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  1. #1
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    False notions of Truth


    1 Not allowed!
    Human beings have always been searching for Truth.
    Even when absolute Truth is possibly most natural to know it eludes a person due to false notions that a person has.

    Culture, society and religions to name a few causes have destroyed human being's natural pursuit to know the truth.

    Science in its pure form as a representation of scientific methods have been in the forefront inhuman beings quest to know the truth. The limitation of Science as a subject of study is that it is limited to what is observed and cannot include the truth of the observer. The greatness of Science is that there exists a set of standards, a clear articulation of scientific standards and commitment by Scientists to learn the truth at all costs.

    Upanishads, Brahma Sutra and Bhagavad Gita teaches what the truth and the whole truth is but due to long held false notions there is corruption in understanding that is pervasive.

    The reason is that due to lack of standards as in Science, due to lack of qualified beings in teaching roles and due to lack of commitment to know the truth at all costs by the students, false notions are propagated through generations as frozen thoughts.

    Religion has a way of interfering with human being's critical thinking faculties. This can be said about all religions though some aspects of Hindu religion could possibly lead one to constructive understanding.

    People who think they are in teaching roles rarely are qualified. One needs to have been taught in a proper and rigorous Sampradaya, must possess strong skills to Sanskrit including Panini grammar, strong background in Sciences and various philosophical thoughts in order to fulfil the basic requirements to be a teacher.
    Further, they must have absolute and total commitment to know the truth. Such people in teaching role are very hard to find.

    What we have instead bogus thoughts and false notions that are actually contradictory with our scriptural teaching and within various notions. There are people who think they are providing new perspectives without any background and there are gullible people who are ready to swallow whatever is told to them.

    The world and sadly India though champion of teaching the world what truth is actually is immersed in superstition, and religiosity without any interest in knowing the truth being happy with handed down wisdom as frozen thoughts. Many Acharyas of the past eras have been deified and hence it is not possible to challenge whatever they are said to have taught.

    Obviously the intent of this thread is not to talk about truth which is not possible in this mode but about contradictions in the notions people have in the name of various schools of thoughts.

    Let me discuss the contradictions in the way the so called schools of thought as truth are propagated. While I have the greatest respect for the Acharyas of the past due to the kind of influence they have had over centuries, I want to critique only the content of their teaching as it is available today.
    Last edited by tks; 18-12-2016 at 08:13 AM.
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    Let me describe very briefly why I chose to write about this topic area.

    Every human being has a deep and often unstated and unexpressed desire to know who he or she is, what this world is all about and how all these cosmos including own self came about. The desire to know is fundamental. However due to various kinds of conditioning most adults have lost their sense of awe and the aspirations to know the truth.

    A child is simply curious when its basic needs are met. As the child grows up its mind is cluttered with all kinds of injunctions, expectations, demands, and false notions to name a few.

    Still, within the sphere of knowledge a person thinks he has, if there is something unknown, the person tends to be moved to know the truth because even with all the conditioning, search for truth at any level is fundamental. For all other areas most people just give up or lose their sense of curiosity over time.

    Our human birth is extraordinarily rare and some rationale is available at this link below.

    http://www.tamilbrahmins.com/showthr...626#post312626


    It is even rarer for someone to be a seeker of truth. When we do not use our endowed faculty of wisdom and discriminatory thinking (Viveka), we have wasted our life. Unfortunately the most likely outcome of our life is to pursue all the non-essentials in life and leave out the one and only pursuit that can liberate us from the life of suffering. In fact one can make a case that the human life Is intended for this search only and get past our ignorance which is basic and fundamental.

    Here is a verse from Kena Upanishad that makes the above point in a compelling way


    इह चेदवेदीदथ सत्यमस्ति न चेदिहावेदीन्महती विनष्टिः ।
    भूतेषु भूतेषु विचित्य धीराः प्रेत्यास्माल्लोकादमृता भवन्ति ॥





    If one knows (That Truth) here (in this life), then it is a true end of all aspirations (leading to end of suffering ) . If one knows not (That) here (in this life), great is the destruction and loss (of the unique endowments of human birth). The wise, seeing the one Atman in all beings, rise from sense dominated life and become immortal.

    If one is truly interested in knowing the Truth (of who I am, what this cosmos is all about etc.) what we find are impediments due to many sources of wrong information and false notions.

    These set of posts are about these notions pointing to those that are committed to such views to truly go for learning the Truth. Our great sampradaya can enable one to achieve this but the impediments start with our own self and who we associate with to get information.

    Let us discuss the first of the kind of oxymoronic claims we come across, obviously by those who have not been exposed to serious studies and does not have a genuine desire to know the truth.

    It is often noticed when one proclaims "I am an Advaitin"
    What is meant by such a self-proclamation? Is the purpose to proclaim one more identity as in - I am a doctor, or I am a father, etc.?

    Is this proclamation about a belief the person has? That will not make sense because belief and knowing the Truth cannot go together.

    Let us continue this belief oriented thinking of such a person for a moment. One that says 'I am an Advaitin' means that he or she believes in an entity called Brahman as in 'I believe in Brahman'

    This word Brahman comes from our scriptures which also asserts that Brahman cannot be expressed by any words or understood by any means!

    If so the statement - "I believe in Brahman" translates to "I believe in an entity that cannot be expressed in any words or understood by any means"

    Some people who call themselves "I am an Advaitin" have a sense of superiority about them and denigrate other believers. When it comes to any belief there can only be reasonable and unreasonable beliefs. Is the belief in an entity that is not expressible in any words reasonable? Why should this belief be any better than any other beliefs?

    To be continued
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    Brahma satyam jagan-mithyš jivo brahmaiva nšparah
    What has been stated by millions of texts; that is, Brahman alone is real and this jagat is mithyš, and the jiva is non-different from Brahman.
    Generally, truthfulness relates to speech: to speak only what one has seen, heard or understood, however the essence of truthfulness is far deeper in Hinduism: it is defined as upholding the central concept of righteousness. In the Upanishads of ancient India, truth is Sat, the One Reality and Existence, which is directly experienced when the vision is cleared of dross. The Rishi discovers what exists, Sat, as the truth of one's own Being, the Self or Atma, and as the truth of the Being of God, Ishvara. In this usage, the term truth is used to refer to not merely a derived quality "true rather than false", but the true state of being, truth as what really is there. This is described by Ramana Maharshi: "There is no greater mystery than that we keep seeking reality, though, in fact, we are reality."

    In common usage Truth and reality are used synonymously.

    Everybody has a label, so someone says they are advaitin, according to the understanding of their audience it has a meaning. Others may not understand it, but that does not make it any less relevant to the speaker. A label does not make anyone superior or inferior. I am a brahmin, that is a label because of my birth, nothing more and nothing less. Just as saying I am Indian, or Hindu does not make one superior or inferior.
    Last edited by prasad1; 03-01-2017 at 05:41 PM.
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    The perceived truth appears real, till we go beyond that state. Just as the tiger chasing you in the mirror is real in the dream state, but disappears when you wake up. In Advaita the simile is given of the superimposition of snake on a rope, or the mirage in the desert. They appear to be real and True.

    The Indian spiritual leader, Mahatma Gandhi, said that, "A votary of truth [a person fervently devoted to truth] is often obliged to grope in the dark." Our challenge therefore lies in our blind spots, not in our vision. Unlike correcting a blind spot in the rear view of an automobile, which can be rectified simply by adding a different kind or a supplemental mirror, we cannot correct our personal blind spots so easily. To correct them, we must grow in our perception and in our acceptance of what is. "Perceive" means to "seize wholly," to "see all the way through." Perception, therefore, is the act of seeing in the mind, of understanding.

    Our perceptions grow and change as we mature, but not everyone's perceptions mature at the same rate, which accounts for the widely differing degrees of consciousness with respect to cause-and-effect relationships. This disparity is neither good nor bad; it simply means that each of us have different gifts to give at different times in our lives as we see different truths.

    Truth is absolute. Perceptions of truth are relative. Therefore, facts, which are perceptions of truth, are relative. That is why truth is singular and perceptions plural. Consider the following statement: The world functions perfectly; our perception of how the world functions is imperfect. We assume this statement to be true because it accepts Universal Laws of cause and effect as absolute Truth, but what are those laws? How do they work? We do not know because our perception is constantly changing as we increase the scope of our knowledge.

    Trying to understand the Universal Laws is the essence of science. Yet even having worked as a scientist for 40 years or more, I would not know a "scientific truth" if I stepped on one, because my perception of how Universal Laws work is constantly changing. A "scientific fact" is therefore a fact only by consensus of the scientists, which means that a scientific fact or "truth" is only an approximation of what is. It represents our best understanding of reality at this moment and is constantly subject to change as we learn.
    Perception is learning, because cause and effect are always connected. Gandhi had reached this conclusion when he said: "My aim is not to be consistent with my previous statements, but to be consistent with the truth." He was consistent in his changing perceptions of what "the truth" was at different stages in his life. He grew from truth to truth as his vision cleared and he could see greater and greater vistas. So he said that if one found an "inconsistency" between any two things he wrote, the person "would do well to choose the latter of the two on the same subject."
    Last edited by prasad1; 03-01-2017 at 10:40 PM.
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    Okay, think about this one. We are all aware of the problem that can arise from eye witness testimony and the variety of descriptions that witnesses can provide. Our system of justice simply could not work if the descriptions offered by every witness were all taken to be absolutely true. The fact is, what we are dealing with is the perception of truth by each of the witnesses.

    Folks who truly believe what they offer as the truth despite the fact that the evidence says something else all together. We hear stories of our propensity to believe what we want to believe. Often weaved in both scenarios is the construct known as cognitive dissonance or the notion that we can hold two mutually exclusive ideas simultaneously and never recognize this dissonance.

    I’m sure you have no problem noting that the witness testimony in our little example cannot all be true. So it is with truth — or we need to change our meaning of the word. Thus, when you next hear something like, “That is my personal truth,” recognize that as with the witnesses, they are describing the truth according to their perception — and that is all they are describing.

    Perception is an interesting human faculty in that science has clearly shown that there are many shared illusions, preferences, beliefs, and so forth that literally reinforce false perceptions. For example, with a nocebo one may think that they have come upon some poisonous substance from WWII, as actually happened in a small Midwestern school. The teacher who discovered this drum with cross bones on it in the basement immediately became alarmed and within an hour she was running a temperature, experiencing breathing difficulty, inflammation and hives. By nightfall, one-third of the school was in the hospital manifesting the same physical symptoms. Everyone magically healed when they learned that the contents of that 50 gallon drum was only water.

    Perception is not truth — and sometimes it is a lie. It is false to facts. If we are to become awake, it is incumbent upon us to seek the truth. Truth seekers recognize the many possible paths others call truth, but they are unwilling to accept the herd definition and rather continue their journey seeking that ineffable and perhaps undiscoverable epistemological certainty.

    I wish you the very best in your quest for the truth.
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    In the post-modern period Hinduism is generally known to be Universalist and accepts all other religions to be true and valid. Mahatma Gandhi is credited to be the original proponent. However, this seems to be true from a socio-political perspective, since Hinduism itself is a congregation of large numbers of individual sects and peoples that have long lived in harmony among themselves without persecuting each other. But if one goes into what is in the scriptures of more organized Hindu sects like Vedanta; we do find exclusive truth claims.
    Bhagavad Gita says -
    ye me matamidaM nityamanutishhThanti maanavaaH .
    shraddhaavanto.anasuuyanto muchyante te.api karmabhiH .. 3.31

    Those who continuously practice what I preach they will be freed from Karma.
    ye tvetadabhyasuuyanto naanutishhThanti me matam.h .
    sarvaGYaanavimuuDhaa.nstaanviddhi nashhTaanachetasaH .. 3.32

    But those who, out of envy, disregard these teachings and do not practice them regularly, are to be considered bereft of all knowledge, befooled, and doomed to ignorance and bondage.
    A Hindu is expected to examine a truth claim based on his intellect. He can add or improve upon the vast ocean of Hindu philosophy. This is unlike some other religions, where, because of the truth claim that the entire book is a revelation from their God, a single verse proved wrong discredits the entire book. This leads to extreme fanaticism on the part of their followers.
    Traditionally Hinduism (more specifically Vedanta) considers itself to be eternal religion (Sanatana Dharma). Fundamental belief is that all beings are divine, that the human condition is one of ignorance to not recognize this divinity inside, and that direct experience of God is achievable for all human beings.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_claim
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  12. #7
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    Brief comments on Posts 3, 4 , 5

    Post 3

    Brahma satyam jagan-mithyš jivo brahmaiva nšparah
    What has been stated by millions of texts; that is, Brahman alone is real and this jagat is mithyš, and the jiva is non-different from Brahman.

    Is the above accepted as a belief? It does not matter how many million times something is stated in texts. A belief is no different than any other belief (e.g., beliefs in bad omen or belief in horoscope etc.). Some are reasonable beliefs. Is the above a reasonable belief, if so why?
    We have various religious leaders each with their own versions of beliefs.
    Everybody has a label, so someone says they are advaitin, according to the understanding of their audience it has a meaning. Others may not understand it, but that does not make it any less relevant to the speaker. A label does not make anyone superior or inferior. I am a brahmin, that is a label because of my birth, nothing more and nothing less. Just as saying I am Indian, or Hindu does not make one superior or inferior.
    Self labels and proclamations as in 'I am advaitin' is contradictory in spirit to the topic area. Hence I used the word oxymoron.
    If the communication of the above proclamation is to communicate a belief it is no different than any other beliefs
    There are people that believe in UFOs, ghosts, eternal heaven/hell, etc. This belief in Advaita is no different in spirit than any other beliefs. If that is the outlook then, yes there are no feelings of superiority. Often some people (not all) who call themselves Advaitin will not want their beliefs compared in equal footing with other beliefs.

    Post 4
    ====

    Useful to add reference and share the full article
    http://www.chrismaser.com/truth.htm


    post 5
    ====
    Useful to add reference and share the full article

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eldon-...b_4631982.html




    After a week or 10 days I will continue where I left off in Post #2
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    The types and facets of truth By Jayram V.




    According to science, truth is what is provable either with logic or with facts or both. If you say something happened and if you witnessed it, you must be in a position to prove it even to those whodid not see it. Even though it seems straightforward, in many cases it is not. Hence, not all the courts and laws in the world guarantee justice all the time.
    You are lucky if you are able to prove your point of view. You are also lucky if you are able to prove your scientific truths, because there are many truths that cannot be proved
    scientifically not because they are not true but because we do not have the wherewithal to prove them.

    In our world, there are many aspects to truth. We consider truth either relative that is true in relation to something else or absolute that is true under all circumstances, independent of other things. There are eternal truths and temporary truths. Some truths are eternal. For example, from the scientific perspective, the space (as we know it) will exist eternally, even if the material world that exists in it is destroyed. May be, in reality, space is not what we consider it to be. It may be a type of element (tattva) or even matter (matra), which comes into
    existence at the time of the formation of the universe. If it is so, then space may not qualify as eternal.

    In Hinduism, space is considered an element (akasa), just like water, earth, fire and air. Therefore, although space connects one world or planet with another and the earthly beings with the rest of the universe and although it facilitates the movement of prayers and sacred sounds as their medium, at some point of time in creation, it may end like everything else.

    http://www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism...hatistruth.asp
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    Truth
    The Mahabharata
    Santi Parva, Section CLXII
    Translated by Sri Kisari Mohan Ganguli

    Yudhishthira said: Brahmanas and Rishis and Pitris and the gods all applaud the duty of truth. I desire to hear of truth. Discourse to me upon it, O grandsire! What are the indications, O king, of truth? How may it be acquired? What is gained by practising truth, and how? Tell me all this.
    Bhishma said: A confusion of the duties of the four orders is never applauded. That which is called Truth always exists in a pure and unmingled state in every one of those four orders. With those that are good, Truth is always a duty. Indeed, Truth is an eternal duty. One should reverentially bow unto Truth. Truth is the highest refuge (of all). Truth is duty; Truth is penance; Truth is Yoga; and Truth is the eternal Brahman. Truth has been said to be Sacrifice of a higher order. Everything rests upon Truth. I shall now tell thee the forms of Truths one after another, and its indications also in due order. It behoveth thee to hear also as to how Truth may be acquired.
    Truth, O Bharata, as it exists in all the world, is of thirteen kinds. The forms that Truth assumes are impartiality, self-control, forgiveness, modesty, endurance, goodness, renunciation, contemplation, dignity, fortitude, compassion, and abstention from injury. These, O great monarch, are the thirteen forms of Truth. Truth is immutable, eternal, and unchangeable. It may be acquired through practices which do not militate against any of the other virtues. It may also be acquired through Yoga. When desire and aversion, as also lust and wrath, are destroyed, that attribute in consequence of which one is able to look upon one’s own self and one’s foe, upon one’s good and one’s evil, with an unchanging eye, is called impartiality.
    http://www.hinduism.co.za/truth.htm
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    Quote Originally Posted by prasad1 View Post
    Okay, think about this one. We are all aware of the problem that can arise from eye witness testimony and the variety of descriptions that witnesses can provide. Our system of justice simply could not work if the descriptions offered by every witness were all taken to be absolutely true. The fact is, what we are dealing with is the perception of truth by each of the witnesses.

    Folks who truly believe what they offer as the truth despite the fact that the evidence says something else all together. We hear stories of our propensity to believe what we want to believe. Often weaved in both scenarios is the construct known as cognitive dissonance or the notion that we can hold two mutually exclusive ideas simultaneously and never recognize this dissonance.

    I’m sure you have no problem noting that the witness testimony in our little example cannot all be true. So it is with truth — or we need to change our meaning of the word. Thus, when you next hear something like, “That is my personal truth,” recognize that as with the witnesses, they are describing the truth according to their perception — and that is all they are describing.

    Perception is an interesting human faculty in that science has clearly shown that there are many shared illusions, preferences, beliefs, and so forth that literally reinforce false perceptions. For example, with a nocebo one may think that they have come upon some poisonous substance from WWII, as actually happened in a small Midwestern school. The teacher who discovered this drum with cross bones on it in the basement immediately became alarmed and within an hour she was running a temperature, experiencing breathing difficulty, inflammation and hives. By nightfall, one-third of the school was in the hospital manifesting the same physical symptoms. Everyone magically healed when they learned that the contents of that 50 gallon drum was only water.

    Perception is not truth — and sometimes it is a lie. It is false to facts. If we are to become awake, it is incumbent upon us to seek the truth. Truth seekers recognize the many possible paths others call truth, but they are unwilling to accept the herd definition and rather continue their journey seeking that ineffable and perhaps undiscoverable epistemological certainty.

    I wish you the very best in your quest for the truth.

    This posting of this member may appear to all readers that it is his own contribution as there is no mention of source.

    But the fact remains that this text was nothing but a copy pasting one from Huffington Post

    And this member comes here to talk about truth. LOL

    Ths is his M.O.,

    "The Perception of Truth


    Perception

    Imagine that we have six witnesses from whom we are collecting evidence. One witness states emphatically that the accused broke into her home. The next witness is equally adamant that the accused was home in bed with her at the time in question. Another witness states that they saw the man crawl through a ground level window as they were passing in their automobile, and yet still another witness questions the certainty of that statement by pointing out how poorly lit the area is. However, they too had seen something from their home across the street, but by the time they dressed and got outside the accused was kneeling on the front lawn of their neighbor. Still another witness insists that this is the man they caught in their home and they held until law enforcement arrived. And our last witness claims that the accused was home in bed all the time with his mother.

    Now, when law enforcement arrived the accused was kneeling on the front yard with a gun pointed at his head by the owner of the home that was allegedly entered illegally by the accused. The accused argues that he saw someone running from the house and the homeowner ran outside in pursuit and mistakenly identified him as the burglar, threatening to shoot him if he didn’t kneel and remain stationary until the cops arrived.

    Okay, think about this one. We are all aware of the problem that can arise from eye witness testimony and the variety of descriptions that witnesses can provide. Our system of justice simply could not work if the descriptions offered by every witness were all taken to be absolutely true. The fact is, what we are dealing with is the perception of truth by each of the witnesses.


    I have reported in the past on folks who truly believe what they offer as the truth despite the fact that the evidence says something else all together. I have also shared stories of our propensity to believe what we want to believe. Often weaved in both scenarios is the construct known as cognitive dissonance or the notion that we can hold two mutually exclusive ideas simultaneously and never recognize this dissonance.


    I’m sure you have no problem noting that the witness testimony in our little example cannot all be true. So it is with truth — or we need to change our meaning of the word. Thus, when you next hear something like, “That is my personal truth,” recognize that as with the witnesses, they are describing the truth according to their perception — and that is all they are describing.

    Perception is an interesting human faculty in that science has clearly shown that there are many shared illusions, preferences, beliefs, and so forth that literally reinforce false perceptions. For example, with a nocebo one may think that they have come upon some poisonous substance from WWII, as actually happened in a small Midwestern school. The teacher who discovered this drum with cross bones on it in the basement immediately became alarmed and within an hour she was running a temperature, experiencing breathing difficulty, inflammation and hives. By nightfall, one-third of the school was in the hospital manifesting the same physical symptoms. Everyone magically healed when they learned that the contents of that 50 gallon drum was only water.

    Personal truth


    Perception is not truth — and sometimes it is a lie. It is false to facts. If we are to become awake, it is incumbent upon us to seek the truth. Truth seekers recognize the many possible paths others call truth, but they are unwilling to accept the herd definition and rather continue their journey seeking that ineffable and perhaps undiscoverable epistemological certainty.


    I wish you the very best in your quest for the truth, and thanks for the read.


    Eldon

    Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eldon-...b_4631982.html
    Last edited by V.Balasubramani; 04-01-2017 at 04:30 AM.
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