Model or Reality?

Introduction

Man’s investigation of nature (science) or his own nature (adhyatma vidya) raises a fundamental question. Do such investigations yield a description of reality or merely models of reality? For example, is the Big Bang model a model of reality or is it actually describing the real universe? I will describe here two examples, one from science and another from Brihadaranayaka Upanishad, to suggest that both science or adhyatma vidya yield only models of reality and not reality itself.

View More Model or Reality?

Speculations regarding Jyotish

Introduction

Jyotish is a controversial subject in Indian English language press. On the one hand, it is usually denounced as bogus by self appointed secularists. The usual reason for denouncing Jyotish is that it is impossible for inert material bodies like planets or eclipses (Rahu and Ketu) to influence anything. On the other hand, its popularity remains undiminished even when eminent astrologers make contradictory predictions. I would like to discuss here the relationship between Jyotish and Hindu dharma, the existence of various planetary Deities, speculate on the principles underlying Jyotish and the reasons for failures in prediction.

View More Speculations regarding Jyotish

Vedas are open to all

Introduction

The story of Janasruti in Chandogya Upanishad (Ch. U.) is largely unknown to the vast majority of Hindus. It should be widely known, however, since the story suggests that the Upanishads and the Vedas are open for study to all Hindus. If this is true then why is it that most Hindus are today convinced that the Vedas support discrimination against Shudras? The answer to this question will be answered in this article.

 
View More Vedas are open to all

A brief meditation on Khyati

Introduction

Khyati (Epistemology or sources of knowledge) has been a fierce
subject of debate in India for many centuries. How can one have valid
knowledge (Prama) and what are the proximate means (pramanas) to valid
knowledge? This issue is important in Indic dharma systems because of their
claim that dhyana (meditation) or japa (repeatation of mantra) can lead to
supreme knowledge. An objection raised to this claim is the possibility that
dhyana or japa might be deluding people. How can one know that the experiences
claimed by Yogis are not hallucinations? Vedantic Acharyas were sensitive to
these issues.

View More A brief meditation on Khyati