[Advaita-l] vedanta and Modern science

Srikanta Narayanaswami srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 23 02:24:53 CDT 2011

I would be careful in making statements. True, objective sciences relay on pratyaksha pramANa for validation and anumaana for deductive/ inductive reasoning about the nature of the objective reality. Scientists try to discover the truth about the  nature. The theories can be negated and or improvised by better theories, but not the facts. All it means is the logic which is based on pratyaksha pramANa for validation only has its inherent limitations in arriving at the nature of the truth. Hence we have shabda pramANa - Vedas - to point out the truth that cannot be established by pratyaksha and anumaana. Vedas also are apara vidya too and the absolute truth is aprameyam - that is no pramANa can be valid or in fact is required to know the truth. Vedas only help in removing the ignorance of oneself and in the processes the truth that is self-evident and self-existing becomes- as though- known. 
Vedanta is also science, but since the absolute truth is the subject self which cannot be objectified, objective validation is out of scope. Yet Vedanta is not illogical, even though logically or through anumaana pramANa, the absolute truth cannot be established. Hence I consider Vedanta as absolute science since it includes in a way both the knower and the known in the very statement tat tvam asi. Hence in a sense it includes even the objective sciences too. From my understanding it is neither anubhuti nor anubhava but it is just aprameyam as it is self-existing and therefore self-knowing too. I need not be looking for neither anubhuti of myself or anubhava of myself, but drop the notions of taking myself what I am not as in - I am this, by knowing the truth about myself that I am, that is ever present and ever experienced. 
I know you are aware of all these, but just pointing out for emphasis that Vedanta is also science and it includes all sciences as the statement of the teacher that implies - eka vijnaanena sarva vijnaanam bhavati - or in response to the question - kasminno bhagavo vijnaate, sarva vijnaanam bhavati - that knowledge by which knowing onething, all things are known. 
with reference to the above comment,I would like to bring to the attention the following statements from the sruthi texts themselves:
1)though all the other sciences which require pratyaksha and pramana have vedas as the bais,Vedanta is distinguished from the rest by Truth about the pramatr himself.The other sciences have as the baisis on the objective reality-Vyavaharika satya.
2)The sastras like vaisheshika,Nyaya, etc have established about the world of objects.But,they have not established the Truth about one's self.only vedanta talks about the science of the self.
3)The "Kenopanishath 'the seer of the seen,the knower of the known by the sruthi statements has amply established that "Kenaishah patitam manah"and answers this by the same statements like the above.
4)the modern science is akin to Buddhistic logic.whereas, the adwaita has a definite conclusion.
5)By the term 'Anubhuti",i mean what it is meant by Shankara's statement as "ishwara prasada'or like the reflection of the object in a mirror.
6)Lastly,we cannot establish the 'Atman'just as the modern scientists do by the method of 'reductio ad adsurdum".
7)In the statement "Tat tvam asi",it is not a verbal statement,but an intuitive undestanding of what lies beyond(or behind?)that statement.

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