[Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

Shyam shyam_md at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 26 16:54:00 CDT 2012

Pranams Shri Rameshji
"I have seen some of your writings on these topics on the advaitin list. Needless to say, your views and even your basic approach to such issues are far removed from mine"
Given your views on extraterrestrials and nonhumans in other planets obtaining vedic knowledge of a different variety I do not find this in the least surprising and consider it a blessing that my views are far removed from yours. Please do not feel compelled to engage. 
"You are totally misrepresenting my position."
That would be difficult to do even if I wished to for the simple fact that your own "position" is extremely muddled, as is evident when you state two contradictory things:
"The question is
whether our traditional philosophies can accommodate evolutionary
and also state
"My stance is that the essential teaching/insights of the Veda, and
also the prAmANya of the Veda, are **orthogonal** to scientific
theories such as biological evolution." 
The fact that Vedic dictums are orthogonal to scientific theories-  both fact-based and fantasy based - means that there is no question of accomodation.
The very question of accomodation comes in only if there are overlapping domains. Please be clear in your own mind wheter you consider the two orthogonal or overlapping.
Let me also add that by
"essential teachings/insights of the Veda" I am referring to the
teachings concerning mokSha and dharma. To be even more clear, I am
referring to a) the mahAvAkya and related teachings, and b) vaidika
karma and related teachings.
Why this specification - the entire Veda deals with dharma and moksha alone.

From: Ramesh Krishnamurthy <rkmurthy at gmail.com>
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> 
Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 9:40 AM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Apoureshyatva - Faith or Logic?

Namaste Sri Shyam,

I have seen some of your writings on these topics on the advaitin
list. Needless to say, your views and even your basic approach to such
issues are far removed from mine, which was why I never bothered to
respond to you on that list. But now that you have responded to a post
of mine, I am forced to engage with you .

It is clear that you have simply failed to appreciate the spirit of my
post. So instead of taking up your post point by point, I will simply
respond to the last paragraph.

"However, **some people** (not me) have the notion that certain
scientific theories such as biological evolution are *incompatible*
with the Veda. Such a notion can arise only from another pre-existent
notion, which is the notion that the Veda (as a pramANa) and
scientific theories have an overlapping domain, so that there is a
possibility of difference of opinion and hence incompatibility." 
notion in turn can arise because the Veda *seems to* talk about issues
that are also within the domain of other pramANa-s (such as certain
aspects of sR^iShTi).

"Personally, I adhere to the vedAntic teaching that the shruti has no
prima facie interest in sR^iShTi, and indeed it deliberately teaches
mutually contradictory ideas about sR^iShTi in order to drive home the
point that sR^iShTi, and causation in general, are mithyA." 
This is not how Shankara deals with the subject of Srshti in his shareerika bhashya. In fact what Shankara says in his sutrabhashya that despute there being seemingly contradictory passages in the Shruti regarding Srshti there is a need to present a outline of srshti that harmonizes all the varied presentations. Please not the context of the sutrabhashya is moksha,and it would have been very easy for Shankara, or even for Vyasa, to simply dismiss all these references to Srshti as mithya or even assert that the very reason they are talked of in contradictory terms by Shruti is to emphasise their falsity. It is one thing to say Srshti is mithya, it is quite another to dismiss Srshti as being false.  
"I would prefer that people appreciate the idea that the shruti has no
prima facie interest in sR^iShTi etc and also that it is a pramANa
only on matters of dharma and mokSha."

Please note that the scope of dharma is all inclusive in that it influences and talks about every facet of human life - its origin, existence, and the afterlife, as well, including various aspects related to the cosmos. When dharma talks about the shuklagati and krishnagati, and svargaloka, pitrloka, it is all very much in the realm of dharma alone. Just because your proclivity is to advaita does not confer on you the right to be dismissive about all that Shruti asserts and endorses. 
Please do not feel compelled to respond. It suffices if you gain clarity regarding the source of your own confusion.
Hari OM

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