Originally published in Market Express, on September 25, 2013, and then in PanIIT USA - September newsletter.
As humans evolved from stone-age to now, every generation must have seen something big happening in their life-time – in various aspects of life. I belong to a generation that has seen great developments in media and technology across sectors.
As a child, I remember having seen a 20ft. tall antenna to catch signal for TV broadcast. That was a time, when there used to be a countable number of televisions in a city - and standing on the roof-top, one could know who all owns them. In tier II cities, an engineer used to travel from a nearby big city and stay for a day of two to fix problems with the television, if any. Friends and relatives used to be invited to watch special programs, songs and movies. Now we carry mobile in our pockets and apps for TV channels installed in it – and can watch TV programs even during transit and waiting in queue etc.
I have a good collection of physical books starting from fiction to mythology to philosophy to nature and science. Many of them, I bought by wring request through postcards and sending money through demand-drafts. During all these years, my hobby has not changed - I still love my library but now I prefer to manage it on my iPad, and buy using my credit card – it is convenient.
I also remember my father being amazed to know that his friend owns a pager and can be informed at any place without depending on a land-line phone. Now, we have FaceBook, 3G, video calls. We talk about 3D printers and 6D movies. We talk about smart devices, voice and remote control, intelligence, understanding around - and also see and make it happen.
There is a 'dream-come-true' feeling, a convenience, a simplification, - and also a confusion, as most of the things are known and approachable - MORE IS LESS – individual item is efficient but there are more items to be attended and so we are moving towards a different way of living. At one end, we like it – we see, use and work for these developments - on the other hand, we also talk about our culture, history, mythology and the truth – and do believe in that as well.
In this article, I am just trying to understand the connect between our past and the future.
It is interesting to notice that a many of us love science-fiction and super-hero. Kids believe in fairies and Santa. And many - across generations and cultures - believe in God.
What is God? - A concept, a trust, a power, an energy or a truth? Is it just the greatness among humans - or - it is the name that we prey and believe it to be real? How true are the stories of 'Ramayana', 'Mahabharata', 'Quran' and 'Bible' etc? Did 'mentioned events' in these books actually happen? Or it is just the visualization of a writer by co-relating facts in a convincing manner? And what is 'Pralaya', 'Quayamat' and the 'Judgment-day'? Was 'Manu' real? Is it a cycle and same thing happening again and again?
I think – I can explain it –
Take an example of today – when a few (say, Bill Gates) of us are well equipped with most modern devices, technologies and facilities. A few more have seen a demo of it and have used the same occasionally. Further a bigger group had read about it or seen it in movies etc. The word spreads and goes even to a tribal person who lives in a remote area with no access to media and technology.
This population exist on the earth today. Assume, we evolve further and than there is a world-war with most modern means (that is only visualized today). All big people and places would be targeted - One can visualize how that situation would be. And after that war only people like those in tribal areas - or a level or two more knowledgeable to them - would be left on this earth.
Things would evolve further anyways – and stories of present development would be remembered though world-of-mouth with certain facts, fictions and twists for further generations.
May be - this is logical 'Pralaya' - and this is how we can relate the powers of Gods and technological advancements.
With this explanation - may be –
- 'Pushpak Vimana' of 'Ravana' was advanced driver-less smart airplane that we can visualize today.
- Similarly, appearance of God (being 'Prakat') and stories of communications could be related to Cisco’s TelePresence, video calls, and FaceBook updates.
- Knowing about someone then-and-there (as demonstrated in stories) is very close to doing a Google search and seeing LinkedIn, FaceBook and other profiles.
- 'Kunti's' having sons through other Gods is related to sperm donation, as possible today.
So, if these stories are not science-fiction than if it was the advancement of technology that got destroyed in wars – and stories were recited through them who didn't have access or means to make it happen again immediately – And if evolution is cyclic in nature. Then the futuristic technologies could be visualized with following examples -
- 'Hanuman' had a small belt or chip to balance gravity that enabled him to fly.
- 'Ganesha' is an example for advancements in medical science, where a human head could be replaced with an animal (elephant) head.
- 'Dwarika' is an example of underwater construction and living - and so is 'Devalok' for living on other planets, moon and satellite etc.
- 'Bhishma' is an example of having control on age and aging – and 'Nahush' is an example of being aged artificially.
- All kinds of 'Astras' (like 'Brahmastra', and 'Sudarshan Chakra') could be related to the advanced missiles.
- The story of bringing 'Sanjivani Booti' by 'Hanuman' can be related to transmitting the whole locality from one place to another.
- 'Sita' and 'Draupadi' could be related to test-tube babies - and there are examples of surrogate mothers also.
- 'Holika' is an example of having technology (to wear) to be protected in fire.
The list can go on - with each such character or story, either we can relate to a current technological advancement or can visualize one.
Further, deep philosophical concepts in these stories are not debatable and are related to our wisdom, maturity and life. As -
- 'Mahabharata' is a great story to understand life and life cases – as perceived by Gurcharan Das also in his book 'The Difficulty of Being Good'.
- 'Bhagavad Gita' is still a book for ultimate wisdom.
- The name of 'Chanakya' (who was again inspired by these stories) helps the sales of management books.
- 'Rama-rajya' could be related to a developed country – that has everything well in order and quantity – that none has any fear and insecurity there.