Many believe that any contextual statement can be made context independent by mentioning its conditions explicitly. For example, the statement, “All Indians are Hindus” is context dependent but when I restate it as “The Agarwals living in Vasant Valley, Mumbai, India are Hindus”, it looks like an absolute truth. But I am not satisfied with such a theory because it is just a play of words. Moreover, the objects in the sentence are not absolute. The meaning of the sentence may be absolute but this is insignificant in the broader perspective.
Thus, my ‘absolute truth’ primarily focuses on the objects and not the meaning of sentences. After extensive research on the existence of absolute truth, the only definition of absolute truth that has satisfied me is the one given in the Upanishads(6). They state that the absolute truth is ‘atman’ or the self, which is hidden in every object of creation including man and is the microcosm, representing the macrocosm in each of us. The Katha Upanishad(7) states, “”Know the Self as ‘Lord of Chariot’, the body as ‘chariot’ itself, the ‘buddhi’ (brain) as ‘charioteer’, the mind as ‘reins’ and senses as ‘horses'”.
This statement of the Katha Upanishad tries to convey that ‘self’ is the absolute truth. We fail to realize that the self is a silent partner in all our deeds and quests of knowledge. Its existence is not contextual. It has been rightly said in Isha Upanishad(8), The seeker prays to Brahman,’ The face of truth is hidden behind your golden lid. May you remove the lid so that I may see the Golden Truth! ‘ And when the request is granted and the splendour manifests Itself in him he, submerged in pure bliss, lets out these words, “In truth I am Him. ” This is the ultimate truth.
The self is Lord himself, eternal and context independent. I hope that I have been successful in showing that a contextual account of truth is not only convincing and logical but also leads to a development of a science of truth. It provides the missing half of the picture of truth that is not explicitly evident but is essential for a true truth! On the other hand, the existence of absolute truths in itself is a big question mark. As aforementioned, I could find convincing explanations on its existence only in the Hindu scriptures and have tried my best to do justice to what these scriptures have to convey.
(Word count (excluding title, this statement and whatever follows): 1600) Source Citations and supplementary information 1- Author of How to Get a 2:1 in Media Communication and Cultural Studies. 2- In mathematical logic, the Peano axioms, also known as the Dedekind-Peano axioms or the Peano postulates, are a set of axioms for the natural numbers presented by the 19th century Italian mathematician Giuseppe Peano. 3- Definition taken from Merrian-Webster. 4- Definition taken from Wikipedia. 5- Theory of Knowledge (2nd edition) by Nicholas Alchin. 6- The Upanishads are Hindu scriptures that constitute the core teachings of Vedanta.
They do not belong to any particular period of Sanskrit literature: the oldest, such as the Brhadaranyaka and Chandogya Upanishads, date to the late Brahmana period (around the middle of the first millennium BCE), while the latest were composed in the medieval and early modern period. The Upanishads realize monist ideas, some of which were hinted at in the earlier texts, and they have exerted an important influence on the rest of Hindu Philosophy. 7- The Katha Upanishad is one of the mukhya “primary” Upanishads commented upon by Shankara. It is a relatively late text of the Black Yajurveda, and propounds a dualistic philosophy.
It figures as number 3 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads. It consists of two chapters, each of which has three Vallis or sections. It has some passages in common with the Gita. 8- The Isha Upanishad is significant amongst the Upanishads for its description of the nature of the supreme being (Ish). The Isha Upanishad is one of the shortest of the Upanishads, consisting of 17 or 18 verses in total. The Upanishad appears in the final chapter (adhyaya) of the Shukla Yajurveda, but is historically one of the latest of the principal (mukhya) Upanishads, dating approximately to Mauryan times.