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From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (
Date: Thu Jul 22 1999 - 13:39:55 PDT

I saw an item on how "agnostics" are treated in our philosophy.  I just
looked at Webster's to find the definition of the term "agnostic".  The
definition says that "an agnostic is one who holds that human knowledge
is limited to experience, one who denies or doubts the possibility of
ultimate knowledge in some area of study". First, I would like to
ensure that this is the spirit in which the person who raised this
question meant it.  I also would like to know what the equivalent term
in samskRt is for the English word "agnostic".  Is it referring to
someone who questions the existence of God, one who has already
resolved in his/her mind that God does not exist, one who thinks God's
existence cannot be proved, one who holds that God to someone can only
be as much as he/she is able to experience for himself/herself, God
cannot be defined in absolute terms, something different from all of
the above, something that is a combination of all of the above, etc. 
It is my understanding that in our tradition questioning is encouraged,
blind acceptance is discouraged, BhagavAn is beyond our descritpion
through logical analysis and reasoning, He can only be experienced by
each individual who sincerley seeks Him and cannot be 'revealed'to
someone who is not sincere in seeking, etc.  Another very interesting
topic on which I look forward to learning from this list.

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan 
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