Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nine Things That Will Disappear in Our Lifetime

Hong Kong Cheque/Check SampleImage via Wikipedia
Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part on how we adapt to them.
But,  ready or not, here they come ------

1. The Post Office.  Get ready to imagine a world without the post office.
They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term.
 E-mail, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive.
Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.

2. The Cheque.   Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with checks by 2018.
It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks.
Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check.
This plays right into the death of the post office.
If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail,
the post office would absolutely go out of business.

3. The Newspaper.  The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper.
They certainly don't subscribe to a daily delivered print edition.
That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man.
As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it.
The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper
 and magazine publishers to form an alliance.
They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop
 a model for paid subscription services.

4. The Book.  You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your
hand and turn the literal pages.  I said the same thing about downloading music fromiTunes.
I wanted my hard copy CD.  But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could
get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music.
The same thing will happen with books.  You can browse a bookstore online and even
read a preview chapter before you buy.  And the price is less than half that of a real book.
And think of the convenience!  Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book,
you find that you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and you forget that
you're holding a gadget instead of a book.

5. The Land Line Telephone.  Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls,
you don't need it anymore.  Most people keep it simply because they've always had it.
But you are paying double charges for that extra service.
All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no
charge against your minutes

6. Music.  This is one of the saddest parts of the change story.
 The music industry is dying a slow death.  Not just because of illegal downloading.
It's the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would
like to hear it.  Greed and  corruption is the problem.
The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing.
Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalog items," meaning traditional music
 that the public is familiar with.  Older established artists.
This is also true on the live concert circuit.
To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book,
"Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before the Music Dies."

7. Television.  Revenues to the networks are down dramatically.  Not just because of the economy. 
People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers.  And they're playing
games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV.
 Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator.
Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
 I say good riddance to most of it.  It's time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery.
Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix.

8. The "Things" That You Own.  Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives,
but we may not actually own them in the future.  They may simply reside in "the cloud."
Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents.
Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be.
But all of that is changing.  Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their
latest "cloud services."  That means that when you turn on a computer,
the Internet will be built into the operating system.  So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be
tied straight into the Internet.  If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud.
If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud.  And you may pay a monthly  subscription fee
to the cloud provider.  In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books,
or your whatever from any laptop or handheld  device.

That's the good news. But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be able to disappear
at any moment in a big "Poof?"  Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical?
 It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf,
 or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.

9. Privacy.  If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy.
That's gone.  It's been gone for a long time anyway.  There are cameras on the street, in most of
the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone.  But you can be sure that 24/7,
"They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google
Street View.  If you buy something, your habit is put into a  zillion profiles, and your ads will change
to reflect those habits.  And "They" will try to get you to buy something else.  Again and again.

All we will have that can't be changed are memories.

by Mayuri Shah

Few Foundations of Jainism!!!!!! (Part I)

The shedding or Nirjara of karmic dust or karm...Image via Wikipedia
  • Namo Arihantanam:  I pay respect to any living human beings who has conquered his inner enemies.
  • Jai Jinendra means honour to the supreme Jina. And Jina means ..the Jin and which means the peson who is a spiritual victor.
  • The pillar of Jainism is Ahimsa or Non violence in thought and deed towards fellow human beings and other even the smallest forms of life and living.
  • Truthfulness.
  • Meditation.
  • An individual has to achieve own salvation. 
  • Salvation means termination of the cycle of birth and deaths and soul getting liberated to eternal bliss and infinite knowledge.
  • Each one has a pure soul but it is surrounded by karmic matter. The nature of Karmic matters determine the quality of a living being and thus the proportion of efforts required to liberate the soul. Karmic materail is that material which is around the soul. One is talking here not of karmas ( actions) but the karmic materials. 
  • The soul has a longing to get liberated from the karmic matter around it.
  • The Soul is a structure which consists and contains the knowledge, perceptions, bliss and energies.
  • Around the soul, there is a karmic matter consisting of very subtlest sub-atoms known karmons which float freely around the soul. Higher the amount of karmic matters around the soul, that gets it polluted by the presence of karmic subatomic particles.

to be continued..........

Jains- Systems of Education- A Historical Perspective Part II

A symbol of Jainism consisting of a hand and a...Image via Wikipedia
  • Slowly and gradually the jain religion and jain culture got installed and spread in India and its all parts. In India, the system of education by way of its nature was from home and the aashrams or monasteries not only of Hindus but also of Jains and others.
  • Kings organized conferences and debates or shastarth or vaad-vivaad among scholars and thus the audience got the insights of the same values of the same religion or Hinduism versus other religions. There are several examples of this kind in the ancient Indian history.
  • The ancient systems of Jains focused on Jains scriptures, art and at that time prevailing Vedas and their studies.
  • In the very ancient Jains monasteries, perhaps the women did not stay in the monasteries and their education was from the home and visiting for studying in the nearby Jain monastery.
  • In the Jain monasteries though the Jain scriptures were taught to students; still the subjects like medicines, foreign relations, etc. were also taught.
  • Jain monasteries had highly organized organizational structure for the management of the Jain monasteries, a sort of universities of those times; with well known and described responsibilities and authorities who were part of the Jain monasteries. Jains munis had their grades as per their scholarly experience and knowlege contents richness.
  • In the Jains monastries, there were no rules and regulations based on the caste system.
  • Jains monastries followed the methods of teaching- listening, rehearsal, repetition, question and answers and disucssions etc.
  • Study of Jains scriptures were of highest supreme importance to the monasteries and the students there in.
  • Jains monks in the monasteries were assigned to copy the books of various subjects in the local language used in the monasteries.
to be continued.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Signs & Symptoms of Inner Peace

Be on the lookout for symptoms of inner peace. The hearts of a great many already have been exposed; and it is possible that people, everywhere, could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what, up to now, has been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world. A tendency to think and act spontaneously
rather than on fears based on past experiences:

An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment

A loss of interest in judging other people

A loss of interest in judging self

A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others

A loss of interest in conflict

A loss of ability to worry

Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation

Contented feelings of connectedness
with others & nature

Frequent attacks of smiling

An increasing tendency to let things
happen rather than make them happen

An increased susceptibility to love extended by others and the uncontrollable urge to extend it

If you have some or all of the above symptoms, be advised that your condition of inner peace may be too far advanced to be curable. If you are exposed to anyone exhibiting any of these symptoms, remain exposed only at your own risk. © 1984 Saskia Davis.

source here

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How long do you worry about your kids???

Is there an imaginary cutoff period when
offspring become accountable
for their own actions?

Is there some wonderful moment when
parents can become
detached spectators in
the lives of their children and shrug,
'It's Their life,' and feel nothing?

When I was in my twenties,
I stood in a hospital corridor
waiting for doctors to put a few stitches
in my daughter's head and I asked,
'When do you stop worrying?'
The nurse said,
'When they get out of the accident stage..'
My Parents just smiled faintly
and said nothing.

When I was in my thirties,
I sat on a little chair in a classroom
and heard how one of my children
talked incessantly, disrupted the class,
and was headed for a career making license plates.
As if to read my mind, a teacher said,
'Don't worry, they all go through this stage
and then you can sit back,
relax and enjoy them.'
My Parents just smiled
and said nothing.

When I was in my forties,
I spent a lifetime waiting
for the phone to ring,
the cars to come home,
the front door to open.
A friend said,
'They're trying to find themselves.
'Don't worry!
In a few years, they'll be adults.
'They'll be off on their own
they'll be out of
your hair'
My Parents just smiled faintly
And said nothing.

By the time I was 50,
I was sick & tired of being vulnerable.
I was still worrying over my children,
but there was a new wrinkle..
Even though they were on their own
I continued to anguish over their failures,
be tormented by their frustrations and
absorbed in their disappointments..
and there was nothing I could do about it.
My Parents just smiled faintly
and said nothing.

My friends said that
when my kids got married
I could stop worrying
and lead my own life.
I wanted to believe that,
but I was haunted by my parent's warm smiles
and their occasional,
'You look pale. Are you all right' ?
'Call me the minute you get home'.
Are you depressed about something?'

My friends said that
when I became a grandparent
that I would get to enjoy
the happy little voices yelling
Grandma! Papa!
But now I find that I worry
just as much about the little kids
as the big ones.
How can anyone cope
with all this

Can it be that parents are sentenced
to a lifetime of worry?
Is concern for one another
handed down like a torch
to blaze the trail of human frailties
and the fears of the unknown?
Is concern a curse or is it
a virtue that elevates us
to the highest form of earthly creation?

Recently, one of my own children
became quite irritable,
saying to me,
'Where were you?
I've been calling for 3 days,
and no one answered
I was worried.'
I smiled a warm smile.
The torch has been passed.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Symbol of Jainism, white and golden version.Image via Wikipedia
Born: 1089 in Dhandhuka, Gujarat, India
Died: 1173 in Gujarat, India
Article by: J J O'Connor and E F Robertson

Hemchandra's mother was named Pahini and his father Chachadev. The name Hemchandra was one he took later in life and he was named Candradeva after he was born. The city of Dhandhuka where he was born is about 50 km south west of Ahmadabad the capital of Gujarat. Candradeva, when still young, was taken to a Jain temple where he became a monk and changed his name to Somacandra. He was instructed in religion, Indian philosophy, the sacred scriptures, logic and grammar. When Candradeva was ordained in 1110 into the Shvetambara (White-robed) sect of Jainism and he was given the name Acharya Hemchandra.
Gujarat at this time was ruled by the Solanki dynasty. Gujarat expanded to its largest extent under this dynasty and learning flourished, particularly in the economic and cultural fields. King Siddharaja made excellent use of Hemchandra's great skills, knowledge and learning in ruling Gujarat. King Kumarapala succeeded King Siddharaja and from 1125 he was advised by Hemchandra. Of course as a spiritual leader, Hemchandra was in a strong position to see that his ideas were put into practice and indeed this led to Gujarat becoming considerable more advanced in culture and learning. Hemchandra was a strong believer in non-violence and Gujarat flourished in peace for many years. He convinced King Kumarapala to bring in laws which not only prohibited violence between people, but also made it illegal to kill animals. Hemchandra convinced the King to make the Jain religion the official religion of Gujarat.
Hemchandra was an eloquent religious teacher, skilful political advisor, and a scholar of the highest standing [1] :-
A prodigious writer, [Hemchandra] produced Sanskrit and Prakrit grammars, textbooks on science and practically every branch of Indian philosophy, and several poems, including the Trishashtishalakapurusha-carita (Deeds of the 63 Illustrious Men), a Sanskrit epic of the history of the world as understood by Jain teachers. He was also a logician. Although derivative in many ways, his works have become classics, setting high standards for Sanskrit learning.
The book Deeds of the 63 Illustrious Men [2] mentioned in the above quote has now been translated into English by Fynes and published by Oxford University Press. The book recounts in a collection of fascinating stories historical myths of the Jain religion.
One might reasonably ask at this point why we have included Hemchandra in an archive of mathematicians. The answer lies in his contribution to the Fibonacci numbers which was made fifty years before Fibonacci wrote Liber Abaci with its famous rabbit problem. Kak, in [3], explains how these entered Hemchandra's writings. In a text written about 1150 he looked at the following problem. Suppose we assume that lines are composed of syllables which are either short or long. Suppose also that each long syllable takes twice as long to articulate as a short syllable. A line of length n contains n units where each short syllable is one unit and each long syllable is two units. Clearly a line of length n units takes the same time to articulate regardless of how it is composed. Hemchandra asks: How many different combinations of short and long syllables are possible in a line of length n?
Hemchandra then finds the answer explicitly. Suppose that there are f (n) possibilities for a line of length n. The line of length n either ends in a short syllable or in a long syllable. If it is the former than there remains a line of length n-1 which can be composed in f (n-1) ways and if the line of length n ends in a long syllable then there is a line of length n-2 remaining which can be composed in f (n-2) ways. Hence, argues Hemchandra,
f (n) = f (n-1) + f (n-2).
Before we rush to try to change the name of the Fibonacci numbers into Hemchandra number it is worth noting that Gopala had studied these numbers in about 1135 and Indian mathematicians as early as the 7th century had looked at sequences which are produced by the familiar Fibonacci rule.

source: here
Shri 1008 Mahavir SwamiImage via Wikipedia
  • Jains have contributed immensely in the education of India right from day one through their monasteries distributed across the country.
  • The family is the first school and nucelus for education in India.
  • In the primitive India, father and mother were the basic teachers of their children.
  • Jains also accepted the family concept which prevailed earlier the rise of the Jain religion and Jain philosophy.
  • Jains also focussed and developed the family based system of education not only of Jain religious values but other aspects of life social, cultural, business and others.
  • Grammar and correct speech and languageand communication was taught at home.
  • Their monastries continued to impart instructions and lectures and education on religious and secular values.
  • In the monasteries, the curricula included  instructions in religion, literature, arts and physical cultures.
  • The Jain monastries admitted the students of all castes.
  • Teachers were of two kinds : teaching religous values and other teachers teaching secular values.
  • The teachers/monkds in the Jain monasteries were required to study not less than three hours to upgrade and educate and evolve themselves.
  • Intermonasteries debates and sharing thoughts were encouraged.
  • In the Jain monastries library, the books, scripts relating religion, philosophy, astronomy, logic and arthmetic could be found.
  • Youths of mercantile communities were admitted and trained.
  • Rulers of ancient India competed with each other in honouring Tirthankars for their various kinds of contribution including that of the education.
to be continued.

by Dr B M Sharma