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Is the Material World an Illusion or Reality?

Several people have asked me in recent days about the nature of māyā. This made me realize how little this concept is understood, and prompted me to write the following long post describing the problem of illusion, the various problems ...
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The Nyāya Conception of a Scientific Theory

Below is the translation and commentary on some of the Nyāya Sutras, which describe the nature of a scientific theory as comprised of four aspects. The first aspect represents the purpose of the system; the second, the functional parts that ...
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The Scientific Study of Consciousness

Vedic texts divide experience into the seer, the seen, and the seeing. We can also call these the knower, the known, and the knowing. What we commonly call ‘consciousness’ is the process of seeing or knowing. This seeing or knowing ...
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God and Mathematics

The following is a somewhat extended version of a reply to some questions that I sent today to an interested reader. I thought this description would be relevant and useful even to others, and hence I decided to post it ...
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Nature is Pregnant with Possibility – The Doctrine of Satkāryavāda

I'm currently translating the original text of Sāñkhya Sūtras composed by Sage Kapila, and it discusses the doctrine of Satkāryavāda, and its distinctions with other philosophies. This discussion is important for those interested in understanding Sāñkhya. While the full translation ...
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Dreams, Misperceptions, Hallucinations, Illusions, and Ignorance

All students of epistemology cite many categories of experience that are not knowledge, in order to distinguish them from knowledge. These categories are different in Western and Vedic systems of philosophy. In particular, in the latter, dreams are not considered ...
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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 ...
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I Am The Creator, From Me Comes Everything

In practically every religion of the world God is said to be the creator of the universe. And this leads atheistic people to say: "No, the universe came from the Big Bang; no God was involved". But Kṛṣṇa says in ...
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The Principles of Beauty

The question of beauty has been incessantly debated since Greek times in Western philosophy, but it has some simple answers, if we adopt the view that the world is idea-like. When we look at a rose, and we cognize it ...
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Prabhupāda’s Three Big Ideas on Science

Much has been said about Prabhupāda’s visionary leadership and scholarship in bringing India’s authentic culture, civilization, philosophy, and practice to the Western world. But very little is said about his vision for the future of the world as seen through ...
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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 ...
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Consciousness Has a Gender

In the previous post, we discussed how matter is also consciousness, although a different type of consciousness. We identified three types of consciousness—God, soul, and matter—and discussed their natures. This post extends that discussion and identifies three genders associated with ...
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Matter is Also Consciousness

The modern scientific study of matter arose out of the mind-body duality created by Descartes, who wanted to separate the endeavors of the Church (i.e. religion) from those of a rational-empirical inquiry (i.e. science). Similar kinds of dualities have existed ...
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Why Theism Needs Alternative Causation

Imagine that a moving billiard ball collides with a static one, and transfers its energy, which causes the static billiard ball to start moving. The cause of the change is energy, and due to conservation, once energy is transferred to ...
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The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Most religions speak about the Supreme Person simply as “God”. In Vedic texts, He is described as Īśvara. But in the Gaudīya Vaishnava literature, since the time of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvati Thakur, the term “Supreme Personality of Godhead” is often ...
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Three Aspects of Love

What is love? Is it one thing or many? Is there anything in common between brotherly love and motherly one? Why is love so elusive to understand, even though many of us may have felt it? Why is love often ...
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Consciousness is Rooted in Inner Conflict

This post discusses how choice arises from conflict, in the act of conflict resolution. The nature of this conflict, how conflict resolution leads to compromises in which one side goes dominant and the other subordinate, and how the dominant-subordinate structure ...
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How Living Systems Violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics

When James Clerk Maxwell proposed the second law of thermodynamics, he envisioned a thought experiment in which two chambers of gas were joined by a small door under the control of a ‘demon’ who would selectively open the door depending ...
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Secularism in Vedic Philosophy

Secularism arose during the era of Enlightenment in Europe with the aim to relegate religion to the private realm and determine the public sphere by reason and experience. Europe wasn’t arguing for the equality of all religions in the eyes ...
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Mob Psychology—Does a Group Have a Mind?

It is common to think that a person has a body and a mind. But when groups of people act in concerted ways, it seems that they are a singular body controlled by a mind. How is a random collection ...
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A Random Walk Through Perception

I have recently received several questions about Sāñkhya. These include the differences between senses and organs, that between inert matter and a living body, how desires influence perception, how Sāñkhya elements could be understood in analogy to motion, and the ...
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Atomic Reality and the Crisis of Realism

It is commonplace for people to assert that quantum theory indicates a lack of objectivity or reality, when all it indicates is the failure of the classical conception of reality. In the classical conception, when you cut an apple, you ...
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The Conundrum of Free Will

Since the beginning of science, nature was believed to be controlled by some laws which can be used to make predictions about the future independent of the individual observers. The observers cannot have choices because through these choices the future ...
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The Cyclic Model of Causality

In modern science, causes are equated to forces. These forces represent how change occurs; it involves explaining the creation of a trajectory. However, forces don’t explain why change occurs, which involves the goal or destination along with a moral justification ...
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Study Consciousness in Science?

In this post I will explore some philosophical ideas from Vedic philosophy and try to describe what consciousness is and argue that we cannot reduce consciousness to matter, but we can study matter using consciousness as the model. In short, ...
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