Sunday, January 18, 2015

Why Common Sense is So Uncommon!

I read a story when in school. A young disciple was told by master god is everywhere and in everything. Walking down the street one day, the disciple heard a commotion. A wild elephant was running amok. Mahout was asking every one to get out of the way of the mad elephant. Our disciple remembered his master's teaching and stood his ground. Rampaging elephant lifted the disciple by its trunk and thrashed him on the ground. Master, on learning the predicament of his pupil carried him back to his school and nursed him to life. Once the young student had regained his senses, master asked "why did you not get out of the way of the mad elephant?" "You only told me to see lord narayana in everything. Why should I get out of the way of narayana that was in the elephant?" asked the incredulous disciple. "True, I told you narayana is everywhere and in everything, by that logic why did you ignore what narayana of mahout was crying out loud?" asked the master. The message I got from the fable was every dimension has its rule, we must follow the rule. Else we shall be cast aside, may be forcefully

I write this in the context of recent controversy and/or ridicule surrounding the claim made in Indian Science Congress that ancient Indians had access to technology of air travel and space travel. By the way, I do not deny technology may have existed in ancient times. At least ideas have been floated around in books like Ramayana and Mahabharata. However, in the present time we do not have any understanding of how people in those days designed those gadgets. If we want to take credit of those inventions, we must reconstruct them now and show them to the world that such inventions work. That is how science works. In the absence of any proof, grandiose proclamations remain only grandiose and exposed to ridicule and humiliation.

Since ancient times Indian quest for the truth is based on incessant questioning. Nothing is taken for granted. Swami Vivekananda in recent past, not more than 130 years before, asked Shri Rama Krishna, if he had seen god. Shri Rama Krishna said not only I have seen, I can show it to you also. No other luminary at the time could make such a claim. That is a Hindu quest based on proof and not faith alone. In the backdrop of such a tradition, I find it funny that one after another baseless claims are being made by so called ultra nationalists, and BJP functionaries have to appear in debates to defend such preposterous claims. If we are sincere about our national heritage, we must do research or tapasya or sadhana to understand the knowledge and then disseminate them. I fail to understand why common sense is so uncommon!

Tags: Ancient India, Common Sense, Mahabharata, Ramayana Science Congress, Space Technology, Sri Rama Krishna, Swami Vivekananda

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