[Advaita-l] Concept of soul

Mahesh Ursekar mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Sun Aug 26 00:50:09 CDT 2007

Pranams Vidyasankar-ji:

>> I believe it would help this discussion if we clarified our basic

You have hit the nail on the head. As the famous saying goes - "the devil
(or God) is in the details". My personal view (and this may be naive, please
forgive me for it) is that Vedantic concepts need to be re-examined in the
light of current scientific findings. In my opinion, as secular knowledge
advances, spiritual concepts need a fresh look.

Maybe this was why Sri Ramakrishna was always against his disciples engaging
in scientific or spiritual debates. He explains it using a nice story - if
you want to know the number of trees (words of the scriptures) in a mango
orchard (the world), just ask the owner (God) of the orchard, why spend your
time counting the trees (conceptualy understanding the scriptures)? However,
bound as we are by our vasanas, we prefer to count the trees ourselves!

Thanks, Mahesh

On 8/26/07, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:
> I believe it would help this discussion if we clarified our basic
> assumptions first. First, there are many theories of what the soul is and
> what happens to it in birth and death of a physical body. A number of
> these
> theories can be compatible with advaita vedAnta, while others may not be.
> Secondly, it seems to me that we are talking quite loosely of life and
> mixing it up with the soul. A number of the existing ideas about the soul
> may also be compatible with the possibility of creating artificial life in
> a
> laboratory, while others may not.
> Finally, it seems to me that while we are all talking of life and soul and
> science, we are really talking of consciousness and its relation to
> matter.
> The root question is this - is consciousness an entity independent of
> matter
> or is it a consequence of particular arrangements of matter? One's
> thoughts
> about this basic issue will determine to a large extent what we think
> about
> all other issues.
> Regards,
> Vidyasankar
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