[Advaita-l] Science and the Veda
kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 29 09:07:09 CST 2009
Michael - PraNAms
Here are my thoughts, coming first as scientist and next as Vedantic student.
First, we need to look at the areas of relevance for the two.
The discussion, obviously within transactional reality.
Science as an objective discipline has relevance in the objective world. It derives its strength in the cause-effect relationships and valid within its perimeters. Any objective investigation is only relative and therefore no final word in any scientific disciples. Hence every scientific paper will end up with the statement - more work needs to be done to understand the problem, since every inquiry leads to more inquiry. One becomes a super-specialist of narrower and narrower field. There is nothing wrong with it if one recognizes that it is the nature of the objective world. More you inquire more it reveals. It is like bottom-less pit.
Vedanta addresses something beyond - hence pramaaNa or means of knowledge is not experimental data as in pratyaksha or perceptual nor deductive/inductive reasoning or anumaana, but scriptural declaration which is the product of subjective inquiry.
Only a vedic student can ask - please teach me knowing which I will know every thing (kasmin vijnaate sarvam idam vijnaatam bhavati) - And only a Vedic teacher can declare - knowing one thing you have essentially known everything (eka vijnaanena sarva vijnaanam bhavati)
That teacher provides not the objective science which is in relative domain but 'science' of the absolute -where in the very knowledge - the knower-known distinction ceases - leading to brahmavit brahman eva bhavati - knower of Brahman becomes Brahman - knowing which nothing else is worth knowing (yet jnaatvaa naaparam jneyam) - which is not the case in any objective sciences where subject-object distinctions remain.
It is not the problem of science - problem is trying to apply the conventional objective tools to subjective science where one is enquiring not the object alone but the subject-object substantive. Also to point out to the fact that unless one knows the absolute any amount of knowledge of the relative is mostly ignorance only - since the more you know in the objective sciences the more ignorant you become, as you discover there are lot more things that you do not know, which you were not even aware before. Hence ignorance grows exponentially with the knowledge - that is the nature of super-specialization.
Any other discussion without recognizing the limitations of objective analysis vs subjective investigation will only lead to lot of noise- as I find in the discussions on this topic.
--- On Thu, 1/29/09, Michael Shepherd <michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
With respect :
Here is a simple proposition which those more knowledgeable in Advaita
Vedanta might like to discuss and correct :
Brahman is Advaita by nature. Therefore there can be no disparity between
the Veda and science, except through misunderstanding.
‘Science’, which in the West was originally connected with all worlds in the
advaitic viewpoint by being called ‘natural science’, has become concerned
only with the material world.
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