[Advaita-l] Discussion on Pratitya-samutpada and Finite Automata

Ananta Bhagwat ananta14 at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 28 07:48:04 CDT 2008

The pratItya-samutpAda is not fuzzy logic.

Its general formula:

When this is, that is.
>From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn't, that isn't.
>From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that
(Ref Assutava Sutta SN 12.61, translated from Pali Tripitaka by Thannisaro Bhikkhu)

At the very core, it is the transition of one state (cause) to another state (effect) based on external conditions. The causal chain can proceed or stop when certain conditions are activated (present) or deactivated (absent). The next state depends on current state together with external inputs available to the state, the very same principle on which Finite Automata works. The various possibilities of transitions can generate a complex web of interrelated cause-effects chains.

This simple principle is operative in our vyavahAra even without our knowing it. Recall executing tasks, planning processes, writing algorithms (programs) or for that matter any natural everyday phenomenon.

The dependent-origination is not only mAdhyamaka principle but the bedrock of entire Buddhism and shows the empiricist, positivist character of buddhism. It is said that "Those who see pratItya-samutpAda will see the dharma and those who see the dharma will see pratItyasamutpAda" (Ref Bhikshu Sanghrakshita in Cultural History of India, Publ by Oxford Univ. Press; and G. M. Nagao in one of his papers citing "majjhima-nikAya (sutta 28)")

We can look at this doctrine not as competing with but as complementary to advaita.


----- Original Message ----
From: "srikanta at nie.ac.in" <srikanta at nie.ac.in>
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 9:38:11 AM
Subject: [Advaita-l] Discussion on Pratitya-samutpada and Finite Automata

In his Email of April27 on the above topic,Sri.ananta Bhagawath has not
explained how the pratitya-samutapada can be applied to Finite
Automata.Fuzzy logic allows different states and not necessarily two
states as said by him.But Pratitya-samutpada of the madhyamaka Buddhism
recognises only two truths,the samvrti satyam and the paramarthika
satyam.In the samvrti satyam,all constructions are mental with no
substratum and the paramarthika satyam is "Sunya" which is void.This void
is beyond explanations,not confined within the chatuskoti,according to
Nagarjuna.It can be seen that Adwaitha also recognises two truths,the
vyavaharika satyam and the paramarthika satyam.In the vyavaharika state
the world is real.In the paramarthia state the world is "tucca",and
Brahman is real.For the appearance of the world,Maya has to be acepted
which is sadasadvilakshana,as neither real,nor unreal,yet cannot be
disposed as both real or  unreal,hence the Brahman is "chatuskoti
vinirmuktha",is free from the four pronged states,as it is,it is not,itis
not it is not,it s it is not" of the four considerations belonging to the
different schools.
True,Adwaita cannot be applied in  toto to  modern science,so also the
pratitya-samutpada theory of madhyamaka Buddhism,as it requires clear
explanation.One ends in sophistry.The Anekanta vada of the Jainism has in
its conceptual state,the Fuzzy logic.That is why Buddhism is not
sruthiadharita tarka,which fails explanation.

Bhava Shankara Desika me Sharanam.                 N.Srikanta.
Bhava Shankara Desika me Sharanam.

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