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

bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Wed Jun 15 07:53:15 CDT 2005

praNAms Sri Mahesh Ursekar prabhuji
Hare Krishna

MU prabhuji:

In fact, everywhere in the Upanishads, it is said the when
Brahman is realized the world disappears!

bhaskar :

prabhuji, as far as my understanding goes..world does not disappear the
*wrong* knowledge (avidyA) about world (i.e. world has a separate existence
apart from brahman) disappears.  Even after realization jnAni continues to
*see* the world as he used to before but this time with a sublative
knowledge that world as such is not separate from THAT & it has temporary
existence & restricted to particular state of waking!!  Knowledge of Atman
shall not straight-away throw the world into dark...atleast as per my
understanding of advaita.

It would be interesting to note that shruti talks about disappearance of
world after the dawn of knowledge...kindly provide me the shruti quotes we
can together have a closer look into it.

MU prabhuji :

Finally, I do not see your objection to Saguna Brhaman.

bhaskar :

Advaita does not have any problem with saguNa brahman...as this
categorization of brahman as para (nirguNa) & apara (saguNa) been approved
by shruti itself (in praShnOpanishad there is a mention that  OmkAra which
is both para (higher) & apara (lower) brahman). Hence, we advaitins, donot
have any right to object the aspect of saguNa brahman.  But it is
interesting to see shankara pUjya pAda's view on it....while answering to
pUrvapakShi's objection that whether there are two brahmans higher & lower,
shankara clearly & bluntly says *YES* there are two since this is borne out
by shruti itself. But shankara further clarifies that here higher prahman
means where brahman
is taught by means of words such as astUlam (not gross) without names &
forms, achintya, agrAhya, apramEya & lower brahman is NOTHING BUT higher
brahman qualified by some specific features for the purpose of upAsana or
meditation.  Aspirant (sAdhaka) who wants to meditate this highest reality
treats this pure brahman as  manOmaya ( made up of mind) prANamayi ( body
with life-breath) bhArUpa etc.

Prabhuji, from the advaita perspective, it is quite evident from the above
that saguNa brahman intended for meditation is para brahman itself.  & it
is clear that  brahman endowed with qualities is objective reality &
feasible for meditation to the
aspirants who have mediocre intellects & who cannot rise to the level of
the absolutely featureless parabrahman.

Sri Shankara calls the same reality as para brahman when it is made the
subject of enquiry as reality & apara brahman when it is preferred in the
shrutis as an objective reality for meditation.  But shankara finally
concludes that this saguNa brahman with upAdhi-s made up of avidyA
only...(avidyA kalpita)

MU prabhuji:

It is as good as Brahman except for the purest form of Sattva in it. It is
not Sankara but I think Vidyaranya does claim that Isvara is not deluded by

bhaskar :

prabhuji strictly speaking in advaita sense, there is no Ishvarahood or
lordhood in absolute non-dual brahman becasue it invariably requires the
distinction between the ordainer and the ordained, ruler & the world being
ruled.  But when advaita accepts the universe and its avyakta rUpa
(seed-form) then attributeless brahman considered as the substratum of the
appearance of world!! since there is absolutely no other source apart from
brahman to this world appearance!!. From this stand point only
vEdAnta/advaita accepts & attributes Ishvarahood or Lordship on brahman &
his control over mAya/prakruti.

Humble pramans, Mahesh

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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