Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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No_Mind
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Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Post by No_Mind » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:28 am

This ought to be a a thread by itself.

Here is something to end the confusion.
Here the underlined vowels carry the Vedic Sanskrit udātta short pitch accent. It is usual to use an acute accent symbol for this purpose.[2]
In Vedic Sanskrit:-

Brahma (ब्रह्म) (nominative singular), brahman (ब्रह्मन्) (stem) (neuter[3] gender) means the Great Cosmic Spirit, from root brha
Brahmānda (ब्रह्माण्ड) (nominative singular), from stems brha (to expand) + anda (egg), means universe as an expansion of a cosmic egg (Hiranyagarbha) or the macrocosm. Brahmānda Purāṇa discusses cosmogenesis. Bhāgavata Purāṇa also discusses cosmogony and fundamental principles of material nature in detail.[4]
In later Sanskrit usage:-

Brahma (ब्रह्म) (nominative singular), brahman (stem) (neuter[3] gender) means the concept of the transcendent and immanent ultimate reality of the One Godhead or Supreme Cosmic Spirit in Hinduism; the concept is central to Hindu philosophy, especially Vedanta; this is discussed below. Also note that the word Brahman in this sense is exceptionally treated as masculine (see the Merrill-Webster Sanskrit Dictionary). It is called "the Brahman" in English. Brahm is another variant of Brahman.
Brahmā (ब्रह्मा) (nominative singlular), Brahman (ब्रह्मन्) (stem) (masculine gender), means the deity or deva Prajāpati Brahmā. He is one of the members of the Hindu trinity and associated with creation, but does not have a cult in present day India. This is because Brahmā, the creator-god, is long-lived but not eternal i.e. Brahmā gets absorbed back into Puruṣa at the end of an aeon and is born again at the beginning of a new kalpa.

One must not confuse these with:

A brāhmaņa (ब्राह्मण) (masculine, pronounced Template:IPA-sa),[5] is a prose commentary on the Vedic mantras—an integral part of the Vedic literature.
A brāhmaņa (ब्राह्मण) (masculine, same pronunciation as above), means priest; in this usage the word is usually rendered in English as "Brahmin". This usage is also found in the Atharva Veda. In neuter plural form, Brahmāņi. See Vedic priest
Since it is from hyperlinked text see http://www.hindupedia.com/en/Brahm for detailed explanation.

It also speaks about Brahmā in Buddhism
While "Brahmā" in Buddhist scripture, like Vedic scriptures, also refers to the non-eternal demigod, "Brāhma"[57] is believed by scholars to refer to the eternal perfect being, and the highest stage any person can achieve is labelled as Brahma. For example in addition to Buddha's Dharma being called "Astanga Marga"[58] and Dharmayāna, it is also addressed "Brahmayāna" because the aim is to lead one to perfection of Nirvāna. As the Samyutta Nikāya says,[59] "This Aryan eight-fold Way may be spoken of as Brahmayāna or as Dhammayāna.[60] Again the Buddha Dharma is equated with Brahma when" ...he has become dharma, he has become brahman." It is said that the cultivation of compassion in its purest form is "called the divine life in this world.[61]."[62] In this context Brahma is interpreted to mean divine. In the Suttanipāta, 656, the Buddha says that he who has won the three-fold lore[63] and who will never be reborn is Brahma.[64] Buddhism is compared to Brahma in other scriptures like the Majjhima Nikāya[65] where the Dharmachakra of wheel of law is also called the Brahmachakra.[66][67] The word Brahmachakra was nothing new and it was first mentioned in the Upanishads and it is believed the Buddha having received Vedic knowledge, used the term.[68] The Majjhima-Nikāya also says that the Buddha is 'Brahmapātta' or "one who has attained Brahman".[69], thus outlining that when Buddha became perfected by achieving Nirvāṇa he also became Brahma.

Of Nirvāṇa, the ultimate happiness it is written "one who has attained Nirvāṇa" it is said, "may justifiably employ theological terminology.[70][71]

Short summary

A ) Brahmā or Brāhma - non eternal demi god responsible for initiating the beginning of universe (in Buddhism, the demi god in plane # 23 of 31 Planes)

B ) Brahman also called Para Brahman - highest Universal Principle, the ultimate reality in the universe. Now the complicated part - sometimes It maybe referred to as Brahma as in Maha Vakyas (great sentences) e.g brahma satyam jagan mithya / aham brahmāsmi / sarvam khalvidam brahma

How do we understand -- from the context. In Upanishads it is all about Brahman no matter what the spelling (also pronunciation)

C ) Brahman or Brahmana - the priestly class, also called a Brahmin (to make life easier)


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Re: Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Post by chownah » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:39 am

Connections to other paths?
chownah

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Re: Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:19 am

No_Mind wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:28 am
B ) Brahman also called Para Brahman - highest Universal Principle, the ultimate reality in the universe. Now the complicated part - sometimes It maybe referred to as Brahma as in Maha Vakyas (great sentences) e.g brahma satyam jagan mithya / aham brahmāsmi / sarvam khalvidam brahma
The teaching of anatta appears to negate Atman, does it also negate Brahman?
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Re: Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Post by No_Mind » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:02 am

chownah wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:39 am
Connections to other paths?
chownah
I thought of putting it in CTOP but this confuses so many that it belongs here (in my humble opinion)

The words Brahma and Brahmana occur in Pali Canon few hundred times. Hence it is a General Theravada topic.

But mods can shift it to CTOP if they wish.

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Re: Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:48 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:19 am
No_Mind wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:28 am
B ) Brahman also called Para Brahman - highest Universal Principle, the ultimate reality in the universe. Now the complicated part - sometimes It maybe referred to as Brahma as in Maha Vakyas (great sentences) e.g brahma satyam jagan mithya / aham brahmāsmi / sarvam khalvidam brahma
The teaching of anatta appears to negate Atman, does it also negate Brahman?
Yes, for two reasons. First, some intellectual traditions (such as Vedanta) equate the two, so in such cases what is sauce for the goose, etc., providing of course one takes the equation seriously and does not consider atman to be a mere instantiation of Brahman.

Second, if we are referring to Brahman as the ultimate ontological principle in the universe, then I think this is precisely what anatta is denying.

By the way, thanks to No_Mind for this topic. It's a good idea to clarify things like this.

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Re: Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:32 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:48 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:19 am
No_Mind wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:28 am
B ) Brahman also called Para Brahman - highest Universal Principle, the ultimate reality in the universe. Now the complicated part - sometimes It maybe referred to as Brahma as in Maha Vakyas (great sentences) e.g brahma satyam jagan mithya / aham brahmāsmi / sarvam khalvidam brahma
The teaching of anatta appears to negate Atman, does it also negate Brahman?
Yes, for two reasons. First, some intellectual traditions (such as Vedanta) equate the two, so in such cases what is sauce for the goose, etc., providing of course one takes the equation seriously and does not consider atman to be a mere instantiation of Brahman.

Second, if we are referring to Brahman as the ultimate ontological principle in the universe, then I think this is precisely what anatta is denying.
I came across this article by Bhikkhu Bodhi:

"For the Vedanta, non-duality (advaita) means the absence of an ultimate distinction between the Atman, the innermost self, and Brahman, the divine reality, the underlying ground of the world. From the standpoint of the highest realization, only one ultimate reality exists — which is simultaneously Atman and Brahman — and the aim of the spiritual quest is to know that one's own true self, the Atman, is the timeless reality which is Being, Awareness, Bliss. Since all schools of Buddhism reject the idea of the Atman, none can accept the non-dualism of Vedanta. From the perspective of the Theravada tradition, any quest for the discovery of selfhood, whether as a permanent individual self or as an absolute universal self, would have to be dismissed as a delusion, a metaphysical blunder born from a failure to properly comprehend the nature of concrete experience. According to the Pali Suttas, the individual being is merely a complex unity of the five aggregates, which are all stamped with the three marks of impermanence, suffering, and selflessness. Any postulation of selfhood in regard to this compound of transient, conditioned phenomena is an instance of "personality view" (sakkayaditthi), the most basic fetter that binds beings to the round of rebirths. The attainment of liberation, for Buddhism, does not come to pass by the realization of a true self or absolute "I," but through the dissolution of even the subtlest sense of selfhood in relation to the five aggregates, "the abolition of all I-making, mine-making, and underlying tendencies to conceit.""
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ay_27.html
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Re: Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:42 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:32 am


I came across this article by Bhikkhu Bodhi:...
Yes, I think that puts it very nicely. I don't think it's even necessary to get into issues of "personality view" and what "I" am in this context. It's enough to know that there is within our experience nothing that is a self, rather than nothing which is my self.

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Re: Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Post by aflatun » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:16 pm

M: As long as one is conscious, there will be pain and pleasure. You cannot fight pain and pleasure on the level of consciousness. To go beyond them, you must go beyond consciousness, which is possible only when you look at consciousness as something that happens to you, and not in you, as something external, alien, superimposed. Then, suddenly you are free of consciousness, really alone, with nothing to intrude. And that is your true state. Consciousness is an itching rash that makes you scratch. Of course, you cannot step out of consciousness, for the very stepping out is in consciousness. But if you learn to look at your consciousness as a sort of fever, personal and private, in which you are enclosed like a chick in its shell, out of this very attitude will come the crisis which will break the shell.

Q: Buddha said that life is suffering

M: He must have meant that all consciousness is painful, which is obvious
Nisargadatta Maharaj
I Am That pg. 382
M:I am conscious and unconscious, both conscious and unconscious, neither conscious nor unconscious - to all this I am witness, but really there is no witness, because there is nothing to be a witness to. I am perfectly empty of all mental formations, void of mind, yet fully aware. This I try to express by saying that I am beyond the mind
Nisargadatta Maharaj
I Am That pg. 328
Q: Even if I dismiss this body of bones, flesh and blood as not me, still I remain with the subtle body made up of thoughts and feelings, memories and imaginations. If I dismiss these also as not me, I still remain with consciousness, which is also a kind of body.

M: You are quite right, but you need not stop there. Go beyond. Neither consciousness nor the "I am" at the centre of it are you. Your true being is entirely unselfconscious, completely free from all self-identification with whatever it may be - gross, subtle or transcendental.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
I Am That pg. 371
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Re: Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:57 am

aflatun wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:16 pm
M: As long as one is conscious, there will be pain and pleasure. You cannot fight pain and pleasure on the level of consciousness. To go beyond them, you must go beyond consciousness, which is possible only when you look at consciousness as something that happens to you, and not in you, as something external, alien, superimposed. Then, suddenly you are free of consciousness, really alone, with nothing to intrude. And that is your true state. Consciousness is an itching rash that makes you scratch. Of course, you cannot step out of consciousness, for the very stepping out is in consciousness. But if you learn to look at your consciousness as a sort of fever, personal and private, in which you are enclosed like a chick in its shell, out of this very attitude will come the crisis which will break the shell.

Q: Buddha said that life is suffering

M: He must have meant that all consciousness is painful, which is obvious
Nisargadatta Maharaj
I Am That pg. 382
M:I am conscious and unconscious, both conscious and unconscious, neither conscious nor unconscious - to all this I am witness, but really there is no witness, because there is nothing to be a witness to. I am perfectly empty of all mental formations, void of mind, yet fully aware. This I try to express by saying that I am beyond the mind
Nisargadatta Maharaj
I Am That pg. 328
Q: Even if I dismiss this body of bones, flesh and blood as not me, still I remain with the subtle body made up of thoughts and feelings, memories and imaginations. If I dismiss these also as not me, I still remain with consciousness, which is also a kind of body.

M: You are quite right, but you need not stop there. Go beyond. Neither consciousness nor the "I am" at the centre of it are you. Your true being is entirely unselfconscious, completely free from all self-identification with whatever it may be - gross, subtle or transcendental.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
I Am That pg. 371
If one has an open mind about such things, it would be hard for any Buddhist to refute the realization of Maharaj. Even the Indians vehemently argue if his teaching is Advaita or not.

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Re: Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:04 am

Under the heading of CONNECTIONS TO OTHER PATHS, there is a sub-heading that reads, Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?

In many cases, I have observed that many posters here are not interested in learning from other traditions, religions, or philosophies, but have a kind of combative viewpoint that wants to disprove that other traditions, religions, and philosophies are inferior to Theravada including other forms of Buddhism, and that there is nothing to learn outside of Theravada teachings. Doesn't it strike anyone that this is a defensive attitude that closes the heart and allows no real openness to living Truth? There is no single way of thinking that has ownership of what is true and real. Don't you all think it's about time to wake up to this narrow minded way of looking at things?

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Re: Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:18 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:04 am
Under the heading of CONNECTIONS TO OTHER PATHS, there is a sub-heading that reads, Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?

In many cases, I have observed that many posters here are not interested in learning from other traditions, religions, or philosophies, but have a kind of combative viewpoint that wants to disprove that other traditions, religions, and philosophies are inferior to Theravada including other forms of Buddhism, and that there is nothing to learn outside of Theravada teachings. Doesn't it strike anyone that this is a defensive attitude that closes the heart and allows no real openness to living Truth? There is no single way of thinking that has ownership of what is true and real. Don't you all think it's about time to wake up to this narrow minded way of looking at things?
On this particular thread, you mean? No_Mind has an openly Hindu background and is very sympathetic to Hindu ideas and practices. Aflatun has posted the words of Nisargadatta. What exactly is the issue here? Are you bothered by that Bhikkhu Bodhi chap being a bit too enthusiastically Buddhist?

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Re: Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Post by Saengnapha » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:28 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:18 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:04 am
Under the heading of CONNECTIONS TO OTHER PATHS, there is a sub-heading that reads, Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?

In many cases, I have observed that many posters here are not interested in learning from other traditions, religions, or philosophies, but have a kind of combative viewpoint that wants to disprove that other traditions, religions, and philosophies are inferior to Theravada including other forms of Buddhism, and that there is nothing to learn outside of Theravada teachings. Doesn't it strike anyone that this is a defensive attitude that closes the heart and allows no real openness to living Truth? There is no single way of thinking that has ownership of what is true and real. Don't you all think it's about time to wake up to this narrow minded way of looking at things?
On this particular thread, you mean? No_Mind has an openly Hindu background and is very sympathetic to Hindu ideas and practices. Aflatun has posted the words of Nisargadatta. What exactly is the issue here? Are you bothered by that Bhikkhu Bodhi chap being a bit too enthusiastically Buddhist?
I wasn't even thinking about No_Mind or Aflatun. Aflatun is not one of the posters who strikes me as closed minded, but many others who post here are. I'm not naming names, so don't ask. It runs through the whole site, but I'll leave it at that. Make of it what you will.

Not sure what you mean by the BB comment.

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Re: Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:31 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:28 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:18 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:04 am
Under the heading of CONNECTIONS TO OTHER PATHS, there is a sub-heading that reads, Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?

In many cases, I have observed that many posters here are not interested in learning from other traditions, religions, or philosophies, but have a kind of combative viewpoint that wants to disprove that other traditions, religions, and philosophies are inferior to Theravada including other forms of Buddhism, and that there is nothing to learn outside of Theravada teachings. Doesn't it strike anyone that this is a defensive attitude that closes the heart and allows no real openness to living Truth? There is no single way of thinking that has ownership of what is true and real. Don't you all think it's about time to wake up to this narrow minded way of looking at things?
On this particular thread, you mean? No_Mind has an openly Hindu background and is very sympathetic to Hindu ideas and practices. Aflatun has posted the words of Nisargadatta. What exactly is the issue here? Are you bothered by that Bhikkhu Bodhi chap being a bit too enthusiastically Buddhist?
I wasn't even thinking about No_Mind or Aflatun. Aflatun is not one of the posters who strikes me as closed minded, but many others who post here are. I'm not naming names, so don't ask. It runs through the whole site, but I'll leave it at that. Make of it what you will.

Not sure what you mean by the BB comment.
No problem. I guess it is natural for people who identify as Buddhists to favour their beliefs over those of other traditions, and sometimes this can get a bit annoying.

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Re: Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Post by binocular » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:34 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:28 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:04 am
Under the heading of CONNECTIONS TO OTHER PATHS, there is a sub-heading that reads, Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?

In many cases, I have observed that many posters here are not interested in learning from other traditions, religions, or philosophies, but have a kind of combative viewpoint that wants to disprove that other traditions, religions, and philosophies are inferior to Theravada including other forms of Buddhism, and that there is nothing to learn outside of Theravada teachings. Doesn't it strike anyone that this is a defensive attitude that closes the heart and allows no real openness to living Truth? There is no single way of thinking that has ownership of what is true and real. Don't you all think it's about time to wake up to this narrow minded way of looking at things?
I wasn't even thinking about No_Mind or Aflatun. Aflatun is not one of the posters who strikes me as closed minded, but many others who post here are. I'm not naming names, so don't ask. It runs through the whole site, but I'll leave it at that. Make of it what you will.
I suggest you post this in the suggestion box.
But now back to Brahma and his entourage!
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Brahmā, Brāhma, Brahman, Para Brahman, Brahman, Brahmana, Brahmin

Post by No_Mind » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:41 pm

Mr Saengnapha this is one of the most tolerant religious websites

Me saying Hello All in Dharma Wheel last month resulted in 15 replies, 676 views and a split off thread with 156 replies and 2632 views which was locked!!

All because I said -
Hi Everyone,

I am from India. For some years I have been a participant in the sister sites DhammaWheel and DharmaPaths.

I believe in Theravada Buddhism and also Hinduism (I do not see them as competing but as complimentary philosophies). I was born a Hindu (not exactly a mainstream Hindu but sort of very watered down Hindu, I guess), I have been SBNR (spiritual but not religious) for most of my life and developed belief in what is called Tao - pervading force behind the universe. In Hinduism it is called Brahman (not to be confused with Brahma in Buddhist suttas).

I am here to read and understand what other branches of Buddhism are like, what are their fundamental teachings and practices.
Leaving me agape and well I never returned there .. those are some of the most nervous (do I mean neurotic) people on this planet. Very much like these cats



DhammaWheel is lot more sane. The members here are some of the most erudite, broad minded, virtuous and generous people I have known.

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