All posts by Aurovrata V.

Highly motivated by problem solving task involving new concept and methods. Very good with numbers and making sense of interconnected data. A research background in Astrophysics has given him the problem-solving tools and rationalisation methods that have been highly successful may it be in the Financial banking world or the European Space Agency. He aspires to serve a resurgent India in the belief that she alone has the depth of awareness to lead humanity towards a new consciousness, united in all its diversity.

Why is India so filthy? | The Ugly Indian

the Ugly Indian, Social responsibility in India
the Ugly Indian – Social responsibility in India

The Ugly Indian is a group of anonymous activist doing something about the problem of filth in India. They have an interesting website with many interesting, thought provoking ideas as to why our streets are so dirty. Many of these ideas resonate strongly but there are also some other obvious issues that are not addressed in their manifesto. Credit to them for changing what they can change.

Their Facebook page is a collection of volunteer stories from around Indian as more and more people catch on to the trend and get cleaning!


Everything Vedic in ‘Vedic Maths’ – James Glover

An interesting articles that captures some of the nuggets of Vedic philosophy and knowledge from India.  In response to an earlier article criticising the concept of Vedic Mathematics, researcher James Glover points out that people are missing the point…

Everything Vedic in ‘Vedic Maths’ – The Hindu.

The concept being presented is about a holistic approach to mathematics in everyday life with some beautiful examples.  Most importantly about demystifying numbers and rational thinking.

…it expresses underlying laws and mental patterns of all methods. It provides us with an entirely new orientation — one that humanises mathematics, thereby reducing fear of numbers and mathematical concepts. James Glover, London

Vedic Mathematics uses sutras to introduce mathematical concepts, integrating into the rational the very mental experience (awareness) by which one comes to the answer, for example

if you want to add 324 and 199, an easy approach is to add 200 instead of 199 to 324 and take off one, resulting in 523. This is a naturally occurring mental method and uses the fact that 199 is deficient from 200 by one. Such special cases are not normally taught but most people will naturally adopt them by understanding numbers. This comes under the pithy sutra, deficiency. This example shows that there are often simple methods which follow the path of least action and reflects Sir Isaac Newton’s observation, “Nature abhors the pomp of superfluous causes.” James Glover, London

or, another sutra,  which highlights the important concept that the whole is reflected in the individual and yet

It describes the principle in which something of the whole is reflected in the part or individual — a wide-ranging law or principle permeating throughout nature. For example, oak trees have characteristics common to all trees of that genre and yet each oak tree is different from every other. The commonality is reflected in each individual. James Glover, London

As for the critics of this interpretation of Vedic knowledge, James Glover makes an interesting quote from renown Vedic teacher,

The Veda should not be taken in a very restricted sense. The Veda means knowledge and it is not entirely Indian. It manifests in many ways in different lands. Any nation or race or group of people who have learned to live a civilised life; who have evolved or appreciated ethics or morals, govern themselves according to laws, they too have seen the Vedas. It may be different, but nevertheless it is the Veda. The West is neither entirely destitute of Vedas…They, and many others too, have some part of the universal knowledge.Shankaracharya Shantananda Saraswati

A most profound statement, for the Vedas is knowledge that was acquired from spiritual practice and, invariably, that source is Universal and not confounded in time or space.

James Glover is Mathetics teacher in London, you can follow him on LinkedIn, Google+ or read his blog for more information.

Compelling & Inclusive vision: seed to sustainable business

Why do we need a vision?

From a startup to a large corporation, any enterprise needs a vision.  We engage on a path for a reason, for a motivation, and it drives our quest. Expressing that reason in a simple and clear vision is formidable asset to arm oneself with in order to progress on our chosen path.  Any enterprise is frought with obstacles and cross-roads.  The danger lies in loosing our way and wasting our energy. A vision allows us to refer back to it in moments of doubt, in times when an important decision is required, by asking the simple question “is it aligned with my vision?”

How do I determine my vision?

An inspired article by Erika Andersen, New York based business thinker and author, beautifully illustrates the importance of leading with a vision in any enterprise.  She stresses on two key words to define a vision that will drive an enterprise: compelling and inclusive.  Such a vision is the seed to a sustainable venture, for it encapsulates the DNA required for growth that includes all its stakeholders. Recall this post on sustainable and inclusive enterprise.

A Compelling & Inclusive Vision

The author describes this as one that offers an alternate, plausible and enviable future that requires the participation of the stakeholders (leaders, managers, actors, viewers, and to a certain degree society at large).  In Enrika’s words, a far-sighted vision, but more importantly a vision that inspires its stakeholders to aspire.  That is very important, for not only it becomes you in that it drives your own determination and passion, but it is infectious and people will naturally follow and contribute to this enterprise.  It is also important to realise that a vision belongs to all its stakeholders, not just yourself.  This last point draws a fine line between success and decadence.

Some guidelines to determine your vision:
1. On a blank sheet of paper start jotting down ideas and words that you feel passionate about when you evoke your enterprise/path.
2. On a second sheet of paper, extract keywords from the first sheet, words that are the essence of your ideas and notes.
3. On a third sheet of paper retain a handful of these keywords, maybe 5 or 6.
4. Finally, draw up a sentence which captures the reality of these handful of words.  The sentence does not necessarily include the retained words.
5. Review the first, second and third sheet at regular intervals, when you have a moment of quiet time, and let your inspiration flow.  Do not force yourself to think about it, rather let it spawn day-dreams.  Eventually, your vision will emerge as a single sentence.  Cherish it!

Examples of inspiring visions:

“Henry Ford’s vision of a nation where every family would have an automobile seemed laughable, impossible, and even dangerous. Only the clarity of his vision and his consistency in moving toward it brought the support from others that he needed to make his vision a reality.”

“When Jobs and Wozniak founded Apple Computers in 1976, the personal computer was still new and untested. Moreover, the idea that almost everyone would one day have a computer and that computers would be as accessible and easy-to-use as televisions or telephones seemed like craziness. “

There are visionaries all over the world, and today more so than ever, we need inspired and  visionary leaders in India to awaken the tremendous potential of our nation.  Here is an Indian visionary in both the literary and actual sense:

“If Coca-Cola can sell billions of sodas and McDonald’s can sell billions of burgers,” asks Dr. V., “why can’t Aravind sell millions of sight-restoring operations, and, eventually, the belief in human perfection? With sight, people could be freed from hunger, fear, and poverty. You could perfect the body, then perfect the mind and the soul, and raise people’s level of thinking and acting.”

Dr. Venkataswamy set up the Arvind eye hospital in “… 1976, facing the prospect of social shelving at age 57, he opened a 12-bed eye hospital in his brother’s home in Madurai, India. Today, he runs five hospitals that perform more than 180,000 operations each year. Seventy percent of his patients are charity cases; the remaining 30% seek him out and pay for his services because the quality of his work is world-class. He is a doctor to the eyes and a leader to the soul.” (extract from The Perfect Vision of Dr.V. by Harriet Rubin, senior write at the Fast Company).  At the bottom of Harriet’s article is a set of guidelines that should inspire all of us to build India’s future.