Advaitic philosophy and the concept of personl God

Sankar Jayanarayanan kartik at ENG.AUBURN.EDU
Tue Aug 6 15:08:15 CDT 1996

Anand wrote:

> On Mon, 5 Aug 1996, Gummuluru Murthy wrote:
> >
> >           Now my question is:  Did  the concept of Saguna Brahman make
> >           the understanding of non-duality more difficult ? If all the three
> >  that
> >           were mentioned above are all creations of mAya or ajnAna,

Aren't Saguna Brahman and Nirguna Brahman non-different? Isn't the very essence
of advaita the negation of any difference whatsoever?

Discussing about creation is supposedly due to avidya. Such talk mostly results
in random guesses, IMHO. It's probably to discourage such discussions that
Buddha refused to present a thesis of his own.

> >           why do
> >           we need to classify the relative levels of ajnAna? Such a concept
> >           may not be a very useful exercise.  I whole-heartedly think that
> >           Devotion  and Bhakti towards Personal God are extremely important.
> >           It allows us to completely surrender to something beyond us, and
> >           rid of the ego. But still the thoughts are confined to illusory
> >  concepts.
> >           Can we ever graduate with our thoughts confined only to this
>  illusory
> >           world  ?  Neither in the great treatise on Advaita "The
> >  Astavakra-Gita",
> >           nor in the prakarana grandhas of Sri SaMkara, do we see the
> >           of Saguna Brahman.

The concept of Saguna Brahman was probably introduced into advaita after


>    It is generally admitted by all advaitins that very few people
>    can directly approach the nirguNa brahman. For the vast majority
>    of people, the saguNa brahman is the only way to get to the nirguNa
>    brahman. The Vedanta paribhaashhaa agrees that meditation on the
>    saguNa Brahman is also a cause of the realization of the nirguNa
>    Brahman. Anandagiri in his gloss on Shankara's commentary on the
>    Giitaa says that the knowledge of the saguNa Brahman is the
>    gateway to the knowledge of the nirguNa Brahman.

Is there really such a clear difference between Saguna Brahman and Nirguna
Brahman in advaita?

>   Anand


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