[Advaita-l] Is God "unscientific"?
sksrivastava68 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 9 05:34:58 CDT 2005
I believe the "contradiction" between science and spirituality has
been most harmoniously resolved in vedic tradition by fixing the
jurisdictions of pramANas. For knowledge about objects of indrIyas,
prtyaksha etc. are pramANas-- not the shruti. This is the domain
science deals with. For knowledge about atIndriya issues, shruti is
pramANa-- not pratyaksha etc.
A scientist offering prayers at tirupati to propitiate "daivam", would
be on a valid course since "daivam" is an atIndriya subject. A
scientist offering prayers as substitute to the rigors of analysis and
technology would be on an invalid course since it is beyond the
jurisdiction of shabda pramANa.
In seventies, Maharshi Mahesh Yogi claimed to teach "yogic flying"
based on some "vedic knowledge". On a more charitable note, we find
many well intentioned people "tracing the root" of some modern
invention to vedas. For a vedic scholar such attempts would at best be
amusing. Why bring vedas into a field which is not their valid
jurisdiction? Someone trying to build a vimAna based on the "hidden"
meaning of some vedic passage would not only be unscientific but
It is this separation of jurisdiction that ensured that incidents such
as a Gallelio diluting his discoveries to placate the church or a
Pythagorus hiding the discovery of irrational numbers for fear of
offending certain religious beliefs, could not have occurred in vedic
tradition. Our achAryas have categorically approved subordinating the
veda to pratyaksha etc. if it is in conflict with them on a loukika
For a follower of vedic tradition, it would be as futile to argue the
existence of God based on pratyaksha and inference etc. as arguing for
validity of some hypothesis of physics based on veda. Existence of God
is not proved because it seems "reasonable" or "logical", but is
proved because vedas say so. It is only through the punyas of several
births that one gets born to this tradition and develops this implicit
faith. If there are atheists, who do not take veda as pramANa, it is
their misfortune. But then, can we expect everyone to be born with the
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