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Agocara In Hinduism – Entity Beyond The Range Of The Senses

Agocara is a non-object entity, which is beyond the range of the senses. It usually denotes the characteristic of Brahman, the Infinite, which is beyond the range of speech and mind, and is substratum of the whole universe. Thus, agocara is imperceptible, unknowable and indescribable.

Bhartrhari (600 CE) also describes atman as agocara and extraordinary vacamagocara-caritra-vicitritaya (Sringara Satakam).

It may be clarified that agocara does not mean negativity; instead, it indicates the positivity of the eternal and Supreme Being. It may be mentioned that in order to indicate the positive reality of atman-Brahman, the method of describing atman’s non-objectivity is adopted in the Upanishads.

Accordingly through such expressions as neti neti (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad II.3.6), atmatva of worldly objects is refuted. Further, propounding the incomprehensibility of atman, through the negative approach, (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV.5.15) says that atman is incomprehensible because it cannot be comprehended atman-Brahman is indestructible because he cannot be destroyed; he is unattached for and does not attach himself; he is unfettered; he does not suffer; and he is not injured.

The concepts of adhisthana and adhyasa of Shankara Vedanta further prove atman (aadhisthana) as agocara, and the world, as gocara. Gocara (the world of name and form) is adyasa (superimposition), on atman (agocara). As in the example of a conchshell and silver, the former is adhisthana and the latter is adhyasa. It may also be pointed out that ultimately there is non-duality between atman (adhisthana), agocara and gocara (mayamatramidam dvaitam advaitam paramarthatah, Gaudapadakarika I.17). Thus, agocara, the characteristic of atman-Brahman, indicates its non-objectivity, eternity, inability of the senses to cognize it and its transcendental nature.