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

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu May 26 14:08:46 CDT 2005

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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