[Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Mon Jun 25 13:24:10 CDT 2012

On Monday, June 25, 2012, Ramesh Krishnamurthy wrote:

> On 22 June 2012 23:40, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com<javascript:;>>
> wrote:
> Thanks to Vidyasankar for presenting the argument so beautifully. I
> have often encountered similar questions from fellow sAdhaka-s and my
> approach has always been that one must steer clear of exceedingly
> short-sighted and simplistic interpretations which unnecessarily lead
> to a false pitting of science against the mImAMsaka and other such
> traditions.

RV:  Sri Vidyasankar's argument is well presented. However, the problem of
accepting modern scientific position on evolution is truthfully highlighted
by Sringeri Acharya (rf. Sri Subrahmanian's post).

The notion of evolution (albeit with room for god) is there in vaiseshika
world view but it was not acceptable to other Vedic traditions. Please note
that the theory of evolution does not accept intelligent design, where god
guides evolution, because the evolutionary process seems to be highly error
prone and random.

Even if I did nothing about it, the scientific and traditional view stand
opposed to each other.

> At a fundamental level, one must also remember that the Veda's
> independent prAmANya is on atIndriya vishaya-s only. When understood
> to its fullest extent, this in itself is sufficient to prevent such
> false pitting. Biological evolution is a well-established scientific
> theory based on pratyakShAdi pramANa-s, and at a fundamental level,
> the Veda simply has no jurisdiction in the matter. Even if one thinks
> that biological evolution is false, the arguments have to be based on
> laukika pramANa-s and not on the Veda.

RV: Origin of the Universe or life forms is atindriya only. It may not be
beyond the manas as we can think about it but they are not matters for
pratyaksha to deal with. Vedas talk about how universe is created, life is
formed etc. in  great detail.  When it contradicts observed facts, we
cannot selectively reject those portions. By the same logic, if
neuroscience  or physics explains the nature of self or consciousness we
should reject Vedic view of the same. Sringeri acharya rejects evolution
not because the genetic or fossil evidence is not convincing but because it
is not in alignment with the principles of Veda dharma.

> Coming to Sri Subrahmanian's questions, I think there can be several
> ways of addressing the matter. But I will take a cue from
> Vidyasankar's post and provide one possible approach. The idea is not
> to provide an "answer" but to merely illustrate why one need not get
> stuck with short-sighted or simplistic interpretations that lead to
> the kind of false pitting mentioned above.
>  RV: Your interpretations are smart indeed. But can it change the past
beliefs held by the traditional scholars? They did not believe in evolution.

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