[Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 2 16:14:41 CDT 2012

> > RV: I think we can say that the different darshanas are eternal according
> > to Vedic tradition but we cannot say humans evolved. Sringeri acharya has
> > rightly rejected the pro-evolution position on the grounds that in the
> > pre- rishi period there will be no revelation of dharma. 
If you read the talks carefully, what he has rejected is the view that human
intelligence evolved over time after the emergence of the species called Homo
sapiens. And this is based on the classic vedAntic analogy comparing creation
with a dream. However, the Sringeri Acharya has also not taken as hard a
position as one would expect from an anti-science perspective and he has
allowed that other kinds of interpretation are also possible. Thanks to a silent
reader of the list, I now have access to the translation of the relevant talk into
Hindi, in which the Sringeri Acharya says,
"isliye yah sambhav hai ki manushya vikasit mastishk ke sAth hI prakaTit huA.
maine tumhe ek prakAr ke samAdhAn kI jhalak dI. vibhinn prakAr ke samAdhAn
bhI diye jA sakte hain." 
I hope a further translation into English is not necessary, but what this tells me
is in perfect consonance with what I remember of the Sringeri Acharya's open-
mindedness and attitude towards the modern sciences. 
This is an intriguing challenge to the biologist, not to assume that the very first
wo/man did not have the fully developed intellectual abilities of modern human
beings. In socio-cultural terms and in biological terms, this challenge calls upon
the rigorous scientist to re-examine what is the meant by human intelligence. I
will leave this personal excursion into evolutionary biology with this. My primary
point has always been that citing human evolution is a flawed argument against
the apaurusheyatva of the veda.

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