Archive for the ‘Pseudo-science’ category

Shame, Shame, Puppy Shame

November 14, 2012

Of late, number of pseudo-science nonsense talks on campus, aided and abetted by eminent Profs has increased.  Two samples below.  And, if this is what a premier S&T Institute of our country does, anyone still wonder why our country cannot produce any good science or technology breakthroughs?  Depressing, makes me want to scream.

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EML Team 2012-’13, IIT Madras
Presents

An Extra Mural Lecture
By
Dr. A.B. Sudhakara Sastry
 Chairman SRIVT
Vedic Sciences: A Treasure waiting for YOU
Wednesday, 14th November 2012 at 6 PM
IC&SR Main Auditorium
 
Vedic science, based on the Vedas (the oldest holy texts of the Hindu religion) is a great treasure of knowledge. It is a fact that works which can shed light on the ancient treasure troves of technology do not find a due place in the portals of modern mainstream academic and industrial institutions in India. It is heartening to note that during the recent years, there has been a change in this stand and there is a willingness to explore avenues for collaborative effort between the adherents to the paths of Vedic and mainstream sciences. It is only the joint endeavour of Vedic scientists and mainstream intellectuals, willing to work beyond the narrow borders of their own specializations that can help the transmission of ancient knowledge for universal benefit.
Dr. Amanchi Balasudhakara Sastry, is a prolific writer and authored several books on Astrology, Gemology, Scientific meaning totradit ions, rites and rituals, etc. Baradwaja Vymanika Sastra Pariskaram authored by Dr. Sastry is the first literary work in the series of Vedic wisdom. As the Chairman of Srimaharshi Research Institute of Vedic Technologies (SRIVT), his ambition and mission in life is to awaken and enliven the sleeping youth and pass on to them the invaluable heritage of Vedic wisdom and legacy handed down by ancient sages and Vedic gurus and mould this treasure of knowledge for the universal welfare. His work on nano copper using Vedic knowledge has been recognized recently with Indian Innovation Initiative (i3) Award for 2011 by the Department of Science & Technology,Government of India and CII among 850 entries from all over India. More about the scientific research done by SRIVT can be found here

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{Edit, 14/11/12: Removed reference to Dr. CS Yogananda’s talk; on second thought, this doesn’t belong in the same category as the other two}

There was another by Dr. N Gopalakrishnan in August.  His video on Youtube along with rebuttal from Nirmukta:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oPKyeJretI

I Love Isha

October 15, 2010

Not this one (photo from www.realbollywood.com); she seems like the kind that will steal your baby’s pacifier from her mouth.

But, this is the one I am talking about, founded by this guy, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.  I louw you, maan.   

Peddler of all things spiritual and pseudo-scientific, like lingams and inner energy and inner science and chakras and more energies and more lingams and dhyanalingams and divine ellipsoids and solidified mercury and such.  Fascinating person, really. The reason I even came to know about him is because he will be on campus next week to speak to us about ‘Source for Success’. I will have to admit that with all the money he seems to be awash in, he is eminently qualified to talk about success.

Apparently, (according to his own delicious website) he

is a yogi, mystic and spiritual master with a difference. An arresting blend of profundity and pragmatism, his life and work serve as a reminder that inner sciences are not esoteric philosophies from an outdated past, but a contemporary science vitally relevant to our times.

Right!  I love it when descriptions are sufficiently abstract to be completely meaningless, kinda like some descriptions of wine.  Just curious, how do these people qualify to dish out said mixture of profundity and pragmatism?  Do they study for countless years with a master, or they introspect on one leg for decades? Or perhaps a lady of the lake clothed in shimmering samite comes into their dreams and whispers ‘You are the One, you know?’.  And he’s like, ‘What?’ And she’s like ‘Yea-huh, really, we are looking for a guy who can blend fecundity and astigmatism, and we think you are it.  But you will have to grow a beard, … a great big one’. And he’s like, ‘Sweet! I can do that’.

I also totally dig that each of these snake-oil salesmen usually has a catch phrase: here it is ‘inner sciences’, and its bastard-child, ‘inner engineering’.  You, discerning reader, may ask what it is this inner science or engineering; here goes (with some confusing semantics):

As we have physical science to create external well-being there is a whole inner dimension of science to create inner well being. I call it Inner Engineering.

Cho chimple.  Outside, outer engineering; inside, inner engineering.  What happens if your guts spill out?  Never mind.  And why might you be interested in making our rich man richer by taking this course?  Because it will

  • Optimize health and vitality
  • Reduce stress
  • Promote mental clarity and emotional balance
  • Increase and maintain high energy levels throughout the day
  • Reduce sleep & rest quota
  • Prevent chronic diseases like Asthma, Allergies, Sinusitis, Hypertension, Diabetes, Obesity, Rheumatism, Arthritis, Epilepsy, Back pain, Skin and eye ailments, Migraine

How many treasures we find in the website in a mere few minutes!  We come to know that he is the supreme dude, he looks like God, is more compassionate than God, has a turban God wished He had, but is way cooler than God because he rides a Beamer motorbike in the Himalayas wearing just a loincloth.

We also find some really mortal-like things coming from such a highly evolved person.  Check out this page, most of the pictures are of white or foreign-looking people, for some odd reason. Why so?  Where are all the brown-skinned desi-type people?  And Sad Guru’s pics themselves are interesting.  He appears to have actually gone to a studio to pose for the first three pics. Is this consistent with the image of someone who is on such a high spiritual plane?

And it looks like the place is rolling in money. I actually have no problem with this; if suckers want to part with their hard-earned cash, it is their prerogative.  But what I absolutely have a huge problem with is this spewing of scientific terms in random gibberish sentences, designed to appear like rocket science to the layman.  Take for instance this breathtaking passage about ‘The Science of Dhyanalinga’ a.k.a. ‘The Ellipsoid Manifesto’:

“The core of every galaxy is always an ellipsoid. A perfect ellipsoid is what is referred to as a linga. So the first form, from un-manifest to manifest-when it begins to manifest as creation-the first form that it takes is always the form of an ellipsoid.

And from our experience we know if you raise your energies to a certain pitch, the final form that your energy takes before dissolution is also that of an ellipsoid.

So the linga is seen as a doorway to the beyond, from both ends. The first form of manifestation is an ellipsoid. The final form of dissolution is also an ellipsoid. So because the A and Z of creation happen to be the linga, it is seen as a doorway to the beyond.” – Sadhguru

Help, it is raining non-sequiturs here!  And you raise energy (units of Joule) to a certain frequency (units of 1/time), and the energy takes the shape of an ellipsoid now?  How many chemicals and how much of each does one need in the bloodstream before one comes up with this sentence, which makes George W. Bush look like a genius?  Anyway, if the stuff above has left you a tad confused, here comes the deep scientific explanation, which I assume will cost you extra (emphasis below is mine):

A linga is a perfect ellipsoid. It is one form that when energized becomes a perennial storehouse of energy. Although generally associated with Shiva in Indian mythology, scientifically, this shape is the only shape that can serve as a perennial storehouse of energy.

The yogic science of making a Linga is based on this knowledge. In the Dhyanalinga, energies of all the seven chakras in the human system are raised to their very peak and locked to prevent dissipation over time, through an intense process of prana prathistha. Hence there are no poojas or rituals in the Dhyanalinga. It is expected that the energies of the Dhyanalinga will not dissipate for at least 5000 years.

Don’t know if they are taking orders for lingams, but I think I am going to get a few for my Birdday this year.  I would love to see how they convert this human energy into lingam energy, and most importantly, how do they lock it?  Would also be very cool to see the calculations behind the expecation of a 5000-year life for the energy.  Maybe I will just ask him next week when he comes to campus.