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Magazine Web Edition > February 1997 > Quotes & Quips

Quotes & Quips



"In North India we Hindus feel we are just non-Muslims; in South India we feel we are Hindus"
New Delhi-dwelling Ram Swarup after his recent visit to Chennai

"Whenever I have read any part of the Vedas, I have felt that some unearthly and unknown light illuminated me. In the greatest teachings of the Vedas, there is no touch of sectarianism. It is of all ages, climes and nationalities and the royal road for the attainment of the Great Knowledge."
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American naturalist, philosopher and writer

An Indian entrepreneur, in an effort to advance agriculture, imported some chainsaws for farmers. One tree grower walked into a hardware store and asked to see them. Picking up one, he queried the clerk, "How many trees will this one cut in one hour?" "Oh, that one will cut about five good sized trees in an hour," replied the clerk. "What about this one?" asked the forester. The clerk replied, "That's an intermediate model which cuts around ten trees." "And this one?" asked the farmer. "That's our best model. It should cut at least 20 trees in an hour," said the clerk. "I'll take it!" Two days later, the farmer returned and angrily complained, "This saw is terrible. I could only cut three trees in one hour with it!" The clerk responded, "I don't understand that. This is the best model we carry. Wait a minute while I check it out." He pulled on the rope, and the saw immediately started with a loud roar. "Hey," said the surprised farmer, "What's all that noise?"

DID YOU KNOW?
Zero is Not Nothing
Mathematicians rank Arithmetic - that simple scheme by which an infinitude of things can be described by a few symbols - "amont the most important achievements of the human intellect." The Hindus invented the modern system along with the concept of zero, itself lauded as "of the greatest importance in the history of mathematics" and of man's progress. Without nothing, there would really be something to worry about.


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