A duel with Death and RDF triples…

Prajapati, the creator of all that exists, watched Mrtyu(or Yama), Death that consumes all. Each sought to annul the other. The duel between them lasted an eternity almost. Death, the shadow of all that is born, pervaded all of creation.

Prajapati penetrated the frames of existence pursuing Death. The masks were insidious, hiding the villain in the most unlikely of places. But during the pursuit, Prajapati observed. Flashes of recognition, an euphoria filled his mind. He thought: "This is like that, this corresponds to that, this is equivalent to that, this is that". And thus the sampads were born. Sampads were a "falling together", were the equivalences. They were the bonds that connected, intangible vibrations that birthed meaning.

The duel stretched on interminable. He watched every thing hiding a mental state, every thing corresponding to something. A fever gripped his mind, "Perhaps all this would dissolve if Death were to win, perhaps the sampads would never fall together". But then where was the body of the sampads? Again Prajapati felt the surge in his mind, "If I, who am thinking the sampads, know not their origin then how shall Death know anything of them?".

Prajapati had won. Meaning was born in the thinker. All that was tangible, and intangible, was merely a framework upon which meaning or purpose could be impressed. The equivalences were eternal, Death had no dominion over them.

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I have been following the Semantic Web trail lately and its not just out of idle curiosity. I believe this is where the next generation of applications are going to come from and have a product in the works that should ruffle the application space where its going to be. In trying to grapple with RDF and its notations, I hit upon the fundamental concept of RDF triples: "Subject, Predicate and Object". Subject being the subject(!). Predicate being the connector, the relating factor. Object being the actual value.

And this is when it actually clicked in my head. The "Predicate" of RDF is equivalent to the Sampads of Prajapati. In a way Prajapati and RDF could be said to perform similar functions. One is a mythical power and the other a model/notation/standard, with each the purpose was to intuit/infer/uncover meaning.

I find this truly beautiful, to stand where I am, viewing equivalences between the works of two civilizations so far apart in time and their methods of knowledge and living.

Note: The passage on Prajapati is inspired from Ka, by Roberto Calasso. This is a book that I reached out to over and over again to get a sense of my own tradition and mythology.

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