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Nilachala Saraswata Sangha
Branch: America Saraswata Sangha
Program for Young Aspirants’ Session
Date: March 4, 2012
Time: 11:15am-11:55am (Eastern)/10:15am-10:55am (Central)/08:15am-08:55am (Pacific)/
3:15pm - 3:55pm (GMT)
Phone Number - 1-218-936-1100 Access Code – 62719#
Backup Number – 1-218-936-1200 Access Code- 52924878
Pranam and opening of the curtain (Bhaba
Shri Guru Pranam - Short Stotra Bandana
Reading – Matter of knowledge
Discussion and Q & A
Bhaba Binimaya
Invitation for the next session – 03-18-12
Beg for forgiveness for any mistakes
Last Song (Dayamaya Shricharane)
Pranam, Jayaguru Nama Kirtan and closing of
11:15 – 11:16
Gyan Bhai
Gyan Bhai
Gyan Bhai
11:16 – 11:18
11:18 – 11:20
11:20 – 11:30
11:30 – 11:45
11:45 – 11:50
11:50 – 11:51
11:51 – 11:52
11:52 – 11:53
11:53 – 11:54
11:54 – 11:55
Beginning Prarthana:
Bhaba Bandhana Mochana Pujyabaram
Gunahinamasesha Gunadhipatim
Bhaba-bhirujane Satatam Baradam
Pranamami Gurum Siva Kalpatarum
Shri Guru Pranam:
Om Brahmanandam parama sukhadam kevalam jnanamurtim
Dvandatitam gagana sadrisam tattvamasyadi laksyam
Ekam nityam vimalamachalam sarvadhi saksibhutam
Bhavatitam trigunarahitam sadgurum tam namami.
Jayaguru. I invite Shri Shri Thakura, all the young aspirants, their parents and other
members of America Saraswat Sangha to our next session to be held on Sunday,
March 18, 2012 at 11:15 eastern time.
Beg for forgiveness for any mistakes:
Jayaguru. On behalf of all the young aspirants of America Saraswat Sangha, I beg for
forgiveness from Shri Shri Thakur for any mistakes that we might have made.
The matter of knowledge
What is soul (Atma), who is God and what is known as Universe? To learn these is
discussion on knowledge and is necessary for salvation. Our primary duty is to study the
scriptures about spiritual philosophy such that we can practice the learning process. The
scripture of knowledge is nothing but the scriptures of spiritual philosophy. There are six
original scriptures of Hindu spiritual philosophies. There are:
1. Nyaya (the school of logic) by Gautam
2. Vaisheshika (the school of atomist) by Kanad
3. Samkhya ( the school of enumeration) by Kapil
4. Yoga (Meditation) by Patanjali
5. Mimansha, also known as Purva Mimansha (the tradition of Vedic exgesis) by Jaimini
6. Vedanta also known as Uttara Mimansha by Vyasha
Moreover, the disciples of the original writers of these six scriptures have also written many
books of spiritual philosophies. However, there is no difference of opinion on the topics of
salvation in any of these scriptures. Only difference is in the process of achieving salvation.
Let’s describe each of the philosophies:
The most important contribution made by the Nyaya School to modern Hindu thought is
its methodology to prove existence of God, based on the Vedas. This methodology is
based on a system of logic that, subsequently, has been adopted by the majority of the
other Indian schools, orthodox or not. This is comparable to how Western science and
philosophy can be said to be largely based on Aristotelian logic.
However, Nyaya differs from Aristotelian logic in that it is more than logic in its own right.
Its followers believed that obtaining valid knowledge was the only way to obtain release
from suffering. They therefore took great pains to identify valid sources of knowledge
and to distinguish these from mere false opinions. Nyaya is thus a form of epistemology
in addition to logic.
According to the Nyaya School, there are exactly four sources of knowledge
(pramanas): perception, inference, comparison, and testimony. Knowledge obtained
through each of these can, of course, still be either valid or invalid. As a result, Nyaya
scholars again went to great pains to identify, in each case, what it took to make
knowledge valid, in the process creating a number of explanatory schemes. In this
sense, Nyaya is probably the closest Indian equivalent to contemporary analytic
Epistemology (is a branch of philosophy dealing with nature and scope of knowledge)
The Nyaya epistemology considers knowledge (jñāna) or cognition (buddhi) as
apprehension (upalabdhi) or consciousness (anubhava). Knowledge may be valid or
invalid. The Naiyayikas (the Nyaya scholars) accepted four valid means (pramaṇa) of
obtaining valid knowledge - perception (pratyakṣa), inference (anumāna), comparison
(upamāna) and verbal testimony (śabda). Invalid knowledge includes memory (smṛti),
doubt (saṁśaya), error (viparyaya) and hypothetical reasoning (tarka).
Pratyakṣa (perception) occupies the foremost position in the Nyaya epistemology.
Perception is defined by Akṣapāda Gautama in his Nyaya Sutra as a 'non-erroneous
cognition which is produced by the interaction of sense-organs with the objects, which
is not associated with a name and well-defined'. Perception can be of two types,
laukika (ordinary) and alaukika (extraordinary).
Ordinary perception
Ordinary (Laukika or Sadharana) perception is of six types - visual-by eyes, olfactoryby nose, auditory-by ears, tactile-by skin, gustatory-by tongue and mental-by mind.
Extra-ordinary perception
Extraordinary (Alaukika or Asadharana) perception is of three types, viz.,
Samanyalakshana (perceiving generality from a particular object), Jñanalakshana
(when one sense organ can also perceive qualities not attributable to it, as when
seeing a chili, one knows that it would be bitter or hot), and Yogaja (when certain
human beings, from the power of Yoga, can perceive past, present and future and have
supernatural abilities, either complete or some).
Anumāna (inference) is one of the most important contributions of the Nyaya. It can be
of two types: inference for oneself (Svarthanumana, where one does not need any
formal procedure, and at the most the last three of their 5 steps), and inference for
others (Parathanumana, which requires a systematic methodology of 5 steps).
Inference can also be classified into 3 types: Purvavat (inferring an unperceived effect
from a perceived cause), Sheshavat (inferring an unperceived cause from a perceived
effect) and Samanyatodrishta (when inference is not based on causation but on
uniformity of co-existence). A detailed anaysis of error is also given, explaining when
anumana could be false.
Upamāna, which can be roughly translated as comparison is the knowledge of the
relationship between a word and the object denoted by the word. It is produced by the
knowledge of resemblance or similarity, given some pre-description of the new object
Verbal testimony:
Śabda or verbal testimony is defined as the statement of a trustworthy person
(āptavākya), and consists in understanding its meaning. It can be of two types, Vaidika
(Vedic), which are the words of the four sacred Vedas, and are described as the Word
of God, having been composed by God, and Laukika, or words and writings of
trustworthy human beings. Vaidika testimony is preferred as the infallible word of God,
and Laukika testimony must by its nature be questioned and overruled by more
trustworthy knowledge if such becomes available.