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Electronics wiz working on Indic text projects

P R Mukund, 72, professor emeritus at the Rochester Institute of Technology, was recently in Bengaluru for the launch of his book ‘Karma and Intent’. He teaches chip design, among other things.
Last Updated 19 March 2024, 23:32 IST

A US-based academic, originally from Bengaluru, is working on projects to preserve the wisdom of ancient Indian texts and take them to lay people.

P R Mukund, 72, professor emeritus at the Rochester Institute of Technology, was recently in Bengaluru for the launch of his book ‘Karma and Intent’. He teaches chip design, among other things.

Mukund is translating Vedic manuscripts into English and digitising and archiving them through Tara Prakashana, a non-profit based in Bengaluru. It has archived more than 3,300 manuscripts using multi-spectral imaging technology. “Last month, we published a commentary on the 10th canto of ‘Bhagavatha’ and another on the ‘Ishavasya Upanishad’,” he says.

In a conversation with Metrolife, he says he was always curious about human behaviour and the universe but he started “seeking truth” after his father’s death. He was 36 then.

“He passed away peacefully in his 80s. It got me thinking about why some people suffer and die, and why some get lucky. Is this random?” he says.

Mukund turned to books, spoke to theologists, and met a guru while continuing his career in electrical engineering. “Lots of people think that the scientific approach to life is somehow orthogonal to spiritual life. That’s not the case,” he says.

About his latest book, he says: “Karma is derived from two words — kara and ma. Kara means to do, and one of the root meanings of ma is knowledge. Karma is, thus, not action. It is the knowledge or intention behind your action. You are rewarded positively or negatively depending on what your intention is,” he explains.

Over 10 chapters and 141 pages, the book looks at topics like family and social values, meditation, and ‘the cycle of life and death’.

‘Karma and Intent’, published by Tara Prakashana, Rs 180, available online.

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(Published 19 March 2024, 23:32 IST)

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