New member introduction: Shrinivas Gadkari

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 4 07:03:36 CDT 2001

It would a mistake to think that since Brahman is beyond the sphere of the
senses and intellect, then Vedanta is irreconcilable with science. Vedanta
as a science is itself only based on the sphere of the senses and mind and
that's the reason Shankara holds Advaita as a philosophical system itself to
be in the realm of ignorance.

Whatever might be the true nature of our own true self (paramaartha), still
we only live in the realm of vyavahaara. It is from vyavahaara that we can
rise up to paramaartha and hence the validity of the relative knowledge in
the sphere of the senses and intellect. And traditionally all schools of
Indian philosophy have taken pride in their claim that their theories are in
full reconciliation with experience and reason. So it is very vital that all
efforts should be made towards reconciling Advaita with modern scientific

One thing that modern Advaitins can think about is, ancient Indian
philosophy, almost without exception had no clue about the existence of a
brain - as a physical organ which can think. This lack of knowledge has in
itself given rise to philosophical systems - Kshanikavaada and Vijnaanavaada
of the Buddhist systems - which assumed that mind meant only a constant
stream of temporary thoughts - and they built their systems based on this
concpetion. There are quite a few authors in the Advaitic tradition itself
who have inclined towards a Vijnaanavaadic interpretation of Advaita - such
an interpretation will suffer if an attempt is made towards reconciling it
with with the scientific knowledge of the workings of the brain.

It is very vital that such a reconciliation be made though. For better the
understanding of our own physical/psychical faculties, the easier will the
path become.

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