[Advaita-l] BG 2.45: nirguNa or saguNa?

Mahesh Ursekar mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Sat Jun 11 08:37:06 CDT 2005

Another point of view on this verse could be that even a Jivan mukta 
occasionally "slips" down to a pure Sattvic state in order to live in the 
world and Krishna is exhorting Arunja to be established in this state. Swami 
Krishnananda in "Philosophy of the Pachadasi", pp84 writes:

 "An illumined soul has a deep consciousness whereby there arises an 
occasional feeling of the body and the world, simultaneously with the 
constant feeling that s/he is the Atman. This is possible due to his/her 
being in a state of Sattva, where there is a clear discernment of the 
presence of the original universality, though the limitation of the 
reflection is also felt together. Hence, while referring to bodily actions, 
the knower refers to the lower 'I' or Chidabhasa [i.e. Atman reflected in 
Sattvika Buddhi] and when feeling that s/he is the Absolute, s/he makes 
reference to the higher "I", or Kutastha".

Regards, Mahesh

 On 5/27/05, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote: 
> On Wed, 25 May 2005, S Jayanarayanan wrote:
> > A curiosity in the GItA 2.45:
> >
> > traiguNyavishhayA vedA nistraiguNyo bhavArjuna .
> > nirdvandvo nityasattvastho niryogakshema AtmavAn.h ..
> >
> > "The three Gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas) are the subject matter
> > of the Vedas. Remain free of the three Gunas, Arjuna. Be free of
> > dualities, of acquisition and protection, and be ever
> > established in the sattva (Guna)."
> >
> > Krishna first advises Arjuna to be free of the three Gunas, and
> > then advises him to be established in the Sattva Guna. Is this
> > not contradictory advice?
> >
> Notice He doesn't say nirguna ('without gunas') but naistriguna ('without
> three gunas') I beleive this is quite significant. It is a criticism of
> Sankhya and clear proof that despite the use of Samkhya/Yoga terminology
> and presentation, the Gita is clearly a Vedantic work.
> In classical Samkhya/Yoga the goal is only to acheive a balance of the
> three gunas. they never go away. In Vedanta, they proceed from Brahman
> and from sattva to tamas are successively more of the nature of maya. So
> reducing tamas and rajas and increasing sattva brings you that much closer
> to Brahman.
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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