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Saguna Brahman (lit. "The Absolute with qualities"[1]) came from the Sanskrit saguṇa (सगुण) "with qualities, gunas" and Brahman (ब्रह्मन्) "the Absolute", close to the concept of immanence, the manifested divine presence.


Rājarshi (2001: p. 45) conveys his estimation of the historical synthesis of the School of Yoga (one of the six Āstika schools of Hinduism) which he holds introduces the principle of "Isvara" as Saguna Brahman, to reconcile the extreme views of Vedanta's "advandva" and Sankya's "dvandva":

"Introducing the special tattva (principle) called Ishvara by yoga philosophy is a bold attempt to bring reconciliation between the transcendental, nondual monism of vedanta and the pluralistic, dualistic, atheism of sankhya. The composite system of yoga philosophy brings the two doctrines of vedanta and sankya closer to each other and makes them understood as the presentation of the same reality from two different points of view. The nondual approach of vedanta presents the principle of advandva (nonduality of the highest truth at the transcendental level.) The dualistic approach of sankhya presents truth of the same reality but at a lower empirical level, rationally analyzing the principle of dvandva (duality or pairs of opposites). Whereas, yoga philosophy presents the synthesis of vedanta and sankhya, reconciling at once monism and dualism, the supermundane and the empirical."[2]


According to Dvaita of Madhvacharya and Vishistadvaita of Ramanujacharya, Brahman is conceived as Saguna Brahman (personal deity) or ishvara (Lord of the universe) with infinite attributes, including form.[3] However, by contrast with Dvaita, Vishistadvaita use of term Brahman secondarily denoted the world that depends on Brahman, namely all minds and material things constituting Brahman's body.[4] Saguna Brahman is immortal, imperishable, eternal, as clearly stated in the Bhagavad Gita.[5] The personal form indicated is generally Adi Narayana, or Krishna. While the Advaita of Adi Shankara retained both Saguna Brahman (Brahman with qualities) and Nirguna Brahman (Brahman without qualities), but he considered former to be merely illusory. While on the basis of an esoteric enlightened experience (moksha) and scripture (sruti), he holds that only Nirguna Brahman is real.[3] While Dvaita of Madhva and Vishistadvaita of Ramanuja considers Saguna Brahman as the ultimate reality and liberation (moksha) is attained only by the grace of God.[6]


Surya is regarded as Saguna Brahman by Saura (Hinduism), Goddess Shakti (or Parvati, Durga, Kali, Mahalakshmi, or Gayatri) is seen as the Saguna Brahman in Shaktism and Shiva is the Saguna Brahman of Shaivism.[7] [note 1]

See also


  1. ^ 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.


  1. ^ The Shambala Encyclopedia of Yoga (p. 247), by Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., ISBN 1-57062-137-3
  2. ^ Swami Rājarshi Muni (2001). Yoga: the ultimate spiritual path. Second edition, illustrated. Llewellyn Worldwide. ISBN 1-56718-441-3, ISBN 978-1-56718-441-9. Source: [1] (accessed: Friday May 7, 2010), p.45
  3. ^ a b Iannone 2013, p. 79.
  4. ^ Swami Ramesh Chandra Shukla (June 2015). Yogasana and Pranayam. V&S Publishers. p. 13. ISBN 9789350574584. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  5. ^ Dr. R. S. Misra (2002). Philosophical Foundations of Hinduism: The Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Bhagavadgītā : a Reinterpretation and Critical Appraisal. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. p. 467. ISBN 9788121509916. Retrieved 1 January 2002.
  6. ^ Swami Ramesh Chandra Shukla (June 2015). Yogasana and Pranayam. V&S Publishers. p. 13. ISBN 9789350574584. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  7. ^ Swami Dayananda Sarasvati (2005). The Philosophy Of Religion In India. Bharatiya Kala Prakashan. p. 47. ISBN 9788180900792. Retrieved 1 January 2005.