Brahman the supreme soul is described to be limitless and not attributed to duality like hot or cold, good or bad, male or female. But if he is beyond good and bad then why does he take avatar to uphold dharma which is good and destroys evil. Isn't he supporting good in that case which makes him good and not bad. Which makes god good. But then he is also described to be beyond good and bad. Its contradicting. Whats the actual explanation behind this? Can anyone kindly explain.

And it is described that bhakti yoga is the way to reach god. Bhakti which is love for god is a good attribute. So it seems like following good path brings people closer to him. Is this the right teaching or is it just performing your actions without being attached to them (be it good or bad) which is I suppose practice of karma yoga instead of bhakti yoga can bring you closer to him. Bottom line is brahman good or bad? It seems like he is good since dharma is the most important thing to Brahman. I am willing to know can anyone please share their views. Thank you!!! :)


1 Answer 1


Brahman is beyond all duality.

Sri Ramakrishna's conversation now turned to the Knowledge of Brahman.

MASTER: "Brahman is beyond vidya and avidya, knowledge and ignorance. It is beyond maya, the illusion of duality.

"The world consists of the illusory duality of knowledge and ignorance. It contains knowledge and devotion, and also attachment to 'woman and gold; righteousness and unrighteousness; good and evil. But Brahman is unattached to these. Good and evil apply to the jiva, the individual soul, as do righteousness and unrighteousness; but Brahman is not at all affected by them.

"One man may read the Bhagavata by the light of a lamp, and another may commit a forgery by that very light; but the lamp is unaffected. The sun sheds its light on the wicked as well as on the virtuous.

"You may ask, 'How, then, can one explain misery and sin and unhappiness?' The answer is that these apply only to the jiva. Brahman is unaffected by them. There is poison in a snake; but though others may die if bitten by it, the snake itself is not affected by the poison.

"What Brahman is cannot be described. All things in the world — the Vedas, the Puranas, the Tantras, the six systems of philosophy — have been defiled, like food that has been touched by the tongue, for they have been read or uttered by the tongue. Only one thing has not been defiled in this way, and that is Brahman. No one has ever been able to say what Brahman is."

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Visit to Vidyasagar translated by Swami Nikhilananda

So why is Brahman called good? It is an anthropomorphic description of Brahman. We have to view Brahman as good. However, strictly speaking, nothing can be said about Brahman. Brahman is too alien, too strange to be described by any human concept.

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