Friday, July 20, 2018

Have created EPUB version of iami1 blog book for download for smartphone and other ebook reading devices & apps

Today I faced a case of a USA based Facebook friend being interested in reading my "Who am I? I am I – Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation" iami1.wordpress.com blogbook on her smartphone device. The PDF file download was not suitable.

That prompted me to work on providing an epub format file generated using an online converter. Of course, besides her there may be others who would like to read my ebook on their smartphone and so it was a generic issue and not specific to her alone.

So I have now got an epub format file available for download which I was able to read using Lithium free ebook reader on my inexpensive (cheap) Android smartphone. BTW I am somewhat new to smartphones and so am far from being an expert on smartphones (my comfort zone is the PC/computer).

The reading experience of the epub file using Lithium app on my smartphone is far superior to reading the PDF file on my smartphone as the Lithium app reflows the text of the epub file. It does have some blank pages and the pics in the first two pages do not get shown very well. But those are minor issues, IMHO, which the online automatic generator process could not resolve on its own. I am reluctant to spend additional time now on exploring whether I can fix these minor problems using an EPUB editor program. Maybe I will do it later sometime.

The key thing is that the main text contents are easily readable on the smartphone Android device. I also used Calibre and Icecream ebook reader applications on the PC (Windows) to read the EPUB file. Both these PC apps rendered the EPUB file well (was easily readable), barring the minor problems mentioned earlier.

I DID NOT FACE any virus warning for the epub file either on my computer or on my smartphone (both of which have anti-virus checking software installed).

I used a free online Word to epub converter website to create the epub: https://www.online-convert.com. I don't know whether it introduces any virus in the converted epub file but I doubt it as it is listed as one of the top online ebook converters in this review: https://www.epubor.com/best-online-epub-converters-review.html. But I cannot guarantee it.

If readers are using an Android smartphone, they may want to check with their local security expert/guru whether they should download and try to read the epub file using an epub reader app (like Lithium free app available for download on Google Play) on their smartphone. If the local security expert/guru gives them the go-ahead here's the epub file download link: https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=1KfRZ_hnJylAjDC1RxLMQrPWDzcVfaeR7

On my Android smartphone, simply clicking on the above link, opens the file on the Google drive itself (without seeming to download the file). So I could view the file in Lithium app but was not sure whether the file was downloaded to the device.

To download the file, I had to press on the link (instead of tap) which gave me the option to download the link and on choosing it, the file got downloaded onto my Android device (smartphone). Then I could open the file in my Downloads folder on the smartphone using the Lithium ebook app.

The download page on iami1 blog i.e. https://iami1.wordpress.com/consolidated-blog-content-document/ has been updated to have the EPUB file download link.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Received copy of hopefully stable version of paperback iami1 blogbook with Glossy lamination cover released on 6th July 2018

On 16th July 2018 evening, I received the latest version of "Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation" iami1.wordpress.com blog book, https://pothi.com/pothi/book/ravi-s-iyer-ultimate-existential-reality-answer-vedanta-god-and-science.

The last changes done were as follows:

1) Border sizes in cover page was modified to remove disproportional border size look in cover front page.
2) Switched back to Glossy lamination for cover page printing in Pothi.com.
----

The delivery received incorporated these changes and the border sizes in cover front page look proportional. I hope that this version is now the stable version for the paperback book.

Given below are a few pics of it.

[To open pic in higher resolution, right-click on pic followed by open in new tab/window. In new tab/window you may have to click on pic to zoom in.]








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Sunday, July 15, 2018

In India, I doubt that medico with faith in God would keep it aside when he/she enters the hospital; faith would be part of his/her being

The following note is based on my comments made elsewhere.

Those who attribute all to God and none to medical staff in cases of successful critical surgery, I think, are having very unbalanced and wrong views. Medical staff would typically be very deserving of significant credit for such success. But there is nothing wrong in theist patients thanking God too for the success.

I don't know if all persons in a typical medical team in an Indian hospital would be atheists but one should not be surprised if one finds that some in the medical team which includes nurses who tend to have more regular care-giving interactions with the patient, are theists. Medical people see life and death at close quarters and I have read that sometimes some medicos pray to God when they are working on a critical case. Whether such prayers help or not (or worse hurt), I think, is difficult to prove scientifically.

I have read about many medical staff including cardiac surgeons who pray to God and have publicly said (their view NOT scientifically proven fact) that such prayers and their faith in God in general have helped them succeed in critical cases.

I think the key here is to NOT go overboard one way or the other. If a patient and/or a medico does not have faith and works only with scientific medical knowledge - fine. But if a patient and/or a medico has faith in God and prays to God for success in medical treatment, without compromising on scientific medical knowledge, that is fine too.
...
In a typical medical team in a hospital in India, I would not be surprised if theists are the majority! India is a land of deep religious faith.

And serving patients as a way of serving God is a powerful form of devotional offering to God, across religions including Hinduism and Christianity.
...

Faith in God is not a dress that one wears when one is at a place of religious worship and takes it off once one leaves that place. It is part of one's being.

So I doubt if faith in God (and any associated religious leanings) would go out of the door once a medical staff member who is of faith in God, enters a hospital.

But I think it is difficult to prove this scientifically, one way or the other.

Miscellaneous posts & comments on Facebook in July 2018

When author of post or comment is not mentioned, it should be assumed that it is me (Ravi S. Iyer).

---------------------------------------
From https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/2213570712192827 (slightly edited) dated 13th July 2018

[Shared linked article:  Inside the lives of Mongolia's 'millennial monks,' who play basketball, pray for 12 hours a day, and hold the fate of their religion in their hands, https://www.businessinsider.in/Inside-the-lives-of-Mongolias-millennial-monks-who-play-basketball-pray-for-12-hours-a-day-and-hold-the-fate-of-their-religion-in-their-hands/articleshow/64875261.cms, 5th July 2018]

Very interesting!

A small extract from it:

* Thousands of Buddhist monks in Mongolia were killed under Communist leadership in the 1930s.
* Today's millennial generation is the first to come of age since democracy was introduced, and young monks are finding a new set of challenges to keep their religion alive.
* The leaders of one revered monastery are in their 20s and 30s, and are struggling to attract new students.
--- end extract ---

Ravi: Hmm. So the anti-religion murderous fanaticism of the forms of communism in China & Russia in the 1930s were NOT able to root out Buddhist religion in Mongolia. But it severely dented it. Now it is getting revived. Wonderful to know that. My prayers to God to shower His Grace in reviving Buddhism in Mongolia.
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From my Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/2209385882611310, dated 9th July:

[Shared Terry Reis Kennedy post:  https://www.facebook.com/terry.reiskennedy/posts/10217067662382528 titled, "THE SOUL IS NOT LOCATED INSIDE YOUR BODY :Realise Atma Thathwa By Constant Practice" "Sri Sathya Sai Baba Prasanthi Nilayam 20 July 2009"]

High-Level spirituality discourse of Bhagavan but explained in simple terms. That was the spiritual genius of Bhagavan as a spiritual teacher. Enjoyed reading (or rather re-reading) this.
----
=====================================

My comments in a non-public FB post of somebody else (slightly edited):

My personal experience with Sathya Sai (physical form), my beloved and revered Gurudev, is that his teachings, his discourses many of them heard live by me at Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam, and his personal guidance via gestures at Darshan were of tremendous help to me in my spiritual journey. Approval of what I was doing that was good for me and disapproval of what I was getting drawn to but was bad for me, was conveyed via the look and facial/body gesture typically (he spoke to me only once - approvingly), sometimes backed by a discourse on that day or within the next few days.

It was truly extraordinary to see how he would read my thoughts and know what I had done. Awesome divine power!

It was after he gave up his physical body in April 2011 that I truly understood how much his looks and gestures at Darshan mattered to me for my spiritual journey. Now I had no physical person who I interacted with who had anywhere close to such divine powers backed by divine spiritual knowledge. If I got drawn to something that I knew was taking me away from higher spiritual levels, there was nobody to stop me with one angry look! If I had gained some deep spiritual insight there was nobody to confirm and approve of that insight with one lovely smile and/or Abhaya Hasta (raised open palm which is a combination of blessing and indicating that one should not fear).

I had lost that precious contact with physical form of my beloved and revered Gurudev, and was almost like a spiritual orphan! I had to learn to depend on my own limited spiritual understanding and spiritual writings and videos of Sathya Sai and other spiritual masters/scripture, which surely help but do not come close to that very easy way with which I could get signs of approval & disapproval from my beloved Gurudev during daily Darshan, sometimes backed with a relevant discourse delivered either on the same day or within the next few days.

I am deeply grateful to (physical form) Sathya Sai for having guided me in my spiritual journey. And so I would strongly recommend spiritual aspirants to have an appropriate living (physical form) Guru. But then if they cannot find an appropriate/suitable living Guru it is better to rely on the inner Guru (inner voice) than follow a Guru that one is not comfortable with and that one has serious doubts about.

Bro. --Name-snipped--, regarding your main question, "i am thinking of abandoning sathya sai baba because of all the infighting and be at peace with sri M. what do you think ?": There is no doubt that currently the Sathya Sai movement is facing significant challenges including the challenge of the false claim so called communicator and his big group of supporters. But then such seems to be the history of spiritual movements founded by great charismatic miracle-man figures. In the case of Lord Jesus Christ, it was a far worse situation as the early Christians were being physically persecuted!

Some of us (like me) chose to get into the struggle to resist the dilution and distortion of the legacy and memories of Sathya Sai by the false claim so called communicator. I don't care if I lose all peace. I cannot remain as an idle witness to my beloved Gurudev's legacy being diluted and corrupted in this fashion. I view it as my bounden duty to him for all that I have gained from him, to resist such dilution and corruption. Further, I think my efforts would help at least some Sathya Sai devotees now and in the future (some have already thanked me saying that it helped them), from getting misguided by this cheap imitator's false communicator claims.

In your case bro. --Name-snipped--, if you desire peace then I think you can simply switch off from engaging in discussions related to the cheap imitator. And going to a more peaceful spiritual group may help you. No harm in giving it a shot. But I don't know much about Mr. M to say anything about him or his group/movement.

However, I suggest you don't abandon Sathya Sai due to Sathya Sai movement issues. You can learn to keep them separate. You could stay anchored to Sathya Sai teachings and divinity even if you move away from Sathya Sai movement.
----

...

Good to know that your inner connection to Sai Baba is still strong.
...

No offense meant, bro. --Name-snipped-- but words like "i am thinking of abandoning sathya sai baba ..." usually mean a crisis of faith. I have seen some guys in Puttaparthi face such crisis of faith and it was not pretty. The words you used made me wonder whether you were facing such a crisis of faith in Sathya Sai Baba! That's why I reacted the way I did.
----
=====================================================

On public FB post of Terry Reis Kennedy, https://www.facebook.com/terry.reiskennedy/posts/10217010417951453, dated 6th July 2018, I made the following comments:

For me the key questions are:

Are they in their public literature promoting the FALSE CLAIM of Muddenahalli group that Madhusudan Rao Naidu is a so called communicator of Sathya Sai? If so, do we have documentary evidence of the same? I would like to share such documentary evidence of it along with my view that Madhusudan Naidu's claim is a FALSE CLAIM on my social media channels.

And then it would be very interesting to know what official USA Sai orgn. is doing/going to do about this.

As I have mentioned earlier, I have visited Boston umpteen times when I was living in the USA in Mass/New Hampshire in the 1980s. I have a lot of happy memories of Boston and Massachusetts. As gratitude for the good times I have had there, I feel obliged to do my bit to inform concerned Massachusetts authorities via the USA Embassy in India, of Madhusudan Naidu's FALSE CLAIM being promoted by the Massachusetts based NGO (PRASHANTHI CENTER FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT), if that is the case and we have related documentary evidence to show concerned USA authorities.
-----

Terry Reis Kennedy, from what I recall of the incident you mentioned last year, it was a conference event at which a presentation was made. As I understand it, conferences are talk events and networking events. They are given a lot of leeway in terms of freedom of speech and all that, especially when held in an academic campus (even if the event itself was not an academic event).

I think that establishing an NGO in Massachusetts which promotes Muddenahalli subtle body and/or Madhusudan Naidu is a much more concrete and serious matter. I think then the organization founders and heads are answerable to Massachusetts government authorities, and are also answerable via the media, to the people of Mass.
----

And thanks for your response and all the great work you are doing in this regard Terry Reis Kennedy. Jai Sai Ram!
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=====================================

On public Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/terry.reiskennedy/posts/10217005789915755, dated 5th July 2018, I wrote:
Well said Terry with appropriate quotes of Bhagavan on the sickness of mad pursuit of money.
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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Released e-book with ISBN version of "Who am I? I am I ..." iami1 blog book; Changed metadata of some ebook website entries to mention ISBN

Last updated on 18th July 2018

Released an e-book version with ISBN today (13th July 2018) which is available for download on iami1.wordpress.com at this link: https://iami1.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/20180713-final-withisbn-ebook-notprint-colourcover-bw-a5-who-am-i-i-am-i-n-god-n-science.pdf. I have also updated the blog's download page (https://iami1.wordpress.com/consolidated-blog-content-document/) to have a link to this file (with ISBN).

As discussed earlier I have uploaded this with-ISBN e-book to ebook websites that I use for upload and that DO NOT automatically generate new formats. These websites are:

1) Pothi.com
2) Project Gutenberg

Both the above websites have yet to process the upload and update their webpages corresponding to this e-book. I expect both to get updated on or before Monday, 16th July 2018.

It was also discussed earlier that ebook websites like archive.org that automatically generate different ebook formats should have (continue to have) a version of the ebook WITHOUT ISBN but should have ISBN number in the metadata. I changed the description in these ebook websites to mention the following or something on similar lines:

I (author & self-publisher Ravi S. Iyer) am using the ISBN number allotted by isbn.gov.in for this e-book - ISBN: 978-93-5311-652-1 - for PDF format only as my understanding of their guidelines is that each e-book format must have a separate ISBN. I applied for and got only one ISBN number for my e-book. As this website may be auto-generating other e-book formats like EPUB, MOBI and TXT, I felt it appropriate to upload an e-book version without ISBN number (in Verso page) which is the only difference between it and the e-book with ISBN number.

The e-book version with ISBN number (in Verso page) can be freely downloaded from:
https://iami1.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/20180713-final-withisbn-ebook-notprint-colourcover-bw-a5-who-am-i-i-am-i-n-god-n-science.pdf

--- end of description change---

The two such websites which I use and which have been updated in this manner are:

3) archive.org:   https://archive.org/details/20180424EbookNotPrintColourCoverBWContentsA5WhoAmIIAmINGodNScience

4) Open Library:   https://openlibrary.org/books/OL26445400M/Who_am_I_I_am_I_-_Ultimate_Existential_Reality_Answer_Vedanta_God_and_Science_conversation

=============================================

18th July 2018 Update

Pothi.com has updated the e-book a few days ago. Here's the link:  https://pothi.com/pothi/book/ebook-ravi-s-iyer-who-am-i-i-am-i-ultimate-existential-reality-answer-vedanta-god-and-science-c.

Project Gutenberg seems to have not yet updated it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

ISBN issue with submitting my "Who am I? I am I ..." Word/PDF ebook to free ebook websites like archive.org that automatically generate other ebook formats like EPUB and Kindle

Last updated on 13th July 2018

As posted earlier my ebook titled "Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation" has been allotted an (one) ISBN (for E-book book type/book version).

The application form does not ask whether the e-book format is PDF or EPUB or Word or any other such e-book format. It has one book version called e-book which I think covers all these formats, as the only other book versions mentioned in the ISBN application (web) form are paperback and hardback.

But the User Manual of isbn.gov.in (website of Indian ISBN allotting agency - RRNA) at http://isbn.gov.in/usermanual.pdf on Page 19 states the following:

End users need to know a) whether the e-book that they are purchasing will work on their device or software and b) what they will be able to do with it (e.g., copy, print, lend, text to speech etc.). This is normally defined by a combination of file format (e.g., EPUB, .pdf) and software known as Digital Rights Management (DRM) which controls, by technical means, the use that can be made of the e-book. Separate ISBNs will facilitate management, dissemination and discovery of that information as well as delivery of the appropriate version of an e-book.

• Where a specific qualifying e-book is available in different underlying file formats such as EPUB, .pdf etc., each different format that is published and made separately available should be given a separate ISBN. If the publication is migrating to a new version of the file format (e.g., EPUB2 to EPUB3), then a separate ISBN is essential if both versions are available simultaneously or if retailers and customers need to distinguish the versions.

--- end extract from page 19 of User Manual of isbn.gov.in ---

Going by the letter of above section of User Manual of isbn.gov.in, I should have different ISBN for Word and PDF versions of my ebook. Further my submission to archive.org (previous submission of this ebook without ISBN can be viewed here: https://archive.org/details/20180424EbookNotPrintColourCoverBWContentsA5WhoAmIIAmINGodNScience) gets automatically converted to additional formats like txt and epub. That complicates things further.

But my ebook is free and does NOT have DRM. So the problem of a user/customer ordering for a particular format and paying for it, but receiving a different format, is NOT THERE. The user may download for free a format other than what he wants/intended to but he is free to download another available format of the ebook without paying any money.

So can one take the view that it is fine if I use the same allotted ISBN number for both my Word document version and PDF document version of the ebook offered for free download on my blog and some other websites including archive.org? Further, archive.org would automatically convert the submission to additional ebook formats like epub and text, all of which will have the same ISBN. As all the converted books having different formats/book types are available for free download from archive.org, can one say that there would be no problem even if the ISBN number is the same in all the various book formats/types?

Note that the epub and mobi/Kindle versions that are automatically created have different number of pages from the PDF and Word documents (original docs). Further note that in the ISBN application form I specified the number of pages as the number of pages in the PDF document, which is the same as in the Word document.

SAFE APPROACH?
=============

Perhaps the safe path to take is to provide ebook websites like archive.org that automatically generate different ebook formats, a version of the ebook WITHOUT ISBN but specify ISBN number in the metadata. In this case, the verso page of the ebook (or any other page in the ebook) would NOT mention the ISBN number.

Only ebook websites that DO NOT automatically generate new formats should be provided a PDF version of ebook with ISBN in the Verso page.

Further, the Word document with ISBN number should NOT be publicly shared, even if that Word document is the source to create the PDF ebook with ISBN number in Verso page.

The approach described immediately above seems to be a safe approach that will conform to isbn.gov.in User Manual guidelines with respect to ISBN and different ebook formats.

=============

13th July 2018 Update

Please visit my blog post: Released e-book with ISBN version of "Who am I? I am I ..." iami1 blog book; Changed metadata of some ebook website entries to mention ISBN, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/07/release-e-book-with-isbn-version-of-who.html.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Got ISBN 978-93-5311-652-1 for "Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; ..." free ebook; Should ISBN number be put on the ebook front cover page?

Last updated on 10th July 2018

Yesterday (6th July 2018) I saw that I had been allotted an ISBN number 978-93-5311-652-1 for my e-book titled "Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation" which is the iami1.wordpress.com blogbook.

The pic below shows the search result for above ISBN on isbn.gov.in. Note that the book title uses . instead of ? as ? is not allowed in book title field in isbn.gov.in web form for ISBN application.

[To open pic in higher resolution, right-click on pic followed by open in new tab/window. In new tab/window you may have to click on pic to zoom in.]



This ISBN number has to be added in the Verso page of the ebook. That's a simple change.

But should the ISBN number also be on the ebook cover (front) page? Note that the paperback version has the ISBN number (different number from ebook ISBN number) and associated barcode image in the bottom right section of the cover back page. The cover back page picture is included in the ebook as its second page (after the front cover page picture as the ebook's first page) but the ISBN barcode image part of the cover back page picture is blanked out.

The User Manual of isbn.gov.in (at http://isbn.gov.in/usermanual.pdf) has a relevant section titled, "13. Location and Display of the ISBN on Publications" starting from Page 22.

It states, "In the case of digital publications, the ISBN must appear on the:
• Title display; the first display (compact discs, online publications); or on the screen that
displays the title or its equivalent (e.g., the initial screen displayed when the content is
first accessed and/or on the screen that carries the copyright notice)".

I think the above indicates that the ISBN number should be on the front cover page (first page) of the ebook. But where exactly should it be placed? And yes, we don't need a barcode image here. We only need to print the ISBN number.

When I checked out some ebook front covers on the Internet, I did not find any ebook with front cover mentioning ISBN number! I may have looked at ten to twenty ebook front covers.

But I do think it is not a bad idea to mention ISBN number on the front cover page of the free ebook. It gives a degree of respectability to the free ebook. Further, the Indian ISBN agency recommends putting it in the "Title display".

However, I do not want to do something that may be viewed as very inappropriate by major free ebook websites like Open Library (and associated archive.org) and Project Gutenberg which list the previous version of my ebook. I don't want them to feel odd or reject my update to the ebook because I did the possibly very inappropriate thing of putting ISBN number on the front cover page!

Here's the Open Library link for the current version of this free ebook: https://openlibrary.org/books/OL26445400M/Who_am_I_I_am_I_-_Ultimate_Existential_Reality_Answer_Vedanta_God_and_Science_conversation which also shows the front cover page (first page) of the ebook.

So I need to do some thinking on this and try to get some views from people in this line. I intend to ask Pothi.com which lists my free ebook too, besides the at-cost paperback version.
=========================================

From the feedback I got coupled with what I checked on the Internet myself, it seems that ISBN is typically not specified in the front cover page of an ebook. So I have decided NOT to specify ISBN on front cover page of this ebook.

Next I had a question:

In verso page, how do ebooks of PDF format, typically specify ISBN? As (example):

ISBN: 978-93-5311-652-1

OR

ISBN: 978-93-5311-652-1 (PDF)
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The info. I got indicates that the normal style used is the first option but that the second option is acceptable.

I don't want to go against the normal for this ISBN stuff as I am new to self-publishing. So I have decided to go with the first option above.