New member introduction: Shrinivas Gadkari

Vaidya Sundaram vaidya_narayanan at YAHOO.COM
Wed Oct 3 23:14:17 CDT 2001


> >Why should we assume that science and Vedas are non-overlapping.
> >I tend to think that science should (in some sense) be a subset
> >of vedic teachings.
> I don't think so.

 I would not concur - while there is no reason to suppose that all of
science in also present in the vedas, it is also possible there are
references to day to day (or vyavahaarika) science in it (the Vedas).
There is I think, as Shrinivas says, a possibility of overlap between
the two.
 One difficulty in the process of finding such an overlap is that one
does not have easy access to all the vedic mantras, partly because they
were "lost" and not available any more.

> As I understand it, if you look at what advaita says,
> there are two levels of truth:
[ --- ]
> Now, brahman is the sum total of everything, so in one sense you can
> talk
> of anything and everything being a subset of brahman. But, that
> doesn't
> mean that at the vyavaharika level, we should have some teaching
> (vedas,
> for example) which are the sum total of all knowledge.

 It is only the "validity" of the vedic teachings that is questioned in
vyavahaarika when it apparently contradicts common knowledge. But that
does not preclude the possibility of vedas being able to confirm common
scientific knowledge. As I understand it, Shrinivas is trying to
collect such commonality ...

> >As an example, we talk of energy, say energy associated with
> >the electromagnetic force. Vedic approach would however refer
> >to Prana and insist that any physical energy necessarily has
> >to be a manifestation of Prana. Thus Prana must be some generalized
> >version of energy. If one reads more about the Vedic descriptions
> >of Prana, one is convinced, that Prana transends the physical
> >plane itself. At the same time, Vedas remind us that every
> >event in the physical plane is mobilised by Prana. So there must
> >be some connection between the physical energy (which falls in the
> >domain of physics) and Prana - a concept that is so central in vedic
> >literature.
> Yes, but I think an important difference between prana in the vedas
> and
> energy in science, is that the latter is insentient, and needs to be
> thought of as the shakti of some sentient being, whereas the former
> is
> sentient by itself. I'm not sure what kind of parallels we can draw
> between these two.

 In a sense, one must definitely be cautius about drawing parallels
between concepts like "energy of science = prana of the vedas". We have
to keep in mind that the classification of observed phenomena in the
vedas in NOT the classification seen today. Let me give you an example
as I see it - agni is said to have smoke as his chariot. His inherent
manifestation is with seven forks in his body, light and heat are his
skin etc - these "energies" are hence classified in vedas as His
"shaktis" - but, if you look at it from a 10,000 feet level, they are
talking of a physical manifestation of the energy of fire - while some
might consider it sacrilege to even contemplate bringing the Gods down
to physical levels, I think enquiry in any form into the truths behind
vedic teachings is good, and can potentially lead one to the REAL
TRUTH. What that is, I don't know and only take for granted from the
teachings of acharyas - ....

> >Similar concerns motivate a search for an unifying framework.
> But first, we need to know whether such a unifying framework
> encompassing
> all knowledge is humanly possible or even exists.

 Postulating the existence does not mean proof right? So, what is wrong
in postulating such an existence? Perhaps the unifying framework will
turn out to be paramartika satyam - the attempt to unify vedic
knowledge and common science into a framework should not be taken an
end in itself, but should, in my opinion, be taken as a step to
understanding our "observed" world, and going from there into
understansding what is not obviously seen but only spoken of, namely,

 just my 2 cents!
bhava shankara desikame sharaNam

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