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shrI Sangom's Rgveda exposition: doubts and discussions

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Sir I have given my reply to the teacup. I think I need an answer why this cannot be proven or disproven. What is there in that subject, wherein you cannot say you cannot prove it or disprove it?

You have presumed than non-sense related knowledge does not exist among us. I can give you an example and this is a non solved problem of science precisely because the scientists have refused to acknowledge its category. But I want to preserve the indication of this knowledge until my questions are addressed.

Shri Iyer,

I do not believe in witholding something and saying that "I want to preserve the indication of this knowledge until my questions are addressed." This sort of discussion may be appropriate for people who, like you, tend to believe in "non-sense related truths" but I would certainly not do this sort of "teasing". I therefore, feel I should not waste any further time in replying to your posts. Bye!
Coming back to the original question on the nature of vedas, in continuation with my previous post, I am entering a more controversial ground. But I would like to make some statements and would like to see how Sri Nara would assume his capability to pass a recommendation to others , on these statements or pass a judgement on the same.​
Dear Shri pviyer,

I am not really sure whether I understand what you are trying to say. All I am able to decipher is, you are telling me that I cannot definitively prove your POV is weird and irrational. This is true, I cannot definitively prove a negative, nobody can. But, I think I have made a compelling case -- it may not be acceptable to you and few others, and that is fine.

Now, the onus is on you to make your case. You have been asking me questions to which I have given my answers. Now it is time you give some answers. Please present your case in support of -- it is not weird and irrational as it is made out to be -- as succinctly as possible.

Shri Iyer,

I do not believe in witholding something and saying that "I want to preserve the indication of this knowledge until my questions are addressed." This sort of discussion may be appropriate for people who, like you, tend to believe in "non-sense related truths" but I would certainly not do this sort of "teasing". I therefore, feel I should not waste any further time in replying to your posts. Bye!
Sir this is again provocative. I delibrately withold not because I wanted to leave something in suspense because there are essential questions which leave individual positions absolutely clear. I felt the attitude of skirting away from discussion by such generic statements. There is no attitude to reach a common ground.
I can specify the question and it is no big secret for any follower of shankara.
But I had to withhold because there is no point in discussing without making one's lines of arguments and the kind of proof one would accept absolutely clear.

This is the bad attitude which i have disliked in this forum. I am not participating in futher discussions on this forum either,if anybody wants to discuss on the same send a pm to me and I will communicate views one to one. Period.
After Sri Sangom's message I feel very disinclined to participate in further discussions.
But I am not trying to pursue an empty path. I will make my stand clear and express the broad idea of what I would like say.This is only because I dont want the people who have read my arguments feel stranded as it leads to no conclusive stand from me.Please note that I will express further clarification only by PM to anyone and everyone who pings me. This will be the last in public domain.

1. First thing people have to know is that vedic religion in its original form was not misssionary. What this means is that people who believed in the tradition automatically gathered and followed practices. Those who didnt believe said goodbye and called quits. There was no outreach program to claim the lost followers in the distant past. However times changed when there was a significant confusion and distortion within tradition itself, this happened before shankara's times. Buddhism was a metaphysical and not a purely rational philosophy. It was missionary and made organized attempts to demolish the vedic culture, it was then an organized debate culture came from the other side. The purpose of me bringing this to light, is that I want to say , first and foremost, vedic religion is an experience-based philosophy.

That does not mean it has a logical fallacy. But there are grades of truth and the same statement assumes different meaning at each level of advancement. From the point of view of modern science such advancement is unnoticed and unfounded. There lies the main argument boundaries between the believers of vedas and the people who swear by modern science. Infact Sri Nara has been bringing this point again and again to the surface.

2. Sri Sankara , Ramanujacharya and others all hold that the central tenet of vedas is the absolute brahman. The nature of brahman is a matter of dispute but this is clearly distinguished from the matter which can be grasped by the sense.

3. Sri Nara and others inclined to think like him want a logical proof without going into a method of experience whose success is neither clear to them nor to others. From my point I cannot convert experience to mundane logic because unless you know that something is indeed true, you cannot put up a logic of higher truths.In such a case, yourself knowing the truth is not good enough for arguments,because others cant perceive the same.

For instance when you look at a Microscope the information about bacteria is same for all people who can look into it with their eyes. There might be mild variations depending on eyesight. So this allows a body of scientists to be formed , a committee can be formed to look and examine claims. This body being an expert body, can verify the same. Sri Nara expects a response acceptable to that body. Therefore special experiences of a few saints dont count here unless he can show superhuman powers applicable to the mundane world,that can be experimentally validated. If that is not possible he expects a valid logic atleast in place. Many people of his mode of thought would like to ask "If such things cannot happen then surely such things are not possible". From their point surely it is a valid case.

I too would like to say that it is fairly clear that such superhuman feats are not being performed commonly, or they would have been demonstrated. But absence is not proof of its impossibility , it only makes it unreasonable for people like Nara, to accept it on such a basis. There are many people here , who without difficulty recollect personal experiences with spiritual people and their powers.

I am myself witness to my pain in leg within minutes cured by an old lady(who did not do it for any business or for a cost or for a popularity) by her mantra, even when I was a 9 year old kid. So as the story goes, I am already not on the side of the rational questioners .

But the essential thing to be borne in mind is true spiritual people dont show off their talents neither do they hunt for devotees. So while this cannot and should not make people like Sri Nara, abandon their stand, we need rational people who are sceptical of every miracle, in our society , they must also realize that a few genuine spiritual experiences will continue to make human society believe in miracles.

I cannot make sadhus line up in front of the lab, because I am most certain that most if not all, who can perform something, dont really know why and how they can do something, neither can they replicate it at random because it usually is because of the involvement of a divine spirit. Some powers of yoga and meditation have been demonstrated, while I am not sure how authentic these reports are, some of these sadhus have legal cases on them (for sexual conduct etc). So I will not argue for the case of vedas based on the supernatural. In any case Vedas themselves and the rules and regulations that must be adopted by practioners have been loosened significantly, so the proper benefit of vedas cannot be tested properly on this ground.

4. So my arguments are simple, that there is indeed a good reason to explore vedas because there is insufficient logical stand for it to be declared as a baseless scripture.

a) If the origin of consciousness is material in origin, the whole structure or edifice of vedas falls. This is not the case today. Sri Nara would like to imagine it happening in the future. I would put the argument of consistency vs inconsistency

i. All perception of senses is inconsistent because it depends on the structure of nervous system. There is no reason why with a different structure of nervous system the perception cannot be different. Therefore using the means of sense organs for observation and therefore for inference based only on such an observation is always a difficulty because of its very inconsistency. One may argue that there is only sense based perception and we have no way round it. That is a hypothesis, it cannot be given the same importance as a fact. But since all our facts are dependent on this one view, therefore it is not surprising for people to not suspend such a view.

ii. "Aham asmi". I exist is a phenomenon that each person can know for sure among ourselves. This is a case which is fairly consistent elementary it may seem, but it is the root for the necessity or the validity of all arguments. Existence needs no knowledge. But the fact that I know I exist is a knowledge. This is a non sensuous knowledge and scientists would like to argue that it is a sensual knowledge. But since they cannot produce this I with content from what can be perceived by senses, their claims remains baseless. They hope to prove it in the future, this is again a postulation, a stand not a fact.

Who are the people who argue that this essential fact I, root of all other logic , root of all other knowledge is non sensual. It is the people of vedanta. I deliberately introduced this distinction as there are people who would like to distinguish vedas from vedanta. But the difference becomes inconsequential as time and again people who declare vedanta point to the vedas as their base. Aurobindo has eloquently put forward this view.

So what is so special about the people of vedas/vedanta who claim the self to be non sensual and non material? Well for one they have contemplated on the self and scientists do not. I would like to leave this to individual conscience about how frequently they turn their attention to matters external to them. How can then ,an equal claim to contemplation of self, be made?

I think some thought should reveal that there are two options
a) Option on relying on something eternally inconsistent
b) explore the option for following the methodology of those who contemplate on the self- be it vedism or buddhism or just plain deep meditation / yoga and so on

We then come across the concept of shruti and the concept of language. I wont go into details but it is fairly evident that no thought is accompanied without some language , however elementary it may be and I put a case on how they are parcelled into words which need to create a kind of mental force with some characteristics. Try to think without language , try to think with minimum language and judge for yourself. It is the power of the mind that gives expression to audible sounds not the inverse. If we extend this logic to the creator, he indeed likely to possess thoughts, words and language. The means of transmission is sound for convenience. This is indeed again a hypothesis based on observation of thought and language, not necessarily sense dependant, and not fully proven to be sense dependant.

So while Sri Nara and others want to stay where they are , expect some knowledge to present itself before they senses( without being aware that their senses are unreliable), people with some experiences however elementary it may seem, see this as a case of a man from arakonam who refuses to believe in anything about arabia, inspite of having never attempted to be there , and always debunking people who have met arabians or have been to arabia.

The fact that this information comes from people who contemplate on the self should make us look at things with seriousness, and if we are unable to believe it, at this stage, there is indeed a valid case, that such a knowledge is not nonsensical. It does not contradict straight facts of science.It does not contradict any laws of physics which is observed by one and all. Yes it contradicts the scientific theories about origin of universe but theories remain theories built on laws and not proven.

So one cannot make fun of people who seek to pursue

Vedas based on long standing methods available to study them and test them since they have not acknowledged the so called meanings (which seem contradictory to science) and believe that there should be greater awareness of the self to study them. One may choose not to follow such methods and make fun of elementary meanings, but the tradition itself acknowledges that there is a deeper meaning. The vedic practitioners are atleast following the method left by seekers of the self, the only people who are looking into a consistent subject matter.

It may turn out that there is only one verse in the entire vedas which is a shruti. But that cannot be decided arbitrarily without following any serious methods of contemplation on the one consistent truth known to all of us.

Neither can you make fun of concepts like sounds, shruti, revelation non sensual etc. Because the very nature of sensual knowledge is to bring you into a loop, because they remain eternally inconsistent. In fact all the purposes of life pursued by modern scientists can be sufficiently fulfilled by vedic practitioners if not more
1. They have the means to be equally happy as a happiness is a state of mind and what you accept or reject
2. They have opportunity to taste pleasures of life, though there is a moderation. When has an unrestrained pleasure brought good
3. They have an opportunity to test the concepts laid bare by people who have contemplated on the self.
4. They have equal opportunity to make use of other concepts like meditation, bhakti etc

There is thus a serious set of people, who have wisely chosen to test the methods left by yogis/rishis who all contemplated on the self because they have not entirely relied on methods left by a self defeating sensual knowledge which knows no hope even at the very beginning. It does not matter if the path in progress , takes you to buddhism, non ritualistic meditation etc because all these lead you away from focussing too much on the external and more so on your one truth-the self.
.... I will make my stand clear and express the broad idea of what I would like say......

Dear Shri pviyer, Thank you for the detailed and lengthy presentation of your stand, I appreciate your time and effort. I will also sign off now with a brief explanation of why I am unable to accept your POV.

I do agree there are inconsistencies in perception and an assorted shortcomings in human knowledge gathering. But, with all its shortcomings what they have achieved is truly amazing. Humans can now send a robot to Mars, land it on its surface and control it from Earth. Humans can drill on seabed that is almost 2 KM below the surface of the ocean to a final depth of more than 5 KM. This very medium through which we are having a dialog is brought to us thanks to human knowledge that is purely material.

All this has been possible because of this "sensory" knowledge, not withstanding all its limitations. "Science" has demonstrated time and time again, as to what it can do, and what it cannot, what it understands and what it does not. These advances have affected humanity both positively and negatively, but, that does not mean human knowledge accumulated through careful observation, analysis, synthesis, and verification, is somehow at par or even inferior to some imagined knowledge about an entity that could very well be nothing more than an invisible pink unicorn.

This so called spiritual knowledge, to be obtained by contemplating upon self -- whatever that means -- has never been demonstrated, never been verified, never been shown to benefit anybody -- only asserted. So, I do think there is no good reason to explore the Vedas, or any other religious scripture of any religion, for the purpose of some esoteric perfect knowledge. To do so, one needs to have a whole lot of faith. To claim to be rational at the same time, one needs to have a high degree of tolerance for cognitive dissonance.

BTW, consciousness, the feeling of "I am" is nothing more than the coming together of brain cells, neurons, sense organs, nervous system, all acting together in ways we feel a sense of individual identity. Yes, this is just a theory, proposed by many serious thinkers, and I submit to you sir, believing this theory requires lot less faith and irrationality than to posit a spiritual IPU.

Thank you once again ....
I would like to record my epilogue as follows:

Just as fire cannot be burnt by fire and thus destroyed, the "knower" cannot be known.

All talk of meditation, inward-look, etc., to "know" the self, are illogical.
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