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Ignoring Ambedkar’s economic thoughts unjust: Book

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New Delhi: Indian society has done great injustice to itself by ignoring the economic thoughts of national icon B.R. Ambedkar, a new book says.

“After all, his economic thoughts were not parochial,” says scholar Narendra Jadhav in his latest book, “Ambedkar: An Economist Extraordinaire” (Konark).

“What Ambedkar always had in mind was in the best interest of the nation as a whole,” the author says. “To brand him only as a leader of the downtrodden in India is an insult to this great patriot.”

The 270-page book adds: “What is equally disheartening is depriving the Indian society of the benefit of his (Ambedkar’s) economic thoughts, an act which is self-defeating for India as a nation.”

Ambedkar’s basic training was as an economist, Jadhav points out.

Ambedkar (1891-1956) was awarded the degrees of M.A. and PhD in economics by Columbia University in the US in 1915 and 1917 respectively.

The degree of doctor of science (DSc), which the London of School of Economics conferred on him in 1923, was also for research in economics.

Ambedkar’s PhD dissertation, “The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India”, is considered a seminal contribution to the field of public finance. It analysed the evolution of the centre-state financial relations in British India.

His DSc dissertation, “The Problem of the Rupee: Its Origin and Its Solution”, is a magnum opus and seen as a major contribution to the field of monetary economics.

“Ambedkar’s professional career bears a distinct imprint of an economist,” the book says.

“Various memoranda and statements that he submitted to the government (under British rule as well as in independent India) are indicative of his deep insights into India’s economic problems.

“His speeches are replete with stimulating economic thoughts. He is probably the first thinker to analyse economic dimensions of social maladies in India, such as the caste system and untouchability.”

Jadhav says that not many economists are even aware that on the currency question, Ambedkar crossed swords with influential economic thinkers such as John Maynard Keynes.

The book says that Ambedkar — who later embraced Buddhism — presented a perceptive critique of Marxism in his essay, “Buddha or Karl Marx”.

He also spelt out his views on the ideal strategy for India’s economic development in his Memorandum, “States and Minorities” (1947).

The book says that the widespread ignorance regarding Ambedkar’s contribution as an economist was “shocking and unfortunate”.

Jadhav says that due honour had been given to the contributions of Dadabhai Nauroji and Mahadev Govind Ranade both as freedom fighters and as economists.

“But the same, unfortunately, has not happened in the case of Ambedkar although his contribution to economics was no less important, to say the least.”

Jadhav, an economist, educationist and administrator, has been a member of the Planning Commission and chief economist of the Reserve Bank of India.

(IANS)

 

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This Washington DC Art Gallery Has Brought a Cosmic Buddha Artifact to Life Using 3-D Scanning

3-D scanning of the 16th century relic has allowed viewers to rotate the sculpture, adjust lighting and zoom in to see details of it's surface - a path breaking advancement in the realm of technology.

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Technological advancements are paving way for advanced researches. Pixabay
  • Technology has an active role to play in steering research about historic artifacts.
  • Relic of a sixteenth-century Cosmic Buddha has been recently scanned and developed into an online web module for advanced research.
  • 3D scanning with digital surface occlusion provides the clearest view of the surface of ancient sculptures paving way for elaborate understanding.

– By Soha Kala

JULY 26, 2017: Most of us have disliked visiting museums to look at ancient isolated pieces on a pedestal.  The cosmic Buddha statue at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art at Washington has had similar reactions for nearly 9 decades now.

Exhibit curator Keith Wilson duly noted why this hand-less, headless statue had stood alone, without attracting much attention.  “It’s not a beautiful, white marble surface”, he said calling the relic a “difficult piece to love”.

Also Read: Mummified Monk Found inside the 1000 Year Old Buddha Statue in Lotus Position in China

However, what makes the sculpture truly remarkable is the dense decoration that covers its surface, illustrating the Realms of Buddhist Existence- a symbolic map of the cosmos associated with Vairochana, the presumed subject of the sculpture.  Despite its rich bearing, the relic remained largely ignored in the museum.

In an attempt to heighten people’s interest, the relic was first scanned in 3-D for the Smithsonian Digitization project in 2011, facilitating detailed mapping of the sculpture’ surface to clearly identify scenes and figures it contains.

These scans have now been turned into a 3-D model, forming the basis of an interactive web-based resource about the Cosmic Buddha.

A 16th century relic has been 3 D scanned using laser scanning and high resolution photography.
This image has been used for referential purposes. Wikimedia Commons

The module, which is accessible online, includes guided tours written by Wilson and Janet Douglas, a former Freer|Sackler conversation scientist, showing brilliant clarity images, illustrating fundamental Buddhist teachings. Through the use of this digital model, researchers can now study the sculpture and its exceptional details, including previously unreadable details.

Wilson believes the relic was originally created to be a teaching tool. But it’s positioning in a museum brought all attention on the relic as an object, rather than as part of a ritual process. However, technology is now allowing museums to unite the artistic qualities of work with its religious connotation and purpose.

For example, Eileen Daily, director of the Doctor of Ministry in Transformational Leadership at Boston University had created a mobile app in 2011 that explained users about the history and religious significance of artworks around them.

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The constant access to smart phones and technology also means works like the Cosmic Buddha are no longer exclusive to museums- their 3-D models can be accessed via the internet from anywhere around the world. For example, curators and scholars can now order scans of all objects in a Buddhist temple and recreate the space virtually.

To sum up, David Morgan, professor of religious studies at Duke University believes technology and museums are now changing each other for the better.

– by Soha Kala for NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
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Why is Spirituality Independent of any Religion? Read Here!

Bypassing difficult certainties and the truth of the human condition or getting a handle on at transient or deceptive joys both in the long run lead to misery and disappointment

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Spirituality and religion
Spirituality does not need religion. Pixabay
  • The Buddha didn’t encourage open deliberations around the idea of a “Self” or Atman
  • The upheaval of the Buddha was encouraging his voyagers to shed their individual histories and the aggregated baggage of custom
  • it is vital to remember the inherent holiness of human life and the glue that ties all of us together

New Delhi, July 29, 2017: Wise men frequently talk about the evasive present, a transient piece of time that vanishes the minute one endeavors to bind it. It is the thing that spiritualists have endeavored to verbalize, at times using words, and frequently without them.

Is it safe to say that it isn’t a paradoxical expression to touch base at the nonconceptual state portrayed by soothsayers through the guide of concepts?

Koans are utilized by Zen Buddhists for expression of the inconceivable. For Instance, “What is the sound of one hand clapping? It is a rhetorical question, meant to evoke a moment of Satorior momentary realization when one has the experience of the ‘NOW’ between thoughts which the statement evokes.”

ALSO READ: Ram Sethu: Why the Spiritual Importance attached to it is Debatable!

The Buddha didn’t encourage open deliberations around the idea of Atman or a “Self”, not on the grounds that he didn’t have confidence in that, but rather in light of the fact that he knew very well indeed the pointlessness of utilizing ideas to touch base at a nonconceptual state. Most importantly he focused on the significance of landing at an individual comprehension of reality; checking truth for yourself as opposed to relying upon literary expert or what somebody may have recorded thousand years back.

A Bodhisattva plays out a spiritual practice for testing situations like battle areas, brothels and untouchable provinces, comprehending agony and delight, aversion, and longing for, “sacred” and “profane” are insignificant constructs that must be broken up to land at reality.

Bypassing difficult certainties and the truth of the condition of human or getting a handle on at deceptive or transient joys both in the long run can lead to misery and disappointment.

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People get a handle on at religion and gratification for the very same reasons – so as to accomplish transitory help or maybe freedom from the torment of the condition of human and be informed that all is going to be well only if a particular path or a particular Guru is followed, or change over to Scientology, Hinduism, Christianity or Islam.

The Buddha’s revolution was to motivate his fellow voyagers to shed down their past and the aggregated baggage of custom, as he considered them to be nothing more than hindrances to spiritual development, and make on caught up in the jail of desiring and aversion, feelings of grievances and spite.

As the maxim says, “If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him.” A point in the trip comes where the Buddha also ends up noticeably superfluous and can be abstained from.

He urged us to face reality. For instance, in the event that one feeling low, under the heavy baggage of one’s issues, it is very likely to be unhelpful to get a religious content on unique ideas of “enlightenment” believing that this will improve the circumstance. Despite what might be expected we are suggested to do meditation during upsetting sensations, clinically watch them, face them and remain with them for whatever length of time they are present; without grasping, judgment or aversion.

When we follow this for a sufficient duration; see our mental tides rising and falling and prepare ourselves to watch them as waves on a sea, composure, and peace will become conceivable. More essentially, compromise with the present minute, not getting away or fantasizing over the Shangri-La which the scriptures guaranteed.

The significant insight bestowed by the Indian seers to us  can be an impetus for individual change yet can likewise be utilized for spiritual bypassing, an expression which alludes to the utilization of spiritual practices as well as ideas as an instrument of denial – to abstain from managing uncomfortable sentiments, uncertain injuries, subdued traumas and essential psychological and emotional needs.

While exploring the regularly muddled and complicated world we occupy, it is vital to help ourselves on numerous occasions to remember the inherent holiness of this life along with the glue that ties all of us together.

-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025

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Nine Buddhist Teachings You May Acquire While Studying With a Monk

Buddhists trust the way to Enlightenment is through the advancement of spiritual quality, reflection, and intelligence

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Buddhist teachings
Buddhist monks passing candles. Pixabay

“Buddhism is a spiritual tradition with over 376 people following this religion”

“Buddhists have incorporated many beliefs over a period of time” and here are 9 Buddhist teachings for everyone!

July 21, 2017: Buddhism is a spiritual custom that spotlights on individual profound improvement and the fulfillment of a profound understanding of the genuine idea of life. There are 376 million supporters around the world. Buddhists seek to achieve a state of nirvana, following the way of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, who went on a mission for Enlightenment around the 6th century BC.

Buddhists trust that nothing is settled or perpetual and that change is constant. The way to Enlightenment is through the advancement of spiritual quality, reflection, and intelligence.

Buddhists trust that life is both perpetual and subject to temporariness, sufferings, and vulnerability. These states are known as the tilakhana or the three indications of “Existence” which is interminable in light of the fact that people are resurrected, again and again, battling sufferings throughout many lives. It is temporary in light of the fact that no state, great or terrible, keeps going forever. The belief that things can last is a main source of the pain.

Here are 9 Buddhist teachings that you may learn if you study with a monk:

Preserverance

Preserverance is a limit we create to have the capacity to remain firm as long as possible and not lose our direction. It requires focusing on what’s believable when we ought to pull back, give up or surrender. It doesn’t mean pushing ahead no matter what, but building up a level of mindfulness that gives us a chance to work. The formulae are simple: if you keep trying, you will eventually reach there”.

Soul Searching

A Chinese proverb says, “Teacher open the door, but you must enter all by yourself”. 

As a part of original monastery training, the monk does not answer the questions of the students unless it is a well thought-out question.

The individuals who are confident in the existence of a soul do not clarify what and where it is. The Buddha’s recommendation is not to squander our time over this superfluous theory but rather devote our time toward salvation. The formula is simple: The real world does not teach us, rather the real teacher is inside of us”.

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Confronting Failures is the ‘Real Wisdom

Buddha says, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” 

The best way to change your response to failures is to challenge the convictions that create it. Furthermore, an ideal approach to change those convictions is to change the thoughts that shape them. Failure should mean an opportunity to try again through revised eyes.

Acknowledging egotistical mind with mindfulness meditation

Ego is regularly acknowledged as demonstrative of a feeling of self-character that isolates us from the rest. It is the base of insatiability, reproduced from not seeing clearly.

Ego destroys the present moment. How do you let go of ego?. Being aware of the ego itself dismays it, slowing its momentum, and eventually destroying it with mindfulness meditation

ALSO READ: A Fascinating Story of Indonesia: How Hinduism and Buddhism coexist in this Country 

Compassion and Resilience 

When a Buddhist meditator trains for compassion, they start by weighing the sufferings that beset living beings and about the reasons for these sufferings. To do this, the meditator envisions these distinct types of pain as sensible as could be expected under the circumstances, until the point that they wind up noticeably insufferable. This empathic approach has the tendency to cure sufferings. The meditator is directed to think about the significant reasons for affliction, for example, ignorance, which contorts one’s view of reality, or hatred, desire for attachment, and envy, which continually incite all the more sufferings. The process thus prompts a readiness and longing to act for good of others.

The virtue of patience

The Buddha viewed patience to be one of the mental states that an awakened person has perfected. ‘Patience is a virtue,’ and it certainly is. It can also be a remedy to anger and hatred. Although patience in itself is a virtue, it also shows that you have other virtues as well, such as forgiveness, tolerance, and self-control.

Letting go of Ego

Our ego is the disappointment and accomplishment of our lives. It makes and nourishes our desires and greed. To kill ego, we practice non-connection, to things, individuals and thoughts. We should relinquish the possibility that we’re some way the most elite, the most astounding, most regarded one of all.

We should detach from our thoughts of self as well as other people. We’re all entitled to our opinions, yet it must reflect wisdom, not negligible shallow perception.

Develop empathy for yourself. Agree to a mere fact that this body, this name, and personality is not really you. Your body is just another vessel for another life. Your name is just a title your folks gave you to recognize you from others. Your personality is something that develops and changes. Nothing is genuine and changeless, so we should beat that thought. Contemplation is vital and must be honed determinedly with self-control.

Mantra of happiness

In Buddhism peace of mind is accomplished by separating oneself from the cycle of needing that produces dukkha. Specifically, the regions of mental development, which incorporate right effort, right care, and the right focus, are the mental aptitudes and instruments utilized for accomplishing happiness. We must cultivate happiness from within and spread to everyone we meet. Find happiness from within and its purpose on the outside.

-By Staff writer at Newsgram


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.