In Hinduism , BRAHMAN (/brəhmən/ ; ब्रह्मन्) connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe . In major schools of Hindu philosophy , it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind the diversity in all that exists in the universe.
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". Brahman is a key concept found in the Vedas , and it is extensively discussed in the early Upanishads . The Vedas conceptualize Brahman as the Cosmic Principle. In the Upanishads, it has been variously described as _Sat-cit-ānanda _ (truth-consciousness-bliss) and as the unchanging, permanent, highest reality.
Brahman is discussed in Hindu texts with the concept of Atman (Soul, Self), personal , impersonal or Para Brahman , or in various combinations of these qualities depending on the philosophical school. In dualistic schools of Hinduism such as the theistic Dvaita Vedanta , Brahman is different from Atman (soul) in each being, and therein it shares conceptual framework of God in major world religions. In non-dual schools such as the monist Advaita Vedanta , Brahman is identical to the Atman, is everywhere and inside each living being, and there is connected spiritual oneness in all existence.
* 1 Etymology and related terms
* 2 History and literature
* 2.1 Vedic * 2.2 Upanishads
* 3 Discussion
* 4 Schools of thought
* 4.1 Vedanta
* 5 Buddhist understanding of Brahman
* 11 References
* 11.1 Bibliography
* 12 External links
ETYMOLOGY AND RELATED TERMS
Sanskrit _Brahman_ (an _n_-stem, nominative _bráhmā_) from a root _bṛh-_ "to swell, expand, grow, enlarge" is a neutral noun to be distinguished from the masculine _brahmán _—denoting a person associated with Brahman, and from Brahmā , the creator God in the Hindu Trinity, the Trimurti . Brahman is thus a gender-neutral concept that implies greater impersonality than masculine or feminine conceptions of the deity. Brahman is referred to as the supreme self. Puligandla states it as "the unchanging reality amidst and beyond the world", while Sinar states Brahman is a concept that "cannot be exactly defined".
In Vedic Sanskrit :
* _Brahma_ (ब्रह्म) (nominative singular), _brahman_ (ब्रह्मन्) (stem) (neuter gender ) from root _bṛh-_, means "to be or make firm, strong, solid, expand, promote". * _Brahmana_ (ब्रह्मन) (nominative singular, never plural), from stems _brha_ (to make firm, strong, expand) + Sanskrit _-man-_ from Indo-European root _-men-_ which denotes some manifest form of "definite power, inherent firmness, supporting or fundamental principle".
In later Sanskrit usage:
* _Brahma_ (ब्रह्म) (nominative singular), _brahman_ (stem) (neuter gender ) means the concept of the transcendent and immanent ultimate reality, Supreme Cosmic Spirit in Hinduism. The concept is central to Hindu philosophy, especially Vedanta; this is discussed below. _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 .
These are distinct from:
* A _brāhmaṇa_ (ब्राह्मण) (masculine, pronounced ), (which literally means "pertaining to prayer") is a prose commentary on the Vedic mantras —an integral part of the Vedic literature. * A _brāhmaṇa_ (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, Brahmāṇi. 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 the Vedic religion, 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.
HISTORY AND LITERATURE
_Brahman_ is a concept present in Vedic Samhitas , the oldest layer of the Vedas dated to the 2nd millennium BCE. For example,
The _Ṛcs_ are limited (_parimita_), The _Samans_ are limited, And the _Yajuses_ are limited, But of the Word _Brahman_, there is no end. — Taittiriya Samhita VII.3.1.4, Translated by Barbara Holdrege
The concept _Brahman_ is referred to in hundreds of hymns in the Vedas. For example, it is found in Rig veda hymns such as 2.2.10, 6.21.8, 10.72.2 and in Atharva veda hymns such as 6.122.5, 10.1.12, and 14.1.131. The concept is found in various layers of the Vedic literature; for example: Aitareya Brahmana 1.18.3, Kausitaki Brahmana 6.12, Satapatha Brahmana 184.108.40.206, Taittiriya Brahmana 220.127.116.11, Jaiminiya Brahmana 1.129, Taittiriya Aranyaka 4.4.1 through 5.4.1, Vajasaneyi Samhita 22.4 through 23.25, Maitrayani Samhita 3.12.1:16.2 through 4.9.2:122.15. The concept is extensively discussed in the Upanishads embedded in the Vedas (see next section), and also mentioned in the vedāṅga (the limbs of Vedas) such as the Srauta sutra 1.12.12 and Paraskara Gryhasutra 3.2.10 through 3.4.5.
Jan Gonda states that the diverse reference of _Brahman_ in the Vedic literature, starting with Rigveda Samhitas, convey "different senses or different shades of meaning". There is no one single word in modern Western languages that can render the various shades of meaning of the word _Brahman_ in the Vedic literature, according to Jan Gonda. 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". However, states Gonda, the verses suggest that this ancient meaning was never the only meaning, and the concept evolved and expanded in ancient India.
Barbara Holdrege states that the concept _Brahman_ is discussed in the Vedas along four major themes: as the Word or verses (_Sabdabrahman_), as Knowledge embodied in Creator Principle, as Creation itself, and a Corpus of traditions. Hananya Goodman states that the Vedas conceptualize Brahman as the Cosmic Principles underlying all that exists. 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 (Atman , soul)", and the deeper "truth of a person beyond apparent difference".
Swan (Hansa, हंस) is the symbol for Brahman-Atman in Hindu iconography.
The primary focus on the early Upanishads is _Brahmavidya_ and _Atmavidya_, that is the knowledge of Brahman and the knowledge of Atman (self, soul), what it is and how it is understood. The texts do not present a single unified theory, rather they present a variety of themes with multiple possible interpretations, which flowered in post-Vedic era as premises for the diverse schools of Hinduism.
Paul Deussen states that the concept of _Brahman_ in the Upanishads expands to metaphysical, ontological and soteriological themes, such as it being the "primordial reality that creates, maintains and withdraws within it the universe", the "principle of the world", the "absolute ", the "general, universal", the "cosmic principle", the "ultimate that is the cause of everything including all gods", the "divine being, Lord, distinct God, or God within oneself", the "knowledge", the "soul, sense of self of each human being that is fearless, luminuous, exalted and blissful", the "essence of liberation, of spiritual freedom", the "universe within each living being and the universe outside", the "essence and everything innate in all that exists inside, outside and everywhere".
Gavin Flood summarizes the concept of _Brahman_ in the Upanishads to be the "essence, the smallest particle of the cosmos and the infinite universe", the "essence of all things which cannot be seen, though it can be experienced", the "self, soul within each person, each being", the "truth", the "reality", the "absolute", the "bliss" (_ananda_).
According to Radhakrishnan , the sages of the Upanishads teach Brahman as the ultimate essence of material phenomena that cannot be seen or heard, but whose nature can be known through the development of self-knowledge (_atma jnana _).
The Upanishads contain several _mahā-vākyas_ or "Great Sayings" on the concept of Brahman:
TEXT UPANISHAD TRANSLATION REFERENCE
अहं ब्रह्म अस्मि _aham brahmāsmi_ Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 "I am Brahman"
अयम् आत्मा ब्रह्म _ayam ātmā brahma_ Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5 "The Self is Brahman"
सर्वं खल्विदं ब्रह्म _sarvam khalvidam brahma_ Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.1 "All this is Brahman"
एकमेवाद्वितीयम् _ekam evadvitiyam_ Chandogya Upanishad 6.2.1 "That is one, without a second"
तत्त्वमसि _tat tvam asi _ Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 et seq. "Thou art that" ("You are Brahman")
प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म _prajnānam brahma_ Aitareya Upanishad 3.3.7 "Knowledge is Brahman"
The Upanishad discuss the metaphysical concept of Brahman in many ways, such as the Śāṇḍilya doctrine in Chapter 3 of the Chandogya Upanishad, among of the oldest Upanishadic texts. The Śāṇḍilya doctrine on Brahman is not unique to Chandogya Upanishad, but found in other ancient texts such as the Satapatha Brahmana in section 10.6.3. It asserts that Atman (Soul, Self inside man) exists, the Brahman is identical with Atman, that the Brahman is inside man—thematic quotations that are frequently cited by later schools of Hinduism and modern studies on Indian philosophies.
This whole universe is Brahman. In tranquility, let one worship It, as _Tajjalan_ (that from which he came forth, as that into which he will be dissolved, as that in which he breathes). — Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.1
Man is a creature of his _Kratumaya_ (क्रतुमयः, will, purpose). Let him therefore have for himself this will, this purpose: The intelligent, whose body is imbued with life-principle, whose form is light, whose thoughts are driven by truth, whose self is like space (invisible but ever present), from whom all works, all desires, all sensory feelings encompassing this whole world, the silent, the unconcerned, this is me, my Self, my Soul within my heart. — Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.1 – 3.14.3
This is my Soul in the innermost heart, greater than the earth, greater than the aerial space, greater than these worlds. This Soul, this Self of mine is that Brahman. — Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.3 – 3.14.4
BRAHMAN AS A METAPHYSICAL CONCEPT
Brahman is the key metaphysical concept in various schools of Hindu philosophy. It is the theme in its diverse discussions to the two central questions of metaphysics : what is ultimately real, and are there principles applying to everything that is real? Brahman is the ultimate "eternally, constant" reality, while the observed universe is a different kind of reality but one which is "temporary, changing" Māyā in various orthodox Hindu schools. Māyā pre-exists and co-exists with Brahman—the Ultimate Reality, The Highest Universal, the Cosmic Principles.
In addition to the concept of Brahman, Hindu metaphysics includes the concept of Atman —or soul, self—which is also considered ultimately real. The various schools of Hinduism, particularly the dual and non-dual schools, differ on the nature of Atman, whether it is distinct from Brahman, or same as Brahman. Those that consider Brahman and Atman as distinct are theistic, and Dvaita Vedanta and later Nyaya schools illustrate this premise. Those that consider Brahman and Atman as same are monist or pantheistic, and Advaita Vedanta , later Samkhya and Yoga schools illustrate this metaphysical premise. In schools that equate Brahman with Atman, Brahman is the sole, ultimate reality. The predominant teaching in the Upanishads is the spiritual identity of soul within each human being, with the soul of every other human being and living being, as well as with the supreme, ultimate reality _Brahman_.
In the metaphysics of the major schools of Hinduism, Maya is perceived reality, one that does not reveal the hidden principles, the true reality—the Brahman. Maya is unconscious, Brahman-Atman is conscious. Maya is the literal and the effect, Brahman is the figurative _Upādāna_—the principle and the cause. Maya is born, changes, evolves, dies with time, from circumstances, due to invisible principles of nature. Atman- Brahman is eternal, unchanging, invisible principle, unaffected absolute and resplendent consciousness. Maya concept, states Archibald Gough, is "the indifferent aggregate of all the possibilities of emanatory or derived existences, pre-existing with Brahman", just like the possibility of a future tree pre-exists in the seed of the tree.
While Hinduism sub-schools such as Advaita Vedanta emphasize the complete equivalence of _Brahman_ and _Atman_, they also expound on Brahman as _saguna Brahman _—the Brahman with attributes, and _nirguna Brahman _—the Brahman without attributes. The _nirguna Brahman_ is the Brahman as it really is, however, the _saguna Brahman_ is posited as a means to realizing _nirguna Brahman_, but the Hinduism schools declare _saguna Brahman_ to be ultimately illusory. The concept of the _saguna Brahman_, such as in the form of avatars , is considered in these schools of Hinduism to be a useful symbolism, path and tool for those who are still on their spiritual journey, but the concept is finally cast aside by the fully enlightened.
BRAHMAN AS AN ONTOLOGICAL CONCEPT
Brahman, along with Soul/Self (Atman) are part of the ontological premises of Indian philosophy. Different schools of Indian philosophy have held widely dissimilar ontologies. Buddhism and Carvaka school of Hinduism deny that there exists anything called "a soul, a self" (individual Atman or Brahman in the cosmic sense), while the orthodox schools of Hinduism, Jainism and Ajivikas hold that there exists "a soul, a self".
Brahman as well the Atman in every human being (and living 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 . Knowing one's own self is knowing the God inside oneself, and this is held as the path to knowing the ontological nature of Brahman (universal Self) as it is identical to the Atman (individual Self). The nature of Atman-Brahman is held in these schools, states Barbara Holdrege, to be as a pure being (_sat_), consciousness (_cit_) and full of bliss (_ananda_), and it is formless, distinctionless, nonchanging and unbounded.
In theistic schools, in contrast, such as Dvaita Vedanta , the nature of Brahman is held as eternal, unlimited, innately free, blissful Absolute, while each individual's soul is held as distinct and limited which can at best come close in eternal blissful love of the Brahman (therein viewed as the Godhead).
Other schools of Hinduism have their own ontological premises relating to Brahman, reality and nature of existence. Vaisheshika school of Hinduism, for example, holds a substantial, realist ontology. The Carvaka school denied Brahman and Atman, and held a materialist ontology.
BRAHMAN AS AN AXIOLOGICAL CONCEPT
Brahman and Atman are key concepts to Hindu theories of axiology : ethics and aesthetics. _Ananda_ (bliss), state Michael Myers and other scholars, has axiological importance to the concept of Brahman, as the universal inner harmony. Some scholars equate Brahman with the highest value, in an axiological sense.
The axiological concepts of Brahman and Atman is central to Hindu theory of values. A statement such as ‘I am Brahman’, states Shaw, means ‘I am related to everything,’ and this is the underlying premise for compassion for others in Hinduism, for each individual's welfare, peace, or happiness depends on others, including other beings and nature at large, and vice versa. Tietge states that even in non-dual schools of Hinduism where Brahman and Atman are treated ontologically equivalent, the theory of values emphasize individual agent and ethics. In these schools of Hinduism, states Tietge, the theory of action are derived from and centered in compassion for the other, and not egotistical concern for the self.
The axiological theory of values emerges implicitly from the concepts of Brahman and Atman, states Bauer. The aesthetics of human experience and ethics are one consequence of self-knowledge in Hinduism, one resulting from the perfect, timeless unification of one's soul with the Brahman, the soul of everyone, everything and all eternity, wherein the pinnacle of human experience is not dependent on an afterlife, but pure consciousness in the present life itself. It does not assume that an individual is weak nor does it presume that he is inherently evil, but the opposite: human soul and its nature is held as fundamentally unqualified, faultless, beautiful, blissful, ethical, compassionate and good. Ignorance is to assume it evil, liberation is to know its eternal, expansive, pristine, happy and good nature. The axiological premises in the Hindu thought and Indian philosophies in general, states Nikam, is to elevate the individual, exalting the innate potential of man, where the reality of his being is the objective reality of the universe. The Upanishads of Hinduism, summarizes Nikam, hold that the individual has the same essence and reality as the objective universe, and this essence is the finest essence; the individual soul is the universal soul, and Atman is the same reality and the same aesthetics as the Brahman.
BRAHMAN AS A SOTERIOLOGICAL CONCEPT: MOKSHA
Main article: Moksha
The orthodox schools of Hinduism, particularly Vedanta, Samkhya and Yoga schools, focus on the concept of Brahman and Atman in their discussion of moksha . The Advaita Vedanta holds there is no being/non-being distinction between Atman and Brahman. The knowledge of Atman (Self-knowledge) is synonymous to the knowledge of Brahman inside the person and outside the person. Furthermore, the knowledge of Brahman leads to sense of oneness with all existence, self-realization, indescribable joy, and moksha (freedom, bliss), 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.
The theistic sub-school such as Dvaita Vedanta of Hinduism, starts with the same premises, but adds the premise that individual souls 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. The theistic schools assert that moksha is the loving, eternal union or nearness of one's soul with the distinct and separate Brahman ( Vishnu , Shiva or equivalent henotheism). Brahman, in these sub-schools of Hinduism is considered the highest perfection of existence, which every soul journeys towards in its own way for moksha.
SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT
The 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.
Main article: Advaita Vedanta
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Schools CLASSICAL ADVAITA VEDANTA _
Concepts _CLASSICAL ADVAITA VEDANTA_
* Pratyabhijna * so\'ham
Texts _ADVAITA VEDANTA_ _ Prasthanatrayi _
* Principal Upanishads * Brahma Sutras * Bhagavad Gita * _Shankara_ * Upadesasahasri * _Attributed to Shankara_ * Vivekachudamani * Atma bodha * _Other_ * Avadhuta Gita * Yoga Vasistha * Yoga Yajnavalkya * Advaita Bodha Deepika * Dŗg-Dŗśya-Viveka * Vedantasara of Sadananda
* Shiva Sutras of Vasugupta
* Works by Vivekananda
* _ Dasbodh _
Teachers _CLASSICAL ADVAITA VEDANTA_
_MODERN ADVAITA VEDANTA_
* Advaita teachers
* Osho * Eckhart Tolle * Robert Adams
Monasteries and Orders _CLASSICAL ADVAITA VEDANTA_
_MODERN ADVAITA VEDANTA_
* Ramakrishna Mission
* v * t * e
Advaita Vedanta espouses nondualism . _Brahman_ is the sole unchanging reality, there is no duality, no limited individual souls nor a separate unlimited cosmic soul, rather all souls, all of existence, across all space and time, is one and the same. The universe and the soul inside each being is Brahman, and the universe and the soul outside each being is Brahman, according to Advaita Vedanta. Brahman is the origin and end of all things, material and spiritual. _Brahman_ is the root source of everything that exists. He states that Brahman can neither be taught nor perceived (as an object of knowledge), but it can be learned and realized by all human beings. The goal of Advaita Vedanta is to realize that one's Self (_Atman _) gets obscured by ignorance and false-identification ("Avidya "). When Avidya is removed, the Atman (Soul, Self inside a person) is realized as identical with Brahman. The Brahman is not outside, separate, dual entity, the Brahman is within each person, states Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism. _Brahman_ is all that is eternal, unchanging and that is truly exists. This view is stated in this school in many different forms, such as "_Ekam sat_" ("Truth is one"), and all is _Brahman_.
The universe does not simply come from Brahman, it _is_ Brahman. According to Adi Shankara , a proponent of Advaita Vedanta , the knowledge of Brahman that shruti provides cannot be obtained in any other means besides self inquiry.
In Advaita Vedanta , nirguna Brahman, that is the Brahman without attributes, is held to be the ultimate and sole reality. Consciousness is not a property of Brahman but its very nature. In this respect, Advaita Vedanta differs from other Vedanta schools.
Example verses from Bhagavad-Gita include:
He who finds his happiness within, His delight within, And his light within, This yogin attains the bliss of Brahman, becoming Brahman. – Hymn 5.24 — Bhagavad Gita
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Important deities Dashavatara
* v * t * e
* Jîva-Îshvara-bheda — difference between the soul and Vishnu * Jada-Îshvara-bheda — difference between the insentient and Vishnu * Mitha-jîva-bheda — difference between any two souls * Jada-jîva-bheda — difference between insentient and the soul * Mitha-jada-bheda — difference between any two insentients
Achintya Bheda Abheda
The Acintya Bheda Abheda philosophy is similar to Dvaitadvaita (differential monism ). In this philosophy, 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 as impersonal Brahman, then 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, impersonal, or both).
Main article: Vaishnavism
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 . Gaudiya Vaishnavism, a form of Achintya Bheda Abheda philosophy, also concludes that Brahman is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. According to them, Brahman is Lord Vishnu/Krishna; the universe and all other manifestations of the Supreme are extensions of Him.
Main article: Bhakti movement
The Bhakti movement of Hinduism built its theosophy around two concepts of Brahman—_Nirguna_ and _Saguna_. _Nirguna_ Brahman was the concept of the Ultimate Reality as formless, without attributes or quality. _Saguna_ Brahman, in contrast, was envisioned and developed as with form, attributes and quality. The two had parallels in the ancient panthestic unmanifest and theistic manifest traditions, respectively, and traceable to Arjuna- Krishna dialogue in the Bhagavad Gita . It is the same Brahman, but viewed from two perspectives, one from _Nirguni_ knowledge-focus and other from _Saguni_ love-focus, united as Krishna in the Gita. _Nirguna_ bhakta's poetry were _Jnana-shrayi_, or had roots in knowledge. _Saguna_ bhakta's poetry were _Prema-shrayi_, or with roots in love. In Bhakti, the emphasis is reciprocal love and devotion, where the devotee loves God, and God loves the devotee.
Jeaneane Fowler states that the concepts of Nirguna and Saguna Brahman, at the root of Bhakti movement theosophy , underwent more profound development with the ideas of Vedanta school of Hinduism, particularly those of Adi Shankara 's Advaita Vedanta, Ramanuja 's Vishishtadvaita Vedanta, and Madhvacharya 's Dvaita Vedanta. Two 12th-century influential treatises on bhakti were _Sandilya Bhakti Sutra_—a treatise resonating with Nirguna-bhakti, and _ Narada Bhakti Sutra_—a treatise that leans towards Saguna-bhakti.
_Nirguna_ and _Saguna_ Brahman concepts of the Bhakti movement has been a baffling one to scholars, particularly the _Nirguni_ tradition because it offers, states David Lorenzen, "heart-felt devotion to a God without attributes, without even any definable personality". 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_. These were two alternate ways of imagining God during the bhakti movement.
BUDDHIST UNDERSTANDING OF BRAHMAN
Buddhism rejects the Upanishadic doctrine of Brahman and Atman (soul, permanent self, essence). According to Damien Keown, "the Buddha said he could find no evidence for the existence of either the personal soul (_atman_) or its cosmic counterpart (_brahman_)". The metaphysics of Buddhism rejects Brahman (ultimate being), Brahman-like essence, soul and anything metaphysically equivalent through its Anatta doctrine.
According to Merv Fowler, some forms of Buddhism have incorporated concepts that resemble that of Brahman. As an example, Fowler cites the early Sarvastivada school of Buddhism, which "had come to accept a very pantheistic religious philosophy, and are important because of the impetus they gave to the development of Mahayana Buddhism". According to William Theodore De Bary, in the doctrines of the Yogacara school of Mahayana Buddhism , "the Body of Essence, the Ultimate Buddha, who pervaded and underlay the whole universe was in fact the World Soul, the Brahman of the Upanishads, in a new form". According to Fowler, some scholars have identified the Buddhist _nirvana _, conceived of as the Ultimate Reality, with the Hindu Brahman/atman; Fowler claims that this view "has gained little support in Buddhist circles." Fowler asserts that the authors of a number of Mahayana texts took pains to differentiate their ideas from the Upanishadic doctrine of Brahman.
BRAHMA AS A SURROGATE FOR BRAHMAN IN BUDDHIST TEXTS
The spiritual concept of Brahman is far older in the Vedic literature, and some scholars suggest deity Brahma may have emerged as a personal conception and icon with form and attributes (saguna version) of the impersonal, nirguna (without attributes), formless universal principle called Brahman. In the Hindu texts, one of the earliest mention of deity Brahma along with Vishnu and Shiva is in the fifth _Prapathaka_ (lesson) of the Maitrayaniya Upanishad , probably composed in late 1st millennium BCE, after the rise of Buddhism.
The early Buddhists attacked the concept of Brahma, states Gananath Obeyesekere, and thereby polemically attacked the Vedic and Upanishadic concept of gender neutral, abstract metaphysical Brahman. This critique of Brahma in early Buddhist texts aim at ridiculing the Vedas , but the same texts simultaneously call _metta_ (loving-kindness, compassion) as the state of union with Brahma. The early Buddhist approach to Brahma was to reject any creator aspect, while retaining the value system in the Vedic Brahmavihara concepts, in the Buddhist value system. According to Martin Wiltshire, the term " Brahma loka" in the Buddhist canon, instead of "Svarga loka", is likely a Buddhist attempt to choose and emphasize the "truth power" and knowledge focus of the Brahman concept in the Upanishads. Simultaneously, by reformulating Brahman as Brahma and relegating it within its Devas and Samsara theories, early Buddhism rejected the Atman- Brahman premise of the Vedas to present of its own _Dhamma_ doctrines (anicca , dukkha and anatta ).
BRAHMAN IN SIKHISM
_ Ik Onkar (left) is part of the Mul Mantar in Sikhism, where it means "Onkar is one". The Onkar of Sikhism is related to Om—also called Omkāra_ —in Hinduism. The ancient texts of Hinduism state Om to be a symbolism for the Highest Reality, Brahman.
The metaphysical concept of Brahman, particularly as _nirguni Brahman_—attributeless, formless, eternal Highest Reality—is at the foundation of Sikhism . This belief is observed through _nirguni Bhakti_ by the Sikhs.
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". Nesbitt states that the first two words, _Ik Onkar_, in the twelve-word Mul Mantar at the opening of the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib, has been translated in three different ways by scholars: "There is one god", "This being is one", and as "One reality is".
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 6.2. The ideas about God and Highest Reality in Sikhism share themes found in the _Saguna_ and _Nirguna_ concepts of Brahman in Hinduism.
BRAHMAN IN JAINISM
Scholars contest whether the concept of Brahman is rejected or accepted in Jainism. The concept of a theistic God is rejected by Jainism, but _Jiva_ or "Atman (soul) exists" is held to be a metaphysical truth and central to its theory of rebirths and Kevala Jnana .
Bissett states that Jainism accepts the "material world" and "Atman", but rejects Brahman—the metaphysical concept of Ultimate Reality and Cosmic Principles found in the ancient texts of Hinduism. Goswami, in contrast, states that the literature of Jainism has an undercurrent of monist theme, where the self who gains the knowledge of Brahman (Highest Reality, Supreme Knowledge) is identical to Brahman itself. Jaini states that Jainism neither accepts nor rejects the premise of Ultimate Reality (Brahman), instead Jain ontology adopts a many sided doctrine called _ Anekantavada _. This doctrine holds that "reality is irreducibly complex" and no human view or description can represent the Absolute Truth. Those who have understood and realized the Absolute Truth are the liberated ones and the Supreme Souls, with Kevala Jnana .
COMPARISON OF BRAHMA, BRAHMAN, BRAHMIN AND BRAHMANAS
Brahma is distinct from Brahman. Brahma is a male deity, in the post-Vedic Puranic literature, who creates but neither preserves nor destroys anything. He is envisioned in some Hindu texts to have emerged from the metaphysical Brahman along with Vishnu (preserver), Shiva (destroyer), all other gods, goddesses, matter and other beings. In theistic schools of Hinduism where deity Brahma is described as part of its cosmology, he is a mortal like all gods and goddesses, and dissolves into the abstract immortal Brahman when the universe ends, thereafter a new cosmic cycle (kalpa) restarts again.
Brahman is a metaphysical concept of Hinduism referring to the ultimate unchanging reality, that, states Doniger, is uncreated, eternal, infinite, transcendent, the cause, the foundation, the source and the goal of all existence. It is envisioned as either the cause or that which transforms itself into everything that exists in the universe as well as all beings, that which existed before the present universe and time, which exists as current universe and time, and that which will absorb and exist after the present universe and time ends. It is a gender neutral abstract concept. 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. In the Puranic and the Epics literature, deity Brahma appears more often, but inconsistently. Some texts suggest that god Vishnu created Brahma (Vaishnavism), others suggest god Shiva created Brahma (Shaivism), yet others suggest goddess Devi created Brahma (Shaktism), and these texts then go on to state that Brahma is a secondary creator of the world working respectively on their behalf. Further, the medieval era texts of these major theistic traditions of Hinduism assert that the _saguna_ Brahman is Vishnu, is Shiva, or is Devi respectively, they are different names or aspects of the Brahman, and that the Atman (soul, self) within every living being is same or part of this ultimate, eternal Brahman.
The Brahmanas are one of the four ancient layers of texts within the Vedas . They are primarily a digest incorporating myths, legends, the explanation of Vedic rituals and in some cases philosophy. They are embedded within each of the four Vedas, and form a part of the Hindu _śruti _ literature.
_ Wikiquote has quotations related to: BRAHMAN _
* ^ "not sublatable" , the final element in a dialectical process which cannot be eliminated or annihilated (German: "aufheben").
* ^ It is also defined as:
* The unchanging, infinite , immanent , and transcendent reality which is the Divine Ground of all matter , energy , time, space , being , and everything beyond in this Universe ; that is the one supreme, universal spirit. * The one supreme, all pervading Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe.
* ^ Saguna Brahman , with qualities * ^ Nirguna Brahman , without qualities * ^ Supreme * ^ Merv Fowler, _ Zen Buddhism: Beliefs and Practices_ (Brighton: Sussex Academic, 2005), p. 30: "_Upanisadic_ thought is anything but consistent; nevertheless, there is a common focus on the acceptance of a totally transcendent Absolute, a trend which arose in the _Vedic_ period. This indescribable Absolute is called Brahman The true Self and Brahman are one and the same. Known as the Brahman-Atman synthesis, this theory, which is central to _Upanisadic_ thought, is the cornerstone of Indian philosophy. The Brahman-Atman synthesis, which posits the theory of a permanent, unchanging self, was anathema to Buddhists, and it was as a reaction to the synthesis that Buddhism first drew breath. Merv Fowler p. 47: "For the _Upanisadic_ sages, the real is the Self, is Atman, is Brahman. To the Buddhist, however, any talk of an _Atman_ or permanent, unchanging Self, the very kernel of _Upanisadic_ thought, is anathema, a false notion of manifest proportion." * ^ Merv Fowler, _Buddhism: Beliefs and Practices_ (Brighton: Sussex Academic, 1999), p. 34: "It was inevitable that the non-theistic philosophy of orthodox Buddhism should court the older Hindu practices and, in particular, infuse into its philosophy the belief in a totally transcendent Absolute of the nature of Brahman." * ^ Merv Fowler, _Buddhism: Beliefs and Practices_ (Brighton: Sussex Academic, 1999), p. 82: "The original writers of these Mahayana texts were not at all pleased that their writings were seen to contain the Brahman of the _Upanisads_ in a new form. The authors of the _Lankavatara_ strenuously denied that the womb of Tathagatahood, was in any way equatable with the 'eternal self', the Brahmanical _atman_ of _Upanisadic_ thought. Similarly, the claim in the _ Nirvana Sutra_ that the Buddha regarded Buddhahood as a 'great atman' caused the Yogacarins considerable distress." * ^ representation with face and attributes)
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Lochtefeld, James G. (2002). _The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism_. 1. The Rosen Publishing Group . p. 122. ISBN 978-0823931798 . * ^ _A_ _B_ P. T. Raju (2006), _Idealistic Thought of India_, Routledge, ISBN 978-1406732627 , page 426 and Conclusion chapter part XII * ^ Fowler 2002 , pp. 49–55 (in Upanishads), 318–319 (in Vishistadvaita), 246–248 and 252–255 (in Advaita), 342–343 (in Dvaita), 175–176 (in Samkhya-Yoga). * ^ Mariasusai Dhavamony (2002), Hindu-Christian Dialogue: Theological Soundings and Perspectives, Rodopi Press, ISBN 978-9042015104 , pages 43–44
* ^ _A_ _B_ For dualism school of Hinduism, see: Francis X. Clooney (2010), _ Hindu God, Christian God: How Reason Helps Break Down the Boundaries between Religions_, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199738724 , pages 51–58, 111–115; For monist school of Hinduism, see: B. Martinez-Bedard (2006), _Types of Causes in Aristotle and Sankara_, Thesis – Department of Religious Studies (Advisors: Kathryn McClymond and Sandra Dwyer), Georgia State University, pages 18–35 * ^ _A_ _B_ Fowler 2002 , pp. 53–55. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Brodd, Jeffrey (2009). _World Religions: A Voyage of Discovery_ (3rd ed.). Saint Mary's Press. pp. 43–47. ISBN 978-0884899976 . * ^ Fowler 2002 , pp. 50–53. * ^ Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814684 , page 91 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Stephen Philips (1998), _Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Brahman to Derrida_ (Editor; Edward Craig), Routledge, ISBN 978-0415187077 , pages 1–4 * ^ _A_ _B_ Goodman, Hananya (1994). _Between Jerusalem and Benares: Comparative Studies in Judaism and Hinduism_. State University of New York Press . p. 121. ISBN 978-0791417164 . * ^ Raju 1992 , p. 228. * ^ Eliot Deutsch (1980), Advaita Vedanta : A Philosophical Reconstruction, University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 978-0824802714 , Chapter 1 * ^ _A_ _B_ Potter 2008 , pp. 6–7. * ^ Brodd, Jefferey (2003). _World Religions_. Winona, Minnesota: Saint Mary's Press. ISBN 978-0-88489-725-5 . * ^ John Bowker (ed.)(2012), _The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions_, Oxford University Press. * ^ Fowler 2002 , pp. 49–53. * ^ Klaus K. Klostermaier (2007), _A Survey of Hinduism_, Third Edition, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791470824 , Chapter 12: Atman and Brahman – Self and All * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Michael Myers (2000), Brahman: A Comparative Theology, Routledge, ISBN 978-0700712571 , pages 124–127 * ^ Thomas Padiyath (2014), _The Metaphysics of Becoming_, De Gruyter, ISBN 978-3110342550 , pages 155–157 * ^ _A_ _B_ Arvind Sharma (2007), _Advaita Vedānta: An Introduction_, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120820272 , pages 19–40, 53–58, 79–86 * ^ John E. Welshons (2009), _One Soul, One Love, One Heart_, New World Library, ISBN 978-1577315889 , pages 17–18 * ^ Puligandla 1997 , p. 222. * ^ Sinari 2000 , p. 384. * ^ _A_ _B_ Not Masculine or Feminine (see Grammatical gender ). * ^ _A_ _B_ Jan Gonda (1962), Some Notes on the Study of Ancient-Indian Religious Terminology, _History of Religions_, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Winter, 1962), pages 268–269 * ^ _A_ _B_ Barbara Holdrege (1995), Veda and Torah: Transcending the Textuality of Scripture, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791416402 , page 29 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Maurice Bloomfield , A Vedic Concordance, Harvard University Press, pages 656-662
* ^ Original: वयमग्ने अर्वता वा सुवीर्यं ब्रह्मणा वा चितयेमा जनाँ अति । अस्माकं द्युम्नमधि पञ्च कृष्टिषूच्चा स्वर्ण शुशुचीत दुष्टरम् ॥१०॥ Source: ऋग्वेद: सूक्तं २.२ Wikisource * ^ Original: स तु श्रुधीन्द्र नूतनस्य ब्रह्मण्यतो वीर कारुधायः । त्वं ह्यापिः प्रदिवि पितॄणां शश्वद्बभूथ सुहव एष्टौ ॥८॥ ऋग्वेद: सूक्तं ६.२१ Wikisource * ^ Original: ब्रह्मणस्पतिरेता सं कर्मार इवाधमत् । देवानां पूर्व्ये युगेऽसतः सदजायत ॥२॥ ऋग्वेद: सूक्तं १०.७२ Wikisource * ^ _A_ _B_ Jan Gonda (1962), Some Notes on the Study of Ancient-Indian Religious Terminology, _History of Religions_, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Winter, 1962), pages 269–271 * ^ Jan Gonda (1962), Some Notes on the Study of Ancient-Indian Religious Terminology, _History of Religions_, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Winter, 1962), pages 271–272
* ^ See Rigveda Chapter 1.164; Karl Potter and Harold Coward, The Philosophy of the Grammarians, _Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies_: Volume 5, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, ISBN 978-8120804265 , pages 34–35 * ^ Barbara Holdrege (1995), _ Veda and Torah: Transcending the Textuality of Scripture_, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791416402 , page 24 * ^ _A_ _B_ Gavin Flood (1996), _An Introduction to Hinduism_, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521438780 , pages 84–85 * ^ Lindsay Jones (2005), _Encyclopedia of religion_, Volume 13, Macmillan Reference, ISBN 978-0028657332 , page 8894, Quote: "In Hindu iconography the swan personifies Brahman-Atman, the transcendent yet immanent ground of being, the Self." * ^ Denise Cush (2007), Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415556231 , page 697 * ^ R. Prasad and P. D. Chattopadhyaya (2008), _A Conceptual-analytic Study of Classical Indian Philosophy of Morals, Concept_, ISBN 978-8180695445 , page 56 * ^ _A_ _B_ Paul Deussen, _Sixty Upanishads of the Veda_, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814677 , pages 243, 325–344, 363, 581 * ^ Paul Deussen, _Sixty Upanishads of the Veda_, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814677 , pages 358, 371 * ^ Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814677 , pages 305, 476 * ^ Paul Deussen, _Sixty Upanishads of the Veda_, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814677 , pages 110, 315–316, 495, 838–851 * ^ Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814677 , pages 211, 741–742 * ^ Paul Deussen, _Sixty Upanishads of the Veda_, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814677 , pages 308–311, 497–499 * ^ Paul Deussen, _Sixty Upanishads of the Veda_, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814677 , pages 181, 237, 444, 506–544, 570–571, 707, 847–850 * ^ _A_ _B_ Paul Deussen, _Sixty Upanishads of the Veda_, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814677 , pages 52, 110, 425, 454, 585–586, 838–851 * ^ Paul Deussen, _Sixty Upanishads of the Veda_, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814677 , pages 173–174, 188–198, 308–317, 322–324, 367, 447, 496, 629–637, 658, 707–708 * ^ Paul Deussen, _Sixty Upanishads of the Veda_, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814677 , pages 600, 619–620, 647, 777 * ^ Radhakrishnan, S., _The Principal Upanisads_, HarperCollins India, 1994, page 77 * ^ Jones, Constance (2007). _Encyclopedia of Hinduism_. New York: Infobase Publishing. p. 270. ISBN 0816073368 . * ^ Sanskrit and English Translation: S. Madhavananda, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad – Shankara Bhashya, page 145 * ^ Sanskrit and English Translation: S. Madhavananda, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad – Shankara Bhashya, pages 711–712
* ^ Sanskrit: छान्दोग्योपनिषद् १.१ ॥तृतीयॊऽध्यायः॥ Wikisource English Translation:Max Muller, Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.1 Oxford University Press, page 48; Max Muller, _The Upanisads_ at Google Books , Routledge, pages xviii–xix * ^ Sanskrit: छान्दोग्योपनिषद् १.२ ॥षष्ठोऽध्यायः॥ Wikisource English Translation:Max Muller, Chandogya Upanishad 6.2.1 Oxford University Press, page 93; Max Muller, _The Upanisads_ at Google Books , Routledge, pages xviii–xix * ^ Sanskrit: छान्दोग्योपनिषद् १.२ ॥षष्ठोऽध्यायः॥ Wikisource English Translation:Robert Hume, Chandogya Upanishad 6.8, The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, Oxford University Press, pages 246–250 * ^ A. S. Gupta, The Meanings of "That Thou Art", Philosophy East and West, Vol. 12, No. 2, pages 125–134
* ^ Sanskrit: ऐतरेयोपनिषद् Wikisource English Translation:Max Muller, Aitareya Upanishad 3.3.7, also known as Aitareya Aranyaka 18.104.22.168 Oxford University Press, page 246 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Robert Hume, Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.1 – 3.14.4, The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, Oxford University Press, pages 209–210 * ^ Chandogya Upanishad with Shankara Bhashya Ganganath Jha (Translator), pages 150–157
* ^ For modern era cites:
* Anthony Warder (2009), _A Course in Indian Philosophy_, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120812444 , pages 25–28; * D. D. Meyer (2012), _Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts_, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, ISBN 978-1443834919 , page 250; * Joel Brereton (1995), _Eastern Canons: Approaches to the Asian Classics_ (Editors: William Theodore De Bary, Irene Bloom), Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0231070058 , page 130; * S. Radhakrishnan (1914), "The Vedanta philosophy and the Doctrine of Maya", _International Journal of Ethics_, Vol. 24, No. 4, pages 431–451
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* ^ Roy W. Perrett (Editor, 2000), _Indian Philosophy: Metaphysics_, Volume 3, Taylor K. K. Chakrabarti (1999), _Classical Indian Philosophy of Mind: The Nyaya Dualist Tradition_, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791441718 pages 279–292 * ^ John C. Plott et al (2000), _Global History of Philosophy: The Axial Age_, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120801585 , pages 60-62 * ^ Julius Lipner (2004), _The Hindu World_ (Editors: S. Mittal and G. Thursby), Routledge, ISBN 0415215277 , pages 22–23 * ^ Laurie Patton (2004), _The Hindu World_ (Editors: S. Mittal and G. Thursby), Routledge, ISBN 0415215277 , pages 45–50 * ^ J. D. Fowler (1996), _Hinduism: Beliefs and Practices_, Sussex University Press, ISBN 978-1898723608 , pages 135–137 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ AC Das (1952), Brahman and Māyā in Advaita Metaphysics, _ Philosophy East and West_, Vol. 2, No. 2, pages 144–154 * ^ William Indich (2000), _Consciousness in Advaita Vedanta_, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120812512 , page 5
* ^ Paul Hacker (1978), Eigentumlichkeiten dr Lehre und Terminologie Sankara: Avidya, Namarupa, Maya, Isvara, in Kleine Schriften (Editor: L. Schmithausen), Franz Steiner Verlag, Weisbaden, pages 101–109 (in German), also pages 69–99; Advaita Vedanta - A Bird\'s Eye View, Topic III: _ Philosophy of Advaita Vedanta_, D. Krishna Ayyar (2011) * ^ _A_ _B_ Anantanand Rambachan (2001), Heirarchies in the Nature of God? Questioning The "Saguna-Nirguna" Distinction in Advaita Vedanta, _Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies_, Vol. 14, No. 7, pages 1–6 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ William Wainwright (2012), Concepts of God, _Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy_, Stanford University, (Accessed on: June 13, 2015) * ^ that is things, beings or truths that are presumed to exist for its philosophical theory to be true, and what is the nature of that which so exists?; see: Edward Craig (1998), Ontology, _Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy_, ISBN 978-0415073103 * ^ Edward Craig (1998), Ontology, _Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy_, ISBN 978-0415073103 , Accessed (June 13, 2015) * ^ Stephen H. Phillips (2001), Could There Be Mystical Evidence for a Nondual Brahman? A Causal Objection, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 51, No. 4, pages 492–506
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* ^ Stella Kramrisch (1992). _The Presence of Siva_. Princeton University Press. p. 171. ISBN 0-691-01930-4 . * ^ David Kinsley (1988). _ Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition_. University of California Press. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-520-90883-3 . * ^ William K. Mahony (1998). _The Artful Universe: An Introduction to the Vedic Religious Imagination_. State University of New York Press. pp. 13–14, 187. ISBN 978-0-7914-3579-3 . * ^ Doniger, Wendy (1999). _Merriam-Webster's encyclopedia of world religions_. Springfield, Massachusetts, US: Merriam-Webster. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-87779-044-0 . * ^ James Lochtefeld (2002), Brahmin, _The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism_, Vol. 1: A–M, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 978-0823931798 , page 125 * ^ Brahmana _Encyclopædia Britannica_ (2013) * ^ Klaus Klostermaier (1994), _A Survey of Hinduism_, Second Edition, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791421093 , pages 67–69 * ^ "Brahmana". _Random House Webster\'s Unabridged Dictionary _
* Fowler, Jeaneane D. (2002). _Perspectives of Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Hinduism_. Sussex Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-898723-93-6 . * Klostermaier, Klaus K. (2010). "Chapter 12". _A Survey of Hinduism: Third Edition_. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-8011-3 . * Michaels, Axel (2004). _Hinduism. Past and present_. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. * Potter, Karl H. (2008), _The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies: Advaita Vedānta Up to Śaṃkara and His Pupils_, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited * Puligandla, Ramakrishna (1997), _Fundamentals of Indian Philosophy_, New Delhi: D. K. Printworld (P) Ltd. * Raju, P. T. (1992), _The Philosophical Traditions of India_, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited * Sinari, Ramakant (2000), _Advaita and Contemporary Indian Philosophy. In: Chattopadhyana (gen.ed.), "History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization. Volume II Part 2: Advaita Vedanta"_, Delhi: Centre for Studies in Civilizations
* The Concept of Brahman in Hindu Philosophy, Haridas Chaudhuri (1954), _ Philosophy East and West_, Vol. 4, No. 1, pages 47–66 * The Idea of God in Hinduism, A. S. Woodburne (1925), _The Journal of Religion_, Vol. 5, No. 1, pages 52–66 * The Western View of Hinduism: An Age-old Mistake (Brahman), J. M. De Mora (1997), Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Vol. 78, No. 1/4, pages 1–12 * Concepts of God _Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy_, Stanford University, (Compares Brahman with concepts of God found in other religions) * Detailed essays on Brahman at Hinduwebsite.com
* v * t * e
* Aitareya * Kaushitaki * Brihadaranyaka * Isha * Taittiriya * Katha * Maitri * Shvetashvatara * Chandogya * Kena * Mundaka * Mandukya * Prashna