[Advaita-l] logic and Shastra

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 21 14:36:13 CDT 2005

--- Mahesh Ursekar <mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com> wrote:

> Pranams:
>  Thanks for your comment. But, let me share with you the
> defintion of axiom 
> I found on the net:
>  Quite a few I read include "self evident truth" as an axiom
> defintion. Is 
> Sat-cit-ananda self-evident?
> Of course, for a Jnani, it probably is but for a sadhaka, far
> from it.


There are many problems with your objection. Here are a few:

1) As mentioned in my previous posting, a proposition and its
negation can both be considered axioms -- in two separate
branches of mathematics. An example given was Euclidean and
non-Euclidean Geometry. 

For someone working in Euclidean Geometry, that the sum of the
angles of a triangle is ALWAYS 180 degrees is "self-evident",
whereas for another person working in non-Euclidean Geometry,
that the sum of the angles of a triangle can NEVER be 180
degrees is equally "self-evident". There are many ways of doing
Geometry - depending upon the axioms you take as "self-evident".
What is assumed "self-evident" in one system can be an utter
false-hood in another system.

Therefore, the objection that the axioms constituting the Vedas
are not self-evident does not hold water - axioms can be taken
as "self-evident" and theorems proven so long as the set of
axioms are internally consistent. 

2) You claim that you're trying to infer the existence of
Brahman. There can be no inference without any axioms or
unproven assumptions. So what are your axioms that you begin
your inference with? What if someone takes the opposite of your
axioms as their starting point in creating a consistent system,
thereby disproving the existence of Brahman?

3) The Self is known before any inference even begins. There is
no need to look to inference for establishing the existence of
the Self, because the Self is Self-evident!

>  Humble pranams, Mahesh



>  On 6/20/05, S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote: 
> > 
> > --- Mahesh Ursekar <mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com> wrote:
> > 
> > > Pranams:
> > > I am sorry to have not kept my word of resting my case but
> I
> > > guess a case
> > > cannot be rested until the final summary is given so I
> take
> > > this liberty to
> > > do that - it will be short to avoid the thread continuing
> > > further since you
> > > do not wish to do so.
> > > The biggest issue I had with your arguments is your
> choosing
> > > to call the
> > > maha-vakyas axioms. This has two problems:
> > > 1. As elaborated earlier, they are not "simple" and
> "intutive"
> > 
> > What makes you think an axiom has to necessarily be "simple"
> and
> > "intuitive"? Many branches of Mathematics have axioms that
> are
> > not at all "simple" and "intuitive".
> > 
> > Certain kinds of non-Euclidean Geometry consider the axiom:
> > 
> > "Given a line and a point not on the line, there exists more
> > than one line passing through the given point, that is
> parallel
> > to the given line."
> > 
> > Which is equivalent to:
> > 
> > "Parallel lines are not everywhere equidistant."
> > 
> > There is nothing whatsoever that is "simple" and "intuitive"
> > about the above axiom. In fact, the exact opposite
> ("parallel
> > lines are everywhere equidistant") is taught to all high
> school
> > students as Euclidean Geometry for the precise reason that
> it is
> > "simple" and "intuitive".
> > 
> > -Kartik

"As they say in Silicon Valley, where I live, if you haven't failed 
recently, you're not trying hard enough." -Keith Devlin

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