[Advaita-l] Advaita Vedanta, religion, and science - some clarification

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Fri Jan 23 11:47:07 CST 2009

Bhadraiahji --

Thank you for your wise words !

I'll settle for 'questions' rather than 'doubts' which aren't helpful..
which is why I enjoy this website !

It may not be the same in India -- but Western scientists all too often will
not consider any world beyond the material -- whether they hold this view
deliberately or by default ! Fortunately that seems to be changing. But we
do get announcements from time to time that 'scientists are on the verge of
discovering how Creation began'...

Yours in goodwill,

-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of
Bhadraiah Mallampalli
Sent: 23 January 2009 17:15
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Subject: [Advaita-l] Advaita Vedanta, religion, and science - some

Dear Michael,

>I would like to clarify my personal stance : Michael Shepherd, thanks to
>the grace of Advaita, does not entertain 'doubts', knowing that there is
>only one true answer to be found in atmabrahma..
In fact you should entertain doubts, because Adi Sankara only explained
advaita from his point of view & background as an expert on the traditional
shastras and based on his exposure to Buddhism which was famous during those
days. Sankara's arguments and conclusions about the shruti & advaita include
all possible scenarios in the universe, but "you" need to prove it for
yourself from your background and for the exposure you had to world as you
see it now. If Sankara were living today he would be dissecting Christianity
and other religions as also various new religions born in India using the
same technique. I am sure he would be more annoyed today because the
practice of ritual dwindled to near zero levels and the subsequent
discoveries like dvaita and vishishtadvaita are unwilling to gel with
advaita to the extent of a Shia-sunni type split in Hinduism.
>My comments related to a previous posting on this thread, in respect of
>Adi Shankara's sever remarks about Jainism, Buddhism, Sankya, etc.>I
recalled comments said to have been made by the late Shri >Shankaracharya
Shantananda Saraswati, about the timely arrival in a >divided world of such
as Adi Shankara..
I understand you were quoting from this message board itself. I can not
comment on how experts described Sankara's works, but I would
confidently say that Sankara did not really mean to 'disprove' any other
traditions, but he simply specified the piece of knowledge they were
missing, hence they can not see their own traditions merging into advaita.
Remember, advaita is always about the same humble pot, call it with any
exquisite names like Buddhist pot or Jainist pot or a Sankhya pot. If
Sankara's followers really think they are breaking pots, I would politely
them to rethink. Buddhist pot is a reality for a Buddhist, until a piece
of knowledge is added that will remove the illusion that caused the
Buddhist pot to appear in the first place.
>As to interpretation -- ...
>-- the problem is that 'scientists' still believe the physical world to be
>only one, thus revealed by scientists... I think you would have to rewrite
>the whole entry to get the idea of 'three worlds' across.. and that
might>cause a spiritual flutter among the scientific pigeons, so to speak...
Sorry the physical world is still one according to Sankara. He rejected
various creation theories and n-world theories elsewhere in his works.
You are mixing up general Hinduism with advaita. i am not saying
don't read general Hinduism (because I just said shruti portions are vital
and I dont want to contradict myself). But the 3-world example can not
be taken to scientists directly without interpretation. Even a scientist
wouldn't apply a Schrodinger equation mindlessly, so why would we 'zap' the
scientists with panchikarana techniques without ourselves analyzing them in
the first place?

Sankara used the three-fold interpretation technique of finding truth for
advaita-research because he thought that was his biggest priority, not
some material research like making iron, building ships or astronomy
which was being done by others anyway.

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