Logic and Beyond…..By MKS

Contributed by M K Subramanian
Logic is an important tool. But it will not be able to unravel the (entire) truth.Let me dwell on the subject, a little…

Logic limits to ‘Sequential’ thinking.’Creative thinking’ and ‘Lateral thinking’ have merits on their own! They too enable resolving problems and arriving at the truth.

For example the great trio – Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva Acharyas did precisely that! They all took the ‘quotes’ from the10 major Upanishads to suit their thinking and branded them [Advaita, Vishishtadvaita and Dvaita respectively)! They were all scholars and thinkers and each one knew the validity of the others view, though they were not contemporaneous. [Sad – the followers started fighting to establish the superiority of their own ‘Guru’ . Instead of learning and grasping their thought they started with asking the wrong question – “Who is right?, instead of “What is right?” or rather “what is the commonness in their apparent contradictions?”]

Going back to the methods of thinking…[Terms coined by Edward de Bono who has written 24 books on methods of thinking]

In ‘Advaita’ Shree Shankara applied ‘Sequential’ (or logical) thinking.
In ‘Vishishta Advaita’ Shree Ramanuja employed Lateral thinking.
In ‘Dvaita’ shree Madhva liberally traded on ‘Creative’ thinking!

In Bhagavat Gita Shree Krishna preached all the three! His terminology was different, though. He called them ‘Karma’ (Creative), Bhakthi (Lateral) and Gyana (Logical and sequential) Marga.[Then the dispute changed to which is superior!].Different people are endowed with different strokes, different temperaments and inclinations. They must choose what they want. That’s what Krishna recommends to Arjuna – to do what pleases him – after 18 chapters! All reach the same goal, ultimately!

I use another analogy during Bhagavata lectures:
1. We all know water is H2O. That’s Gyana. But when one is thirsty he needs water to quench his thirst. You can’t tell him that he is a ignorant fool and bring pipes to his mouth and let Hydrogen and Oxygen flow in 2:1 ratio and expect him to get satiated.
2. To know that the ultimate Truth is Brahman (impersonal God) is Gyana and is essential. But Personal God (with form, attributes and name) helps one to build relationship. That’s the purpose and utilitarian efficacy of Bhakthi.
3. But either way one has to tread a path… take action and pursue the truth… That action and effort is Karma!
The great Management Guru Peter Drucker said “If there is only one right , it is wrong!”. Mahatma Gandhi said “God is not God if he merely satisfied the intellect…”

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. falgun
    Jun 16, 2012 @ 20:57:25

    “To know that the ultimate Truth is Brahman (impersonal God) is Gyana and is essential. But Personal ……” by saying this you revealed how biased and prejudiced your own thinking is rather than reasoning based. Sankar had to fight with buddists and compromise with those leanings within vedic thought hence his philosophy is riddeled with logical fallacies coz advaita-madhyamaka both reject reasoning (as that require differentiation and all) hence can never give any reasoning for sure.

    Reply

    • mghariharan
      Jun 17, 2012 @ 16:17:13

      Regret, I AM SURE MKS would have replied to you both interestingly and correctly Unfortunately He is no more. I Know him for more than 55 Years and he always had a unique way of looking at ideas and expressing it crisply. Thanks for your comments

      Reply

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