Chapter

Brahman: Nirguṇa and Saguṇa

Arvind Sharma

in Modern Hindu Thought

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195676389
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081974 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195676389.003.0003
Brahman: Nirguṇa and Saguṇa

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A strong force in modern Hinduism has been Advaita Vedānta, with about three-fourths of modern Hindu intellectuals believed to subscribe to it. Two Advaitins by conviction were Ramakrishna Paramhamsa (1836–1886) and his disciple Vivekananda (1863–1902). Even Mahatma Gandhi was an Advaitin in his metaphysical faith. Modern Hinduism appears to have largely projected Advaita Vedānta in its confrontation with the West as its religious philosophy. Many modern thinkers use the categories of thought that make up the Advaita system, rather than the system of Advaita itself, giving rise to their own systems, or quasi-systems, based on various categories of Advaita. The word guna may be used in relation to the three gunas of sattva, rajas, and tamas. In this sense, the three gunas could correspond to the three gods of the trimūrti.

Keywords: Hinduism; Advaita Vedānta; guna; nirguna; saguna; sattva; rajas; tamas; trimūrti; gods

Chapter.  581 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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