For other uses, see Brahman (disambiguation).


Şablon:Hindu philosophy

In the Hindu religion, Brahman (Devanāgarī: ब्रह्मन् Şablon:IAST) is the eternal, unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality which is the Divine Ground of all matter, energy, time, space, being, and everything beyond in this Universe.[1] The nature of Brahman is described as transpersonal, personal and impersonal by different philosophical schools. In the Rig Veda, Brahman gives rise to the primordial being Hiranyagarbha that is equated with the creator god Brahmā. The trimurti can thus be considered a personification of Brahman as the active principle behind the phenomena of the universe. The word "Brahman" is traditionally derived from the verb ((brh)) (Şablon:Lang-sa), and connotes greatness and infinity. The Mundaka Upanishad says:

Auṃ- That supreme Brahman is infinite, and this conditioned Brahman is infinite. The infinite proceeds from infinite. Then through knowledge, realizing the infinitude of the infinite, it remains as infinite alone.


Sanskrit Şablon:IAST (an n-stem, nominative Şablon:IAST) is from a root Şablon:IAST " to swell, grow, enlarge". Şablon:IAST is a masculine derivation of Şablon:IAST, denoting a person associated with Şablon:IAST. The further origin of Şablon:IAST is unclear. According to the Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (IEW, "Indo-European Etymological Dictionary") written by the Austrian-German comparative linguist and Celtic languages expert Julius Pokorny IE root bhreu-, bhreu-d- denotes to swell, sprout (cf Slovenian brsteti - to sprout.) 'It could be from PIE *bherg'h- "to rise, high, eminent", cognate to Old Norse Bragi. Some, including Georges Dumézil, have said that the Latin word flāmen "priest" may also be cognate. However, the standard Indo-Aryan etymological dictionary by M. Mayrhofer (1986–2000, vol. II, p. 236-8) derives brahman 'formulation (of truth) [in poetry], from Indo-Iranian *bhrajh-man < Indo-European *bhreg'h-men; cf. Old Persian brazman, Middle Persian brahm 'form', Nuristani (Ashkun) blamade 'a god' ( from *brahma-deva?), Old Norse bragr 'poetical art', etc., and argues against connection with Latin flamen.


Beginning with the late Vedic Upanishads, Brahman is the Absolute Reality or universal substrate (not to be confused with the Creator god Lord Brahmā) in Hinduism. It is said to be eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and ultimately indescribable in human language. The sages of the Upanishads proclaim Brahman to be the reality behind everything in this universe. Later, Brahman was described as infinite Being, infinite Consciousness, and infinite Bliss (saccidananda). Brahman is regarded as the source and essence of the material universe. The Rig Veda says that by desire (RV 10.12.94), the initial manifestation of the material universe came into being from Hiranyagarbha (literally "golden womb"), out of which the world, organisms and divine beings (devas) arose:

"Great indeed are the devas who have sprung out of Brahman." — Atharva Veda
Para Brahman corresponds to the concept of Godhead and Saguna brahman to God as the Primordial Being.

It is said that Brahman cannot be known by material means, that we cannot be made conscious of it, because Brahman is our very consciousness and being. Brahman is also not restricted to the usual dimensional perspectives of being, and thus enlightenment, moksha, yoga, samādhi, nirvana, etc. do not merely mean to know Brahman, but to realise one's "brahman-hood", to actually realise that one is and always was Brahman. Indeed, closely related to the Self concept of Brahman is the idea that it is synonymous with jiva-atma, or individual souls, our atman (or soul) being readily identifiable with the greater soul (paramatma) of Brahman.

Generally, Vedanta rejects the notion of an evolving Brahman since Brahman contains within it the potentiality and archetypes behind all possible manifest phenomenal forms. The Vedas, though they are in some respects historically conditioned, are considered by Hindus to convey a knowledge[2] eternal, timeless and always contemporaneous with Brahman. This knowledge is considered to have been handed down by realised yogins to students many generations before the Vedas were committed to writing. Written texts of the Vedas are a relatively recent phenomenon.

Connected with the ritual of pre-Vedantic Hinduism, Brahman signified the power to grow, the expansive and self-altering process of ritual and sacrifice, often visually realized in the sputtering of flames as they received the all important ghee (clarified butter) and rose in concert with the mantras of the Vedas. The term Brahmin in the Vedic period actually meant one who has realized Brahman. However, later on Brahmin came to be identified with the highest of the four castes, the Brahmins, who by virtue of their purity and priesthood were held proprietors of rituals.

Among Hindu sects, Advaita Vedanta espouses monism. The closest interpretation of the term can be found in the Taittiriya Upanishad (II.1) where Brahman is described as satyam jnanam anantam brahman ("Brahman is of the nature of truth, knowledge and infinity"). Thus, Brahman is the origin and end of all things, material or otherwise. Brahman is the root source and Divine Ground of everything that exists, and is the only thing that exists according to Shankara. It is defined as unknowable and Satchitananda ("Truth-Consciousness-Bliss"). Since it is eternal and infinite, it comprises the only truth. The goal of Vedanta is to realize that the soul (Atman) is actually nothing but Brahman. The Hindu pantheon of gods is said, in the Vedas and Upanishads, to be only higher manifestations of Brahman. For this reason, "ekam sat" ("Truth is one"), and all is Brahman. This explains the Hindu view that "All paths lead to the one Truth, though many sages [and religions] call upon it by different names."

Several mahā-vākyas, or great sayings, indicate what the principle of Brahman is:

prajnānam brahma


"Brahman is knowledge"
ayam ātmā brahma


"The Self (or the Soul) is Brahman "
aham brahmāsmi


"I am Brahman"
tat tvam asi


"Thou art that"
sarvam khalv idam brahma


"All this that we see in the world is Brahman",
sachchidānanda brahma


"Brahman or Brahma is existence, consciousness, and bliss".

Semantics and pronunciationEdit

Here the underlined vowels carry the Vedic Sanskrit udātta short pitch accent. It is usual to use an acute accent symbol for this purpose. (on the first syllable).

In Vedic Sanskrit:-

  • Brahma (ब्रह्म) (nominative singular), brahman (ब्रह्मन्) (stem) (neuter[10] gender) means the Great Cosmic Spirit, from root brha
  • Brahmānda (ब्रह्माण्ड) (nominative singular), from stems brha (to expand) + anda (egg), means universe as an expansion of a cosmic egg (Hiranyagarbha), or the macrocosm. Brahmanda Purana discusses cosmogenesis. Bhagavata Purana also discusses cosmogony and fundamental principles of material nature in detail.[11]

In later Sanskrit usage:-

  • Brahma (ब्रह्म) (nominative singular), brahman (stem) (neuter[10] gender) means the concept of the transcendent and immanent ultimate reality of the One Godhead or Supreme Cosmic Spirit in Hinduism; the concept is central to Hindu philosophy, especially Vedanta; this is discussed below. Also note that the word Brahman in this sense is exceptionally treated as masculine (see the Merrill-Webster Sanskrit Dictionary). It is called "the Brahman" in English. Brahm is another variant of Brahman.
  • Brahmā (ब्रह्मा) (nominative singlular), Brahman (ब्रह्मन्) (stem) (masculine gender), means the deity or deva Prajāpati Brahmā. He is one of the members of the Hindu trinity and associated with creation, but does not have a cult in present day India. This is because Brahmā, the creator-god, is long-lived but not eternal i.e. Brahmā gets absorbed back into Purusha at the end of an aeon, and is born again at the beginning of a new kalpa.

One must not confuse these with:

  • A brāhmaņa (ब्राह्मण) (masculine, pronounced Şablon:IPA-sa), (which literally means "pertaining to prayer") is a prose commentary on the Vedic mantras—an integral part of the Vedic literature.
  • A brāhmaņa (ब्राह्मण) (masculine, same pronunciation as above), means priest; in this usage the word is usually rendered in English as "Brahmin". This usage is also found in the Atharva Veda. In neuter plural form, Brahmāņi. See Vedic priest.
  • Ishvara, (lit., Supreme Lord), in Advaita, is identified as a partial worldly manifestation (with limited attributes) of the ultimate reality, the attributeless Brahman. In Visishtadvaita and Dvaita, however, Ishvara (the Supreme Controller) has infinite attributes and the source of the impersonal Brahman.
  • Devas, the expansions of Brahman/God into various forms, each with a certain quality. In Vedic Hinduism, there were 33 devas, which later became exaggerated to 330 million devas. In fact, devas are themselves regarded as more mundane manifestations of the One and the Supreme Brahman (See Para Brahman). The Sanskrit word for "ten million" also means group, and 330 million devas originally meant 33 types of divine manifestations.

Brahman and Atman Edit

Some Upanishadic statements identify the Atman, the inner essence of the human being, with Brahman. While Advaita philosophy considers Brahman to be without form, qualities, or attributes, Visishtadvaita and Dvaita philosophies understand Brahman as one with infinite auspicious qualities. In Advaita, the ultimate reality is expressed as Nirguna Brahman. Nirguna means formless, attributeless, mega-soul, or spirit-only. Advaita considers all personal forms of God including Vishnu and Shiva as different aspects of God in personal form, Saguna Brahman i.e. God with attributes. In Visishtadvaita and Dvaita, God is Saguna Brahman with infinite attributes and is the source of the impersonal Nirguna Brahman, and God's energy is regarded as Devi, the Divine Mother.

The phrase that is seen to be the only possible (and still thoroughly inadequate) description of Brahman that humans, with limited minds and being, can entertain is the Sanskrit word Sacchidānanda, which is combined from sat-chit-ānanda, meaning "Being - Consciousness - Bliss".

The description of Brahman from Mandukya Upanishad:

सर्वं ह्येतद् ब्रह्मायमात्मा ब्रह्म सोयमात्मा चतुष्पात्

sarvam hyetad brahmāyamātmā brahma soyamātmā chatushpāt - Mandukya Upanishad, verse-2

  • Translation:-

sarvam (सर्वम्)- whole/all/everything; hi (हि)- really/surely/indeed; etad (एतद्)- this here/this; brahma (ब्रह्म)- Brahma/Brahman; ayam (अयम्)- this/here; ātmā(आत्मा)- atma/atman; sah(सः)- he; ayam (अयम्)- this/here; chatus(चतुस्)- four/quadruple; pāt(पात्)- step/foot/quarter

सर्वम् हि एतद् ब्रह्म अयम् आत्मा ब्रह्म सः अयम् आत्मा चतुस पात्

sarvam hi etad brahma ayam ātmā brahm sah ayam ātmā chatus paat

  • Simple meaning:-

All indeed is this Brahman; He is Atman; He has four steps/quarters.

Vishnu is traditionally derived from the root "Vish" which means to enter or pervade, and He is called Vishnu because He pervades the whole universe. Brahmanda Purana (1.4.25) says that He is called as Vishnu because He has entered into everything in the universe. The most important aspect is that the whole universe is covered by only three steps of Vishnu which is referred to several times in the Vedas (Rig Veda 1.22.17, 1.154. 3, 1.155.4, Atharva Veda 7.26.5, Yajur Veda 2.25). In His three steps rests the whole universe (Rig Veda 1.154.2, Yajur Veda 23.49). All indeed is Brahman, which can thus be identified with Vishnu, based on the Vedas.

Enlightenment and Brahman Edit

While Brahman lies behind the sum total of the objective universe, some human minds boggle at any attempt to explain it with only the tools provided by reason. Brahman is beyond the senses, beyond the mind, beyond intelligence, beyond imagination. Indeed, the highest idea is that Brahman transcends and includes time, causation and space, and thus can never be known in the same material sense as one traditionally 'understands' a given concept or object.

Yajur Veda Mundakopanishad 3.2.4 reads: This Self is not attained by one devoid of strength, nor through delusion, nor through knowledge unassociated with monasticism. But the Self of that knower, who strives through these means, enters into the abode that is Brahman.

Yajur Veda Mundakopanishad 3.2.6 reads: Those to whom the entity presented by the Vedantic knowledge has become fully ascertained, and who endeavour assiduously with the help of the Yoga of monasticism, become pure in mind. At the supreme moment of final departure all of them become identified with the supreme Immortality in the worlds that are Brahman, and they become freed from the cycle of Birth and Death.

Material concept of BrahmanEdit

There is reference in Bhagavad-Gita to material nature (mahat-tattva), comprising three gunas (sattva, rajas and tamas) as Brahman: "The total material substance, called Brahman, is the source of birth, and it is that Brahman that I impregnate, making possible the births of all living beings, O son of Bharata." This should also must be properly understood that Brahman is actually "total substance of the material cause, in which there are three modes of nature", so material nature is Brahman, but whole Absolute Truth is transcendental and it includes 'material Brahman with three modes of nature' as well. Strictly speaking, Brahman is Supreme Personality of Godhead (Vishnu, Krishna, Narayana..). [12]

Advaita VedantaEdit

The universe does not simply possess consciousness, it is consciousness, and this consciousness is Brahman. According to Adi Shankara, knowledge of brahman springs from inquiry into the words of the Upanishads, and the knowledge of brahman that shruti provides cannot be obtained in any other way.[13]

In Advaita Vedanta, Brahman is without attributes and strictly impersonal. It can be best described as infinite Being, infinite Consciousness, and infinite Bliss. It is pure knowing itself, similar to a source of infinite radiance. Since the Advaitins regard Brahman to be the Ultimate Truth, so in comparison to Brahman, every other thing, including the material world, its distinctness, the individuality of the living creatures are all untrue. Brahman is the effulgent cause of everything that exists and can possibly exist. Since it is beyond human comprehension, it is without any attributes, for assigning attributes to it would be distorting the true nature of Brahman. Advaitins believe in the existence of both Saguna (with qualities, attributes) Brahman and Nirguna (without qualities, or attributes) Brahman, however they consider Nirguna Brahman to be the Absolute Truth.

When man tries to know the attributeless Brahman with his mind, under the influence of an illusionary power of Brahman called Maya, Brahman becomes God (Ishvara). God is the reflection of the Brahman in the environment of illusion (Maya). Just like reflection of moon, in a pool of water. The material world also appears as such due to Maya. God is Saguna Brahman, or Brahman with attributes. He is omniscient, omnipresent, incorporeal, independent, Creator of the world, its ruler and also destroyer. He is eternal and unchangeable. He is both immanent and transcedent, as well as full of love and justice. He may be even regarded to have a personality. He is the subject of worship. He is the basis of morality and giver of the fruits of one's Karma. He rules the world with his Maya. However, while God is the Lord of Maya and she (i.e. Maya) is always under his control, living beings (jīva, in the sense of humans) are the servants of Maya (in the form of ignorance). This ignorance is the cause of all material experiences in the mortal world. While God is Infinite Bliss, humans, under the influence of Maya consider themselves limited by the body and the material, observable world. This misperception of Brahman as the observed Universe results in human emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger and fear. The ultimate reality remains Brahman and nothing else. The Advaita equation is simple. It is due to Maya that the one single Atman (the individual soul) appears to the people as many Atmans, each in a single body. Once the curtain of maya is lifted, the [[Ātman (Hinduism)|Atm Thus, due to true knowledge, an individual loses the sense of ego (Ahamkara) and achieves liberation, or Moksha.

Relevant verses from Bhagavad-Gita which establish the Advaita position:

The indestructible, transcendental living entity is called Brahman, and its eternal nature is called adhyatma, the self. (Bhagavad Gita 8.3)

Similar to a person who is not attached to external pleasures but enjoys happiness in the Atman (soul), the person who perceives Brahman (all-pervading consciousness) in everybody feels everlasting joy. (Bhagavad Gita 5.21)

Visishtadvaita VedantaEdit

Brahman of Visishtadvaita is synonymous with Narayana, who is the transcendent and immanent reality. Brahman or Narayana is Saguna Brahman with infinite auspicious qualities, and not the Advaita concept of attributeless Nirguna Brahman. "Sarvam khalvidam brahma, tajjalaniti santa upasita": According to Ramanuja, considering the appearance of the word "tajjalan iti" (Roots: tat + ja = born + la = dissolved), this statement from the Chandogya Upanishad does not simply mean that the universe is Brahman, but that it is pervaded by, born from and dissolves into Brahman. An analogy: fish is born in water, lives in water, and is ultimately dissolved into water; yet the fish is not water.

The concept of Brahman in Visishtadvaita is explained as an inseparable triad of Ishwara-Chit-Achit. Ishvara, the Supreme Self (Paramatman) is the indwelling spirit (Antaryami) in all. Both the Chit (sentient) and Achit (insentient) entities are pervaded and permeated by Ishvara. Brahman is the material and efficient cause of the universe. The concept of Brahman in Visishtadvaita can be seen as a hybrid of Advaita and Dvaita positions. Like all other Vaishnava schools of thought, Visishtadvaita is also panentheistic unlike the pantheism of Advaita. It also proposes a qualified attributive monism approach as opposed to the absolute monism of Advaita.

Brahman is, Antaryami, the real self of all beings. Everything other than Brahman form the Sarira (body) of Brahman. The inseparable relation between the body and the soul is similar to that of substance and attribute which are inseparable. So Brahman is the prakari and the universe is the prakara, mode of Brahman. Hence anything that describes a sentient or insentient being has its connotation only with Brahman, the real and ultimate self. The relationship between Ishvara-Chit-Achit can be further understood as follows:

1. The Sarira-Sariri Concept

The key concept of Visishtadvaita is the Sarira-Sariri Bhaava, the body-soul relationship between the universe and Ishvara. There are three realities, namely, Ishvara (the Lord), Jiva (individual souls), and Jagat (insentient matter). They are not separate entities but together they form an organic whole. This is similar to the concept of body-soul relationship, but on a cosmic scale. Thus, Ishvara has the Chit (sentient) and Achit (insentient) entities for His body and being the Supreme Self, exercises complete control over it.

2. Substance-Attribute Concept

In Visishtadvaita, Ishvara is the original substance, of which Jiva and Prakriti are attributes. An attribute cannot have an existence independent of an underlying substance. The substance-attribute concept establishes an uninterrupted, non-reciprocal relationship between Ishvara and the two modes.

Followers of Visishtadvaita refute Advaita thought that if it is indeed true that the one undivided Brahman, whose very nature is pure spirit, is the foundation of Maya and also embodies the liberating force of knowledge, then it is illogical to say that the very same Brahman falls under the influence of the illusory power of Maya and gets covered by ignorance. Thus establishing that Jiva and Ishvara are indeed separate entities. Since both their identities and capabilities are different, the Jiva and the Lord are essentially distinct. In other words, if Brahman is indivisible, changeless, and supreme, then a force of Maya cannot appear within Brahman, modify it, and put it into ignorance.

Bhakti Yoga is the sole means of liberation in Visishtadvaita. Through Bhakti (devotion), a Jiva ascends to the realm of the Lord to become one with Him. Karma Yoga and Jnana Yoga are natural outcomes of Bhakti, total surrender, as the devotee acquires the knowledge that the Lord is the inner self. A devotee realizes his own state as dependent on, and supported by, and being led by the Lord, who is the Master. One is to lead a life as an instrument of the Lord, offering all his thought, word, and deed to the feet of the Lord. One is to see the Lord in everything and everything in Him. This is the unity in diversity achieved through devotion.

In Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna is Ishvara and denotes Saguna Brahman, and the term Brahman means Nirguna Brahman:

I (Ishvara) am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness. (Bhagavad Gita 14.27)

I (Ishvara) am transcendental, beyond both kshara (the fallible, perishable world) and akshara (the infallible). (Bhagavad Gita 15.18)

Dvaita VedantaEdit

Brahman of Dvaita (substantial monism) is synonymous with Hari or Vishnu, who is the most exalted Para Brahman (Supreme Brahman), superior to liberated souls and even the impersonal Brahman. Dvaita holds that the individual soul is dependent (paratantra) on God, since it is unable to exist without the energizing support of the universal spirit, just as a tree cannot survive without its sap.

Dvaita schools argue against the Advaita concept that upon liberation one realizes Brahman as a formless God is erroneous, quoting from Vedanta Sutra:

The form of Brahman is unmanifest, but even the form of Brahman becomes directly visible to one who worships devoutly (tat avyaktam aha, api samradhane pratyaksa anumanabhyam)[citation needed].[14] (Vedanta Sutra 3.2.23)

Within His divine realm, devotees see other divine manifestations which appear even as physical objects in a city (antara bhuta gramavat svatmanah). (Vedanta Sutra 3.3.36)

Dvaita propounds Tattvavada which means understanding differences between Tattvas (significant properties) of entities within the universal substrate as follows:

1. Jîva-Îshvara-bheda - difference between the soul and Vishnu

2. Jada-Îshvara-bheda - difference between the insentient and Vishnu

3. Mitha-jîva-bheda - difference between any two souls

4. Jada-jîva-bheda - difference between insentient and the soul

5. Mitha-jada-bheda - difference between any two insentients

The Acintya Bheda Abheda philosophy is similar to Dvaitadvaita (differential monism). All Vaishnava schools are panentheistic and perceive the Advaita concept of identification of Atman with the impersonal Brahman as an intermediate step of self-realization, but not Mukti, or final liberation of complete God-realization through Bhakti Yoga.

Abode of Brahman in Gaudiya-VaishnavismEdit

Gaudiya Vaishnavas also conclude, that Brahman is also Supreme Personality of Godhead. Purport of A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.5.39 confirms this, telling us about Brahmalokah sanatana - eternal abode of Brahman (Krishna, Vishnu): "..satyalokas tu brahmalokaḥ sanātanaḥ

.. mūrdhabhiḥ — by the head; satyalokaḥ — the Satyaloka planetary system; tu — but; brahmalokaḥ — the spiritual planets; sanātanaḥ — eternal.

From the forefront of the chest up to the neck of the universal form of the Lord are situated the planetary systems named Janaloka and Tapoloka, whereas Satyaloka, the topmost planetary system, is situated on the head of the form. The spiritual planets, however, are eternal.

PURPORT ... Sometimes Satyaloka, the planet in which Brahmā resides, is also called Brahmaloka. But the Brahmaloka mentioned here is not the same as the Satyaloka planetary system. This Brahmaloka is eternal, whereas the Satyaloka planetary system is not eternal. And to distinguish between the two, the adjective sanātana has been used in this case. According to Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, this Brahmaloka is the loka or abode of Brahman, or the Supreme Lord. ... Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī, therefore, rightly .. says that the Brahmaloka mentioned here is Vaikuṇṭha, the kingdom of God, which is sanātana, or eternal, and is therefore not exactly like the material creations described above." (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.5.39)

So, Brahman is not just impersonal, but also personal. That Brahman is Supreme Personality of Godhead, though on first stage of realization (by process called jnana) of Absolute Truth, He is realized (usually by advaita-vedantists, followers of Shankaracarya) as impersonal Brahman, then (by actual Shankaracarya followers and vaishnavas) as personal Brahman having eternal Vaikuntha abode (also known as Brahmalokah sanatana), then as Paramatma (by process of yoga-meditation on Supersoul, Vishnu-God in heart) - Vishnu (Narayana, also in everyone's heart) who has many abodes known as Vishnulokas (Vaikunthalokas), and finally (Absolute Truth is realized by bhakti) as Bhagavan, Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is source of both Paramatma and Brahman (personal and/or impersonal).

The Advaita concept of a Jivanmukta is mocked as an absurd oxymoron because a person who has surmounted the realm of perception and realized the Absolute (as Advaita holds) should not continue to exist within and interact with the realm of perception that one has realized as being not real. The suggestion that such bondage to the world of perception continues for a while after the occurrence of God-realization, because of past attachments, is not tenable. Such attachments themselves are artifacts of the perceived world that has supposedly been sublated, and should not continue to besiege the consciousness of the self-realized. A Jivanmukta, or liberated person, should not even be physically present in the material universe. A person who is living in the world cannot be said to be free of sorrow born of material contact, and also cannot be said to experience the joy of liberation. The very act of being in a gross material body is not accepted in as a Jivanmukta i.e. a person liberated from the cycle of birth and death. The soul upon liberation does not lose its identity, which remains different from God, nor does one become equal to God in any respect. A mukta indeed becomes free from all suffering, but one's enjoyment is not of the same caliber as His, nor does a mukta become independent of Him. The permanent differential aspect of Atman (soul) from the Lord is established from:

Never was there a time when I (Ishvara) did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. (Bhagavad Gita 2.12)

In Dvaita, liberation (Moksha) is achieved by flawless devotion and correct understanding. Devotion to a personal form of God, Saguna Brahman, indicated here is the transcendental form of Krishna or Vishnu (see Vaishnavism). This conclusion is corroborated by the Bhagavata Purana, written by Vyasa as his commentary on Vedanta Sutra.

O my Lord, Krishna, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Lord, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes (om namo bhagavate vasudevaya janmady asya yatah 'nvayad itaratas cartheshv abhijnah svarat). (Bhagavata Purana 1.1.1)

Vyasa employs the words "janma-adi -- creation, sustenance and destruction; asya -- of the manifested universes; yatah -- from whom;", in the first verse of the Bhagavata Purana to establish that Krishna is the Absolute Truth. This is clear testimony of the author's own conclusion that the ultimate goal of all Vedic knowledge is Krishna.

Brahman in Earliest BuddhismEdit

It has been asserted by current secular Buddhism, that Buddhism knows only of the gods (Brahma) and nothing of the Godhead/Absolute/Agathon Brahman. In actuality there can be doubt that in the grammatically ambiguous _expression Brahmabhu’to (attano) which describes the condition of those who are wholly liberated, that it is Brahman (the Absolute) and not Brahma (deva, or mere god) that is in the text and must be read; for it is by Brahman that one who is “wholly awake” has ”become.”

As "Brahma-vihara" means to dwell in Brahman, "Brahma-patha" are the four paths towards achieving it.[15] The highest appellation in Buddhist Nikayan sutra is “Brahambhutena attano” [MN 1.341] “The Soul is having become Brahman”; absolutely equivalent to ‘Tat tvam asi’ (That/Brahman, thou art). For the Buddha himself is = Brahmabhu’to (Become That, Brahman). For (1) the comparatively limited knowledge of a Brahma is repeatedly emphasized, and (2) Brahmas are accordingly the Buddhas pupils, not he theirs [ S 1.141-145; Mil 75-76], (3) The Buddha had already been in previous births a Brahma (god) and a Mahabrahma [AN 4.88] hence it is meaningless and absurd in the equation to say Brahmabhu’to=Buddho [AN 5.22; DN 3.84; It 57 etc.], to assume that Brahman= Brahma (god) and that (4) the Buddha is explicitly “much more than a Mahabrahma" [DhA 2.60].

  • [DN 3.84] "The Tathagata means 'the body of Brahman', 'become Brahman'." (this passage also proves [from earlier context] that Brahma (god/s) is utterly different than the word Brahman).
  • [DN 1.249] “ I teach the way to the union with Brahman, I know the way to the supreme union with Brahman, and the path and means leading to Brahman, whereby the world of Brahman may be gained.”
  • [DN 1.248] ”all the peoples say that Gotama is the supreme teacher of the way leading to the Union with Brahman!”
  • [3.646 Pat-Att.] “To have become Brahman [is the meaning of] Brahmabhuto.”
  • [Atthakanipata-Att. 5.72] “To become Brahman is to become highest Svabhava (Self-nature).”
  • [It 57] “Become-Brahman is the meaning of Tathagata.”
  • [SN 3.83] “Without taints, it meant ‘Become-Brahman’.”
  • [SN 5.5] “The Aryan Eightfold Path is the designation for Brahmayana (path to Brahman).”
  • [MN 1.341] “The Soul is having become Brahman.”
  • [SN 4.117] "Found the ancient path leading to Brahman."
  • [Majjhima ii, 199] "These alone could conduce to the attainment of the Brahma-sahavyata or the attainment of the world of Brahman."

In the text Lalitavistara (a Northern Buddhistic text), it is written that the Buddha prayed to Parabrahma.[16]

In the Surangama Sutra it reads[17]: Adoration to the heavenly Devas and Rishis,-accomplished

and disciplined executors of this Dharani-
Adoration to Brahman, to Indra, to the Blessed Rudra,
and to their consorts, Indrani and Sahai.
Adoration to Narayana, Lord of this world, Lord of the
five great Mudras, and to his consort.

It is said in the that the Tathagata is not merely an incorporation of Dhamma but also of the Brahman, he has become not only the Dhamma, but also the Brahman.[18]

"In another passage we read that the 'vehicle that leads to the brahman' (brahmayana) i.e. to Nirvana has its origin in ourselves (attani sambuutam):"[19]

A Brahma-kshetra is a name for a Buddhist monastery.[20]

The Buddha is also called Brahma-patta (skt. Brahma Prapta.[21]).

Buddha talked of "Brahmavihara" as the stage of enlightenment[22].

The Buddha was also called in texts as "Brahmaprapta" or Individual who has become One with Brahman.[23]

In Modern DayEdit

A Lama who converses with Notovitch explains to him the doctrine of divine incarnation from a Buddhist point of view:

The great Buddha, Soul of the Universe, is the incarnation of Brahma. He remains almost always in passivity, preserving within himself all things from the beginning of time, and his breath vivifies the world. Having abandoned man to his own resources, he yet at certain epochs comes forth from his inertia taking upon himself a human form to save his creatures from irremediable ruin...< 16>[3]

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's viewEdit

In his writings on the Bhagavad Gita, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi defines Brahman as follows:[24]

Brahman, which is an all-pervading mass of bliss, does not exhibit any quality of bliss. It may be likened to a mass of energy- matter - which does not exhibit any quality of energy... Brahman is that which cannot be expressed into words, even though the Upanishads use words to educate about Its nature. In the field of speech, Brahman lies between two contrary statements. It is absolute and relative at the same time. It is the eternal imperishable even while It is ever changing. It is said to be both This and That. It is spoken of as Sat-Chita-Ananda but includes what is not Sat, what is not Chit, and what is not Ananda. It is beyond speech and thought, yet the whole range of thought and speech lies within It. ‘Within It’ and ‘without It’ are just expressions, and like any other expressions about Brahman they do justice neither to Brahman nor to the speaker nor to the listener. Brahman is lived by man with ease but cannot be spoken of, in the sense that words are inadequate to encompass That which is the unlimited fullness of transcendental Being and the fullness of active life at the same time. Verse 29 of Chapter II (of the Bhagavad-Gita) speak of It as a “wonder”, for it is not anything that can be conceived of intellectually; it is not anything that can be appreciated by emotion…Brahman is the value of our life and the truth of it is that it is lived ‘with ease'.

Śri Aurobindo's viewEdit

Śri Aurobindo accepts position of Advaita Vedanta, but gives more emphasis to relative creation and manifestations of Brahman in the relative creation. With Matter as a starting point, Aurobindo finds Brahman completely involved and hidden in it, and then describes a process by which Brahman starts to display itself through a groving scale of principles, showing more and more of its qualities in this world. Main points on this scale are Matter, Life and Mind (in classical Advaita terminology, anna, prana and manas), where Matter has only the quality of Existence (sat), whereas Life and especially Mind also show various grades of the quality of Conscousness (cit). In this position, rather than merging oneself in Brahman through Yoga or some other discipline, Aurobindo suggests a conscious attempt to enable an emergence in this world of an even higher manifestation of Brahman, which he calls Supermind, and corresponding transformation of beings to a divinier race functioning with this principle as a basis.

In description of his teaching and philosophy Aurobindo writes:[25]

The teaching of Śri Aurobindo starts from that of the ancient sages of India that behind the appearances of the universe there is the Reality of a Being and Consciousness, a Self of all things, one and eternal. All beings are united in that One Self and Spirit but divided by a certain separativity of consciousness, an ignorance of their true Self and Reality in the mind, life and body. It is possible by a certain psychological discipline to remove this veil of separative consciousness and become aware of the true Self, the Divinity within us and all.

Śri Aurobindo's teaching states that this One Being and Consciousness is involved here in Matter. Evolution is the method by which it liberates itself; consciousness appears in what seems to be inconscient, and once having appeared is self-impelled to grow higher and higher and at the same time to enlarge and develop towards a greater and greater perfection. Life is the first step of this release of consciousness; mind is the second; but the evolution does not finish with mind, it awaits a release into something greater, a consciousness which is spiritual and supramental. The next step of the evolution must be towards the development of Supermind and Spirit as the dominant power in the conscious being. For only then will the involved Divinity in things release itself entirely and it become possible for life to manifest perfection.

But while the former steps in evolution were taken by Nature without a conscious will in the plant and animal life, in man Nature becomes able to evolve by a conscious will in the instrument. It is not, however, by the mental will in man that this can be wholly done, for the mind goes only to a certain point and after that can only move in a circle. A conversion has to be made, a turning of the consciousness by which mind has to change into the higher principle. This method is to be found through the ancient psychological discipline and practice of Yoga. In the past, it has been attempted by a drawing away from the world and a disappearance into the height of the Self or Spirit. Sri Aurobindo teaches that a descent of the higher principle is possible which will not merely release the spiritual Self out of the world, but release it in the world, replace the mind's ignorance or its very limited knowledge by a supramental Truth-Consciousness which will be a sufficient instrument of the inner Self and make it possible for the human being to find himself dynamically as well as inwardly and grow out of his still animal humanity into a diviner race. The psychological discipline of Yoga can be used to that end by opening all the parts of the being to a conversion or transformation through the descent and working of the higher still concealed supramental principle.

Brahmans and genetic studiesEdit

Dosya:Y-Haplogroup R1 distribution.png

R1a is typical in populations of Eastern Europe, Indian Subcontinent and parts of Central Asia. It has a significant presence in Northern Europe, Central Europe, Iran, Altaians and Xinjiang (China) as well as in Siberia. R1a can be found in low frequencies in the Middle East, mostly in Indo-European speakers or their descendants.[26]

The highest levels of R1a (>50%) are found across the Eurasian Steppe: West Bengal Brahmins (72%), and Uttar Pradesh Brahmins, (67%) , the Ishkashimi (68%), the Tajik population of Khojant (64%), Kyrgyz (63.5%), Sorbs (63.39%), Poles (56.4%), Ukrainians (50%) and Russians (50%)[27][28][29][30] and in the Central India among the saharia tribe of Madhya Pradesh R1a*(22.8%) and R1a1(28.07%).[31]

R1a has been variously associated with:

The Modern studies for R1a1 (M17) suggest that it could have originated in South Asia. It could have found its way initially from Western India (Gujarat) through Pakistan and Kashmir, then via Central Asia and Russia, before finally coming to Europe"..."as part of an archaeologically dated Paleolithic movement from east to west 30,000 years ago[33].

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. {{{başlık}}}. ISBN 978-0-88489-725-5.
  2. Veda means 'knowledge' and not merely epistemic knowledge but knowledge of the eternal truth that one's ultimate nature is pure consciousness and independent of material form (cf. Gnosis
  3. Aitareya Upanishad 3.3
  4. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5,
  5. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10,
  6. Chhāndogya Upanishad 6.8.7 et seq.
  7. Chhāndogya Upanishad 3.14.1
  8. Nrisimhauttaratāpini, cited in Swami Nikhilananda, The Upanishads: A new Translation Vol. I.
  9. In the Bhagavad Gītā, Krishna also describes the nature of Brahman. For example, he says "And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness" (brahmano hi pratishthaham...) B-Gita (As-it-Is) 14.27 Translation by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
  10. 10,0 10,1 Not Masculine or Feminine (see Grammatical gender).
  11. Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam
  12. [1] The mahat-tattva is the total cause of the total cosmic manifestation; and that total substance of the material cause, in which there are three modes of nature, is sometimes called Brahman. The Supreme Personality impregnates that total substance, and thus innumerable universes become possible. This total material substance, the mahat-tattva, is described as Brahman in the Vedic literature (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.1.19): tasmād etad brahma nāma-rūpam annaḿ ca jāyate. The Supreme Person impregnates that Brahman with the seeds of the living entities. The twenty-four elements, beginning from earth, water, fire and air, are all material energy, and they constitute what is called mahad brahma, or the great Brahman, the material nature. As explained in the Seventh Chapter, beyond this there is another, superior nature — the living entity. Into material nature the superior nature is mixed by the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thereafter all living entities are born of this material nature. The scorpion lays its eggs in piles of rice, and sometimes it is said that the scorpion is born out of rice. But the rice is not the cause of the scorpion. Actually, the eggs were laid by the mother. Similarly, material nature is not the cause of the birth of the living entities. The seed is given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and they only seem to come out as products of material nature. Thus every living entity, according to his past activities, has a different body, created by this material nature, so that the entity can enjoy or suffer according to his past deeds. The Lord is the cause of all the manifestations of living entities in this material world.
  13. Anantanand Rambachan, The limits of scripture: Vivekananda's reinterpretation of the Vedas. University of Hawaii Press, 1994, pages 125, 124: [2].
  14. api - but, samradhane - intense worship, pratyaksa - as directly visible, anumanabhyam - as inferred from scripture
  15. Maithrimurthi, P. 17 Wohlwollen, Mitleid, Freude Und Gleichmut
  16. Blavatsky, P. 127 The Theosophist: Monthly Journal Devoted to Oriental Philosophy, Art
  17. Goddard, P. 273 A Buddhist Bible
  18. Digh. Nik. III 80 ff; Bhaṭṭācāryyeṇa, P. 209 The Cult of Brahmā
  19. Chowdhury & Barua, Bauddha Dharmankur Sabha, P. 65 Dr. B.R. Barua Birth Centenary Commemoration Volume, 1989
  20. Soothill & Hodous, P. 353 A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms:
  21. Kulkarni, P. 168 Buddha, the Trimurti, and Modern Hinduism
  22. Gangulee, P. 67 The Buddha and His Message
  23. Kulkarni, P. 71 Buddha, the Trimurti, and Modern Hinduism
  24. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on the Bhagavad-Gita, a New Translation and Commentary, Chapter 1-6. Penguin Books, 1969, pp 440-441 (v 28)
  25. Śri Aurobindo's Teaching and Method of Sadhana
  27. Kaynak hatası Geçersiz <ref> etiketi; Wells2001 isimli refler için metin temin edilmemiş
  28. Kaynak hatası Geçersiz <ref> etiketi; Semino2000 isimli refler için metin temin edilmemiş
  29. High-Resolution Phylogenetic Analysis of Southeastern Europe Traces Major Episodes of Paternal Gene Flow Among Slavic Populations - Pericic et al. 22 (10): 1964 - Molecular Bi...
  30. Behar et al. (2003)
  31. The Autochthonous Origin and a Tribal Link of Indian Brahmins: Evaluation Through Molecular Genetic Markers, by S. Sharma (1,2), E. Rai (1,2), S. Singh (1,2), P.R. Sharma (1,3), A.K. Bhat (1), K. Darvishi (1), A.J.S. Bhanwer (2), P.K. Tiwari (3), R.N.K. Bamezai (1) 1) NCAHG, SLS, JNU, New delhi; 2) Department of Human Genetics, GNDU, Amritsar; 3) Centre for Genomics, SOS zoology, JU, Gwalior, Page 273 (1344/T), Published in The American Society of Human Genetics 57th Annual Meeting, October 23–27, 2007, San Diego, California.
  32. Passarino et al. (2002)
  33. Underhill et al. (2009)

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