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Is it worthwhile discussing Darwin's Theory?

From: Venkat Nagarajan (
Date: Thu May 20 1999 - 08:06:01 PDT

Dear bhagavatas,

This is something I have been contemplating for a while and 
feel it is a worthwhile topic for discussion.  In fact, this topic is
quite relevant given the current discussion of mundane topics
such as Darwin's theory of evolution.  I wrote to Sri. Krishna 
Kalale about this and he gave me some feedback.  I submit this 
refined outline, of my (current and partial) understanding, for
feedback.   Note I will continue with the posts on elements of
Vis'isTadvaita Vedanta this weekend.

Knowledge (dharmabhUta-jNAna) is a substance (dravya)
that inheres in the Jiva as an attribute.  This knowledge
(dharmabhUta-jNAna), being substance, is subject to 
modification due to Karama (for Jiva's subject to karma.)  
These modifications bring about different states of knowledge. 
Knowledge can be implicitly classified into two broad 
categories, mainly spiritual and mundane.  Spiritual knowledge
is that which is required to experience the bliss of Brahman. 
Mundane knowledge is that which is not required for 
experiencing the bliss of Brahman. 

Given this, a mukthA is one who has fully expanded
Dharma-Bhuta-Jnana in what sense? 

-For the mukhA, knowledge is in a state such that the bliss of
Brahman can be experienced in its fullest form.  

Then in what sense is a muktA omniscient or all knowing?  
-If we think of the Brahmajnanam (knowledge required to 
enjoy the bliss of Brahman in the fullest form) as a 
subset (a particular state) of the universal set of knowledge,
then there are infinitely many subsets (states) consisting of
Brahmajnanam plus some other extraneous knowledge; a 
muktA, by using its will, can modify the dharma-bhuta jnana
to take on any one of these states. .

A Baddha jivAtman, who aspires for moksha, should cultivate 
Brahmajnanam, for that alone helps to develop the conviction
required for unconditional surrender to Brahman.  Extraneous 
(mundane) knowledge is only helpful in the sense that it aids
in the cultivation of Brahmajnanam.  

Should this not be the sense in which extraneous knowledge 
(or mundane knowledge) is viewed?  

Given the above, how is Darwin's theory relevant to an 
aspirant of mokshA, who's prarabdha karma is such that he
or she is in a field that does not involve the study of Darwin's
theory ?  

Please note, I am not trying to argue that mundane 
knowledge is totally useless; I am merely arguing that it is 
only useful in the sense that it may help in the cultivation of