Scientific pertinence of Advaita Vedānta: An expedition
Niveditha R Dileep
Advaita Vedānta, the non-dualistic form of Vedanta philosophy expounded by Sri Śaṅkarācārya, stands as the soul of Indian orthodox philosophical Systems. It refers to its idea that the true self (Ātman) is the same as the ultimate metaphysical entity (Brahman). The unity of Jivātma and Paramātma is the main aim of Advaita philosophy. The basic concept of Advaita Vedānta can be understand from the following famous Advaitic expression; “ब्रह्मसत्यंजगन्मिथ्या | जीवोब्रह्मैवनअपर: |।”.Advaita considers ‘Brahman ‘as the ultimate entity. It is accepted as the world’s most sumptuous, ancient, superannuated and pioneering testimony of the Science of mind. Even though Advaita expresses the spiritualistic side, materialistic side is also veiled in an embryo form. It is difficult to synthesise both science and spirituality as the former deals with materialistic theory while latter deals with spiritual science. Most of the scholars who were in an arduous search of knowledge focused only in the philosophical study of Advaita. Some of them never ever subjected its materialistic side especially the scientific aspect. Generally Spirituality is considered to be opposed to Science as it is closely associated with materialism. Some protagonists in the scientific field deliberately deny the concept of the Ātman and soul.Then how can we correlate both? What is the purpose of correlating both? Well it’s a relevant question. Being a part of philosophical inquisition, it is essential to focus on the contemporary pertinent thoughts of it, with special reference to modern world. We are living in a world, which is embellished with the impetus implementation of science and Technology.
Nowadays for everything we need scientific validity and it is very difficult to digest any idea which is scientifically irrelevant in nature. As Ādi Śaṅkaracharya says “प्रधान मल्लेन निर्बहण न्यायेन”, it is vital to defeat the most indispensable opponent i.e. modern scientific traits. But both spirituality and science are entirely different in nature. Because of that I don’t have any intention to make a differentiation or comparison between science and spirituality. But literally we can trace common traits in both. An Advaiti (one who is specialised in Advita vedānta) can understand the specific unrealism only with the help of materialism.