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Monday, 26 October 2009

The IIG Blog

आधीच्या लिंक वरील बिली मेयर यांनी अमेरिकेतील अंनिसवाद्यांना एक दशलक्ष डॉलरचे बक्षिस केंव्हा देता बोला असे रोकडे सवाल केले होते. त्यावर चोराच्या उलट्या बोंबा कशा मारता येतात याच्या प्रत्याक्षिकाचा अजब पुरावा येथे आहे,

महाराष्टारात अनिस नामक संस्था त्यांच्या अमेरिकेतील काकालोकांच्या खांद्यावर बसून आपल्या कामगिऱ्यांची मांडणी करतात त्या ना उघडे करणारे लोकही तेथे आहेत. जागतिक पातळीवरील अंनिसच्या विचारधारेच्या रँडी, गार्डनर वगैरे महापंडितांचा खोटेपणा उघड करून दाखवला तरी ते कसे मेरी टांग उप्पर असते हे दाखवण्याचा आटोकाट प्रयत्न करतात हे मागील व नंतरच्या या लिंक वरून कळून येते. त्याचा पुरावा

-The IIG Blog: "Can Obama Handle Truth Of Billy Meier UFO Encounters?

Tags: Billy Meier
Posted in UFOs on February 3rd, 2009 by derekcbart

That ridiculous question is posed by Jeff Peckman in the February 2, 2009 edition of the Denver UFO Examiner.

You can go read what Mr. Peckman has to say if you want to, but it is basically an advertisement for Michael Horn’s DVD entitled The Silent Revolution Of Truth. The reason that I am linking to it here is because of the reader comments listed after the article. Many of the commenters take Mr. Peckman to task for promoting the Meier Case, and specifically Mr. Horn’s video, because so much has been done to expose the ridiculous nature of the Meier claims. One commenter by the name of “Siani” has even linked to the IIG’s Billy Meier Case Report which can be found here.

If you are interested in a good laugh please check out the above link.

UPDATE: Science Fiction entertainment blog io9 has picked up on the above story and the comments on that site are even funnier. Go check it out here.

1 Comment
Updated Billy Meier Case Report Is Now Online

Tags: Billy Meier
Posted in UFOs on January 5th, 2009 by derekcbart

Asket and Nera

Four sections of the IIG’s Billy Meier Case report have been recently updated: Asket and Nera Photo Deconstruction, Dinosaur Photo Deconstruction, Wedding Cake UFO Deconstruction, and WWIII Prophecy Deconstruction. Also, there are two new sections added to the report: Wandering Tree Deconstruction and Metal Analysis Deconstruction.

Please go to http://www.iigwest.org/investigations/meier/ to read the report."

-

Professional Skeptics Group Proves UFOs Real - UFO Evidence

महाराष्टारात अनिस नामक संस्था त्यांच्या अमेरिकेतील काकालोकांच्या खांद्यावर बसून आपल्या कामगिऱ्यांची मांडणी करतात त्या ना उघडे करणारे लोकही तेथे आहेत. जागतिक पातळीवरील अंनिसच्या विचारधारेच्या रँडी, गार्डनर वगैरे महापंडितांचा खोटेपणा उघड करून दाखवला तरी ते कसे मेरी टांग उप्पर असते हे दाखवण्याचा आटोकाट प्रयत्न करतात हे खालील त्या नंतरच्या लिंक वरून कळून येते. त्याचा पुरावा -

What Integrity Demands

The professional skeptics of the Meier case have concocted all sorts of fanciful notions and theories as to how he hoaxed the evidence. But when challenged to prove their claims they repeatedly replied that it was not their job to attempt to duplicate the evidence, although conducting themselves according to the scientific method would require it. Their time for freely, and irresponsibly, attacking Meier ran out when Mr. Rees and CFI West utterly and completely failed to meet the challenge they had finally accepted. In so doing, they effectively proved
Meier=92s UFOs real and their own claims unsubstantiated and defamatory
Unequivocal public retractions and apologies are now due Meier from CFI West, Vaughn Rees, Randi, Michael Shermer, etc. They have indulged in character assassination, slander and libel, and the sloppiest, least scientific thinking imaginable. It is now absolutely incumbent upon any and all of the skeptics who have offered money for proof of "paranormal" phenomenon, to offer it to Meier and his non-profit organization in Switzerland, FIGU.
Specifically, the offer by Randi of $1,000,000 for proof of a paranormal ability has been more than satisfied and must be paid
Integrity demands that they now live up to their word. There can be absolutely no argument, dispute or doubt now, especially considering the abysmal, failed attempts by the skeptical accusers themselves, with any tools at their disposal, to debunk, let alone duplicate, Meier=92s stunning proof. Now it=92s time to recognize that the most important event in human history has occurred and to discover what meaning it holds for us.

Professional Skeptics Group Proves UFOs Real - UFO Evidence

Monday, 19 October 2009

कूटलिपी म्हणजे काय? एक विचार.

कूटलिपी म्हणजे काय? एक विचार.

- हैयो हैयैयो!

. पूर्वपीठिका

आपले मान्यवर सदस्य श्री. समित्पाणी शरद सर ह्यांनी श्री. जेम्स प्रिन्सेप ह्याच्या भारतीय लिपीसंशोधनकार्याबद्दल माहिती देणारा एक लेख लिहिला होता, त्यामध्ये 'देवानां प्रिय, प्रियदर्शिन राज्ञा लिखा' नामक प्रसिद्ध वाक्याचा एक संदर्भ आला होता, त्या लेखावर माझ्याकडूनही काही भाष्यही केले गेले होते. ह्या निमित्ताने श्री. समित्पाणी शरद सरांनी एक-दोनदा 'गुप्त लिपींवर लेख लिहा' असे मला सुचविले होते, तथापि ह्या ना त्या कारणाने ते सहजशक्य झाले नाही. भारतातील गुप्त राजांच्या कार्यकाळात प्रचलित असलेल्या 'गुप्त - कुटिल - कूट' नामक लिपींवर ही चर्चा नव्हे. मध्यंतरी उपक्रमावर झालेल्या नाडिग्रंथ चिकित्साविषयक चर्चेमुळे ह्या नाडिग्रंथातील लिपीबाबत माझी स्वत:ची जिज्ञासा जागृत होवून लिपीशास्त्राभ्यासासाठी एक जिज्ञासा म्हणून त्यातील लिपीबद्दल जो शोध घेतला त्याबद्दल एक विचार मांडणे हा ह्या लेखनाचा उद्देश आहे.

. विविध स्त्रोत

एक जिज्ञासा म्हणून शोध घेताना नाडिपट्टींची आंतरजालावरील काही चित्रे अभ्यासिली. तेवढ्यानेच काम भागणार नव्हते, त्यामुळे काही स्नेह्यांच्या ओळखीने मुंबईतील काही नाडिवाचकांशी चर्चा करण्याचा योग आला. ही नाडिवाचक मंडळी रूढार्थाने - लौकिकार्थाने थोडी कमी शिकलेली असतात असे प्रथमदर्शनीच लक्षात आले, त्यामुळे त्यामधील लिपीसंबंधी ते स्वत: काही शास्त्रीय माहिती देवू शकतील अशी अपेक्षा करणे चुकीचे आहे हे ध्यानात आले. तथापि मी स्वत: तमिळभाषकही असल्याने त्यांच्याशी सुसंवाद साधणे सुलभ झाले. अधिवक्ता ह्या नात्याने एकदा नाडिवाचकांचा विश्वास प्राप्त करून घेतल्यानंतर पुढे अनेक वेळा लिपीसंबंधी चर्चा करण्याचा योग आला. 'नाडिवाचक म्हणून कार्य करण्याआधी आम्ही स्वत: ही लिपी आणि जुनी भाषा काही वर्षे परिश्रम घेवून शिकतो' असे प्रतिपादन त्यांनी केले तेंव्हा 'नाडिपट्टींमध्ये मुळात काहीही लिहिलेलेच नसते' असा तीव्र आक्षेप मी नोंदविला. ह्यावर त्यांनीही हिरीरीने वाद केला आणि पुरावा म्हणून काही पट्टी दाखविल्या. ह्या योगाने पुढे त्यांच्याकडे अनेक पट्टी बघण्याचा आणि हाताळण्याचा योगही आला. त्याचप्रमाणे त्यांच्या मदतीने मुंबईतील इतरही काही नाडिवाचकांकडे चर्चा करण्याचा योग आला. त्या चर्चांमध्ये साधारणत: जे दृष्टीपथास आले, ते मांडण्याचा प्रामाणिक प्रयत्न येथे केलेला आहे.

. विचाराची पद्धति आणि लिपीबाबत प्रथमदर्शनी जे लक्षात येते ते :

नाडिग्रंथ-नाडिपट्टी ह्या विषयातील लिपीबाबत अभ्यास करताना त्यातील नाडिभविष्य ह्य भागाकडे सहज दुर्लक्ष करतां येते. लिपीबाबत विचार करण्याकरितां 'ज्योतिष' अथवा 'भविष्य' ह्या संकल्पनांवर विश्वास असणे हे आवश्यक नाही. 'भविष्य' ह्या शब्दास सर्वस्वी दूर ठेवून अशा वस्तुनिष्ठ पद्धतीने केवळ लिपीचा अभ्यास करताना प्रथमदर्शनी असे लक्षात आले की ही हस्तलिखिते मुख्यत्त्वेकरून 'वट्टेळुत्तु' नामक लिपीमध्ये लिहिलेली आढळतात. 'वट्टेळुत्तु' ह्या तमिळ शब्दाचा मराठी अर्थ 'वर्तुलाकृती लेखन' असा होतो. ही लिपी म्हणजे तमिळ लिपीचेच पुरातन स्वरूप असून ती शीघ्रलेखनासाठी सुलभ आहे. ज्या 'वट्टेळुत्तु' ला मराठीभाषेत 'कूटलिपी' असे म्हटले जाते आहे, तिच्यावर मोठ्या प्रमाणामध्ये विकसित होतानाच्या ग्रंथलिपीचा प्रभाव आढळून येतो.

. ग्रंथलिपी म्हणजे काय :

ही ग्रंथलिपि (तमिळ भाषेत: கிரந்த ௭ழுத்து) दक्षिण भारतात पुरातनकाळापासून (क्रिस्तपूर्व ६०० पासून) विविध रूपांत प्रचलित असलेली अशी एक प्राचीन आणि महत्त्वपूर्ण लिपी आहे. सामान्यत: हिची उत्पत्ती ब्राह्मी लिपीपासून झाली असल्याचे विद्वानांचे सर्वमान्य मत आहे. आधुनिक काळातील सर्व दक्षिण भारतीय भाषांच्या स्वतंत्र लिपींवर तसेच सिंहल लिपी, पल्लव लिपी, मोन लिपि, जावा लिपी, ख्मेर लिपी ह्या आणि अशा अनेक लिपींवर ह्या ग्रंथलिपीचा बराच सखोल प्रभाव दिसून येतो. ह्या अनेक लिपींचा उगम हा ग्रंथलिपीमध्येच आहे असेही लिपीशास्त्राभ्यासकांचे सर्वमान्य मत आहे.

. ग्रंथलिपीचा उपयोग काय कारणाकरिता झाला आणि तिच्या भिन्न रुपांचा विचार :

दक्षिण भारतामध्ये संस्कृत भाषेतील साहित्यलेखन करण्यासाठी देवनगारी लिपीचा उपयोग होण्यापूर्वी ग्रंथलिपीचा उपयोग होत असे. दक्षिण आशियाई तमिळभाषी क्षेत्रांमध्ये जवळजवळ १९ व्या शतकापर्यंत संस्कृत भाषेत साहित्यलेखन करण्यासाठी ग्रंथलिपीचा उपयोग होत आलेला आहे. उदाहरणार्थ : श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतेचे तमिळभाषेतील संस्करण - ह्यात संस्कृत श्लोक ग्रंथलिपीत आढळतील, तर त्यांचे तमिळभाषेतील निरूपण तमिळ लिपीमध्ये आढळेल. असे दोन लिपींमध्ये मुद्रित केलेले ग्रंथ प्रस्तुत लेखकाच्या पाहाण्यात आलेले आहेत.

इंग्रज अभ्यासकांनी मुद्रणकार्यासाठी म्हणून ग्रंथलिपीचे छाप सिद्ध करण्याचे महत्त्वपूर्ण कार्य केले, परंतु असे करताना त्यांनी केलेल्या छापास एक प्रकारचे प्रामाण्य येवून तिची इतर काही प्रचलित रूपे सामान्यजनांच्या विस्मृतीमध्ये गेली. ग्रंथलिपीची भिन्नभिन्न अशी काही रूपे आहेत. ही भिन्नरूपे साधारणत: दोन मुख्य वर्गांमध्ये वर्गीकृत करण्यात आलेली आहेत.

आकृती:

सुदैवाने ह्यापैकी अनेक रूपे आपणास दक्षिणभारतातील मंदिरांमध्ये भित्तीलेखनाच्या स्वरूपात आजही आढळतात. मैसूरु विश्वविद्यानिलय प्राच्यविद्यासंशोधनालयाने ग्रंथलिपीवर बरेच संशोधन केलेले आहे. प्राच्यविद्यासंशोधनालयाने काही दशकांपूर्वी ग्रंथलिपीचा विकास होतानाची जी अनेक रूपे आहेत तिचा एक तौलनिकदृष्ट्या अभ्यास विस्तृत निबंधरूपाने उपलब्ध करून दिला होता. ही सारी रूपे प्रथमदर्शनी एकमेकांपासून भिन्न जरी दिसत असली, तरीही सर्वसामान्यपणे ह्यास ग्रंथलिपी हेच संबोधन आहे. (जसे देवनागरी लिपीचीही विकसनकालातील अनेक विविध रूपे असूनदेखील सर्वसामान्यपणे त्यांना 'देवनागरी लिपी' असेच वर्गीकृत केले जाते.)

. नाडीपट्टींमध्ये आढळणारी लेखनशैली :

नाडीपट्टींमध्ये आढळणारी ग्रंथलिपीची स्वत:ची विशिष्ट अशी एक शैली आहे. मूळ ग्रंथलिपी ही देवनागरी लिपीप्रमाणे तीन मजली लिपी आहे, तर नाडीपट्टीमध्ये ती दोन मजली असल्याचे आढळते. ह्याचे कारण शीघ्रलेखन सुलभ व्हावे असे आहे. ज्याप्रमाणे महाराष्ट्रात शीघ्रगतीने लेखन करणे सुलभ व्हावे म्हणून बाळबोध लिपीची अक्षरे हात न उचलता लिहिली जात असत (मोडी लिपी) त्याचप्रमाणे नाडिपट्टींमधील लेखन शीघ्रगतीने व्हावे याकरिता हात न उचलता ग्रंथ लिपीत लिहिण्याची शैली विकसीत केली गेली आहे. असे करत असताना मात्र मूळ ग्रंथलिपीचे आघात (स्ट्रोक्स) हे थोडेअधिक प्रमाणात बदलले जातात, त्यामुळे सामान्य अभ्यासकास ही लिपी प्रथमदर्शनी ग्रंथलिपी न वाटण्याचा संभव आहे. हात न उचलता लिहिण्याच्या शैलीमुळे ही लिपी थोडी दुर्बोध होते. अभ्यासकास ही लिपी ग्रंथलिपी न वाटण्याचे मुख्य कारण म्हणजे ग्रंथलिपीचे प्रमाणीकरण होण्यापूर्वीची भिन्नरूपे जी त्यांच्याशी परिचय नसणे हे होय.

ह्या प्रकारची लिपी केवळ नाडीपट्टींमध्येच आढळत नसून इतरत्रही आढळते. प्रस्तुत लेखकाच्या पाहाण्यात हितोपदेश, सिद्धऔषधयोजना इ.इ. ग्रंथांची ग्रंथलिपीमध्ये लेखन केलेली हस्तलिखिते आलेली आहेत, त्यातही अशाच प्रकारच्या लिपीचा उपयोग केला गेल्याचे दिसते. महाराष्ट्रातील श्री. एल. एस. वाकणकर तथा श्री. ए. बी. वालावलकर इत्यादि लिपीशास्त्राभ्यासकांनीही अशा हस्तलिखितांचा अभ्यास केल्याचे लिहून ठेवले आहे. 'शीघ्रलेखन सुलभ व्हावे ह्यासाठी लिपीमध्ये बदल करण्यात येतात' हे त्यांचे विस्तृत अभ्यासांतीचे मत आहे, आणि लिपीशास्त्राभ्यासकांचे अशा लेखनाबाबतीत हेच प्रतिपादन असते.

. हस्ताक्षरवाचनकौशल्य :

नाडिग्रंथ हे हस्तलिखित स्वरूपात असल्याकारणाने अभ्यासकाचे केवळ लिपीचा अभ्यास असून भागणार नाही तर विविध प्रकारची हस्ताक्षरे वाचनाचा सराव असणे आवश्यक आहे. वर उल्लेखिल्याप्रमाणे शीघ्रलेखनात लिपीचे आघात (स्ट्रोक्स) हे थोडेअधिक प्रमाणात बदलले जातात, ते बदलले जाण्यास शीघ्रगतीने केलेले लेखन हे एक प्राथमिक कारण असून दुसरे कारण म्हणजे असे लेखन हे विविध व्यक्तिंकडून केले गेलेले असणे हे होय. व्यक्तिगणिक आघात बदलतांत आणि त्यामुळे बारकाईने वाचन करणे हे अक्षरे लागण्यासाठी आवश्यक ठरते. महाराष्ट्रीय वाचकांस हा विचार उमगणे कठिण खचितच नसावे, ह्याचे कारण असे की महाराष्ट्रात मोडी लिपीचा अभ्यास असणारे अनेक अभ्यासक आहेत, आणि ह्याबाबतीत त्यांचे मतही हेच आहे. ह्या प्रकारचे लेखन वाचण्यासाठी प्रथमदर्शनी दुर्बोध जरी वाटत असले तरी ते वाचणे अशक्यप्राय निश्चितच नसते.

. कूटलिपी कां म्हणतांत? शब्दार्थ :

असे असतांना हिला सरळसरळ ग्रंथलिपी न म्हणतां कूटलिपी कां म्हणतांत? ह्या प्रश्नाच्या उत्तरासाठी प्रथम 'कूटलिपी' ह्या शब्दाचा अर्थ काय हे जाणून घेणे आवश्यक ठरते. ह्या लिपीला 'कूटलिपी' असे मराठीभाषेमध्ये संबोधिले जाते आहे. (नाडिवाचक स्वत: त्याला कूट्टेळुत्तु असेही म्हणतात) मराठी शब्दाचा विचार करता एक गोष्ट अशी लक्षात येते की मराठीभाषेमध्ये 'कूट' म्हणजे चूर्ण किंवा कोडे किंवा संकेत. ह्यावरून कूटलिपी म्हणजे सांकेतिक लिपी असा विचित्रार्थ मराठीभाषेमध्ये लावला जातो आहे. परंतु ही लिपी सांकेतिक नक्कीच नाही. आपल्या येथील एका अ-तमिळ सदस्यालाही ह्या लिपीतील अक्षरे विशेष कष्ट न घेता वाचता आलेली आहेत. तरीही ही लिपी कूट (सांकेतिक) असावी काय?

. कूट्टेळुत्तु आणि युक्ताक्षरे ही संकल्पना :

हे जाणून घेण्यासाठी आपल्याला 'कूट्टेळुत्तु' ह्या शब्दाचा अर्थ जाणावा लागेल. ह्यासाठी लिपीशास्त्रातील 'युक्ताक्षर' ह्या संकल्पनेची उजळणी करावी. 'युक्ताक्षर' हा संस्कृतभाषी शब्द आहे. मराठीभाषेमध्ये ह्या शब्दास 'जोडाक्षर' म्हणतात. देवनागरी लिपी आणि इतर तीसदृश लिपींमध्ये अक्षरे एकास एक जोडून लिहिली गेली म्हणजे त्या अक्षरांतून नवीन युक्तचिह्नाक्षरे सिद्ध होतात. ही युक्तचिह्नाक्षरे बरीचशी मूळ अक्षरासारखी दिसणारी परंतु मूळ अक्षरापेक्षा सर्वस्वी भिन्न अशी असतात. ह्या अक्षरांनाच सामान्यपणे युक्ताक्षरे असे म्हटले जाते.

उदाहरणार्थ: श्री = श् + र् + ई = असे न लिहिता, 'श्री' असे लिहिले जाते. 'श्री' हे युक्ताक्षर होय. लिपीशास्त्राभ्यासकांचे एक आवडते उदाहरण द्यावयाचे झाल्यास, संस्कृत शब्द 'कार्त्स्न्यम्' ह्याची रचना क् + आ + र् + त् + स् + न् + य् + अ + म् अशी असून, तो 'का र्त्स्न्य म्' असा लिहिला जातो. ह्यात 'र्त्स्न्य' हे युक्ताक्षर आहे.

१०. नाडीग्रंथांच्या संदर्भातील युक्ताक्षर ह्या संकल्पनेचे स्थान काय? :

नाडिग्रंथ-नाडिपट्टी आणि नाडिभविष्य ह्या सर्व विषयाच्या संदर्भात युक्ताक्षरांची संकल्पना कशासाठी सांगितली जाते आहे? कारण नाडिग्रंथामध्ये जे तथाकथित भविष्यकथन लिखितस्वरूपामध्ये उपलब्ध आहे असे सांगितले जाते, ते तर तमिळभाषेमध्ये आहे. आणि तमिळभाषेमध्ये युक्ताक्षरांची संकल्पना ही अस्तित्त्वातच नाही! तमिळ लिपीमध्ये अक्षरे एकास एक जोडून लिहिली जातच नाहीत, त्यामुळे युक्तचिह्नाक्षरे - थोडक्यात युक्ताक्षरे - सिद्ध होत नाहीत.

उदाहरण: वर दिलेला 'कार्त्स्न्यम्' हाच शब्द तमिळ लिपीमध्ये लिहायचा झाल्यास க் + ஆ + ர் + த் + ஸ் + ன் + ய் + அ + ம் (क् + आ + र् + त् + स् + न् + य् + अ + म्) अशी फोड असली तरीही तो கார்த்ஸ்ன்யம் असाच लिहिला जाईल. ह्याचे कारण असे, की आधुनिक तमिळ लिपीमध्ये युक्ताक्षरांची संकल्पना ही अस्तित्त्वातच नाही. अक्षरे एकास एक जोडून लिहिली न जाता, एकासमोर एक लिहिली जातात. ज्या अक्षरांचा हलन्त उच्चार असेल, त्यांच्या डोक्यावर 'पुळ्ळि' (बिन्दु) देऊन त्यांचे अपूर्णत्त्व स्पष्ट केले जाते.

ह्याच युक्ताक्षरांना तमिळभाषेत 'कूट्टेळुत्तु' असे म्हणतांत. ह्या शब्दात 'कूड' आणि 'एळुत्तल' असे धातु आहेत. 'कूड' म्हणजे 'सह' तर 'कूट्टम' म्हणजे 'संघ'. 'एळुत्तल' म्हणजे 'लेखन' किंवा 'लिहिणे'. कूडऽ एळुदिनदु ஃ कूट्टेळुत्तु = एकत्रितरीतिने लिहिणे / सोबत लिहिणे / एकसारखे लिहिणे असा एकूण अर्थ आहे.

परंतु मुळात तमिळ लिपीमध्ये जोडाक्षरेच नसताना, 'कूट्टेळुत्तु' हा शब्द नाडीग्रंथांच्या लेखनाबाबत काय म्हणून उपयोजिला जातो आहे? ते लेखनदेखील ग्रंथलिपीमध्ये आहे, तर ह्या सर्व विषयाच्या संदर्भात युक्ताक्षरांची संकल्पना कशासाठी सांगितली जाते आहे? ह्याचे कारण असे की कूट्टेळुत्तु ह्या शब्दाचा 'जोडाक्षरे' असा एकमेव अर्थ नसून एकत्रितरीतिने लिहिणे / सोबत लिहिणे / एकसारखे लिहिणे असाही अर्थ होतो. नाडीग्रंथांच्या लेखनाबाबतीत बोलावयाचे झाल्यास ह्यातील ग्रंथलिपी ही बरीचशी मोडी लिपीसारखी हात न उचलता लिहिण्याच्या शैलीमध्ये (पक्षी : एकत्रितरीतिने, सोबत लिहिलेली, एकसारखी अशी) असल्यामुळे 'कूट्टेळुत्तु' असा शब्द तिच्याबाबतीत उपयोजिला जातो. ती लिपी सांकेतिक आहे म्हणून नव्हे!

११. तात्पर्य :

'कूडऽ एळुदिनदु' म्हणजे एकत्रितरीतिने लिहिले गेलेले असे हे लेखन. हे लेखन ग्रंथलिपीमध्ये 'ग्रथित' करून ठेवलेले असते, म्हणून ग्रंथ हा शब्द : नाडिग्रंथ.

१२. पुढील संशोधनाची आवश्यकता :

नाडिग्रंथ-नाडिपट्टीआधारे भविष्यकथन करण्याच्या प्रकारामध्ये "जातकाकडूनच विविध मार्गांनी माहिती काढून, आपण सांगितलेली सर्व माहिती लक्षात ठेऊन, तीच आपणाला प्राचीन ताडपट्टीतून सांगत असल्याचा बहाणा करण्यात येतो" असा एक संशय नेहमी घेतला जातो. ह्या संशयाचे निराकरण करण्याकरता लिपी आणि भाषा इत्यादि बाबींचा सखोल विचार होणे आवश्यक आहे, जेणेकरून सत्यता काय आहे हे स्पष्ट होऊन निष्कर्षास येता येईल.

खरे पाहता हा सारा विषय समाजाशी संबंधीत असल्याकारणे ह्या विषयावर केवळ वैयक्तिक जिज्ञासापूर्तीसाठी अथवा वैयक्तिक चिकित्सापूर्तीसाठी अभ्यास न होता शास्त्रीय दृष्टीकोनातून अधिक अभ्यास होणे आवश्यक आहे. परंतु आपल्याकडील अनेक तथाकथित पुरोगामी लोकांचा उत्साह त्यातील 'ज्योतिष' किंवा 'भविष्य' हे शब्द ऐकूनच ढेपाळतो आणि केवळ ह्या अभ्यासाच्या अभावामुळे विषयाकडे दुर्लक्ष होते आहे.

हे आपले दुर्दैवच म्हणावे लागेल.


- हैयो हैयैयो!

लेखक मुंबई उच्च न्यायालय येथे अभ्यसनक अधिवक्ता म्हणून कार्यरत. न्यायशास्त्राभ्यासक. समाजशास्त्राभ्यासाची आवड. वैद्यकीय न्यायशास्त्राची आवड. भारतीय राज्यघटनोपदिष्ट मूलभूत कर्तव्यांच्यातत्त्वांमधील एक 'समाजामध्ये वैज्ञानिक दृष्टीकोनाचा प्रसार करणे' ह्या तत्त्वाचा खंदा समर्थक. विविध भाषांचेभाषाशास्त्र तथा लिपीशास्त्रावर २० वर्षांचा अभ्यास. डिसेंबर २००९ मध्ये तुळुभाषेसाठी स्वनिर्मित नवी लिपी सादरकरणार. द्राविडभाषाकुलातील भाषांच्या व्याकरणाचा मुळातून अभ्यास. मराठीभाषेच्या व्याकरणाचाही अभ्यास. श्री. विश्वनाथ खैरे ह्यांनी मांडलेल्या संमत सिद्धांताचा पुरस्कर्ता. स्वतःच्या आवडीच्या विषयांवर तमिळ - इंग्रजीइत्यादि भाषांमधून लेखन. भविष्यकालात मराठीभाषेतून लेखन करण्याची इच्छा.

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Friday, 9 October 2009

Paper III - Indian ola (palm - Naadi) leaf horoscope and Parallels between Quantum Theory




नाडीग्रंथांवरील शोधकार्याचा हा शास्त्रोक्त नमुना -
तीन भागात असून त्यातील डॉ. अरसेकुलरत्ने हे श्रीलंकेतून व डॉ. एस संबंधन हे लंडन मधून लेख प्रकाशित करतात.
आवर्जून वाचावेत असे लेख


Paper III - Indian
ola (palm - Naadi) leaf horoscopes

Parallels between Quantum Theory and predictions in the ancient Indian ola (palm - Naadi) leaf horoscopes

S. N. Arseculeratne

MBBS (Cey.), Dip. Bact. (Manch.), D.Phil. (Oxf.)

Emeritus Professor, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

chubby@sltnet.lk

Background

The aim of this paper is to document a prominent feature of the ancient Indian ola (palm) leaf (Naadi) horoscopes on which two previous articles have appeared in this Journal (Arseculeratne 1998/1999; Arseculeratne & Sambandan 2001/2002); possible parallels between this feature and Quantum Theory, as discussed by physicists, are documented in the present paper.

The striking feature of these horoscopes is that data on the past, up to the time of their reading, is invariably and remarkably accurate, including names, events, attitudes of the subject. The accuracy of predictions for the future varies from accurate (for upto 32 years in one of the cases referred to earlier – Arseculeratne 1998/1999), to predictions that were partially accurate or inaccurate; reasons for this difference were suggested in that article were non-fulfilment of propitiatory measures, or accumulation and operation of new karmic accounts in the present birth. But these do not totally explain why the past was so accurate while the predictions for the future vary in their accuracy. The contrast with conventional astrology is marked; readings by the latter methods seldom or never, in the experience of the author, have this dichotomy.

It was suggested by some physicists at an international conference on parapsychology in Vishakapatnam, India in 2006, where this phenomenon and its study were presented, that the ola horoscope ‘dichotomy’ problem with an accurate past but a variable future has a parallel in Quantum Theory, in the physics of fundamental particles. A discussion of this problem with two academics, a physicist and an engineer, is summarized below, while the author of this article makes no claim to be an expert on Quantum Theory.

The parallels

Newtonian mechanics is capable of dealing with macro-bodies eg. billiard balls or planets. Prediction of all the mechanical properties associated with such an object is, in principle, possible provided (a) the forces acting on the object (including the location of the forces for a finite-sized object) and (b) say for example, initial information (velocity and position) is known. “… in the old ‘classical’ physics, particles had definite properties. They had precise velocity and precise position… However, from the viewpoint of quantum mechanics (which, with Relativity theory, is the basis of modern physics) this is not so. Before a measurement is made – an observation of the system – the properties of a particle are indefinite. It is the case that the particle covers, or fluctuates over, a range of positions (or velocities) simultaneously” (Eysenck & Sargent 1982). WernerHeisenberg showed that, at the subatomic level at least, you can’t ever know all the initial conditions of a situation – at best, you are dealing with probabilities and statistics” (Macrone 1994); commentators on the variability in accuracy of predictions in the ola horoscopes also regarded these ‘predictions’, in contrast to the accurate readings of past events, in terms of probabilities rather than specific predictions.

With subatomic particles, Newtonian Formalism (or its variations such as those of D’Alembert, Lagranges, and Hamilton) fails to deal with the dynamics of them, whose ultimate nature is controversial; eg. is the electron a particle or a wave? Quantum Theory was developed to deal with these entities. It was not possible to make accurate predictions, eg of the position or velocity of an electron; only a spectrum of several ‘probabilities’ could be derived from Schrödinger’s equations, expressing the probability of occurrence of the possible values in terms of a ‘wave function, or more elegantly from the Dirac’s formalism which shows the equivalent of Heisenberg or Schrödinger formalisms of Quantum Mechanics. When one of these ‘values or alternatives is realized (measured) by an actual experiment, the other probabilities ‘collapse’. Which value will be realized in the experiment? Quantum Theory can only predict the probability of occurrence of each possible value and nothing more. As the sum of the probabilities must be unity, at least one of the values should always be realized.

A quote from Einstein “Was Einstein a Buddhist?” appears to be relevant to this problem: (http://home.btclick.com/scimah/einstein.htm):

“… Both quantum theory and Buddhist teachings on sunyatā suggest that as soon as an observer’s mind makes contact with a superposed system, all the numerous possibilities collapse into one actuality. At some instant one of these possible alternative universes produced an observable life-form. The first act of observation by this mind caused the entire superposed multiverse to collapse immediately into one of its numerous alternatives”

Could there be an analogy of future events in ola horoscope predictions with subatomic particles in that probability theory could deal with both of them? If so, then an ola horoscopic prediction might fail as much as only one of several alternative ‘probabilities’ concerning the behaviour of subatomic particles might prevail while the others fail. The key word in both instances is the ‘future’, dealings with which necessitate a theory of probabilities for the future. To repeat the quote from Eysenck & Sargent (1982); “… in the old ‘classical’ physics, particles had definite properties. They had precise velocity and precise position… However, from the viewpoint of quantum mechanics (which, with Relativity theory, is the basis of modern physics) this is not so. Before a measurement is made – an observation of the system – the properties of a particle are indefinite. It is the case that the particle covers, or fluctuates over, a range of positions (or velocities) simultaneously”. Does this qualification “… before a measurement is made…” equate with the ‘future’ in the ola reading, and in which the events are equally indefinite? Eysenck & Sargent added: “… the particle we measure only acquires a precise velocity when we measure it”; does this equate with the accurate past in the ola horoscope at the time of the reading, and the uncertainty of future events?

As a commentator on the ola horoscopes wrote: “The question remains that at the time the ola were written, everything was in the future. How then did the writer predict so accurately the (past) events that would be given at the time of the reading? I do not think the fundamental puzzle has been fully resolved”. The problem deepens when it is seen that up to the time of reading, which is sometimes remarkably foretold in the leaf, (‘you will get this reading in your mid-fiftieth year’) the facts are accurate; it is only in the future, from the date of reading, that the variations in accuracy occur.

In the case of conventional astrology that deals with the transits, location of the ‘planets’ in the native chart, asterisms in which planets at birth are deposited, and planetary rulership periods and sub-periods, given that the motions of the planetary macrobodies are amenable to Newtonian mechanical calculations, the problem of the dichotomy between past and future does not arise; if analyses are wrong with this method (for both the past and the future), the reason is probably a faulty horoscope or an incompetent astrologer.

Some statements from Explaining the Unexplained by Eysenck & Sargent (1982) seem apposite to this problem and, generally, to the interface between psi [= paranormal phenomena, that include the ola horoscope phenomenon] and Quantum Theory:-

- “Nevertheless, John Hasted has argued that the many-universes interpretation of quantum physics may help us to explain psi…”.

- these authors consider ‘hidden variables’ in the quantum system, that cause collapse of the wave function; they state that “there are certain reasons for thinking that there might be a link with parapsychology here”.

- they refer to the Einstein-Podolski-Rosen (EPR) paradox – “an observer can affect an event taking place at almost any distance away from him. The collapse of the wave function can be spatially invariant. In certain treatments of this paradox the collapse can have features of temporal invariance… “These look very like psi events”. “Olivier Costa de Beauregard goes yet further; he states categorically that psi events must occur as a result of the spatial and temporal independence aspects of the EPR paradox”.

H. R. Nagendra commented on these views (personal communication 2006): “This is exactly what I explained to you. The past events have happened and therefore belong to the Reality realm of our world. Therefore they are deterministic and can be dealt with by Newtonian mechanics.

The future events are probabilistic. There is an element of freedom given to everyone of us. If we exercise it we will be able to change the course of events.

Acknowledgements

The author thanks R. P. U. Karunasiri and Arjuna de Zoysa for discussions on Quantum Theory

References

Arseculeratne, S. N. 1998/1999, Studies on the paranormal- 1: The Indian ola-leaf

horoscopes and the ideas of karma and reincarnation. Sri Lanka Journal of the

Humanities, 24/25 (1&2): 231-246.

Arseculeratne, S. N. & Sambandan, S. 2001/2002, Studies on the paranormal- 2: Further

investigations on the authenticity of the ancient Indian ola (palm) leaf (‘Nadi’)

horoscopes and the question of ‘free will’ versus ‘determinism’. Sri Lanka

Journal of the Humanities, XXVII/XXVIII (1&2): 185-196.

Eysenck, H. J. & Sargent, Carl. 1982, The Physics of Psi. In: Explaining the Unexplained:

mysteries of the paranormal. London, Book Club Associates. pp 133 - 154

Macrone, Michael. 1994. A Little Knowledge: What Archimedes really meant and 80

other key ideas explained. London, Ebury Press.

Paper II THE ANCIENT INDIAN OLA (PALM) LEAF ('NADI')HOROSCOPES AND THE QUESTION OF `FREE-WILL' versus `DETERMINISM' > INTRODUCTION

Faculty Publication and Seminars, University of Peradeniya, SriLanka
>
> Tel. 0094-8-388302 Ext. 2005, Fax. 0094-8-388933
> STUDIES ON THE PARANORMAL- 2: FURTHER INVESTIGATIONS ON THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE ANCIENT INDIAN OLA (PALM) LEAF ('NADI')HOROSCOPES AND THE QUESTION OF `FREE-WILL' versus `DETERMINISM'
> INTRODUCTION
>
> A previous paper in this journal (Arseculeratne 1998/9. Studies on the Paranormal: The Indian ola leaf horoscopes and the ideas of karma and reincarnation) described the phenomenon of the ancient Indian ola (palm) leaf horoscopes – their history, selection and identification of a subject's leaf, and the reading of the leaf. These leaf writings in ancient Tamil are claimed to be hundreds of years old, and are thought to have been written by Indian sages (or by their astrological pupils as tutorial exercises) and recovered from Hindu temples, mainly in South India. Fourteen case studies from readings provided in 4 centres, 2 in Sri Lanka and 2 in South India were included to illustrate this phenomenon. The readers in Sri Lanka are South Indian Tamils, in temporary residence in Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital city. One of them had worked for forty years in this country before his demise.
>
> The selection of a leaf as `belonging' to an individual is done through the subject's thumb prints which are claimed to bear codes also contained in the leaves. The subject's past was invariably described with startling accuracy, while, in some readings, the future as predicted on the leaf was also accurate for many years, though in a few cases, they were not always borne out as accurate by subsequent events. Reasons for this discrepancy were discussed. It was also pointed out that these leaf readings differed from contemporary, conventional `mundane' astrological readings made off a chart, constructed on the basis of the time and place of birth, giving the planetary distribution in the subject's native chart of the zodiac at the time of birth. The latter readings seldom make the impressive statement of facts relating to the subject (e.g. names of the subject, of parents and of family members) with personal details concerning the subject (e.g. his religion, and place of birth, profession, ill-health, number of children and their progress) as described in the leaf readings.
>
> The following possibilities of fraud or other bases that might underlie spurious `readings' were considered in our attempts to `falsify' (in Karl Popper's sense) the idea that these leaf readings are authentic writings:
>
> 1. Fraudulent ascertainment by the reader of the history and personal data relating to the subject, (through reference to computerised or documented state records pertaining to the subject, or questioning of the subject's relatives) during the interval (which could be many days) between supplying of the thumb print and the selection of the corresponding leaf. This type of fraud was excluded on the grounds that no personal information, including the full name and address which could have been used in such fraud, was given by the subjects to the leaf-readers. In some cases, the readings were made on leaves selected within 1 or 2 hours (which would have not given sufficient time for such fraudulent ascertainment of data) of supplying of the thumb prints; moreover correct readings were obtained by persons who had never visited that centre before and on occasions the subjects were Sri Lankans who visited the Indian centres for the first time.
>
> 2. `Fishing out' of information from the subject by discreet questioning of the subject by the reader, under the guise of needing such data to confirm the identity of the leaf. Subjects, whose cases were discussed in the previous article, carefully avoided giving of information on which a spurious reading could have been built.
>
> 3. Construction of a horoscope. If the reader is a competent astrologer, he could make a chart at the time of reading and provide the subject with a conventional reading on the basis of his `instant' chart. This seemed improbable because the time of birth, which is critical for the construction of a conventional Indian astrological chart, is not supplied by the subject for the search of his/her leaf; only the thumb prints, birth date and a name for reference are supplied; the name need not be the real name of the subject or even the complete name, and it is given for the `calling-up' of the subject for the reading. `Mundane', conventional astrological horoscopes, according to the Eastern system of astrology, are made on the basis of the place, date and, crucially, the time of birth. Because these (except the date of birth and place) are not given to the reader, the possibility of an instant construction of a chart by the reader is remote.
>
> 4. Guesses and inferences. In addition to facts which were on the leaf, extrapolation to other facts through guesses and inferences are possible; the latter facts would then not be documented on the leaf. Guessing of names would be difficult or impossible.
>
> 5. Telepathy. This was excluded because some readings were made after the initial providing of the thumb print in the absence of the subject (Case No. 15 described below) while the readings were recorded on an audio-tape. In addition, in other cases, correct facts read off the leaf were unknown to the subject at the time of reading.
>
> The facts, obtained by mechanisms 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 would, of course, not be written on the leaf; hence the confirmatory test done as reported in this paper was to confirm or dispute ("falsify") the question whether the `correct' facts were really written on the leaf..

>
> The accurate predictive capacity of the leaf-readings, which sometimes spanned a period of ten or more years, indicated that mechanisms 1 and 2 at least were not operative, and that they were genuine astrological readings.
>
> Evidence given in the earlier report, supporting the tentative conclusion that the readings were made from a script actually written on the leaf, included the following:
>
> (1) On repetition of the readings, sometimes months later, the facts and their sequence were approximately 80% and 75% respectively, in correspondence. Translational or interpretational variations might have accounted for the short-fall from 100%.
> (2) The report also stated that in two cases, the subjects, both Tamil professionals who were familiar with the Tamil language's script, and who were also familiar with these leaves, read the names of either themselves or their family members on their respective leaves, indicating that indeed the readings given were made off a script which was documented on their leaves.
>
> Another case (No. 15) further supports the view that these readings are made from a script written on the leaves. The subject obtained the reading of the first, general chapter which correctly stated facts about himself. The reader then suggested that the reading be continued on the next day as it was now late in the evening. On the next day the original reader gave the leaf to another reader who re-read the first chapter that was read on the previous day; the second day's reading of the first chapter was identical with that given on the first day, suggesting that the readings were made off a script actually written on the leaf.
>
> Yet, despite the remarkably accurate statements and predictions, and evidence summarised above for the fact that the readings were based on a script that was really written on the leaf, Professor Ian P. Stevenson (Division of Personality Studies, Department of Psychiatric Medicine, University of Virginia, USA) stated (personal communication to SNA, 1999):
>
> I believe that it would be difficult to persuade an editor (and reader) of a scientific journal that the correct statements made by a reader of ola leaves were not the result of a combination of paranormal cognition, guesses and inference.
>
> Stevenson then suggested a final test of the authenticity of the leaf readings:
>
> To show that these correct statements were written in ancient Tamil one would need to have photographs of the Tamil text together with translations by an expert on the Tamil language. Moreover, the photographed text should be that of the correct statements.
>
> Further, Stevenson pointed out that:
>
> Such a demonstration would be a remarkable event. I do not doubt that it would
> have extraordinary reverberations in philosophy, science and religion.
>
> This report describes this test done by one of the authors (SS) of this paper, in a centre in Chennai, South India, in February 2002.
>
> RESULTS
> (The significant facts relevant to this paper are italicised)
>
> In February 2002, SS called at a centre in Chennai, South India, which he had not visited before; nor had he met its readers before. He gave his right thumb print at 8 am, with his first name, the shortened version Sidha, used by his friends. After about an hour SS was called in for the reading. Several leaves were unsuccessfully tried for his father's name. Another bundle of leaves was then brought in. Midway through this bundle, the reader asked, "Is your father's name Sambandan?" SS replied `yes' as Sambandan is his father's surname which was not given earlier to the reader. The reader then asked, "Is your mother's name Saraswathy?" SS confirmed it, though he had not supplied it earlier. He then asked, "Is your name Sidheswara?" SS again agreed, although he had not given his full name earlier. "Is your wife's name Sosapin?" (Figure), and on being told "yes" by SS, the reader then said "This is your leaf". His wife's name too was not supplied to the reader earlier. He then went out for about five minutes to call in a scribe for audio-recording and the writing out of the reading.
>
> The first, general chapter, containing the personal and family details, was read. The reader readily agreed to show SS the leaf and script and to allow SS to photograph it. The most decipherable name was SS's wife's name which was an English name. Her real name is "Josephine". There is no letter "j" in the Tamil language, and when present it is a borrowing from Sanskrit. The letter "s" is substituted for "j". (Professor C. Sivagnanasunderam, novelist in Tamil, 2002, personal communication); hence "So-sa-pin" instead of "Jo-sa-pin". The letters "So" were similar to the modern Tamil with which SS was familiar. The second syllable "Sa" in the Figure, is under the point of the pen. The "Sa" too was decipherable to one familiar with modern Tamil. The third syllable "pin" differed slightly from that in modern Tamil. The other sentences and words (other than names) in the text were difficult for SS to decipher. The facts in the rest of this first chapter, the past and up to the present, too, were accurate.
>
> A few days later SS called at a different centre, also in Chennai, South India, which dealt with these leaf horoscopes. SS had not visited this centre before nor had he known its readers. SS showed a reader at this centre, the photograph of the leaf which was read at the first centre and which contained accurate facts relating to SS. This reader (at the second centre) read, slowly, "So-sa-pin". He also read SS's father's name, SS's name, and his mother's name with ease.
>
> The reader at the first centre did not give the leaf to SS as it was claimed that another person's horoscope might be on the reverse. It should be stated that on a previous occasion in a different centre in South India, SS was given his leaf after an accurate reading.
>
> The results of this test were communicated to Prof. Stevenson who first suggested the test. He then posed the possibility of the reader having had access to the `facts' telepathically or by `normal' guesses, and then written these `facts' out on an old (blank) leaf. This would have meant that the reader left the room where the client was, spent some time to write out a `new' leaf with the `facts' that he telepathically retrieved, and brought it back and read the same. This was not the case as after the client (SS) sat with the reader, the latter went out of the room during the reading for approximately a minute and only once, to answer a telephone call. Moreover, he left the leaf which had the correct facts on the table while he was away from the room for this brief period; it was during this period that SS photographed the writing on the leaf; above all, the reader did not bring any other leaf when he returned. The etching on a palm leaf is a tedious process with a metal stylus, more time consuming than writing on paper. The etching then has to be blackened with soot (carbon powder), and the excess soot rubbed off from the leaf with oil. It is unlikely that the `new' writing could have been made by the reader during his one-minute absence from the room, apart from the fact that he did not bring back with him another leaf, the putative fraudulent leaf.
>
> A further refutation of the suggestion that data could have been obtained telepathically from the subject, arises from a case (No. 16) in which the subject, having had a reading of a few chapters, requested that the readings of the further chapters be recorded in her absence on a later date. These subsequent chapters had been read by the reader and recorded as requested by the subject, and were also found to be correct. Since the subject was not present at the latter readings, a telepathic process for retrieval of this data is probably unlikely.
>
> DISCUSSION
>
> Supplementary to the anecdotal and personal evidence recorded in our first (1998/9) and in the current paper, the test prescribed by Stevenson and the results accruing from it described in this paper, apparently demonstrated that the readings were made off a script actually written on the leaf.
>
> An attempt will be made to have one of these ola leaves, in the possession of SS, carbon-dated. Even if the test reveals that the leaf is indeed centuries old, it could be construed that, as Stevenson hypothesised, the reading could have been made off a `new' instant script made on an old blank leaf, from data retrieved by the reader, telepathically. However, the cogent evidence described in the preceding paragraphs relating to SS, that the correct leaf was not recently-written on blank fraudulent leaf, appears to us to be strong enough to discount Stevenson's explanation and to regard these leaf horoscopes as authentic.
>
> One of the Indian readers resident in Sri Lanka, when confronted with this `telepathic' explanation of the accuracy of the leaf readings, replied: "If I can get all the correct information from a subject, telepathically, I do not need to dabble with ola leaves". Indeed other practitioners of the paranormal do indeed provide clients with verbal astrological and perhaps numerological and telepathic readings (Sinhala - nimittas) which are accurate.
>
> Epistemology in the East and West
>
> Paranormal practices are firmly embedded in the South Asian culture. Eastern epistemology is perhaps of a wider scope in South Asia than in the West; for example, in Buddhism,
>
> …the Buddha urged his followers to strive to go beyond faith in rebirth and to verify it through extrasensory capacities which, he claimed, one could cultivate by practising meditational techniques. In this sense, Buddhist ethics, and the whole of Buddhist epistemology that underlies it, are as empirical and as amenable to scientific method as is Western ethics, or even more so since sense-perception in Buddhism (as in most other Eastern epistemologies) is far broader than that defined and accepted in the West". (Hall, 1987)
>
> Determinism
>
> The implication of the result of our investigation that, at least, the major events in a person's life, are `determined', again raises the perennial questions of `free will' versus `determinism' (this matter was briefly touched upon in the 1998/9 paper) and of `moral responsibility' in decision-making through `free-will'. Ayer (1965) wrote: "It seems that if we are to retain this idea of moral responsibility, we must either show that men can be held responsible for actions which they do not do freely, or else find some way of reconciling determinism with the freedom of the will".
>
> The implication from this paper's finding that major events are pre-determined will inevitably engender strong opposition from those who are confronted with the possibility of determinism. The primary purpose of this investigation, however, was to test the authenticity of the ola leaf horoscopes and not to attempt to resolve, if that is at all possible, the debate on `free-will' versus `determinism'. However, some comments, might seem to be necessary on this problem of `determinism'.
>
> Consider the following (real) example. The selection of medicine as a career by a Sri Lankan subject A was based on his liking the subject, and the examples of relatives who were successful doctors. He later turned to academic medicine and research, through interest in experimentation, long before his undergraduate medical work began. His choice of a medical career was thus seemingly, in conventional terms, a free choice made of his `free-will'. His ola leaf read 36 years later in South India stated that the subject will qualify in medicine and will give instruction in medicine to others, and that he will have two higher degrees (which indeed he had acquired). If, as demonstrated here, these leaf readings are authentic, and were written decades or more probably centuries before, then his choice of a medical career was, in this sense, determined. Further determinants that underlay his choice of medicine were the examples of his relatives and his prior conditioning, through his reading of books on scientific discovery and experimentation. Thus, his choice of medicine as a career, though seemingly made through his `free-will' was in reality `determined'. Searle's (1984) question is topical: "Is it ever true to say of a human being that he could have done otherwise?…. Is all behaviour determined by such psychological compulsions?" Searle answers the second question negatively. If this debate is intractable to resolution, could at least the compromise of "compatibilism" (Searle 1984) give us any relief, though Searle thought it was an inadequate solution to the problem?
>
> One of the criteria on which the operation of `free-will' is claimed to rest is the availability of alternatives which a subject could choose from in a given action. His choice of one option is then regarded as reflecting his `free-will' in making that choice while it remains a possibility that he could have made a different choice (see Searle 1984 for a discussion of this topic, p. 98). But the fact is that he did make the choice he made (the `factual'); the existence of `counter-factuals' i.e. the alternatives, is a philosophical problem which will not be discussed here.
>
> If indeed the idea of `free-will' is delusory and that determinants of many kinds operate in the making of a choice, then there appears to be a parallel in the derivation of conclusions from observations and formulation of theories in science. This relates to the question of `objectivity'. As Grinnel (1987) states, "In any event, the observer can look at the scene in a multitude of ways, each of which involves different hypotheses regarding what he/she sees. Therefore, it has been suggested that an observer imposes a particular meaning on a scene according to his/her interest and interpretation of what is going on…. The point to be emphasised is that, in large part, an observer's previous knowledge and experience determine what aspects of a scene will be interesting to the observer". In discussing some ideas of the philosopher of science, Paul Feyerabend, Jones (1989) wrote: "This leads him to the controversial conclusion that competing theories are equally reasonable alternatives, with one being eliminated in favour of another only as a result of subjective choice. `What remains are aesthetic judgements, judgements of taste, metaphysical prejudices, religious desires, in short, what remains are our subjective wishes'".
>
> Some comments (italicised) of the philosopher A.J.Ayer (1965) are also apposite to this discussion. "For it is not always the case that when a man believes that he has acted freely we are in fact able to account for his action in causal terms"
>
> The possibility that Subject A's choice of medicine was determined by the circumstances described above, might here be considered.
>
> "A determinist would say that we should be able to account for it if we had more knowledge of the circumstances, and had been able to discover the appropriate natural laws. But until those discoveries have been made, this remains only a pious hope".
>
> Although the palm leaf readings indicate that his choice of a medical career was determined, the `natural laws' and the mechanism underlying such determinism, as well as of the leaf writings themselves, are of course unknown.
>
> Finally, as Ayer (1965) wrote: "But now we must ask how it is that I come to make my choice. Either it is an accident that I choose to act as I do or it is not. If it is an accident, then it is merely a matter of chance that I did not choose otherwise;…. But if it is not an accident that I choose to do one thing rather than another, then there is some causal explanation of my choice: and in that case we are led back to determinism".. This appears to be the challenging situation that the palm leaf horoscopes have confronted us with.
>
> Since the publication of our first paper in 1998/9, a commentary "Nadi Astrology (an overview", appeared in The Times of Astrology, New Delhi, January 2002. (see also http://www.sanskritionline.com/nadi/History.htm) Some facts in the Times of Astrology, which are supplementary to those in the 1998/9 paper are quoted verbatim in italics below, followed by our comments:
>
> -Leaves were found "lying idle" in the Vaitheeswarankoil (South India) around the 13th century.
> -Translations from Sanskrit were made into Tamil and Telugu.
> -Only about 40% of persons are likely to get their leaves. (This implies that several million leaves should be available).
>
> The author then posed some questions, some of which are answered in our present and the preceding articles.
>
> "Are they actually reading what was written on the leaves?" This is the central question which the present article has apparently answered.
> "Why don't nadi readers give your leaf to you, if it really belongs to you?" Indeed one of us (SS) had his leaf given to him after the reading in a South Indian centre.
> "Can you read what is written there?" "Will they show it to you?" The present article has answered these two questions.
>
> "Is it possible to do any research at all in this field?. The scientific approach to research on these leaf horoscopes was also discussed in the 1998/9 paper. A more general discussion "The scientific approach to research on the paranormal" was written (by SNA) in Trends in Rebirth Research, Proceedings of an International Symposium, 2001, N. Senanayake ed., Peradeniya, Sarvodaya Viswalekha Press.
>
> "Are there other aspects, natural calamities, political set ups, wars, countries etc. written also nadi granthas (sic) other than about persons and if so why don't they publish it beforehand?" Yes in Case No. 10 (Arseculeratne 1998/9), the nadi reading referred to political events in Sri Lanka, 7 years into the future.
>
> Why cannot the nadi readers tell the exact names of the wife/husband before marriage, but can tell the names (of) after marriage?" In Case No. 7 (Arseculeratne 1998/9) the nadi reading had given the name of the girl the subject would marry. It is of great interest that the girl he married had a different name but it was the case that the name specified by the reading was indeed the family name, to which an original name had been changed decades before this reading and before the subject's marriage to the girl. The name change was known only after his marriage.
>
> Topics for Future Research.
>
> "Whether we or the experts in linguistics can read the same and understand?" "Whether there is any script at all in the leaves?" These two questions have been answered in the present article.
> A statement on the origins of these leaf writings is from the introduction in a leaf reading obtained by a Sri Lankan in India in the 1930s:
>
> "Stanza 1- These are horoscopes written down by Agasthya Muni in his discourses to his disciple Machakendran:- `I had known the Shastras as dictated by Narayinal Goddess Parvathi wife of Narayanan to Nandi Devar [the Bull God that is the medium of Hindu worship of Shiva] and I am telling same to you. If you find in the palms of a male, the lines known as
>
> adukku visiri sakkara
> iratti yoga sangu paali
> irai ligithamsam
>
> he will be born in the race that sprang up in Ceylon through Buddhism in the capital town or near about'".
>
> ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
>
> We are thankful to Professor Ian P. Stevenson (Division of Personality Studies, Department of Psychiatry, University of Virginia, USA) for having suggested the test which was performed, and discussed in this investigation, and to Professor P.D. Premasiri (Department of Pali & Buddhist Studies, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka) for discussions on the question of `free-will' and `determinism'.
>
> REFERENCES
>
> Arseculeratne, S.N. 1998/9. "Studies in the paranormal. I: The Indian ola leaf horoscopes and the ideas of karma and reincarnation." The Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities XXIV and XXV, 231-246.
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> ---. 2001, "An alternative approach to the study of rebirth through the Indian ola leaf horoscopes." In Trends in Rebirth Research. Proceedings of an International Symposium, N.Senanayake ed., Ratmalana: Sarvodaya ViswalekhaPress. 117-120.
> Ayer, A.J. 1965, "Freedom and necessity." In Philosophical Essays, London: MacMillan & Co. Ltd.
> Grinnel, Frederick, 1987. The Scientific Attitude. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press Inc.
> Hall, Vance D. 1987. Western ethics confronting Eastern society. (unpublished lecture), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
> Jones, Richard. 1989. "The Historiography of Science. Retrospect and Future challenges." In Teaching the history of Science. Michael Shortland & Andrew Warwick eds, Oxford, Basil Blackwell.
> Searle, John R. 1984, "The Freedom of the Will." In Minds, Brains and Science. The 1984 Reith Lectures, London, The British Broadcasting Corporation.
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> S.N. ARSECULERATNE & S.SAMBANDAN