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Jahnava Nitai Das

Saguna and Nirguna

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Swami Krishnananda on inconsistencies between Shankara's statements (of nirguna) and the Brahma Sutra's statements (of Saguna):



Sri Sankaracharya particularly, who comments on the Brahma Sutra elaborately, is, as I could understand, caught in the net of this kind of statement, because Acharya Sankara, whose commentary is the best, cannot agree that some limitation continues even in liberation! But he cannot say that the Sutra is wrong. Sankaracharya finds himself often in a difficulty of this kind. There are some places where he is between the accepting of the Brahma-Loka Attainment as the meaning of the Sutra and the insisting on the utter absorption in Brahman as true Moksha.


If the Sutra is correct, the Identity doctrine of Sankara is not correct; if the Identity doctrine of Sankara is correct, the Brahma Sutra is not correct. But we must consider both as correct. We cannot reject Sankara's idea or reject the Brahma Sutra. Sankara reconciled himself to the feeling that here the Brahma Sutra is not concerned with Nirguna Brahman even when it says in the end, Anavrittih shabdat, Anavrittih shabdat (no return); and that it just means attaining the Cosmic Creator, but not the Absolute.


A great difficulty arises here in understanding the Sutra's intention. Ramanuja and the Vaishnava Acharyas have no difficulty! They say 'Yes! It is like that only!', because you cannot become God. But Acharya Sankara cannot accommodate himself to it -- if you cannot become God, you will be finite again; if you are finite, then you have to return, having not attained Moksha.



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Swami Shivananda's rendition of Shankara's Brahma Sutra Bhashya 4.3.10:


The Sutra declares that at the dissolution of Brahmaloka the souls, which by that time have attained knowledge, along with the Saguna Brahman attain what is higher than the Saguna Brahman, i.e., Para Brahman or the pure highest place of Vishnu. This is called Kramamukti or successive (progressive) liberation or release by successive steps. So the Sruti texts declare.

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<center><big>You are in me</big>


You are in me

I am in you

Still to see you separate

The joy gets expression!


Expression of vision

Expression of sound

Expression of touch!


The beauty you possess

The music you play

The melodious songs

Sweet and tipsy words

And Soft featherlike touch!


I need you separate from me!

Fools seek salvation

Mingling of Soul and God

Without any expression!


Sunshine white

The rainbow is enjoying

The colorful display

Separate apperance the key!


O! Krishna!

Pour your love

Like rain pours

With exciting thundering and lightening

So is your lightening touch

Glances and sweet words

Of thundering emotions!


O! Make me wet

Both body and mind

Let it drench in

The loving shower of

Your unending love!


by shreeradha



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