Church's thesis & Sankara's argument re: Cause of liberation

Sankaran Kartik Jayanarayanan kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU
Fri Mar 29 15:47:20 CST 2002

On Thu, 28 Mar 2002, Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

> A forwarded message from Bhadraiah Mallampalli <vaidix at> which
> I think you might find interesting.


> "There is no algorithm that, given a program of language L and an input to
> that program, can determine whether or not the given program will eventually
> halt on the given input."


> Now, discussion regarding this: First, let us formulate Sankara's assertion
> using terms of computer science:
> "It is not a case that there is a logical argument A in a human language L
> and an input instruction I that, a human being H who thinks the language L
> on receiving the input I, would eventually attain liberation and stop
> thinking." I hope it is close enough.

Actually, if you carefully compare this to Church's thesis, the equivalent
formulation of Shankara's philosophy would be:

"It is not a case that there is a logical argument A in a human language L
and an input instruction I, that CAN DETERMINE WHETHER a human being H who
thinks the language L on receiving the input I, would eventually attain
liberation and stop thinking."

You missed out the "can determine whether" clause.


> And this is not to say that Sankara's conclusion is limited to Church's
> thesis re: halting problem! All I am trying to say is, that one of Sankara's
> statements is isomorphic to one of the topics (if not propositions or
> theorems) of computer science.

The isomrophism (one-to-one correspondence) of Shankara's and Church's
theses would be:

argument A      -- advaita, tarka
language L      -- Sanskrit
Human    H      -- Self
Instruction I   -- shruti

In other words, "There is no argument that can determine whether or not a
person hearing the shruti will achieve Self-realization."

I think all would agree with that. But Shankara does in fact say that
shruti can stop the process of thought in an advanced sAdhaka. It is only
in the very ignorant ones that the input of shruti does not halt the
thought process.

> Best regards
> Bhadraiah Mallampalli

Thank you for the comparison between Church's thesis and Shankaran


>From  Fri Mar 29 15:33:44 2002
Message-Id: <FRI.29.MAR.2002.153344.0700.>
Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002 15:33:44 -0700
Reply-To: besprasad at
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
From: Prasad Balasubramanian <besprasad at LYCOS.COM>
Organization: Lycos Mail  (
Subject: Re: parents and marriage
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit


Prasad Balasubramanian Wrote:
> Om namO nArAyaNa.
>   I've the following questions. I had asked a few
> based on "prajayA
> hi manushyaH pUrNaH". These are more are less
> related to that.   Any
> references to the parent child relationship in
> shruti ?   Why does shruti say "mAtru devO BavaH"
> and "pitru devO BavaH" ?   Arent they
> maya too ?
kuntimaddi sadananda Wrote:
<<Yes they are maaya and so are you and putting
namaskaaram is also part of the maaya too.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Whats the meaning  "so are you" here - why do you say that
I'm Maya. Am I not bramhan ?  Kindly explain.
Is it not the relationship and the attachments thats maya ?
Putting namaskaaram - I'm seriously thinking on how it could
be considered Maya. If everything is bramhan then one doing/saying namaskaram
to any other is neither meaningful nor meaningless. Kindly explain this
too as I'm trying to learn.

kuntimaddi sadananda Wrote:
<<If you have realized the fact that it is all maya, you have
solved the problem.  If it is just heresay for you as
'scripture says so' and not 'I realize it is so', then
until that realization comes it is as real as the
fruit on your hands.  Vyavahaara satyam is real in its
sphere of reference.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If I've realized the fact, then its proved that its Maya.
But still you say that Vyavahaara satyam is real in its
sphere of reference. Does it mean that anything in
its sphere of reference is Maya ? And still its to be
believed as real ?

Prasad Balasubramanian Wrote:
>   When its brahman everywhere, hows marriage
> meaningful ?
kuntimaddi sadananda Wrote:
<<Iron is differnt from gold - one is precious and other
is not yet both are made up of the same substratum.
Same way - wife is different, daughter is different
son is different and father is different.  There is no
mixing up of things at vyavahaara level even though
the substratum is the same, as your pay check is
different and mine is different.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Isnt the fact - one metal is more precious and the other is
not - purely mind generated and we too have been forced to
believe that fact from our childhood days ? On
what basis Gold is valued more precious than iron ?
Is the preciousness of metal not Maya ?
If I really dont care about  a particular quality
of metals called "preciousness" which is Maya, then comparing one
with the other cant make sense to me. But am more appealed to
the fact that every different metal though is different,
basically same. They are different only because of Maya.
With this thinking , I cannot accept that gold is
better than iron and is different. Which means that something
at vyavahaarika level is not making sense to me and I'm not able
to avoid mixing up things at vyavahaarika and paramaarthika level.
Kindly comment on my thinking. I cannot get iron ornaments to
my Mother by any chance though : (

 Extending this concept, how are  wife ,daughter , son and
father different ? If they've to be different, Am I not taking into account
some maya-ic parameters ?

Prasad Balasubramanian Wrote:
 If people
> belonging to the same gOthras themselves cannot get
> married , then
> what about the fact that all the rishis are
> (from) one single
> brahman ? In which case how can getting married be
> justified ? Is
> this a reason why elders advise that we shouldnt try
> to figure out
> the rishi mUlam ?
kuntimaddi sadananda Wrote:
<<I think you are mixing up too many things here.
Sagotram is not advised only considering the fact that
they are comes from the same gene structure.  It is
one way it was recognized in olden days to avoid
getting married with the same genes. By that you get
better off-springs.

All is Brahman is a fundamental postulate.  Similar to
all life forms evolved from unicellular living
entities.  But  that does not justify getting married
to monkeys and dogs etc. I am just giving an extreme
analogy. The substratum is the same for all - the
assemblage is different for each.  Since the marriage
is in the realm of vyavahaara, it is important to
recognize what combinations are compatible from ones
cultural and traditional point.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I think I might find answers myself If I understand
the vyavahaara and paramaarthika. I've another question
with the absense of understanding of the above two.
Should vyavahaara sathyam and its sphere of reference be
considered and taken into account always by the seeker ?
Will a liberated soul still differentiate a humanbeing
as wife and daughter ? Though that liberated soul
cannot eat garbage but only edible food.

kuntimaddi sadananda Wrote:
<<Not inquiring about Rushi muulam is advised form
differnent perspective.  This is becuase every saint
was a sinner in the past.  By giving importance to the
past one looses the correct perspective of the
greatness of the saint on hand.  One can study his
history and learn from that if he could evolve, there
is also chance for me to evolve too.  But otherewise
digging ones past will hinder ones learning from his
sat sangh.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Thank you for the explanation.I've a good understanding of this now.

namaskaaram (with confusions) : )

See Dave Matthews Band live or win a signed guitar

See Dave Matthews Band live or win a signed guitar

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list