Saturday, February 03, 2024

Creation as an analytical system

I have been thinking about following verse from Bhagvadgeeta Chapter 15 for some time. I realised something as I reflected on this verse in the context of AI and analytics.

सर्वस्य चाहं हृदि सन्निविष्टो | मत्त: स्मृतिर्ज्ञानमपहोनं च ||

वेदैश्च सर्वै: अहमेव वेद्यो | वेदान्तकृत् वेदविदेहचाहं ||

भगवद्गीता १५:१५

वेद, स्मृती, श्रुती, पुराण are considered four kinds of vedic literature. स्मृती in this context means history, accounts of past events, recollections. But in this verse it means the historical data. The first line thus translates as "I dwell in everyone's heart. From me comes forth the historical data, knowledge and information. The words knowledge and information are rather loose translations of words ज्ञान and अपोहन. The later refers to a refining process. The historical data is analyzed by बुद्धी (intellect) to produce knowledge (ज्ञान) which is further refined to remove inaccuracies introduced by doubts, alternative interpretations etc. This is information (अपोहन).  The word वेद is usually interpreted as collection of four ancient scriptures ऋग्वेद, यजुर्वेद, सामवेद and अथर्ववेद. But it really means "knowledge" as a derivative of root विद् (to know). Thus the one dwelling in the hearts produces perfect knowledge (वेद). 

Now comes the intriguing part. The verse claims that the one who dwells in the hearts and brings forth the perfect knowledge is also the one who is to be known (वेद्य:) through the process described above. That one is the one who has created this ultimate system of knowledge (वेदान्तकृत) and is also the the one who knows the system (वेदवित्).

I am not an expert in संस्कृत. I may have used wrong meanings, translated the verse in a wrong manner. But in case I have been able to capture some essence of the verse, the essense intriuges me. This looks like a description  of a self-analysing analytical system. When the humanity is moving into the age of AI and analytics, this verse just shows the circular movement the humanity is in!

Further it indicates that a near-perfect analytical system is possibly made of tiny decentralized systems (hearts of all living beings) rather than a humongous gigantic system sitting in a data center.

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