrinath- Vivekananda Scholar, and Swami Samarpananda- Best Selling Author and Vivekananda Scholar.

Before going further with the news, we shall have some quotes from the book of Shri Hindol SenGupta:-

"...Born in the family of a rich lawyer, he was able to get pretty much the best available education ? including studying at the famed Metropolitan Institution school in Calcutta. This was perhaps why he spoke and wrote English with the fluency of the British ..."

"...For a man whose erudition and English language skills were impressive enough to captivate thousands, not least the Americans at the Parliament of Religions and afterwards, his marks were dismal. ..."

"...He took three university examinations - the entrance examination, the First Arts Standard (FA, which later became Intermediate Arts or IA) and the Bachelor of Arts (BA). His scores in the English language were 47 per cent at the entrance level, 46 per cent in FA and 56 per cent in BA..."

"...His marks in other subjects like mathematics and Sanskrit were also average. ..."

"...It is Vivekanandas modernity that appeals to us today. He is unlike any monk we have known. He is confined neither by history nor by ritual, and is constantly questioning everything around him, including himself. ..."





ybrao-a-donkey's personal perceptions & views, which are not intended to be imposed on others:-




I am a layman, trying to learn things from this strange world. I may falter. My readers can always correct me.

CONTRADICTION AND WONDER


1. According to his devotees, Swami Vivekananda had photographic memory, extra-orinary super-human brilliance, super-natural grasp an intellect. He could read and comprehend a book, just by seeing it. His biograhies (hagiographies?) quote instances of his returning books to the librarians on the same day, and answering the bewildered librarians who asked him questions about the contents of the books he took. According to his biographies, he has mastered Encyclopaedia Britannica, and answered questions from it instantaneously. Such a genius, how could he score, such a low marks as 46, 47 and 56, in Intermediate and B.A.? Okay, English is a foreign language. Mathematics is a complex subject. How could he score so low in Sanskrit?

2. Everybody knows that probably worldwide, examinations are memory-centred, memory-oriented. Even if we cannot accept this 'global' nature of examination, as far as examinations of India are concerned, most of us view, that they are memory-centered. It is common in Indian Educational Institutions to make students memorise by rote. In my mother-tongue- Telugu language, it is called 'baTTi', 'bhaTTi', may be a reference to a lime-kiln or something. Corporate Colleges, and Tutorial Colleges in India have minted millions, by making Intermediate Students to study through rote for Medical Entrances, Engineering Entrances, I.I.T. Entrances, M.B.A. Entrance Examinations. Everybody knows that Examinations mean ABILITY TO REPEAT, WHAT IS GIVEN IN BOOKS, WITHOUT SEEING THEM. Or else, there would have been examinations, WITH BOOKS (now with cellphones, internet etc.).

There is also a dubbed Tamil to Telugu film by name 'Sarvar Sundaram' in which its Hero Late Nagesh repeats his rote of Androcles and Lion story "Long long ago,so long ago, how long ago, no one can say, there lived a slave called Androcles...", (or similar lines as far as my poor memory goes.

Question: You seem to be a pessimistic cynic and a dirty fellow. You might have failed in YOUR exams. or scored low. You want to throw your blame on Great persons like Swami Vivekananda?


Ans: I do not claim any photographic memory. Nor did I make librarians to wonder. Nor did I master Encyclopaedia Britannica. Unfortunately, I have not studied in any Day College. All my education is either in Evening Colleges or through Distance Education, that too while working in a Bank or after retirement. In India, our Private Sector Corporate Employers, and even some Govt. Organisations look down upon Evening College Graduates, and Distance Education Students. This bias is a different subject. But, my own personal experience with examinations, is "mixed". That means, there are occasions, when II scored an All-India rank, or a gold-medal. Or sometimes, I scored only 43%. For example, I could not cross the 55% barrier in M.A. English, despite trying twice. I may try again, if I live longer.

Question: What will you say about the oratorial powers of Swami Vivekananda, which made the Heads of the Chicago Parliament of Religions 1893, gape with wonder and applause?


The audio file in circulation, as the Speech rendered by Swami Vivekananda, at the Chicago Parliament of Religions 1893 may not be the original recording. Swami Vivekananda, prepared and made a fresh speech to a gramophone Company, when he entered into a contract with an American Speech Promotion Company for Stage Performances, in return for Dollars. I have tried to obtain/trace a text of the original speech given by Swami Vivekananda at the 1893 Chicago Parliament of Religions. I am not successful. It appears that they have not preserved it. My readers can try to get it from the Official successors to the Parliament of Religions. Govt. of India can also try. What a present web site of a Parliament of Religions seem to hold on their website, is the text and audio files they received from the Indian Monasteries of Swami Vivekananda. These papers / files the present website of Parliament of Religions might have collected in 1993 on the occasion of their own Centenary, or the Centenary of Swami Vivekananda.

Question: What might have happened for the original speech text/recording of Swami Vivekananda?




ans: Dozens of persons were sitting on the dais of the Parliament. Dozens of persons spoke. Among them Swami Vivekananda was one . He might have made a great speech. But, the organisers cannot foresee that a great speech was going to be made, and ever-readily switch on the gramophone recorder to record it. At that time, he was not a VIP on the stage. For the same reason, they might not have employed English shorthand writers to get a verbatim text of a speech delivered by a representative from a black and un-independent serf-colony country like India. Besides, on the stage there were many other representatives from India, like Chakravarty, Mazoomdar (Brahmo Samaj), Narasimhachari (Shri Vaishnavism), Virchand Gandhi (Jainism), Lakshmi Narayan (kAyastha representative), Dharmapada (Buddhism) et al. It should, therefore, be inconceivable that the Organisers of 1893 Chicago Parliament of Religions got audio-recorded / English shorthand taken-down by stenographers, only for the first speech of Swami Vivekananda, excluding others from India. It is a different thing that they might have made some gramophone recordings/stenographic recordings of their own American/European Christian Speakers, compulsorily, ever-readily. At that particular moment Swami Vivekananda was not a celebrity, to make organisers to arrange recording, unless Swami Vivekananda himself has pre-arranged at his own expense, using private audio-recorders to record his speech LIVE.



The relations between Rev. Barrows, the Second-top organiser of the 1893 Chicago Congress of Religions, and Swami Vivekananda were very cordial initially. It appears that Rev. Barrows wanted to use Vivekananda (and of course Mazoomdar) as a tool for spreading Christianity in India. Hence, they seem to have encouraged Swami Vivekananda, in the early days of Swamiji's stay in U.S.A., by giving him prominence and publicity. Later, the relations seem to have strained, because Vivekananda tried to earn Dollars by contracting with Speech Promotion Companies, later by making independent speech ventures with the help of American rich-aristocratic women, while at the same time trying to maintain cordial relations with Rev. Barrows.

For this reason only, Vivekananda apparently advised his disciples in India, to welcome Rev. Barrows when he visited India. Unfortunately, this visit of Rev. Barrows resulted in souring of relations between Vivekananda, probably because Rev. Barrows used the visit to spread Christianity and convert Indians. Finally, Rev. Barrows, called Vivekananda a 'bubble'. According to Vivekananda, Christian Missionaries, and Mazoomdar, out of their jealousy tried to tarnish image by spreading false stories. It is difficult to say who is right or wrong.

In those days, telecommunications were poor. There was no airmail. Letters exchanged through Sea Mail take some months to reach. The Indians who sent Swami Vivekananda to United States, particularly the South Indians from Chennai, had great expectations from him. Raja of Khetri, Raja of Ramnad (Tamil Nadu), Alasinga (Chennai) et al. bore his expenses. Hence, they expected "success" letters from him, of the following type. Swami Vivekananda wrote from Chicago to Alasinga, on 2nd Nov. 1893:-

"... From that day I became a celebrity, and the day I read my paper on Hinduism, the hall was packed as it had never been before. I quote to you from one of the papers: "Ladies, ladies, ladies packing every place — filling every corner, they patiently waited and waited while the papers that separated them from Vivekananda were read", etc. You would be astonished if I sent over to you the newspaper cuttings, but you already know that I am a hater of celebrity. Suffice it to say, that whenever I went on the platform, a deafening applause would be raised for me. Nearly all the papers paid high tributes to me, and even the most bigoted had to admit that "This man with his handsome face and magnetic presence and wonderful oratory is the most prominent figure in the Parliament", etc., etc. Sufficient for you to know that never before did an Oriental make such an impression on American society. ..."


The ORATORIAL SUCCESS STORIES of Swami Vivekananda were profusely fed to his disciples, by Swami Vivekananda himself, who did it with gusto, obtaining the help of Speech Promotion Companies, who arranged Media Publicity for him. Aristocratic Elite American Women, who were elated by the praises which Vivekananda showered on them, also helped him in getting accommodation, money, publicity, and new disciples.

In fact, I have great appreciation for the oratorial powers and skills of Swami Vivekananda. Like our RULERs of today, Swamiji did not use TELE-PROMPTERS.

What is the gist/lesson from this?


We ought not to enlarge a person to larger than life size simply because we blindly worship him-her. Or, we should not belittle a person, because we hate him-her.

To continue. सशेष. ఇంకా ఉంది.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

883 Whether our Modern Medical System can really predict ailments? Or, are our medical procedures, just set of repetitive actions, till the patient dies/recovers naturally??


I am not a 'doubting Thomas', nor do I want to be one such doubting Thomas. Yet, when we see the world, in its full bloom and in its full gloom, this Capitalist World raises doubts in me, about our various medical systems. Our readers may be aware that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalithaa passed away on 6th Dec. 2016. For about two months, she was under very special treatment at the prestigious Apollo Hospital of Chennai City. Though exact estimates of the amount spent by the Tamil Nadu Government for the medical treatment of Ms. Jayalalithaa are not available officially, people estimate it in the range of Rs. 200 million to Rs. 800 million (or Rs. 20 crore to Rs. 80 crore), or approx. $300,000 to $1.2 million. By Euro American standards, and by the local Euro-American price levels, these expenses may be low. But, by Indian conditions, Rs. 200 million to Rs. 800 million will definitely be a huge amount, and will be a burden on the debt-ridden Tamil Nadu State. Nevertheless, the people of Tamil Nadu, because of their immense love for their amma (Mother), may not bother much about the expenditure. About the actual reason for the demise of Ms. Jayalalitha, a theweek.in web page, contains a statement by Dr. Pratap C. Reddy, Chairman, Apollo HOspital Group. Click to go to theweek.in and study the statement of Dr. Reddy.. This statement, by and large, clears doubts about reasons for the sad demise of Ms. Jayalalitha. A quote from what Dr. Pratap C. Reddy said:

"...From the time she first came to our hospital in September, we have been with her throughout. In fact, I did not step out of Chennai in the last two months only because we cared for her deeply and wanted to do everything in our power to help her get well soon. Last week, before I went to Hyderabad for a one-day visit, I spoke to her. She was doing well and had the same gentle smile as always. She even watched a movie that day. And I told her that when I came back from Hyderabad, I would like to see her walk. We were even planning her discharge from the hospital, and we agreed to discuss it upon my return. I was shattered when I heard of her cardiac arrest when I returned. It was shocking because our cardiologists had been monitoring her closely, and the panel of specialists had not seen any major concerns in her cardiac reports right through her stay.

Our doctors were right next to her when she suffered the cardiac arrest. ..."




ybrao-a-donkey's personal views, which are not intended to be imposed on others. These views are not to be construed as adverse comments against Apollo HOspital Group or their doctors, or Late Ms. Jayalalithaa, AIDMK, or anybody else.





This particular blog post is not about whether there was any conspiracy or mystery in the death of Ms. Jayalalithaa. Courts have already dealt with those things.

It has already been more than 45 days since Ms. Jayalalithaa passed away. I am sorry for the delay in taking up this item. Reason: I have been in a dilemma/enigma, of whether I am competent to write about this subject. I am writing this, with a borrowed courage, saying myself "Better late, than never'.

What I wish to point out as briefly as possible at this stage:
Nearly a million dollars were spent. Doctors were continuously monitoring her progress. She made progress. At one point of time, she was given freedom to go home. She watched movies. She was about to walk. All her vital parameters were good, giving hope and optimism. But suddenly she had a cardiac arrest.

We cannot call this fate. In super-speciality Hospitals, numerous diagnostic tests are conducted almost everyday. I had some of my relatives got treated in ICU for respiratory infections, and cardiac ailments. Hence, I learnt through first hand experience and observation, that frequent diagnostic tests take place in hospitals, and patients pay for them repeatedly.

I had my father-in-law, and brother-in-law got treated in ICU for respiratory infections, and cardiac ailments. One of their relatives who himself is an MD (Modern medicine) wanted some ricci treatment to be done (some divine healing method, of which there are practitioners, about which I do not know). And in spite of objections by the treating Modern medical doctors, they got it done. One relative got cured, presumably by the modern medical treatment. Not only did he recover himself, but a childless person he was earlier, he has got a child. Others passed away, owing to cardiac attacks, with afflux of time, and atrophy of bodies.

In case of Ms. Jayalalithaa also, the people of Tamil Nadu, leaders of Tamil Nadu, got numerous yagnams (sacrifices), homams (worship with sacred-fire, similar to yagnams, yAgams) , religious prayers of all religions, performed. Nothing came to her help. Nor did the 24x7 continuous watch by expert doctors of a prestigious hospital group, another prestigious Government Hospital AIIMS, New Delhi, consultation with a UK specialist, consultations with Singapore Specialists could NOT ONLY failed to SAVE HER, BUT ALSO FAILED TO PREDICT HER IMPENDING CARDIAC ARREST , WHILE SHE WAS BEING CONTINUOUSLY DECLARED FIT TO GO HOME. About failure to save, I have no grievance.

The question is: How all the latest diagnostic techniques, tools, equipment, failed to help in predicting? For me this question is important because: India has 1300 million (1.3 billion) population. Most of them are poor. Many State Governments have started special Health Care Schemes, Medical Reimbursement Schemes to private hospitals, almost on No-cash-payment basis, for receiving treatment in Super Speciality Hospitals. The Central Government also has initiated some Special Health Insurance Schemes. Private Sector Insurance Companies are also fiercely competing with one another, to hard-sell health insurance policies.

I have a friend who pays about Rs.40,000 per annum, for the Health Insurance of himself and his wife. This is his annual recurring expenditure. He hopes that someday, he or his wife would fall ill, and the Health Insurance will come to his rescue.

Now, what is the use of a Modern Medical System, and the Diagnostic Procedures adopted by it, which cannot at least predict with some reasonable accuracy-error rate? In case of prediction of weather conditions, India's Meteorological Department (IMD) is doing yeomen service in predicting rains and cyclones, with reasonable accuracy. Why the modern Medical System is failing?

SOME AYURVEDA (INDIAN TRADITIONAL MEDICAL SYSTEM) NOTES. Source: AshTAnga hridayam, of VagbhaTa Junior, Volume 1, Chapter of "Sutra sthAnam" (Area of Principles). Language Sanskrit. In Roman Script



vyAdhiyE upariyO
vyAdhir bhavati uttara kAlajaha
upakrama vighAtI ca
saha upadravam ucyatE.

Approx. English gist: An ailment which arises at a later stage, which obstructs the treatment of the existing first ailment, is called 'upadravam' (disastrous danger).

This verse has a lengthy commentary, in the Telugu edition of ashTAnga hridayam available on Net. I am unable to translate it or reproduce it here, as this blog post will become lengthy and clumsy. That commentary in that book has an additional observation for the in-capabilities of women to endure strong medications. This is just for information only.

Besides, respiratory troubles aggravate during ritu sandhi period. ritu=season of 2 months. sandhi=junction, joint, link. ritu sandhi = Approx. 15 days period, during which one of the six Indian Seasons change from one season to another. During Oct-Nov. 'sarat' season (season intervening between rains and winter) recedes, and hemantam (prelude to winter, a sort of later-autumn) starts. During the two ritu sandhis i.e. Sarat-to-hemantam, and hemantam-to-SiSiram (autumn-to-winter), not only sick-sufferers, but also healthy persons have to exercise extra care in their food, movements, etc.


There are more verses in the first and second chapters of ashTAnga hridayam, some of which may be useful to us in prevention of ailments. Whenever, I find time, I shall try to quote some of them. We need not agree/accept every verse in the treatise.

To continue. "Medical Systems and their Efficacies" is a 1,000 page subject. To continue to add/edit. सशेष. ఇంకా ఉంది.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

882 Is Mr. Bernie Sanders, runners-up to Hillary Clinton for Democratic Presidential Candidature, turning Pro-Trumper?


Is Mr. Bernie Sanders, runners-up to Hillary Clinton for Democratic Presidential Candidature, turning into Pro-Trumper? Ans: It appears so. See this link: Click here to go to http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/bernie-sanders-can-work-with-trump-233532, an study how Mr. Sanders is eager to bend and kneel!. Prima facie it may appear that, losing-rivals in contests ought to co-operate with winners, and extend their helping hand in furthering the goals of the subject matter of the Competition, such as a "A Company, A Political Party, A Nation" or anything similar. But should there not be limits for such co-operation? Else, if the losers join the winners, what will happen to the innocent supporters, sympathizers, voters, writers, etc. who stood behind the losing campaigners? Are the supporters, sympathizers, voters, writers, media, workers, fools? In case of bourgeoisie politicians and parties, since all the parties and politicians have same or similar philosophies, such drastic shifts become understandable. But, this cannot be done in case of (self-proclaimed) Socialist politicians like Bernie Sanders.

"... I don’t think it makes sense to say, ‘No, we’re not gonna work in any way in any form with the Trump administration. ..."

"...Trump has talked appropriately about a collapsing infrastructure: our roads, bridges and water systems. If he is prepared to work with us on rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure and creating millions of jobs and doing it in a way that doesn’t privatize our infrastructure or give tax breaks to billionaires, yes, let’s work together . ..."

"...If he is prepared to work with us on a trade policy which works for the American worker and not just the CEO of large multinational corporations, let’s work together on those areas ..."

"...There will be no compromise on bigotry... There can be no compromise there, There can be no compromise, in my view, on protecting American democracy, working against voter suppression that many Republican governors are trying to bring about, and in my view there can’t be any compromise on climate change. ..."




ybrao-a-donkey's views which are not intended to be imposed on others:

I know I day-dream. Mr. Bernie Sanders also seem to day-dream, when he imposes some conditions on Mr. Donald Trump (see the above conditions). Is Mr. Sanders over-estimating himself? Does Mr. Trump need Sanders' support? Even if he needs, will he care to obtain the support, by melting down his own well-published convictions, fancies, announcements, whims, what not? Even if Trump is ready to compromise, will his Republican supporters, Business and Industrialist supporters, allow it?

Socialism is not just a question of some Allocations of funds for Infrastructure , or some modification of Trade Policies. The scope and spectrum of Socialism is too vast, and is un-compromise-able. If an American Socialist President could not be elected in 2016, he-she can be elected in 2020 or 2024. Four years period is too short a time, in histories of Nations. Ordinarily, there will not be any need to compromise.

QUALITY OF VOTERS AND QUALITY OF MPs REALLY MATTER


What determines the future of a Nation is the quality of its voters, and the quality of MPs they elect. In the interregnum between two elections, what genuine Socialists can do, will be-- to strive to improve the quality of voters, and the candidates they vote for.

Question: Why the quality of voters and MPs, is so important?


Ans: Introducing and implementing True Total Socialism, is not going to be as easy as Demonetizing a Nation's currency, or pushing Nations into skirmishes, battles and wars. When an effort is made to introduce true total socialism, even Civil Wars which may have an intensity greater than the Civil War which Abraham Lincoln fought, may arise/result. Without good quality citizens, and citizens' representatives, Socialism will fail a la the Bolshevik Revolution 1917. Anyway, a Self-proclaimed Socialist, expecting much from a hardcore Capitalist like Mr. Donald Trump, will be a wild goose chase. It will be like a thirsty person trying to quench his thirst, while running to capture water from a mirage.

There is a beautiful Telugu language verse to express this idea:


Poet Vemana, महा कवि वेमन. 15th Century A.D. Book: Vemana Satakam. वेमन शतकं. వేమన శతకం. Verse in Roman Script:

goDDuTAvu pituka kunDa kom pOyinA
panDla nUDa tannu, pAla niDadu
lObhi vAni naDuga lAbhambu lEdayA
viSva dAbhi rAma vinura vEma.

Hindi script:
गॊड्ड टावु पितुक कुंड कॊंपोयिना
पंड्ल नुड तन्नु पाल निडदु
लोभि वानि नडुग लोभंबु लेदया
विश्व दाभिराम विनुर वेम.

In Telugu script: గొడ్డు టావు పితుక కుండ కొంపోయినా
పండ్ల నూడ తన్ను పాల నిడదు
లోభి వాని నడుగ లాభంబు లేదయా
విశ్వదాభిరామ వినుర వేమ.

Englsh Gist: If we take a pot, and approach a barren-cow to milk it, it will kick us in such a way that we lose our teeth. But it will not yield any milk. This simile is used to justify the moral taught in the third line of the verse: There is no use of approaching and begging a miser (for loan or for financial help). A miser will not help.

Vemana wrote thousands of great verses in Telugu language. They convey not only ethics and morals, but they also communicate spiritual, mystical, renunciation-al (vairAgya) messages, most of which are secular. They are not religious prayers. About 5000 of such verses, in Telugu script are now available for download on internet. Late C.P. Brown, who worked for the East India Company in India, in 19th Century, translated many of them into English prose. PDF version of Brown's prose translation is available on Internet. One can google.


To continue. सशेष. ఇంకా ఉంది.