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Classical Hindu ThoughtAn Introduction$
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Arvind Sharma

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195658712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195658712.001.0001

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(p.62) Chapter IV Īśvara
Classical Hindu Thought

Arvind Sharma

Oxford University Press

The one ultimate reality can be visualized either in personal or impersonal terms. However, the chronological order of priority of Brahman (neuter) and Brahman (masculine) cannot be determined with certainty. In fact, it is quite possible that the Hindus did not consciously distinguish between the two, and that may be why we find monotheism and monism ‘often mixed up with each other’ in the Brāhmanic period. This chapter discusses monotheism as represented by the concept of Īśvara. The qualified Brahman, if personified, becomes the God or Īśvara. Like it, God also may be represented as the cosmic parallel to the finite individual self, the distinction between them being entirely one of adjuncts.

Keywords:   Brahman, Hinduism, Brahmanic period, Monotheism, Īśvara, monism, God

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