Tuesday, July 20, 2010

$75,000 Needed

For all those of you who think you owe me something, please feel free to contribute towards this expense. I accept checks, credit cards, cash and for the really interested, the book itself.

Please note that any dhaanam and dharmam done towards one number ezhai brahmanan will make your life sezhuchify.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

LeBron (Loser) James

Michael Jordan - Six Time NBA Champion. Brought a franchise which no one knew of - Chicago Bulls - into a major brand the world over. Two Three-Peats, an amazing college career as well. The greatest basketball (NBA) player ever. No arguments. If you had 3 seconds, trailing by 2 points, the man you want to pass the rock to is this guy.

Magic Johnson - Five time NBA Champion. Took a perennial runner up team ALL-THE-WAY. Magic Johnson rejuvenated Lakers like anything that they were finally able to take the fight up to the Green Monster of NBA - Celtics. Could play all positions, from being the Robin to Kareem Abdul Jabbar's Batman, Magic became Batman and much more. If you take players who can be spoken of in the same breath as Jordan, Magic is right up there.

Kobe Bryant - The best player NBA has produced after Jordan and Magic. He was a part of a three-peat, then saw his team enter a rebuilding mode, get thrashed in the play-offs, lose the greatest coach ever Phil.J - he got so frustrated that he almost though of quitting Lakers - but DIDN'T. He stuck it out, saw Dr. Buss get Pau and build a roster from scratch around Kobe and one of the best role players ever - Derek Fisher. The Lakers still got mauled by Celtics in the finals in 2008. But came back and won it all in 2009 (Championship and the Finals MVP) and did a repeat in 2010. And with Phil.J coming back, Kobe has a chance to emulate Jordan in being the player to be a part of two three-peats. He is the undisputed king of LA. And right now, if there is one player who can aspire to be spoken of in the same breath as MJ, it is Kobe.

Larry Bird - if there is one player I reluctantly hate it is Larry Bird. The reason I hate is because he played for Celtics - the team I absolutely, completely hate. Add to that that he thwarted Magic from the championship - you get the picture. But this man ruled the court like few did. As much as I hate to admit - he is one great player.

Notice a similarity? All the players achieved greatness with one team - they went through feast and famine with the same team. And they emerged stronger and perhaps cast their reputations and legacy in rock solid iron.

LeBron James - He has in his one hour of egotistic, self glorification porn fest has given Cleveland (and Ohio) the most brutal and unkindest cut of all - while the 'The Drive' was 5 Minutes and 2 seconds long, 'The Catch', 'The Fumble' and 'The Shot' took a few seconds as well - what LeBron did was to kill the fans of Cleveland and then patiently and clinically chop them into fine pieces. I was not able to see the telecast the second that he declared he is going to South Beach.

LeBron - you will never be spoken of in the same way of the folks listed above. You will be another Kevin Garnett - you might win 5 championships or even 6 - one for each year you have signed up for Heat - but you are the scum man. You lost the respect of fans and Cleveland folks as well. You are a WIMP. You did not have the heart of a champion and more importantly, the character to be a Jordan or a Kobe. Go and ride on Wade's coat tails. I hope Cleveland wins the championship before your tenure at Heat ends - just to bloody sully your already sullied face. YOU SUCK!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Hinduism and Science

Thanks to Huffington Post.

Religion comes into conflict with science when it is defined by unprovable claims that can be dismissed as superstitions, and when it treats as historical facts stories that read like legends and myths to non-believers. Other aspects of religion -- what I would consider the deeper and more significant elements -- are not only compatible with science but enrich its findings. The best evidence of this is science's response to the religions of the East over the course of the last 200 years. As the French Nobel laureate Romain Rolland said early in the 20th century, "Religious faith in the case of the Hindus has never been allowed to run counter to scientific laws." The same can be said for Buddhism, which derives from the same Vedic roots.

Most of the Hindu gurus, Yoga masters, Buddhist monks and other Asian teachers who came to the West framed their traditions in a science-friendly way. Emphasizing the experiential dimension of spirituality, with its demonstrable influence on individual lives, they presented their teachings as a science of consciousness with a theoretical component and a set of practical applications for applying and testing those theories. Most of the teachers were educated in both their own traditions and the Western canon; they respected science, had actively studied it, and dialogued with Western scientists, many of whom were inspired to study Eastern concepts for both personal and professional reasons.
As early as the 1890s, Swami Vivekananda spent time with scientific luminaries such as Lord Kelvin, Hermann von Helmholtz, and Nikola Tesla. "Mr. Tesla thinks he can demonstrate mathematically that force and matter are reducible to potential energy," the swami wrote in a letter to a friend. "I am working a good deal now upon the cosmology and eschatology of Vedanta. I clearly see their perfect unison with modern science." Had Vivekananda lived three years longer, he would have rejoiced in Einstein's discovery of E = mc2, which united matter and energy forever.
In the early decades of the 20th century, the great sage and Indian independence leader Sri Aurobindo, who had studied in England, blended East and West by extending Darwinian concepts to the evolution of consciousness and the cosmos. In 1920, Paramahansa Yogananda set a precedent by calling his first lecture in the West "The Science of Religion." He befriended a number of scientists, growing so close to the great botanist Luther Burbank that he dedicated hisAutobiography of a Yogi to him. Later, Swami Satchidananda, whose own teacher, Swami Sivananda, had been a successful physician before becoming a monk, encouraged the scientific study of Yoga; one of his early students was Dr. Dean Ornish, whose groundbreaking research sprang directly from Satchidananda's teachings. And Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, even before he became famous as the Beatles' guru, prodded scientists into studying the physiology of meditation, setting in motion an enterprise that has now produced over a thousand studies.
The interaction of Eastern spirituality and Western science has expanded methods of stress reduction, treatment of chronic disease, psychotherapy and other areas. But that is only part of the story. Hindu and Buddhist descriptions of higher stages of consciousness have expanded psychology's understanding of human development and inspired the formation of provocative new theories of consciousness itself. Their ancient philosophies have also influenced physicists, among them Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg and J. Robert Oppenheimer, who read from the Bhagavad Gita at a memorial service for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In his landmark TV seriesCosmos, Carl Sagan called Hinduism the only religion whose time-scale for the universe matches the billions of years documented by modern science. Sagan filmed that segment in a Hindu temple featuring a statue of the god Shiva as the cosmic dancer, an image that now stands in the plaza of the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva.
The relationship between science and Eastern spiritual traditions -- which many prefer to think of as psychologies -- is still in its infancy. In recent years, the Dalai Lama has carried the ball forward, hosting conferences and encouraging research. Western religions would do well to emulate this history. Their historical and faith-based claims conflict with empirical science and probably always will; but to the extent that their practices directly impact human life, they can be treated as testable hypotheses.