[Advaita-l] Nirguna Brahman as the source of TriguNa Avyaktam

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Jun 19 14:17:10 EDT 2019

This is a topic related to the ones being discussed in this forum now. In
the Brahma sutra bhashya 2.1.1 Shankara cites a few smriti texts. These two
quotes are especially interesting since the first one says 'TriguNa Avyakta
(maya) emerges from Brahman' and the second one says 'Avyakta resolves
(laya) in the Purusha, Brahman that is Nirguna:

‘ तस्मादव्यक्तमुत्पन्नं त्रिगुणं द्विजसत्तम’ इत्याह ; तथान्यत्रापि ‘
अव्यक्तं पुरुषे ब्रह्मन्निर्गुणे सम्प्रलीयते’

While it is wide knowledge that in Advaita, the saguna Ishwara is actually
Brahman with Maya as upadhi, here we see that even maya has its source in
Brahman and its abode of resolution as in Brahman.

Bhagavatpada has said elsewhere in the BSB that in pralaya the entire world
of creatures rest in that 'shakti'. And from the above we see that even
this shakti rests in Nirguna Brahman.

Also, mAyA is called 'ajaa', unborn. A question arises as to such being the
case, why is it stated above that avyakta, another name of maya, is 'born'
of Nirguna brahman?

One reply is: Actually it is not the 'birth' of Maya but only its
manifesting itself at the beginning of creation. It requires an abode to
rest, exist, during pralaya and that is NB. Throughout srishti, sthiti and
laya, NB has no active role, being nishkriya. 'svabhaavastu pravartate' -
by the sheer presence, sannidhi maatrena, (मया अध्यक्षेण प्रकृतिः
सूयते....) drawing from the consciousness of NB, maya/avyakta creates,
sustains, and withdraws the creation. That way, maayaa is the pariNAmi
upAdana kaaraNam for the creation and Brahman is the vivartopAdAna kAraNam.
The former kaaraNatva is required for bandha-moksha vyavahara and the
latter is required for tattva drishti and thereby moksha.

Om Tat Sat

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