Can the Computers help in Self-realisation? Masti Ram says, 'yes', as they did to him.
Masti Ram and the Computers
Masti Ram is one of the proud Indians to claim himself to be a computer literate even in those days when owning a simple computer was as prestigious as owing a luxury car. He has been in touch (physically) with the computers right from his early 20s (now in his 40s). His initial impression about computers was that they were better replacement for typewriters but of course with the capacity to store data. In any case, he understood very soon that they were a wonderful tool for manipulating data. Manipulation by all means, feels Masti Ram!
Whatever said about computers, Masti Ram had a tough time managing his Chief in his workplace who had been allergic to computers and always felt threatened about the use of computers thanks to his computer illiteracy.
It was in the 1990s, when the computers were just becoming popular, one day, the Chief, who is highly literate but a poor computer literate, was on inspection. While moving from one department to another he made a pause at Masti Ram, just because he was busy with his computer. Nothing great that Masti Ram was doing. He was feeding some data in to the computer. Then the Chief approached him and enquired about the usage of computers. Masti Ram felt very happy that at last he could show some supremacy over his Chief. He explained the purpose of computer and demonstrated how he was using it effectively for carrying out official work. The Chief at once, with his not so enthusiastic body language remarked, "Masti Ram, I understand from what you said that you will have to feed all these data to generate the reports you wanted. If you only have to feed everything to generate the report then what the hell is the computer for? Why should we spend so much money on computers for doing everything ourselves?" The Chief added further, "I thought if you press a button, all your reports will come out of its own". Masti Ram, not able to comprehend the idea of his Chief replied, "Sir, if computers had the capacity to do everything, without human input, then probably we all would have got salvation long ago". ‘But Sir", continued Masti Ram determined to confuse his Chief with this great opportunity, "the computers have never been termed as idiot box, like the television". Not happy with the reply and reasoning of Masti Ram, his Chief left the place saying, "let me not get in to this trap and spoil my mind". But to Masti Ram it was a moment for rejoice, because, he exhibited supremacy over his Chief at least for the first time.
Very soon there was yet another occasion when Masti Ram could get another opportunity to downplay his Chief. This time, it was a conference in his office, where Masti Ram had to interfere to control the anxiety of his Chief. It was during the lunch break, his Chief was passing by the area where the computer was idling. Since it was not shut down, it got switched over to screen saver mode. Masti Ram had stored some mysterious looking screen savers. His Chief, passing by looked at the monitor in its screen saver mode. After seeing the mysterious looking screen saver, he screamed for help. "Come someone, quickly, something had happened to the computer", he yelled. Jumping quickly in to the fray, Masti Ram realized what was happening. He explained his Chief that it was quite normal and he need not worry about it. Yet another opportunity for Masti Ram to hold his head high. Poor Chief, already allergic to computers had to take one more blow.
But whatever is said about computers, Masti Ram believes that computers were like human beings in the hands of God. But unlike God, who allowed man to develop his own devil’s workshop, the mind, man has not been able to empower the computers. Thank God, we couldn’t follow your way, alas, it’s good for the computers, says Masti Ram to himself!
Nevertheless, Masti Ram had a great realization through his understanding on computers. He just made an analogy between computers and human being and got a wonderful, meaningful and a valuable realization. Masti Ram compared the hardware of computers to human body. He compared the computer software to human mind. He then understood that the interface between the software and hardware, which is the most crucial element which makes both work, was the binary pulse (electrical signal). In the same way, Masti Ram realized that in the case of human being, it is the soul which connects the mind and the body. It operates not only the human being but the whole world in turn. From this analogy, the realization came to Masti Ram that just as the binary pulse (electrical signal) which is the same in all computers, irrespective of their make and model, the soul in all the human being is also the same, with the body and mind constituted differently. Masti Ram never thought the Computers could be so helpful to him towards self-realisation. Viva Computers, exclaims Masti Ram!