[Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Mon Jun 25 14:01:50 CDT 2012

On Monday, June 25, 2012, Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:

> What is the "creationism" in the veda? Is it supposed to be taken
> literally, like
> the story of an old, white-haired god in heaven who created everything in
> a six
> day period and then rested on the seventh? Or is it something else
> altogether?
> Which "creationism" should one uphold as supreme - the one in the
> upanishads
> (where the typical order is AtmA -> AkASa -> vAyu -> agni -> ApaH ->
> pRthivI
> -> oshadhi -> annam -> purusha) or something else, say from the purANa-s,
> where a lotus emerged from the sleeping Vishnu's navel, with Brahma sitting
> upon it, who then created all living beings?

RV: If contradictory, sruti over smrti?

> If either of these general accounts is taken as if they were historical
> events
> that occured at the beginning of the universe and then pitted against the
> most
> contemporary form of scientific thinking about the origins of the
> universe, which
> is also taken as "really real", then what value is one attaching to the
> vedAntic
> insight that all that is perceived as the universe is ultimately mithyA?
> The more
> one insists upon a "vedic creationism", what value is one attaching to
> vedAntic
> teaching that the ultimate truth is ajAti and that creation is only
> described as an
> upAya to bring one's attention back to the highest Atman?

RV: Mithya does not mean that we can say any thing about observed
phenomena. Can we?

> Even apart from the highest level of vedAntic discourse, why should science
> be brought into every aspect of life and thinking? Science is its own
> domain;
> it has its uses and the scientific process has its own insights and
> benefits to
> offer to human beings as well as a lot to contribute towards the downfall
> of
> human beings too. But who appointed science as the ruler over the arts,
> law,
> religion, philosophy and all other dimensions of human life as well?
RV: Religion has also caused a lot of damage to lives. In the pursuit of
truth, I see no difference between a scientist and a philosopher. Both deal
with matters such as self, consciousness, origin etc. If what Sri Sadananda
said is right, that scientific insight is apaureshya, then there is no
fundamental difference even in the methodology adopted by rishis and
scientists though conclusions are different.

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