One of the greatest scientists, nature’s laws and human civilization have ever seen, Albert Einstein, had once said that ‘God does not play dice’. Einstein was not a religious person and his observation was about the laws of nature.

One of the best minds of our times, Stephen Hawking, wrote an elaborate piece titled ‘Does God Play Dice?’ on similar lines.

Both of them were opining about scientific determinism, about how laws of nature play out in the universe, and how chaos is a certain part of it.

Mathematician Ian Stewart wrote a book ‘Does God Play Dice? The New Mathematics of Chaos’ that was published in 1989. The book is about chaos theory, about a pattern in randomness that no one sees or senses, that science cannot explain. But simple to complex, events happen. What seems unrelated may very well effect a change where it was never expected. Things are governed by chaos and chaos is governed by quantum mechanics. But what quantum mechanics is governed by?

By uncertainty? By scientific determinism of chaos? By a pattern in uncertainty and chaos that no one can see?

Or in the words of Stephen Hawking, who writes in his ageless classic, that “God doesn’t intervene, to break the laws of Science”.

That is about the philosophy of science. But even the philosophy of life, or your existence here, follows a similar path.

That “God doesn’t intervene, to break the laws of life”.

‘Does God play dice’ is a question that we all come across in our lives. When we ask such questions and when we look for answers, we tend to move to the philosophical realms, questioning our existence, questioning the way life has been, and sometimes questioning even God.

The philosophy of life which every life develops to deal with chaos in his or her life!

Here I am not talking about philosophy as a discourse or discipline but it has more to do with the philosophical underpinnings of existence and identity where philosophy becomes an ironical necessity, a necessity as we interpret and we become so habituated with it – to the extent that it becomes an inherent part of us – motivating us, or propelling us, or forcing us to move ahead or along with life.

If we turn to the ‘philosophy of Puritanism, the ‘dicing’ proposition loses its relevance. If we turn to the philosophy incarnation of the day as preached by the so-called intellectuals and self-made God-reincarnations or even by the academicians, it becomes misleading enough to veer us to the brink of a conscience crisis.

When we are asked to ‘accept everything as it comes’ and ‘whatever that happens is for good’ and when we start believing in such propositions, not debating what good it brings to us and if there was any good at all in whatever that happened, we start losing our individuality, slipping into the conscience crisis. We don’t realize it or we are forced not to realize it – in the name of being practical. Chaos starts dismantling us.

We all follow some values in life which we justify anyhow and we are right in doing so but to go beyond, we need to turn to pragmatism of conscience and that only can lead us to a fine blend of ‘the ways we go across to deal with the ‘prompts and hurdles’ of life’ and the ‘optimized scale of conscience, the philosophical element’, so as to fix the ‘dice’ in a poise on the scale of thinking in a way that can achieve a swing state tending to get back to the root of one’s existence whenever it gets disturbed.

And this balance, this ‘philosophy of necessity’ cannot be defined, cannot be measured, and cannot be practiced uniformly. It is subjective and can only be attained and attuned by individual life preferences and circumstances, if one tends to balance the moments in the line of practical and philosophical inputs and practical outcomes.

If philosophy is essentially a way to look back at and understand life gone so far, the ‘philosophy of necessity’ leads us to question us and take decisions that not only support the material-self of our present day lives, our daily lives, destabilized by chaos, but also gives us the much needed spiritual base. Chaos tries to set a pattern in our lives and tries to make us accustomed to that.

We all have this spiritual base, to deal with chaos, but we lack the practicality of getting along with it, limiting us to mostly rituals and temples and shrine visits, and so excluding it out of our daily lives. If spirituality is akin to exploring the deeper of ‘you’, connecting you to your ‘self’ and hence to the ‘light’, it has to be a part of your everyday moments.

We need to realize the ‘necessity of philosophy’ to base our decisions on pragmatism and conscience. And no one can teach it. We are the teachers and we are the learners and so either we make it or we don’t. We are in life’s playground. We are in chaos’ playground. Balancing ‘philosophy’ and ‘necessity’ is a difficult proposition. But it does happen.

And how? No one knows. Laws of life play along. Laws of science play along. Where Gods don’t need to play dice.



Life is unpredictable. Life behaves in bizarre ways.

Routine experiences in life – yet disturbingly new in their shock value – that make our thought processes so sick that we feel like resigning to our fates.

You never know what is going to happen the next moment yet you plan for it. That is human nature. Building you future on your perceived permutations and combinations is human nature. We all do that.

We pass. We fail. We feel stuck.

Sometimes, life walks along with us. Sometimes, it chokes our vision. Sometimes, it simply goes blank.

Routine experiences in life – that make us question our existence – or simply co-opt us to get along with the flow.

But come what may – a life we all have got – to live.

It is unpredictable. It is bizarre. Yet it is the only life that we have got – that we will get.

At times, it shocks you and it is true that no one else can do anything for you. It is only you who can find a way. It doesn’t matter how sick you are feeling, you have to find a way out of it.

You have to live them as routine experiences – being always conscious that they are not going to dictate your thought process – that they are not going to be the person for you.

Yes, that is always unpredictable – a shock’s shock-value – yet you have to find the threshold of it.

It’s bizarre – yet imperative to live your life here.



What is it about dying in Varanasi (or Banaras or Kashi)?

Death is an event in life that though sums up everything for a life, leaves a lifetime of thoughts and afterthoughts for others who are associated with the departed. It leaves a void that remains there, throughout. The pain, that is unbearable initially, becomes a way of life with time.

That is what happens with death in every normal human life – even for people of this eternal city – one of the oldest living places – a living mix of spirituality, religion and a living weaved around them.

But for people from this eternal city who care to go beyond their routines to know what Varanasi stands for, what Kashi means and why it pulls everyone from across the globe who look for ‘questions into life and death’, death brings more meanings about it than they already know.

For many, death is a way of life in Varanasi. It supports many families. The business of death sustains lives here. And it has continued for generations.

For many, it is the spiritual realization that shows them the way ahead – clearing the clouds of ambiguities and dichotomies. For all Banarasis and many outside the city, dying here, in this city of Lord Shiva, is the ultimate nirvana, a freedom from the cycle of rebirth, the Moksha, the core of Hinduism/Vedanta philosophy.

For Banarasi folks and visitors/tourists/pilgrims, the Lord Shiva, Ganga and death association (The Holy Trinity of Hinduism) with the city and its addresses, especially the Varanasi ghats, including the two eternal cremation ghats, Manikarnika and Harishchandra, are a must visit. Many visitors of the city, in fact, make it a point to spend quality time at these two places while the ordinary Banarasi has countless strolls of them in his lifetime.

For thinking folks, it leaves an indelible impression.

And that imprints an equally indelible reality of death – the only certain event of life.

Sitting at these two ghats makes you feel ‘not low’ but poignant about a life’s uncertainty and its only defined fate – death. One can see through layers of illusions. The introspection and retrospection here, in those moments, are most objective that one can have.

And it all happens wrapped in the fundamental tenet of living – what lies beyond and what goes with you. One doesn’t need to be a sage to ponder over these aspects. The atmosphere there begins the thought process in you.

Visiting Varanasi looking for questions of life or spending time at its round the clock working crematoria doesn’t change the way you live but its changes fundamentally the way you think – that how to sift reality from countless illusions your soul is trapped into.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –



This is being human, this is being natural.

Most of us all are like that.

And in any lifetime, there cannot be a uniform way to go along than this.

This is the most pragmatic way to look at human life in today’s context – the context that is not solely self-defined for most.

Yes, people define it so – in the name of living in present, not going too deep in the future – a future that cannot be assessed – and in order to do so, they even compromise their immediate tomorrow – that is eventually to become their next ‘today’.

And they are not wrong in the ‘worldly sense’. Yes, majority is thrown into the throes of a calculation of ‘then’ that they don’t have any mean to look at. And yes, majority tries to come out of it by correcting ‘today’.

And that is natural. And that is pragmatic.

What is not pragmatic is ‘not thinking about your immediate tomorrow’.

A ‘today’ draws its sanctity from your yesterdays (and past experience) and your immediate tomorrow. Your immediate tomorrow gives you the reason to make your today ‘as better as you can’. And your yesterday adds learned experiences to that.

We are what we feel about us today but the feeling has its construct drawn from yesterday and is reasoned on needs of your immediate tomorrow.

The past is always about learning and the immediate future is always about wisdom of that learning as interpreted in your today.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


International Yoga Day is on June 21, the day when Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris.

It may be a coincident but a day to celebrate the ancient Indian tradition that has become a global ‘good health element’ with time, is also a day when the world remembers the most influential mind behind ‘Existentialism’.

Yoga in India goes beyond its ‘routine physical exercise’ nature – the practice that took it to the western countries, starting with Swami Vivekananda in 1890s.

Yoga in India, and in some countries where beliefs born in India spread, especially Buddhism, is seen as complete discipline and is primarily associated with spirituality and meditation. It emphasizes on the holistic balance in every walk of life and is aimed at ensuring a sound mind in a healthy body.

Yoga is a discipline with a philosophy that builds individuals who are self-aware and at the same time are in harmony with their surroundings, maintaining spontaneously balanced relations with nature and living beings.

Existentialism, though with different definitions, concurs that man is free and ‘is responsible’ to determine what becomes of him – in the sense that he sees and interprets his life and events in his life – based on circumstances – for the quest to lead a life that is as per his ‘understanding’ – that corresponds to his definitions of morality and different circumstances of life – the definitions that are within the norms for a healthy mind and body – the definitions that take different hues with time.

Yoga can help an individual develop a healthy ‘existentialist’ perspective based on his ‘philosophy of necessity’. Yoga can help find that ‘missing element’ in every life.

And June 21 is around the corner.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –



Do we follow pre-destined paths?
Do we follow pre-designated plans?
Do we follow pre-laid patterns?

‘Does life follow pre-designated events as it moves’ is a question that we all ask consistently in our lives.

It is a proposition that comes to us varyingly – a suggestion, an intention, and eventuality, a possibility – as we question the life events, as we look for the meaning of ‘being me’, as we search for our identity in the realm we share with others.

That is what it goes like, and it is natural to be so.

Even the diehard individualists and postmodernists come across the moments when they accept the elements of faith and destiny in the evolution of their thought-process, in shaping their continuum to live it on.

That is being human, that is being natural.

We all are like that.

In any lifetime, there can never be a uniform way to go along.

We follow pre-destined paths.
We follow pre-designated plans.
We follow pre-laid patterns.

We concur with them. But there are spontaneous and instinctive human calls as well, to disagree, to breath the days anew.

And we then refuse to imbibe what they make us to read.

And embark on a journey where we lay down the stopovers to meet the disagreements to bring them in harmony with our existence.

We don’t follow pre-destined paths then.
We don’t follow pre-designated plans then.
We don’t follow pre-laid patterns then.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–



Excerpts from a conversation with a close friend, a source of inspiration while randomly talking – thought to share it here 🙂

Time flies, yes we all know. And like most aspects of life, it elates, as well as pushes us to go for some deep retrospective thinking, taking stock of the hindsight, taking stock of the days gone by in the recent past. And it helps, in times, when rough days linger and you say time flies. It has the vitality to make you feel you weathered well the vibes of the hostile times. Life is always slogged with reflections – the personality and its other aspects of the prevailing times.

On turning philosophical – philosophy is a way to look at things with a leverage to look at them in your own way – giving you the leverage to scale the scope – for everything – in all realms – personal, metaphysical – hope, scope, score on the scale of time.

On philosophy detaches – that is a way to look at it, the way that has been famously philosophical about philosophy – but the beauty of philosophy is – it also allows you to develop your own philosophy giving you the liberty to work on your own ways and definitions to look at attachment and detachment – to feel about what may be the factors behind our feelings to feel so.

On taking away certain aspects like passion, persuasive instinct – well, what I think, the days keep on evolving and thus shaping – so, something that was this way causing something to happen this way may well be ‘something’ that way causing things to happen this way – and yet, we may see points of relevance.

Life has always been circum-navigational in its approach – and a more eventful life, with share of both, ups and downs, makes the evolution more in sync with you, makes it even more intense.

The God is within you and nowhere else – if one is willing to devolve in order to evolve – travelling from devolution to evolution. The unseen remains the unseen and yet you have to strive for it to be seen.

On we strive or we have to strive – it is both ways – we strive or we have to strive – even if we are forced not to strive – or even if we do not will to strive – because the circum-navigational passage of life makes it so – making us feel insecure in bouts – and striving comes in then – when it becomes a way where you are looking at some possible recourse – or for the ways to come across, to go over.

Striving as an endeavour in life – it is always there, right from the age we become able to take instructions and later on adding our thoughts to them and further later on when we devise our own instructions – it is just that the intensity of realization keeps on taking different hues – depending on which phase the life is in.

On following pre-designated plans – but then that is a way to look at if it is pre-designated – that is what it goes like, and it is natural to be so, even the diehard individualists and postmodernists come across the moments when they accept the elements of faith and destiny in the evolution of their thought-process, in shaping their continuum to live it on – that is being human, that is being natural – we all are like that. In any lifetime, there can never be a uniform way to go along.

We are what we feel about us today and what we want to feel us about tomorrow based on what we felt about us yesterday.

Beyond there lies our limit to think in definitive terms – to think in definitive terms where our thinking acquires elements of vagueness has undefined elements of time. A way to look at it is the consistent life discourse on our reflections on ‘need and want’. I try to focus on in real time – on three days – yesterday, today and tomorrow – while the routine of the thought-process continues with its routine of going beyond – even to the realms of death – and back.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–


My reflections on life – in quotes

“If one realizes to realize,
..the continuity of life, beyond life and beyond death, one of the basic quests of life,
..before ‘I’ and after ‘I’,
..and the questions on the existence of ‘I’,
..seeking the answers,
..that take the existentialist beyond this life,
..beyond the realms of ‘I’, the mysteries of existence, the questions on identity,
..seeking to take your ‘I’ to this quest.”



©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


When I was not born,

Life had asked,

If I knew what was living

When I was not born,

Death had asked me,

If I knew what was dying

When I was not born,

Life had,

This sudden revelation

To ask me..

When I was not born,

Death had,

This sudden manifestation

To explain me..

Life was there..

Death was there..

Waiting for my words,

Not sure of their positions

They were exasperated,


But yet to be born,

I remained with me

They had their reasons,

To ask..

I had my reasons

To not answer..

They remained there

I remained there

These positions were clear,

When I was not born..

 ©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –



Banaras has countless places for one to get engaged in some serious soul-searching. And the Ganga ghats are the best place among all.

And when talking of ghats for soul-searching, two ghats stand out, for embodying the essence of human existence – Harishchandra Ghat and Manikarnika Ghat.

These two cremation ghats are considered the eternal embodiment of life’s grand illusions and the only grand reality – that, one has to die – that, no one can say ‘when’ – and, that, many blurred lines between illusions and realties of a life are dependent on this ‘when’.

Whether seriously intended, or just a random stop during a walk through the Ganga ghats in Varanasi, the atmosphere of these two ghats engages people sitting on the ghat-steps in thinking about the basic question of life – that we keep on asking regularly – and we ask when we depart finally – the purpose of life – what did we do and why did we do ‘what did we do’?

Attachments and detachment are subjected to the questions that we ask while sitting on these ghat-steps – and detachment gets us the sublime feeling of being free of all that is material – free of all that binds us – that nothing can change the destiny of our final moments when our physical presence is finally reduced to nothing – but our deeds of being the good human-beings – to us, to others, and to the existentialism of life.

The existential beauty of life – or some can say the existential irony – is the attachments get back to being the central to our existence once we move on to the next ghat from this realm of soul-searching.

The Entourage at the Final Resting Place

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –