[Advaita-l] Sattva, etc. Gunas are not inherent but only attributed to Nirguna Brahman - Srimad Bhagavatam

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Apr 17 04:09:41 EDT 2023

श्रीमद्भागवत महापुराण/स्कंध ०२/अध्यायः ०५
सत्त्वं रजस्तम इति निर्गुणस्य गुणास्त्रयः ।
स्थितिसर्गनिरोधेषु गृहीता मायया विभोः ॥ १८ ॥
The Bhagavata tells us that even though Brahman has no material qualities,
for It to be the cause of the world, It has to rely on the sattva, etc.
guna-s of Prakruti.
What we call Brahman's infinite benevolent qualities, ananta kalyana
guna-s, they are all by default evolutes of these three qualities of
Prakruti. How do we know this? It is because those numerous guna-s are only
related to the world and jiva. The world depends on the creation,
sustenance and dissolution, the functions of the three Guna-s.
Since the Jiva itself is within this world in the bound state, no one can
show even one of the innumerable qualities of Brahman as absolutely
inhering in Brahman without being related to the world-jiva combine. This
is what the Bhagavatam refers to in this verse.
As these Guna-s come to Brahma from Maya alone, these infinite benevolent
qualities, ananta kalyana guna-s, do not exist in Brahman in the absolute
This premise is accepted only in Advaita. Accommodating this premise of the
Bhagavatam by the rest of the schools would be difficult.
Apart from the sattva, guna-s of Prakruti, there is no scriptural evidence
for the existence of Apraakruta sattva, etc. guna-s.

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