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Brahman
(3,345 words)

Deriving from the Sanskrit root brḥ-, the literal meaning of brahman is “growth” or “expansion.” It becomes a central notion in the Upaniṣads. Although it is used in different ways across these texts, such as a “formulation of truth” and as a “pure realm,” its primary aim seems to be to stand for some ultimate wholeness, which can integrate all existence. In many contexts in the Upaniṣads, it is a formal term that indicates an absolute principle, something that itself does not depend on further investigation. The Upaniṣads tend to treat brahman in two different ways (see Brereton,…

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Ram-Prasad, Chakravarthi, “Brahman”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 21 April 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2212-5019_beh_COM_2050070>
First published online: 2018



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