## Friday, December 22, 2006

### Shri Dakshinamurthy Stotram (Part IX) at Advaitin

In his exposition of Shri Dakshinamurthy Stotram at Advaitin, Shri. V. Subrahmanian comments on the verse 8:

Vishvam pashyati kArya-kAraNatayA sva-svAmi-sambandhataH
ShiShyAchAryatayA tathaiva pitRR^I-putrAdyAtmanA bhedataH |
Svapne jAgrati vA ya eSha puruSho mAyAparibhrAmitaH
Tasmai ShrIgurumUrtaye nama idam shrIdakshiNaamUrtaye ||

Part IX-a, Part IX-b, Part IX-c, Part IX-d, Part IX-e, IX-f, IX-g, IX-h and IX-i

link to previous ones.

==

A translation of Pratha Smarana Stotram by Shankara. Another translation is at celextel.org (free login needed). Here is the original:

Pratha smarami hrudhi samsphuradathma thathwam,
Sathchithsugam paramahamsagathim thureeyam,
Yath swapna jagara sushupthamavaithi nithyam,
Thad brahma nishkalamaham na cha bhootha Sangha. 1

Prathar bhajami cha mano vachasa magamyam,
Vacho vibhaanthi nikhila yadanugrahena,
Yam nethi nethi vachanai nigama avochan,
Tham deva devamachyuthamaahooragryam. 2

Prathar namami thamasa paramarka varnam,
Rajwam bujangama iva prathibhasitham vai. 3

==

A translation of Kaupeena Panchakam by Shankara. Here is the original:

Vedantha Vakhyeshu Sada ramantho,
Bhikshannamathrena trishtimantha,
Vishokamantha karane charantha,
Kaupeenavantha Khalu bhaghyavantha 1

Moolam tharo kevalam ashrayantha,
Panidhvayam bhokthuma manthrayantha,
Kandhamiva sreemapi kuthsayantha,
Kaupeenavantha Khalu bhaghyavantha 2

Swananda bhava pari thushti mantha,
Sushantha sarvendriya vruthi mantha,
Aharnisam brahma sukhe ramantha,
Kaupeenavantha Khalu bhaghyavantha 3

Swathmana athmanyavalokayantha,
Naantha na Madhyam na bahi smarantha,
Kaupeenavantha Khalu bhaghyavantha 4

Brahmaksharam pavanamucharantho,
Brahmahamasmeethi vibhavayantha,
Bhikshashino dikshu paribramayantha,
Kaupeenavantha Khalu bhaghyavantha 5

==

Postscript: Please see this link for more details on Dakshinamurthy Stotram.

## Monday, December 18, 2006

### Jiddu Krishnamurti on Google and YouTube

The videos of Jiddu Krishnamurti are available on Google Videos (http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=J.Krishnamurti) and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=KFoundation).

Great way to spend one's time watching/listening to a great man who speaks from the depths of his heart.

Postscript: You may be interested in this website for many discources by JK. [Thanks to the author of a comment for providing this excellent resource!]

## Friday, December 08, 2006

### Will you remember 9/11?

There was a recent spate of posts in the blog world describing where the authors were on that fateful day. Today on the event of Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on another fateful day, the New York Times ran a opinion special section, and asked the readers to post their comments on the futuristic question:

Do you remember Pearl Harbor? How confident are you that we will never forget the attacks of 9/11?

Most readers responded, according to their age. The older ones, who had been through both the events were sadful. The younger ones responded in another way. One comment by one hsing lee however, stands out of the rest and thus worthwhile to be quoted in full here:

Will the world remember 9/11?

Oh, the world will remember 9/11/01, to be certain.

A billion East Indians have not forgotten that Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha movement, a movement of non-violent resistance, was born on 9/11/1906.

A billion Muslims have not forgotten that the European colonization of the Middle East - the British Mandate of Palestine, the first move toward the state of Israel eventually being forced on the Palestinian people, began on 9/11/1922… it’s why the Islamists chose this date, 79 years later, to attack the Twin Towers.

The people of Chile will never forget the CIA sponsored coup of 9/11/1973, perpetrated by Augusto Pinochet to overthrew the government of Salvador Allende, who was democratically elected by the Chilean people but disliked by the Republican Party.

The question should not be, “will we remember 9/11?”

The question SHOULD be, “can we learn the lesson of how 9/11/1922 applies to 9/11/2001, and then apply those lessons to George W Bush’s actions in Iraq and Afghanistan before it’s too late?”

An occupying army will always give rise to resistance. That resistance led to Jewish Terrorism against the British, then Terrorism by both Muslims and Jews against each other, and finally to Muslim Terrorism against America on that fateful day in 2001.

Like begets like. Hate begets hate. Chickens ALWAYS come home to roost.

And right now, George W Bush is making thousands more Osama Bin Ladens, and thousands more potential 9/11’s through his actions in Afghranistan and Iraq.

Like WILL beget like, unless we choose NOT to remember 9/11 as a day of violence, conquest, terrorism and displacement, and instead choose to remember it as the day a great man, a young lawyer from India, chose to take on the British Empire, and win, armed only with the heart of a Nation, and the truth.

Many of you will choose to use this day in history as justification for more violence, more hate, and more vengeance. An eye for an eye, you’ll call it. Perhaps you SHOULD heed the wisdom of the Mahatma… an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.

Or are you already too blind to see?

Peace

By pointing Americans and the world to what happened on another 9/11, Hsing Lee shows what is the problem with the current world. Thank you Hsing Lee, for speaking the words in my heart.

I am sure that a couple of centuries from now, people would be celebrating 9/11/1906, on which the seemingly ideal-but-impractical theory of Civil Disobedience proposed by Thoreau was implemented by an extraordinarily brave lawyer from India. I salute you Mahatma Gandhi!

## Thursday, November 30, 2006

### Shankara's Introduction to his Commentary on Gita

On Gita Jayanthi, by some strange coincidence, I happened to start the English translation of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita by Swami Nikhilananda. The learned Swami -- from an institution which I immensely respect -- has done an excellent English translation of the commentary of Shankara. Shankara, when he wanted to start, some can say reinstate, the philosophy of Advaita in the pavithra bhoomi (sacred land) of India, wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita. This was a part of his commentary on each of the text of prasthana-traya, the other two being The Upanishads and The Brahmasutras. The Bhagavad Gita is a part of Mahabharata and technically should be considered a smriti (remembered) text. It is however considered a sruti (revelatory) text due to its source (Lord Krishna, an avatar) and the influence upon Indians of generations.

The Bhagavad Gita, being such a great source of daily-inspiration for millons of Indians spanning across centuries, has been called by some scholars as a book that is (1) not amenable to Advaitic interpretation and (2) has many inconsistent thoughts. The scholars -- including the great Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan himself -- had to go through great pains in writing translations of Gita. They had to use classifications like (1) the first six chapters (called karma-shatkam) talk about the concept of renunciation of the deeds of karma as a method of liberation, (2) the next six chapters (called bhakti-shatkam) talk about the love of the personal God as a method of liberation and (3) the last six chapters (called gyana-shatkam) talk about the way of knowledge as a method of liberation.

Another great scholar, Eliot Deutsch, the learned scholar who has written the books exposing the philosophical content on Advaita and source books on Advaita, himself had to use the terms "progressive teaching of Gita" for explaining the "inconsistency" of the Gita.

All this may confuse a spiritual-student -- including the author of this post -- to mistakenly conclude about the message of the Gita. This is particularly true when: (1) if the student is mature enough to search for message in the Gita, but not mature enough -- as the author of the post was -- to understand the message that was clear (hind sight is always 20/20). (2) Also, in students who have a reasonable amount of maturity and thirst for knowledge, the words "The gita is not considered an Advaitic Text" can lead one away from Gita, when it is known that Advaita is the crux of indian philosophical systems. If such a student searches for a message in Upanishads, he is bound to be more confused, as the Upanishads are too experiences of seers. The Upanishads themselves being experiences of different seers in different times and situations would surely confuse any such student.

The way out of that confusion is, as it always should have been, the well known axiom: "go to the source". Shankara, being a brilliant philosopher himself does not have an inch of confusion and dispels all confusions from any such students hearts. The commentary of Shankara on Gita, nay Shankara's introduction itself to the Gita itself, is enough to dispel any such doubts on any spiritual practitioner. Before beginning such a reading, let us begin an old prayer that explains the significance of each Gita in the context of Upanishads:

The Upanishads are as a herd of cows; Krishna the Son of a cowherd, is their Milker. Arjuna is the calf, the supreme ambrosia of the Gita the milk, and the wise man the drinker.

Here is the introduction:

Of the two kinds of dharma dealt with in the Vedas: the one characterized by activity and the other by renunciation. This twofold Dharma, the cause of the stability of the world order and also the direct means by which men attain prosperity and the Highest Good [Liberation], was followed by members of the different castes -- the brahmin, kshatriya, and the rest -- and of the different dharmas, desirous to secure their welfare.

People parctised the Vedic dharma for a long time. Then lust arose among them; discrimination and wisdom declined. Unrigheousnedd began to outweigh righteousness. Thus, when unrighteousness prevailed ine world, Vishnu [the all pervading one], the First Creator, also known as Narayana, wishing to ensure the continuance of the universe, incarnated Himself, in part, as Krishna. He was born to Devaki and Vasudeva for the protection of the brahmins on earth and their spiritual ideal. By the protection of the brahmin ideal, the dharma of the Vedas is preserved, since all different castes and ashramas are under its control.

The Lord, the eternal Possessor of Knowledge, Soveignty, Power, Strength, Energy, and Vigour, brings under His control maya -- belonging to Him as Vishnu -- the primordial Nature, characterized by the three gunas. And then, through the maya, He is seen as though born, as though endowded with a body, and as though showing compassion for men; for He is, in reality, unborn, unchanging, the Lord of all created beings, and by nature eternal, pure, illuminated, and free.

Though the Lord had nor purpose of His own to serve, yet, with the sole desire of bestowing favour on men, He taught this twofold Vedic dharma to Arjuna, who was deeply sunk in the ocean of grief and delusion; for a dharma spreads and grows when accepted by high-minded persons.

It is this dharma taught by the Lord that the omniscient and venerable Vyasa, the compiler of Vedas, embodied in seven hundred verses under the name of the Gita.

This scripture, the Gita, is a compendium of the essential teachings of the whole of the Vedas; its meaning is extremely difficult to grasp. Many commentators desiring to present a clear idea of that meaning, have explained the words, and the meaning of the words of the sentenses, and also the arguments. But, I find that, to the people of ordinary understanding, these explanations convey diverse and contradictory meanings. Therefore, I intend to write a brief commentary on the Gita, with a view to determining precisely what it signifies.

The ultimate aim of the Gita is, in a word, the attainment of the Highest Good, characterized by the complete cessation of relative existence and its cause. This is realized by means of that dharma whose essence is devotion to Self-knowledge attained through the renunciation of all action. With reference to this dharma laid down in the Gita, the Lord says in the Anugita:

"That dharma is quite sufficient for the attainment of Brahman." (Mahabharatha Chapter on Ahsvamedha, xvi 12)
In the same treatise it is said:
"He who is righetousness and without unrighteousness -- he who is absorbed in one Goal, silent and without thinking."
"Knowledge is characterized by renunciation."

In the concluding chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna says to Arjuna: "Abandon all dharmas and come to Me alone for shelter." (XVIII 66)

The dharma characterized by activity and prescribed for the different castes and ashramas is, no doubt, a means of securing worldly welfare and also of attaining the regions of the gods; but when it is practised in a spirit of self-surrender to the Lord, and without desire for fruit, it leads to the purification of the mind. A man of pure mind becomes fit to acquire devotion to the path of knowledge and attains Knowledge. Thus by means of the dharma of activity, one ultmately realizes the Highest Good. With this view in mind the Lord says in the Gita: "He who works without attachment, resigning his actions to Brahman." (V. 10) "The yogis act, without attachment, for the purification of the heart." (V. 11)

The purpose of the two fold dharma described in the Gita is the attainment of the Highest Good. The subject-matter is the Supreme-Reality known as Vasudeva, the Ultimate Brahman. It expounds both in a specific manner. Thus the Gita treats of a specific subject, with a specific end in view, and there is a specific relation between the subject-matter and the object.

Knowledge of the Gita enables one to attain the goal of all human aspiration. Hence my attempt to explain its teachings.

May we all mature enough to understand the real message in Gita.
Om Tat Sat!

## Wednesday, November 15, 2006

### Link to FAQ in Polyhedral Computation by Fukuda

Here is a link to the extremely useful and well written FAQ in polyhedral computation by Fukuda. Here is a PDF version.

See the sections on face-lattice, polarity aka. duality and Minkowski-Weyl. The number of facets of a d-dimensional, n-vertex polytope grows linearly with n. However, its slope is so high that it grows intractable within no time (fascinating!).

Note: See the sub-sections where many problems, simple and hard, are discussed.

11/25: Probably the polylib-page on Polyhedra , with material taken from Schrijver's book is useful for definitions.

## Monday, November 06, 2006

### LibraryThing: fun stuff with books

I recently became a member of LibraryThing, which allows people to keep an online catalogue of books. It has a simple interface to add books (with a search engine backed up my Amazon power!) and allows one to see some fun stats. Here are some: My author gallery, my author cloud and my tag cloud.

## Sunday, November 05, 2006

### Matrix Cook Book and parody of P = / != NP.

The Matrix Cook Book looks very useful and has ben added to the quick links. It was a quick link in Suresh's Geomblog. The Geomblog also has a parody of a typical P=/!=P conversaton in comp.theory. Thanks for both Suresh!

## Saturday, November 04, 2006

### Ramakrishna Mission and TTD

Being an admirer of expositions of Vedanta by great men, many of whom happen to be from Ramakrishna Mission, it fills up by heart with immense joy when I see the following on the backcover of a translation of Upanishads book:

The words say "Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam is supporting Ramakrishna Mission in bringing these books at low prices." Tirupathi Venkateshwara supporting Ramakrishna Mission is the manifestation of the statement from Bhagavad Gita: "Dharma Samsthapanarthaya Sambhavaami Yuge Yuge", where Naarayana supports Dharma and the Vedic truths in many forms.

Some of the books on Vedanta I have read by people of the great order:

1. Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita by Swami Prabhavananda
2. Self-Knowledge etc. Swami Nikhilananda
3. Upanishads by Swami Sarvananda (both English and Telugu)
4. Lectures on Mandukya by Swami Ranganathananda
5. The Upanishads by Swami Gambhirananda

I have an intuitive feeling that, in the last century, Ramakrishna Mission has atleast matched the peethams set up by Shri Adi Shankara in propagating Vedanta.

## Thursday, November 02, 2006

### Convex Polytopes and notes from Develin's works

Mike Develin is a Mathematician who has written a compendium (PDF link) to accompany Ziegler's wonderful book. Also, the first two chapters of his thesis (PDF link) are a great read for anyone interested in convex polyhedra. Some notes:

On homogenization and equivalence:

Given a polytope P\subset \mathbb{R}^d, we can form a cone associated to it by considering the cone of all points {(1,v)} where v \in V. Two crucial points: (1) The shape of the polytope can be recovered by intersecting this cone with the hyperplane x = 1. (2) You might notice that the shape of the polytope we obtain is dependent on the orientation of the polyhedral cone in R^d. This leads to the very important concept of projective equivalence. Two polytopes are defined to be projectively equivalent if they can be obtained as cross-sections of the same polyhedral cone one dimension higher; this notion of equivalance is stronger than the notion of combinatorial equivalence, where two polytopes are equivalent if their faces have same combinatorial structure, and weaker than the notion of affine equivalence, which relates polytopes which are affinely isomorphic to each other.

On polarity:

the face-lattice L(P) is just a partially ordered set, or poset with elements being the faces of the polytope and F < G if F \subseteq G.
...
One key property of polytopes is that the intersection of any two faces is itself a face, which corresponds to the fact that any two elements of the poset have a unique maximal lower bound. The aforementioned notion of combinatorial equivalence corresponds to two polytopes having the same face lattice.

With face lattice, it is easy to give a combinatorial description of the polar polytope P^\Delta. The polar polytope realizes the full power of the duality between the two formulations of polytopes, in terms of vertices and in terms of inequalities. Assuming that P is full-dimensional (embedded in R^d, where d is the dimension of P), P^\Delta is the object in the dual space V^* consisting of those linear functionals f for which f(x) \le 1 holds everywhere on P. To do this, we need to pick the position of the origin inside P, but once we have done this, the entire combinatorial and indeed projective type of P^\Delta is determined. Furthermore, the face-lattice of P^\Delta is precisely the opposite poset of L(P).
...

... the Farkas lemma implies that the polar polytope is the convex hull of the facet-defining functionals, which provides a natural correspondence between the vertices of P^\Delta and the facets of P. In fact, the lattices are isomorphic under this correspondence; the face lattice is completely determined by which subsets of {1,2,...,n} are facets, so this, along with the fact that the vertices of P correspond to the facets of P (as constraint f(x) <= 1 on P is equivalent to the intersection of half-spaces f(v) <= 1 for v \in V) exhibits explicit correspondence.

Thanks Mike!

Postscript (11/05): The chapter "Basic Properties of Convex Polytopes" is available via the following link: ftp://ftp.math.tu-berlin.de/pub/combi/ziegler/WWW/archiv/049polychap2.ps.gz(with thanks to Prof. Ziegler). The chapter is from the book: Handbook of Discrete and Computational Geometry with the following table of contents.

## Friday, October 20, 2006

### Happy Deepavali!

The souls were drenched in the darkness of unreality,
tied up by the demon of duality,
to the chains of karma and samskaras.

The blue one in his infinite compassion was coming to rescue,
"I too would come", said his shakti.
"That is a battleground and the souls are in a pity state,
you would be sorry to see them" said the lord.
"more the reason", said his shakti,
"further, victory is not possible without me".
"Ok", said the Lord.

Battle ensured. It was bloody.
The hordes of the souls,
that had no time to wait for emancipation,
had already become trophies in the other side.
The darkness of unreality, was so immense,
that even the lord thought to himself,
"I am the manifestation of brahman,
why is this darkness taking so long?"
He sat meditating.

His shakti thought,
"This is no ordinary battleground,
the oppressed souls are refusing,
to see the true light within them."
"The demon does not have the power
to stand before even one of them."
"The chains are rusty and the
demon is unreal, to tie these souls."
"What is needed is self-realization."
"Let me help them by revealing myself".

She said to them,
"I am satya, the truth and reality. See me!"
"You oppressed souls! know that
this darkness of unreality does not exist,
this demon of duality does not
have power over you."
"Know thyself!
Know that your inner self,
is as infinite, and as potent,
as that which drives the lord here."
"tat tvam asi. tat tvam asi".

The souls realized the illusory nature of the demon,
it was Brahman everywhere.
The lord wokeup and smiled,
it was Brahman everywhere.
Filled everywhere was,
the radiance of a thousand suns,
it was Brahman everywhere.
Not that there was a time when it was not,
it was Brahman everywhere.
Truth, peace and joy prevailed.
Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi.

## Saturday, October 07, 2006

### Audio renditions of Sri Dakshinamurthy Stotram

Here are two audio renditions of Sri Dakshinamurthy Stotam:

1. From Kamakoti.org, thanks to this post on advaitin.

2. By unknown artists in fusion style, thanks to this post on advaitin.

Postscript: Please see this link for more details.

## Wednesday, October 04, 2006

### tera teeyaga raada ...

It is said that when Thyagaraja, went to Tirupathi, a curtain was drawn -- as it usually done, so that seva, or alankar can be done -- between him and his lord. He waited long, and when he -- the life long devotee of Rama, the absolute in the form of prince of Ayodhya -- could not wait any longer to see his lord, he sang:

tera teeyaga raada naaloni
tirupathi venkata ramana matsaramagu tera teeyaga raada

which roughly means

Oh lord, please remove the curtain of ignorance which separates us.

He of course was referring to his saguna-brahman as Sita-pati. What difference does it make when the devotee is longing for uniting with his lord, whether it be nirguna or saguna? What difference does it make, when all he wants is, to be removed of his ignorance or EGO. The ego, which is the final obstruction between a devotee and his God, the jiva and his Ishvara, the Vishistadvaitic-atman and its qualified-with-attributes-brahman, the soul attaining its Nirvana, the Advaitic-eternal-atman with the eternal-brahman?

Not surprisingly, the curtain fell off and Thyagaraja is said to have finally merged with Rama-brahma?

==

What use is of feelings if they do not come into practise in daily life? What use is the ability to remove the ego when with oneself, when in any kind of communication, nay even presence of others does it manifest itself? Is this the way of the world? Probably not. The key may be to pray to the Goddess Maya herself, to Ma Kali, Ma Lalitha Tripurasundari to reveal herself.

... Dakshinamurthy ruupini

(from Lalitha Sahasranamam)
O southward-facing one (O kind one), who gave the eternal knowledge to Sanaka and others, please do the same to me.

## Tuesday, September 26, 2006

### Sridakshinamurtistotram at advaitin

Disambiguation (1, 2 and 3) at advaitin between shridakshinamurthy stotram, that begins with "vishwam darpana drishya maana nagari tulyam" and others. It seems that there are three stotras by Shankara on Dakshinamurthy and the convention seems to be to call the most popular one (one that begins with "vishwam") as ShriDakshinamurthy Stotram. It is erroneously called astakam, as it obviously does not have eight shlokas.

==

Shri Subramanian continues his exposition of the ShriDakshinamurthy Stotram. In part VIII, he comments on verse 7 of the stotra.

svAtmaanam prakaTIkaroti bhajatAm yo mudrayaa bhadrayaa
tasmai shrIgurumurtaye nama idam shrIdakShiNAmUrtaye || 7 ||

Here are Part VIII-a, Part VIII-b, Part VIII-c, Part VIII-d, Part VIII-e and Part VIII-f.

There is a mistake in numbering VIII-e as VIII-f. Here is a supplementary comment on the word 'dhira' VIII-d dhira.

Link to previous ones.

==

Prof. VK's page on Shri Dakshinamurthy stotram.

### Freedom

I have read the book Advaita Vedanta by Eliot Deutsch many times. Here is a selection on "Freedom", from chapter eight titled Moksha and Jnana-Yoga.

The distinctive characteristic of most practical and theoretical concerns with freedom is the attempt to discover how one can be free from something: be it one's own passions and appetites, society, laws, or forces of physical nature. Freedom is generally conceived of that state of being or that opportunity which is on the other side of "necessity". Thomas Hobbes sums it up neatly when he writes that "liberty or freedom signifies properly the absence of opposition" [Ref: The Levithanian].

The Advaitic concept of freedom (moksha or mukti) likewise is cast initially in negative terms, as freedom from karma, from actions that bind one to the world, and from the ceaseless round of births and deaths in the world (samsara). But it also recognizes that when freedom is conceived of only in the negative sense of "freedom from," it is not something that human beings ultimately value; and that when taken to its fullest term, freedom is something from which they flee. [emphasis mine]

Whenever one is in a situation of strong constraint, one may indeed earnestly desire freedom from this constraint; one may even indeed become obsessed with the desire to the point when one is rendered impotent to act effectively within the situation; but once all constraints are removed, one finds oneself facing an abyss. One doesn't know what to do, one doesn't know what to make of one's freedom, and rather than face an infinite possibilty, one voluntarily seeks some other kind of constraint. We ceaselessly chain ourselves to things, to ideas and to dreams and illusions. From some inner compulsion, we turn away from the possibility of freedom. We imitate the servitude of others and convince ourselves that we are thereby fulfilling our social responsibility. "Freedom from" is denied by us. In human experience it turns out to be empty of substantial content [Ref. footnote].

This "Freedom from," however, does not denigrate the meaning of freedom: there is another kind of freedom that is a positive goal towards men may strive. The other kind of freedom does not merely lie on the other side of constraint; rather all oppositions between "freedom from" and "necessity" are overcome by it.

The Sanskrit word moksha (or mukti) connotes to the Advaitin "freedom from karma" and also the other kind of spiritual freedom. Moksha, in the positive sense, means the attaining to a state of "at-one-ment" with the depth and quiescence of Reality and with the power of its creative becoming the a Spiritual freedom means the full realization of the potentialities of man as a spiritual being, It means the attaining of insight of oneself; it means self-knowledge and joy of being.

footnote : This denigrating of "freedom from" is not meant, however to deny the validity of the very important distinction between choosing one's constraints and having them imposed upon them by others. The word "liberty" is perhaps more applicable here and is something that is indeed valuable. Because man is unable to endure "freedom from," in the fullest sense of the term, does not imply that he is then subject of whatever constraints may be imposed upon him. Self-chosen constraints are one thing, externally imposed constraints (or involuntary actions) are quite another thing.

### New laptop!

A pleasant surprise, my new laptop was outside my door today. It invited me to blog.

A rendition of Ganapathi Atharva Sirsha Upanishad and a good rendition of Dakshinamurthy Stotram, thanks to this post on Advaitin mailing list. I donot know who the artists who sang the Stotram are, but they have done a great job!

==

The Western Taoist: Recently in a Pooh session, I read The World of Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. I also read a couple of illustrated ones like this. (The sub-title is from the book by Hoff.)

==
Atanu feels at home and SJ writes about Reason vs. Faith.

One of these -- to paraphrase a saying about another person I admire -- is an philosopher in the garbs of an economist who I have never met. His philosophical thoughts which are rivalled by not many. Dare I even say, his writings rival some of the writings of the great late Raja Rao.

### Campaign against Yahoo!

There has been a campaign against using YAHOO!, notably from Nikolas Kristof because of its evil doings in China. On February 19, 2006, in China' s Cyberdissidents and the Yahoos at Yahoo, he singles out Yahoo saying

Yahoo has acted disgracefully by helping to convict dissidents, but the bigger picture is that the Internet is a force for change in China.

He says that Yahoo! has been the biggest accomplice and that smaller culprits are MS, Cisco and Google. He links to Boo Yahoo! which was possibly started by a dissident and asks us to punish Yahoo my moving away from it. I am a right now little tied up with http://my.yahoo.com for reading my blogs, mail and other stuff. So, when I have time, I will move away from Yahoo!

Why was I that foolish that I am using one private domain for so many things? I was possibly very lazy to use the right tool for the right purpose. I am scared if the company above was Google (is it not already an accomplice in something else?).

### Gita In Daily Life from Advaitin-list

The post titled appeal to the silent majority, by Prof VK has a set of questions on for determining your "level of competency of Gita" (see the replies to the post at the bottom of the page). I donot know the answers to most of the 400 level questions (and a couple of 300 level ones). Which means, lot more to be done!

## Monday, February 13, 2006

### An Audio Rendition of Bhagavad-Gita

I have listened to a wonderful audio rendition of selections from Bhagavad-Gita. The text is from my favorite translation, the one by Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood.
Unfortunately, the cassette itself, does not seem available on the market. I have a suspicion, this is the amazon reference. I am not sure.

For future reference, here are the details.

Caedmon cassette CDL 51249

Selections from the Bhagavad-Gita
The Song of God
Read by Zia Mohyeddin
Introduction read by Christopher Isherwood.

[from the rear flap]
Caedmon records, Inc., 505 Eithth Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10018

[seems that the cassette was made in 1968 and costed \$12.95]

[Some library stuff]
LC # PK3633.B5 P73 Music # TC 1249 Caedmon

==
A couple of web searches on Caedmon and Bhagavad-Gita reveals that most of this information is authentic.

The google search leads to the following link from NYtimes:
(article titled: FROM 'GENESIS' TO 'JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR' from May 10, 1981)

There is, though, a hypnotically compelling reading of selections from the Bhagavad-Gita on Caedmon (TC 1249, cassette CDL 51249) by Zia Moheyddin. The translation, in poetry and prose, is the celebrated one by Christopher Isherwood and Swami Prabhavananda. Isherwood himself provided a thoughtful introduction to this reading, which can be followed with the aid of the New American Library paperback of the whole book. On this remarkable recording, as Krishna explains to Arjuna why all action should be performed in a spirit of non-attachment -in Isherwood's words, 'without desire and without fear'' - the very purpose of life in Hindu terms becomes luminously clear.

## Thursday, February 09, 2006

### Advising and stuff

An excellent post by Molnar on advising.

Link from Lance's weblog, who follows up with his own great post on advising.

Thanks to both!

## Wednesday, February 08, 2006

### Lattice Algorithms

Fromm the IBM Almaden page

Lattice algorithms

Shortest vector problem. The shortest vector problem (SVP) is the problem of finding the shortest nonzero vector in a lattice. This problem goes back to the 19th century work of Gauss. SVP has come to be identified as the most important computational task concerning lattices. Algorithms for SVP have an important role in combinatorial optimization, computer algebra, coding theory, and cryptography. Miki Ajtai, Ravi Kumar, and D. Sivakumar have developed a randomized algorithm for SVP that runs in time exp(cn). This improves the previous exp(cn log n) time algorithms for this problem.

Ravi Kumar, D. Sivakumar: On polynomial approximation to the shortest lattice vector length. SODA 2001: 126-127; Journal version SIDMA 2003: 16(3):422-425

Miklós Ajtai, Ravi Kumar, D. Sivakumar: A sieve algorithm for the shortest lattice vector problem. STOC 2001: 601-610

Miklós Ajtai, Ravi Kumar, D. Sivakumar: An overview of the sieve algorithm for the shortest lattice vector problem. CaLC 2001: 1-3

Closest vector problem. Given the basis vectors of a lattice and a point x not in the lattice, the closest vector problem is to find a lattice vector that is closest to x . This problem often arises in cryptanalysis. Miki Ajtai, Ravi Kumar, and D. Sivakumar, building on earlier work, have developed an algorithm to compute an "approximately" close lattice vector to a given point x. The running time of this algorithm is exp( cn), improving the previous exp(cn log n) time algorithm.

Miklós Ajtai, Ravi Kumar, D. Sivakumar: Sampling short lattice vectors and the closest lattice vector problem. CCC 2002: 53-57

## Tuesday, February 07, 2006

### Sorry for not blogging

I am sorry for not blogging regularly. I have a couple of posts pending, but have important work to do too! While I am blogging, I would love to hear some comments from you on the posts on Adi Shankaracharya movie (and others).

## Wednesday, February 01, 2006

### World Book Day on Thursday

A quiz on opening lines.

A List of best first lines from Jabberwock. He and others have written more in the comments of the post.

## Tuesday, January 31, 2006

### January 30th another age

The New York Times version of what happened on that day.

Gandhi Lives!

### Two Geniuses

In A Genius Finds Inspiration in the Music of Another, Arthur Miller says

Einstein once said that while Beethoven created his music, Mozart's "was so pure that it seemed to have been ever-present in the universe, waiting to be discovered by the master." Einstein believed much the same of physics, that beyond observations and theory lay the music of the spheres — which, he wrote, revealed a "pre-established harmony" exhibiting stunning symmetries. The laws of nature, such as those of relativity theory, were waiting to be plucked out of the cosmos by someone with a sympathetic ear.

Read the whole thing.

### Explaining what is real to an EE-student

Was talking to an EE student, who is taking the course for which I am a TA. [Context: We are using a simulator of hardware instead of following the actual method of previous years when things were "actually taken to the board". I was explaining to the student that, by using a simulator, they can think at a higher level of abstraction and thereby do more powerful things.]

Student: (interrputing me when I was explaining something about the simulator) But it is still a simulator right. It is not actual hardware.

Me: (getting a little irritated): Yes, but what the hardware is doing, is but a simulation of some computation. Right?

Student: (most probably not getting the gist of it): um.. right.

Me: (trying to make a bigger point and forgetting it is a class): What do you think is real?

Student: (reasonably confused, and most probably thinking I am being aggressive) Well. I think I get your point.

Me: (understanding that this is a CS course and not one on reality and trying to get back to the point): You understand that the simulator is powerful right?

(I walk away)