[Advaita-l] logic and shastra

Mahesh Ursekar mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Tue Jun 14 11:17:27 CDT 2005

 >>Science and shruti operate in different realms that do not intersect.
>>Science works on pratyaksha etc. as pramana while shruti is a pramana
>>in itself. 

Shruti is a pramana, I agree. But according to Vedanta, pratyaksha is also a 
pramana and is on par with Shruti. If you say that Shruti's word is final 
then that is makes it a dogma and not a pramana! Infact if you think that 
science is bedevilled by observation, Shruti suffers from interpretative 
maladies! The same scripture means vastly different things to different 
schools. I was talking with an ISKCON monk the other day and his belief is 
that consciousness is a product of the soul and Krishna is supreme reality. 
For him Brahman of Advaita was insignifcant. And his pramana was the same 
Shruti you use for your Advaita! So, who decides what Shruti is saying?

However, the beauty of science is that it does not suffer from subjectivism. 
It is independent of caste, colour, creed...interpretation! 

What I meant by science proving Shruti wrong is quite easily put in relation 
to Advaita but possibly extremely difficult to arrive at though not 
impossible! In today's science, it is a truism to claim - if you can dream 
it, you can do it! Say that through advances in science we find that 
consciousness is a product of some new physics and is in the realm of the 
brain only. Then, where would Advaita stand? Could not it's claim to reality 
seem less strong?

In fact, most scientists today would question very very strongly claims of 
consciousness being the ultimate reality. Even the good Dr. Goswami's 
assertion that the universe is self aware with consiousness as the 
substratum is based largely on conjecture. His explaining the Alain Aspect 
experiment is just one interpretation of the phenomenon but there are many 
others (multiple univserse theory, string theory to name two). 

So, can you give me a reason, other than faith, why you would consider the 
pramana of Shruti to be more important than pratyaksha?
>> For vedanta books (English) in Mumbai, try ..
 Thanks for all the bookstore pointers! I have explored all except the 
Matunga one. I have found Bharati Vidya Bhavan to be the best but I don't 
know if they carry Guadapada Karika! Or maybe I haven't had the courage to 
ask till now. :-)
 Humble pranams, Mahesh

 On 6/14/05, Sanjay Srivastava <sksrivastava68 at gmail.com> wrote: 
> Sri Mahesh Ursekar wrote:
> "The current Dalai Lama has gone on record to say that the Buddhist
> scriptures can be thrown away if any of their truths are proved wrong
> by science, however dear they may be to him. So, did the great Buddha
> say - do not take me as a God but question every thing I tell you and
> reject it if it doesn't agree with reason. Would you hold Shruti as
> fact even if 'proved'
> invalid by science?"
> Science and shruti operate in different realms that do not intersect.
> Science works on pratyaksha etc. as pramana while shruti is a pramana
> in itself. If something in shruti can be proved or disproved by other
> pramanas, it is not in the valid jurisdiction of shruti. Shruti is a
> pramana where no other pramana is available. How can therefore be any
> conflict between shruti and science or any other field of knowledge?
> " Can you possibly point me to a place in Mumbai where I can get such
> treasures (in English only)?
> For vedanta books (English) in Mumbai, try 1) Chetana Book Store at
> Kala Ghoda 2) Bharati Vidya Bhavan bookstore at Chowpatty 3) Motilal
> Banarasidas bookstore near Mahalaxmi Mandir and 4) (I forget the name)
> bookstore near shankar matham at Matunga. If something is not available
> at these four places, you can pretty much assume that it is not
> available in Mumbai.
> Regards.
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