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Qualities are only associated with the individual soul or with the unimaginable God
09-07-2017, 12:41 PM (This post was last modified: 09-07-2017 12:42 PM by dattaseva.)
Post: #1
Qualities are only associated with the individual soul or with the unimaginable God
Shankara stated that God has no attributes (Nirguna). Ramanuja said that God has all the good attributes (Saguna and Kalyanagunavishishta).

Both these statements seem as if they contradict each other. But, if you analyse carefully, both the statements are one and the same. The relationship or association of even a rigid quality with God is always external just like the yellow thread (a mangalsutra - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mangala_sutra) of a married lady. The yellow thread is only externally associated and can be separated very easily. But, at the same time, the yellow thread is never practically separated from the married lady.

The association of two items is either external or internal, which may be separable or inseparable. The yellow thread and the married lady stand as an example for external, inseparable association. The association is inseparable since the yellow thread is never really separated from the married lady. After a woman (who follows Hinduism) gets married, it’s customary for her to wear the mangalsutra or the yellow thread throughout her life without taking it off. So in that sense, the case of the yellow thread and the married lady can be taken as that of external-inseparable-association (Bahya Samavaaya Sambandha).

When you mix some sugar in water, it dissolves and becomes inseparable (not in the absolute sense of the word, but in a manner where it's not easily separable). This is internal-inseparable-association (Antara Samavaaya Sambandha). Therefore, inseparable association (Samavaaya Sambandha) can be external as well as internal.

The other type of association is a separable association (Samyoga Sambandha), for which the association of a bird with a tree is an appropriate example. The bird is associated with a tree but becomes frequently separated from time to time.

Keeping this mind, it’s important to understand that the association of awareness with a quality can be either external-inseparable-association or just separable-association. The association of awareness with a certain quality is never of the internal-inseparable-association kind. The word Nirguna means that neither God nor the individual soul is in internal-inseparable-association with the quality.

Some qualities become frequently dissociated from awareness or the individual soul, and these kinds of qualities come under the separable association category. Some qualities are quite rigid, but they still come under the category of external inseparable association; they can’t be considered as the internal-inseparable-association kind. This means that the individual soul can easily become dissociates from some qualities and can separate itself from some rigid qualities only through hectic efforts. But no quality is internal and inseparable if you go to the finest level of its state.

Although the yellow thread is inseparable from the married lady, one can easily cut it using some force. But the removal of dissolved sugar from water is almost impossible or possible only by a very tedious procedure such as evaporation. The water vapour that escapes from the vessel on evaporation can be condensed into water only after some amount of strenuous effort. However, this type of association never exists between the individual soul and quality.

The word Nirguna means that the quality has never entered the individual soul. Based on this definition, you can state that the soul does not possess this quality in the first place (Nirgunohyaatmaa – Veda).

In a gold ornament, the shape of the ornament is also associated with gold through external-inseparable-association. The shape of the ornament does not enter the atoms that make up the gold. For that matter, even the molecules of sugar do not enter the molecules of water on dissolution. Both the molecules of water and sugar exist side by side. Therefore, on deep analysis, you can conclude that even in the case of internal-inseparable-association, the entry of one item into another item is limited only to a certain extent and not in the absolute sense of the term.

At the same time, you can take the sugar solution as an example for an internal inseparable relationship since the crystals of sugar are broken into molecules and mix with water molecules at a finer level. From the point of the crystalline state of sugar, we can say that the sugar has gone into the water. But, at the finest atomic level, you need to still acknowledge the fact that the sugar hasn’t gone into the water.

With respect to the yellow thread of a married lady, we can say that the sugar dissolves in water; in contrast, the yellow thread never enters the internal part of the lady’s neck. The difference is only in a relative sense. But in the absolute sense, what Shankara said remains true since a quality is associated with an individual soul only externally and never internally at the finest level. Hence, the word Nirguna means that the quality may be associated with the individual soul in an inseparable way, but it is never internal at the finest level. At the finest level, we should say that a quality is associated only externally. This means that the quality did not enter the individual soul at the highest level.

The external association of the quality (with the individual soul) is agreed upon. But at the same time, due to the lack of internal entry, the individual soul is said to exist separately from the area of the quality.

Ramanuja said that the individual soul is Saguna. This means that the individual soul is only associated with the quality and not that the quality entered the individual soul at the finest level. Here, the individual soul is used in the sense of its basic material or nervous energy (Gunebhyashcha param vetti– Gita) and not in the usual sense of a bundle of qualities.

When this is the fate of the quality in the case of the individual soul, where both the quality and the individual soul are imaginable items, we can never say that the imaginable quality enters the unimaginable God.

The association of a quality with God is possible just as in the case of an individual soul.

Even in the case of an individual soul, a quality is always externally associated and hence becomes dissociated after some time. This means that the individual soul is associated with a quality such as happiness for some time and the same individual soul, after some time, gets rid of the quality of happiness and is associated with another quality like anger. The association and dissociation of various qualities from the individual soul proves that any quality, in general, is always associated externally and that it never enters the unimaginable domain or God.

By this, you can get rid of any nagging doubt that the imaginable item enters the unimaginable God.

Boredom is also such a quality that is associated externally, and which subsequently becomes dissociated when another quality known as entertainment becomes associated. The association and dissociation of qualities may be difficult in the case of an individual soul because of common nature of the energy that exists in both the soul and quality. But, in the case of unimaginable God, there is no such common nature and the process of association and dissociation of any quality is very easy and highly superficial.
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09-15-2017, 09:38 AM
Post: #2
RE: Qualities are only associated with the individual soul or with the unimaginable God
tl;dr These are all just concepts. What you are trying to do here is draw the spiritual into the ordinary. Now, the spiritual is the ordinary and the ordinary is the spiritual. They are separated by only the perspective of function. But you can not see this now. You have yet to pierce the Veil of Paroketh, which is like a great mirror at the dawn of the mind, and you believe that the things in that mirror are the divine. Yet they are just reflections of your own ideas and images of reality. The path to transcending that Veil goes inward and begins with the de-infatuation or detachment from all concepts.

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