[Advaita-l] logic and Shastra
K Kathirasan NCS
kkathir at ncs.com.sg
Sun Jun 19 20:25:44 CDT 2005
Namaste Mahesh ji,
I have been following most of your mails. I would recommend you two
books that would help you understand the epistemology of Advaita
1. The Methods of Knowledge by Swami Satprakashananda
(http://www.vedantastl.org/Catalog/Book/Methods_of_Knowledge.htm) buy it
from Ramakrishna Mission. It is sort of a commentary on Vedanta
Paribhasa. But be wary of the over emphasis on Samadhi which is the
opinion of the author.
2. Introduction to Vedanta by Swami Dayananda
49) - by no means is this book an introduction. Will help to see how
shastra pramana works.
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org] On Behalf Of Mahesh
Sent: Saturday, June 18, 2005 10:41 AM
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Subject: [Advaita-l] logic and Shastra
Many thanks for you elaborate and detailed reply. I had to delete your
message and make a new post since the Spam filter keeps rejecting the
message as Spam. I hope the audience has access to your last mail.
Before I start let, me say that I am not arguing for arguments sake but
whole purpose of this thread was with a view of trying (however naively)
establish Brahman in my mind on more rational terms than with dependence
Sruti alone. In this, I am not alone since the great Sankaracharya (as
been mentioned before) has also seen the importance of this.
first, the existence of brahman cannot be known by any inference
whatsoever, for any inference
relating to brahman can be done only after a direct perception
of it and since anumAna is
dependent on pratyaksha for its validity.
This above argument is not valid. If anuman required pratyaksha, the
would be incapable of anuman but we know when a blind person bumps
something, he infers it is an obstrution to be avoided. Or, when the
blows against your face, you infer that there must be a high
pressure system in the atmosphere. In the same way, I need pratyaksha to
define Brahman is someway (sat-cit-ananda) but by anuman, I can
that something like this aught to exist.
exists" (i guess this was the essence of ur earlier argument), then this
argument is fallacious since there is no ground to identify the
cause thus inferred with brahman, which is known (only) from
I never tried to infer this with Braham itself but with the necessity
"creator". Subsequent arguments went on to show that this "creator"
to be above time, space, causation. My simple minded and Sankara
philosophical arguments were provided for this.
as mentioned in my previous post, chit and Ananda are undefined terms.
assume that a logical proof exists,
I am sorry I fail to understand your meaning of "undefined". Maybe if
explained this I could try to follow your proof. The way I see it, your
using both words in a sentence seems to indicate you have an idea of
they mean. On the other hand, if you mean that words and symbols cannot
grasp their true essence, that is a different matter with which all my
earlier posts concur.
now, in the domain where vedAnta operates, the class of systems is the
of various notions of an ultimate cause,
Again, I am sorry but don't buy this as a basis for you "axioms". In
case there would be no need for religious discourse - each religion
proved to be a self consistent whole without any rationality. The
would start his or her argument with - assume a old man who is the
of the world, the Muslim with Allah, and so on. This ends up as
more faith than reason. (I don't wish to downplay faith but maybe what I
mean is dogmatic faith).
if the world can be explained completely without any reference to
then there is no need to worry
about what the SAstra-s say. if it cannot be explained thus, the
of SAstra-s is clear.
What is your opinion? Can the world be explained without the shastras?
the purpose of all this axiomatization is to provide a logically
scheme to convince us that this mahodadhi of Soka and moha which
traps us, can be overcome by Atmaj~nAna.
But, dear sir, a self-consistent axiomatic system is provided by the
and the Buddhist too. Why is Vedanta so special?
He didn't explain the world simply because it is not existent in the
absolute sense independent of brahman. He states what the truth is and
what we want it to be. either way, it doesn't matter if people criticize
Agreed completely. Truth bows to no one!
what i meant by self-introspection was not any argumentation like this,
I tried to explain my position with regard to this at the start. In any
case, maybe some of my arguments (or am I being too optimistic?) might
provide some food for thought i.e. introspection.
to live by the vedAnta is possible only for a j~nAni. for mumukshu-s,
Ah, then unto what purpose all this discussion and debate? Are we
to become pundits or Jnanis? As Swami Ranganathananda (the late
the Ramakrishan Math) used to say (my words) "Try, try to implement even
little of the truth. Take the attitude that one day you will get there,
however long it takes" or the lion Swami Vivekananda's saying (from
"Why wait for another life time. Be free, be free even in this life!"
Humble pranams, Mahesh
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