4 Comments

  1. I can not not like this article. There has been a lot of discourses on parallelism between modern science and eastern culture/wisdom/mysticism/whatever. They try to show how much ‘WE’ were advanced a long ago than ‘THEY’ are today, of course with some very interesting examples better than that of ‘disk’ vs ‘chakra’. As if science is a mere collection of facts. What really matters is the method not the claims or the laws. What really matters is the scientific outlook or the scientific temper. And it is almost clear in our subcontinent that the education, be it modern science education or ‘mahendramala’, is neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition for the scientific outlook. So don’t get bothered by the doctors you talked that evening, or the astrophysicist taking holy-bath during Lunar eclipse or the so called communist prime minister sacrificing ‘kalo boko’ before entering his office, or the NAST organizing ‘Swasti shanti’ after completion of its new building. Very nice post. And, the last and probably the least,I think it was Balkrishma Sama not the Laxmi Prasad Devkota.

    • Thank you very much, Kapil. Yes, it was Balkrishna Sama who said that about science and wisdom, and I really appreciate what he said in his own rhetorical context about poetry, but I am irritated by people who take those nice things and replay them forever like they have nothing else to say, to think for themselves, or worse, to listen and learn from more perspectives than one. I do find something bothering about Laxmi Prasad Devkota, and that is (in my understanding) the way way in which he strove to persuade others about divinity as being a part of human beings (the Yatri poem is the crux of my point here) and when he was dying, he said “aakhir Sri Krishna rahechha eka”–for which I sympathize the dying man, but it bothers me that the dying man killed the whole darn thing about the divine in human. Maybe, again, I am irritated by how people use that narrative to prove the failure of science to solve human problem. Especially the bokre intellectuals of Nepal (many of whom happen to be cultist bhakta of one type or another) fail to look at the value of faith in its own place without writing off science and scientific outlook altogether. That’s what I saw in this doctor, who, I must be fair, found out after I wrote this post, is not a researcher but practitioner, and that could be partly why he can manage to forever scoff at the scientific research/investigation and production of new knowledge in medicine. Instead his position seems to allow him to just see the failings of medical science, as when one theory and practice replaces another, and say that “medical science only gives you a provisional answer to the ills of humanity that our grandfathers understood by using their guts” or something of that nature. But my sympathy for such people aside, my worry that this is a scientist who could have worked to advance the local knowledge and wisdom of my society instead of complain about and scoff at others that have ruled the scientific world. I wish I could start over in 10+2 with physics or biology and become a Nepalese scientist who creates a new wave of research and development in Nepalese knowledge systems–medicine, astronomy, anthropology, what not…

  2. This is not merely an interesting post by Dr. Sharma but also an urge and need for refining our religious wisdom with modern scientific research. I find it quite convincing. I could recall someone say or somewhere I have read the answer to the question,”Why don’t we have scientists in Nepal?”.  There were a lot of facts mentioned in the answer but one of them contained a story which goes here. A Nepalese visitor went to America and he was astonished to see an American reading Ramayan. The Nepali waited there to ask question how the reader found the religious epic. He waited for long but found the reader reading the few similar sentences again and again, which mentioned Ravan denies bhiksha from Sita unless she crosses the protection line drawn by her brother in law Laxman before he leaves Sita alone. We Nepalis are no doubt SMART, so he interrupted the reader and asked if he could help him as he is the pundit who has read the holy book several times. He shared his observation that the reader has not understood few lines. To his question and sharing his observation, the reader replied that he is thinking how they could invent something like the protection line of our Ramayan that will be used to protect their country from invaders or enemy. He was amazed to listen the reader’s ideas.
    Yes, there are a lot of facts included in our religious book or practiced locally based on wisdom. They need to be tested and examined by scientific and medical researches. Here is another fact that we usually do HAWAN ( religious ritual performed by Hindus by burning specific woods and ingredients including barley, rice, ghee etc. for smoke) when we are starting new enterprise or after someone dies in our culture. I asked the pundits that producing smoke pollutes our environment. They said, “No”. Later, I read and found that the special paste is made for HAWAN to produce smoke, that kills germs purifying our surrounding which the scientists also acknowledge.
    Finally, I liked the blogger’s proposal for refining and investing our wisdom, which will be a basis to the new generation about what traditional practices to be followed or eliminated. This intervention will significantly contribute the development of our community at large in the long run.
    Thank you Dr. Sharma for such an inspiring post. The action of the words echoed in the blog entry would be a breakthrough in  development.
    ……..
    This message was posted by a mobile phone. Sorry for typos if any…

  3. The main problem is western system of looking at Truth and Our’s. Intution was (is) method of reaching truth here but western metaphysics seeks Truth and regards if it is laboratory verified. Read Dhammapada, you will know that Buddha talking about atomic experience but the western chemists discovered it. It is Indology that the westerners created and it is in appropirate methodology to talk about Eastern Heritage. To filter fact from Fiction and Fiction from fact we need to develop a new methodology.

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