[Advaita-l] Logic and shastra

Mahesh Ursekar mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Wed Oct 19 11:31:57 CDT 2005

 Your last para comments bring me full circle. My first question to this
list was "how can one claim to know brahman?". I was told to read up on my
Advaita basics (which I did to some extent) before posing this question. But
I have not found a fully satisfactory answer yet. The limitation is most
likely mine but no scholar has been able to bring himself down to my level
to answer this "childish" question.
 If Brahman is all there is then one can never claim "I am a realized
person" since the person and realization become different. One can say that
there is no ego of a realized person and s/he is using the word "I" merely
to indicate his/her physical body as a reference. But I still find that
rather curious since the person does, for example, experience pain. If there
is no ego then why did Sri Ramakrishna tell the doctor that in his elevated
states of consciousness, he felt more pain in his throat? Why did the doctor
then advise him to refrain from going into samadhi? Who was feeling the
pain? The BMI? But the realized person should be completely disassoicated
from his/her BMI so why is there "feeling" at all? If there is only all
pervading consciuosness with no other entity, why is there still some
linking with the BMI?
 Humble pranams, Mahesh

 On 10/19/05, Sanjay Srivastava <sksrivastava68 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Sri Mahesh Ursekar wrote:
> > All I
> > am trying to say is if advaita claims that "Brahman is all there is"
> then
> > what is the justification for this? Becuase it's in the book and I take
> > based on faith? Not something that is agreeable to me.
> Namste Mahesh-ji. Who am I to demand that myteries of reality should
> conform to what is agreeable to me? Does Ishvara have an obligation to
> create the universe in a fashion that I find agreeable?
> "Brahman is all there is" comes through veda. Veda is considered
> pramANa because, it is apauresheya. So far, so good. Your question
> comes to how do we prove that vedas are apauresheya? Among the
> vedantin achAryas, only bhagvAn madhwa has tried to establish the
> apaurusheyatvam of vedas based on reasoning. Others have accepted it
> as an axiom. If you want to go into the details of bhagvAn madhwas
> logic for vedas apaurusheyatvam, you may ask a dvaitin or visit
> dvaita.org <http://dvaita.org>. Personally, I am not convinced by his
> logic, though I
> cannot find any fault with him.
> At the end of the day, it boils down to faith. There are systems that
> claim to solve the mysteries of reality on logic and reasoning alone.
> If you have an angle on that front, go ahead and use them, and good
> luck.
> > My whole point in relation to science and shastras is that can we infer
> that
> > consciousness is the reality that talked of in the shastras through a
> > scientific approach.
> and then..
> > I know that science is far from answering the basic question: "What is
> > consciousness?" Infact people like Roger Penrose have claimed that a new
> > physics is need to describe the phenomenon of consiousness.
> The points above are based on a basic fallacy that the "consciousness"
> that scientists are talking about is the same as "consciousness",
> shAstra is talking about. They are not the same. Whatever a scientist
> is talking about or can talk about is "consciousness" in third person
> frame of reference. Note that whenever you are talking about
> "consciousness", it can only be in third person frame of reference.
> What shAstra is "talking about" is consciousness in first person frame
> of reference. In fact the phrase "talking about" is misleading because
> you can never "talk about " consciousness in first person. The moment
> you start talking about it, the reference has already changed from
> first person to third person. It is for this reason alone that shAstra
> has to adopt a unique methodology to "talk about" something that
> infact can never be "talked about".
> What Penrose or any other scientist is trying to prove or disprove
> about "consciousnes" is irrelevant to advaita. They are discussing two
> different animals.
> praNAm
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