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Brahma, 15 Definition(s)

AKA: Brahmā

'Brahma' belongs in these categories: Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Pali


A divine being of the Form Sphere or the Formless Sphere, Happy and blameless celestial beings, inhabitants of the higher heavens. (in Hinduism, The Creator, The Universal Self).
Added: 21.Jun.2008 | Source: Chez Paul: A Buddhist Glossary
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"Great One" - an inhabitant of the non sensual heavens of form or formlessness.
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One of the three major deities of Hinduism, along with Visnu (Vishnu) and Siva (Shiva). Adopted as one of the protective deities of Buddhism.
Added: 27.Sep.2008 | Source: Buddhist Door: Glossary
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God as Creator (not to be confused with Brahman, the transcendent Godhead of the Upanishads.)
Added: 27.Sep.2008 | Source: Barricks: Official Buddhism Glossary
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A worldly god, who resides in the first form realm. See Ocean of Nectar.
Added: 23.Nov.2008 | Source: Kadampa: Glossary of Buddhist Terms
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One of the Arupyadhatu Devas:

A Brahma in Buddhism is the name for a type of exalted passionless deity (deva), of which there are multiple in Buddhist cosmology.

The Brahma devas (or simply Brahmas) participate in the more active joys of the first dhyana. They are also more interested in and involved with the world below than any of the higher devas, and sometimes intervene with advice and counsel.

There are at least four ways of interpreting the term Brahma. It may refer to:

  1. Any of the deities of the Arupyadhatu or of the Rupadhatu
  2. Any of the deities of the nine lowest worlds of the Rupadhatu, from Subhakrtsna to Brahmaparisadya.
  3. Any of the deities of the three lowest worlds of the Rupadhatu
  4. A Mahabrahma, one of the highest deities of preceding group.

See Abhasvara Worlds

Added: 29.Mar.2009 | Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism
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See Brahmaloka

Added: 11.Apr.2009 | Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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N (Noble practice, noble conduct) Being dwelling in the world bearing the same name and which is the loftiest worlds plane among the four worlds planes. The world of brahmas is divided up between twenty spheres of existence.

A brahma being devoid of tactile sense, he cannot develop any akusala. Thats why their sphere of existence is called "the world of the ones having a noble conduct". There are three kinds of brahmas.

Added: 26.Apr.2009 | Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary
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The supreme deva, who convinced Buddha to teach.

Added: 19.Dec.2010 | Source: Wisdom Library: Indian Philosophy
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Brahma is the the creator part of the supreme trinity of hinduism - Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma. He is normally not worshipped alone, but as part of the Dhattatreya, which is all the three aspects in one form.

He is said to have been born out of a lotus that grew out of the navel of Vishnu. He was given the four Vedas by Vishnu and bidden to commence the aspect of creation. To assist in this task, he created the Prajapatis, who are his ManasaPutras (wish-born-sons). They are namely: Daksha, Vasishta, Kashyapa, Bhrigu, Angirasa.

Originally he had five heads. Once when he got into an argument with Shiva as to who is more powerful, Shiva cut one of his heads off, leaving only Shiva with five heads.

According to the Satapatha Brahmana, the names of the mind-born sons of Brahma are

  1. Vasishta,
  2. Kashyapa,
  3. Vishwamitra,
  4. Jamadagni,
  5. Gautama,
  6. Bharadwaja
  7. and Atri.

The Vayupurana adds Bhrigu as the eighth mind-born son.

Added: 15.Jun.2012 | Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology
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Brahma is the manifestation of Brahman into the world of maya. In opposition to Brahman as the essence of creation (a spirit), Brahma takes on a form fitting with the natural world. He is often mentioned as an equal with Vishnu and Shiva.

Added: 29.Jun.2012 | Source: ReligionNet: Hinduism Glossary
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Post-Vedic personal Creator god of the Hindu trinity (with Vishnu and Shiva). Usually represented as red in color and holding a goblet, a bow, a scepter, and the Vedas. Unlike Vishnu and Shiva, Brahma is seldom worshipped today.

-- or --

Brahmā (ब्रह्‍मा): Creator of the universe, The Hindu creator god, and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. He must not be confused with the Supreme Cosmic Spirit of Hindu philosophy Brahman.

Added: 29.Jun.2012 | Source: Religion Facts: Glossary of Hinduism
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brahma : (m.) the Brahma; the Creator.

Added: 03.Aug.2014 | Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
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Brahma,& Brahmā (fr.bṛh,see brahant.Perhaps less with regard to the greatness of the divine principle,than with ref.to the greatness or power of prayer or the ecstatic mind (i.e.holy enthusiasm).On etym.see Osthoff,“Bezzenberger’s Beiträge" XXIV.142 sq.(=Mir.bricht charm,spell:Oicel.bragr poetry)) -- I.Brahman (nt.) (cp.Vedic bráhman nt.prayer; Nom.sg.bráhma) 1.the supreme good; as a buddhistic term used in a sense different from the brahmanic (save in controversy with Brahmans); a state like that of Brahmā (or Brahman) A.II,184 (brahmappatta).In cpds.brahma°.-- 2.Vedic text,mystic formula,prayer DA.I,244 (brahmaṁ aṇatī ti brāhmaṇo). II.Brahmā (cp.Vedic brahmán,m.,one who prays or chants hymns,Nom.sg.Brahmā) 1.the god Brahmā chief of the gods,often represented as the creator of the Universe (vasavattī issaro kattā nimmātā) D.I,18; III,30,also called Mahābrahmā (D.I,235 sq.,244 sq.; III,30; It.15; Vism.578; DhA.II,60); and Sahampati (Vin.I,5; D.II,157; S.I,136 sq.; Vism.201; KhA 171; SnA 56) and Sanaṁkumāra (D.II,226; III,97).The duration of his life is given as being 1 kalpa (see Kvu 207,208).-- Nom.Brahmā Vin.I,5; D.II,46; J.VI,486; Miln.224; Vism.2 (brahmānaṁ atibrahmā,Ep.of Buddha Bhagavā); SnA 229 (B.mahānubhāvo); Gen.Abl.Brahmano D.II,209; Vism.205; SnA 177; Instr.Brahmanā D.I,252; II,239; Dh.105,230; Vism.48,405; DhA.II,60; Acc.Brahmānaṁ D.II,37; Voc.Brahme S.I,138.-- 2.a brahma god,a happy & blameless celestial being,an inhabitant of the higher heavens (brahma-loka; in which to be reborn is a reward of great merit); Nom.sg.brahmā S.I,142 (Baka br.); M.I,327 (id.); A.IV,83; PvA.138 (°devatā for brahma°?); Gen.Abl.brahmuno S.I,142,155; Instr.brahmunā D.III,147,150 & brahmanā PvA.98; Voc.sg.brahme M.I,328.pl.Nom.brahmāno Miln.13,18 (where J.VI,486 has Mahā-brahmā in id.p.); DhsA.195; Gen.brahmānaṁ Vism.2; Mhbv 151.--paccekabrahmā a br.by himself S.I,149 (of the name of Tudu; cp.paccekabuddha).--sabrahmaka (adj.) including the brahma gods D.I,62; A.II,70; Vin.I,11; DA.I,174.

III,brahma (adj.-n.) (cp.brahmā II.2; Vedic brahma° & Sk.brāhma) 1.holy,pious,brahmanic; (m.) a holy person,a brahmin -- (adj.) J.II,14 (br.vaṇṇa=seṭṭha vaṇṇa C.); KhA 151 (brahma-cariyaṁ= brahmaṁ cariyaṁ).-- (m.) Acc.brahmaṁ Sn.285; Voc.brahme (frequent) Sn.1065 (=brahmā ti seṭṭhavacanaṁ SnA 592); J.II,346; IV,288; VI,524,532; Pv.I,129 (=brāhmaṇa PvA.66).-- 2.divine,as incorporating the highest & best qualities,sublime,ideal,best,very great (see esp.in cpds.),A.I,132 (brahmā ti mātāpitaro etc.),182; IV,76.-- 3.holy,sacred,divinely inspired (of the rites,charms,hymns etc.) D.I,96 (brahme mante adhiyitvā); Pv.II,613 (mantaṁ brahmacintitaṁ) =brāhmaṇānaṁ atthāya brahmaṇā cintitaṁ) PvA.97,98).-- Note.The compn form of all specified bases (I.II.III,) is brahma°,and with regard to meaning it is often not to be decided to which of the 3 categories the cpd.in question belongs.

--attabhāva existence as a brahma god DhA.III,210.--ujjugatta having the most divinely straight limbs (one of the 32 marks of a Great Man) D.II,18; III,144,155.--uttama sublime DhsA.192.--uppatti birth in the brahma heaven S.I,143.--ûposatha the highest religious observance with meditation on the Buddha & practice of the uposatha abstinence A.I,207.--kappa like Brahmā Th.1,909.--kāya divine body D.III,84; J.I,95.--kāyika belonging to the company of Brahmā,N of a high order of Devas in the retinue of Br.(cp.Kirfel,Kosmographie pp.191,193,197) D.I,220; II,69; A.III,287,314; IV,40,76,240,401; Th.1,1082; Vism.225,559; KhA 86.--kutta a work of Brahmā D.III,28,30 (cp.similarly yaṁ mama,pitrā kṛtaṁ devakṛtaṁ na tu brahmakṛtaṁ tat Divy 22).See also under kutta.--giriya (pl.) name of a certain class of beings,possibly those seated on Brahmagiri (or is it a certain class of performers,actors or dancers?) Miln.191.--ghaṭa (=ghaṭa2) company or assembly of Brahmans J.VI,99.--cakka the excellent wheel,i.e.the doctrine of the Buddha M.I,69; A.II,9,24; III,417; V,33; It.123; Ps.II,174; VbhA.399 (in detail); --cariya see separate article.--cārin leading a holy or pure life,chaste,pious Vin.II,236; III,44; S.I,5,60; II,210; III,13; IV,93,A.II,44; M.III,117; Sn.695,973; J.V,107,382; Vv 3411 (Acc.pl.brahmacāraye for °cārino); Dh.142; Miln.75; DA.I,72 (brahmaṁ seṭṭhaṁ ācāraṁ caratī ti br.c.); DhA.III,83; a° S.IV,181; Pug.27,36.--cintita divinely inspired PVI I.613=Vv 6316 (of manta); expln at PvA.97,as given above III,3,differs from that at VvA.265,where it runs:brahmehi Aṭṭhak’ādīhi cintitaṁ paññācakkhunā diṭṭhaṁ,i.e.thought out by the divine (seer) Aṭṭhaka and the others (viz.composers of the Vedic hymns:v.s.brāhmaṇa1,seen with insight).--ja sprung from Brahmā (said of the Brāhmaṇas) D.III,81,83; M.II,148.Cp.dhammaja.--jacca belonging to a brahman family Th.1,689.--jāla divine,excellent net,N.of a Suttanta (D No.1) Vism.30; VbhA.432,516; KhA 12,36,97; SnA 362,434.--daṇḍa “the highest penalty," a kind of severe punishment (temporary deathsentence? ) Vin.II,290; D.II,154; DhA.II,112; cp.Kern,Manual p.87.--dāyāda kinsman or heir of Brahmā D.III,81,83.--deyya a most excellent gift,a royal gift,a gift given with full powers (said of land granted by the King) D.I,87 (=seṭṭha-deyyaṁ DA.I,246; cp.Dial.I.108 note:the first part of the cpd.(brahma) has always been interpreted by Brahmans as referring to themselves.But brahma as the first part of a cpd.never has that meaning in Pali; and the word in our passage means literally “a full gift." -- Cp.id.p.Divy 620,where it does not need to mean “gift to brahmans," as Index suggests); D.I,114; J.II,166=DhA.III,125 (here a gift to a br.,it is true,but not with that meaning); J.VI,486 (sudinnaṁ+); Mhbv 123.We think that both Kern (who at Toev.s.v.unjustly remarks of Bdhgh’s expln as “unjust") and Fick (who at “Sociale Gliederung" p.126 trsls it as “gift to a Brahman") are wrong,at least their (and others’) interpretation is doubtful.--devatā a deity of the Brahmaloka PvA.138 (so read for brahmā°).--nimantanika “addressing an invitation to a brahma-god," title of a Suttanta M.I,326 sq.,quoted at Vism.393.--nimmita created by Brahmā D.III,81,83.--patta arrived at the highest state,above the devas,a state like the Br.gods M.I,386; A.II,184.--patti attainment of the highest good S.I,169,181; IV,118.--patha the way to the Br.world or the way to the highest good S.I,141; A.III,346; Th.1,689.Cp.Geiger,Dhamma 77.--parāyana devoted to Brahmā Miln.234.--parisā an assembly of the Brahma gods D.III,260; M.I,330; S.I,155; A.IV,307.--pārisajja belonging to the retinue of Br.,N.of the gods of the lowest Rūpa-brahmaloka S.I,145,155; M.I,330; Kvu 207; cp.Kirfel,Kosmographie 191,194.--purohita minister or priest to Mahābrahmā; °deva gods inhabiting the next heaven above the Br.-pārisajjā devā (cp.Kirfel Loc.cit.) Kvu 207 (read °purohita for °parohita!).--pphoṭana (a-pphoṭana; ā+ph.) a Brahmaapplause,divine or greatest applause DhA.III,210 (cp.Miln.13; J.VI,486).--bandhu “brahma-kinsman," a brāhmaṇa in descent,or by name; but in reality an unworthy brahman,Th.2,251; J.VI,532; ThA.206; cp.Fick,Sociale Gliederung p.140.--bhakkha ideal or divine food S.I,141.--bhatta a worshipper of Br.J.IV,377 sq.--bhavana Br.-world or abode of Br.Nd1 448.--bhūta divine being,most excellent being,said of the Buddha D.III,84; M.I,111; III,195,224; S.IV,94; A.V,226; It.57; said of Arahants A.II,206; S.III,83.--yāna way of the highest good,path of goodness (cp.brahma-patha) S.V,5; J.VI,57 (C.ariyabhūmi:so read for arāya°).--yāniya leading to Brahmā D.I,220.--loka the Br.world,the highest world,the world of the Celestials (which is like all other creation subject to change & destruction:see e.g.Vism.415=KhA 121),the abode of the Br.devas; Heaven.-- It consists of 20 heavens,sixteen being worlds of form (rūpa-brahmaloka) and four,inhabited by devas who are incorporeal (arūpa°).The devas of the Br.l.are free from kāma or sensual desires.Rebirth in this heaven is the reward of great virtue accompanied with meditation (jhāna) A.I,227 sq.; V,59 (as included in the sphere called sahassī cūḷanikā lokadhātu).-- The brahmās like other gods are not necessarily sotāpannā or on the way to full knowledge (sambodhi-parāyaṇā); their attainments depend on the degree of their faith in the Buddha,Dhamma,& Saṅgha,and their observance of the precepts.-- See e.g.D.III,112; S.I,141,155,282; A.III,332; IV,75,103; Sn.508,1117; J.II,61; Ps.I,84; Pv.II,1317; Dhs.1282; Vbh.421; Vism.199,314,367,372,390,401,405,408,415 sq.,421,557; Mhbv 54,83,103 sq.,160; VbA 68; PvA.76; VbhA.167,433,437,510.See also Cpd.57,141 sq.; Kirfel,Kosmographie 26,191,197,207,and cp.in BSk.literature Lal.Vist.171.The Br.-l.is said to be the one place where there are no women:DhA.I,270.--yāva Brahmalokā pi even unto Br.’s heaven,expression like “as far as the end of the world" M.I,34; S.V,265,288.--°ûpaga attaining to the highest heaven D.II,196; A.V,342; Sn.139; J.II,61; Kvu 114.--°ûpapatti rebirth in Heaven Sn.139.--°parāyana the Br.-loka as ultimate goal J.II,61; III,396.--°sahavyatā the company of the Br.gods A.IV,135 sq.--yāna the best vehicle S.V,5 (+dhammayāna).--vaccasin with a body like that of Mahābrahmā,combd with --vaṇṇin of most excellent complexion,in ster.passage at D.I,114,115; M.II,167,cp.DA.I,282:°vaccasī ti Mahābrahmuṇo sarīra-sadisena sarīrena samannāgato; °vaṇṇī ti seṭṭhavaṇṇī.--vāda most excellent speech Vin.I,3.--vimāna a palace of Brahmā in the highest heaven D.III,28,29; It.15; Vism.108.--vihāra sublime or divine state of mind,blissful meditation (exercises on a,altruistic concepts; b,equanimity; see on these meditations Dial I.298).There are 4 such “divine states," viz.mettā,karuṇā,muditā,upekkhā (see Vism.111; DhsA.192; and cp.Expositor 258; Dhs.trsl.65; BSk.same,e.g.Divy 224); D.II,196; III,220 (one of the 3 vihāra’s:dibba°,brahma°,ariya°); Th.1,649; J.I,139 (°vihāre bhāvetvā ...brahmalok’ûpaga),II.61; Dhs.262; Vism.295 sq.(°niddesa),319.--veṭhana the head-dress of a brahmin SnA 138 (one of the rare passages where brahma°=brahma III,1).--sama like Brahmā Sn.508; SnA 318,325; DhsA.195.--ssara “heavenly sound," a divine voice,a beautiful and deep voice (with 8 fine qualities:see enumd under bindu) D.II,211=227; J.I,96; V,336.(Page 492)

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Brahma is past middle age now. That means Brahma had been around at least 155 trillion years. In Brahma's life, there are two halves: In the beginning of the first half, the kalpa was called  Brahma-kalpa in the first millennium where the Lord and the Vedas appeared. The next kalpa was called Padma-kalpa because the lotus flower grew out of the navel reservoir of water of Bhagavan Vishnu. The first millennium of the second half is known as Varaha-kalpa, because the Lord incarnated as a hog. He (Brahma) is now in the second half of his life. The duration of the two halves of life of Brahma is less than one nimesa (less than one second) for the beginningless Lord, Maha Visnu, the Soul of the Universe. Remember: Brahma lives for 311.04 trillion years.

When Brahma goes to sleep in the (Brahma's) night, all planetary systems below his abode, Brahmaloka, are inundated with water. He dreams about Maha Vishnu who gives him instructions to rejuvenate the universe again.

When Brahma goes to sleep, for the duration of one Kalpa (one night of Brahma, 432 million years) Vishnu goes to sleep with his abdomen full of Jivas, released souls, Brahma, the inmates of hell, the fallen souls, the people caught up in Samsara, and the animals.

It is worthwhile to remember that the laws of karma become operative with the onset of new kalpa; in kalpal dissolution, karma, vasanas and samskaras of an individual are in suspended animation, waiting to express themselves once the subtle body acquires kosas or a body.

When Brahma’s life comes to an end (a full life of 100 Brahma years), the Lord of Lords absorbs all elements and a new Brahma is created at the Lord’s will.

Every soul takes a birth in a body from inorganic entities to the highest earthly human being 8,400,000 times. One, then, would consider that human body is the most difficult to come by.

Added: 09.Sep.2014 | Source: bhagavadgitausa.com: Creation and Dissolution
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