Thursday, December 17, 2015

Abhaya: A Fearless First Indian Novel

This post is simply a description of my personal experiences reading 'Abhaya', Saiswaroopa Iyer's first novel, which I've quickly penned down in no particular order.

I got the Kindle edition at, and began to read immediately, and did not put it down, finishing the novel in one go. From a Rasika's perspective, the characters in the book and the situations cover all nine Rasas. We'll look at just two examples here: the Hasya of Krishna's predicament reminded me just a bit of Kapil Sharma's comical situation in the movie 'Kis Kis to Pyar Karoon'. And the Veera Rasa the reader experiences when we read about Princess Abhaya's courage as she fights against all odds for the cause of Bharatavarsha is a highlight. I'm sure readers who are keyed into social media will want to know about the 'Swachch Bharat' lady of Varanasi in the novel. Read and find out! 

Some of the pages, along with the vivid descriptions, appear to leap right out of old Amar Chitra Katha and Chandamama stories that we all loved to read and re-read before the advent of 24-7 TV. The Shringara Rasa is also on view, some of which I'd personally rate as 'U/A', making the content suitable for young adults. There are excellent and lucid discussions centered on dharma and duty which are suitable and perfect for any age. The dilemmas and challenges that Abhaya and other characters face, and the dharma ethics that is evident in the subsequent decisions they take was brilliant to read.

Saiswaroopa employs several Sanskrit non-translatables, and the author must be commended for this. This is a daunting task, and the author's Shraddha in the sensitive but frank handling of native Indian traditions is evident. There is little or no spoon-feeding of poor approximations of key Sanskrit terms in order to cater to the westernized reader. For example, the meaning of 'dharma' is contextual, and is used as is, and is not mistranslated as 'religion' etc. Also the accurate term 'Arya' is used in the novel, although the dreaded 'Aryan' did appear once, perhaps inadvertently. Hope this gets fixed in the next cycle of edits. There is some emphasis on 'faith' toward the end, which caused me some confusion. I personally chose to interpret 'faith' as 'Bhakti derived from a deep Anubhava' rather than as a dogmatic belief in a purely external force that is highly unlikely to bear fruit no matter how long, and how much 'hope' and 'faith' one has. On the other hand, the dharmic discussions toward the end were both moving and riveting. Yes, this is a work of fiction, but it also full of truth.

Despite being a fictional novel, it is quite clear and impressive that the author has taken pains to ensure an accurate portrayal of dharma traditions. And to be able to do so honestly, and without compromising on the readability and the smooth progress of a fairly intricate plot surely requires a high degree of skill, and fearlessness. This is a lesson, and a benchmark for every budding Indian writer. How many times have we have seen Indian and Western authors compose grandiose works and dramatizations set in a dharmic context, but approach the work purely intellectually and without the requisite Shraddha or Anubhava. They write from a "outsider" perspective, and without any adhyatmic insight, inevitably end up mangling dharmic concepts and the deep civilizational ideas. In direct contrast, this author's writing appears to be grounded in her dharma, and for me, this is the fundamental reason for the success of this work.

Finally, some brief notes on the writing style and some memorable characters. The first thing that came to mind when Krishna enters the story is Sri SL Bhyrappa's epic 'Parva'. Abhaya's Krishna will be loved by everybody. Full of wit, compassion, courage, mischief, love, understanding, and wisdom. Abhaya's lead character is smart, resourceful, cool, beautiful, and thoughtful. The quintessential Indian woman. There were some places where the turn of phrase employed pleased the Ganitha/analytics professional in me. Cool! The author seems to have a natural story telling ability, and she does so with a brisk and clear style.  I'm quite convinced this is the first of many books we will get to read and enjoy.

Abhaya is an authentic Indian work that has something positive for everybody.  Those who have grown up reading stories from Indian Itihasa will be able to relate to this book. I highly recommend it.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Indian Proselytization Equation

While helping my daughter with arithmetic, I uncovered a simple but powerful application of elementary school concepts that helps me do a basic purva paksha numerical analysis of the Christian Evangelism in India. Hopefully scholars in India can analyze this serious social problem at the more sophisticated level that it deserves.

Recall Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi once talked about India's demographic dividend, viewing India's population not simply as a source of all problems, but as an asset that produces solutions? Now consider this equation.

Demographic Dividend ÷ Missionary Divisor = Soul Harvesting Quotient (SHQ)

Note the usefulness of this equation to Missionaries.

1) The size of the missionary pie is equal to Modi ji's demographic dividend.  
India's population is also a great source of joy for churches. The more the Hindu bodies, the biggest the soul harvest, the richer their rewards.

2) Conversion Efficiency
Given N missionaries allocated to India, the SHQ immediately tells their CEOs the required sales target or the per-missionary rate of conversion required for Breaking India, completely destroying dharma, and establishing dogma. For example, if you have 10^9 dharmic bodies, 10^5 harvesters , and a 100-year plan, each missionary has to corrupt an average of 100 atmas annually, over a century for achieving 100% cultural genocide. However, there are non-linearities at work.

3) Proselytization Calculus: Increased conversion rate over time

Theorem: At any point in time, if converting 50% of a dharmic population takes N decades, the second 50% will take (far) less than N decades.

To see this, let us apply Vivekananda's observation: A Hindu lost is not just a Hindu lost, but also an enemy gained. This means that a significant fraction of the harvested population turns vampire. If you started off with 10^5 missionaries, you may be able to continually double the number after a significant increment of harvested recruits join the sales force, without having to import foreigners. Thus, the divisor goes up, and the required SHQ comes down. Equivalently, if the missionary army maintain their SHQ rate, and the Hindu dividend does not grow as rapidly as the divisor, the time taken to harvest the remaining population keeps on reducing over time.

The rate of dogma growth (and reduction in dharmics) in India is likely to increase nonlinearly,  unless there is a sharp and immediate reduction in the number of soul-harvesters before critical mass is reached, at which point, the harvesting process is likely to go viral (exhibit exponential growth) and become almost surely irreversible.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Wolf who cried Wolf

An abbreviated version of this comment was submitted on the Rajiv Malhotra forum

The Indian gov has let hundreds of missionaries into India over the years, but Indians does not get to hear the stories of the thousands of victims of child abuse by Church clergy around the world. In the US, victims are fighting back against the behemoth that has betrayed the trust they placed when they were kids, and filing lawsuits in court that are driving such churches to bankruptcy. In Barack Obama's own state of Illinois, which he so proudly represented, the statistics are quite shocking. We are now just beginning to see the same pattern being repeated in Indian churches with cases being reported in many parts of India. THIS list must be compiled and publicized. If the Indian government is sincere about protecting the rights of Christians in India, as Rajnath Singh ji tweeted today, it needs to start paying serious attention to the cases of abuse against church personnel cropping up worldwide, and study how it is unfolding in India.

The last 10 years under Congress rule has seen some of the more fundamentalist churches pretty much do their own thing in India, and one shudders to think how the faith of hoodwinked Dalits, Indian boys, girls, and prospective nuns who come to church looking for peace have been exploited. A lot of foolish Hindus signed up for Jesus (the original good cop) and Carol singing, but when they woke up, found themselves enlisted as servants of deadly multinational bad-cops. A survey of worldwide data would show that IF at all christians in India are on a hit list, the owner of such a list, with a high probability, is likely to be their own organizations. Like charity, abuse begins at home. Any attack on any place of worship, in any country, be it a Mandir, Gurudwara, Masjid, or Church must be condemned, and the culprits punished severely. But the comparative data regarding such attacks, and acts of vandalism in India and in the United States tells an entirely different story and so we must ask: is this a case of wolf crying wolf? Is the church trying to cover up its tracks in India like it has tried to in other countries, and divert attention by encouraging rabble rousers in India without proper fact checking? Is it trying to derail India's recovery under Modi? After all, it has been complicit in getting Narendra Modi's visa to the US cancelled in the past. Of course, not all churches are bad, and we are already reading about prominent patriotic Indian christians who are speaking out against nefarious conversion activities.

If Breaking India forces can organize a SHAM dalit conference in Washington with the help of 'sepoys', then surely, Indian organizations can organize genuine Church-victim conferences in India, bringing speakers from the west who have had tragic experiences with the churches there. Such conferences need not simply an exercise in generating counter atrocity literature, but can actually make a positive dharmic difference to Indian lives, while also educating India about the threat posed by these BI forces. An alternative perspective based on fact must to be provided to Indian public to compare with the totally one-sided Bollywood image of the 'cool' church-gown wedding, the wise Padre, and the kindly Mrs. Braganza upstairs who feeds and houses the homeless Hindu.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Western Feminism as a Counter-Terrorism Doctrine

A small sample of statements by leading lights of Western feminism (WF):
(via @DeepikaBhardwaj on twitter to explain why she is not a feminist as she states in the last line of the picture above)

If these statements represent a more violent expression of a widespread but latent fear and rage among the persecuted women of some western societies, then it is both fair and useful to also analyze Western Feminism as a counter-terrorism doctrine. This suggestion should not be surprising, as the facts unearthed in the aftermath of 'India's Daughter' video show, the per-capita rate of violent crime against women in such societies are orders of magnitude worse than India (with significant under-reporting in most societies). Of course, India clearly has an emerging problem, but one that should and is being tackled boldly, and perhaps with a lot more wisdom, by women leaders in its society. More on that later. A limited point raised in this blog is this:
WF must also be analyzed as a counter-terrorism doctrine because, as data will show, there exists ample evidence to suggest that it was created to counter gender chauvinist terror inspired by History-centricAbrahamic male-dominated theology adopted in those societies. Terror victims respond violently by attacking the other gender, with scant or no regard for collateral damage in terms of destroyed families, innocent lives lost, and cultures exterminated. At best, the WF approach tolerates the male who accepts 'defeat', just like the MCP tolerates women who do the same, resulting in a constant state of tension that boils over repeatedly. In fact, one could say, that the WF members have become male gladiators for all practical purposes, in order to be successful in executing their adharmic counter-terrorism strategy. And this strategy, which looks more like a race to the bottom, is being promoted and marketed in all parts of the world as 'progressive'.

On the other hand, the Indian response is dharmic, and focuses on harmony and restoring balance via mutual respect, rather than myopically and foolishly thinking in terms of order versus chaos, of triumphant victor tolerating sore loser, and seeks to return the feminine to the highest place in the society it has traditionally occupied. This article is a good place to start.  For a detailed comparative analysis of the idea of mutual respect in dharma versus Abrahamic ideology, read Rajiv Malhotra's book Being Different'. The data has shown (read the books by Dr. R. Vaidyanathan, or the talks by S. Gurumurthy on this subject, for example) that the practical success of the traditional Indian economy (Mahalakshmi), its learning models (Saraswati), and its strength against aggression (Durga), are because they are rooted in the divine feminine. Thus, it seems clear to me that these particular choices of Lakshmi, Saraswati, Durga arose from the actions of ancient Indians who were actually practicing this successful approach, i.e., ground up, and in turn these deities served as exemplars for future generations to follow and be successful too. The ideas of eco-feminism, Yoga, vegetarianism, etc. that have become popular in the west, especially among women, also come from dharmic India. This is not surprising, since the very idea and source of strength is Shakti, which is important in the dharmic traditions of India. One can also understand the Indian versus western response as that of a Yogi versus the Gladiator.

Should one respond to gender-based fault-lines in societies by widening them using a counter-terrorism doctrine to achieve victory? or should one employ a dharmic solution to achieve harmony? Seems like a no-brainer.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Tale of Two Pilots

The stories go roughly like this.

An aircraft carrier is out in enemy waters, locked in a grim do or die battle. Most of its aircraft have been sent out on a patrol when a squadron of enemy bombers is sighted. Only two fighter planes are available to defend the ship, our pilot and his wingman. The wingman's guns jam, and it is just the pilot in between the bombers and the lives of hundreds of sailors. In a desperate battle, he shoots down three of them before running out of ammo, but causes sufficient mayhem that the remaining bombers miss their target. He wins his nation's highest battle honor. He dies in battle a year later.


An airfield in a strategic border location is facing a surprise attack by enemy fighter-bomber jets. Again, it's just our pilot and his wingman who barely manage to take off even as the bombs fall on the runway. It's down to these two to defend an very important airfield. The wingman loses visual contact and is out of the fight for a bit, leaving our pilot in what looks like a hopeless 1 against 4 dogfight. Undaunted, he dives into battle and fights them off to the very end, taking at least two of them before he is shot down. The remaining enemy aircraft head home. The pilot wins his nation's highest battle honor.

The first pilot is Lt. Commander 'Butch' O'Hare, who was awarded the US medal of honor for his action on February 20, 1942, saving the USS Lexington. The O'Hare legend was part of my daughter's elementary school homework. A grateful nation gave his name to Chicago's international airport, among the busiest. and most famous airports in the US and the world. If i recall, you can see a replica of O'Hare's wildcat plane when you walk from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2.

The second pilot is Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, who was awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his heroism on 14 December, 1971, giving up his life defending the skies of Srinagar. There is no major, possibly even a minor airport in India, named after its most revered air-force hero.

This also tells a tale about the narratives of two nations.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Original Good Cop

The Abrahamic God has often been described as a ruthlessly strong, angry, jealous male, quick to take offense, one who can toss you into eternal hellfire, etc. But being as subtle as a sledgehammer creates an image, and hence recruitment, problem. Some Abrahamic variations do not care about PR or niceties. His will will be done, one way or another, and peace is established by the fear of the sword or the fear of the bigger sword. Other cults are smarter.

Enter: son of God. The epitome of love, charity, kindness, and persuasion. Benevolence multiplied by Goodness raised to the power of divinity. Rather than put the fear of God in you right away, you first do a meet-and-greet, and then gradually get acquainted with the good son. He's the good guy, who is on your side, fighting your cause in the trenches, accepting your shameful sins, who's taken the hit for you so you won't have to, who will save you from the torrid wrath of the angry big-boss CEO upstairs. And he's the only one who can protect you from the quintessential bad cop, and all you have to do is sign on the dotted line. And it works. every time. spectacularly. You are hooked. The good guy too has a dark side - after all, he's a chip of the old Abrahamic block, but you do not want to see it until it is too late. It's like an age old retail trick that works like a charm. You are suckered by the promotion that practically gives away the core, attractive hardware, and you end up paying through your nose for the endless expensive accessory products for the rest of your life. No surprise then that billions around the world have fallen, and continue to fall for the world's first and original good-cop bad-cop trick.

The GCBC routine has since been re-employed over the years in a variety of different forms and improvisations to facilitate religious conversion and digestion of native cultures. India is a prime example. Hindus, in particular, fall for this all the time because they invariably view the junior good-cop very positively in isolation but then fail to spot the GCBC system at work, and that it is the bad cop boss upstairs that ultimately calls the shots. This failure of not adopting a systems approach is costing India. Some of the intellectual Hindu writers online fall for this and end up looking silly.

The work and methods formulated by Rajiv Malhotra to delineate the hostile ecosystems at work, expose them, guard against them, and eventually turn them back, are incredibly important to internalize. Listen to this debate between Rajiv Malhotra and a wonderful, nice, courteous, and friendly good cop in Houston. RM explains the GCBC system really well here.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Srinivasa Ramanujan: Jewel in Indra's Net

Why are we awed when we learn of Srinivasa Ramanujan's amazing results? He was self-taught, and provided no 'proof' for those results that conformed to the Euclidean / axiomatic model driving the western system of Mathematical study. Yet, as it has turned out over the hundred years since Ramanujan's works, a very, very high percentage of his results have been proven right by the Western system of mathematics. Very few of his results were found to be wrong, and a vast majority of his results were completely new - there is no evidence so far that the world knew about those findings before Ramanujan presented them. How did he do it?

Ramanujan himself attributed this remarkable success to his personal/ family deity, Goddess Namagiri, a feminine manifestation of divinity (in the dharmic sense), who 'gave' him the answers. The world takes this important piece of information with a bit of amusement, awe, and instead chooses to attribute Srinvasa's success to that unexplainable human attribute that the west has coined as 'genius'. Many Indians take pride in Ramanujan's 'genius', and the historicity that Ramanujan was born in India: a glowing reminder of India's once brilliant past, now extinguished; India got lucky with history, and Ramanujan won a gene lottery.

However, this does not appear to be a satisfactory enough explanation. Whatever this 'genius' is, it appears to be based on solid and systematic methods, and a lot of hard work, deep insights, and intuition. The story is that in England, as the professors there tried to teach Ramanujan new and modern areas of Math that he was not exposed to before, he was busy writing down new results. The story of a differently wired brain pulling results out thin air falls short.

The question arises: if there is a systematic method at work, then Ramanujan's methods must be reproducible by a human with a non-zero probability. So what is that system? Is this unique, or if not, where have we seen this before? Importantly, can we recover this systematic method and put it to use for solving today's and future problems?

YES, it is likely that:
a) there is a systematic method at work,
b) we have seen it before, and
c) it is reproducible.

Where and when have we seen it before? 
Yoga. Ayurveda. Vedanta. Many results have been derived in these areas of human discovery, after having been empirically validated and reproduced to the satisfaction of the Indian systems of verification (Pramana) for centuries now. The west, in places like Harvard University, and other centers of research have the sophisticated instrumentation and research funding to essentially reconfirm to their satisfaction, these astonishing Indian discoveries, or quantify and measure qualitative Indian findings. These verification studies are not trivial. Praiseworthy, painstaking studies in the west in the areas of psychology, medicine,  mind-sciences, Quantum physics, Human intelligence, Linguistics, Environmental management, Engineering, Management, Computer Science, etc. have quantified, validated, and embraced, bit by bit, section by section, these Indian results. New and beneficial products and services have been derived directly and indirectly from these Indian discoveries. This comes across as a replay of events that Ramanujan triggered in the area of Ganitha!

Based on these observations, it is possible that what Ramanujan achieved is not some random event. It is likely that his methods represent an application of a 'traditional' Indian approach to knowledge discovery. Paninian Ganitha versus Euclidean mathematics, if you will. Leading Indian expert-commentators like M.D. Srinivas have found Ramanujan's work to be representative of an illustrious body of work done by a sequence of brilliant dharmic researchers from Panini to Aryabhata to Madhava of Kerala. His results are no more astonishing that the amazing discoveries via Yoga, Ayurveda, and other dharmic methods that continue to benefit the cosmos.

Such methods neither claim, nor require, some magical-myth/supernatural monotheist God/random-genius basis.  Ramanujan's attribution to the Devi is not an isolated instance. Panini mentioned that the Shiva Sutras were revealed to him through Shiva's Damru. This attribution to the dharmic divine appears to be neither coincidental nor some zealous 'rush of religious blood'.

Two points to summarize:
a) Indian researchers state that the dharmic (Indian) approach to Ganitha represents a valid way of uncovering previously unknown facts that is different from the western approach of starting from assumptions/axioms and moves to theorems to newer theorems.

b) Furthermore, a state of mind required to generate such extraordinary clarity and insight can be induced via adhyatmic (inner science) techniques. These dharmic techniques can be learned by 'normal' humans from Gurus, and is not the sole preserve of wizards or prophets past.

Therefore, it is possible that new Ramanujan-type results can be generated in the future, and not just in Ganitha, but in a variety of fields, by learning and employing authentic Indian methods, in tandem with western instrumentation and techniques for verification.

Some screenshots from the IIT-Bombay Ganitha lecture series available on You Tube.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dharmic Clock Running Out

A quick back-of-the-envelope 5-minute 'ball-park' estimate of the 'market share' of dharmic people in undivided India.

Please feel free to post corrections if the numbers are way off, so that readers may benefit.

The following three rows display a recent population estimate by country (in millions), and the approximate percentage of Hindus (dharmics) in that national population.

India: 1230M (78.5%)
Pakistan: 192M (1.85%)
Bangladesh: 158M (8%)

total share of dharmics
= (1230*0.785+192*0.0185+158*0.08)/(1230+192+158)
~ 62%

I recall reading somewhere that the percentage of Hindus in
1947 undivided India was 66% (link needed). If true, this means, from 947CE to 1947, dharmic share dropped from 100% to 66%. This gives us a decline rate of  34/1000, or about 3.4 percentage points every hundred years, on average. During this period, the Abrahamic invaders of India perpetrated the biggest holocaust in the history of mankind, dwarfing both the massive genocide of native Americans by Euro-Christian invaders, and the mass-murder of millions of Jews during WW2 by the Nazis. Most native populations around the world crumbled under such continuous onslaught, but dharma stood its ground.

Yet, post independence, in just 67 yrs since 1947, the dharmic share appears to have dropped 4 percentage points. This despite enjoying more than 3/4 majority in India and having the freedom to chart their own prosperous future, and the luxury of having no organized Abrahamic genocidal opposition to fight. Today's Hindus, in far, far more benign times, appear to be losing demographic share at roughly twice the rate at which their heroic ancestors lost ground in the previous thousand years. Instead of the decline being arrested and reversed, it appears to have accelerated. Why? There are likely to be many reasons, both internal and external. Let's look at one internal picture.

Lack of dharmic grounding?
In this era when Tamas rules Hindu minds, when educated Indians recklessly brand and market themselves using "center right wing" or "center left wing" or "regional" or "world citizen" or some other gibberish label, and some its intellectuals cumulatively devote precious man-months to intellectual gymnastic dogfights over Vimanas, this should not come as a surprise. We see respected thinkers continue to fund and celebrate the suicidal process of outsourcing the R&D of key strategic knowledge areas (which should've been their core dharma) to Hinduphobic academics in India and the west, and mock native attempts. This is not merely a sign of intellectual bankruptcy, but utter adhyatmic bankruptcy. IQ, and not dharmic quotient is revered today, and consequently, almost all of India's thought leaders have lost their dharmic compass, and it does not seem to worry them in the least.  

If Moron Smriti continues to reign, then simple math sends a message: for the first time in many thousand years, dharma will no longer be the majority in a little more than 200 years from now in its own sacred geography. That's just a few rebirths away.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Moral victories are useless in a Dharma Yuddham

'Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right' - Salvor Hardin (Issac Asimov, Foundation series).

After a recent retaliation by the Indian army, Pakistan now seeks a moral victory. Incredulous.

Laughable as this sounds, such moves will have plenty of support from their support base amongst the leftist and secular sepoy ecosystem in India and both the left and right wings in the west - despite India losing the life of yet another soldier in this latest unprovoked attack. This "no first use" type policy is costing the democracies of the world, in general, and India in particular, a lot of precious lives. Despite every attempt at peace by India over the last 60+ years, Pakistan has continued its diabolical attempts to bleed India, even if it has had to sacrifice its own children in Peshawar to achieve this vision. Why?

At its core, Pakistan is a 3-D printed artifact, a synthetic unity enforced by a violent ideology and thus in a constant state of tension that can only be released by periodic acts of Himsa. And clearly, these acts are increasing in both frequency and amplitude. Unlike India, which is characterized by a viable integral unity based on dharma, Pakistan as a single entity has no basis in reality. In fact, many thousands of people from east and west Pakistan migrate back into India, seeking refuge from the Frankenstein that they themselves constructed. Like a USSR, it is inevitable that a stable peace and equilibrium can only be achieved by disaggregating such a synthetic unity into its organic, more integral constituents. Attempts to bring about such a sustainable peace genuinely represents ahimsa since it will reduce tensions, minimize the harm and alleviate the misery in the region, and thus should not be discouraged but actively encouraged by all the peace loving peoples of the world. To feign ignorance over what is happening in Pakistan may seem moral, but it is certainly not dharmic. If India truly believes in 'Ahimsa paramo dharma', then it needs to act accordingly, and not based on flaky Abrahamic notions of morality. In a dharma yuddham, there can be fairness, but no compromise. Rather than continuing to endure Himsa to gain some non-existing moral upper ground that nobody cares about, India must, like Lee Child's Jack Reacher, seriously consider getting its retaliation in first - to save dharmic lives and rip apart the synthetic unity of a Jarasandha that has made its hostile intent and actions abundantly and repeatedly clear.