[Advaita-l] Science and Advaita

Dr D Bharadwaj drdbharadwaj at gmail.com
Mon Feb 2 21:32:10 CST 2009

Dear Sri Michael,

<<Your comments on 'Why?' seem to contradict those of others here ?>>

There is no contradiction here if we closely see whatever is being said by
us. Anyway you had yourself inserted the word 'seem' there.

Ancient Indian mind, being absolutely clear, avoided the 'why'
in the usual Western sense of investigating the possible reasons within the
ambit of the ill lit mind, and instead used, sensibly, the words like 'what'
is the cause, 'what' is the purpose, from 'what'
[kasmaat] etc. As Sri Bhadriah rightly pointed out is as good as
'why'.....as in the English language there is no convention of using the
phrases  equivalents of kimartham and kutah/kasmat, the word 'why' is
passable, in discussions in English.

Let me explain the reason for my bringing up the absence of
a direct 'why' in the Deva Bhaasha.

Sanskrit being a language used by the ancient Indian Rshis, the drastas, the
seers, they were interested in seeing or witnessing 'what is' manifest [and
'is' but not manifest] and expressing at will [ or if when felt permission
to express].  They 'saw' and and gave expression, at wil, to the truth as it
'is' with finality and certainity.....not an investigating, groping,
trail-and-error-based, hypothetical 'could have beens' and 'would have

In the West, truth is investigated by the ill lit mind
using the self proclaimed 'doubting' method.
They had apotheosized doubt. It is accorded highest place for getting
knowledge!  We can keep doubting, doubting
and doubting endlessly. The process of such an investigation can go on and
on to make one doubt the very existence of any truth.

Here in the East, at least in Ancient India, truth was 'seen'
by the people who had overcome or 'won over' the mind
and obtained deeper faculties and were 'certain'. Indian Shastra is
Rshiproktam. Shraddha is glorified here and accorded the highest place for
getting knowledge. Shraddha is is the opposite of samshaya.

Dr. D. Bharadwaj
drdbharadwaj at gmail.com

On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 10:14 PM, Michael Shepherd <
michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

> Dear Bhadraiah,
> Thank for for those interesting replies. However, I think I'm intelligent
> enough to appreciate the difference between 'fishing for ideas' and seeking
> to harmonize different held views of the cosmos, in one truth..
> Nor can I wish to find any difference between someone who calls themselves
> an advaitin, and someone who sincerely seeks 'not two' in some other faith
> or religion... surely we have passed beyond the rivalry of faiths ?
> Otherwise, 'advaita' would just be theory ? When Cusanus said 'There is no
> other' in 1400 CE and meant it and lived it, he was doing pretty well ? he
> followed it up by saying that everything we see is 'the face of God'. Not
> bad for a beginner ?
> I don't know whether it is my idea of 'three worlds' or yours that is
> crude..there is a longer history of devouotly religious men studying
> 'natural science' than of atheists and agnostice.. Darwin for instance was
> devout, tactfully not writing God into Evolution..
> Your comments on 'Why?' seem to contradict those of others here ?
> I hope we can agree more than we disagree.. I find these exchanges useful.
> It tests buddhi !
> Michael
> -----Original Message-----
> From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> [mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of
> Bhadraiah Mallampalli
> Sent: 02 February 2009 15:57
> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> Subject: [Advaita-l] Science and Advaita
> Dear Michael,
> >Thank you for all your helpful replies. I don't wish to waste anyone's
> time;
> >so perhaps I can attempt to sum up the typical state of Western science
> >and scientists as I understand it (there are of course many exceptions):
> As per evidence, the term 'Western science' is now questioned. There were
> two routes:
> India=>Arabs=>Europe, (700AD-1600AD)
> and India=>Europe (from 1700AD)
> I believe you meant 'western history of evolution of sciences'.
> >There is a tradition of non-duality in the West -- though its needs
> >loooking for ! It was establlished in discussion between 1200--1500 C.E.
> >that there is one creator or Cause beyond the chain of cause and effect;
> >and that there is one intelligence -- and man can but imitate that in
> part.
> >However, it is difficult to convince materialists and atheists of this --
> >especially those who assume that their own 'mind' is identical to
> universal
> >mind !
> A person's limited mind is evidently not same as universal mind, but
> advaita
> accepts that every creature (including insects) can potentially realize the
> highest. So this "western non-duality or monism" is characteristically
> different from advaita.
> Convincing others can some times go the extent of inquisition, isn't it? In
> advaita dialog or for that matter any Hindu dialog, there is no
> "convincing"
> of any one else is involved. People express opinions, even apparently
> argue, but the idea is to check if there are any objections to one'w own
> opinions, so that a person can fix one's own sadhana. Convincing others
> and increasing the flock are immaterial to advaita. If I get my
> brahmajnanam I can create my own universe full of all kinds of
> creatures, so why do I care if any one agrees with me?
> >Also, it has been generally accepted for the sake of argument, that the
> >cosmos could be seen as three 'worlds' -- the physical or material, the
> >mental or 'subtle', and the 'causal' or spiritual. These 'worlds' are
> >understood to be 'monist' within their own laws; these laws being seen as
> >partial 'imitations' of those of the world above.
> There are several "three worlds" models in Hinduism like bhuh, bhvah,
> suvah  or bhumi, svarg, paataal and so on. I get it now. Your "three
> worlds"
> are specific to western evolution of sciences, in which religon monopolized
> spiritual, scientists are given material world to play with. We can no way
> generalize this to all cultures and models.
> >So the material world, observed by the minds of scientists, is entirely
> >valid for research within its own laws.
> This was already refuted by advaita. There is no separation of matter and
> consciousness. Higher developed organs like mind (intelligent agents) can
> be seen in developed organisms, otherwise it is just consciousness.
> >The sticking--point is, as has been mentioned, the distinction between
> >observer and observed. But that once acknowledged, the really
> >interesting questions emerge : of the relation between these worlds which
> >may reveal themselves to observation -- observation which is ultimately
> >divine and single..
> In advaita, observer and observed are one. When asked "Who are you?",
> Raikva replies "I am you". So all those interesting things are no
> consequence.
> >That's really my area of interest: the possibility that Advaita can enrich
> >with its tradition and terminology, the Western sense of non-duality which
> >some scientists and philosophers hope to bring to that science which
> >comprehends all worlds..
> So you want to fish for ideas that can be incorporated in a different
> philosophical system, whether they are relevant or not. You have to first
> inquire what are the preconditions of any philosophical system. Once you
> do that rest of the analysis for that system follows as a consequence. No
> need to look around for ideas.
> >I hope makes some sense; that's the best that I can offer from my
> >'non-scientific' philosophy. Satyam eva jayate !
> No, to me it doesn't make sense at all! You are welcome to explain further,
> while we continue to post on borrowed time.
> By the way, WHY is the most important question in advaita, more than any
> other questions. We have to keep questioning the cause of any effect
> going back to its root cause.
> Regards
> Bhadraiah
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