Brahman, 11 Definition(s)
AkA: Brahmin, Braahmaana
11 Definition(s) from various sources:
The universal spirit that pervades all creation, and which exists beyond creation. When individualized through any point of creation, it is known as the atman.
The fundamental goal of a Hindu may be said to be the realization of Brahman, the ultimate truth. It is said that Brahman is all things and all things are Brahman. The Trinity of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma are said to be various aspects of Brahman. They are parts of it, but Brahman is greater than their sum, as it includes all things in the universe, both animate and inanimate.
The power behind and within the cosmos that makes it function and live. Can also be seen as the Ultimate Reality. Sometimes it is thought of as a god. In the early Vedic religion, this was the focus of worship by the Brahmins. In classic and modern Hinduism it is rarely worshipped directly. One of the recurring goals in Hinduism is to understand the link between Brahman-the force behind the cosmos-and the Atman--the soul of each individual human.
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The highest of the four main Hindu castes or Varnas. It is the priestly caste.
("growth, expansion"). The impersonal Absolute, the unproduced Producer of all that is. In the Vedas, Brahman is the force behind the magical formulas. In the Upanishads it is the supreme, eternal principle behind the origin of the universe and of the gods. In Vedanta philosophy, it is the Self (atman) of all beings and knowledge of Brahman results in liberation (moksha).
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Brahman (ब्राह्मण): The signifying name given to the concept of the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality that is the Divine Ground of all being.
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Brahmin (ब्राह्ममन): One of four fundamental colours in Hindu caste (Varna) consisting of scholars, priests and spiritual teachers.
Brahman or Brahma (Skt., literally, ‘growth’ or ‘expansion’). The one supreme, all pervading Spirit; the impersonal Absolute, beyond attributes, which is the origin and support of the visible universe. This neuter noun, Brahman (or Brahma) should be distinguished from the masculine form, Brahmā, the personal Creator-god in the Hindu triad of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva.
1) In Hinduism, Brahman is "the unchanging reality amidst and beyond the world", which "cannot be exactly defined". It has been described in Sanskrit as Sat-cit-ānanda (being-consciousness-bliss) and as the highest reality. Brahman is conceived as Atman, personal, impersonal or Para Brahman, or in various combinations of these qualities depending on the philosophical school. According to Advaita, a liberated human being (jivanmukta) has realised Brahman as his or her own true self.
etymology: 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 later Vedic religion produced the Upanisads, a series of profound philosophical reflections in which Brahman is now considered to be the one Absolute Reality behind changing appearances. It is the universal substrate from which material things originate and to which they return after their dissolution.
2) Title of a priest in Vedic rituals. The brahman is the superintendent of the entire performance, and is responsible for correcting mistakes by means of supplementary verses invoking the visvedevas(pantheon of celestials or devas). In the Brihadaranyaka, the pantheon of visvedevas are held to be a creation of an infinite mind assuming infinite forms. Therefore, the only god that protects the yajna and with which the brahman has to identify himself with is the deity of the mind - Moon or Chandra.
The word Brahman is derived from the Sanskrit verb root bṛha or bṛhi meaning expansion, knowledge, or all-pervasiveness. This word is always of a neuter gender; it represents Absolute Reality beyond the concept of male or female and all other dualities. Brahman is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent; it is the very nature of one’s true Self. That Absolute Reality, that Supreme Consciousness, which is never affected by the ever-changing nature of the world, is Brahman. That which alone exists and allows the entire universe to appear within itself is called Brahman. That Brahman is no different from oneself; all of humanity is Brahman. From this point of view, all people are essentially one and the same. Placing duality and diversity within humanity is the greatest loss, and realizing the oneness within and without is the highest gain.
The word ‘Brahman’used in the Upaṇiṣads is derived from the root bṛh which means ‘to expand’ or ‘to grow’ and as such indicates that Immensity which includes everything which is conceivable.
The Vedas declare—
sarvam khalvidam brahma—
‘all this is Brahman’.
This Immensity Brahman is beyond the comprehension of any being.Out of this transcendental Being there issues forth the first form of Godhead known as the Para-Vāsudeva in a subtle form with twoarms, crystal in complexion and clad in yellow garments. This form is identified also as Nārāyaṇa (which means “the ground of all being”). In the Pañcarātra, Paramātman, Nārāyaṇa, Viṣṇu, Bhagavān and Vāsudeva are the various names by which Brahman the Supreme is known.
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