from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Hinduism A religious formula or prayer and the holy or sacred power in it and in the officiating priest.
- n. Hinduism The holy or sacred power that is the source and sustainer of the universe.
- n. Hinduism The single absolute being pervading the universe and found within the individual; atman.
- n. A member of the highest of the four major castes of traditional Indian society, responsible for officiating at religious rites and studying and teaching the Vedas.
- n. One of a breed of domestic cattle developed in the southern United States from stock originating in India and having a hump between the shoulders and a pendulous dewlap. Well adapted to hot climates, it is used chiefly for crossbreeding.
- adj. Of or relating to the caste of Brahmans.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. A concept of Hinduism. Brahman is 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. The nature of Brahman is described as transpersonal, personal and impersonal by different philosophical schools.
- proper n. a Brahmin
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A person of the highest or sacerdotal caste among the Hindus.
- n. a person from an old, respected, and usually wealthy family who has considerable social or political influence; -- a term used especially in New England.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A member of the sacred or sacerdotal caste among the Hindus.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the highest of the four varnas: the priestly or sacerdotal category
- n. a member of the highest of the four Hindu varnas
- n. any of several breeds of Indian cattle; especially a large American heat and tick resistant greyish humped breed evolved in the Gulf States by interbreeding Indian cattle and now used chiefly for crossbreeding
- n. a member of a social and cultural elite (especially a descendant of an old New England family)
That in declarations such as 'Thou art that' and 'this Self is Brahman,' the words _thou_ and _Self_, no less than the words _that_ and _Brahman_, denote Brahman in so far as having the individual souls for its body, and that thus the two sets of words denote fundamentally one and the same thing, has been explained previously.
Emerson referred to this ultimate reality as "that Unity, that Over-Soul, within which every man's particular being is contained and made one with all other," while Aurobindo used the term Brahman, which of course has a long and venerable history in Indian philosophy.
In the Hindu Upanishads, we find this passage about the ultimate nature of Reality, which they call Brahman:
The spiritual recognize our common divinity, encoded in what Hindus call Brahman and Christians call the Holy Spirit.
In Classical Hinduism, Brahman is the unchanging "reality" behind the present world, Atman the individual entity (the common translation "soul" is misleading), and Maya the illusion that prevents us from realizing that Brahman and Atman are one and the same.
Our Brahman is strong in love-making; he complains of the pains of separation in this phenomenal universe; he revels in youth, “twin-brother to mirth,” and beauty which has illuminating powers; he foully reviles old age and he alternately praises and abuses the sex, concerning which more presently.
Before a wedding they call a Brahman and worship him as a god, the ceremony being known as Deo Brahman.
The name Brahman or Brahma is said to be from the root _brih_ or
"That which does not think by mind, but by which mind is itself thought: That alone shalt thou know as Brahman, not that which they here adore."
This would be analogous to the use of the word Brahman in Mu.
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