The negative description does not mean that the ultimate Reality is nothing. The term sunyah (743) as a name of Visnu means 'nothing as it were' because the Reality is free from all particularisations.17 Lest the negative expressions should be taken as meaning bare negations, the non-dual attributeless Reality (nirguna Brahman) is sought to be indicated by positive terms also-terms such as sat (existence); cit (consciousness), and ananda (happiness).
But these terms, again, should not be understood as they are used in empirical language, such as 'The flower exists', 'I am conscious of it', 'I am happy with it'. "Concepts and names which designate Perfections belonging to the transcendental order", Says Jacques Maritain, interpreting the Summa theologica, "belong to Him intrinsically and in their proper sense, they do not fade away, they do not fly to Pieces, they retain their Proper significance when applied to God.
17. Sri Sankara: sarva-visesa-rahitatvat sungah.