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First Negation And Then Affirmation – Hinduism View

An important view of Hinduism is first negation and then affirmation. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa explains this.

God alone is the Master, and again, He is the Servant. This attitude indicates Perfect Knowledge. At first one discriminates, ‘Not this, not this’, and feels that God alone is real and all else is illusory. Afterwards the same person finds that it is God Himself who has become all this — the universe, maya, and the living beings. First negation and then affirmation. This is the view held by the Puranas.

Suppose you have separated the shell, flesh, and seeds of a bel-fruit and someone asks you the weight of the fruit. Will you leave aside the shell and the seeds, and weigh only the flesh? Not at all. To know the real weight of the fruit, you must weigh the whole of it—the shell, the flesh, and the seeds. Only then can you tell its real weight. The shell may be likened to the universe, and the seeds to living beings.

While one is engaged in discrimination one says to oneself that the universe and the living beings are non-Self and unsubstantial. At that time one thinks of the flesh alone as the substance, and the shell and seeds as unsubstantial. But after discrimination is over, one feels that all three parts of the fruit together form a unity. Then one further realises that the stuff that has produced the flesh of the fruit has also produced the shell and seeds. To know the real nature of the bel-fruit one must know all three.

The Nitya and the Lila belong to the same Reality. Therefore, I accept everything, the Relative as well as the Absolute. I don’t explain away the world as maya. Were I to do that I should get short weight.