Nature of Consciousness

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Sat Jul 24 16:37:20 CDT 1999

Parisi & Watson <niche at AMERITECH.NET> wrote:

> I respect that quality deeply. However I would respect even more
deeply an
> admission that, while they may contribute greatly to the wisdom of
> the Vedas do not necessarily include all possible wisdom, and could
> contain some errors. You have made it abundantly clear that this is
> too much.

It depends on what you mean by errors and what you mean by wisdom.
Vidyasankar has already mentioned one example of how interpretation of
the veda-s is different in the vedAntic tradition. Sha.nkara says that
each pramANa is supreme in its own sphere (pramANa = means of
knowing). He says hundreds of vedic statements cannot make fire cold,
since this property of fire is within the range of direct perception.
In this case the vedic statement will have to be interpreted
metaphorically. However, with regard to brahman, the veda alone holds.
This is because brahman is not within the range of perception or

Similarly, as regards adhyAtma vidyA, which is the best of all
"knowledge" veda-s alone  can convey the truth. The other means of
knowing can give an indication of the truth only. However, if wisdom
is said to include things like general theory of realativity, quantum
mechanics etc, then the veda-s do not include these as its contents.
It may even err in things like these. In which case a metaphorical
interpretation is required. The point of sha.nkara on various theories
of creation to be found in different upanishhad-s is a good example.


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