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As this answer explains Brahman is Nirguna but Gunas appear due to Avidyā. Here it is said by Adi Shankaracharya - [While commenting on 2.1.14 of Brahmasutras]

तदेवमविद्यात्मकोपाधिपरिच्छेदापेक्षमेवेश्वरस्येश्वरत्वं सर्वज्ञत्वं सर्वशक्तित्वं च, न परमार्थो विद्यया अपास्तसर्वपाधिस्वरुपे आत्मनि ईशत्रीशितव्यसर्वज्ञत्वादिव्यवहार उपपद्यते, तथा चोक्तम् - 'यत्र नान्यपश्यति नान्यच्छृणोति नान्यद्विजानाति स भूमा इति' यत्र 'त्वस्य सर्वमात्मैवाभूत्तत्केन कं पश्येत्' इत्यादिना च एव परमार्थवस्थायां सर्वव्यवहाराभावं वदन्ति वेदान्ता ।। 2.1.14
Hence the Lord's being a Lord, his omniscience, his omnipotence, &c. all depend on the limitation due to the adjuncts whose Self is Avidya; while in reality none of these qualities belong to the Self whose true nature is cleared, by right knowledge, from all adjuncts whatever. 

My question is - saying Gunas/attributes/qualities appear due to Māyā clearly implies Gunas were present in Brahman in latent form which appears clearly due to Avīdyā, if it not so then it would mean that existence sprung out from non existence?, which is against the doctrine of Chandogya Upanishad 6. As it is said there -

  1. “The Existent was here in the beginning, my son, alone and without a second. On this there are some who say, ‘The Nonexistent was here in the beginning, alone and without a second. From that Nonexistent sprang the Existent.’ “But how could it really be so, my son?” he said. “How could what exists spring from what does not exist? On the contrary, my son, the Existent was here in the beginning, alone and without a second.

So it clearly tells existence can't sprung from non existence, so

  • how all these qualities/attributes sprung out (seen) from Nirguna Brahman if Nirguna means attributeless?

  • Or Nirguna Brahman has all qualities/attributes in latent form?
    In other words Saying Brahman as Nirguna actually means Brahman is of every guna, which doesn't remain Brahman to be defined as per one particular guna therefore said as Nirguna? i.e Brahman not limited to a particular Guna.

  • I think realizing Param Satya is the only way to know. – Pandya Jun 15 '17 at 1:17
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My question is - saying Gunas/attributes/qualities appear due to Māyā clearly implies Gunas were present in Brahman in latent form which appears clearly due to Avīdyā, if it not so then it would mean that existence sprung out from non existence?

One of the fundamental concepts in Advaita Vedanta is "Mithya". While there is no correct translation into English, the closest is "Relative Reality". "Satyam" on the other hand is "Absolute Reality".

The three states of awareness - waking, dream, deep-sleep - are all Mithya. Most people realize easily that the dream state is Mithya, because it's not available during the waking state. However, when you are in the dream, it appears real. Note that the Advaitin does not negate the experience, only the absoluteness of that reality. Similarly, the waking state is not available in the dream or deep sleep states, and therefore is not Absolute Reality. Only Brahman, which permeates and transcends the three states is Absolute Reality, or Satyam.

Now, getting to your question, the Attributes/Gunas are also Mithya or ASat. (sorry - I don't know how to put the fancy characters up). Only Satyam is Absolute Existence; all Mithya is Relative Existence. The attributes are "relatively-existent", but not "absolutely-existent". Therefore, existence has NOT sprung from non-existence.

  • Visit editing help to know how to edit your posts using markdown language. – Sarvabhouma Mar 28 '17 at 5:10
  • Thanks for help. You should explain more. BTW, even dreams we see don't sprung out from non existence. They sprung from Vāsanās accumulated in the mind. Calling unreal unreal unreal is not clearing my doubts. It seems scholarly excuses. – Mr. Sigma. Mar 28 '17 at 12:39
  • @Rohit, the answer clearly depends on the definition of "existence", and therefore, yes, it's semantics at some level. Vishistadvaitam says dreams are also real. It's interpretation of the same Vedas. I'm offering Sankaracharya's Advaita viewpoint. – chakrax Mar 29 '17 at 1:59

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