[Advaita-l] Advaita and modern science

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Jun 24 06:55:05 CDT 2011

On Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 3:16 PM, Shrinivas Gadkari
<sgadkari2001 at yahoo.com>wrote:

> Namaste Dr. Yadu,
> 10. The quest to realize, attain saguNa brahma itself is an unending quest.
> This
> is
>    when one finally asks - what did saguNa brahma know that he became
> saguNa
> brahma.
>    The answer to this is nirguNa brahma. This where advaita enters.

Namaste Srinivas,

Thanks for a very meaningful post.  In the portion quoted above I think what
you meant to say is slightly something else.  Pl. go over it again.

I am reminded of an old article of mine when I read your post.  An excerpt
from that article is here:


 // Advaita begins where dvaita ends

A paradigm shift, both in human experience and scientific enquiry, demands a
set of tools that are out-of-the-ordinary.  Just like the Newtonian model
that could suitably explain classical physics was found insufficient to
cater to the demands of modern physics characterized by the relativistic
model, so too the advanced examination of the human experience of
subject-object duality necessitates the development of tools that are quite
different from the dualistic model.

The karma-kAnDa, the earlier portion of the Veda, has for its central theme
the doer-enjoyer as the subject sentient being and the object-designated
enjoyable world as the inert entity.  This level of subject-object duality
is easily explained by the Vedic model of God-creation-world.  In this
model, the Creator is immanent in the entire creation and every object in
creation is taught to be charged with the indwelling God.  A sentient
subject performs actions and enjoys the fruits of action in this world or in
other worlds.  The dualistic model can at best explain this portion of the
Veda. This is the realm of aparaa vidyaa.

On the other hand, the Jnana-kanda, the latter portion of the Veda, has as
its core theme the discarding of all objectivity and the retention of the
sole subject, the Consciousness.  The Mandukya Upanishad 7th mantra is
perhaps the best example of this feature.  In this mantra the entire created
universe, both in its cosmic and individual aspects, is negated and the
Turiya, the Consciousness that is only a witness of the inert created
objectified universe, is taught as the Reality, the realization of which
results in liberation.   This process demands a higher level of instrument
that surpasses the set of tools used in the dualistic model.  This is the
field of paraa vidyaa.

Does Dvaita help the present quest of Science?

The Dvaita-explanation of the relationship between God/Brahman and the
material universe is the one that is already provided by Advaita.  This is
in the dualistic model.  In other words, Dvaita does not offer anything new
in the dualistic model that Advaita has not already given.  The present
scientific enquiry is not interested in this.  The higher Advaitic model of
monistic metaphysics is what is sought by Science in taking its quest
forward.  In this process Dvaita has little to offer to Science.  The
dualistic model of the Vedanta is common to both Advaita and Dvaita.  The
unreality of the world is spoken of by Advaita only from the transcendental,
pAramArthik, standpoint; from the vyavaharik, paratantra, standpoint Advaita
does not deny reality to the world.  Science, facing the dualistic dilemmas
of the observer-observed, uncertainty, etc. has started questioning the very
reality of the world which is the realm and limit of duality (Dvaita). //



[Will be away at Sringeri for the next three days]

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