[Advaita-l] Modern Science and Vedanta

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 23 20:04:31 CDT 2011

Yaduji – PraNAms 
You are right, advaita Vedanta cannot contradict by definition since it transcends all contradictions. The apparent contradictions become real if one mixes the range of validity of pramANas. The definition of pramANa is very precise as stated in Vedanta ParibhASha – Without getting into those details here since that subject is exhaustively and critically examined in the past and series can be accessed via www.advaitaformum.org, I will only point out to the fact that Shankara at one place says - if Vedanta says fire is cold contradictory to pratyaksha pramANa, then one has reject that statement, since Vedanta pramANa applicability is not in the loukika but aloukika vishayas. I can say while looking at the fire that there is no fire out there where one is seeing the fire, and what is there is Brahman only – brahma agnou.. – that is the transcending knowledge that transcends the pratyaksha pramANa. At the same time, it does not dismiss the
 experiential fire but only dismisses the absolute reality assigned to the experiential fire.  Dvaitins may say fire is real since it is experienced, while advaitin says fire is not real since it is experienced and it is not unreal also since it is experienced. That is why aham brahmaasmi is not an experience. Understanding the world is mithyaa is part of self-realization that Shankara clearly declares as brahma satyam, jagat mithyaa, jiiva brahma eva na aparaH. Hence being a scientist, I do not find any contradictions in the objective sciences where pratyaksha and anumaana work and in Vedanta where shastra pramANa works. In the Vedanta Paribhaasha analysis, I have pointed out where I differ from the traditional views only because they are contradictory to the scientific understanding of the objective reality that is being discussed. Each pramANa has to be operated in its field only. This should be clear otherwise we will keep one leg here and another
 leg there and try to argue. Now about the specific points you have raised, I will address to the degree that I understand. 

--- On Thu, 6/23/11, Dr. Yadu Moharir <ymoharir at yahoo.com> wrote: 
My issue was to focus what Acharya applied to a larger mass of community under ONE concept of Advaita.  That was using the concept not just discussing it. Please correct me if that was not the reason why Acharya established maTha all over India .  If he did not want to act, then he would have just stayed in one place and remained an acetic in some forest with few students at the most. 
KS: Shankara was a great visionary. He clearly saw that unless efforts are made to preserve this knowledge for the generations to come, it will get lost particularly due to foreign invasions and intrusions. Hence with great insight established the MaThas to help propagate this ancient wisdom. All people are not qualified for jnaana yoga – Rituals and traditions with associated samskaaraas are the only way to keep the masses engaged towards higher pursuits. manushyaanam sahasreshu.. is valid then and more so now. Hence the importance of karma yoga and upaasana cannot be under stressed. Vidyaranya went out of the way to establish a Hindu kingdom seeing Muslim invasions and destruction of the Hindu traditions and temples. Those who have the missionary zeal and with visionary outlook, acted for the benefit of generations to come; we cannot but be thankful for all that. Our role is now to at least preserve that. – By the by we are initiating a website –
 www.becomeahindu - for those  Hindus who need to become Hindus, and also for those others who want to become Hindus. These who want to be certified as Hindus they have to pass the test where basic minimum knowledge of Hinduism is required to pass. Those who want to get converted a process is also prescribed with naamakarana and homam via a temple priest – with appropriate certification. The website is in the works; for those who are interested. Coming back to your comments – A realized sage does not really act while the required action can going on at the transactional level - I must say most efficiently– as discussed in Ch. 4 of Gita -how one can be akarthaa while karma is intensly being performed. 
 Looking at the other way, once I have understood I am brahman, from then on, it is as though Brahmn is doing the action not a particular individual. Hence one can say Acharyas establishement of maThas are divine blessings to the world, since there is personal ego involved.    
Could you please elaborate on the statement: 
"Advaitins can be great bhaktaas while their bhakti culminates in the understanding of BrahmaarpaNam brahma haviH .. where seeing the Brahman in the arpaNam involves clear understanding of the all pervasive Brahman in spite of the differences in the arpaNam and HaviH," 
Yaduji – The bhakti of a realized master is glory to the society as is evident by Bhagavan Shankara’s innumerable bhakti slokas on every conceivable deity that we are familiar. Discussions are being made whether Shankara is vaishanavate or shaivate – Oh! What a pity! An advaitic master who has transcended all the dvaita, the bhakti is a fulfillment of the identity of deity and devotee as one; He can identity with every god in this world yet transcends every god defined. Prior samskaara of the BMI may invoke the devotion in a form that is used to worship but understanding of the bhakti is nothing less than – sarvabhuutastam aatmaanam sarva bhuutanica aatmani – seeing oneself in all  and all in one self – that is the Bhakti – as Shankara defines it in VivekachUDAmaNi – sva sruupaanusandhaaNam baktiH iti abhidheeyate or swaatmaanubhavasandhaanam BhaktiH. Hence highest bhakti involes seeing oneself in everything or seeing the Lord in every
 thing – yo mam pasyati sarvatra, sarvan ca mayi pasyati –In this bhakti there is no place for two – deity and devotee – That is in understanding while the upaasana at transactional level can go on. That is pure advaita bhakti in understanding where I am is understood as complete and full. That advaita jnaani is greatest bhakta – says Lord Krishna in the classification of bhaktas. This is echoed later in the 12th chapter on Bhakti yoga.  In seeing arpaNam as Brahman, one has to use bhaaga tyaaga lakshanam discarding the superficial dissimilarities between arpaNam and Brahman, and equate the essence in both, which is the very existence itself – aitadaatmya idagam sarvam tat satyam sa aatmaa – tat tvam asi– swetaketo – is the essence of brahmaarpaNam sloka – Having that understanding while still doing the homam is knowledge of gruhastha jnaani (since the homam is performed by a grihastha, and not a sanyaasi), while the karthaa, karma,
 kriya, karaka, phalaa are indentified in understanding with Brahman only. 
As I understand advaitabhakta - avibhjaktam vibhakteshu. 
Once we say that Brahman is to be oblated, the question comes, if I do not know Brahman (beyond any perception, or that cannot be known) then how can I oblate it.  Is this not "dvaita"? 
KS – yaduji – dvaita is at transactional level and advaita is at understanding level – just as I understand that everything is nothing but electrons, protons and neutrons, yet that understanding does not deprive me from knowing what is garbage and what is the delicious food on the table. Knowledge does not negate anything other than misconceptions in the mind. I can understand oneness in spite of the apparent duality. I can understand the oneness of underlying gold in spite of apparent names and forms and utilities and attributes of ring, bangle, bracelet etc. Three is no confusion in wearing these even though all are gold. It is exactly the same way. Karthaa, karma, kriya, karaka, and phala are different even though from understanding wise they are all Brahman and nothing but Brahman. The dvaita is now reduced to only apparent reality that is mityaa and mithyaa dvaita becomes a vibhhuuti only – it is the glory of gold to exit in verities of
 names and forms yet remaining as gold. Look at my glory Arjuna – screams out the Lord in all his glory, in Ch.9. In short – non-duality is in spite of apparent duality. 
Hari Om! 

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