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

Sanjay Srivastava sksrivastava68 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 28 20:14:55 CDT 2006

On 4/28/06, Aditya Varun Chadha <adichad at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.

There are two issues involved here. The experiment as you suggested involves
yogic ability to look into the future not the past. Therefore such ability
does not solve the issue rather raises further complications of determinism
vs. free will and the question of moral accountability in case of an already
determined future.

Secondly, effects of transgressions cannot be measured even in this life,
not to talk of past or future lives. Is their any measurement possible of
merit/demerit earned through such acts?

Note that I am not suggesting any inferiority based on caste or gender.
However, it makes sense to be safe than sorry in matters where we do not
know anything with better certainty.

> 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.

A pramANa can never contradict with another pramANa. If they seem to
contradict, then they need to be reconciled considering the domain of their

You can accept the shruti, you can reject the shruti or you can decide to
pick-and-chose what to accept and what to reject. All three approaches have
their pros-and-cons. It is impossible to logically prove superiority of one
over the other. However, the three approaches lead to very different results
and conclusions and ultimately, it rests with the individual to decide what
he wants to do with his life.


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