+++ There have been a few ex-physics members (like Mr tks) and my interactions have been productive and positive. I can already see a lucid style to your responses.Sri a-TB sir,
I was a physicist once, so let me explain the way I always think. First, what is Brahman? There are two fold explanations, the existence of such an entity and so, then what is the nature of such an entity.
The existence of Brahman is very obvious. If one accepts science, the validity of ‘big bang’ theory, for it to have happened, creating both space and time, there must have been a cause. To me that cause is called Brahman. Even if one does not accept the ‘big bang’, one still needs to explain the existence of the physical universe we see and again, one needs to explain the cause.
+++ 'Happened' is in time and so can one really talk about 'before' big bang which means time is already present? Similarly the idea of cause assumes time and time itself is not created. So the language and our model of cause -effect will fail in trying to reason that there must be a cause. The root cause if we can even accept a cause being Brahman, has to be causeless cause. Why not say the laws of nature are all causeless cause and assign a single entity that is not descripable as the that causeless entity.
Assuming big bang theory is ultimate though in Science new theories are possible, no one can say what caused it because the time element itself is not created by the big bang, So the existence of Brahman is not obvious.
Physical universe is explained by big bang and no one knows what caused it
+++ This assumes a creator. If it is not an assumption based on our limited data how is this assumption validated?So, then what is the nature of such an entity? Here, we can not use science to understand the nature. Because we are the ones that observe with our five senses to collect data, are ourselves part of the system. There is a well known theory that says that one can not understand what is outside an enclosed system, being part of the system. So, we can not perceive the nature of creator with our outwardly turned mind and senses.
But, then, as luck would have it, if we turn our focus inwards, through our mind, it is found that, we can indeed ‘know’ that creator. This is the concept of Advaitha.
+++ So you say Advita is a mental concept. Is that right? How can mind come up with a concept of something that is superior to it. You are in a closed system borrowing your statements elsewhere I think. How does the mind know outside the closed system it is in?
But other ‘faiths’ say that there is a God as separate entity outside our universe who is all powerful, most excellent etc. But to ‘know’ that entity one has to wait till the end of time, when based on merits and demerits, one gets either eternal happiness or eternal suffering.
So, for my make up Advaitha makes sense. Not only because I am mentally constituted to like it, but because my genes come from a line of my ancestors who were all Advaithins and we all know how such ancestral thinking and behavior affect as to who we are today.
+++ Is the ultimate truth is based on our likes and dislikes?
Can we really extrapolate assumptions arising from multiplicity like ancestors and project to say the truth which is non-dual?
Secondly, Advaitha claims that one need not wait till the end of time to be in an eternal happy state, you can do it here and now. How? By understanding who we really are, that is permanent, that is universal and timeless. This is Brahman. Now, without going in to details about Maya, Atma, Ishwara, Karma, Dharma etc., to accept this lofty claim, one just needs to look for evidence, whether there is anyone who is believable who claimed to have achieved such a state of bliss. To one’s astonishment, one finds that such people are there, throughout history, to the present time in all cultures.
+++ This I can resonate with the teaching that one can find happiness here and now based on the words of a teacher. But then that kind of happiness cannot be an experience. Because all experiences are limited in time. Claiming that to be timeless is just a belief.
So, if one believes this, one has to take ‘instructions’ from one of those. For me again, because of my make up, it is Ramana Maharishi. Others follow others. I have faith that my guru achieved such a state and so whatever teachings that come out of such a person will not lead me astray.
+++ One of the first book Mr Sangom recommended me was to read about Ramana Maharishi's teaching. I did but could not understand a lot. He did make certain things simple by asking to meditate on 'who am i'. I could not do that for too long. I could see simplicity and profundity in reading those conversations.
This is all I can say. I do not know about the validity or the non validity of any other path. But since I started this mental journey more than a decade ago, I can attest to the fact that I am more and more at peace within myself.
This is a very long post. But I thought we can have a starting point, while answering some of your questions. Thanks.
Thank you. I have provided in-line comments. I am not trying to be argumentative. I examine every sentence to understand and when I see issues there I have raised them above.