Ruminations on Vedic Philosophy

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Philosophy

Free Will—Self-Control vs. Other-Control

In Abrahamic religions, free will is defined as the soul’s capacity to control matter. The soul is said to be free in the sense that it can do whatever it wants with material things. Conversely, the soul shouldn’t do such things to other souls, unless they acquiesce, because they too are free. Since animals and …

Philosophy Psychology

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 relation between yoga and the control of senses and the mind. These are not tightly …

Philosophy Physics

Sāńkhya and Modern Atomism

Sāńkhya has a theory of atomism, which is quite different than the theory of modern atomism. The modern description of atoms is based on the distinction between matter and force whereas the Sāńkhya description is based on the distinction between words and meanings. Clearly, we cannot expect the two descriptions to be similar, and making …

Overview Philosophy Physics Religion

Why God is a Scientific Construct

Vaishnava literature describes four forms of God—Vasudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha. These four forms are also said to be the masters of mind (Aniruddha), intelligence (Pradyumna), ego (Saṅkarṣaṇa) and mahattattva (Vasudeva), which are material elements in Sāńkhya. This leads us to ask: how is God the “master” of a material element, and how is the …