[Advaita-l] Re: logic and shastra
mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Thu Jun 16 15:30:13 CDT 2005
Your post was indeed excellent (if the professor says that, who am I to
disagree). But, let me reiterate my position because sometimes I feel the
thrust of my arguments is being misunderstood. You say:
>> given this, the last sentence of the
>> previous paragraph, the impossiblity of understanding
>> the undefined terms like "Atman" etc. through such a
>> method of logical analysis, is clear.
Let me be clear that, like Wittgenstein, I fully accept that it is
impossible to capture Brahman in an equation (or even in words which are
likely to be more fault prone and inaccurate). However, what I wanted to
establish was merely the *need* for the existence of reality that is beyond
time, space and causation. I gave a couple of arguments in that regard (one
of Sankara's) which were neither refuted nor acknowledged. While I can
accept that such a reality can exist, I, as of now, fail to see why this
need have the essence of sat-cit-ananda. Can you help?
>> now, applying the above "scientific" method to the
>> vedAnta, it is enough to note that the undefined terms
>> here, however greatly we may delude ourselves to the
>> contrary, are "Atman", "brahman", "chit", "mAyA" etc.
>> (i have not really attempted a formal axiomatic
>> construction of vedAnta and hence i don't claim
>> completeness in the above list. nevertheless, the
>> terms above which are stated as undefined seem correct
I have grave reservations in your use of the "scientific" method. Two
1. An axiom by it's very nature is "simple" and intuitive. For
example, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line in
Euclidean space. It cannot be proved but neither does it require a huge
intellectual leap to agree with it. In fact science (and mathematics in
particular) starts with "simple" axioms and builds on more complex theorems.
However, you seem to start in the reverse - "Reality is Brahman" and then
arrive at the relatively mundane. I think the Buddhist do better with the
four noble truths (axioms?) - "Life is suffering", "There is a cause for
suffering", "Suffering can be removed", "There exist a path for removal of
suffering". Even an uneducated person can identify with this.
2. Ok, let us assume that axiom is for the more cultured and refined.
But then what does it explain? Sankara has, by some Western thinkers, been
accused of "explaining away the world" rather than explaining it! So, the
only useful thing this axiom achieves is explain in a consistent and
stupendous manner the shastras. Outside of that the axiom's use is minimal!
>> "to conclude, the best method(-this is again a personal
>> view) to test the Sruti vAkya-s to check if it can be
>> "thrown out of the window" is by direct experience
>> through self-introspection (Atma vichAra)
That is what we are all doing - introspection in some sense here. All we
write and discuss is the flow of what is going on inside us. The compelling
are intense need to know. But how many on this list can claim to be an iota
close to really understanding the vakyas? And by understanding here I mean
living the meaning because you may understand but yet not know! IMHO, you
are missing a very very important link here to establish the truth…….
Humble pranams, Mahesh
On 6/16/05, V. Krishnamurthy <profvk at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Congratulations to Amuthan Arunkumar for a very good post
> summarizing the discussion so far.
> The following paragrahs are excellent.
> "only the axioms can be tested (indirectly). but the
> undefined terms, by their very nature, cannot be
> understood by this analysis for obvious reasons.
> now, applying the above "scientific" method to the
> vedAnta, it is enough to note that the undefined terms
> here, however greatly we may delude ourselves to the
> contrary, are "Atman", "brahman", "chit", "mAyA" etc.
> (i have not really attempted a formal axiomatic
> construction of vedAnta and hence i don't claim
> completeness in the above list. nevertheless, the
> terms above which are stated as undefined seem correct
> to me.) the axioms of vedAnta are the Sruti vAkya-s.
> the logical analysis of the Sruti uses the 5 pramANa-s
> that have been mentioned by SrI mahesh ursekar (and
> quoted above). given this, the last sentence of the
> previous paragraph, the impossiblity of understanding
> the undefined terms like "Atman" etc. through such a
> method of logical analysis, is clear. this should be
> a sufficient response to SrI mahesh's view (quoted
> above) "
> "to conclude, the best method(-this is again a personal
> view) to test the Sruti vAkya-s to check if it can be
> "thrown out of the window" is by direct experience
> through self-introspection (Atma vichAra) and not the
> use of logical analysis alone, though the latter can
> be used as a tool to convince (or more precisely, to
> delude :-) ) oneself in the process".
> PraNAms to all seekers of Truth
> Prof. V. Krishnamurthy
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