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Topics - Vivek

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Discussions on Vedanta / Maya and Brahman
« on: September 28, 2011, 10:32:11 PM »
I am reading a book on Advaita Vedanta ("What is Advaita?" by P. Shankaranarayanan), and I just wanted to clarify something about the finitising principle (Maya) and the ultimate reality Brahman.

He says (in pg. 46) "As Brahman by itself is inactive, an activating agency must operate on it to make it appear as the Many". Its like he speaks of Maya and Brahman as separate. In pg. 52 (starting of chapter 6. SAGUNA BRAHMAN) he says "By itself, i.e. without the activating catalyst of maya, the Nirguna Brahman cannot make the transition into the manifold of the universe extended in name and form". But if Brahman is everything, Maya is Brahman too (not part of it, but it IS it). Correct? So wouldn't Maya be an attribute of Brahman?

In pg. 41 (staring of chapter 4 titled BRAHMAN), he says "It (Brahman) is of the nature of Existence, Intelligence and Bliss", the bracket not inculded in his original quote.

Now my question is: How can Brahman be said to have no attributes (or nirguna), when it IS eternal, when it IS the finitising principle, when it IS of the nature of existence, intelligence and bliss? Don't these become the attributes of Brahman?

If someone could explain in simple terms.


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