[Advaita-l] Newton's "laws"

Bhadraiah Mallampalli vaidix at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 5 08:56:30 CDT 2004

Newton: I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain
in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

1. According to Hindu "laws of motion" as discussed by Sankara &
Gaudapaada, anything that is known to exist will exist forever.
Nothing is ever born. Now substitute names. If there is any entity
such as mass, velocity, acceleration, rate of change of acceleration,
rate of change of rate of change of acceleration etc they all
continue to exist. So it is just a matter of providing specific examples
for what Gaudapada said.

Ofcourse you might be tempted to add the clause "until an external
cause" changes its course; but such addition is controversial for
following reasons:

2. Is the change caused by internal or external force in the object?
It is usually internal for living beings and external for other

3. Agreed change is seen anyway in this world. Nothing is stable and
everything moves and transforms as it were.

4. But most changes caused by interactions between inanimate objects
follow causality which is already defined by Gaudapada.

5. But changes initiated by living beings do not follow causality,
because we do not now what causes the animate objects act.

6. Until the question of life is resolved, any solution to behavior
of living beings is irrelevant.

Newton: II. The relationship between an object's mass m, its
acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma. Acceleration and
force are vectors (as indicated by their symbols being displayed in
slant bold font); in this law the direction of the force vector is
the same as the direction of the acceleration vector.

This is not a law at all! because it simply defines a new word namely
force. "Law" is something that defines relationship between existing
objects. If you introduce a new object it is not a law, it is just a
definition. If I ask what causes the force you have to define another
object like another living being or gravitation. There is no answer for the 
what is a living being, and the question what is gravitation wasn't answered 

Newton: III. For every action there is an equal and opposite

If I hit you, you hit me back. If I hit a stone, will the stone hit
me back? :-) I know Newton didn't mean this, but his term 'action'
being too human, is a bit confusing. Hey, Newton is defining another
word here, again it is not a law at all.

Newton probably meant that I do experience some resistence when I try
to move a stone.

According to Gaudapada, anything that exists continues to exist. If I
do something to an object I am trying to create something new (giving
some feature like velocity to an object it didn't have before). How
can anything new be created out of nothing? It can only be created by
taking something out of an existing object. The object didn't lose
anything, so I have to lose something. If I want the object to move I
have to lose some of my own movement or ability to move. If I could
move an object without losing anything I would have a cakewalk, but
as I have to spend something I experience resistence equivalent to
what I have to impart to that object.

It is proved that Gaudapaada knew a more generic form of Newton's laws
at least 8 centuries before Newton.

Best regards

Express yourself instantly with MSN Messenger! Download today - it's FREE! 

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list