Faith

Nirguna and Saguna

Sastras face an inherent paradox when guiding those engaged in the quest for Eternal Truth. The fact is that none can claim to know fully the Infinite and the Indescribable Brahman. It is not possible to explain an abstract truth not bound by place, time, space, form, or qualities, etc. But from the Upanishads, it is also evident that many seers steeped in meditation have had revelations that they have tried to record. At best, these are glimpses into the Eternal Truth.

That is why in the spiritual tradition, the theoretical perception of Nirguna Brahman is balanced with the easily accessible concept of Saguna Brahman with infinite forms, countless names and auspicious attributes, pointed out Sri B. Sundarkumar in a discourse. This is a sure way to enable people to grasp the essence of this truth as well as engage in worship that will ultimately lead to enlightenment. For instance, in the Saundarya Lahari, Adi Sankara teaches the way to worship the very Brahman as Mother Goddess. The basic teaching in the sastras exhorts all of us to honour one’s parents and preceptor on a par with God. Reference to the mother is primary and it indicates the close relationship that each one has with the mother.

Conversely, when the perception of the Eternal Truth as Mother Goddess is advocated, it engenders an easy and natural form of worship by all in everyday life. What better way to adore the Divine Mother, who is always full of compassion to all beings though She is ever the Supreme One in all ways? As a caring mother, She is ever ready to grant all the wishes of Her children during their lifetime while taking responsibility for the welfare of their atma. She guides them to tread the path of righteousness by revealing the evil effects of sin.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 7:26:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/nirguna-and-saguna/article34200464.ece

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