[Advaita-l] BG 2.45: nirguNa or saguNa?
bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Tue Jun 14 01:55:25 CDT 2005
praNAms Sri Mahesh Ursekar prabhuji
The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that a Jnani is
"established in (pure) sattva" (or is Saguna Brahman) rather than living in
a state wherein s/he transcends the three gunas (Nirguna Brahman).
Prabhuji, then you mean to say shruti mahAvAkya-s such as *tattvamani*,
*ahaM brahmAsmi* etc. talking about only saguNa brahman nature of jIva?? I
dont think sage Uddalaka had taught his son ShvEtakEtu only saguNa aspect
of ultimate nirguNa brahman when addressing *tattvamasi shvEtakEtu*...
In fact, the only time the three gunas can be transcended is the state of
samadhi, in which all externality is lost and only pure consciousness
prabhuji, I think you are talking about patanjali's asaMprajnaTha samAdhi
here...but this temporary state of *svarUpa shUnyatva* is not shruti
pratipAdita Atmaikatva jnAna...shankara's Atmaikatva darshana is not a
peculiar strange state of coming & going like nirvikalpa/asaMprajnaTha
Therefore, IMHO, samadhi is the ultimate state to reach in spiritual
evolvement (sorry to disagree with you, Jaldhar).
I beg to differ from this view point prabhuji, jnAni's samAdhi state is not
an inert state like of a yOgi in a nirvikalpa samAdhi...samAdhi is quite
natural to jnAni though it appears he is in bodily consciousness & doing
vyavahAra like others...shankara says in kArika bhAshya *samAdhiH samAdhi
nimitta prajnAvagamyatvAt! samAdhIyatE asmin iti vA samAdhiH!! Shankara
talks here samAdhi as transcended knowledge only & it is not any type of
vyavahAra abhAva (absence of transaction) state. jnAni does vyavahAra with
bhAdita jnAna (sublated knowledge) as he has the intuitive realization that
he is sAkshi to jnAtru & jnEya. shankara in sUtra bhAshya says this very
clearly * na cha ayaM vyavahArAbhAvOvasThA viShESha nibhaddhO abhidhIyatE
iti yuktaM vaktuM! tattvamasi iti brahmAtmabhAvasya anavasThAviShESha
Some points in support of the above:
1. Sri Ramakrishna, in his gospel (pp 860) states: "A person may keep
his or her ego even after attaining samadhi. Such a person feels either
that s/he is a servant of God or that s/he is a lover of God. Sankaracharya
retained the 'ego of knowledge' to teach people spiritual life. The
'servant ego', the 'knowledge ego' or the 'devotee ego' may be called the
'ripe ego'. It is different from the 'unripe ego' which makes one feel 'I
am the doer'."
With all due respects to those noble souls & their observations...prabhuji,
I dont think jnAni keeps his *ego* in any form...shankara in gIta bhAshya
says the final (antya) pramANa (shAstra-s) removes the very knowership of
Atman. The individual soul, his/her ego, his/her doership/enjoyership all
holds water only till the intuition dawns in its entirety. Once he realizes
his true nature there is no more identity with nAma rUpa upAdhi.
2. An advaitic interpretation of the Gita wherein the Lord uses the
words like 'I' or 'Me' is interpreted as referring to the Saguna aspect
of Brahman. Was there a greater Jnani than Sri Krishna?
IMHO, as long as we see only the physical form of krishna who is preaching
gIta to Arjuna, it is only saguNa brahman...but when it comes to *tattva*
or *krishNatva* it is nothing but achintya, apramEya, agrAhya, kEvala
nirguNa svarUpa of parabrahman which is yEkamEva advitIyam (one without
BTW, shankara accepts saguNatva of parabrahman ONLY in the sphere of avidyA
& emphasizes on the point that the ultimately parabrahman's nirguNa &
nirAkAra...there is a detailed discussion in the 4th chapter of sUtra
bhAshya about this topic.
3. Take Vidyaranya's definition that Brahman reflected in pure sattva is
Isvara while the same reflected in avidya, in which rajas and tamas are
also present, is the jiva.
Yes, not only jIva with rajas & tamas but brahman with pUre sattva as
Ishvara is also under the realm of avidyA since here jIva accepts Ishvara,
his creation & his (jivA's) separate identity excluding both Ishvara &
Now Sankara's commentary on the famous two bird passage of the Munduka
Upanishad (ref S.Radhakrishnan, Indian philosophy, vol2, pp602) says: "Of
these two so perched, the ksetrajna occupying the subtle body, eats (i.e.
tastes) from ignorance the fruit of karma marked as happiness and misery,
palatable in many and diversified mode; the other, the Lord eternal, pure
intelligent and free in his nature, omniscient and conditioned by sattva,
does not eat; for he is the director of both the eater and the eaten. His
mere witnessing is as good as direction, as in the case of a king". Isn't
the Jnani being referred to as the second bird? And that makes sense, since
in the analogy, it has a body (so attributes like Saguna Brahman) and is
I hope you are talking about *dvAsuparNa* maNtra here...Kindly allow me to
look at shankara bhAshya on it...In anyway, the above observation does not
advocate duality from the platform of pAramArthika & I do agree whereever
in shruti brahman is objectified it is only for the sake of teaching the
ultimate nirguNa nature of parabrahman since nirguNa cannot be objectified
with any means...Hence shruti has adopted unique method of teaching the
nirguNa as *nEti, nEti* ...Anyway, I'll check the bhAshya & come back to
you with more details prabhuji.
All the above said, let me say that like Isvara, the Jnani is not deluded
by maya and can transcend it at will.
prabhuji, if possible can you give me the Shankara bhAshya support for this
Professor, your thoughts on the above would be most welcome since your
wisdom and knowledge would far exceed what my arguments try to convey.
prabhuji I am not a professor, I am professionally an ordinary Account
personnel in a company. Kindly dont think its an argument with you, I am
also a tyro in this path of jnAna...Just I thought let me share my views
with my fellow advaita prabhuji-s.
Kindly pardon me if I said anything wrong.
Humble pranams, Mahesh
Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
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