Brahma, aka: Brahmā, Brāhma; 41 Definition(s)

Introduction

Brahma means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Brahma in Purana glossary... « previous · [B] · next »

Brahmā (ब्रह्मा) was generated from a lotus, called Hiraṇmaya, which sprang from the lake of the navel of Viṣṇu (or para-puruṣa) (sahasra-śirasa or sahasra-śīrṣā). (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.14.2)

From the navel of para-puruṣa was generated a golden lotus, on which the four-faced Lord Brahmā took his birth. (Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.1.8-9)

From the mind of Lord Brahmā, Marīci took birth.

Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

Brahma stone has a small mouth and is of thick blue colour.

Source: archive.org: The Garuda puranam

1) Brahmā (ब्रह्मा).—

One of the trimūrtis of the Hindu Pantheon The trimūrtis are Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. (See full article at Story of Brahmā from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Brahma (ब्रह्म).—See Parabrahma.

3) Brāhma (ब्राह्म).—A kind of marriage. The bride is adorned with all kinds of ornaments and is taken to bridegroom; and given to him as wife. This is called Brāhma marriage. Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 73, Stanza 8 states that this mode of marriage was allowed to all the four castes of ancient Bhārata.

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Brahmā (ब्रह्मा) refers to a deity that was once worshipped in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) according to the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—Brahmā who along with Viṣṇu and Śiva forms the Hindu Triad, occupies an important place in the Nīlamat.

Source: archive.org: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

Brahmā (ब्रह्मा) is the name of a deity born of the lotus (paṅkaja) that sprang from the navel of Nārāyaṇa while sleeping, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.7:—“[...] exerting himself as before, Śiva, the great lord, with Pārvatī as his better half created me [viz., Brahmā] from His right limb. O sage, having deluded me with His illusion immediately, Śiva in the course of His sport, produced me through the umbilical lotus of Viṣṇu. Thus it was that I came to be known as Lotus-born and conceived in a golden womb (hemagarbha). I had four faces (caturmukha), red complexion (raktavarṇa) and Tripuṇḍra-marked forehead. Deluded by His illusion and weakened in knowledge, O dear one, I did not know who the progenitor of my body was, other than the lotus”.

Source: archive.org: Siva Purana - English Translation

1a) Brahmā (ब्रह्मा).—Pitāmaha, (Lokapitāmaha)—appeared on the lotus from the navel of Hari at the end of the Kalpa; the Lord with four faces: origin of five faces connected with his daughter and wife Śatarūpā;1 Born of Hari's grace: expression of rajas By Yoga saw the one Puruṣa lying on Śeṣa: Praised Him, who instructed him in the art of creation: nine-fold creation from Prakṛti; created the vedas and human society: created also a mind-born son to Śambhu who attained Brahmalokam: a second son of his, was Bhuva, who was sent to the mother—earth: the third son Bhūrbhuva and his son became Gopati. From his body was created Gāyatrī, who became his wife: then came Prajāpatis, oceans. etc.2

Known for impartiality, Parīkṣit compared to him;3 obliged to Viṣṇu;4 knew the dharma of Hari; a Parameṣṭhin;5 resident at Gayā and guards Benares;6 his golden city being in Meru;7 his curses and blessings moderate.8 A day of, is a thousand cycles of the 4 yugas; Pralaya, the night of Brahmā; period of his life is dvīparārdha. All the fourteen Manus flourish during his day.9 Author of the Atharva mantras; learnt the Veda from Hari and taught it to Manu;10 his sons were Marīci and Atri whose son was Soma. The last was made the lord of Brahmanas, stars, etc. Influenced Soma to restore Tārā to Bṛhaspati. Found out that Budha was Soma's son. Punished Soma as a sinful planet for enjoying Tārā.11 Made Dakṣa the overlord of the Prajāpatis;12 called on Kailāsa.13 Presented Pṛthu with armour and prevented him from slaying Indra.14 Visited Manu and Priyavrata and addressed her on home life.15 gifts to Māya.16 Did not help Durvāsa pursued by the cakra of Viṣṇu;17 was unable to answer the question of his son, Sanaka and others on the subtlity of yoga; remembered Hari who explained it in the form of a Haṃsa.18 Praised Viṣṇu for killing Kālanemi.19 Met Hari-Ajita to restore the fortune of Indra; cursed by Durvāsa and his prayer.20 Performed yajña in Janaloka;21 was displeased at Bhṛgu's behaviour;22 went with Bhṛgu and Dakṣa to Hiraṇyakaśipu engaged in austerities; granted boons to him and disappeared.

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 3. 2; III. 8. 13-16; IX. 1. 8-10; XI. 4. 5; XII. 5. 1; Matsya-purāṇa 1. 14; 2. 36; 3. 1, 37, 40.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 18. 14. III. 8. 22-32; 9. 1-24, 29-44; 10. 3-6, 8, 13-26; 12. 37-56.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 171. 8-14, 17, 21; 183. 84.
  • 4) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 12. 23.
  • 5) Ib. IV. 21. 29; 29. 42.
  • 6) Ib. VI. 3. 20.
  • 7) Ib. IV. 8. 20.
  • 8) Matsya-purāṇa 22. 4; 184. 28.
  • 9) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 16. 28.
  • 10) Ib. X. 88. 12.
  • 11) Ib. XII. 4. 2-5; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 3. 15-24; IV. 1. 5; VI. 3. 11-12.
  • 12) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XI. 14. 3-4; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 4. 12.
  • 13) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 1. 8-10; 14. 2-3, 8, 12 [1] and 13. XII. 8. 12; Matsya-purāṇa 23. 10, 44-6.
  • 14) Matsya-purāṇa 201. 17; 225. 12; 249. 13, 58.
  • 15) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 3. 2.
  • 16) Ib. IV. 6. 2.
  • 17) Ib. XI. 13. 16-41.
  • 18) Matsya-purāṇa 178. 56, 64, 79.
  • 19) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 5. 18-50; 6. 1-15.
  • 20) Ib. X. 87. 9.
  • 21) Ib. X. 89. 3-4.
  • 22) Ib. VII. 3. 14-38; 4. 2-3; 8. 40; 10. 26-29, 33; Matsya-purāṇa 161. 17.

1b) A division of the night.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 44.

1c) Son of Brahmadana.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 69. 132.

1d) One of the 16 Ṛtviks for a yajña; issued from the mouth of Nārāyaṇa.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 167. 7.

1e) One of the authors on architecture.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 252. 3.

1f) Image of; four faces and sitting on a lotus; on the swan; on either side Sāvitrī and Sarasvatī.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 260. 40; 266. 42; 285. 6.

2a) Brāhma (ब्राह्म).—A muhūrta, early in the morning of the day.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 40; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 3. 39; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 11. 5.

2b) The Kṛtayuga.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 78. 36.

2c) One of the six Darśanas.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 104. 16.

2d) A form of marriage.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 10. 24.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Brahmā (ब्रह्मा) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.36, I.59.10, I.65, IX.44.21) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Brahmā) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Brahmā (ब्रह्मा) is a Sanskrit word referring to a deity. Acording to the Nāṭyaśāstra 1.88-94, when Brahmā, Indra and all other gods went to inspect the playhouse (nāṭyamaṇḍapa) designed by Viśvakarmā, he assigned different deities for the protection of the playhouse itself, as well as for the objects relating to dramatic performance (prayoga).

As such, Brahmā assigned Brahmā (installed as a deity) to the top section (joint/knot, parva) of the Jarjara (Indra’s banner staf). He also assigned himself to the centre of the stage (raṅgapīṭha). The protection of the playhouse was enacted because of the jealous Vighnas (malevolent spirits), who began to create terror for the actors.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

One of the Deva-vibhāvana (hands that indicate the forms which accord with the character and actions of Brahmā and other Devas).—Brahmā: left hand–Catura, right hand–Haṃsāsya.

Source: archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

1) Brahmā (ब्रह्मा, “Creator”):—One of the male offspring from Mahālakṣmī (rajas-form of Mahādevī). Also known as Vidhi. Mahālakṣmī is one of the three primary forms of Devī, the other two being Mahākālī and Mahāsarasvatī. Not to be confused with Lakṣmī, she is a more powerful cosmic aspect (vyaṣṭi) of Devi and represents the guṇa (universal energy) named rajas. Also see the Devī Māhātmya, a Sanskrit work from the 5th century, incorporated into the Mārkaṇḍeya-Purāṇa.

2) Brahmā (ब्रह्मा) refers to one of the 53 gods to be worshipped and given pāyasa (rice boiled in milk) according to the Vāstuyāga rite in Śaktism (cf. Śāradātilaka-tantra III-V). The worship of these 53 gods happens after assigning them to one of the 64 compartment while constructing a Balimaṇḍapa. Vāstu is the name of a prodigious demon, who was killed by 53 gods (eg., Brahmā).

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism
Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Brahma (ब्रह्म) refers to one of the many varieties of the Śālagrāma (ammonite fossil stones).—The Brahma is large (pṛthu); has many holes (suṣira); one cakra and lotus mark; a long line (sudīrgha-rekhā). Śālagrāma stones are very ancient geological specimens, rendered rounded and smooth by water-currents in a great length of time. They (eg., Brahma stones) are distinguished by the ammonite (śālā, described as “vajra-kīṭa”, “adamantine worms”) which having entered into them for residence, are fossilized in course of time, leaving discus-like marks inside the stone.

Source: archive.org: Pratima Kosa Encyclopedia of Indian Iconography - Vol 6

Brahmā as the Creator God is always shown with four heads which represent the four volumes of the Sacred Scriptures — the Vedas by the power of which Brahmā effects the work of creation. In Hindu mythology Creation occurs by Brahmā projecting created beings from his own mind into the four directions.

In terms of consciousness and states of mind, Brahmā represents the waking state of externalised awareness (jāgrat) — awareness and interaction with the world around us. Science deals almost exclusively with Brahmā.

Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Trinity

Brahmā (ब्रह्मा) as depicted at a temple on the west bank of the Rāmakuṇḍa at Sopārā (ancient Śūrpāraka) in the Ṭhāṇā District.—It is a standing sammukha image of the god, wearing a jaṭā-mukuṭa. Of his three faces which are seen, the middle one only has a beard. The god holds the akṣamālā and sruc in the lower and upper right hands, and the kamaṇḍalu and the pothī (unbound book) in the lower and upper left hands. He wears a yajñopavīta and an udarabandha, besides other ornaments and a long garland reaching below his knees. The tassels of his girdle are shown hanging down in front. On either side of the god appears a female figure carrying a bundle of kuśa grass. There is, besides, his vehicle, the swan, on his left, and an attendant on his right. The image seems to have been left unfinished, but it is a good handiwork of the age.

Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras (shilpashastra)

Brahmā (ब्रह्मा) in the sannidhi of Tillai Naṭarāja temple is found in seated posture. [...] Brahmā is found with four faces. One facing the front, one each facing the both sides and one is facing the back. If it is an icon then all the four faces are visible. If it is a sculpture caved on the wall of the temple, then only the three faces are seen. While depicting in dance songs, Brahmā is depicted as in writing the Vedas with catura hasta in one hand and haṃsāsya hasta in the other hand. This is what is found in the devata hastas taught to the dancers at the preliminary stage of learning. But He can also be represented as holding the kamaṇḍalu, the akṣamālā, or holding abhaya-mudrā in the right and urū-hasta in the left. If the deities are studied thoroughly then they can be beautifully and innovatively exhibited in dance choreographies. The standing postures are usually sama or svastika in the dances. That can be changed depending on the leg posture of the respective deity installed in the temple.

Brahmā is found depicted in the Thillai Nataraja Temple in Cidambaram (Chidambaram) which is one of the Pañcasabhā or “five halls where Śiva is said to have danced”.—Brahmā is the author of the Vedas. He is found seated on the lotus flower, which issues from the stomach of Viṣṇu lying on the serpent. He is portrayed with four faces. His plaited hair is gathered into a conical knot called makuta. He has four arms. The back right arm carries brahmātandra (pearls) and the back left hand carries kamanḍalu (vessel). The front right hand is in abhaya-hasta and the front left hand is in varada-hasta. In Indian Sculpture and Iconography, the linear measurements for Brahmā set in uttama-daśatāla are prescribed

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Katha (narrative stories)

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Brahmā (ब्रह्मा).—Brahmā is one of the principal deities and formst along with Viṣṇu and Śiva, the well-known Hindu triad called trimūrti referred to as Hari-Hara-Brahmanāḥ. He is alluded to as Prajāpati, the creator of all the mobile and immobile universe. In this manner, Brahmā has been given the epithets of Vedas. Viśvasṛj and Pitāmaha.

He is also said to be Caturmukha and Viriñci, Ambhojabhava and Paṅkajabhū. He shows favour to those who are cursed. Sarasvatī is said to be born from the mouth of Brahmā, the lotus-born god.

Source: Shodhganga: A critical appreciation of soddhalas udayasundarikatha
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Brahma (ब्रह्म) refers to an aspect of nṛsiṃha (‘man-lion’), according to the Vihagendra-saṃhitā 4.17, which mentions seventy-four forms (inlcuding twenty forms of vyūha). He is also known as Brahmanṛsiṃha or Brahmanarasiṃha. Nṛsiṃha is a Tantric deity and refers to the furious (ugra) incarnation of Viṣṇu.

The 15th-century Vihagendra-saṃhīta is a canonical text of the Pāñcarātra corpus and, in twenty-four chapters, deals primarely with meditation on mantras and sacrificial oblations.

Source: Wisdom Library: Pāñcarātra
Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Kavya (poetry)

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Brahma (ब्रह्म) is the name a locality mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—This is the country of eastern India. It is presumably the modern Burma including the upper and lower portions.

Source: Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Brāhma (ब्राह्म) or Brāhmāgama refers to one of upāgamas (supplementary scriptures) of the Aṃśumāgama which is one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu. The purpose of revealing upāgamas (eg., Brāhma Āgama) is to explain more elaborately than that of mūlāgamas (eg., Aṃśumān-āgama) and to include any new idea if not dealt in mūlāgamas.

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva
Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Brahma (ब्रह्म) refers to the priest associated with all three Vedas, according to the Āpastamba-yajña-paribhāṣā-sūtras.—“The Hotṛ-priest performs with the Ṛg-veda. The Udgātṛ-priest with the Sāma-veda. The Adhvaryu-priest with the Yajur-veda. The Brahma-priest with all”. Commentary: “With all” means with the three Vedas, because the Brahma-priest, or superintendent of the whole sacrifice, must be acquainted with the three Vedas. Others would include the Atharva-veda”.

Source: Sacred Texts: The Grihya Sutras, Part 2 (SBE30)
Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Brahmā (ब्रह्मा).—The Vedas are considered to be the mother, and Brahmā is called the grandfather, the forefather, because he was the first to be instructed in the Vedic knowledge. In the beginning the first living creature was Brahmā.

Source: archive.org: Sri Isopanisad

Brahma is 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.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

The word brahma is used in modern Hinduism to refer to the name of a god who is a part of the Hindu trinity, for more information see Brahman (disambiguation). However in the context of traditional Vedic study, it holds two meanings. In the Purva Mimamsa philosophy, which is based on a study of the samhita and brahmana sections of the vedas, the word brahma refers to the vedic mantras. In the uttara Mimamsa i.e. Vedanta philosophy, which is based on a study of the Aranyaka and the Upanishad sections of the vedas, the word Brahma means the absolute universal reality called Brahman.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Brahmā (ब्रह्मा), the creator of the universe, is one among the Trinity. Usually the image of Brahmā is not found as the mūla-bera in the temples. There is also a story in the purāṇas for this reason [...]. Brahmā, the god of wisdom and knowledge, is adored by many. Though there are no temples in Tamilnadu with Brahmā as the mūla bera, the devotees pray to him when they see him in the other sanctums. It is said that Brahmā wrote the Vedas and so devotees pray to him for Vedic knowledge. He is considered as the essence of enlightenment. The kamaṇḍalu or water pot held in the hand of Brahmā is said to contain water within and it is from this vessel that the earth is filled with water. It also connotes dāna or gift. It is also a symbol of auspiciousness, a sign of plentifulness, prosperity.

The devotees pray to him so that they are confident of getting in abundance because that is the basic quality of Brahmā. Without water one cannot survive in this world. Brahmā is the giver of life through water. So he is adored by his devotees for his creartion. The akṣmālā held in another hand connotes the sacredness and ascetic nature of the Lord. That is why we find the sages holding the akṣmālā and reciting their prayers and hymns with a belief that they would be purified from all their earthly sins and desires and would remain pure, and finally achieve mokṣa or liberation.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

"Great One" - an inhabitant of the non sensual heavens of form or formlessness.Source: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

See Brahmaloka

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

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.

Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

1) Brahmā (ब्रह्मा) or Brahmādevarāja refers to the deity that appears seated cross-legged on a lotus which sprang from Viṣṇu’s navel, who appears after the kalpa-fire, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV).—From Viṣṇu’s navel (nābhi) comes a precious lotus, golden in color, with a thousand petals, the light and rays of which are like the combined light of a thousand suns. On this lotus there is seated cross-legged a man who, in turn, possesses an infinite light. He is called Fan t’ien wang (Brahmādevarāja) who mentally gives birth to eight sons who, in their turn, give rise to the heavens, the earth and people.

2) Brahmā (ब्रह्मा).—According to appendix 5 of the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV). The Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra could also add that, according to Jīvaka, “the Bhagavat is Brahmā” (Kośavyākhyā), and that the term brahmabhūta ‘identified with Brahmā’ is applied sometimes to Buddha himself (Dīgha III, Majjhim, I, Saṃyutta IV, Aṅguttara V and Tchong a han), sometimes to the Arhats (Saṃyutta III and Aṅguttara).

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Brahmā (ब्रह्मा) refers to the ninth of the “ten world protectors” (daśalokapāla) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 9). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., daśalokapāla and Brahmā). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Brahmā is, besides one of the “ten world protectors” (daśalokapāla) and one of the “fourteen world protectors” (caturdaśalokapāla).

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgrahaOne of the three major deities of Hinduism, along with Visnu (Vishnu) and Siva (Shiva). Adopted as one of the protective deities of Buddhism.Source: Buddhist Door: Glossary

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

Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Brahma (ब्रह्म) is the father of Dvipṛṣṭha: the second Vāsudeva (“violent heroes”) according to both Śvetāmbara and Digambara sources. Since they enjoy half the power of a Cakravartin (universal monarch) they are also known as Ardhacakrins. Jain legends describe nine such Vāsudevas usually appearing together with their “gentler” twins known as the Baladevas. The legends of these twin-heroes usually involve their antagonistic counterpart known as the Prativāsudevas (anti-heroes).

The stories of king Brahma, queen Umā and their son, Dvipṛṣṭha are related in texts such as the Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacarita (“the lives of the sixty-three illustrious persons”), a twelfth-century Śvetāmbara work by Hemacandra.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Brahma (ब्रह्म) refers to “abstinence from sexual intercourse” and is of eighteen kinds, nine relating to celestial females (vaikriya) and nine to terrestrial females (audārika).

Source: archive.org: Jaina Yoga

Brahma (ब्रह्म) refers to one of the sixteen heavens (kalpa) hosting the sixteen classes of empyrean celestial beings (vaimānika), according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 4.19. The living beings residing in the vimānas are called the empyrean gods (vaimānika) and represents one of the four classes of Devas.

What is the number of layers in Brahma and Brahmottara heaven pairs? There are four layers there. Which thought-colourations are there in Brahma and Brahmottara and Lāntava-Kāpiṣṭha gods? They have pink thought-colouration. What is the maximum lifespan of deities in Brahma and Brahmottara kalpas? It is slightly more than ten ocean-measured-periods (sāgara) for both.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 4: The celestial beings (deva)
General definition book cover
context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geogprahy

Brahmā-worship in Rājasthān.—References to the worship of Brahmā are found in the inscriptions and other attributes of god in some form or other. The existence of Brahmā temples at Pushkar, Basantgarh, Kusmā (Sirohi) and Chincha (Bānswārā) shows that Brahmā was worshipped as a principal deity in Rājasthān till the 12th century A.D. Other images found in the environs of several temples of Sewādi, Kirādu and Osiyān of Mārwār, Bijoliyān (Mewār), Basād (Pratāpgarh) and Māndalgarh testify the assumption. Several images of the early period preserved in the museum of Āmber, Ajmer and Jhālāwād also lead us to the conclusion that the worship of Brahmā was popular. This worship of Brahmā istraced up to the 15th century A.D.

Source: archive.org: Social Life In Medieval Rajasthan

Temples of Brahmā constructed by the Śilāhāra dynasty (r. 765-1215 A.D.).—Temples of Brahmā were rarely erected. There is only a single reference to such a temple in the inscriptions of the Śilāhāras edited here, viz., that in the Kolhāpur plates of Ganḍarāditya dated Śaka 1048.[1] Images of Brahmā were affixed to the walls of temples dedicated to Śiva and Viṣṇu. There is one such image of Brahmā of the āliṅgana-mūrti type affixed to a wall of the Ambarnāth temple. It has been described before.

Source: What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras
India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Brahma in Pali glossary... « previous · [B] · next »

brahma : (m.) the Brahma; the Creator.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

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 (brahmaṃ 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 Sanaṃkumāra (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 (brahmānaṃ 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. Brahmānaṃ 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. brahmānaṃ 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-cariyaṃ= brahmaṃ cariyaṃ).—(m.) Acc. brahmaṃ Sn. 285; Voc. brahme (frequent) Sn. 1065 (=brahmā ti seṭṭhavacanaṃ 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 (mantaṃ brahmacintitaṃ) =brāhmaṇānaṃ atthāya brahmaṇā cintitaṃ) 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.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

brahma (ब्रह्म).—n (S) The divine substance or essence as well as cause of the universe. All existencies--the divine triad, gods and demigods, spirits, mankind, worlds and their animals and furniture--are the development or expansion of it, and are, after the consummation of periods, resumed into it; to be, after the lapse of periods of extinction or dormancy in Brahma, again projected into being apparently personal or individual, but actually mere emanation or figurate procession. These effluences, being from the really-subsisting Brahma, the substantive and undisputed entity, are real,--are not, as inexpert Vedantists represent them, ideal and illusory, the phantasmal conceptions of phantasmal thinkers, the deceptions of the darkness of dualism. This expansion then of Brahma (i. e. this universe) being real (real as the very substance of the spiritual and divine monad), the Maya or Illusion of Vedantism is to be understood as lying in the assumption by this expansion of the pretensions of a creation--in its presentation of itself, surely only to the poor being obedient to the inculcations of his senses, his understanding, his intuitions, and his nature, as subsisting distinctly, and as consisting of phenomena distinct and individual. This, even this, is the high doctrine of advaita or the virāṭadēha--Hindu and European Pantheism. 2 The four Vedas. 3 In comp. A Brahman. 4 Confusion and general pollution from disregard of the divisions of caste or of the distinction of clean and unclean. 5 brahma is freely used in the sense of Marvel, mystery, enigma, ravel or complication, any wondrous and inexplicable matter or thing. 6 m A country, Burmah. brahma miḷaṇēṃ-sāmpaḍaṇēṃ-hātīṃ lāgaṇēṃ-prāpta hōṇēṃ in. con. To find or obtain some transcendently wonderful or excellent thing.

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brahmā (ब्रह्मा).—m (S) Brahma, the first of the Hindu triad and the form of the Deity as the evolver, constructer, and fashioner of the universe. Brahma is not Creator, for existencies, throughout their manifestations, being but evolution or production, there is no Creation. See brahma 2 The twenty-fifth of the twenty-seven astronomical Yog.

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brahmā (ब्रह्मा).—m (Better baramā) A kind of auger or gimlet.

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brāhma (ब्राह्म).—a S Pertaining or relating to Brahma, or to a Brahman.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

brahma (ब्रह्म).—n The divine substance as well as cause of the universe. An enigma. brahma miḷaṇēṃ-sāmpaḍaṇēṃ Find or obtain some transcendantly wonderful thing.

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brahmā (ब्रह्मा).—m Brahma', the first of the Hindu triad.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Brahma (ब्रह्म).—The Supreme Spirit, the Absolute.

Derivable forms: brahmam (ब्रह्मम्).

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Brāhma (ब्राह्म).—a. (-hmī f.) [ब्रह्मण इदं तेन प्रोक्तं वा अण् टिलोपः (brahmaṇa idaṃ tena proktaṃ vā aṇ ṭilopaḥ)]

1) Relating to Brahman or the creator, or to the Supreme Spirit; R.13.6; Ms.2.4; एषा ब्राह्मी स्थितिः पार्थ नैनां प्राप्य विमुह्यति (eṣā brāhmī sthitiḥ pārtha naināṃ prāpya vimuhyati) Bg.2.72.

2) Brahmanical, belonging to Brāhmaṇas; ब्राह्मं रथवरं युक्तमास्थाय सुधृतव्रतः (brāhmaṃ rathavaraṃ yuktamāsthāya sudhṛtavrataḥ) Rām. 2.5.4; न विशेषोऽस्ति वर्णानां सर्वं ब्राह्ममिदं जगत् (na viśeṣo'sti varṇānāṃ sarvaṃ brāhmamidaṃ jagat) Mb.12.188. 1.

3) Relating to sacred knowledge or study; ब्राह्मं वेदमधीयाना वेदाङ्गानि च सर्वशः (brāhmaṃ vedamadhīyānā vedāṅgāni ca sarvaśaḥ) Mb.1.156.5.

4) Prescribed by the Vedas, Vedic; scriptural; ब्राह्मस्य जन्मनः कर्ता (brāhmasya janmanaḥ kartā) Ms.2.15.

5) Holy, sacred, divine.

6) Presided over by Brahman as a मुहूर्त (muhūrta) (see brāhmamuhūrta), or a missile.

7) Fit for a divine state or godhead.

8) Belonging to the ब्रह्मलोक (brahmaloka); ददर्शाप्सरसं ब्राह्मीं पञ्चचूडामनिन्दिताम् (dadarśāpsarasaṃ brāhmīṃ pañcacūḍāmaninditām) Mb.13.38.3.

-hyaḥ 1 one of the eight forms of marriage in Hindu law, in which the bride decorated with ornaments is given away to the bridegroom, without requiring any gift or present from him (this is the best of the 8 forms); ब्राह्मो विवाह आहूय दीयते शक्त्यलंकृता (brāhmo vivāha āhūya dīyate śaktyalaṃkṛtā) Y.1.58; Ms.3.21,27.

2) Name of Nārada.

3) Quicksilver.

4) The duty or prescribed course of conduct of a king; आवृत्तानां गुरुकुलात् विप्राणां पूज्यको भवेत् । नृपाणामक्षयो ह्येष ब्राह्मो धर्मो विधीयते (āvṛttānāṃ gurukulāt viprāṇāṃ pūjyako bhavet | nṛpāṇāmakṣayo hyeṣa brāhmo dharmo vidhīyate) ||

-hmam 1 The part of the hand under the root of the thumb; अङ्गुष्ठमूलस्य तले ब्राह्मं तीर्थं प्रचक्षते (aṅguṣṭhamūlasya tale brāhmaṃ tīrthaṃ pracakṣate) Ms.2.59.

2) Holy or sacred study.

3) Name of a Purāṇa.

4) Name of the constellation Rohiṇī.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Brāhma (ब्राह्म) or Vrāhma.—mfn. (hmaḥ-hmī-hmaṃ) Relating or belonging to Brahma, the Vedas, &c. n.

(-hyaṃ) 1. The part of the hand under the root of the thumb. 2. One of the eight forms of marriage, the presentation of the bride elegantly adorned, by the father to the bridgegroom whom he has invited. 3. The missile presided over by Brahma. m.

(-hmaḥ) Narada the sage and son of Brahma. f. (-hmī) One of the eight divine mothers of created beings, or the personified energies of the gods; the Sakti or energy of Brahma. 2. The goddess of speech, Saraswati. 3. The moon plant, (Asclepias acida.) 4. A sort of potherb, (Ruta graveolens. 5. A shrub, (Siphonanthus Indica.) 6. A sort of fish. 7. The asterism Rohini. 8. A she-frog. 9. A yellow-coloured ant. 10. The wife of a Brahman. E. brahma Brahma, &c. aṇ aff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

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