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The masses are in most occasions determined to understand a particular matter by comparing it with something they already know. This is not possible with the Brahman, as it involves all the characteristics which cannot be understood by humans. One should not attempt to understand the Brahman in order to believe in it, as it can be appreciated by meditation. It is incorrect to recognize the Brahman as a form of god, as a god is understood and praised for what it is, whereas the Brahman is infinite and does not necessarily need worshiping. Instead, people can learn more about it by experimenting spiritually. Trying to understand the Brahman can lead to confusion, as it becomes obvious that it is everything and nothing at the same time. People want to understand the Brahman as a form of deity ruling from a heavenly location. However, consequent to discovering the Brahman through their spirituality individuals find that everyone is Brahman and it is everywhere.
In order to provide the general public with an explanation of the Brahman, the Vedic scriptures talked about how the Brahman is both personal and impersonal. Its impersonal character -- the Nirguna Brahman-is exactly what most people cannot understand, as unlike other types of gods, it cannot be worshiped and one will only manage to discover it through contemplation.
For some, the Saguna Brahman is the opposite of the Nirguna Brahman, given the fact that the former has everything the latter lacks. In reality, they are one and the same Brahman, with the only difference being that the Saguna Brahman is a version of the Brahman which makes it easier for people to learn more about the celestial spirit. Still, in order to discover the Brahman, people need to reach the phase where they have learnt a great deal about the Nirguna Brahman. The Saguna Brahman is the simple version of the Brahman, the one who was made so as for individuals to be able to understand it from a comparative perspective.
The Nirguna Brahman cannot be explained, because doing such a thing would mean that one would automatically want to distinguish it. It is always the one who sees and cannot be seen and a reason for which it cannot be distinguished is that there is no other similar to it, so as for individuals to be able to differentiate it from a group.
The Saguna Brahman is the form of Brahman who can be likened to a series of concepts humans are already familiar with. It is the one who can be identified both as a man and as a woman. People learn that it is it that created the universe and who controls everything. A large number of Hindus prefer to dedicate their reverence to the Saguna Brahman, since it is easier for them to worship something they know more about than praise a concept they will never be able to understand. Hindu traditions typically influence individuals in venerating the personal form of the Brahman, because it is simple to relate to it and because every human is believed to have this form of Brahman inside him or her.
There are common topics in the Vedas and the Upanishads, but while the earlier scriptures are devoted to legends and customs, the more recent ones are based on theological thoughts and do not support traditions. While the two sacred scriptures are apparently meant to serve the same goal, the Vedas promote the concept that the Brahman is supernatural while the Upanishads want people to understand the Brahman through knowing themselves. The Vedas cannot be understood by the general public because they limit people in their endeavor to interpret. The Upanishads want all people to learn how to come at peace with themselves and more people have access to Hinduism by studying the Upanishads. The Vedas do not allow individuals to have a comprehensive understanding of Hinduism, and most who will engage in studying the first Hindu texts are likely to feel that it is an unfeasible assignment.
Both the Vedas and the Upanishads support several ideas in Hinduism: that relating to the omnipresence of the atman, that relating to how the Brahman was originally impersonal, and that informing people that the reality they perceive is non-existent.
1. Molloy, Michael. (2009). Experiencing the World's Religions: 5th Revised edition. McGraw Hill Higher Education.
2. Van Voorst, R.E. (2010). Anthology of World Scriptures: 7…[continue]
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