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Comments Posted By Thakur Haridas das

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Astronomical Models of Lunar Position

In response to Priyavrata Prabhu I can only offer my respectful obeisances. He has succinctly expressed my thoughts better than I can.

To Bhakta Roy Baba, I believe that Einstein’s relativity theory has already been applied to small deviations from the predictions of Newtonian mechanics in Mercury’s orbit.

Srila Prabhupada has translated: “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.” SB 11.19.7 quoted in Cc Madhya 9.362

Why you “cannot agree with logical hypothesis, empirical observation, and established historical precedents” applying to a model in the Temple of Vedic Planetarium?

You say that I seem to argue that “modern mainstream science has more answers than the sastras”. I apologize if my writing gave that unintended perception.

A devotee’s entire life is guided by sastra, not by science. Science is irrefutably subordinate to sastra, but it is not irrelevant. Science is best understood properly as part of Vedic epistemology.

Modern empirical science, done properly, is (in set theoretic terms) a proper subset of Vedic science or, in simple words, a small part of Vedic knowledge.

I appreciate SD Muni’s thoughts. Yes, we could make a “distant moon” model as a hypothesis. But Srila Prabhupada wants the model to be scientific and to explain lunar phases, seasons, eclipses, etc.

Therefore, we should take the empirical and scientific evidence into account, not ignore it.

My repeated, most respectful obeisances to all of you and to all Vaisnava devotees.

Comment Posted By Thakur Haridas das On 07.11.2010 @ 16:15

Pavamana Prabhu, I agree with you that we cannot refute Vedic literature. But we can misunderstand it.

I did not mean to imply in any way that descending knowledge is to be taken less seriously than ascending knowledge. I apologize for my unclear expression. My point is, rather, that ascending knowledge, the other three pramanas, should not simply be disregarded. They also must be taken seriously.

It is not a matter of either or. Vedic science is based upon all four pramanas.

Srila Prabhupada exemplifies this scientific approach in the example which you cite about cow dung: “In Calcutta, a very prominent scientist and doctor analyzed cow dung and found that it contains all antiseptic properties.” [Isopanishad Introduction]

We need an exegetical, or complete and balanced, view of sastra. If we just read that stool is impure and overlook the statement about the purity of cow dung, we may err.

We have to consider all the sastra, and all the evidence.

I agree with your conclusion that we can’t disregard sastric statements about Lord Krishna, the spiritual world, or anything else on the grounds that modern science does not corroborate. The great advantage of descending knowledge is that it provides evidence not otherwise available through the ascending process.

Comment Posted By Thakur Haridas das On 07.11.2010 @ 16:10

Mother Abhaya Mudra, how can we know that the 880,000 miles distance applies to the earth globe and the moon, when it refers to Bhu-mandala and “rays of the sun”?

The Surya-siddhanta model and modern model give accurate predictions. We use these models for our calendars, tide tables, etc. Utility is the principle.

That is not to say that the Bhu-mandala model is useless or incorrect. We accept Vedic literature implicitly as Srila Prabhupada taught. But it seems that there is more to it than meets our conditioned vision.

The first verse of Srimad-bhagavatam states that even great sages and demigods are bewildered by the illusory representations of this material world.

You are endeavoring to make a model, and say it will take a few years. Producing accurate equations of motion for celestial mechanics is difficult. But can you give even a conceptual idea or hint of how a “distant moon” model would account for the phases of the moon?

Comment Posted By Thakur Haridas das On 07.11.2010 @ 16:06

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