You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : June 1999

on the nature of philosophy..

srivats_at_sasi.com
Date: Tue Jun 01 1999 - 06:47:55 PDT

hi:

i seek to make a few observations on the nature of various philosophies.
this is partly in response to a comment which proposed that they were
mutually exclusive to one other. please view my comments as constructive
contributions - i dont intend to slight anyone in the process.

it is not wrong to state that True Happiness, Liberation, mOkshA, etc..
are terms with identical connotations. these terms describe our ultimate
objective/goal and there is no conflict amongst these terms .. so much so,
that they can be interchangeably used.

i hasten to add that description of True Happiness in words is an
impossible task. infact, language is a very serious limitation that
inhibits accuracy. as a result, when we attempt to describe the Ultimate,
we fall short miserably and only a Projection of the Reality is elucidated
by the words we used.

it is like shining light on an object - there is absolutely no way, it can
be seen/known FULLY by viewing it from one angle .. if u saw its front
face, what about the back side? what about the bottom face? ... how does
it look from inside, what is it like between the walls? there can be
infinite aspects about it that are not yet captured .. give me 1 million
aspects about the object and i will come up with one more, that was not 
addressed to, by that million.

this is a weak example and i insist it must not be extended beyond this
point. what i am trying to convey is that, every philosophy is a an
attempt to describe the Ultimate .. some do a bad job of it, some others
do better, but none can capture it all. it eventually boils down to
experience. we must understand that there is this underlying limitation.

there was a reference to mathematics as the ultimate science in the
mundane realm. similarly, philosophy is something of a mundane science in
the ulimate realm! that does not discount the need for philosophy at all.
the goal of any philosophy will then be, to throw light in such a way, as
to GUIDE/LEAD us to the Ultimate Experience.

the greatness of the vEdAs thus springs forth here. in recognition of the
limitations of language, the vEdAs are so beautifully and profoundly
crafted, that they form a framework/abstraction for many philosophies.

the vEdAs are at a level of abstraction higher than that of immediate
human comprehension .. a sort of container for many different philosophies
- just like how in algebra 'x' can be used to describe any of the infinite
different numbers.

i conclude by insisting on the necessity to adhere to one philosophy,
atleast till our capabilities to abstract, scales to higher levels.
otherwise, confusion sets in, since we are unable to capture the
underlying oneness in the different philosophies.

regards
srivats