Maya, Moksha, Nama and Rupa

Maya

Pondering the fact of death, I am reminded that impermanence is a central feature of the world we live in. The phenomenal world — of things and events — is called maya in the dharmic traditions (namely Jain, Hindu, Buddhist & Sikh.)

The world is maya. Many people simply translate it as “ the world is an illusion” but that is incorrect. The world is real. Maya does not mean that the world is unreal or that it is an illusion. It means something like this: the world as we perceive it is not what the world actually is. We cannot directly perceive the reality that is at the foundation of what exists. That reality is given a word — Brahman. Most of us cannot comprehend the Brahman because we are limited beings. Continue reading

Material and Cosmological Beliefs

nataraja2I am a Hindu.

In what sense am I a Hindu? Does what I read, write, wear and consume make me a Hindu? I think, read and write in English, I wear Western style clothing, I live in a Western country, etc. Even then I am a Hindu at the core of my being.

What defines me as a Hindu is my core belief system. How I comprehend the world is what determines whether I am a Hindu or not. The important distinction here is between “material beliefs” and “cosmological beliefs.” Continue reading

The Journey So Far, and What Lies Ahead

Always at the start
The Road Ahead

I arrived in the US on this day, August 15th, back in 1982 at JFK in New York, NY around 5 PM Eastern (Aug 16th, 5:30 AM IST.) Though it’s been many years, I still recall exactly how I felt. It was the best day of my life that far.

I had no idea of what lay ahead.

I came to the US to get a PhD in computer science at Rutgers. At that time I had not known that I was at heart an economist. In any event, I worked for Hewlett Packard for some years in the Silicon Valley, and then went back to school. Now, after 20 years of studying economics, just this past month I concluded that I finally understood the subject.
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East Coast

I am going to be in the East coast — NYC, Edison NJ, Boston, Washington DC, and Philadelphia — over the next two weeks. I am making a couple of presentations at the Global Dharma Conference in Edison NJ. My presentations are on Sunday 13th Sept. Aside from that, my colleague Rajesh Jain and I will be traveling to meet people, visit institutions and universities such as George Mason University, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, MIT etc. I may even go visit the Brookhaven National Labs in Long Island for a bit.

Blogging, which is any case very slim, will get even sparser. Be well, go good work and keep in touch.

Leaving on a jet plane — the Jan 2014 edition

jetplane As the song goes, ” . . . I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again . . . ” I am off to strange and exotic places. For the first part of the journey, I will be in the East coast, arriving at Newark International on Friday and departing for Brussels next week Wednesday. Lots of places to see and people to meet. Here are the exciting details.
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Hello from Brussels

"Fonske" the boy, studing and pouring beer on this brains (Stella Artois beer)
“Fonske”
This is to let all who care about my personal stuff that I arrived in Brussels this morning and I am now in the neighboring city of Leuven.

The picture on the right is known as “Fonske” shortened from the Latin Fons Sapientiae meaning “fountain of wisdom”. It shows a university student — Leuven is a university town — reading a book and knowledge flowing into his brain like water.

That picture is from the last time I was here in October visiting my friend Yoga. Then I was on my way from Mumbai to San Jose; now I am on my way back to India. A brief three-day stopover and then on to Mumbai. I am looking forward to visiting with friends and family in India. See you there if you are around. Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.