[Advaita-l] Accepting Error

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sun Dec 30 23:31:23 CST 2012

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 6:35 AM, ramesam vemuri <ramesamvijaya at yahoo.com>wrote:

> Lisa Randall (Author of the Book: Knocking at Heaven's Door):
> * Science
> certainly is not the static statement of universal laws we all hear about
> in
> elementary school. Nor is it a set of arbitrary rules. Science is an
> evolving
> body of knowledge. Many of the ideas we are currently in­vestigating will
> prove
> to be wrong or incomplete. Scientific descriptions certainly change as we
> cross
> the boundaries that circumscribe what we know and venture into more remote
> territory where we can glimpse hints of the deeper truths beyond. ....  The
> paradox scientists have to contend with is that, while aiming for
> permanence,
> we often investigate ideas that experimental data or bet­ter understanding
> will
> force us to modify or discard. The sound core of knowledge that has been
> tested
> and relied on is always surrounded by an amorphous boundary of
> uncertainties
> that are the domain of current research. The ideas and suggestions that
> excite
> us today will soon be forgotten if they are invalidated by more persuasive
> or
> comprehensive experimental work tomorrow.     *

A foretaste of this is already available in our ancient books:

In the Brahmasutra bhashya Shankaracharya says:

लोके तद्विषयं ज्ञानं सम्यग्ज्ञानमित्युच्यते यथाग्निरुष्णा इति   ।

तत्रैवं सति सम्ग्ज्ञाने पुरुषाणां विप्रतिपत्तिरनुपपन्ना   ।

*तर्कज्ञानानां त्वन्योन्यविरोधात्प्रसिद्धा विप्रतिपत्तिः   ।*

*यद्धि केनचित्तार्किकेणेदमेव सम्यग्ज्ञानमिति प्रतिपादितं तदपरेण
व्युत्थाप्यते, तेनापि प्रतिष्ठापितं ततोऽपरेण व्युत्थाप्यत इति प्रसिद्धं लोके

कथमेकरूपानवस्थितविषयं तर्कप्रभवं सम्यग्ज्ञानं भवेत् ।......

नच शक्यन्तेऽतीतानागतवर्तमानास्तार्किका एकस्मिन्देशे काले च समाहर्तुं येन
तन्मतिरेकरूपैकार्थविषया सम्यङ्मतिरिति स्यात   ।

वेदस्य तु नित्यत्वे विज्ञानोत्पत्तिहेतुत्वे च सति
व्यवस्थितार्थविषयत्वोपपत्तेस्तज्जनितस्य ज्ञानस्य
सम्यक्त्वमतीतानागतवर्तमानैः सर्वैरपि तार्किकैरपह्नोतुमशक्यम्  ।

अतः सिद्धमस्यैवौपनिषदस्य ज्ञानस्य सम्यग्ज्ञानत्वम्  ।

One may read the English translation of the above by Swami Gambhirananda to
appreciate the bhashyam.  In  effect what is said there is:  What has been
established with effort by some men using their intellectual acumen is seen
to be unseated  by other men with a greater intellectual acumen.  It is
impossible to bring to one place at one time all the intellectuals of the
past, present and the future to bring a consensus on the topic we want to
decide upon.  Hence depending upon the intellect alone on certain matters
is futile.  Shankara, based on the SutrakAra, is decrying kevala
yuktikushalatvam to arrive at conclusions on things that are beyond our

यत्नेनानुमितोऽप्यर्थः कुशलैरनुमातृभिः ।
अभियुक्ततरैरन्यैरन्यथैवोपपाद्यते ॥

- वाक्यपदीय

yatena anumitaH api arthaH kushalaiH anumAtRubhiH ।
abhiyuktataraiH anyaiH anyatha eva upapAdyate ॥

- vAkyapadIya, tarka

Many logicians may have used lots of points and proved a point. But that
does not stop more intelligent people coming along and using more logic
points and prove it wrong. The same is true for them also.



> ________________________________
> From: V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
>  Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Accepting Possibility of Error in Sastras
> I had mentioned recently that the details about creation, the world,
> loka-s, etc. have no more value than chitta shuddhi and are primarily aimed
> at showing a certain entity, Brahman, as the jagat-kAraNam.
> **********
> This can be even more appreciated in the case of a
> scientist by profession believing or accepting or appreciating the
> discoveries of science who can also be an Advaitin.  His appreciating
> science will never come in the way of his Advaitic
> understanding/realization.
> ******************** (snip)
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