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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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Brahmā

Brahmā

Chapter:
(p.76) Chapter VII Brahmā
Source:
Classical Hindu Thought
Author(s):

Arvind Sharma

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195658712.003.0007

The first member of the Hindu trinity is Brahmā. The name has usually been explained as the masculinization of Brahman, which designates the ultimate reality in the neuter. However, it is also plausible that the god arose as a divinization of Brahmā, a word which originally designated a supervisory priest. Brahmā is closely associated with the Vedas, and to see how this association is connected with creation, one has to take into account certain characteristic Hindu ideas. One of them is that the universe undergoes periodic cycles of appearance and dissolution, on a rather spectacular scale. This chapter provides an account of the temporal dimensions involved, before which even computation in light years begins to appear rather dim.

Keywords:   Hindu trinity, Brahman, Vedas, creation, universe, dissolution of the universe, god, divinization

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