RigVeda and the Indian Systems of Approach to the One

S. V. Subrahmanian svs_shankara at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 18 13:53:46 CDT 2000

Shri RaviShankarji wrote:

Some of your understanding seems to stem from your current
understanding of the human physiology. Which may not be true. Often
different parts of brain (information processors) are related to
devata-s. But this ignores the participation of other parts of human
body in thinking. For instance, new studies seem to indicate that it is
the heart (what we think as a pumping device) does a major control of
thinking. I also read that majority of the heart cells are neural cells
and how it controls/understands the brain.
Science changes a lot. New understanding often dismantles the old. To
base religion on science, however tempting it may be, it futile.


I agree with Shri Raviji.  Science can follow spirituality whereever it can.
  Scientific scepticism is neither a necessary condition nor a sufficient
condition for spiritual sensitivity (eg., bhakti).  Whereever there is
corroboration, there we can exult at the "oneness", whereever it is not, we
can move on.  Spirituality need not wait for scientific proof.  Rather,
science should, if it can, catch up with Spirituality.

Also, what constitutes a BODY is also subject to debate.  Normally we
associate the word with our physical structure.  That explanation fits 99%
of the time.  But when we look at our inner-self as the core and the rest of
the world, the whole world is our BODY (Courtesy:  Ellam Onre, posted by
Shri Raviji long while ago).

In my opinion, that the whole cosmos is one BODY is the basis for jyotish,
where the position of planets are considered symptomatic of events in one's
life.  To try to restrict all explanation to the physical frame (which may
still fall in place) may not be correct.

For eg., Vaishvanara is considered the digestive fire, in one's body which
digests the food (havi) offered to it.  But there is fire outside of one's
body too.  To try to explain every use of fire within the perimeters of
digestive system might not give any profitable result.

But as is said "entire cosmos in a grain of sand", we can sure find as much
truth as is in one's physical frame, but the question is, what if we get
entangled in a mess, where we are not able to explain everything.  Will the
unexplained parts negate the existing body of spiritual knowledge - I think

Shri Raviji wrote:

I read in kAnchi paramaacharya's work that every devata has three forms
of representation (gross, subtle and causal). It is OK to think them as
internal. But this does not rule out the external manifestation.
Also, always the subtle or reading the inner meaning is not necessary.
Like, bhagavad giita is thought a allegory to what happens inside. But
one does not require this interpretation to make sense of bhagavad
giita. Similarly, vedic verses may have a valid external explicit


Again, I agree.  As much as there is Truth in the subtler interpretations,
there is equally valid existence in the gross levels too.  Just to cite an
extreme case (no reference to Shri Daveji's work),  I once heard in a
satsang: CULTURE stands for "Cosmic Unifying Love Telling U R Eternal" -
that's ........a ........stretch..........

You can find Truth of a rose, by dissecting it, analyzing it and explaining
every single reason for its existence, nature and purpose.  But there is as
much Truth in just the rose itself as a WHOLE without any of the analysis.
A rose is a rose is a rose.

S. V. Subrahmanian
svs_shankara at hotmail.com
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