28 Mar

What is Vedic Science, Really?

In the introduction to the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Śrīla Prabhupāda writes, “The subject of the Bhagavad-gītā entails the comprehension of five basic truths. First of all the science of God is explained, and then the constitutional position of the living entities, jīvas. Prakriti (material nature) and time (the duration of existence of the whole universe or the manifestation of material nature) and karma (activity) are also discussed.” He further writes, “Those belonging to some sectarian faith will wrongly consider that sanātana-dharma is also sectarian, but if we go deeply into the matter and consider it in the light of modern science, it is possible for us to see that sanātana-dharma is the business of all the people of the world – nay, of all the living entities of the universe.” (Emphasis mine). This post discusses just how the above five categories constitute the sum and substance of what we might call “Vedic science”. The post concludes with a comparison with Newton’s laws which started modern science and shows that similar to Newton’s three laws, a different set of three natural laws exist in Vedic science.

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23 Mar

The Four Tiers of Reality

The previous post discussed the meaning of sat, chit, and ananda—i.e. consciousness, the search for meaning, and the search for happiness. The search for meaning creates a personality—i.e. how others know you. The search or happiness creates an individuality—i.e. what kinds of pleasures one enjoys. The individuality and personality create many conflicts, because what you enjoy may not be meaningful, and what is meaningful may not be enjoyable. We all know that we need both meaning and happiness, and doing one or the other would not suffice. The conflict between meaning and happiness is resolved by a third category—consciousness—which, as we have seen before, exists as choice. The resolution is that sometimes we prefer meaning over happiness, and at other times we prioritize happiness over meaning. This post discusses the implications of these categories and how a three-fold distinction within transcendence not only creates different tiers within a spiritual reality, but is also the basis of the three modes of material nature.

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22 Mar

Sāńkhya, Reductionism, and New Science

Many people believe modern science is reductionist and an alternative anti-reductionist science must replace it. This post discusses why Sāńkhya is reductionist—because it reduces everything to only three modes of nature (sattva, rajas, and tamas). It also discusses why Sāńkhya is anti-reductionist—because the first mode of nature in this reductionist theory (sattva) represents the whole, which precedes the contradictory parts (rajas and tamas). Sāńkhya becomes anti-reductionist because the whole precedes the parts. And yet it remains reductionist because there are only three states in nature. The post discusses Gödel’s Incompleteness and how incompleteness arises from the problem of opposites. It then argues why the Sāńkhya anti-reductionist model of reduction can be made to work—because the opposition between rajas and tamas is a feature of the logical system, not a bug. In the process, we can see how a shift from bi-stable to tri-stable logic changes science so fundamentally. This shift (in logic itself) constitutes the essence of what we might call “Vedic science”: it is not pseudo-science, and it is not just philosophy; it is science in every sense of the word, just based on a different kind of logic. Just as binary logic is the basis of all modern science (because any law of modern science can be computed on a binary digit computer), “Vedic science” is based on a ternary logic computation.

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