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Advaita: How does Nirguna Brahman transforms into Saguna Brahman?

Discussion in 'Hinduism - Philosophy and Theology DIR' started by Red_Drag0n, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Red_Drag0n

    Red_Drag0n Member

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    We all know that it's Saguna Brahman that does the job of creation but I would like to know, how Nirguna Brahman becomes Saguna Brahman in the first place. I know you guys would probably say that when Nirguna's reflection falls on maya, it becomes Saguna and so on, but such an explanation never really made any sense to me, since as of yet (as far as my knowledge goes) no one has explained in detail, what is meant by Nirguna's reflection. If Nirguna Brahman really lacks attributes (as the ancients claimed in the past) then how can it possibly have a reflection?

    I read in some article that by the word reflection the sages meant something else, and shouldn't be taken literally as a reflection. So if it's not a reflection then i wonder what they meant by it.

    Besides, this whole reflection theory is just one way of explaining it. I think the rishis/philosophers used other methods as well, for explaining the transformation of Nirguna to Saguna. It would be great if someone could list all those methods (if there are any) and explain how the transformation takes place. I would like to know the process of transformation in detail. Thank you.
     
  2. Kirran

    Kirran
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    My question is, have you spent time meditating on your mantra, or on the sense of your own being, or on your own consciousness, so as to seek out the answer to these questions and your own place in relation to them?
     
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  3. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    My explanation:

    There are two ways in which Hindus understand Brahman. One is that it is 'completely nirguna'. That kind of Brahman is not the creator of any universe, is not involved in any world, does not ever change into a 'saguna Brahman'. It remains what it is. It is not even a God in the normal sense, it is just the stuff which constitutes all things in the universe. It is not a being that we term it as 'him' or 'her'. The universe is merely an illusion created just by its presence which 'switches on' Maya. Maya would switch off only when a person attains jnana, bodhi, enlightenment, etc. That is radical 'advaita' of Gaudapada and Sankara.

    The second type of Brahman is a cross between 'nirguna Brahman' and 'saguna Brahman'. He/she (in case of Devi worshipers, Shaktas) the Supreme God/Goddesses. He/she creates the universe or orders it to be created. He/she sustains and destroys it; and is involved in what happens here. He/she would punish the wrong-doers and reward the virtuous.

    The radical advaita was too difficult for common people to understand. So, people came out with various philosophies that were not as radical. That is the 'toned-down version of advaita' represented in various Hindu philosophies like Beda-abheda advaita (Bhaskara), Dvaita advaita (Nimbarka), Vishisht advaita (Ramanuja), Shuddha advaita (Vallabha), Achintya bheda-abheda advaita (Chaitanya, Hare-Krishnas) and Dvaita (Madhva). It is the second type of Brahman, who is not 'completely Nirguna', who would change into 'saguna Brahman' just by desiring so.

    So, the menu is before a Hindu. One may choose whatever one likes.
     
    #3 Aupmanyav, Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  4. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    I have explained about Saguna Brahman in this post and thread.

    Tat Tvam Asi

    Tat Tvam Asi

    In the yogic philosophy, the Shivalinga as Saguna Brahman is considered the first form to arise when creation occurs, and also the last form before the dissolution of creation. In ancient India , the Shiva Lingam only was worshipped as Saguna Brahman, and idol worship started later on emulating Jain and Buddhist idols in their temples.

    The Shivalingam is considered as a cosmic pillar of light as per Shaivite scriptures, and the Prajapita Brahmakumaris state it to be a point of light.

    One can deduce from this that the Shivalingam as Saguna Brahman came with the start of creation to assist souls from becoming independent of the bondage of matter and attain their true identities as Brahman or pure consciousness.

    This is also what the Prajapita Brahmakumaris state in their free 7 day course available in their centers in India and every country around the world.

    Nirguna Brahman being impersonal does not confer grace upon being worshipped, while Saguna Brahman being a personalised form of Brahman, confers grace upon the worshipper.
     
    #4 ajay0, Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  5. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    My thoughts in case they help at all: Nirguna Brahman is pure consciousness. To think about that we need some attributes and Nirguna Brahman is best described per the rishis as sat-cit-Ananda (being-awareness-bliss).
    I look at it not so much as a 'transformation' but as a play/drama/thought of Brahman in which Brahman separates Itself from Itself in Act I and then returns Itself to Itself in Act II. Why? To experience finiteness, the growth and joy of expansion back to the Source. Aren't we having more fun right now than a static state homogenous oneness?
     
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  6. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    In Commentary on Ananda Sutram it is explained how Saguna Brahma and the universe are created, it is quite a complicated story of the beginning of Saincara. Here are the relevant sutra's without all the explaining.
    In the explanation it tells of the initial multiple triangles of the three guna's circling around the Purushottama (centre of the Supreme Consciousness) still in perfect balance and of the loss of balance in which the desire for creation begins in the Cosmic Mind and Sattva (sense of being) first becomes dominant over the other two guna's giving birth to Saguna Brahma as the balance between the triangles of the guna's is disturbed? << I need to study this better

    But I'm not sure if this includes the transition from Nirguna Brahma to Saguna Brahma (the latter is contained inside Nirguna Brahma as an iceberg is floating in the ocean).
    I'm sure that Saincara (extroversive phase of creation) and Pratisaincara (introversive phase) are alreading taking place within Saguna Brahma.

    1-1 Shiva Shaktya'tmakam Brahma [Brahma is the composite of Shiva (Cosmic Consciousness) and Shakti (Cosmic Operative Principle)]
    1-2 Shakti sa' Shivasya Shakti [Shakti is the Shakti (Power) of Shiva]
    1-3 Tayoh Siddhih Saincare Pratisaincara Ca [the proof (fulfillment) of the two (Shiva and Shakti) is in Saincara and Pratisaincara]
    1-4 Paramashivah Purus'ottamah Vishvasya Kendram [Purus'ottama, the Supreme Consciousness, is the centre of the universe]
    1-5 Pravrttimukhi Saincarah Gun'adha'ra'ya'm [Saincara is the process of increasing desire and increasing bondage of the guna's]
    1-6 Nivrttimukhii Pratisaincarah Gun'a'vaks'ayen'a [Pratisaincara is the process of decreasing desire and decreasing influence (waning) of the gun'as]
    1-7 Drk Purus'ah Darshanam' Shaktishca [Purus'a is the seer and Prakrti is the act of seeing]
    1-8 Gun'abandhanena Gun'abhivyaktih [By the binding of the gun'as, the qualities are well expressed]
    1-9 Gun'adhikye Jad'asphot'ah Bhu'tasa'mya'bha'va't [Due to excess pressure of bondage in the five fundamental factors, the crude solid factor explodes]
    1-10 Gun'aprabha'vena Bhu'tasaunghars'a'dbhalam [By means of the influence of the gun'as and from clash within the five fundamental factors, bala, or energy, is created]
    1-11 Dehakendrka'n'i Parin'a'mabhuta'ni Bala'ni Pra'n'a'h [The resultant interial force forming the nucleus within the physical structure, and maintaining its solidarity, is called "pra'n'a'h" or "vital force"]
    1-12 Tiivrasaughars'en'a curn'iibhu'ta'ni Jad'a'ni Citta'n'u Ma'nasadha'tuh Va' [Due to excessive clash, some of the crude factor is pulverized and ectoplasmic particles or mindstuff is evolved]
     
    #6 Marcion, Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  7. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    My thoughts are that you can't truly understand it on an intellectual level, so better to meditate, then meditate some more.
     
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  8. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Do you think you would ever be able to understand that? It was not written to provide understanding but to obfuscate the issue. Truth is very simple. If one does not accept the truth then a long explanation is required in an attempt to justify it.
     
  9. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    Well, I'm not the most intelligent person but I'm sure the person who wrote 'Commentary on Ananda Sutram' understands.
    If Anandamurti is indeed Taraka Brahma (from the tangent plane between Nirguna and Saguna Brahma), then His explanation should make sense.
    But I also read that the reason for Saguna Brahma to have come forth from Nirguna Brahma is either a mystery or because God got bored with having nothing to play with. So that makes the need to really understand how or why it all came about less urgent and frankly beyond being important to me.
     
  10. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I am an advaitist Hindu and a strong atheist.
    Yes, we are not among the most intelligent people on earth. Buddha said:
    "Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought that 'This contemplative is our teacher'."
    Kalama Sutta: The Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry
    AN 3.65: Kalama Sutta

    Anandmurti had criminal leanings. That is what Wikipedia tells me:

    "History
    Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar founded the Ánanda Márga Pracáraka Saḿgha (more commonly known as "Ananda Marga" or, less frequently, "Ananda Marg" or "Anand Marg") on 5 January 1955. The literal translation into English is "the Organization to Propagate the Path of Bliss." The stated aims of the organization are "liberation of self and service to humanity". In March of the same year, the first group of acharyas was created in Jamalpur.

    Sarkar's incarceration
    See also: Sydney Hilton bombing
    During the 1960s, the organisation expanded rapidly in India, sending Acharyas as missionaries to other continents. Ananda Marga's popularity in India put it in direct confrontation with the Communist Party in West Bengal. In 1967, Ananda Marga headquarters came under attack by locals who were allegedly incited by Communist leaders. Criticism of corruption in the Indian government by acharyas of Ananda Marga also put it in confrontation with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

    Bijon Setu massacre
    Main article: Bijon Setu massacre

    Death of Sarkar

    P.R. Sarkar died on 21 October 1990. Acarya Shraddhananda Avadhuta was elected from the body of purodhas as President of Ananda Marga Pracharaka Samgha global organization and Purodha Pramukha.

    Ananda Marga after Sarkar
    See also: Purulia arms drop case"
    Ananda Marga - Wikipedia
     
    #10 Aupmanyav, Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  11. ameyAtmA

    ameyAtmA SacchidAnanda
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    Namaste

    The bridge between nirguN and saguN is the potential, Shakti (energy) of the nirAkAr nirguN shaktimAn (energetic). That we are discussing this during navarAtra is NO ACCIDENT.
    It is LeelA of glorification of the Potential of Bramhan' (Devi) , which appears as an answer to a question.

    So if you want an answer, I request you to put these ideas of SaguNa and NirguNa Bramhan', pot, reflection... aside for a moment.

    Bramhan' is Bramhan' is Bramhan

    Nothing else is required. Shiva and His Potential Shakti is a composite called Bramhan'
    No one can split Shiva from His Shakti . No one. Like taking thirst-quenching quality out of water, light and heat out of Sun, sweetness out of sugar..

    It is very clear from Upanishads, Bhagvad Geeta and BhAgvat mahApurAN (a very philosophical and advaitic purAN), that Bramhan' or NArAyaN is the

    Pure Universal Consciousness with Infinite Potential, Infinite kalyAN-guNa.
    Yes, taken by Himself NArAyaN is nirguN, the Self is nirguN, but what about the Pure Potential hidden in Him as Adi-MahA-LakshmI ?


    This Potential, this shakti, blinks, moves, twirls, dances, spins, in presence of Pure Consciousness NArAyaN / SadAshiva .... to form the foundation, preparatory basis of creation - Mahat, then primary creation (sarga) winds down to secondary creation (visarga)...

    [Avidya, vikalpa, durguN, vAsanA are not in the picture yet. Not yet.
    Unless the Source had the potential for these, we cannot see these in the world ever.]

    ... owing to vAsanA (desire) , icchA shakti manifests to form saMskAr. and saMskAr feed into vAsanA to the next generation, re-incarnation and so on.


    Famous question: "How can Brahman' get deluded? "
    Because it has the potential to get deluded. As simple as that.

    So pure consciousness + pure potential = ParaBramhan' = Parameshwar = BhagavAn = God

    Mixed consciousness + mixed guNa = world , jiv-jagat = sarvam khalu idam Brahman' (all this is Brahman')

    It is not a negative thing. It is a downward spiral route taken by the Potential. Some say for Ananda - joy. I would say because it is the nature of the nature of the potential of Bramhan to follow this downward spiral route.

    yA devi sarva bhUteshu vishNu-mAyeti shabditA |
    namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo namah: ||

    yA devi sarvabhUteshu chAyA, mAtru, buddhi, vidyA, LakshmI, shakti, kshudhA, tRushNA , bhrAnti, shAnti , lajjA , nidrA , dayA, kshamA..... rUpeNa saMsthitA,
    namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo namah: ||


    Salutations and Obeissances to you O Goddess, who pervades all beings, Who is the MAyA shakti of VishNu (Bramhan'), who is the potential form and source of the qualities of motherly love, cool shade, intellect, knowledge, wealth and auspiciousness, strength and power, hunger, thirst, delusion, peace, conscience, slumber, compassion, forgiveness......
     
    #11 ameyAtmA, Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  12. ameyAtmA

    ameyAtmA SacchidAnanda
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    Shiv's Shakti-Potential is Shiv
    NArAyaNa's multi-potential Shri , Bhu... is NArAyaN.

    *An aarti-bhajan of DwArkAdheesh, very popular in DwArkA, uses the word LakshmI to refer to NArAyaN KRshNa DwArkAdheesh (not to RukmiNi or a LakshmI separate from KRshNa, but KRshNa Himself is referenced as LakshmI in

    (i) VishNusahasranAma

    (ii) This Arati-bhajan :

    sAwar sA girdhAri O
    bharoso bhAri O
    sharaNa tumhAri O
    lajjA rAkha hamAri O

    Hari binA mori , gopAl binA mori, Lakshmi re, nAth bina mori sAware seTh bina mori dAtA, kaun khabar le?.....


    O dark One Who lifted the Govardhan Hill, object of Trust, we take Your Shelter, please protect us.

    Who else but this Hari, this cowherd and protector of senses (go) , this LakshmI (DwArkAdheesh) - provider of all my wealth, Lord, this dark Master, this generous provider, Providence , will check upon me from time to time [ every now and then , to make sure I am OK] ?
     
    #12 ameyAtmA, Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  13. ameyAtmA

    ameyAtmA SacchidAnanda
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    potential energy (nirguN, unmanifest) => kinetic energy (saguN, manifest and dynamically ever-changing , in flux)
     
  14. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    It does not seem to have made sense to you, that proves that Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar is no 'Tarak Brahma' (from the tangent plane between Nirguna and Saguna Brahma). This is the language of imposters, 'I am this or I am that'. This has been claimed by millions of people over the ages from Akhenaten to Zoroaster to Moses; but nobody ever provided a proof. I am a direct person, I do not like and do not believe in tangents.
     
  15. Red_Drag0n

    Red_Drag0n Member

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    Hello.
    You said above Nirguna is avyakta. It sure is, but according to Swami ChidbhavaNanda the word avyakta is applied to MulaPrakriti where the universe remain in a dormant seed form, and the word vyakta applied to this physical universe. He says in his advaita gita commentary that avyakta and vyakta are labels/features/attributes, while Nirguna is beyond these attributes. What are your thoughts on that?
     
  16. ameyAtmA

    ameyAtmA SacchidAnanda
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    Hello,
    Namaste

    What is muLa prakRti ? It is the hidden potential of Bramhan', Precisely why it is 'avyakta', unmanifest.

    prakRutI = nature, svabhAv

    muLa prakRti does not come into being, it is the Nature of Bramhan'
    This is why I requested you to put aside the ideas of 2 Bramhan's - nirguN-saguN.

    The so-called NirguN Bramhan' can never be a stand-alone existence without the muLa prakRuti - to then combine with it to turn into a SaguN Bramhan'.

    [Para]Bramhan' is [Para]Bramhan'. It does not really have 2 states of existence.


    This was my point. Once the premise is straightened, the doubt is cleared.
     
    #16 ameyAtmA, Oct 13, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  17. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I would agree to that. I do not think it even requires a 'contorted' explanation. It is the dictionary meaning of the words, the state of an entity, applied appropriately in different situations.
    Vyakta: Manifested, Avyakta: What is not manifested, Avyakta Bhāva: Some thought that is intended but not expressed.

    What is hidden in Mūla Prakriti (Brahman, there is no mūla other than that) is 'māya'. Where there is Brahman, 'māya' is sure to be there. It is like the sun and brightness.
     
    #17 Aupmanyav, Oct 13, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  18. shivsomashekhar

    shivsomashekhar Gaudapada, Parmenides

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    It does not. There is no "becoming" of anything in Advaita.

    Your idea of N becoming S is predicated on time. In Advaita, time is within Maya - a point that is not grasped by many Advaitins. Hence, there is no point of creation. Nothing gets created, nothing becomes anything and no unrealized Jiva becomes Brahman at a point in time.

    If you are really interested in Advaita, stick to the writings of Shankara (Upadesha Sahasri) and Gaudapada (Mandukya Karika). If you are unable to get Advaita from these two texts, no amount of reading from later authors will help. You will only be wasting your time, hashing and rehashing sub-standard and irrelevant material.

    Why only the Upadesha Sahasri, when Shankara is credited with numerous works?
    1. There have been multiple Shankaras and some of their works have been mistakenly attributed to the original Shankara. The Upadesha Sahasri is the *only* Prakarana text that is quoted by Shankara's immediate disciple Sureshvara. The other popular Prakarana texts attributed to Shankara such as the Viveka Chudamani, etc., are not known until many centuries after his time and are therefore more likely to have been authored by others.

    2. You do not need multiple books. One book is sufficient and if we have to pick only one, that would be the Upadesha Sahasri. If this book does not help, other books will not help, either.
     
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