Ruminations on Vedic Philosophy

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Cosmology

Two Kinds of Mahattattva

A friend today pointed out to me a seeming anomaly between two descriptions of the Mahattattva. The first description appears as the second covering of the universe in Vedic cosmology, where the first covering is the Ahaṃkāra or ego. The second description appears in Sāñkhya where the Ahaṃkāra is said to be a byproduct of …

Cosmology

Graha vs. Planet

In Vedic cosmology, the universe is comprised of Grahas which means “houses”. In modern cosmology, the universe is comprised of planets, which are balls of matter. This difference manifests in the English language, where it is appropriate to say that a person is in the house, whereas it is stated that people are living on …

Cosmology

Round Earth in a Flat Cosmology

In an earlier post (which now seems ages ago), I had described the meaning of “flat earth”. The simple idea was that the flatness was an artifact of the model rather than our observation. This point has oft been repeated in my book Mystic Universe as well. I will use this post to further elaborate …

Cosmology

Jambudvipa Mountain Heights

The following is a response to some questions that have arisen regarding the 7th chapter in the book Mystic Universe. The central problems pertain to the following key issues: I have shown Jambudvīpa as a stepped structure, while others take it as flat I have shown that the mountains are stepped, rather than off a …

Cosmology

Did We Land on the Moon?

According to a Gallup poll, about 6% of Americans believe that man never went to the moon; they endorse conspiracy theories in which these landings were supposedly staged in a studio. This post is not about such conspiracy theories. I will discuss why we cannot go to the moon, although we can have the experience …

Cosmology

The Universe in a Lotus Stem

One of the most enduring images in the Vedic scriptures is that of Lord Brahma sitting on a lotus the stem of which goes down to the navel of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is also praised as Hiranyagarbha. The fourteen planetary systems in Vedic cosmology are described to reside inside the “stem” of this lotus, which …

Biology Cosmology Medicine

Lessons of Ayurveda for Vedic Cosmology

The previous post discussed the model of the human body in Ayurveda. If you haven’t noticed, the most surprising aspect of Ayurveda is that it remains silent on what modern medicine calls heart, lungs, intestines, brain, pancreas, spleen, etc. It is surprising because modern medical education begins with anatomy and memorizing anatomy is every student’s …

Biology Cosmology Medicine

The Ayurveda Model of a Living Body

Vedic knowledge provides detailed information about many aspects of material nature such as cosmology, sociology, psychology, and biology. For example, the Śrimad Bhāgavatam provides a detailed cosmic model. Varṇāśrama is a sociological model. Sāńkhya is a cognitive model. And Ayurveda is a biological model. All these models have structural resemblances and by understanding one model …

Cosmology Politics Psychology

The Illusion of Nationhood

An earlier post outlined the differences between physical space and conceptual space. The next post then outlined how the conceptual space is suited to describe societies and ecosystems. This post discusses how the conceptual space creates the phenomena and the illusion of physical space. In this illusion, the weakly interacting locations (in conceptual space) appear …