Raju Sitaram Chidambaram, Ph.D.
Trained formally in mathematical sciences in his student days, Raju Sitaram Chidambaram found a lasting interest in Vedānta through his association with the Chinmaya Mission. He was born in the Trichur District of Kerala, India in 1940, and received early education in local schools. He received a B.A. (Hons.) in Mathematics from the University of Madras in 1960, Master’s Degree in Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta in 1962 and Doctorate in Operations Research from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio in 1967.
Dr. Chidambaram’s working career spanning more than three decades was mostly spent in Washington, DC in the field of global satellite communications, but he also was at various times engaged in teaching and consulting in the U.S. and India. One of the valuable skills he learned during this long career was to solve all kinds of problems – engineering, management, and financial – by using appropriate mathematical tools.
It is the same skill set that the author found useful in understanding spirituality. In 1978 he had the first opportunity to listen to Swami Chinmayananda at the American University in Washington, DC. The power and logic of Vedānta, as taught by Swamiji, impressed him significantly. Since then both the author and his wife have been students of Vedānta as well as active members of CMWRC, the Chinmaya Mission branch in Washington, DC. The author served as the President of CMWRC during 1991-93 and currently serves in its Board of Trustees. As the Editor of Smrithi, a newsletter dedicated to Vedānta, he also published a series of articles on Vedānta during 1987-97 which helped formulate many concepts and thoughts that now find a place in the current work.
After taking early retirement from his career, the author could devote more time to answer a question he was long intrigued with: Are the basic teachings of Vedānta logical and precise enough to be stated mathematically? The first result of that inquiry was a paper published in Dec 2000 titled “The Vedānta of Decision Making” in Chinmaya Management Review. Between 2000 and 2007 the research work led progressively to the development of a mathematical theory of spirituality. The results were presented in a series of papers in various WAVES (World Association for Vedic Studies) conferences during 2004-2008, as well as in the 2009 International Vedānta Conference held at Dartmouth, MA.
Currently, the author lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife, Shobha, a practicing Neurologist. Of their two daughters, Sharada is pursuing a career in law while Vrinda is in her Ph.D. program in Theoretical Linguistics at Princeton University. The author’s goal in the coming years is to actively promote research and education in spiritual science through conferences and publications.