38 Facts About Brahman


In Hinduism, Brahman connotes the highest universal principle, the ultimate reality in the universe.

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Brahman is a Vedic Sanskrit word, and it is conceptualized in Hinduism, states Paul Deussen, as the "creative principle which lies realized in the whole world".

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Brahman is a key concept found in the Vedas, and it is extensively discussed in the early Upanishads.

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Brahman is discussed in Hindu texts with the concept of Atman, (Self), personal, impersonal or Para Brahman, or in various combinations of these qualities depending on the philosophical school.

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In non-dual schools such as the Advaita Vedanta, the substance of Brahman is identical to the substance of Atman, is everywhere and inside each living being, and there is connected spiritual oneness in all existence.

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Sanskrit Brahman (an n-stem, nominative, from a root - "to swell, expand, grow, enlarge") is a neuter noun to be distinguished from the masculine —denoting a person associated with Brahman, and from Brahma, the creator God in the Hindu Trinity, the Trimurti.

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Brahman is thus a gender-neutral concept that implies greater impersonality than masculine or feminine conceptions of the deity.

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Puligandla states it as "the unchanging reality amidst and beyond the world", while Sinar states Brahman is a concept that "cannot be exactly defined".

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Brahman is a concept present in Vedic Samhitas, the oldest layer of the Vedas dated to the late 2nd millennium BCE.

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Concept Brahman is referred to in hundreds of hymns in the Vedic literature.

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In verses considered as the most ancient, the Vedic idea of Brahman is the "power immanent in the sound, words, verses and formulas of Vedas".

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Barbara Holdrege states that the concept Brahman is discussed in the Vedas along four major themes: as the Word or verses, as Knowledge embodied in Creator Principle, as Creation itself, and a Corpus of traditions.

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Gavin Flood states that the Vedic era witnessed a process of abstraction, where the concept of Brahman evolved and expanded from the power of sound, words and rituals to the "essence of the universe", the "deeper foundation of all phenomena", the "essence of the self", and the deeper "truth of a person beyond apparent difference".

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Paul Deussen notes that teachings similar to above on Brahman, re-appeared centuries later in the words of the 3rd century CE Neoplatonic Roman philosopher Plotinus in Enneades 5.

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Concept Brahman has a lot of undertones of meaning and is difficult to understand.

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Brahman is the key metaphysical concept in various schools of Hindu philosophy.

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Atman-Brahman is eternal, unchanging, invisible principle, unaffected absolute and resplendent consciousness.

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Brahman as well the Atman in every human being is considered equivalent and the sole reality, the eternal, self-born, unlimited, innately free, blissful Absolute in schools of Hinduism such as the Advaita Vedanta and Yoga.

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The nature of Atman-Brahman is held in these schools, states Barbara Holdrege, to be as a pure being, consciousness (cit) and full of bliss (ananda), and it is formless, distinctionless, nonchanging and unbounded.

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Main purpose of the Brahman and why it exists is a subjective question according to the Upanishads.

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One of the reasons to why the Brahman should be realized according to the Upanishads is because it removes suffering from a person's life.

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Therefore, the apparent purpose of Brahman is in discussion in the Upanishads but the Brahman itself is the only self-contained purpose and true goal according to the Upanishads, so posing the question is redundant.

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Furthermore, the knowledge of Brahman leads to a sense of oneness with all existence, self-realization, indescribable joy, and moksha, because Brahman-Atman is the origin and end of all things, the universal principle behind and at source of everything that exists, consciousness that pervades everything and everyone.

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Theistic sub-school such as Dvaita Vedanta of Hinduism, starts with the same premises, but adds the premise that individual Self and Brahman are distinct, and thereby reaches entirely different conclusions where Brahman is conceptualized in a manner similar to God in other major world religions.

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Concept of Brahman, its nature and its relationship with Atman and the observed universe, is a major point of difference between the various sub-schools of the Vedanta school of Hinduism.

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Brahman is the sole unchanging reality, there is no duality, no limited individual Self nor a separate unlimited cosmic Self, rather all Self, all of existence, across all space and time, is one and the same.

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Brahman is the origin and end of all things, material and spiritual.

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The Brahman is not an outside, separate, dual entity, the Brahman is within each person, states Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism.

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Brahman is all that is eternal, unchanging and that which truly exists.

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Brahman will be attained by him, who always sees Brahman in action.

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Brahman of Dvaita is a concept similar to God in major world religions.

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Nirguna Brahman was the concept of the Ultimate Reality as formless, without attributes or quality.

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Yet given the "mountains of Nirguni bhakti literature", adds Lorenzen, bhakti for Nirguna Brahman has been a part of the reality of the Hindu tradition along with the bhakti for Saguna Brahman.

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In Gauri, which is part of the Guru Granth Sahib, Brahman is declared as "One without a second", in Sri Rag "everything is born of Him, and is finally absorbed in Him", in Var Asa "whatever we see or hear is the manifestation of Brahman".

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Similar emphasis on "One without a second" for metaphysical concept of Brahman, is found in ancient texts of Hinduism, such as the Chandogya Upanishad's chapter 6.

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Brahman is envisioned in some Hindu texts to have emerged from the metaphysical Brahman along with Vishnu, Shiva (destroyer), all other gods, goddesses, matter and other beings.

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Brahman is a metaphysical concept of Hinduism referring to the ultimate unchanging reality, that is uncreated, eternal, infinite, transcendent, the cause, the foundation, the source and the goal of all existence.

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The abstract Brahman concept is predominant in the Vedic texts, particularly the Upanishads; while the deity Brahma finds minor mention in the Vedas and the Upanishads.

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