Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Advaita: in my Ph.D. Problems

It has been a month since I wrote… Firstly, it was the effort to catch up with the running time, which had left me back (or may be I had let it run, as I was too inertiatic to catch up) and then, for a short while, blogger fuelled the lack of posts … I had a good excuse for not writing anything…

But now, some deep spiritual realization, urged me to write this…  Adi Shankaracharya proposed “Advaitawad” (nonduality) in his quest for understanding the Brahman. "Advaita" refers to the identity of the Self (Atman) and the Whole (Brahman). Seems pretty difficult to digest, isn’t it? But I hadn’t thought even in my dreams that my petty Ph.D. work  (It’s really petty compared to the problems he was thinking about, though for me it’s certainly worth more than that ) may make me a staunch follower of Advaitawad.  I was struggling for a while for getting uniform integrability of some particular class of functions. That seemed to be the biggest hurdle, which showed no signs of moving… We tried to bypass it in many ways, either trying to choose some completely different, well-trodden (and hence easier) path or even by devising escape routes… But,…. there was no way we could avoid it…Whatever may be the road, we were bound to stumble upon it sooner or later….

And now, finally, that is solved……I was very much relieved to see the solution. But my joy was short lived…As soon as I thought that I have crossed the so called biggest hurdle, another one was there to welcome me… Now, it is the situation where I am in search of something which Ramanujan had encountered when he was in school. I have to work out the limit of the type 0/0. Now, again the fruitless efforts of filling up the notebook pages for rearranging the things in a frail hope of landing on something  finite have started. But, whatever may be the shuffling, the terms tend to remain loyal to their original form…In fact once I came up with a limit, which involved some intricate mathematical expression with three different constants, and kept on simplifying it for about 10 minutes, only to discover that the most simplified version was 0.

In essence, even these problems deny dualism. All these problems have a single soul, though they may be having different external forms. And one more thing, avoiding a problem, is like simply avoiding an unwanted relative (some nosy aunty or meddlesome uncle, which all of us come across pretty often), who is sure to bump into us at the next crossing.


  1. Wisely linked between Adwaitawad and Ph.D problem.
    Unfortunately(or should I say fortunately) both of the topics go way above my head! So I have nothing to add!
    Another nice post..

  2. Thanks, Meghana.... As far as the difficulty of the first topic is concerned, I totally agree with you.... and in the second, I can't... though I wish to... :)

  3. interesting metaphor to describe the research woe!!!
    good luck :)

  4. Thanks deep,
    Research makes you spiritual as well...

  5. Spirituality lies in everything. Its upto u to find! Congrats for finding it in research!!!
    Liked this post a lot.

  6. Yeah,you are right... We just have to look for it...