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Science Of The Sacred PDF - Vedic Science

The emphasis in this transmission[note 9] is on the "proper articulation and pronunciation of the Vedic sounds", as prescribed in the Shiksha,[75] the Vedanga (Vedic study) of sound as uttered in a Vedic recitation,[76][77] mastering the texts "literally forward and backward in fully acoustic fashion."[69] Houben and Rath note that the Vedic textual tradition cannot simply be characterized as oral, "since it also depends significantly on a memory culture."[78] The Vedas were preserved with precision with the help of elaborate mnemonic techniques,[22][23][24] such as memorizing the texts in eleven different modes of recitation (pathas),[69] using the alphabet as a mnemotechnical device,[79][80][note 10] "matching physical movements (such as nodding the head) with particular sounds and chanting in a group"[81] and visualizing sounds by using mudras (hand signs).[82] This provided an additional visual confirmation, and also an alternate means to check the reading integrity by the audience, in addition to the audible means.[82] Houben and Rath note that a strong "memory culture" existed in ancient India when texts were transmitted orally, before the advent of writing in the early first millennium CE.[80] According to Staal, criticising the Goody-Watt hypothesis "according to which literacy is more reliable than orality,"[83] this tradition of oral transmission "is closely related to Indian forms of science," and "by far the more remarkable" than the relatively recent tradition of written transmission.[note 11]

Science of the Sacred PDF - Vedic Science


The Vedas, Vedic rituals and its ancillary sciences called the Vedangas, were part of the curriculum at ancient universities such as at Taxila, Nalanda and Vikramashila.[104][105][106][107] According to Deshpande, "the tradition of the Sanskrit grammarians also contributed significantly to the preservation and interpretation of Vedic texts."[108] Yāska (4th c. BCE[109]) wrote the Nirukta, which reflects the concerns about the loss of meaning of the mantras,[note 13] while Pāṇinis (4th c. BCE) Aṣṭādhyāyī is the most important surviving text of the Vyākaraṇa traditions. Mimamsa scholar Sayanas (14th c. CE) major Vedartha Prakasha[note 18] is a rare[110] commentary on the Vedas, which is also referred to by contemporary scholars.[111]

Of these, the first three were the principal original division, also called "trayī vidyā"; that is, "the triple science" of reciting hymns (Rigveda), performing sacrifices (Yajurveda), and chanting songs (Samaveda).[141][142] The Rig Veda most likely was composed between c. 1500 BCE and 1200 BCE.[note 1] Witzel notes that it is the Vedic period itself, where incipient lists divide the Vedic texts into three (trayī) or four branches: Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva.[131]

The Vedangas developed towards the end of the vedic period, around or after the middle of the 1st millennium BCE. These auxiliary fields of Vedic studies emerged because the language of the Vedas,[196] composed centuries earlier, became too archaic to the people of that time.[197] The Vedangas were sciences that focused on helping understand and interpret the Vedas that had been composed many centuries earlier.[197]

The belief in scientific foreknowledge in sacred texts is the belief that certain sacred texts document an awareness of the natural world that was later discovered by technology and science. This includes the belief that the sacred text grants a higher awareness of the natural world, like those views held by some Orthodox Jews about the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), by some Muslims regarding the Quran,[1] by certain Christians regarding the Christian Bible, and by certain Hindus regarding the Hindu scriptures. Skeptics have stated some of these attempts are examples of confirmation bias.

The search for Quranic references to and prophecies of modern scientific discoveries has become a popular trend in some Muslim societies;[21] as a manifestation of the popularity of the scientific miracles belief, the Muslim World League at Mecca formed a committee named Committee on the Scientific Miracles of the Qurʾān and the Sunna to investigate the relation between Quran and science, headed by Zaghloul El-Naggar.[1]

Taner Edis, author of An Illusion of Harmony: Science and Religion in Islam, describes this point.[22] He argues that Muslims are more likely to view the Quran as the direct word of God, and so it must be reconciled with their growing respect for science and technology. Edis suggests that Muslims often have a vested interest in finding passages whose interpretation can be stretched to describe modern understanding. He warns that reading into books like this can be misleading, since the method can be used to support any number of contradictory facts. Russel Glasser (a Skeptic from The Atheist Experience TV show with Matt Dillahunty and Jeff Dee) likewise suggests that reading into the Quran like this amounts to cherry picking and risks simply confirming the biases of the investigator.

It seems to us, and to all who care to know, that the conclusions of modern science are the very conclusions the Vedanta reached ages ago; only, in modern science they are written in the language of matter.[26]

Today we find wonderful discoveries of modern science coming upon us like bolts from the blue, opening our eyes to marvels we never dreamt of. But many of these are only re-discoveries of what had been found ages ago. It was only the other day that modern science discovered that what it calls heat, magnetism, electricity, and so forth, are all convertible into one unit force. But this has been done even in the Samhita.[27][28]

In response to criticism to the effect that this is essentially the religious worldview prevalent in early Europe succeeded by the scientific revolution of around the 18th century, Hindutva authors answer that the distinction of science and pseudoscience (or proto-science) is Eurocentric and inapplicable to Vedic science:

Woods Hole Study Concludes: Collapse of Ancient Indus Civilization Due to Climate Change"We reconstructed the dynamic landscape of the plain where the Indus civilization developed 5200 years ago, built its cities, and slowly disintegrated between 3900 and 3000 years ago..." A new study combining the latest archaeological evidence with state-of-the-art geoscience technologies provides evidence that climate change was a key ingredient in the collapse of the great Indus or Harappan Civilization almost 4000 years ago. The study also resolves a long-standing debate over the source and fate of the Sarasvati, the sacred river of Hindu mythology.

This entry provides an overview of the topics and discussions inscience and religion. Section 1 outlines the scope of both fields, andhow they are related. Section 2 looks at the relationship betweenscience and religion in five religious traditions, Christianity,Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism. Section 3 discussescontemporary topics of scientific inquiry in which science andreligion intersect, focusing on divine action, creation, and humanorigins.

The field has presently diversified so much that contemporarydiscussions on religion and science tend to focus on specificdisciplines and questions. Rather than ask if religion and science(broadly speaking) are compatible, productive questions focus onspecific topics. For example, Buddhist modernists (see section 2.4) have argued that Buddhist theories about the self (the no-self) andBuddhist practices, such as mindfulness meditation, are compatible andare corroborated by neuroscience.

Another prominent offshoot of the discussion on science and religionis the New Atheist movement, with authors such as Richard Dawkins, SamHarris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens. They argue thatpublic life, including government, education, and policy should beguided by rational argument and scientific evidence, and that any formof supernaturalism (especially religion, but also, e.g., astrology)has no place in public life. They treat religious claims, such as theexistence of God, as testable scientific hypotheses (see, e.g.,Dawkins 2006).

For the past fifty years, the discussion on science and religion hasde facto been on Western science and Christianity: to whatextent can the findings of Western sciences be reconciled withChristian beliefs? The field of science and religion has only recentlyturned to an examination of non-Christian traditions, providing aricher picture of interaction.

One way to distinguish between science and religion is the claim thatscience concerns the natural world, whereas religion concerns thesupernatural world and its relationship to the natural. Scientificexplanations do not appeal to supernatural entities such as gods orangels (fallen or not), or to non-natural forces (such as miracles,karma, or qi). For example, neuroscientists typically explainour thoughts in terms of brain states, not by reference to animmaterial soul or spirit, and legal scholars do not invoke karmicload when discussing why people commit crimes.

Naturalists draw a distinction between methodologicalnaturalism, an epistemological principle that limits scientificinquiry to natural entities and laws, and ontological orphilosophical naturalism, a metaphysical principle that rejectsthe supernatural (Forrest 2000). Since methodological naturalism isconcerned with the practice of science (in particular, with the kindsof entities and processes that are invoked), it does not make anystatements about whether or not supernatural entities exist. Theymight exist, but lie outside of the scope of scientific investigation.Some authors (e.g., Rosenberg 2014) hold that taking the results ofscience seriously entails negative answers to such persistentquestions into the existence of free will or moral knowledge. However,these stronger conclusions are controversial.

The view that science can be demarcated from religion in itsmethodological naturalism is more commonly accepted. For instance, inthe Kitzmiller versus Dover trial, the philosopher of science RobertPennock was called to testify by the plaintiffs on whether IntelligentDesign was a form of creationism, and therefore religion. If it were,the Dover school board policy would violate the Establishment Clauseof the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Building onearlier work (e.g., Pennock 1998), Pennock argued that IntelligentDesign, in its appeal to supernatural mechanisms, was notmethodologically naturalistic, and that methodological naturalism isan essential component of science. 041b061a72

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