[Advaita-l] 'End' not 'Means'

Aditya Varun Chadha adichad at gmail.com
Fri Apr 28 18:19:32 CDT 2006

I've realized I've been arguing from a nAstika skeptic perspective. It
is evident that all Astika traditions have to leave behind pratyakSa
on any issue that is discussed in Sruti. Astika tradition holds that
if there is pratyakSa observation that contradicts something said in
the Sruti, then automatically the observation is in error. This I've
been denying in my assumptions.

It seems one cannot be an advaitin unless one holds Sruti pramANa as
true always, including the case where pratyakSa interferes. I have
argued that pratyakSa DOES have a role to play in ethics, but wherever
pratyakSa contradicts Sruti, Sruti is taken as the truth.

On 4/28/06, Sanjay Srivastava <sksrivastava68 at gmail.com> wrote:
> As far as proving their falsifiability is concerned, there is no qualitative
> difference between the two. Effect of women reading veda-s cannot be
> measured at all.
> Can we measure whether by reading veda-s women earn merit or demerit?
> Can we measure whether women reading veda-s results in their spiritual
> upliftment or decline?
> Can we measure whether women reading veda-s has a good or bad effect in
> their subsequent births?
> At the most we can measure some physical effects of reading veda-s in this
> life. We cannot measure non-physical effects in this life and we cannot
> measure any effects in subsequent lives. We have only shruti to answer this
> question. The only choice is to either accept it or reject it.

Most Astika hindus recognize the yogic ability to witness past lives.
This does give a tool for retrospective statistical study of effects,
but yes, if the outcome of the experiment disagrees with Sruti, an
Astika is bound to uphold Sruti, even against pratyakSa.

> Shruti is supreme in matters of dharma and moksha exactly because their is
> no way to either prove or disprove such issues. You can only accept shruti's
> authority on axiomatic basis -- if you wish.

Sruti is supreme because it is assumed so, yes. But assuming that the
ability to voluntarily see past lives exists, karma is studiable
through pratyakSa (assuming pratyakSa includes the workings of the
mind) also. Ofcourse, an Astika won't strive to do this because Sruti
is assumed supreme already.

a traditional Astika does not subject ethics to pratyakSa not because
it is not possible (I believe, and have been trying to convince, that
it IS possible), but because he/she does not feel the need to.

Aditya Varun Chadha | http://www.adichad.com | +91 9840076411 (M)
Room#1024, Cauvery Hostel | IIT Madras | Chennai - 600036 | India

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