Archive | January 2015

What Is Knowledge?

A spiritually centered discussion of a recent phenomenon like climate change draws on both the teachings of previous self-realized souls and the empirical observations and conclusions of modern scientists. Depending on the pre-conceptions of the reader, many may be inclined to emphasize one type of knowledge to the exclusion of the other and thus fall short of objectivity on this topic. People of faith often disregard or minimize anything outside the words of their particular scriptures or teachers, sometimes convinced that scientists’ observations and theories are a secular plot to undermine their legitimacy.

On the other hand what could be called materialistic science bases its conclusions solely on what can be measured or experienced with our five human senses – hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste. Even though it is known that things like light and sound exist on wavelengths beyond human perception, these are merely extensions of the phenomena we physically experience. Even the study of such a recent and invisible subject as dark matter is based on its ability to bend the light waves that are perceivable to our senses.

For something to become part of the scientific body of knowledge it must be what is called falsifiable, a concept popularized by philosopher Karl Popper. This doesn’t mean that what modern science accepts is necessarily wrong, but that further research could potentially disprove (falsify) or further elaborate on it.

Sense observation or direct perception is also a type of evidence accepted in Vedic culture, what to speak of most others.

srutih pratyaksam aitihyam
anumanam catustayam
pramanesv anavasthanad
vikalpat sa virajyate
Vedic literature, direct perception, history and hypothesis are the four kinds of evidential proofs. Everyone should stick to these principles for the realization of the Absolute Truth. Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.19.17 Continue reading