Brahman

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Brahman (devanāgarī: ब्रह्मन्) is a Sanskrit word that in Hinduism denotes the unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality which is the Divine Ground of all matter, energy, time, space, being, and everything in this Universe; that is the one supreme, universal spirit. This supreme principle receives no worship but is object of abstract meditation which Hindu sages practice in order to obtain absorption into it.[1]

H. P. Blavatsky defined it as follows:

Brahma (Sk.). The student must distinguish between Brahma the neuter, and Brahmâ, the male creator of the Indian Pantheon. The former, Brahma or Brahman, is the impersonal, supreme and uncognizable Principle of the Universe from the essence of which all emanates, and into which all returns, which is incorporeal, immaterial, unborn, eternal, beginningless and endless. It is all-pervading, animating the highest god as well as the smallest mineral atom. Brahmâ on the other hand, the male and the alleged Creator, exists periodically in his manifestation only, and then again goes into pralaya, i.e., disappears and is annihilated.[2]

In the Theosophical view Brahman is not the Absolute or Parabrahman but rather the unmanifested Logos.

Nirguna and Saguna Brahman

Nirguṇa Brahman, generally translated as the "brahman without attributes", is the supreme reality without form or qualities. In Advaita Vedanta this Brahman without qualities is Parabrahman. The Saguṇa Brahman is the aspect of Brahman with infinite qualities or attributes, being immortal, imperishable, eternal, etc.

Further reading

Notes

  1. John Dowson, A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology, (London, Routedge & Kegan Paul Ltd, 1968), 56.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 62.