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Pythagoras And The Karmic Cycle

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Balajee, Mar 10, 2021.

  1. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    One of my worst enemies during schooldays or should I say my arch-foe was a terrifying subject called Mathematics. From primary school level onwards I saw my maths teachers as nothing more than henchmen (and Henchwomen) of this villain.

    Mercifully when I was in primary and middle school kids o were kicked into the next class on the basis of total marks, even if you flunked in one subject. I scored reasonably well in general and social science and exceedingly well in languages (particularly English and Tamil} to escape into the next class.
    But Maths continued to haunt me like a vile evil spirit. Whenever I ran into my maths teachers they either gave me a mocking smile or glared at me murderously. Luckily for me, none of my maths teachers had homicidal tendencies But after the first few years in the school system struggling to work out what two plus two was I decided to turn a new leaf and decided to_ turn a new leaf and pay more attention to the third of the three Rs. But fate had cruel plans in store for me.
    The wise people in the National Council of Educational Research (NCERT) one fine day decided to give the maths syllabus and they scored a direct hit on me.

    So one fine day, my then maths teacher, who looked like a paunchy Bond villain. stood in front of me with a ruler in his hand and asked what appeared to be a silly question initially: Balajee. what is two plus two?"

    "Four " I replied unhesitatingly. ( I had learnt that much of maths by then).

    "Why?"

    "Huh?"
    "WHY IS TWO PLUS TWO FOUR AND NOT THREE OR FIVE?"

    If I had any doubts that maths teachers were nutty as a fruitcake, they vanished at that moment.

    " SHOW ME YOUR KNUCKLES BOY!!!" the villain whose sinister appearance was enhanced by two open buttons on the top of his shirt that revealed a hairy chest a d a gold chain with tiger claws (Now you know why tigers are an endangered species) yelled at me.

    The ruler came down heavily on the knuckles of both my hands as he yelled "LAW OF ADDITION!"
    i then remembered that it was no longer ye olde mathematics but MODERN MATHS. Here everything had a law --addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Maths textbook authors became lawmakers and teachers law enforcers.
    I struggled to make both ends (of a circle) meet in maths class. Theorems were a real headache. You not only have to know that the square of a hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides in a right angle triangle but PROVE it. Again the cursed question WHY in an unholy alliance with HOW.

    I heaved a sigh of relief when I left school and maths. Later I learnt that Pythagoras was not just a mathematician but a religious philosopher who believed in the transmigration of souls according to their Karma. He believed that knowledge of geometry could goa long way in breaking the karmic cycle and the soul will end up in a place that looked like a luxury resort where everything was free.(Mercifully the souls didn't go to the abode of Greek gods Mt.Olympus which was a horrible place with gods doing more politics than modern netas and trying to pull the rug from under each other's feet)

    If Pythagoras was right then I have very little chance of entering his resort, thanks to educational policymakers, for while I remembered Pythagoras theorem, the WHY and HOW escaped me.
    Hope the school kids fare better now. But I suspect the NCERT will not let go of their favourite instrument of torture. For all you know, they might have come up with something called postmodern maths. There's no trusting these guys.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
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  2. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    I guarantee that NCERT Maths textbooks have not changed a single numeric or "x" in the past 30 years at least!
    I don't know about before that!

    Am afraid the fate of most students is still the same. But the pressure is so much more. So the students are suffering a lot more.
    I see many people at individual levels trying to bring change to the system, but unless the Govt does something, it is not going to happen. This Govt prides itself in not changing a single line of the textbooks :rage:

    I usually create games and activities around mathematics concepts to engage students and get them to enjoy maths and understand it better.:clapclap: So my students are usually running around and jumping up and down while doing maths.

    Much before Pythagoras was born, his theorems were stated by Baudhayana, but I learnt about that only because I studied the original Sanskrit texts :sweatsmile:

    Not sure what Pythagoras mentioned about Karmic cycle, am interested to check more about that !
    I usually start with a story to explain pythagoras, trigonometry & calculus, so the kids are better at remembering the WHY and HOW.

    Keep smiling
    HR
     
  3. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:My Dear @Balajee

    Kudos to your anxiety neurosis of Maths that produced a humorous post . Your master with nails of tiger pendant dangling chain hanging on your face and the ruler in hand...quite a macabre tale.

    Of course your fear of theorems and arithmetic is genuine as in those days one was expected to know everything by rote. But then few were very lucky to have been bestowed with thinking gurus who taught complicated things in a Simplified way without taking the pupils through hardship.

    There were no coaching tutorials as we see now. Yet brilliant men came out from academics and reached to helm of affairs!

    Before NCERT CAME INTO VOGUE IN 1961, I came out of school & with that my fear about ability to understand concept in maths and solutions disappeared.

    Luckily for me from then on, I developed not only interest on my own in understanding subjects including maths but evolved my own methods to teach arithmetic and other subjects.

    At school, I could manage to score just class average with ver poor understanding of geometry and algebra. The phrase “algebra is Gaabra “ my class mates fond of writing it on black board just a few minutes before arrival of maths master.

    After attending a week of maths class, I bunked for a while and one day when I arrived late to the class, the master was looking askance and a while later he asked me to tell equation for the curve(s) drawn on the black board. I was remembering the first few classes of analytical geometry I attended. I answered that on right side, it is a parabola Y^2=4 aX & on the left side also a parabola Y^2= - 4aX. The class burst into laughter. The master castigated me thus:

    “The class is in Hyperbola and you are still in Parabola”.
    Such was the enormous confusion in my maths.

    This reminds me a scene in my degree class at Presidency in link:
    Glossing Over Subject Line

    In a recent court judgement, NCERT was knocked at its knuckles for substandard syllabus not only in maths but also irrelevant references in books of other subjects such as Mughal emperors including Aurangazeeb allocated huge funds for renovation or and rebuild hindu temples destroyed in wars. No evidence could be produced by authorities concerned when judge confronted them to show proof for it.
    For more background information reader can peruse NCERT textbook controversies.

    Despite all this, with britishers’ syllabi, we produced great thinkers, lawyers, scientists and even Nobel laureates that include great men like

    1913 [​IMG] Rabindranath Tagore Literature "Because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West."
    1930 [​IMG] C. V. Raman Physics "For his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect

    1968 [​IMG] Har Gobind Khorana United States
    (born in Raipur, British India) Physiology or Medicine "For their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis."
    1983 [​IMG] Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar United States
    (born in Lahore, British India) Physics "For his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars."
    2009 [​IMG] Venki Ramakrishnan UK
    (born in Chidambaram, India) Chemistry "For Structure and function of the ribosome,macromolecular crystallography"

    2019 Abbhijit Banerjee United States
    (born in Mumbai, India) Economics "For their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty"

    & many more settled abroad.

    I do remember the exodus in states from CBSC to board after passing tenth standard and plight of parents in getting their wards to board schools dolling out huge amounts as donation plus fees in tens of thousand. You know the reason behind and that chaos in admission to professional colleges that includes MBBS & DENTAL. This all resulted indian talents outside and their “intel” inside India

    I empathise with the chaotic status of education policy vs syllabi and the third language option at national level. The students and parents are pressurised all through and admission rigmaroles.

    Thanks & Regards.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
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  4. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:
    I am glad of your statements. I doff my hat in your direction. It clearly shows that teaching is your passion and naturally pupils under your guidance must have emerged very confident and top class champions.

    In olden Russians science books the names of the scientists who discovered theories and inventors of gadgets spelt in such way that the reader would think all of them are Russians. I would suggest that NCERT too indulge in this and substitute Baudhayana in place of Pythagoras and similar substitutions in other subjects wherever possible.

    And then, I must add here that, One can unravel of “HOW” of things, while

    GOD alone can answer “WHY” of things. Why things happen in a particular way. One can attempt explain how it happens. That is science & Maths. “WHY” Is God’s realm.

    Thanks and Regards.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
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  5. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    I sail in the same boat. I hated maths. And now I love calculators.
    As for two plus two my teacher explained it as follows:
    We know two plus one is three,
    we also know two plus three is five,
    So two plus two must be four.

    And this you must be knowing:
    The kid said two plus two is twenty two. The teacher tried to help him but he was adamant and has to be punished. The teacher was dismissed and the boss said the kid was right. While settling her account dues of two months of arrears of salary and two months salary in liu of notice period, she demanded salary for twenty two months and had to be paid.
     
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  6. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Balajee,

    Thank you for your humorous thread and also for sharing your hate (opposite of love) affair with Math. My Math teachers were far better than yours. I did poorly too until I reached high school. Having born in a family where three generations of engineers (My grandfather was the Principal of Guindy Engineering College), My father and older brother were very upset with me for not performing well in Math putting in substantial effort to bring me up to speed. I reached our family standards only in high school and later in my Pre University scoring a clean 100% in Math consist of Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry. After that, my father tired of producing Engineers in every family asked me to take Commerce as my main subject and directed me to become a CA which I readily obliged. In our family, the oldest sibling born to my uncle who is a leading criminal lawyer, and I (who is a CA) are the only exception to the family tradition of becoming an Engineer.

    A few years back, I was reading a book titled "Einstein's Enigma" recommended by my son (who not only became an Engineer but also a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering). Even though it was fiction, a lot of the content had real scientific development happening in the early 20th century. The book went on to explain that there were 32 conditions created on the planet for life to exist and none of them can deviate even to a 0.000000001 tolerance level.

    At some point, Einstein and Bohr came to the conclusion that the entire planet operates under a set formula and asked Bohr and his team to come up with the world's largest mathematical equation that would explain the conditions on the planet. Math is part of our existence and it is not going to go away.

    Viswa
     
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  7. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viswa thanks for the nomination. True we cannot wish math away. It is part of our every day without having some rudimentary knowledge of maths we cannot even do basic transactions like shopping for groceries. But the w question is, is it necessary to include the more complicated aspects of the subject in the school syllabus. Say, what is a middle school kid going to gain by learning about complex numbers and binomial theorem? I really admire your ability to overcome your aversion to maths and win hands down. From math hater to CA wow!
     
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  8. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:Kudos to you. You had put in a short and sweet phrase.

    • No science can exist without maths. It is omnipresent and so by that virtue it is omnipotent.
    • I can not imagine a moment without maths in life. Baby delivery ten months. Elephant one year. Couplet two. Triplet three. All numbers. Rainbow seven colours. Stars light years away. Speed in knots. Ten heads Ravanan. A railway clock 24. Everything multiplies divides adds and finally subtracts turns into zero. Zero prefixed value. Zero suffixed meaningless. 786 spiritual. 108 spiritual. 7 hindu marriage steps. Kurukshetra war 18 days.
    • Everywhere everything is reckoned in terms of cardinal numbers the basic of maths - the basis of life.
    Thanks and Regards.
     
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  9. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    HR UI am talking about the last time NCERT got the bright idea of changing the syllabus and made it more absurd and irrelevant than ever. Humans are a species of storytellers. Stories have advanced human civilization. So why not stories advance the knowledge of maths. I remember when I was a kid, my dad got me a maths pizzle book, a story-based one by a Russian writer called Yakov Perlman called Math Magic. That is the only book that made me take a wee bit of interest in the subject. Such books must be introduced to students and only, maths relevant to everyday life must be taught at school. Advanced math can be reserved for college instead of plaguing middle school students with it.
     
  10. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    Tyagu sir, we did produce some Nobel laureates but except for Tagore and Raman, the others were educated abroad and did their work there. Our education system does not nurture creative thinking and encourages learning by rote.m That is hardly the ecosystem for producing Nobel laureates.Frankly, whatevr I learnt, I learnt outside the school system. O particularly read a lot on history. languages and literature even during aschooldays that haf nothing to do with the syllabus. You may find it hard to believe, but at a time when my classmates were reading comics, I had read all the plays of Shakespeare. I was not interested in physical activities like sports but stuck to books making my sportsman father pull his hair in despair. I acquired encyclopedic knowledge but no thanks to the school ststem/
     

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