THE FLAT EARTH – THE GRAND ILLUSION IS THE FUNDAMENTAL BASIS FOR HUMAN EXISTENCE
In my analysis, the term ‘belief’ or ‘disbelief’ must be defined in the context of knowing the Ultimate, Unchanging Reality.
I ask my readers to carefully interpret scientific information and scientific facts to gain Pure Knowledge and Perfect Wisdom that helps man to define his faith or belief in the Ultimate, Unchanging, Eternal Reality often called LORD God Creator.
The celestial object called planet Earth is not an everlasting reality of God’s creation. It is experiencing constant change since the time of its formation and is subject to eventual dissolution along with Sun and other members of our Solar Family.
I account for the reality of man’s mortal existence on the surface of a very fast spinning object called Earth on the following fundamental prerequisites:
1. Man must not have direct sensory experience of Earth’s real shape and real speed. In fact, man needs the experience of the flat disc all the days of his life.
2. The duration or lifetime of man’s mortal existence is determined by man’s sensory experience of the apparent motions of Sun and Moon caused by Earth’s Rotational Spin.
3. The major biological rhythm called Sun Rhythm, Circadian Rhythm, or Diurnal Rhythm that operates a myriad of man’s living functions is synchronized with alternating periods of light and darkness called Day and Night while in reality, the Sun is shining all the time ever since it was created.
I ask my readers to reflect on scientific facts and information with due diligence. Even if I fly in a plane during the entire period of my earthly existence, my human body would still refuse to live according to the reality of Earth’s Shape and Speed described by Science. In my view, man has no freedom to experience ‘unconditioned’ existence. Man’s existence is always conditioned. The Mortal Existence is conditioned by the Grand Illusion. Man can find hope from God’s promise of everlasting life granted by Belief which requires no validation by Science.
If you picture Earth as a ball spinning through space. the folks who recently gathered at a park in Arcadia, California, are eager to argue: you’re wrong! Earth is actually “flatter than a pancake,” said Nathan Thompson, part of a movement of people who call themselves Flat Earthers.
They insist the Earth is, well, flat.
We’re living, these folks say, on a disk floating through space, with a tiny sun hovering just overhead. But what about the Earth’s curvature? “I don’t know. No one’s ever seen it,” said one man.
“The perimeter of Flat Earth is a wall of ice,” said Thompson.
“That’s what’s holding in the ocean?” asked correspondent Brook Silva-Braga.
“That’s what’s containing everything,” he said.
And what’s underneath? “Well, you know, we haven’t dug that deep,” said a Flat Earther named Rene.
Netta Hagler, who arranged the meet-up of the Flat Earthers, questioned the fact that Earth is spinning through space at 1,000 miles per hour. “But we can’t feel it. I don’t believe I’m spinning right now. No,” said Hagler.
Patricia Steere, who is one of what you might call the “stars” of today’s Flat Earth movement (which mostly orbits around YouTube), told Silva-Braga, “Probably most people who hear of it will laugh at it, think we’re idiots. But we’re not idiots; we’re intelligent people from all walks of life and all ages.”
Flat Earthers have brought levels onto planes (to prove they are flying level), and zoomed in on the moon and “found” clouds supposedly drifting behind it. “Moon is only a few miles up,” said one Flat Earth YouTuber. “We’ve been lied to on such a massive scale!”
Steere agreed to play a game of “20 Questions: Cosmic Edition” with Silva-Braga.
Photos of the Earth from space? “Completely and utterly false,” she said.
Is the sun 93 million miles away? “No, the sun is not as far away as we’ve been told, nor is the moon. They’re probably about the same size.”
Pictures of astronauts floating around on the space station? “Completely fake. Harnesses, wires.”
Did we really go to the moon? “No. We didn’t go to the moon,” said Steere. “And we don’t have a rover on Mars. And we didn’t do a fly-by of Pluto. We’ve never been to space. Period. End of.”
In short, Flat Earthers don’t believe much of anything unless they see it for themselves. They believe NASA is just part of a broad conspiracy.
According to Steere, “It’s a giant game of chess. We, all of us in humanity, are the pawns. Part of the whole Flat Earth thing is keeping us locked down, not knowledgeable about who we are, who we really are as people, and what we’re capable of.”
National security expert Tom Nichols, who teaches at the Harvard Extension School, takes a dim view of Flat Earth. He told Silva-Braga he thinks something new is happening: “People have really become obsessed with the idea that, if it’s not part of their direct experience, it can’t be true.
“People have lost faith in experts. We’ve developed a kind of reverse snobbery that says if you have a great deal of education, if you’re at a well-known institution, by definition you must be a liar!”
Nichols poured his expertise into a book about “The Death of Expertise” (Oxford University Press).
He said, “Oftentimes younger people will say, ‘Well, the internet is just a big library.’ That’s wrong; the internet is a big dumpster. There’s no guarantee that anything you find on it is true.”
“It’s more democratic; isn’t that good?” asked Silva-Braga.
“No. When it comes to knowledge, more democratic is not good, absolutely not. We don’t decide how fast things accelerate in a vacuum by voting on it.”
So, in this “Show-it-to-me” world, we traveled to the Southern California desert, to meet, for ourselves, the one man who is boldly going where no Flat Earther has gone before.
Meet Michael Hughes – “Mad Mike” to his fans. Limo driver, self-styled daredevil, and most recently, do-it-yourself Flat Earth explorer. “I am their best hope. I am the best hope to prove the Flat Earth,” he said.
“The Flat Earth thing is like everything else to me. I just want people to question everything. Question what your congressman is doing, your city council. Question what really happened during the Civil War. What happened during 9/11.”
And that rocket sitting outside his house? Mad Mike built it himself.
Silva-Braga asked, “How does one go about finding out how to build a rocket?”
“Trial and error,” said Hughes. “That’s a bunch of it, you know?”
“You don’t get a lot of second chances, though, in the rocket business.”
“No, you don’t! Especially at about 1,800 feet up.”
This past March, Mad Mike actually climbed into his steam-powered rocket and set off to see what he could see. And to the surprise of almost everyone, Hughes took flight and landed more or less intact.
True, 1,800 feet is not nearly high enough to properly survey the planet. But Mad Mike now has a plan to go 62 miles up, to the edge of space, where he’ll be able to see (or not see) the curve of Earth.
A model hanging in his house shows how he hopes to strap himself to a contraption involving balloons and rockets and blast off. “The first 20 miles will be with a balloon,” he said. “And after that, my rocket will fire, pull me from the balloon, and then actually once the rocket quits firing, I will actually fly like Superman for, like, another 30 seconds with no power, just up into the atmosphere.”
And if he somehow pulls that off, Mad Mike says he’ll disprove centuries of science once and for all.
“I expect to see a flat disk up there,” he said. “I don’t have an agenda. If it’s a round Earth or a ball, I’m going to come down and say, ‘Hey guys, I’m bad. It’s a ball, OK?'”
And with that, we put the ball back in professor Nichols’ court.
“The world looks flat. I look out my window, I don’t see a curve,” said Silva-Braga.
Nichols replied, “Right, the world looks flat. And who are you to tell me that my perception is no better than anyone else’s? And I think that’s a really dangerous thing, because, you know, the Earth is round, and you’ll learn that the hard way if you try and fly an airplane!”
SHARAD NAVRATRI 2018 – BLESSINGS OF GODDESS OF SUPREME POWER
Puma Punku Divine Society celebrates the One, and Only One God as Father and Mother Principle at the same time. This Unity of God allows Personification of God as Male and Female, as Father and Mother giving Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in the living Human Experience. In Indian Tradition, Sharad Durga Navratri Celebration of 2018 begins on Wednesday, October 10, and concludes on the 10th day, the morning of Friday, October 19. This ‘Nine-Night’ Hindu festival is popularly known as ‘Dussehra’. This festival is observed twice in a year, at the beginning of Summer Season and at the beginning of Autumn Season and the days are determined by Lunar Calendar. The first set of 3-nights are dedicated to Goddess Durga( personification of Energy/Power/Force or ‘Shakti’ glorified as Divine Protector, Defender, or Savior), the second set of 3-nights are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi( personification of material wealth, prosperity, and well-being), and the third set of 3-nights are dedicated to Goddess Sarasvati( personification of Pure Knowledge and Perfect Wisdom). I wish my readers Good Health, Prosperity, Peace and Happiness invoking the Blessings of Goddess of Supreme Power.
DEVI NAVRATRI – NINE-NIGHT CELEBRATION OF DIVINE POWER, LOVE, MERCY, GRACE, AND COMPASSION TO SECURE HEALTH, WEALTH, WISDOM, AND PERFECT WELL-BEING OF MANKIND. In Physics, Power/Energy/Force is not associated with gender. But, when living things exist as male and female, description of Power/Energy/Force may have gender association. In Indian tradition, ‘Deva’ means God and ‘Devi’ means Goddess. Devi in Indian tradition is the personification of God’s Supreme Power/Force/ Energy or ‘SHAKTI’. To fully account for human existence, man needs two distinct or separate Principles that come together to produce the harmonious singular identity of the man. The issue is not about God’s gender. Father Principle is called Originating Principle. Mother Principle is called Source Principle, for Mother is Source of Matter, Energy, and Knowledge to establish Life. Father provides Identity to human form, Mother provides Substance, the structural and functional basis of human form.
DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD AS MALE AND FEMALE. GOD IS THE SUPREME BEING AND DESCRIBED AS OMNIPOTENT. THIS POTENCY OR POWER IS CALLED ‘SHAKTI’ IN SANSKRIT LANGUAGE. DEVI IS PERSONIFICATION OF ‘SHAKTI’. SHE DISPLAYED THIS GREAT POWER IN SLAYING OF A DEMON KING CALLED “MAHISHASURA.”
During 2018, Indians celebrate ‘DEVI NAVRATRI’ or ‘SHARAD NAVRATRI’ from Wednesday, October 10, to Friday, October 19. The term ‘Nav’ or ‘Nava’ means Nine. ‘Ratri’ means night. This celebration happens in a month called ‘ASVAYUJA’ ( or ASHWAYUJA – September – October), the month in which Full Moon Day is associated with the first star (Tithi) called ‘ASVINI’ in Indian Astrology.
DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD AS MALE AND FEMALE. DEVI OR SHAKTI IS OFTEN CALLED ‘DURGA’ FOR SHE IS EMBODIMENT OF GREAT STRENGTH. SHE IS ALSO CALLED BHADRAKALI, JAGADAMBA, ANNAPURNA, SARVAMANGALA, BHAIRAVI, CHANDIKA, LALITA, BHAVANI, AND MOOKAMBIKA.
Devi or Shakti is often called ‘DURGA’ for She is the embodiment of great strength. She is also called BHADRAKALI, JAGADAMBA, ANNAPURNA, SARVAMANGALA, BHAIRAVI, CHANDIKA, LALITA, BHAVANI, AND MOOKAMBIKA. During the 9-Night or Navratri festival, Indians worship nine different forms of Goddess Durga with 1,000 names. She is simply adored as Divine Mother and often addressed as ‘MOTHER'(“MATA” or “MAA”) whatever may be the name or form She assumed on different occasions.
DEVI NAVRATRI – SHARAD NAVRATRI – GOD AS MALE AND FEMALE. NINE DIFFERENT FORMS OF MOTHER DURGA OR SHAKTI ARE REMEMBERED WITH DEVOTION AND ADORATION.
DEVI NAVRATRI, OCTOBER 2018 CALENDAR:
Goddess Shakti has three Supreme Forms called DURGA, SARASVATI, and LAKSHMI. In India, traditions vary from region to region. First 3 – days of Navratri are dedicated to Goddess Durga, following 3-days are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and concluding 3-days are dedicated to Goddess Sarasvati or Goddess of Knowledge, Wisdom, and Speech. On Monday, October 15, 2018, the Sixth Day or Shashti ‘NAVARATRI’ is dedicated to Goddess called ‘KATYANI'(legendary daughter of a devotee by name ‘KATA’). On this day, Goddess Sarasvati is worshipped for this day is associated with a Nakshatra(Star) called ‘MOOLA’.
1. Day -1, Wednesday, October 10. First day of the Bright Half of Ashvin. Navratri Begins as Pratipada or Ghatsthapana. This day is Observed as Chandra Darshan. Shailaputri Puja. 2. Day – 2, Thursday, October 11. Dwitiya, Brahmacharini Puja. 3. Day – 3, Friday, October 12. Tritiya, Sindoor Tritiya, Chandraghanta Puja. 4. Day – 4, Saturday, October 13. Chaturthi, Kushmanda Puja, Varad Vinayak Chaturthi. 5. Day – 5, Sunday, October 14. Panchami, Skanda Mata Puja, Upang Lalita Vrat, Lalita Panchami. 6. Day – 6. Monday, October 15. Shashti, Kathyayini Puja, Sarasvati Awahan, Sarasvati Puja. 7. Day – 7. Tuesday, October 16. Saptami, Kalaratri,, Shubhankara Puja, Sarasvati Balidan, Maha Lakshmi Puja. 8. Day – 8. Wednesday, October 17.. Mahashtami, Durga Ashtami, Annapurna Parikrama, Sarasvati Visarjan, Mahagauri Puja, Durga Puja. 9. Day – 9. Thursday, October 18. Navami, Maharnavami, Ayudh Puja, Siddhidatri Puja, Navami Homa.. Sarasvati Puja. 10. Day – 10. Friday, October 30. Dasami or Dashami. Vijaya Dasami, Dussehra Celebration. 1. Day -1, Thursday September 21. First day of the Bright Half of Ashvin. Navratri Begins as Pratipada or Ghatsthapana. This day is Observed as Chandra Darshan. Shailaputri Puja. 2. Day – 2, Friday September 22. Dwitiya, Brahmacharini Puja. 3. Day – 3, Saturday September 23. Tritiya, Sindoor Tritiya, Chandraghanta Puja. 4. Day – 4, Sunday September 24. Chaturthi, Kushmanda Puja, Varad Vinayak Chaturthi. 5. Day – 5, Monday September 25. Panchami, Skandamata Puja, Upang Lalita Vrat, Lalita Panchami. 6. Day – 6. Tuesday September 26. Shashti, Katyani Puja, Sarasvati Awahan, Sarasvati Puja. 7. Day – 7. Wednesday September 27. Saptami, Kalaratri Puja, Sarasvati Balidan, Maha Lakshmi Puja. 8. Day – 8. Thursday September 28. Mahashtami, Durga Ashtami, Annapurna Parikrama, Sarasvati Visarjan, Mahagauri Puja, Durga Puja. 9. Day – 9. Friday September 29. Navami, Maharnavami, Ayudh Puja, Siddhidatri Puja, Navami Homa.. Sarasvati Puja. 10. Day – 10. Saturday September 30. Dasami or Dashami. Vijaya Dasami, Dussehra Celebration. DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD AS MALE AND FEMALE. NINE DIFFERENT FORMS OF WORSHIP CALLED TARA–TARINI SHAKTI.
DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD AS MALE AND FEMALE. NAVA DURGA, NINE-FORMS OF ADORATION.
DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD AS MALE AND FEMALE – FIRST DAY OF NAVRATRI IS CALLED PRATIPADA. DEDICATED TO GODDESS SHAILAPUTRI, DAUGHTER OF RULER OF MOUNTAINS. SHE IS ALSO KNOWN AS PARVATI, HEMAVATI, SATI BHAVANI AND OTHERS.
DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD AS MALE AND FEMALE. FIRST DAY OF NINE-NIGHT CELEBRATION BEGINS WITH THE WORSHIP OF GODDESS SHAILAPUTRI.
DEVI NAVRATRI – CELEBRATION OF DIVINE POWER. NAVRATRI, ON DAY-2, OR DWITIYA, DEDICATED TO GODDESS BRAHMACHARINI.
DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD AS MALE AND FEMALE. THE FOURTH DAY IS CALLED CHATURTHI. GODDESS KUSHMANDA REPRESENTS CREATIVE POWER, AND SHE EXPRESSES A SENSE OF JOY FOR HER OWN CREATION.
DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD AS MALE AND FEMALE. THE FOURTH DAY IS CALLED CHATURTHI. GODDESS KUSHMANDA REPRESENTS CREATIVE POWER, AND SHE EXPRESSES A SENSE OF JOY FOR HER OWN CREATION.
DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD AS MALE AND FEMALE. GODDESS OF FOURTH DAY OR CHATURTHI IS KNOWN AS KUSHMANDA.
DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD AS MALE AND FEMALE. GODDESS OF SIXTH DAY IS KNOWN AS KATYAYANI.
DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD AS MALE AND FEMALE. GODDESS OF SEVENTH DAY OR SAPTAMI IS KNOWN AS KALRATRI (BLACK OR DARK NIGHT), AND SUBHANKARI FOR SHE GIVES PROTECTION FROM TROUBLE.
DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD AS MALE AND FEMALE. GODDESS OF NINTH DAY OR MAHARNAVAMI IS KNOWN AS SIDDHIDATRI FOR SHE BESTOWS ASHTA SIDDHIS.
DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD AS MALE AND FEMALE. A HYMN IN PRAISE AND WORSHIP OF GODDESS DURGA DEVI.
DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD BOTH MALE AND FEMALE. GODDESS DURGA, LAKSHMI, AND SARASVATI. PERSONIFICATION OF GOD’S OMNIPOTENCE.
DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD BOTH MALE AND FEMALE. DEVI OR GODDESS HAS THREE SUPREME FORMS CALLED SARASVATI, LAKSHMI, AND PARVATI. THESE NAMES DESCRIBE DIFFERENT ATTRIBUTES OF GOD’S OMNIPOTENCE.
DEVI NAVRATRI – GOD AS MALE AND FEMALE. NINE WAYS TO WORSHIP GOD. EACH FORM IS VIEWED AS DIVINE MOTHER OR SUPREME MOTHER.
DEVI NAVRATRI, NINE-NIGHT CELEBRATION, DAY – 9, MAHA NAVAMI, AYUDHA PUJA, WORSHIP OF ALL WEAPONS, TOOLS, EQUIPMENT USED BY MAN TO ACCOMPLISH ACTION.
DEVI NAVRATRI – NINE-NIGHT WORSHIP OF DIVINE POWER, LOVE, GRACE, AND COMPASSION TO ACCOMPLISH VICTORY OF GOOD OVER EVIL FORCES. 10th DAY, DASAMI IS KNOWN AS VIJAYA DASAMI OR DUSSEHRA.
2018 NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSICS – A VERY SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO DR DONNA STRICKLAND
From left: Nobel Laureates Donna Strickland, Gérard Mourou, Arthur Ashkin
The Book of Genesis, The First Book of Apostle Moses, Chapter 1, verse 3 refers to the creation of Light.
Today, the world celebrates the invention of powerful optical tools that can illuminate God’s creation giving us new insights hidden from our view as God’s Light cannot reveal those hidden mysteries of Life.
Donna Strickland, a researcher who was recognized for her work turning lasers into tools, became the first woman in 55 years to win the Nobel Prize for physics. (Joyce Koh /The Washington Post)
The 2018 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded Tuesday to Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their pioneering work to turn lasers into powerful tools.
Ashkin, a researcher at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, invented “optical tweezers” — focused beams of light that can be used to grab particles, atoms and even living cells and are now widely used to study the machinery of life.
Mourou, of École Polytechnique in France and the University of Michigan, and Strickland, of the University of Waterloo in Canada, “paved the way” for the most powerful lasers ever created by humans via a technique that stretches and then amplifies the light beam.
“Billions of people make daily use of optical disk drive, laser printers and optical scanners . . . millions undergo laser surgery,” Nobel committee member Olga Botner said. “The laser is truly one of the many examples of how a so-called blue sky discovery in a fundamental science eventually may transform our daily lives.”
Strickland is the first woman to be awarded the physics prize since 1963 when Maria Goeppert-Mayer was recognized for her work on the structure of atomic nuclei. Marie Curie won the physics prize in 1903 and the chemistry Nobel Prize in 1911.
A reporter asked Strickland Tuesday what it felt like to be the third woman in history to win the prize.
“Really? Is that all? I thought there might have been more,” she responded, sounding surprised. “Obviously, we need to celebrate women physicists, because we’re out there. I don’t know what to say. I’m honored to be one of those women.”
Ashkin, 96, is the oldest person to be awarded the Nobel Prize. He would not be available for interviews, the committee said Tuesday morning; he was too busy working on his next paper.
An artist’s illustration of wavelengths of light in a laser beam. (Johan Jarnestad)
In a laser beam, light waves are tightly focused, rather than mixing and scattering as they do in the ordinary white light. Since the first laser was invented in 1960, scientists speculated that the energy of these focused beams could be put to work to move and manipulate objects — a real-life version of Star Trek’s “tractor beams.”
“But this was science fiction for a very long time,” committee member Mats Larsson said.
Ashkin spent two decades studying the properties of lasers, first recognizing that objects could be drawn toward the center of a beam, where the radiation was most intense. (A committee member demonstrated this phenomenon during the news conference by using a hair dryer to suspend a ping-pong ball in the air.) By further focusing the beam with a lens, he developed a “light trap” that could suspend a small spherical object at its center.
Ashkin used his new tool to hold a particle in place, then an atom, and, eventually, in 1987, a living bacterium. Ashkin even demonstrated that the tool could be used to reach into a cell without damaging the living system.
Atomic physicist Bill Phillips, who shared the Nobel Prize in 1997 for his work on cooling and trapping atoms with lasers, said Ashkin’s discoveries were vital to his own research. “I feel like I owe a great debt to Art,” he said.
Also in the 1980s, Mourou and Strickland were working together at the University of Rochester to overcome a problem that had dogged laser research for decades: High-intensity laser beams tended to destroy the material used to amplify them. It was as though scientists were trying to boil water in a pot that could not handle such high temperatures.
The Rochester researchers developed an elegant workaround, which they called “chirped pulse amplification.” First, they stretched out the beam with a mile-long fiber optic cable, reducing its peak intensity. Then they amplified the signal to the desired level, before compressing it into an ultrashort, ultrapowerful pulse lasting a tiny fraction of a second.
“Different people were trying to get short pulses amplified in different ways,” Strickland said. “It was thinking outside the box to stretch first and then amplify.”
Strickland was a graduate student at the time of the CPA research; the 1985 article that announced the achievement was her first scientific publication.
Students have historically not been recognized by the Nobel Committee, something critics say overlooks the work done by young scientists who are more frequently women and underrepresented minorities.
Yet graduate students are the backbone of most scientific research; often they run the experiments and do the detailed data analyses that lead to major discoveries. The prizewinning discovery of pulsars — swiftly spinning cores of collapsed stars — would not have been possible without Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who built the telescope and spotted the first signal when she was earning her PhD. But Burnell was not among the list of laureates for that prize.
The journal Nature reported this weekend that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences would explicitly call on future nominators to consider gender, geography and topic for the 2019 prizes.
Göran K. Hansson, secretary-general of the academy, said Tuesday the academy is taking these measures “because we don’t want to miss anyone.” But they did not affect this year’s prize: “It’s important to remember that the Nobel Prize is awarded for discoveries and inventions, and those who receive it have made major contributions to humankind, and that’s why they get the prize.”
CPA has been used to take images of split-second processes, such as the interactions between molecules and atoms, and it’s fundamental for laser eye surgery.
The technique is just as important to basic research.
“Fast pulse, high-energy lasers is . . . one of the key things that characterize modern atomic physics,” Phillips said. “There’s so much you can do with [them] to study how atoms behave.”
In a phone interview with the Swedish Academy, Strickland said her favorite application of high-power lasers is something she still demonstrates to undergraduate students in physics lab: White light generation.
With this technique, a beam containing a narrow range of wavelengths is shot into a medium such as water, causing the waves to spread out into a rainbow. This is more advanced than Newton’s famous experiment with a prism; whereas he simply spread out light into its component colors, white light generation broadens the spectrum contained within a beam, creating the colored light.
“It’s a remarkable thing to see,” Strickland said, and it took decades for physicists to understand how it worked.
“But that’s what scientists like to do,” she said, “is puzzle over something.”
India currently has two lasers that produce 100 terawatts (10 to the power 12) beams.
The terawatt (TW) is equal to one trillion (1012) watts. The total power used by humans worldwide is commonly measured in terawatts (see primary energy). The most powerful lasers from the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s produced power in terawatts, but only for nanosecond time frames.
The Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology in Indore is in the process of installing two petawatt systems, while another is likely to be installed in Hyderabad.
Such high intensities are extremely useful in many scientific contexts. These high-power beams of light, when they interact with matter, produce such extreme conditions that are found only in the deep cores of stars, or other celestial bodies. Scientists use this to study and understand these conditions, which would otherwise not be accessible to them, giving rise to the expression ‘astrophysics in the laboratory’.
Such ultrashort and high-power light beams also help the scientists in uncovering processes that take place in the micro-world. These processes happen so quickly that they cannot be captured by anything else. High-power femtosecond (10 raised to the power minus 15) pulses have enabled scientists to ‘see’ processes such as atomic interactions that earlier appeared to be instantaneous and remained invisible.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2018 – REMEMBERING THE CONSONANCE AND THE DISSONANCE IN HUMAN NATURE
On Tuesday, September 11, 2018, the 17th Anniversary of 911 attacks on the United States, I reflect upon the consonance and dissonance in human nature. The serenity and nobility of the site in Pennsylvania depict the dimension of consonance and the crash of Flight 93 depicts the dimension of dissonance when the world and man are viewed as the works of God.
I define the United States using its national motto which proclaims, “In God We Trust.” For we trust in God, it is rational to claim that man is constituted as a Spiritual Being in God’s own image. I have a great problem in accounting for man’s evil thoughts and actions that cause pain and suffering. The wickedness of man got exposed on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. For God’s creation is perfect, there can never be two opposing or self-contradicting dimensions of human nature. Man’s spiritual nature reveals the consonance, the resonance of God’s nature in His work. How does the dissonance intrude into the world? How can the man be estranged, separated, or alienated from his own true or original nature?
In my analysis, the prophecy of Isaiah has come true. Man is cursed to suffer. There can be no healing without conversion by the Spirit.
The Tower of Voices is conceived as a monumental, ninety-three feet tall musical instrument holding forty wind chimes, representing the forty passengers and crew members. The intent is to create a set of forty tones (voices) that can connote through consonance the serenity and nobility of the site while also through dissonance recalling the event that consecrated the site.
Artwork courtesy of bioLinia and Paul Murdoch Architects.
The wind chimes inside the Tower of Voices. The chimes will be constructed of polished aluminium tubes ranging 8-16 inches in diameter and approximately five to ten feet in length. The size of each chime is dependent on the musical note and associated frequency that it is intended to produce.
Artwork courtesy of bioLinia and Paul Murdoch Architects.
The Tower of Voices serves as both a visual and audible reminder of the heroism of the forty passengers and crew of United Flight 93. On September 09, 2018 Flight 93 National Memorial will host a dedication event to complete the final phase of construction and complete the permanent memorial.
The tower is conceived as a monumental, ninety-three feet tall musical instrument holding forty wind chimes, representing the forty passengers and crew members. It is intended to be a landmark feature near the memorial entrance, visible from US Route 30/Lincoln Highway. The Tower of Voices will provide a living memorial in sound to remember the forty through their ongoing voices.
The tower project will be constructed from 2017 to 2018 with a dedication of the project on September 9, 2018. Funding for the design and construction of the project is provided through private donations to the National Park Foundation and the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial.
Uniqueness of Design
There are no other chime structures like this in the world. The shape and orientation of the tower are designed to optimize airflow through the tower walls to reach the interior chime chamber. The chime system is designed using music theory to identify a mathematically developed range of frequencies needed to produce a distinct musical note associated with each chime. The applied music theory allows the sound produced by individual chimes to be musically compatible with the sound produced by the other chimes in the tower. The intent is to create a set of forty tones (voices) that can connote through consonance the serenity and nobility of the site while also through dissonance recalling the event that consecrated the site.
The tower is approximately ninety-three feet tall from the base to the top with some height variations. The Tower cross-section is a “C” shape with a fifteen foot outside diameter and eleven foot inside diameter. The “C” shape allows sound to reflect outwardly from the open side in a fan-shaped pattern. The chimes will be suspended a minimum of twenty feet above the main plaza and will be suspended from the interior walls of the tower up to the top.
The tower walls will be constructed of precast concrete segments linked by connectors. The chimes will be constructed of polished aluminium tubes ranging eight to sixteen inches in diameter and approximately five to ten feet in length. The size of each chime is dependent on the musical note and associated frequency that it is intended to produce. Chimes of this size and magnitude do not currently exist in the world. The chimes are wind activated and will have internal strikers attached to sails projecting from the bottom of each chime.
The tower is located on an oval concrete plaza that is built on top of an earth mound to create an area more prominent on the landscape. The plaza includes two curved concrete benches facing the opening of the tower.
The tower is surrounded by concentric rings of white pines and deciduous plantings. The concentric plantings may be interpreted as resonating “sound waves” from the Tower, alluding to the auditory qualities of the chimes housed within. A direct paved path leads to the tower from the parking lot. A longer, meandering crushed stone path winds through the trees and allows visitors an alternative approach to the tower. All other landscaped areas of the project will be planted with a native wildflower seed mix similar to other landscaped areas of the park.
SEPTEMBER 08, 2018 – INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY TRIBUTE TO THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA
On Saturday, September 08, 2018, International Literacy Day, I pay my tribute to the Seventeen Great Masters of Nalanda Buddhist Monastery. I invite my readers to know about these great teachers and their contributions to the Literacy Traditions of Humanity.
International Literacy Day is a holiday which is celebrated annually on September 8th. The purpose of this day is to raise the world’s awareness of literacy issues that are faced by people all over the world and to endorse campaigns that help increase literacy for all people. It was originally established by UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization – in 1965.
To combat worldwide issues of illiteracy, UNESCO proclaimed September 8th as International Literacy Day in 1965. The purpose of this observational day was not only to combat illiteracy but also to promote literacy as a tool that could empower individuals as well as whole communities. It is from these humble beginnings that International Literacy Day has bloomed into a tool that could help millions of people around the globe.
As of 2016, about 775 million adults lack even the most basic, minimum literacy skills all over the world. This means that about 1 in 5 adults in the world – or about 20 % of all people – are not literate. Of that 20%, about 66% of those are women. About 75 million of the world’s children are not in school or have dropped out before they have finished. However, thanks to the efforts of UNESCO & World Literacy Day, more and more people are becoming literate and about 4 billion people are currently literate, as of now.
International Literacy Day Customs & Traditions
Every year, UNESCO issues a theme for the celebration of International Literacy Day. For instance, in 2011, the theme was “Literacy & Peace,” in 2013, the theme was “Literacy for the 21st Century” and in 2015, the theme was “Literacy and Sustainable Societies.”
UNESCO and its partners use these themes to highlight the programs which it and its partners use to tackle various parts of the literacy issues in the world. As a result of some of these programs, attention is often raised in the media about literacy issues. Especially on the Internet where the hashtag #literacyday has been trending for the last few years.
International Mother Language Day
International Mother Language Day is an annual worldwide observance that falls on February 21st. This day not only celebrates language diversity all over the world but also remembers the killing of four students on February 21, 1952. These students were killed because they campaigned to officially use their mother language in Bangladesh.
History of International Mother Language Day
International Mother Language Day was originally a social movement that started to defend a person’s right to speak and write in one’s mother language. February 21st was picked as the date because that is when students who were attending the University of Dhaka, Jagannath University and Dhaka Medical College were murdered by police while they were demonstrating for the right to speak in their mother tongue – Bengali. This started a social movement that began to snowball over the next few decades.
Eventually, this social movement was picked up by a Bengali named Rafiqul Islam that was living in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. He decided to send a letter to the United Nation to ask for a day to be established that would preserve and protect the languages of the world. In his letter, he stated that February 21st should be the day on which it is celebrated in honor of the killings in Dhaka. This would eventually lead to the proposal of resolution A/RES/61/266.
Finally, in 1999, the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution A/RES/61/266. This resolution set February 21st as International Mother Language Day and called on all member states to promote this observational holiday as a way to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by people all over the world.
International Mother Language Day Customs & Traditions
Officially, UNESCO and many of its partners promote a number of linguistic and cultural diversity events on International Mother Language Day. Many universities all over the world will host a mother language day and some governments will issue a proclamation on this day. In Bangladesh, people lay flowers at the martyr’s monument known as Shaheed Minar. Also, there are various awards and prizes for the literacy competitions that promote multiculturalism and multilingualism are held on this day.
DALAI LAMA LAUDS NALANDA PRIESTS FOR LOGICAL BUDDHIST TEACHINGS
Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.(Photo: IANS)
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Monday praised the seventeen pandits (priests) of Nalanda for their logical way of teaching Buddhism and said he himself is one of their biggest admirers.
“The only complete and detailed explanation of the ancient Nalanda teaching has persevered in the Tibetan language which is the reason that the Chinese people who are interested in learning Buddhism, are learning the Tibetan language,” he said.
He said the ancestors of Tibetan people had well preserved this knowledge for thousands of years, which enabled Tibetans to expertise in promoting the knowledge in the Tibetan language.
“It is the duty of Tibetan people to continue the practical teachings of those ancestors while at the same time take pride in possessing such vast and profound knowledge passed by them,” he said.
He said he respects all kinds of religious beliefs which only teach love and compassion as the ultimate source of human happiness.
He cited an example of how humans are born out of love and how they survive on love. He emphasised that the masters of Nalanda encourage its followers to approach their teaching with logic and reason rather than following it blindly. Thus, people should experiment and research on the teachings of those masters in light of reason, he added.
He urged the Tibetan people to preserve the rich Tibetan language as it has the potential to serve all the sentient beings on earth. He assured the people that he would live for hundred years to serve humanity and especially to lead the cause of Tibet under his guidance.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA
I am pleased to share an article titled ‘The Seventeen Pandits of Nalanda Monastery’ by Professor James Blumenthal Ph.D. who gives a brief account of Nalanda University and its great influence upon Tibetan Buddhism. I pay my respectful tribute to Professor Blumenthal who passed away on October 09, 2015. May LORD GOD bless his soul.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA – CENTER OF BUDDHIST LEARNING IN ANCIENT INDIA:
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. ACHARYA NAGARJUNA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. ACHARYA NAGARJUNA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. ARYADEVA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. ASANGA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. VASUBANDHU.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. DIGNAGA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA – DHARMAKIRTI.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. GUNA PRABHA AND HIS DISCIPLE SHAKYA PRABHA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. BUDDHAPALITA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT TEACHERS OF NALANDA. BHAVAVIVEKA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. ACHARYA BHAVAVIVEKA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. CHANDRAKIRTI.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. SHANTARAKSHITA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. SHANTARAKSHITA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. KAMALASHILA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. KAMALASHILA. BHAVANAKRAMA – THREE STAGES OF MEDITATION.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. HARIBHADRA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. VIMUKTISENA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. SHANTIDEVA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT MASTERS OF NALANDA. ATISHA.
TIBET AWARENESS – THE GREAT TEACHERS OF NALANDA. ATISHA.
THE SEVENTEEN PANDITS OF NALANDA MONASTERY
BY JAMES BLUMENTHAL, INFO-BUDDHISM.COM
Posted on October 8th, 2015
Oregon, USA — Nalanda Monastic University was the greatest center of Buddhist learning in India’s glorious past. With upwards of 30,000 monks and nuns including 2,000 teachers living, studying and practicing there during its heyday, Nalanda was unmatched.
Established during the Gupta Dynasty in the late 5th to early 6th century C.E. under the patronage of the Gupta king Shakraditra, the institution survived for six hundred years, through the Pala Dynasty, until ultimately being destroyed in 1203 by Turkish Muslim invaders. In 1204 the last throne-holder (abbot) of Nalanda, Shakyashribhadra, fled to Tibet. In the intervening centuries, however, many of India’s greatest Buddhist masters trained and taught at Nalanda.
Nalanda’s renown as a center for higher learning spread far. It attracted students from as far away as Greece, Persia, China and Tibet. Although Buddhism was naturally the central focus of study, other subjects including astronomy, medicine (Ayurveda), grammar, metaphysics, logic, philosophy of language, classical Hindu philosophy, non-Indian philosophy and so forth were all regularly studied. Chinese pilgrims who visited Nalanda in the 7th century C.E. give detailed accounts of the physical premises and activities in their travelogues. For example, they describe three nine-story buildings comprising the library that housed millions of titles in hundreds of thousands of volumes on a vast variety of topics!
Much like the large Gelug monasteries of Sera, Drepung and Ganden, living quarters were divided according to regions of the world from which the monks and nuns came. There are clear records of a well-populated Tibet Vihara at Nalanda during the later period. In fact, history reveals that at one point there was a Tibetan gatekeeper at Nalanda. The gatekeepers were traditionally the top scholars/debaters at the institution. Their job was to stand “guard” at the gate and defeat in debate any non-Buddhist who proposed to challenge the scholarship and ideas of the institution. If they could not defeat the gatekeeper in debate, they would not be allowed further into the monastery.
The Seventeen Pandits of Nalanda Monastery refers to a grouping of seventeen of the most important and influential Mahayana Buddhist masters from India’s past. His Holiness the Dalai Lama frequently refers to himself as a follower of the lineage of the seventeen Nalanda masters today. He even wrote an exquisite poem in praise of the seventeen.
So who were they? Historically speaking, this particular grouping of Indian masters seems to have become prominent quite recently and to be based on attributions of lam-rim (stages of the path) lineages in Tibet. A likely predecessor to this grouping is an Indian reference to the Six Ornaments of the Southern Continent (i.e., India) and the Two Excellent Ones. These eight form the core of the seventeen.
The Six Ornaments first include Nagarjuna (c. 2nd century C.E.), the revealer of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras and the systematizer and founder of the Middle Way (Madhyamaka) school of Buddhist philosophy. The most famous treatise of his six texts of reasoning is The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way, probably the single most analyzed, commented upon and discussed philosophical treatise in Buddhism’s history.
The second of the six ornaments is Aryadeva (c. 3rd century C.E.) who is sometimes referred to as Nagarjuna’s heart disciple and sometimes simply as his first authoritative commentator. Like Nagarjuna, Aryadeva is universally revered as an authoritative voice for all subsequent Middle Way commentators and is most well-known for his treatise The Four Hundred Stanzas.
Aryadeva was born as the son of a Sinhalese king and is considered the co – founder of Mahayana philosophy
In addition to the two Middle Way school masters, included among the six ornaments are the two earliest masters from the Mind-Only school (Yogachara/Chittamatra): Asanga (300–390 C.E.), the founder, and his disciple and half-brother, Vasubandhu (c. 4th century C.E.) one of the system’s earliest and most authoritative commentators. In addition to his own treatises, Asanga is also famous, according to tradition, for retrieving the five Maitreya Buddha texts¹ directly from Maitreya in his pure land, Tushita. With regards to Vasubandhu, before becoming a leading exponent of the Mind-Only school, he wrote a famous treatise from the perspective of the Great Exposition school (Vaibhashika) entitled The Treasure of Knowledge (Abhidharmakosha) which is utilized extensively in Tibetan scholastic studies. Traditionally, seven years is dedicated to the study of this text in the Gelug geshe curriculum.
Two additional Mind-Only school proponents round out the six ornaments: Dignaga (6th century C.E.) and Dharmakirti (600–660 C.E.). The two are most famous as the groundbreakers in Buddhist logic and epistemology. Specifically, they wrote philosophical treatises on the contents and means of accruing valid knowledge. They argued that from the Buddhist perspective there were two sources of valid knowledge: logical inference and direct perception. Much of their writings were detailed elaborations on these topics.
The Two Excellent Ones refers to the two great Vinaya masters: Gunaprabha (c. 9th century C.E.) andShakyaprabha. Gunaprabha was a disciple of Vasubandhu’s and is most famous for his treatise, the Vinaya Sutra. Shakyaprabha was a disciple of Shantarakshita (also among the seventeen) and the other major teacher of vinaya among the seventeen. He is particularly associated Mulasarvastivada-vinaya line which has been followed in Tibet since the time of the early Dharma King, Ralpachen (born c. 806 C.E.). His teacher Shantarakshita began this ordination lineage in Tibet when he ordained the first seven Tibetan monks and founded Samye Monastery.
Beyond the Six Ornaments and Two Excellent Ones, are nine additional Indian Buddhist masters, each of whom profoundly impacted the shapes of Indian and/or Tibetan Buddhism for centuries.
Buddhapalita (470–550 C.E.) was one of the great commentators on Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka thought. He is the earliest Indian Madhyamaka specifically identified as a proponent of the sub-school of Madhyamaka known in Tibet as the Middle Way Consequence school (Prasangika-Madhyamaka). He received this designation in Tibet due to his use of a form of reasoning that drew out the absurd logical consequences of the philosophical rivals of Madhyamakas when he commented on Nagarjuna’s root text on wisdom.
Buddhapalita was subsequently criticized by another Madhyamaka master, Bhavaviveka (500–578 C.E.). He argued that a proper Madhyamaka commentator ought to do more than show the absurdities of other’s views; they also have a responsibility to establish the view of emptiness and to do so with autonomous inferences (svatantranumana). He subsequently became known in Tibet as the “founder” and primary proponent of a sub-school of Madhyamaka known as the Middle Way Autonomy school (Svatantrika-Madhyamaka).
Chandrakirti (600–650 C.E.) is revered by many in Tibet as the founder of the Middle Way Consequence school, often regarded as the highest Buddhist philosophical explanation of reality. He famously came to the defense of Buddhapalita’s use of consequentialist reasoning contra Bhavaviveka’s criticism. In a line of thinking further developed by Je Tsongkhapa (1357–1419 CE) they argued that a Madhyamaka philosopher ought not to utilize autonomous inferences because the very use of that sort of reasoning entailed the acceptance of an inherent nature in the subject of the argument. Since the existence of an inherent nature in anything was precisely what Nagarjuna was refuting, the use of autonomous inference seemed like a fatal flaw for a Madhyamaka. Though historical evidence suggests that Chandrakirti’s views likely did not have extensive support in India until the late period there, by the 13th century in Tibet, his views on a proper understanding of Madhyamaka began to dominate the philosophical landscape and continue to today.
Shantarakshita (725–788 C.E.) was a towering figure in late Indian Buddhist philosophy and immensely influential in Tibet. Philosophically, he is famous for integrating the three major lines of Mahayana philosophy into an integrated coherent system. These were the Madhyamaka, the Yogachara and the logico-epistemological thought of Dharmakirti. Beyond India, he spent the last seventeen years of his life in Tibet, ordaining its first monks and serving as abbot of it first monastery. Moreover, probably nobody has exerted a greater influence on Tibetan Buddhism in terms of the way in which Tibetans approach philosophy. Shantarakshita virtually taught Tibetans how to do philosophy during the early dissemination of the Dharma there.
Two of Shantarakshita’s disciples (in addition to Shakyabhadra mentioned above) are also included in the list of seventeen. Kamalashila (c. 8th century C.E.) likewise was an immensely important figure in India and Tibet. Like his teacher, Kamalashila wrote extensively on Madhyamaka and pramana (logic and epistemology) as well as on meditation theory and practice.
His three Stages of Meditation (Bhavanakrama) texts are among the most cited in traditional Tibet expositions on the topics. Moreover, also like his teacher, he spent extensive time in Tibet during the early dissemination. He famously and successfully defended the Indian gradual approach to enlightenment at the Great Debate at Samye (also called the Council of Lhasa) against the instantaneous approach advocated by Hvashang Mohoyen, the Chinese master. Tibetan histories often recount that since that time Tibetan have followed the Indian method.
Haribhadra (700–770 C.E.), the last of Shantarakshita’s disciples included in the group of seventeen, wrote the most famous and commonly utilized of the 21 Indian commentaries on The Ornament of Clear Realizations by Maitreya and the Mahayana path system in general. The other major commentator on The Ornament of Clear Realizations to be included among the seventeen is Vimuktisena (c. 6th century C.E.) whose text Illuminating the Twenty Thousand: A Commentary on the Ornament is likewise extensively cited by subsequent Tibetan authors.
Shantideva (c. 8th century C.E.) composed what is perhaps the most important and influential classic on how to practice in the Mahayana tradition: A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Bodhisattvacharyavatara) while a monk at Nalanda. His text on the development of bodhichitta and the practice of the six perfections is revered and studied extensively by all Tibetan traditions. His Holiness the Dalai Lama often refers to his favorite passage in Buddhist literature as coming from the dedication section of this text: “As long as space endures, as long as sentient being remain, may I too remain, to dispel the miseries of the world.”
The final master included among the seventeen was the Bengali scholar-adept Atisha (980–1054 C.E.), who was a critical figure in the later dissemination of Buddhism in Tibet. Like many of the others on this list, Atisha’s impact on the shape of Tibetan Buddhism was immense. His classic, The Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment (Bodhipathpradipa) is widely regarded as the root text on the graduated stages of the path presentation found in Tibetan classics like Je Tsongkhapa’s The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (also commonly referred to by the abbreviated Tibetan name, Lamrim Chenmo), Gampopa’s Jeweled Ornament of Liberation and Patrul Rinpoche’s The Words of My Perfect Teacher among others. In addition to the stages of the path teachings, Atisha also introduced the lojong, or mind training, tradition of Mahayana practice in Tibet. Lojong teachings are quintessential Mahayana teachings in that their aim is to eliminate both the self-cherishing attitude and self-grasping by teaching means to cultivate the altruistic compassion of bodhichitta and the direct realization of emptiness. Like the stages of the path teachings, the mind training tradition is one that is embraced by all Tibetan lineages.
Together the seventeen great masters of Nalanda monastery represent the real high points of Indian Mahayana. The inspiration and teachings of these great masters continue to bless practitioners of the Mahayana to the present day.
¹ The five Maitreya texts are: The Ornament of Clear Realization (Abhisamayalamkara), The Ornament of Mahayana Sutras (Mahayanasutralamkara), Distinguishing the Middle from the Extremes (Madhyantavibhaga), Distinguishing Phenomena and the Nature of Phenomena (Dharma-dharmata-vibhaga), and The Sublime Continuum (Uttaratantra).
JAMES BLUMENTHAL, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Buddhist philosophy at Oregon State University and professor of Buddhist Studies at Maitripa College. He is the author of The Ornament of The Middle Way: A Study of the Madhyamika Thought of Shantarakshita along with more than 40 articles in scholarly journals and popular periodicals on various aspects of Buddhist thought and practice. He recently finished work with Geshe Lhundup Sopa on Steps on the Path: Vol. IV, a commentary on the ‘ Shamatha’ chapter of Lamrim Chanmo of Tsongkhapa which is due for publication in the fall.
The Dalai Lama speaks on the first day of his four-day teaching at the request of a group from South Asia at the main temple in McLeodganj on Tuesday. Photo: Kamaljeet
Tribune News Service
Dharamshala, September 4
Amid concerns regarding his health, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said he would live around 100 years.
“With your prayers and wishes, I assure you I would live around 100 years,” said the Dalai Lama, addressing representatives of three regions of Tibet at Tsuglagkhang, the main temple in Dharamshala, yesterday. “I would serve the humanity,” he said.
Recently, news reports had raised concerns regarding the health of the Dalai Lama and suggesting that he was suffering from prostate cancer. However, later both the Dalai Lama and his personal physician declined the reports.
Tibetans representing Tibet’s three traditional provinces and Tibetans from Kalimpong, Gangtok, Darjeeling and Ravangla offered long life prayers to the Dalai Lama yesterday.
Thanking the participants and organizers for the ceremony, the Dalai Lama praised the 17 pandits of Nalanda for their logical way of teaching the Buddhism.
“The detailed explanation of the ancient Nalanda teachings has only been preserved in the Tibetan language which is why people from China are interested in learning the Buddhism,” said the Dalai Lama.
Speaking of the ancient Nalanda Buddhist teaching, he said the ancestors of Tibetans had well-preserved this knowledge which enabled Tibetans to get expertise in promoting the knowledge in their language. The Dalai Lama said it was the duty of the Tibetans to continue the practical teachings of the ancestors while, at the same time, taking pride in possessing such a vast knowledge.
“I respect all kinds of religious beliefs which only teach love and compassion as the ultimate source of human happiness,” he said.
Meanwhile, drawing the attention of the gathering, the Dalai Lama emphasized that the masters of Nalanda encouraged its followers to approach their teaching with logic and reason rather than following it blindly.
September 05 – Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s Birthday – Reflections on my Mylapore, Madras, Chennai Family Connections
September 05, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s birthday is celebrated as Teacher’s Day in India. On Wednesday, September 05, 2018, I want to share my reflections on my Mylapore, Madras, Chennai Family Connections. This relationship connects several important events of my life’s journey. For I believe in the doctrine of predestination, I can trace my life’s journey as a series of predetermined events.
In my analysis, time and the place are of equal importance in the formulation of predetermined events. I shall discuss the role of time and place in the context of three issues; 1. Birth Place, 2. Relationships, for example, Radhakrishnan worked in Presidency College, Madras where my father studied and worked, and 3. Final Destination.
Mylapore, Madras, Chennai, my birthplace predetermined my connection to Radhakrishnan as well as my connection to my wife who is also born on the fifth day of September.
Radhakrishnan studied in Madras Christian College and later worked in Presidency College, Madras. My wife talks about Madras Christian College for her father, and four of her brothers studied there. In February 1973, just after I got married, I visited Madras Christian College along with my wife to meet her younger brother who was studying there for his Master of Science degree.
My father studied in Presidency College, Madras and later worked there during my early childhood years spent in Mylapore. Apart from Radhakrishnan, his son, Sarvepalli Gopal also worked in Presidency College
In October 1962, my connection to Radhakrishnan was shaped by Communist China’s attack on India across the Himalayan Frontier. On one hand the Spirit of Nationalism inspired me to serve in the Indian Army, and on the other hand, it profoundly influenced my thinking about choosing a life partner. At the same time, the 1962 India-China War prepared a very special place to render my military service while I am still a college student. In September 1969, I was granted the Short Service Regular Commission to serve in the Indian Army Medical Corps. My educational career prepared me for this role as well as giving me the opportunity to find a partner who accepted my passion to serve in the Olive-Green military uniform. I got married in January 1973 while I was serving at Doom Dooma, Tinsukia District, Assam in SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE – ESTABLISHMENT NO. 22, a special military organization founded in 1962.
The history of Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22: “AHIMSA PARAMO DHARMAH; DHARMA HIMSA TATHIVA CHA.” Both India and Tibet recognize Non-Violence or Ahimsa as the highest principle. The military organization, Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22 represents the second part of the statement; Violence or Himsa is equally the highest principle when it is necessary to defend the righteous.
The military organization is known as Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22 came into its existence during the presidency of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the second President of the Republic of India, 13 May 1962 to 13 May 1967. While Special Frontier Force is a product of Cold War Era secret diplomacy, I would like to share my personal story, the events from early childhood, that shaped the rest of my life and has formulated my bonding with this Organization and my desire to accomplish its military mission.
Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (05 September 1888 to 17 April 1975), the second President of the Republic of India is known to me from my early childhood. His daughter (Rukmini) was married to my maternal grandfather’s younger brother who had also lived in Mylapore.
My maternal grandfather, Dr Kasturi. Narayana Murthy, M.D., who worked as Professor of Medicine in Madras Medical College lived at 2/37 Kutchery Road, Mylapore. I was born at my grandfather’s residence. While I lived in Mylapore and later during my summer vacations spent in Madras City, I used to visit Radhakrishnan’s daughter’s residence daily. At that time, Radhakrishnan served as the first Vice President of India (1952-1962). I clearly remember the celebration of 2500th Birth Anniversary of Gautama Buddha on May 24, 1956. In India’s Capital City of New Delhi, the celebration was attended by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the 10th Panchen Lama Rinpoche. The Institution of the Dalai Lama is the central focus of Tibetan Cultural Identity and Tibetan national character.
Since 1962, India instituted Radhakrishnan’s birthday (05 September) as Teacher’s Day. Since that time, every year that I spent as a student, I had a special reason to remember my family connection with his daughter and my father who belonged to the teaching profession. Radhakrishnan correctly predicted the need for military action to fight injustice. In 1962, during his Presidency, India bravely resisted the Chinese aggression and thousands of Indian Army soldiers gave their precious lives to defend India. It inspired me to serve in Indian Armed Forces to continue the task of opposing and resisting the threat posed by Communist China.
INDIA – TIBET RELATIONS FROM 1950 to 1962:
The Celebration of 2500th Anniversary of the birth of Gautama Buddha (Buddha Jayanti) in New Delhi on May 24, 1956 displays the historical connection between India, and Tibet. Prime Minister Nehru, President Rajendra Prasad, the 14th Dalai Lama, and the 10th Panchen Lama, Rinpoche are seen in this photo image.
Because of Gautama Buddha, India, and Tibet are natural allies. But, the complex, political, and military relationship developed as a reaction to the People’s Republic of China’s invasion of Tibet in 1950.
The President of India, Dr Babu Rajendra Prasad with the visiting His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, and Panchen Lama Rinpoche.
The military occupation of Tibet by Communist China makes a great impact upon the historical, cultural, religious relationship between India, and Tibet. It commenced an entirely new era in which both India and Tibet are driven by the same kind of security concerns. Prime Minister Chou En-Lai represents the face of that danger that forced Prime Minister Nehru to know and appreciate the nature of Tibetan Nation as represented by the 14th Dalai Lama and the 10th Panchen Lama Rinpoche.
India achieved its full independence from the British rule on August 15, 1947. India became the Republic of India on January 26, 1950. Dr Babu Rajendra Prasad became the first President of the Republic of India. The first general elections were held in 1952, and Radhakrishnan, who was at that time-serving as India’s Ambassador to the Soviet Union, was elected as the first Vice President. He served a second term as the Vice President from 1957 to 1962.
India witnessed a major military threat to its Himalayan frontier when the People’s Republic of China sent its army during October 1950 to occupy Tibet while Tibetans had no ability to resist such a massive, military invasion of their territory. Tibet tried to resolve the issue using diplomacy. Tibet requested India to bring the issue to the attention of the United Nations to adopt a resolution against the Communist invasion. At that time Tibet was still following the policy of political isolationism, and neutralism and was not recognized by the United Nations as a member nation. The United States was fighting the Korean War to contain the spread of Communism in Asia. However, Tibet did not obtain direct, US military intervention. India did not have the necessary military force of its own to intervene inside Tibet. At the same time, India also actively pursued its own policy of political neutralism that is known as the Nonaligned Movement to reduce the political tensions caused by the Cold War. India thought that the crisis in Tibet could be resolved by directly negotiating with China without involving the United Nations. During 1951, Communist China imposed a 17-Point Agreement on Tibet while Tibetans had no capacity to defend their rights; the Agreement of the Central People’s Government and the Local Government of Tibet on 23rd May 1951 to take measures for the “Peaceful Liberation of Tibet.” China started quoting this agreement to justify its illegal and unjust military occupation of Tibet.
It must be clearly understood that the Great Fifth Dalai Lama founded the “Ganden Phodrang” Government of Tibet in 1642. The successive Dalai Lamas have headed the Tibetan State for nearly four centuries. Towards the end of the Qing Dynasty or Ch’ing Dynasty, the Great 13th Dalai Lama declared Tibet’s full Independence from Manchu China. From 1911 to 1950 – 49-Years, Tibet was an independent Nation before the founding of this political entity called The People’s Republic of China.
The photo image of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in Peking meeting with Chairman Mao Tse-Tung.
Tibet tried its very best to appease the Communist Party Chairman Mao Tse-Tung until 1954-1955. China took full political, and military advantage of Tibet’s isolationism and took every possible measure to deny the freedom that Tibetans had enjoyed for several centuries despite sporadic foreign invasions by the Mongols, and later by the Manchus. In the past, the foreign rulers of Tibet did not intervene in Tibet’s internal affairs. Tibetans retained their traditional style of governance through the Institution of the Dalai Lama or the “Ganden Phodrang” Government which ruled Tibet for four centuries.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama with India’s President and Vice President.
Both India and Tibet strongly desired to resolve the conflict with communist China using diplomacy. The existence of autonomous Tibetan nation serves the best interests of Indian national security.
A banquet held in Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi in 1956 to honor the visiting Head of State, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet who is seen seated between Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter Ms Indira Gandhi.
Both India and Tibet desired friendly and peaceful relations with China. Prime Minister Chou En-Lai is seen here with the 14th Dalai Lama, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and his daughter Ms Indira Gandhi. These efforts towards peaceful co-existence with Communist China had utterly failed during 1957-58.
India and Tibet tried to cultivate a friendly relationship with China and its failure was caused by China’s policy of Expansionism.
India desired to promote international peace and tried to avoid armed conflicts. The burden imposed by China’s military occupation of Tibet was viewed with concern, but India tried the use of diplomacy and avoid war. A ceremony to honor Prime Minister Chou En-Lai, and the 14th Dalai Lama during their visit to New Delhi in 1956.
This photo image of Prime Minister Chou En-Lai, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and the 14th Dalai Lama demonstrates the desire of India to promote peaceful co-existence. Establishment No. 22 represents the failure of India’s peace initiative. The military occupation of Tibet is not a friendly posture and China could not be trusted as a friend.
While Tibet tried its very best to please the Communist leaders of China, India had also pursued a similar policy to befriend China to address the problem of the military threat posed by the military occupation of Tibet. The “Panchsheel” Agreement of 1954 between India and People’s Republic of China had recognized Chinese sovereignty over Tibet, and India had agreed to withdraw its very small, military presence in Tibet. India believed that China would grant full autonomy to Tibet and preserve the political, and cultural institutions of Tibet. It must be noted that Tibet had not recognized or endorsed the agreement made by India and China.
Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai visited New Delhi, India in June 1954 after his initiative called the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (PANCHSHEEL). The first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad (first right), Vice President Radhakrishnan third right, and India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru is at the far left.
Indian Vice President Dr Radhakrishnan made an unsuccessful attempt to resolve the problem of the military occupation of Tibet. He had visited Peking during September 1957 and met with various Communist Party leaders including Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, and President Liu Shao-Chi(Liu Shaoqi), and Party General Secretary Teng Hsiao-Ping(Deng Xiaoping).
Indian Vice President Radhakrishnan visited Peking during September/October 1957 and could not get any concessions from the Communist leaders. China had determined to pursue a policy of Expansionism and had tripled the size of its country using its superior military power.
THE ORIGIN OF SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE – ESTABLISHMENT NO. 22:
The need for the use of military force became inevitable after China made it abundantly clear that it would not negotiate its military occupation of Tibet and would not allow the traditional form of Tibetan Government as represented by the Institution of the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan Resistance Movement began with a very modest attempt to train some Tibetan nationals to fight the Chinese People’s Liberation Army that occupied Tibet.
The history of Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22: 1957 was a turning point. India recognized that its foreign policy of political neutralism was of no use and started depending upon the United States to address the military threat posed by China’s occupation of Tibet. But, the effort was too modest and both India and the United States had grossly underestimated the strength of the People’s Liberation Army. Camp Hale at Colorado represents one aspect of CIA operation called ST CIRCUS.
The history of Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22 can be traced back to 1957-58 when the CIA launched Operation ST CIRCUS. This Commemoration on September 10, 2010, was the first time that US had officially acknowledge the CIA operation with the Tibetans and it includes the Mustang (Nepal) Operation.
During 1957 it became very clear that Communist China would not relax its military grip over Tibet, and the hopes for limited Tibetan autonomy evaporated. Both India, and Tibet had agreed to seek American military intervention, and it must be believed that India had only wanted a covert, military operation to build and establish a Tibetan Resistance Movement to challenge and overthrow the Chinese military regime in Tibet. The climax of this Tibetan Resistance was during March 1959, and China using its vastly superior military power had easily crushed this Tibetan Uprising. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama had no choice; he and his close followers fled Tibet to seek political asylum in India.
The history of Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22: The arrival of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in India to seek political asylum represents the failure of CIA’s covert operation inside Tibet. CIA had grossly underestimated the intelligence capabilities of Communist China.
The history of Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22: The Journey of a political refugee. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama arrived in India on 31 March 1959 and was presented a Guard of Honor by the Assam Rifles in the Tawang Sector of the North East Frontier Agency which is renamed as Arunachal Pradesh.
The history of Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22: Indian President Dr Babu Rajendra Prasad received His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama with due dignity reflecting India’s belief that the Dalai Lama is the traditional Head of Tibet, an autonomous nation.
The history of Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22: The military tyranny imposed by Communist China’s occupation forced Tibet to break-free from its traditional policy of political isolationism and it is not a big surprise to find India as its natural ally. Vice President Radhakrishnan is seen with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
THE 1962 INDIA – CHINA WAR:
I must admit that the Chinese brutal attacks across the Himalayan frontier during October 1962 came as a shocking surprise to me and to most people all over India. To some extent, India, Tibet, and the United States had lacked the intelligence capabilities to know the intentions and the capabilities of their enemy. The costs of this 1962 War would be known if China takes courage and openly admits the numbers of its soldiers wounded or killed in action. China paid a heavy price and utterly failed to obtain legitimacy for its military occupation of Tibet.
The history of Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22: The 1962 War between India and China paved the way towards a better understanding of India’s security concerns and the need for military alliance/pact with a friendly power like the United States to meet the challenge posed by Communist China. I appreciate Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for his idealistic views and aspiration to be known as a peacemaker. He finally recognized the need for a strong, well-equipped Army.
The history of Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22: Prior to the 1962 India-China War, the Tibetan Resistance Movement had no permanent base in India. The War had forced India to strengthen the Tibetan Resistance Movement and provide it with a permanent base within Indian territory. Indian Armed Forces played a major role in training the members of Special Frontier Force with financial, and technical assistance provided by the United States.
The 1962 War of Aggression launched by Communist China had a decisive influence on my personal life. I was a college student, and I was in the first year of my 3-year Bachelor of Science degree course. I felt a strong urge to join India’s Armed Forces to specifically address the military threat posed by China. The 1962 War was a conflict imposed by China to teach India a lesson. Later, official documents released by China describe that Chairman Mao Tse-Tung took punitive action to teach a lesson to India when it launched a massive war of retribution attacking Indian Army positions across the entire Himalayan frontier in October 1962. Chairman Mao Tse-Tung was angered by the support extended by India to Tibet to counter the military occupation. Chairman Mao had resented India’s role in helping the covert operation of the Central Intelligence Agency and had called it an “Imperialist” conspiracy or plot against China. China had utterly failed to achieve its objectives and the War ended when China declared a unilateral ceasefire on November 21, 1962, and withdrew from the captured Himalayan territory. It should be noted that India did not request China to declare this ceasefire. India did not promise that it will withhold the support that it extends to the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. The Secret White House Recordings of the US President John F Kennedy reveal that Kennedy had threatened to nuke China in 1962 and I must say that the threat achieved its purpose and had forced China to stop its military aggression and withdraw unilaterally without demanding any concessions from India, or Tibet.
THE BIRTH OF SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE-ESTABLISHMENT No. 22:
President John F. Kennedy had immediately responded to the Chinese attack on India. Apart from delivery of arms and ammunition, and other military supplies, American aircraft carried out photo missions over the Indo-Tibetan border. In a meeting held on November 19, 1962 at the White House, President Kennedy, Dean David Rusk(Secretary of State), Averell Harriman(Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs), Robert McNamara(Secretary of Defense), General Paul Adams(Chief of the US Strike Command), John Kenneth Galbraith(US Ambassador to India), John A McCone(Director of Central Intelligence Agency), Desmond Fitzgerald(the Far Eastern CIA Chief), James Critchfield(the Near East CIA Chief), John Kenneth Knaus(CIA’s Tibet Task Force), and David Blee(CIA Station Chief in New Delhi) decided upon a military aid package in support of the newly created military organization in India which was initially named as Establishment No. 22 and later the name Special Frontier Force was added to describe the location of its headquarters in New Delhi.
The history of Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22: In the Cold War Era of Silence and Secrecy, India was fortunate to find the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, Averell Harriman who played a crucial role in developing the military response to the 1962 War.
The history of Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22: John Kenneth Galbraith, the US Ambassador to India played a very helpful role to bring India, and the United States to come together on mutual security concerns and to build a personal relationship between the leaders. This photo image is from 1961 taken during Prime Minister Nehru’s visit to Washington D.C.
The History of Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22: The People’s Republic of China could not alter the course of India’s foreign policy. The 1962 War launched by China ended very abruptly when China declared a unilateral ceasefire and withdrew from the captured territory on November 21, 1962. President Kennedy played a decisive role by threatening to “NUKE” China.
The 1962 India-China War, a military conflict that was initiated by China had accomplished the exact opposite of what China had planned to accomplish.
1. India became more firmly aligned with the United States discarding its original policy of political neutralism.
2. The level of cooperation between the Central Intelligence Agency and India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW-The Intelligence Bureau of India) became greatly enhanced.
3. India started increasing its own defence-preparedness and strengthened its military capabilities to fight a future war with China.
4. India was not deterred by the Chinese attack and decided to substantially increase its involvement with the Tibetan Resistance Movement. India made the commitment to provide a permanent base to the Tibetan Resistance Movement apart from hosting the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.
5. India, Tibet, and the United States joined together in a military alliance/pact leading to the creation of the military organization called the Establishment No. 22 which has come to be known as the Special Frontier Force with its official Headquarters in New Delhi.
The history of Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22: President Radhakrishnan visiting Indian Army units during the 1962 India-China War. India withstood the attack by Communist China and it soon recovered from its wounds and regained its full confidence to engage China on the battlefield.
The history of Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22: President Radhakrishnan with Officers of Indian Army during the 1962 India-China War. India understood the need for better preparedness to fight future wars and had decided to maintain its support to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the Head of Tibetan nation who was granted political asylum in India.
The History of Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22: President Radhakrishnan is seen speaking to news reporters during the 1962 War. India was not deterred by Chinese aggression and had boldly continued the support it extended to the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.
PRESIDENT RADHAKRISHNAN’S HISTORIC VISIT TO THE UNITED STATES ON JUNE 03/04, 1963:
After the conclusion of the 1962 War with China, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s personal health demanded a serious attention and President Radhakrishnan performed the historical journey to the United States on June 03/04 to meet the US President John F. Kennedy to express India’s solidarity with the United States in promoting Peace and Democracy, and the visit displays the trust, and confidence placed by India in the future of their mutual military assistance, and cooperation. I am happy to share several photo images of that visit.
The history of Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22: June 03/04, 1963. The historic visit by President Radhakrishnan to affirm India’s friendly relationship with the United States in their policy towards China.
The history of Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22: June 03/04, 1963. President Radhakrishnan’s visit affirms the appreciation for American support during the 1962 India-China War.
The history of Special Frontier Force, Establishment No. 22: June 03, 1963, Indian President Radhakrishnan by his visit acknowledges the India-Tibet-US military alliance/pact to oppose the military threat posed by China.
The history of Special Frontier Force, Establishment No. 22 is linked to the presidency of John F. Kennedy and Radhakrishnan.
I met Radhakrishnan at his Mylapore residence after his retirement in May 1967. At that time, both of us were not aware that the very first posting of my career in Indian Armed Forces would take me to Special Frontier Force, Establishment No. 22 that was created during his presidency.
In India, Radhakrishnan is recognized as a teacher, philosopher, and a statesman. He is never described as the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. I was granted Commission to serve in the Indian Army at the pleasure of the President of India, and my posting order to serve as a Medical Officer in Establishment No. 22, Special Frontier Force was issued under the authority of the Ministry of Defence which functions under the powers sanctioned by the President of India.
The history of Special Frontier Force-Establishment No. 22: This photo image shows Vice President Radhakrishnan at his New Delhi residence during 1960. The events from 1957 to 1962 had shaped Indian foreign policy and it paved the way for alignment with the United States to oppose the military threat posed by the People’s Republic of China. I met President Radhakrishnan at his Mylapore, Madras (Chennai) residence after completion of his term of presidency in 1967. He prefers to read while relaxing in his bed. This is the image, I still carry in my memory.
The history of Special Frontier Force – Establishment No. 22: This is a photo image taken at Sarasawa airfield that proudly displays the National Flag of Tibet. Special Frontier Force is a living military organization that is facing its future with hope and encouragement from the United States, India, and Tibet.