Ruminations on Vedic Philosophy

Showing: 123 RESULTS
Philosophy

Seeing the West Through a Vedic Lens

For the last several centuries, the Western academic discourse on Vedic civilization has been applying Western categories to the Vedic culture, but the Vedic culture hasn’t applied its categories to the West. If we don’t apply our categories to others, we are molded by their categories. If we don’t respond to how others see us, …

Philosophy

Four Defects of Human Knowledge

Śrila Prabhupāda often talked about the four defects of souls “conditioned” by the material energy—(a) imperfect senses, (b) illusions, (c) committing mistakes, and (d) cheating propensity. He then explained that humans are incapable of acquiring perfect knowledge due to these four defects. Finally, he stated that the Vedic texts are produced by persons free of …

Advice Philosophy

Free Will vs. Willpower

I have earlier discussed the differences between two distinct ideas of free will: Self-control vs. other control. The central argument of that post was that the conception of free will in which we are free to control others is false, but the conception in which we can control ourselves is true. However, as anyone who …

Philosophy

What is Causal Closure?

Toward the end of a recent conversation, someone asked me: “Is the universe causally closed?” For a moment I was stumped because I realized that what the person is really asking is whether God intervenes in the universe. If God intervenes in the universe, then the universe is not causally closed. If He doesn’t, then …

Philosophy

How Do You Know You Are Not Dreaming?

In a recent post, I discussed the four tiers of reality, called waking, dreaming, deep sleep, and transcendent. Each successive stage of reality is given greater importance, which means that dreaming is more important than waking. This surprises people—We dream when we sleep; how can sleeping be more important than waking? In this post, I …

Mathematics Philosophy

The Invention of Zero

It is often said that Indians invented the zero, which then allowed the invention of negative numbers, complex numbers, and then modern mathematics and physics. The Roman numeral system (which followed the Greek system of counting) did not have zero. After all, zero represented “nothing”, which was purely conceptual but not physical. When zero is …

Philosophy

Responses to YouTube Comments

I got invited to an atheist podcast. I’m reluctant to engage because my previous attempts have revealed gross levels of (a) ignorance about the fundamentals of modern science, (b) ignorance about the historical chain of events that led to current science, (c) ignorance of anything other than current mainstream Western thinking, (d) inability to grasp …

Philosophy Physics

Chicken and Egg Problems in Science

In an earlier forum response, I described some chicken and egg problems in science in describing space, time, and objects. I thought this can be elaborated in detail to illustrate the nature of the problem, and how these are solved in Sāñkhya philosophy, leading to the conclusion that whatever we call the “body” springs out …