Saturday, September 15, 2012

Review : Bawa and his simplicity

After much persuasion from a friend I watched a video which I was pretty sure would be boring and disappointing. But much to my delight I was proved wrong. The video 'Technology of Spirituality' by Khurshed Batliwala (fondly known as 'Bawa') was an eye opener-a firm stepping stone in a rather uncertain ground of thoughts. I call Bawa simple because he doesn't twist the esoteric knowledge and present it in an obsolete scholarly manner. Instead he is so much like an enthusiastic youngster cracking jokes with his friends. He is not a hermit living in Himalayas to whom you cannot connect. A post-graduate in mathematics from IIT Bombay he is a gizmo freak like any of us so it makes it effortless to believe and ponder over his words.

Even with an excruciatingly slow internet I choose to put this video on buffer and my interest was captivated right from the beginning, when a man in simple kurta but profound confidence started speaking with a heavy Parsi accented English. Bawa is the director of World Alliance for Youth Empowerment (WAYE) and a faculty for almost 2 decades in the Art of Living foundation.

Watching the video left me in awe for it had so many facts about Indian ancient scientific contributions. I was shocked beyond belief when he showed with proofs that Vasco da Gama found the sea route to India from Cape of Good Hope only with the help of an Indian called Kanha. It is only logical to now say that Vasco da Gama did not "discover" sea route to India but was only led to India by a fellow Indian seaman. I was pained to see many proofs that we are now studying only the maimed and tarnished Indian history while the original historical facts of Indian greatness are intelligently wiped off from the history books. Bawa speaks of Indian contribution to the world in fields as diverse as metallurgy, navigation, construction technology, trade, mathematics, astronomy and physics. The video showed me the logical sense behind a mythological fact that I have known since childhood. I was aware of the Varaha avatar - third incarnation of Lord Vishnu and how he saved earth from getting drowned in cosmic ocean. But never had I given importance to the fact that the earth shape was round in the images where Varaha upholds earth between his tusks. This tells us that Indians knew about the spherical earth millenia before Ferdinand Magellan had to prove it by a heavily applauded voyage around the earth. I wish not to give away all the goodies of the video here, they are truly appreciated better when heard through Bawa's talk.

The video provided proofs for many notions which we Indians believe are true but never been able to justify substantially. I can now dare challenge anybody who speaks ill of Indian contribution to society or who over glorifies western thoughts over their own Indian culture. India has come out of the 2 century oppression in the past 66 years of independence and crawling its way towards becoming a self sustained developed nation. Its high time for all of us to know our roots clearly and to learn our history better. Given the melting distance between cultures and countries in present days, its imperative that we know the true significance of our culture.Only then we will be better able to appreciate other cultures and assimilate positive aspects of those. I now view meditation as a logical, scientific and essential way of life. What I was trying to learn through western literature can be learnt just by turning my ears more attentively to our elders' and teachers' suggestion of dhyana. My respect for all that is ancient Indian has grown more.

Under the thrust of intriguing facts I went ahead to see more mathematical and funny videos from Bawa and here is a list of hilarious must watch videos:

  • (a+b)^2 = a^2 + b^2 + 2ab - But why?

  • Proof of Pythagoras theorem   

  • Alternatives of boozing

I chanced to come across the following two very interesting reads following on the lines of Bawa's speech:
I am indebted to my friend who made me watch this video. It has truly been a jerk on the shoulder to wake up and see what my country is and how much more knowledge is left to grab.

Further reads:
  • The Case for India - Will Durant: 
          The book pictures the gradual, planned and intelligent murder of Indian economy, of Indian culture                 and values by British rule over 2 centuries.

  • Scientific Edge - Jayanth.V Narlikar
          The book outlines development of science in the ancient, medieval and modern India. 

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