saattvika tyaagam

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Sun Oct 17 09:52:51 CDT 1999

On Fri, 15 Oct 1999, Sankaran Panchapagesan wrote:

> I think someone else more knowledgeable might give a better reply to this,
> and I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong in what I say below.
>         From what I understood from a post by Anand Hudli on Advaita
> epistemology is that since each pramANa is supreme in its respective
> sphere, the actual mechanism of the eclipse is to be understood by sense
> perception and inference alone (science).

This is correct.  The sole function of the shastras is to explain Dharma
and Moksha.  Any other knowldge we can get from them is happy coincidence.
This isn't just an Advaita view btw, it was originated by the Mimamsakas,
and I think all the sampradayas would find it acceptable.

> The Rahu-ketu explanation was
> the best explanation that the scientists of that time could come up with

I have not studid jyotish to any great degree but I think Ancient Indians
did understand the mechanics of eclipses.  Maybe not the very earliest but
by Shankaracharyas time they did.

Yet this did not cause any kind of friction.  At least nothing like the
case of Galileo vs, the Roman Catholic church which caused an immense
rift between Science and Christianity.  Oddly enough this is not because
the Roman Catholic Church was anti-science,  (it was, in the Aristotelian
sense of "science") Jews and Muslims didn't have anywhere near as hard a
time as the Christians even though they believed the same Biblical
accounts.  But like us they treated the spiritual and material as seperate
spheres of knowledge.  I hope the proponents of "scientific Hinduism"
think about this.  When you try and mix the two together, what you usually
end up with is junk science and junk religion.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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