Leaves from the scrapbook-2

As described here these entries are from the scrapbook of Somakhya.

Pinakasena was also doing stuff in preparation for that famous mathematics competition that Mandara was studying for. He raised the question of describing all the following curves with single equation in a one parameter space: straight line, circle, parabola, hyperbola, cardioid, lemniscate, tri-lemniscate, tri-hyperbola, 3-flower etc. Because of the hours we had spent pondering about these curves we were able to give him that right away as the following polar equation with a single parameter a:
$\rho=\left(\cos \left(a\cdot \theta \right)\right)^{\frac{1}{a}}$

When a=1 it is a circle; a=-1, a line; a= 1/2, a cardioid; a=-1/2, a parabola; a= 2, a lemniscate; a=-2, a hyperbola; a=3/2, a 3-flower; a=3, a tri-lemniscate; a=-3/2 a tri-hyperbola with $120^o$ asymptotes; a=-3, a tri-hyperbola with $60^o$ asymptotes and so on (the n-gon conics). In general if $a=\frac{p}{q}$ where p and q are mutually prime integers then it is a curve of p lobes or branches. If $\frac{p}{q}$ is negative then it is a diverging curve and if it is positive it closes with maximal radius of a unit. If $\frac{p}{q}; p=1, q>1$ then the curve internally loops with the number of crossovers being the floor of the square root of q.

Both Indrasena and Pinakasena were sort of cursing themselves that it could be so easy. I pointed out that it was indeed the easy part and pulled out the theorem of the intersection of three ellipses with shared foci on a triangle and informed the upātreya that it was the least of the questions that the mahārathin-s were supposed to surmount in such competitions.

Prove the lines passing through the points of intersections of the three ellipses with foci on a triangle are concurrent.

Another was to double the cube as the yavana-s did to Apollo with ellipses. Then I assuaged him that there was no point struggling for such competitions – if one was truly a mahārathin one would know it and competitions should not matter. If one were not a mahārathin one should study such things just for mental entertainment or knowledge acquisition and play those games as a professional of which one is a master.

Indrasena then revealed to me how he had figured out a way to find genes that had really undergone selection in different Hindu populations. We looked at the genes he identified for sometime and thought about what they might imply.

Then people started asking him questions for oracular prognostication. He gave answers and they came to us and other V1s for having the answers translated. Then I asked for a prognostication and he gave me a bad one. Thankfully he pointed to Indrasena with his trident and said he would be there to shore me up when that time comes. Pinakasena asked if he might become a vīra like his brother. He gave a detailed response that after undergoing rudrāveśa he would unite with a dūtī named Shallaki (śallakī) and then he would become one. He further added that they would protect our kula once I, Indrasena, Lootika and Vrishchika die. I found that answer to be very strange in more than one way and wondered if my apprehension of the “pattern” was incorrect – after all other than the caturbhaginī there was never supposed to be another. It hinted at the existence of an orthogonal kula.

Entry 13; mṛtamīna: We returned early next morning to collect packets of bhasma when we saw the electrician still dancing unfazed. We heard that he had continuously danced through the night and that he was going to do so till midday. The sky was overcast and there was moisture in the air but no rain. My mood matched the somber weather as I pondered over the āviṣṭa’s prognostication; I was turning over in my mind the kinds of mantra-prayoga-s that might be able to see me through it and all the vighna-s that could come in the way. I pondered what implications of the absence of Lootika might mean when the time came but I told myself that in the ultimate struggle a man is always all by himself. The ātreya-s seemed to sense my mood from my silence. Indrasena suggested that we go to brāhmaṇāhāraśāla to give ourselves to the bhoga of bhojana. I agreed and somehow convinced my aunt and mother that I would rather not eat at home. As were walking to the āhāraśāla Pinakasena wondered if āveśa was avaidika and whether we should give much attention to it. Indrasena correctly told him that it was entirely within the vaidika circle though not a codified practice performed by brāhmaṇa-s as part of their system. He pointed to the āveśa-s had by brāhmaṇa women during which my great ancient ancestor Kabandha ātharvaṇa spoke using them as the medium.

Thereafter Pinakasena asked about Rudrāveśa and its foundations. I told him of it deep Indo-European provenance. In Indo-Aryan tradition we had the case of Rudra animating the corpse of a brāhmaṇa at the holy town of Kāyāvarohaṇa in Gujarat and then he walked all the way to Ujjaini where he is said to have initiated his student in the Pāśupata doctrine. They say this animated brāhmaṇa was Lakulīśa. The muni in the ṛgveda hints at possession by Rudra as he is flying in the air. This tradition of Rudrāveśa continues down to the Bhairava-tantra-s. Even in the medieval period the brāhmaṇa Appayya Dīkṣita underwent a muni-like possession using dhattura. Among the yavana-s we have the tale of Aristeas of Proconnesus who was dead when Apollo animated him and wandered in that possession to the land of the Central Asian Iranics knows as the arimaspa-s. Then under the possession of Apollo he is said to have appeared as crow in Italy. Indeed, even yavana hero Odysseus’s travels were made known to Demodocus in a possession by Apollo.

Entry 14; mṛtamīna: That evening I and the two ātreya-s went up to the granitic eminence of the Vīrabhadrāśman. Having scaled the rock, for a while we sat in silence stretching out our legs watching the blazing eye of the god Vivasvān climbing down at the western horizon. We pensively felt the weapons in our pockets for in this downward turn of the Kali age one could never say from where a marūnmatta or some other dasyu might dart out like a Malimluca who had been slain in the days of yore by the great vajra-wielding Maghavan. Evidently, Indrasena was thinking of the great god too for he was non-verbally intoning the svara-s of the sūkta of Gṛtsamada śaunahotra. As this is something brāhmaṇa-s do while testing each other on the śruti, I caught the mantra:

dyāvā cid asmai pṛthivī namete
śuṣmāc cid asya parvatā bhayante ।
yaḥ somapā nicito vajrabāhur
yo vajrahastaḥ sa janāsa indraḥ ॥

Even heaven and earth bow to him;
indeed, the mountains fear of his fury.
The soma-drinker who is praised as Vajrabāhu,
he who has the Vajra in is hand, he, O folks, is Indra!

Entry 15; abhijānat: We were at dinner with my clansman. Unlike the carefree and completely informal affairs at my house, that of Indrasena’s or Lootika’s here it was always a dour and serious affair which matched mood created by the culinary productions of my aunt. I have always had some discomfort in their house though they are my kinfolk and at dinnertime it was particularly so. Thankfully, it appears as though subtly more consonant genetic combinations have formed among my other coethnics like the gautamī-s and ātreya-s who, while separated from me by around 7-9 generations, share some genes as lines of descending from a common vipra community. That stressed to me the importance of belonging as part of a larger coethnic community. Mandara and Saumanasa (and apparently I too) were questioned by my uncle on various topics of mathematics and physics as dinner proceeded. While I could have smashed at least some of those questions without batting an eyelid, I remained silent even as the god of the yavana-s Zeus allowed Herakles to win in the wrestling match in the first Olympic games.

The conversation lit up a bit when Mandara announced his intention to study and make robots. My uncle called him an idiot but thankfully did not squelch the conversation as aunt incited it further. My aunt questioned him about the dangers that might arise from it. She told him that ours was a country which had a lot people who earn their living via manual labor. The introduction of robots would destroy their means of livelihood. Hence, it would lead to social instability that could be easily exploited by mleccha-s. For example, there are potters who make pots for the railways; vegetable sellers who sell vegetables from a basket on the street corner; people who man the counters and stock material at the supermarket: a robot could easily take their jobs: then what will they do? Saumanasa argued that taking such a view would only keep those who are in the lower economic rungs of society in the same place rather than giving them a means to explore “better” and more modern jobs. She felt this would only add to the good of the country with more people doing “advanced” jobs than cleaning garbage or dredging drains. Mandara argued that the industrial revolution in England could be used as a model. The Marxists claimed a disaster would occur due to the unskilled laborers being rendered irrelevant by the industrial revolution. However, he argued that the opposite happened in terms of their individual affluence. He said the market-liberalization in India gave glimpses that such a thing could happen and we could cope and prosper from robotization.

There are some key things I do not know precisely enough to make an accurate prognosis. We first need to know what the human capital of those who might be displaced by robots is. It is uneven in our nation. While drain clearance, garbage disposal and the like would certainly benefit from robotization, we do not believe that it is a given that those freed from other forms of manual labor by robots can now automatically perform more advanced tasks that would do greater good for the country. Hence, robotization cannot work out in too humane a manner unless it is carefully phased and goes hand in hand with huge political restructuring that allows management of human capital.

We could look at the country which has had the greatest robotization to date, Japan. People there have had long lives from at least the medieval period and generally have been reported as having a low infection load. There are exaggerated medieval tales transmitted by Europeans of Japanese living hundreds of years! This does suggest that there has been an evolutionary shift in the Japanese population towards a more K-strategy. In contrast, our nation is located partly in the tropics and has at least in the past 700 years (aggravated by Islam and Christianity) has had a much lower life-expectancy. This has selected a r-strategy. Japan as an island is hard to reach from without and conquer. Most major powers, after the initial conquest by East Asians, a possible shaka elite conquest, and before the Americans, failed in doing so; even then other than the first they could not make a serious genetic imprint. Our land being a subcontinent can easily be overrun by large land-bound migrating groups much like the major component of our ancestry from the Eurasian steppes did. This meant a certain type of insularity along with a mostly K strategy was much less likely to develop. While some invasions can be good in infusing new blood those by Abrahamists can be disasters as is clear from our case. We believe these factor have been major determinants of why robotization never caught on despite proto-robotization having emerged among our ancestors well-before the first surviving lines of Japanese literature were put down. This again was felt in our engineering and text production while both displaying high sophistication and magnitude always had a huge manual/animal labor component (especially so with respect to text production compared with the East Asian locus). This is also potentially affects commitment to accuracy and maintaining time (say in railways and airways even during good weather) in the later Indian labor force. Moreover, given the likely genetic component of the profound differentiation in the people of Japan and India, robotization has to be more carefully considered in our context.