[Advaita-l] Science and the Veda

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Thu Jan 29 09:28:24 CST 2009

Shri Sadananda --

Thank you for your thoughts. I'm hoping that India, with its current scientific expansion, has many advaitins whose belief -- or experience -- in ahambrahmasmi shall deliver 'science' (which in English means knowing..) from its often narrow focus on the material.

We had a philosopher and brilliant researcher of early 'science', Nicholas of Cusa, who around 1400 said that everywhere one looks, one sees the face of God -- now that's my view of real science ! 

And some have still not forgotten the philosophers who have told us to first 'Know Thyself'..

I look and listen here, with great hopes..


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of
kuntimaddi sadananda
Sent: 29 January 2009 15:07
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Science and the Veda

Michael - PraNAms

Here are my thoughts, coming first as scientist and next as Vedantic student.

First, we need to look at the areas of relevance for the two.

The discussion, obviously within transactional reality.

Science as an objective discipline has relevance in the objective world. It derives its strength in the cause-effect relationships and valid within its perimeters. Any objective investigation is only relative and therefore no final word in any scientific disciples. Hence every scientific paper will end up with the statement - more work needs to be done to understand the problem, since every inquiry leads to more inquiry. One becomes a super-specialist of narrower and narrower field. There is nothing wrong with it if one recognizes that it is the nature of the objective world. More you inquire more it reveals. It is like bottom-less pit. 

Vedanta addresses something beyond - hence pramaaNa or means of knowledge is not experimental data as in pratyaksha or perceptual nor deductive/inductive reasoning or anumaana, but scriptural declaration which is the product of subjective inquiry.

Only a vedic student can ask - please teach me knowing which I will know every thing (kasmin vijnaate sarvam idam vijnaatam bhavati) - And only a Vedic teacher can declare - knowing one thing you have essentially known everything (eka vijnaanena sarva vijnaanam bhavati) 

That teacher provides not the objective science which is in relative domain but 'science' of the absolute -where in the very knowledge - the knower-known distinction ceases - leading to brahmavit brahman eva bhavati - knower of Brahman becomes Brahman - knowing which  nothing else is worth knowing (yet jnaatvaa naaparam jneyam) - which is not the case in any objective sciences where subject-object distinctions remain. 

It is not the problem of science - problem is trying to apply the conventional objective tools to subjective science where one is enquiring not the object alone but the subject-object substantive. Also to point out to the fact that unless one knows the absolute any amount of knowledge of the relative is mostly ignorance only - since the more you know in the objective sciences the more ignorant you become, as  you discover there are lot more things that you do not know, which you were not even aware before. Hence ignorance grows exponentially with the knowledge - that is the nature of super-specialization. 

Any other discussion without recognizing the limitations of objective analysis vs subjective investigation will only lead to lot of noise- as I find in the discussions on this topic.  

Hari Om!

--- On Thu, 1/29/09, Michael Shepherd <michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

With respect :

Here is a simple proposition which those more knowledgeable in Advaita
Vedanta might like to discuss and correct :

Brahman is Advaita by nature. Therefore there can be no disparity between
the Veda and science, except through misunderstanding.

‘Science’, which in the West was originally connected with all worlds in the
advaitic viewpoint by being called ‘natural science’, has become concerned
only with the material world.

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