[Advaita-l] Reconciling current research with Advaitic theory of mind
mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Sat Feb 24 00:32:50 CST 2007
>> what surprises me (if i have understood you correctly) is that you
>> seem to have no problems accepting rebirth (which cannot be
>> 'objectively' established), but are somehow interested in refuting the
>> independent existence of manas. if you accept rebirth, then the
>> content of manas is precisely that which transmigrates after death.
When the present Dalai Lama was asked the question - "Would you drop your
belief in rebirth if science 'proved' that it does not exist?"
He was quick to answer - "Yes" but then added - "but how would science go
about doing it?"
I am in a similar situation. I accept all aspects of Vedanta but if
'objective science' were to question the validity of some facet of its
teaching then I would like to understand that particular facet better so
that I am convinced it has not been falsifed. Hence this thread. Now you
point to the pAta~njala yoga shAstra as the ideal means to study this aspect
of Vedanta. I would agree. In fact, I have heard that adepts in this shAstra
have used their subtle bodies to travel to different places and then return
back to their gross body to resume living a 'normal' life. But the point of
this post was to understand how this was possible in the light of what these
experiments seem to indicate.
On 2/24/07, Amuthan <aparyap at gmail.com> wrote:
> namo nArAyaNAya!
> dear shrI Mahesh Ursekar,
> On 2/23/07, Mahesh Ursekar <mahesh.ursekar_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> > Now b. is what Vedanta would hold but it does not seem to a very strong
> > case. As far as I can tell, it is a hypothesis that is not disproved by
> > experiments above but at the same time, it is weak in that it gives not
> > clue as to why it should be the case. Now you have attempted to explain
> > via vAsanAs/saMskArAsbut I don't know if that could explain it fully.
> > all, vAsanAs/saMskArAsare based on previous births and so would vary
> > person to person and might explain why some persons turn schizophrenics.
> > However, the above is an experiment which is repeatable in all patients
> > have undergone such brain surgery.
> what surprises me (if i have understood you correctly) is that you
> seem to have no problems accepting rebirth (which cannot be
> 'objectively' established), but are somehow interested in refuting the
> independent existence of manas. if you accept rebirth, then the
> content of manas is precisely that which transmigrates after death.
> i would like to point out a subtle difference between scientific
> evidence and the evidence we require for studying issues like rebirth,
> nature of the mind etc.. scientific evidence, by definition, has to
> be unambiguous, objective (i.e., independent of subjective opinions)
> and repeatable. issues related to the nature of the mind are
> inherently subjective. but this is no reason to give credence to any
> and every statement made regarding them. a systematic approach to
> evaluating propositions relating to the mind has to satisfy certain
> tests which are as stringent as those required for a scientific
> evidence. the main complication here arises from the fact that one
> needs to make an objective evaluation of subjective issues. imo, the
> pAta~njala yoga shAstra would serve as the equivalent of what is
> classified as scientific evidence in modern times. the methods taught
> therein are unambiguous, objective, repeatable and are essentially
> based on impartial observation (as is the case in science), but they
> cannot be classified as 'scientific' evidence. the reason for making
> this distinction is that unlike a scientific evidence which can be
> publicly demonstrated, the evidence that arises from impartial self
> observation is objective only to the subject who makes the
> in a very general sense, this is the reason why a distinction is made
> between pratyakSha and shabda pramANa. pratyakSha pramANa is
> objectively verifiable and scientific evidence would come under this.
> shabda pramANa (more precisely AptavAkya) is not classified under
> pratyakSha, but is still considered as a pramANa. the distinction
> between pratyakSha and shabda pramANa, as stated earlier, lies in the
> fact that the former can be demonstrated publicly without any
> ambiguity while the latter cannot, and needs to be verified by each
> one for himself.
> so, as far as issues related to the mind are concerned, its better to
> stop looking for rigorous 'scientific' evidence and rather concentrate
> on methods based on yoga shAstrAs which are more appropriate for these
> issues and are as equally (if not more) rigorous as scientific
> vAsudevaH sarvaM,
> Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
> To unsubscribe or change your options:
> For assistance, contact:
> listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list