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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Western Science, Astrology and Arsenic – IV

It is not difficult to “explain” how the “grahayas” affect the destiny of people (bipedal hominids) in terms of an Astrological field exerted by the former. It has to be emphasized that the “grahayas” are not “graha vasthu” or planets though in certain cases we may identify the “grahayas” with the planets. In the case of “Hiru” and “Sandu” the objects associated with them are not planets, and “Rahu” ad “Kethu” cannot be identified with any physical objects as such, as we have mentioned in the previous installments. Now in the case of a planet such as Saturn, or Sun or Moon we may say that it exerts a gravitational field, an electromagnetic field and an astrological field in addition to many other fields we have not been able to create. Systems of knowledge including the phenomena are created by human beings and theories are nothing but stories created to “explain” phenomena that we observe or create. All concepts and theories are relative and are created within cultures based on chinthanayas. Rahu and Kethu being the points of intersection of the paths of the Sun and the Moon relative to the Earth we may say that they exert astrological fields but neither gravitational fields nor electromagnetic fields.

There are so many factors that affect the lives of the bipedal hominids, the astrological fields exerted by the “grahayas” being only one such factor. The self confidence, free will are also such factors in addition to political, economic and cultural factors not to mention “kamma” which the Buddhists  the Hindus believe. It is not the resultant of all these factors or “forces” that affect the lives of the bipedal hominids but one or few of them as the case may be. The resultant of forces is a concept that belongs to the Newtonian Paradigm in which we are not interested. One of the factors would become the significant factor putting all the others into the oblivion. For example the Buddhists believe that when a bipedal hominid or even an animal for that matter dies it is the Cuti Citta that decides where the animal has its punabbhava and not whether the animal or the bipedal hominid is treated by the best western surgeon or the best western physician, or whether the government has supplied a dialyzer of so called international standards.

The electromagnetic field does not influence neutral bodies but affect only bodies that are amenable to electromagnetic fields. It is different from the gravitational field which is said to be universal, in the sense that all bodies and particles are affected by the gravitational field. Not all people can “observe” gods bhootas and such “pranins” (living beings not biological systems) and many people are neutral as far as these “pranins” are concerned. It is two such “pranins” who told our team that worked on CKDu that Arsenic is the main cause of the disease and that has been accepted by western scientists in El Salvador and Cuba who studied the Kidney Disease prevalent among sugar cane farmers in some South American countries. The South Americans had called their Kidney Disease that due to non traditional causes before they also found that Arsenic is the main cause. As the bhootas and such “pranins” could be observed only by those with some kind of spiritual power to do so, it may be that the astrological field is not universal and some bipedal hominids are not affected by the field.   

In the absence of all the other factors one may say the astrological field decides the fate of the some bipedal hominids but when the other factors are also active the astrological factor could predict the destiny of the hominid bipedal only on a statistical basis. Some of the predictions may become true but others not true. In western sciences even when other factors are not considered statistical methods are used in arriving at conclusions. Western science that depends on generalizations from few (even if it is thousands of observations it is only a tiny fraction of the possible observations) observations using induction has to depend on statistical methods. However these very same people who use statistical methods even when prescribing medicines would demand that Astrology should predict with hundred percent certainty if it is to be believed. Western Science is nothing but induction and storytelling.

This brings us to Cullahatti Padopama Sutta that Dr. Waidyanatha had mentioned in his article. This Sutta was conveyed to the Sinhala people by Ven. Mahinda Thero and is supposed to be the first Sutta by the Venerable Thero to the former, though it is certainly not the first Sutta to be conveyed in this island. Even before the arrival of Ven. Mahinda Thero there had been people who had attained Nibbana (Rahathan Vahanse) and Bhikkus who belonged to the Yaksha Gotra (not the tribe in the sense of English and other westerners who refer to African tribes), according Vargapurnikava, a book of the Yakshas, and we would say that before the arrival of Ven. Mahinda Thero there was what we could call the Hela Vihara and Bhikkus who could be called Hela Viharavasins. The pioneer Bhikkus of Hela Vihara had listened to Budun Vahanse according to Vargapurnikava, and what we received from Ven. Mahinda Thero was the Bududahama of the third Sangayana (Council). Ven. Mahinda Thero went on to establish a Vihara which became the dominant Vihara in time to come and came to be known as the Maha (great or dominant) Vihara with Hela Vihara losing its influence.

In any event what Ven. Mahinda Thero conveyed in the Cullahatti Padopama Sutta is that “prathyaksha” is the mean of knowledge and inference (anumana) should be discarded. The Thero pronounced  “Do not reach judgment on the identity of the elephant merely on the basis of the size of its footprints or the tusk marks it has made on tree trunks or the height of branches it has broken”. The identity of the elephant should not be inferred based on the footprints etc., but should be made after seeing it by “prathyaksha”. Western Science relies on induction and storytelling and not on “prathyaksha”. As I have mentioned in my previous installments western science first rejects “prathyaksha” though not in the same sense as in Bududahama, and then use induction to generalize observations, and construct a story (so called theory) to explain the generalized observation and then use “prathyaksha” to verify or test the theory. There is a contradiction in this so called scientific method that uses Statistics to generalize a observation to the whole population using some arbitrary samples, though the western scientists calim that the samples are selected in a scientific manner.

There may be so many “scientists” in Sri Lanka coming out with various substances as the cause of the CKDu. They are all inferences and guess work, however “intelligent” the guessing may be, and as Dr. Waidyanatha says they are only “bits of information”,  at best. They could be bits of disinformation as well as none of the so called scientists vouch that they are their ‘prathyakshas”.  Our group has based our work on the “prathyaksha” of the “pranins” mentioned above and according to them Arsenic is the main cause of the CKDu. What they told us was that Arsenic from Agrochemicals gets hidden in the  Magnesium and Calcium salts in hard water and reach the kidneys of the poor farmers who consume hard water (kivul jalaya) in the affected areas. It is certainly not an inference arrived from bits of information and it is we who have followed the Cullahatti Padopama Sutta  and not the so called scientists. It should be finally said that like the Kalama Sutta misquoted by pundits Cullahatti Padopama Sutta is being presented as a Sutta that tallies with the so called method of western science.


Nalin De Silva