Consciousness, Cosmology, and Science: An Advaitic Analysis

Consciousness, Cosmology, and Science: An Advaitic1 Analysis

The purpose of this brief essay is twofold:
(1) To clarify what it is to study anything scientifically and show that consciousness cannot, in principle, be studied scientifically, and (2) to examine the aim and methods of cosmology and show that cosmology cannot, in principle be a science.
The essay can be read by ignoring any and all references to Advaita Vedānta (Non-dualistic Vedānta). My reason for referring to Advaita Vedānta is simply the fact that these two truths were long ago discovered and taught by Advaita Vedānta, which is at once Jñana-Yoga (The Way of Knowledge) and mysticism, unsurpassed and unsurpassable.

Since I wish to place my observations on cosmology and scientific study of consciousness in the overall context of Advaita Vedānta, I shall simple state in a clear and concise manner the central notions (not concepts) and propositions of Advaita Vedānta.2 Brahman is ultimate reality, whose varieties of manifestation are the worlds of phenomena. What is a phenomenon? Here is the Upanishadic definition:
“Phenomenon” is anything that is or can in principle be an object of consciousness. All phenomena exist in time and some phenomena also exist in space. Thus tables, chairs, stars, galaxies, bacteria, college professors, etc., exist in both space and time; whereas thoughts, emotions, feelings, dreams, etc., exist only in time. Brahman, ultimate reality, is unborn, uncreated, undying, and hence timeless, eternal, and immortal. Brahman is formless and hence nameless; Brahman is not to be mistaken for the God(s) worshipped by people. Never was there a time when Brahman was not; nor will there ever be a time when Brahman will not be. Brahman is neither a She nor a He but the That (Tat). Brahman cannot be captured by the senses and mind; for whatever can be perceived and conceived is always an object. Brahman is impartite — not made up of parts; for if Brahman were partite (composite), the parts would be fundamental and ultimate and not Brahman. No one can picture or visualize Brahman, for whatever one can picture and visualize is always, inevitably and ineluctably, an object. Brahman thus transcends the senses, mind, space, time, and causality. Let it be emphasized that to say that Brahman is transcendent is not to say that Brahman is beyond our ken and pale and cannot be experienced.

View More Consciousness, Cosmology, and Science: An Advaitic Analysis

Nagarjuna and Samkara: Some Comparative Reflections

The main purpose of this brief essay is to show that, contrary to the widespread view of many scholars of Madhyamaka and Advaita-Vedanta, the Sunya-vada…

View More Nagarjuna and Samkara: Some Comparative Reflections

Monotheism-The Unsurpassed Scourge And Scandal

 Published earlier in the Indian Philosophical Quarterly Vol 34, No. 1 (January – March 2007)

The purpose of this brief essay is to show that monotheistic religious traditions, simply by being what they are – based on blind faith, anti-intellectualism, dogmatism, fanaticism, and intolerance – have done and continue to do more harm than good to the world.

View More Monotheism-The Unsurpassed Scourge And Scandal

Interview: Dr Ramakrishna Puligandla -Part III

Editor’s Note: Following is the third & concluding part of our interview with our new Medha Gold personality, our Resident Philosopher.

The interviewer’s relevant comments, which are a part of the conversational flow, are shown in brackets, in gray font.

Thanks for reading on…

View More Interview: Dr Ramakrishna Puligandla -Part III

Interview: Dr Ramakrishna Puligandla -Part I

Editor’s Note: Below is a transcript of the interview with our new Medha Gold personality, our Resident Philosopher. We will also make available the audio of this interview, which has more details on each conversation. Please keep coming back to check.

The interviewer’s relevant comments, which are a part of the conversational flow, are shown in brackets, in gray font.

Thanks for reading on…

View More Interview: Dr Ramakrishna Puligandla -Part I

Interview: Dr Ramakrishna Puligandla -Part II

Editor’s Note: Following is the second part of our interview with our new Medha Gold personality, our Resident Philosopher.

The interviewer’s relevant comments, which are a part of the conversational flow, are shown in brackets, in gray font.

Thanks for reading on…

View More Interview: Dr Ramakrishna Puligandla -Part II