Apr 05

excerpt –

From: Deepak Chopra
Sent: Tuesday, April 4, 2017 5:00 PM

Perceptions and minds are innumerable
Awareness is the common ground of all of them
Hence awareness is one
You cannot multiply or divide awareness
It differentiates into all knowers, all modes of knowing and all objects known-all sentient beings –in the same way a zygote differentiates into all the different cells and organs of a body

REPLY by BMP

Awareness or consciousness is not merely what is common to all perceptions and minds, it is what is universal essence for them. The difference between commonality and universal essence is a vitally important distinction.

The color white may be common to picket fences, clouds, and snowflakes, but it is not essential to those things. In other words fences can be any color, clouds can be gray as well as white, and snowflakes don’t really depend on their being white as far as their essence as water is concerned.

On the other hand, universal essence such as the fact that each and every cow cannot be what it is if we take away its ‘cowness’ which is shared by every cow. This kind of universality is essential to the innumerable different specimens under its species.

The fact that the universal is one does not mean that the many individuals under it are eliminated. That does not follow as a rational conclusion from the fact that many individual specimens exists quite happily within a single species.

To claim that awareness is one is also not justified by the evidence that the offspring of conscious living entities each have their own awareness quite different from one another. Experience tells us that when the mother feels hungry, for example, her offspring do not necessarily feel the same thing. So awareness is not the same for all.

Another example can be given. The flame of a candle can be used to light many other candles without losing its own luminescence. Thus many independent flames can be produced from one. IF this is true for fire, then how can an absolute of ultimate consciousness be restricted from producing many independent conscious entities from itself? How can the Absolute be restricted in this way?

-excerpt

The full article can be downloaded here:

Apr 01

Reply to Dr Menas
Sripad Bhakti Madhava Puri, Ph.D.
April 1, 2017

Dear Dr Menas,

Namaste. It is good to hear this interpretation of your position which is more aligned with philosophy’s rational idea of consciousness. There is indeed an entire spectrum of interpretations of Vedanta stretching from abstract monism to radical dualism. If these differences are not viewed from a religious perspective [as we typically find in India] but from a purely philosophical/logical framework the whole gamut of ideas that have historically occupied philosophers over the centuries both East and West can be found.

Abstract monism or kevaladvaitavad, represents reductionism in any of its historical forms from the Greek Parmenides (all is Being) and the Eleatics (One only) to the modern day materialistic reductionsits, or eliminativists. Your counterpart [Dr Chopra], if i understand him correctly, makes the case for an absolute consciousness existing abstractly without any object to oppose it. All apparent [“metaphorical”] objects, perceptions, thoughts, ideas, universes or whatever are contents of consciousness, which is like a pot that ultimately absorbs all content into itself, so that in the end all you are left with is the pot – consciousness.

The full article can be downloaded here:

Mar 05

Dandavat pranams,

Attached is the Princeton Bhakti Vedanta Institute Report – Feruary 11, 2017.

“The Science of Krishna Consciousness”

– excerpt –
As our sadhu sanga program began, Sripad Puri Maharaja spoke
about a particular picture taken in the late ‘70’s where Srila
Prabhupada[1] was sitting in the center surrounded by his disciples.
He specifically had his scientists sitting in front of everyone at his
lotus feet. “Whenever Sripad Swarup Damodara Maharaja (Sripad
Maharaja)[2] would be there among the devotees, Srila Prabhupada
would want to talk with him only and discuss Darwin,” Sripad Puri
Maharaja said as the group laughed. “The significance of that
picture is that Srila Prabhupada always wanted to emphasize the
importance of presenting Krishna consciousness in such a scientific
way that it could be appreciated even by the scientists.”

——————————————–
Please enjoy and share with others.

Srila Acharya Maharaj ki jai
Sripad Puri Maharaj ki jai

Your humble servant
Kushum devi dasi
(New York)

Jan 17

by Bhakti Madhava Puri, Ph. D.
First Draft

In order to summarize the fundamental ideas that are being discussed in the Google forum [Online_Sadhu_Sanga] the following is presented as a basis from which further development may be made for arriving at a coherent understanding of consciousness from the Vedantic and Western philosophical perspectives.

Keywords [Advaita, Dvaita, Visisadvaita, Acintya beda abeda, Matter, Ego, Maya,Triplicity. Consciousness, Spirit]

ADVAITA

Advaita philosophy conceives the Absolute as One devoid of any qualities, dimensions, personality, and so on. Thus it is called monism or abstract monism. It is therefore nirguna – meaning without any differences, determinations, or distinguishing features. The idea is that there cannot be two truths that are absolute or they become relative truths – not absolute. So the Absolute must be One.

One is pure universality – abstract or empty universality. As such it lacks all determinations, or is indeterminate. To even say that One is or has Being is to violate the pure Oneness that is the Absolute for the monists. Lacking any determinate content it is thus formless.

In the ancient pre-Socratic Greek culture Parmenides represented the Eleatic school that considered God to be One without any qualities whatsoever, even Being was denied to the pure One.

In India the school of Shankaracharya is considered as representing kevaladvaita or the philosophy of pure Oneness without any determinateness or qualities. This is the nature of nirguna Brahman.

Eastern and Western monism both believe that All is One, because each of the entities of the All (Many) is after all in essence a one, i.e. many ones. In the same way every being is an instance of or immanently Being and thus all are Being. But One and Being are different, so the monists had to accept one or the other, so they chose One since Being is just as indeterminate as One and is thus the same as One. Of course there are many such arguments given in this way.

Because Brahman is One, allness or the many must be a perceptual illusion that is removed by logical thinking in accord with the monist philosophers. Thus they consider Brahma satyam jagat mityam, Brahman is true or real and the world is false or illusion. In this philosophy the ultimate destiny of the enlightened soul is to merge into the oneness of the One Brahman and loose its individuality or ego entirely.

The chief characteristic in the logic of the One is the one-sidedness of its doctrine of sameness of the entities of the All to the exclusion of their differences. Being-for-self or one is not the only determination of the entities of the All except in the abstract ideal sense, just as the atoms or molecules of an ideal gas are considered in their isolation without regard to their relation to or interaction with one another.

To continue reading the entire article:

Jan 12

Idols of the Mind vs True Reality
by Bhakti Madhava Puri, Ph.D.
Bhakti Vedanta Institute, Princeton, NJ

[-excerpt-]

Atomic Theory and Quantum Theory provide imagined wonderlands that possess some observations or correspondence with true reality. To some degree each is logical, self-consistent and complete, although Godel would object to either being at the same time consistent and complete.

If we carefully consider what science is doing here, we discover that anthropocentric or egocentric conceptions of reality – reality as it is “for us” or for me – are being erected in place of true reality as it is “by itself and for itself.” In other words, a subjective conception/theory that is “for us” is being erected as a reality “in and for itself” yet is actually opposed to objective reality as it is in and for itself. It seeks and has some correspondence with true reality and if the subjective conception corresponds with the objective reality the truth is considered to have been reached. This is called the correspondence theory of truth. However, there are problems with this as we noted above, in that different theories may have some correspondence with objective observations and yet still refer to different imagined realities.

The real problem arises when these different Idols of the Mind [Man-made images/ideas/conceptions that are for us in our subjectivity] are presumed to be outwardly objective and venerated as the True Reality [Reality “as it is” or “by itself and for itself”]. Explanations consist of descriptions in terms of the chosen theories assumed as real, even though they are abstractions from the true reality. Because they are abstractions, they never comprehend the concrete reality they merely represent.

To continue reading the entire article:


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