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Saguna Brahman (lit. "The Absolute with qualities"[1]) came from the Sanskrit saguṇa (सगुण) "with qualities" and Brahman (ब्रह्मन्) "The Absolute".

Contents

Advaita

According to Advaita as taught by Sankara, saguna brahman refers to the lord identical with his own infinite jnanam. Sankara refers to him by names such as Narayana, Vishnu and Vasudeva as specified in the vedas and upanishads. This saguna brahman is Paramartha, eternal, undecaying and non-differentiated from nirguna brahman. He is not affected even when he appears in this world as he controls the effects of his own maya shakti. Hiranyagarbha, the collection of deities in the hindu pantheon of gods, is not saguna brahman as popularly miscontrued. Sankara clearly says that hiranyagarbha is called brahman only because of nearness to brahman. After many millions of years, the devotees who reach the worlds of gods (hiranyagarbha), will reach the state of vishnu. This is called advaita siddhi and this state can be reached here and now by one who is free from all desires and blessed by the lord.

Vaishnavism

Saguna Brahman of the various schools of Vaishnavism means Brahman with infinite attributes, including form. Saguna Brahman is immortal, imperishable, eternal, and thus the basis of the impersonal Nirguna Brahman, as clearly stated in the Bhagavad Gita. The personal form indicated is generally Narayana, or Krishna, or Vishnu. Practically all schools of Vaishnavism adhere to this viewpoint.

Other

Goddess Shakti (or Durga, Kali, Gayatri etc.) is seen as the Saguna Brahman in Shaktism. Shiva is the Saguna Brahman of Shaivism. It is also understood that worshippers of a particular personal form of God or Goddess as supreme may see other personal forms as plenary portions or expansions or aspects of Brahman.

References

  1. ^ The Shambala Encyclopedia of Yoga (p. 247), by Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., ISBN 1-57062-137-3

See also








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