Advaita Philosophy, Yoga Philosophy

Introduction – Excerpts

Then who knows from whence came this existence?
From whence came this universe?
He, the foremost in all this creation,
Who is controlling it all from the highest of the Heavens
Perhaps He knows, or perhaps even He knows not!

Rig Veda X.129

When we look at the main existential questions, we are at once faced with a number of paradoxes that seem impossible for our minds to reason out. In considering space and time, for example, we come across one such contradiction. We cannot conceive of the world being finite in space, for immediately the question of what then lies beyond this limit presents itself. Nor can we hold in our minds the concept that the universe is infinitely large and never has an end no matter how far we travel in it. Similarly, we cannot conceive of a beginning or end of time, nor can we conceive of ages which do not have a beginning in the past or an end in the future. But yet we know that both time and space must be either finite or infinite, as we cannot conceive of anything being both finite and infinite either. Our minds, it seems, just do not have enough brainpower to solve this riddle.

The world presents vast areas where the mind has to turn back for want of light. This confusion gives rise to the idea of something beyond the world to explain it: the concept of God. Only such a supernatural power seems to explain all that we see around us. Every culture eventually arrives at this concept of God as a lid on the disorder. However, there has been a dramatic advancement in our knowledge in the last two hundred years. Several of the great mysteries that frustrated mankind in previous ages have been solved. We now know far more of life and far more of the universe than we ever have in all of history. The need for God as an explanation has considerably lessened as we found satisfactory answers that do not need an outside cause. A radical departure from our previous ideas of God and religion would be needed to reconcile them with the growth in scientific knowledge in the past two centuries.

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Index /Intro/ Chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Biblio

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