[Advaita-l] logic and Shastra
mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Wed Jun 22 02:39:52 CDT 2005
You have raised some interesting points but I do feel that if we continue
this thread any longer it will be in establishing whether Brahman can be
taken as an axiom or not. While it may be a good intellectual pursuit, it
doesn't take us very far in the true spirit of this list i.e. understanding
of the thoughts Adviata mainly thru Sankara's eyes but supported/refuted by
thoughts from other disciplines/sciences if necessary. So, like Amuthan,
before me, let me say that this will be my last post on this line of
One point 1.
Are you trying to say that the maha-vakyas as axioms provides are
self-consistent system to establish Advaita only? That they may not
necessarily hold for Christianity and Islam. That the latter two have their
own systems that need to be consistent but not necessarily overlap? I think
that is too restricted a view - Advaita (according to me) spans every
thought stream, irrespective of origination.
On point 2:
My axioms in arriving at Brahman are those that are those that don't need
intellectual leaps to grasp. That does not mean I won't take recourse to
Hiesenberg's uncertaintity principle, if required, though understanding it
is probably as hard as understanding Brahman. But the former has been
"proven" to be true to every rational thinking human being and it has
started from the the "basic" non-quantum theories of science which are
easier to establish.
On point 3:
The self is self-evident and not the Self.
Humble pranams, Mahesh
On 6/22/05, S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- Mahesh Ursekar <mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Pranams:
> > Thanks for your comment. But, let me share with you the
> > defintion of axiom
> > I found on the net:
> > Quite a few I read include "self evident truth" as an axiom
> > defintion. Is
> > Sat-cit-ananda self-evident?
> > Of course, for a Jnani, it probably is but for a sadhaka, far
> > from it.
> There are many problems with your objection. Here are a few:
> 1) As mentioned in my previous posting, a proposition and its
> negation can both be considered axioms -- in two separate
> branches of mathematics. An example given was Euclidean and
> non-Euclidean Geometry.
> For someone working in Euclidean Geometry, that the sum of the
> angles of a triangle is ALWAYS 180 degrees is "self-evident",
> whereas for another person working in non-Euclidean Geometry,
> that the sum of the angles of a triangle can NEVER be 180
> degrees is equally "self-evident". There are many ways of doing
> Geometry - depending upon the axioms you take as "self-evident".
> What is assumed "self-evident" in one system can be an utter
> false-hood in another system.
> Therefore, the objection that the axioms constituting the Vedas
> are not self-evident does not hold water - axioms can be taken
> as "self-evident" and theorems proven so long as the set of
> axioms are internally consistent.
> 2) You claim that you're trying to infer the existence of
> Brahman. There can be no inference without any axioms or
> unproven assumptions. So what are your axioms that you begin
> your inference with? What if someone takes the opposite of your
> axioms as their starting point in creating a consistent system,
> thereby disproving the existence of Brahman?
> 3) The Self is known before any inference even begins. There is
> no need to look to inference for establishing the existence of
> the Self, because the Self is Self-evident!
> > Humble pranams, Mahesh
> > On 6/20/05, S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > --- Mahesh Ursekar <mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Pranams:
> > > > I am sorry to have not kept my word of resting my case but
> > I
> > > > guess a case
> > > > cannot be rested until the final summary is given so I
> > take
> > > > this liberty to
> > > > do that - it will be short to avoid the thread continuing
> > > > further since you
> > > > do not wish to do so.
> > > > The biggest issue I had with your arguments is your
> > choosing
> > > > to call the
> > > > maha-vakyas axioms. This has two problems:
> > > > 1. As elaborated earlier, they are not "simple" and
> > "intutive"
> > >
> > > What makes you think an axiom has to necessarily be "simple"
> > and
> > > "intuitive"? Many branches of Mathematics have axioms that
> > are
> > > not at all "simple" and "intuitive".
> > >
> > > Certain kinds of non-Euclidean Geometry consider the axiom:
> > >
> > > "Given a line and a point not on the line, there exists more
> > > than one line passing through the given point, that is
> > parallel
> > > to the given line."
> > >
> > > Which is equivalent to:
> > >
> > > "Parallel lines are not everywhere equidistant."
> > >
> > > There is nothing whatsoever that is "simple" and "intuitive"
> > > about the above axiom. In fact, the exact opposite
> > ("parallel
> > > lines are everywhere equidistant") is taught to all high
> > school
> > > students as Euclidean Geometry for the precise reason that
> > it is
> > > "simple" and "intuitive".
> > >
> > > -Kartik
> "As they say in Silicon Valley, where I live, if you haven't failed
> recently, you're not trying hard enough." -Keith Devlin
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