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Sakara Nirakara In Hinduism – Supreme Being With And Without Form

Sakara Nirakara is the term used to describe Supreme Bing with and without form. The creator of this universe is avyakta (unmanifest) and hence nirakara (formless) and nirguna (qualitiless). Arjuna possess the question as to who has the greater knowledge of Yoga – the one who meditates on the Absolute Brahman or the one who worships a personal God. Bhagavan Sri Krishna answers decisively that those who worship Paramatma in this manifested form have greater Yoga knowledge. He adds that the strain is greater for those whose minds are set on the unmanifested, transcendental Brahman (Chapter XII – Verses 1 to 5).

Man acquires knowledge by means of the sense organs. These sense organs gather knowledge from formal objects, but at the same time it is impossible for them to gather the same from formless aspects. Only great yogis and devotees can grasp the formless entity. Thus, to capture the formless, there is need for a formal God. In other words, the formless Supreme Divinity is the reality and the personal God is the means to attain it.

Marathi Saint Poet Jnaneshwara says, “Shall I give you one with form or formless, because both are Govinda.”

Another Marathi Saint Gora Kumbhar states, “I have come to greet the formless in the company of the one with form.”

In his Avadhuta Gita, Dattatreya, a minor manifestation of Bhagavan Vishnu, asks how can he look at him who is formless, undifferentiated, blissful, and indestructible, who has through himself and by himself and in himself filled up everything?