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Re: ARTICLE : Modern Discoveries in Ancient Works

Posted By Rajan P. Parrikar (parrikar@spot.Colorado.EDU)
Tue, 7 Jan 1997 23:41:28 -0700 (MST)

kishore@mail.utexas.edu (Kishore Krshna) writes:

>I doubt that he meant to denigrate Newton's accomplishment as you're
>claiming - had he wished to do so, he could have easily said outright that
>Newton does not deserve any credit. His point, and I believe it is a
>valid one is the following (I don't think you disagree given the initial part
>of your post that I snipped):

>"There are many such precious truths embedded in our ancient sastras.
>Because of our ignorance of them we show inordinate respect for ideas
>propounded by foreigners, ideas known to us many centuries before their
>discovery by them".

The inspirational intent of his speeches is laudable. However the contents
of the posted piece I found to be naive and misleading.

As an aside, there is absolutely no need to make a claim (heard too
frequently nowadays) such as on the following lines: "We Hindus knew
it all before everyone else, that all of science is embedded in the
Vedas etc, that if modern Hindus would only care to look deeper into
them they would find it all in there."

>You can come to the Upanishads with religion on your mind, and come away
>with devotion. This is what the Shankaracharyas do. You claim to have scaled
>sublime heights that are inaccessible to them while also advancing the study of
>ancient Indian science (as defined on Western terms).

I don't understand your last sentence. Furthermore, I have made
no claim such as the one you allege.

>>right. Then, quackass, modern science may tomorrow, due to newer
>>theoretical imperatives or fresher rounds of observation, alter its
>>hypothesis and propose a different shape for the universe. If it turns
>>out to be, say, cuboid, I can tell that Brahma ain't going to have
>>a very pleasant time laying those eggs.

>With the literal-midedness you display, I have to wonder if you've
>heard the expression "pregnant with thought" - I hope you don't think
>that someone in this condition is going to give birth literally.

I wish you had thought about this a little more. The point was that
it is very tricky relying on scientific ideas of the day (which are
continually subject to alteration, revision and expulsion) for validation
of one's pet scripture.



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