Zero

The notion of zero is philosophical as well as mathematical in Hinduism. Here is an explanation:

The Sanskrit word for zero is sunya which translates as “nothingness.” Brahman, God in his formless, immutable, timeless, memory-less state prior to Creation, is called Nirguna Brahman or Brahman with no attributes. Nirguna Brahma exists in nothingness. With the happening of Creation, Nirguna Brahma becomes Saguna Brahma, the God with attributes who is Ishvar. Zero symbolizes God in nothingness. Zero added to or subtracted from any number does not change the number. The sum of zero and zero is zero. Zero added to or subtracted from itself remains zero. Multiplied by itself, zero is still zero. However, the addition of zero to the right of any number (without a decimal point) increases it up to infinity and its addition to the left of any number (with a decimal point) decreases it down to the infinitesimal.

Zero’s complement must be “everythingness.” Everythingness differs from everything just like “nothingness” differs from nothing. The idea of zero embraces the idea of its opposite, totality. We say God is everythingness and nothingness because we have no better words to describe the unfathomable existence or nonexistence that transcends itself. Thus, zero to Hinduism is more than a mathematical tool. It represents God’s truth that lies beyond human experience and the material world, truth that is just beyond the reach of the human mind.

See Chapter Three, Monotheism in On Hinduism, by Irina N. Gajjar

God Loves Those Who Love God

Loving God is a key theme in the Gita. In Chapter 9, Lord Krishna tells us that loving God is the Holy Secret and the key to attaining ultimate freedom from cycles of birth and death. He explains that God is everything and everywhere. He is the creator and more because the very notion of the world is His. Thus, even the worst sinners are liberated by the love of God.

In Chapter 12 of the Gita, Lord Krishna describes all the good things that happen to those who love Him. He tells us that those of us who do love God are dear to Him. But He does not talk about loving humanity to the extent that He speaks of the power of our loving Him. It is through our understanding and love of the divinity that we merge into the Lord and attain ultimate salvation.

See The Gita, A New Translation of Hindu Sacred Scripture by Irina Gajjar.

How to Communicate with Aliens

The latest way I heard of to communicate with aliens is via thumbnail sized satellites that can move through space more quickly than anything we have tried before.

It seems that these mini satellites might go out and return information within decades rather than light years. So perhaps some of you younger folk might receive messages.

But maybe some of us will receive or have received messages before that. Maybe when we tried to tell others about these messages, no one believed us. Or maybe we were sworn to silence. Or maybe some of us just imagined communications.

I think that if even we imagine an event like a communication from other worlds or galaxies it either happened or it will happen. And since we are not sure about the distinction between past, present and future either, we cannot tell where or when. Who knows what has happened or is happening or will happen. But in my view, whatever we eventually may learn, it is almost certain that intelligent life exists out there.

Read New New York, 3000 Years Later to consider interaction with beings in other universes.

New New York

The New New York is here. It invites businesses to come to New York and to become New Yorkers. Its advertisements tell us as much. I love the Old New York, but the New New York is even better because it is doing a lot. It is building new airports and new roads and bridges across the state. It is adding new mass transit. It is creating business friendly environments and lowering taxes. It is creating partnerships to grow the businesses of tomorrow today.

I wondered what an even Newer New York would be like several thousand years into the future and described a vision that was both good and bad, just like every place always is. New York City remains the central heartbeat of our planet. But it has problems. It struggles with globalism and with intrusive technologies. It wonders about other worlds and fears aliens. It deals with robotic intelligence. Consider the possibilities.

See New New York, Three Thousand Years Later, by Irina Gajjar.

Change

Like our parents’ always reminded us, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” But change itself is what makes things different.

While those of us who are no longer young find persistent novelty and presumed improvement disconcerting, our youth enjoy it. They like stuff that is faster and more impactful and they like multiple options. They like endless cereal choices, endless television channels, and multiple options between smaller and smaller or bigger and bigger. They like complexities. They don’t miss plainer, slower, quieter and simpler choices.

There is no value judgment to be made regarding change. It will continue to happen whether we want it to or not. But change needs to be recognized as a force. In particular we need to respect that new stuff presents new experiences and demands both new decision making and new learning. Thus, as parents, teachers, friends and counselors we need to know that change can be overwhelming, and we should not take it for granted or expect others to deal with it alone.

Dharma

The idea of dharma is a central belief of Hinduism. Its meaning cannot be easily described or translated. Like karma, it is a fundamental concept.

The essence of Dharma is duty, but it is more. It is a universal principle as well as a personal principle. Hindu scripture says:

Dharma is truth.

It is said that

one who speaks truth

speaks dharma

and one who speaks dharma

speaks truth.

Bhridaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.14

Dharma embraces family life, social life and spiritual life. It is the guideline known as Sanatana Dharma meaning Eternal Law or Eternal Order which actually defines Hinduism.

See On Hinduism by Irina Gajjar.

Exhausted

Whatever our politics, Americans, Europeans and people in developed nations are exhausted.

We disagree to the point of absurdity. Antagonists and supporters of candidates, officials or policies struggle when we see that our resistance or support will have to go on and on and on. We are tired of arguing, of losing friends, and of pretending that politics are not the elephant in the room. We are tired of the news and we feel guilty when we hide from it. We feel guilty when we do not do as much as we think we should and useless when whatever we do seems to be an exercise in futility.

Is there a solution? Can we see a silver lining in the fact that so many more people are engaged in government affairs? Perhaps, because in a sense the ability to disagree is a great freedom. What do you think?

See New New York, 3000 Years Later to consider a society which requires everyone to behave according to the motto “One Spirit! One Word! One World!”

Seeing the Beginning of the World and More

The James Webb Space Telescope is set to launch in 2018. It will be able to fly through time and report back on the formation of the first galaxies. It will be much more powerful than the Hubble and who knows what it could find. I find this to be mind boggling.

Will it find aliens perhaps on the seven new earth-like planets discovered orbiting a dwarf star [only?] 40 light years or two hundred and thirty five trillion miles away? The star has been said to be ultra cool which I guess means not hot at all but it also has to mean cool as in wonderful.

Of course there are those who believe that we have already been visited by aliens who bequeathed us cultures which seemingly popped up fully formed out of the blue in the Middle East, in the Indus Valley and/or in the Americas. While such notions cannot be proved and feel far-fetched, they cannot be disproved either. Nor do we have better explanations for the origins of civilizations.

But now soon we will know a great deal more about the universe, about worlds and possibly about other creatures like or unlike ourselves and we will certainly wind up with even more questions.

See irinaspage.com to explore her works, ideas and philosophy.

Did God Create the World?

A number of major world religions subscribe to the notion that God, such as God is understood, created the world or worlds or universe and all existence. Hindu scripture specifically tells us so. In fact, in the Gita, God Himself reminds more than once.

In Chapter 9, Lord Krishna tells us that the whole world was His idea, and was born from Him. It explains that a great wheel makes it turn round and round and that it appears and disappears repeatedly because He wants it to.

In Chapter 10 He explains:

Everything comes from Me.

Truth, wisdom, forgiveness, self control,

happiness, unhappiness, bravery, fear,

peacefulness, fame and shame

all come from God.

The Gita, Chapter 10, Verses 4, 5

 

At the same time the very God who takes credit for creation, declares His creation to be an illusion. It is “Maya” or make believe or magic and He tells us that only fools believe that the world is real. In His own words:

The wise who understand God pass beyond

the world.

They cross over Maya and reach Me.

The Gita, Chapter 7, Verses 14

Now why would God or the sages who gave to life to the ideas embodied in the Gita create a world that is illusory only for humankind to acknowledge this truth? Why would a power like God want to create worlds that come and go?

It seems to me that the reason does not fit within human logic. It is just that this is how it is.

See The Gita, A New Translation of Hindu Sacred Scripture, by Irina Gajjar.

Why Was God Born?

In the Gita, Lord Krishna Himself explains His incarnations:

You and I have passed through many births.
I know them all, but you do not remember.
I am born from time to time
whenever the good need my protection.
I am born to destroy the bad and help the good.

My birth is divine and those who understand this become part of
Me and do not have to be born again.

The Gita, Chapter 4, The Sword of Knowledge, Verses 5-9

These beautifully succinct verse encapsulates Hinduism’s fundamental beliefs: the existence of God, His powers to create and destroy, God’s benevolent intent, the importance of understanding divine power, the reality of reincarnation, and the meaning of salvation which is becoming one with God.

See The Gita, a New Translation of Hindu Sacred Scripture, by Irina Gajjar.