Atman & Brahman
Ātman is a Sanskrit word that means inner self or soul. In Hindu That Atman ( self, soul) is indeed Brahman. that this knowledge of "I am Brahman", and that there is no difference between "I" and. The Upanishads are a collection of texts of religious and philosophical their atman (self) returns to Brahman (the source), like a drop of water. The experiential knowledge of the relationship between the human soul (atman) and the supreme being (brahman) is said to bring an end to the cycle of birth.
The beginnings of philosophy and mysticism in Indian religious history occurred during the period of the compilation of the Upanishads, roughly between and bce. Throughout the later Vedic period, the idea that the world of heaven is not the end of existence—and that even in heaven death is inevitable—became increasingly common.
Vedic thinkers became concerned about the impermanence of religious merit and its loss in the hereafter, as well as about the transience of any form of existence after death—an existence that would culminate in re-death. The means of escaping and conquering death devised in the Brahmanas were of a ritual nature, but one of the oldest Upanishads, the Brihadaranyaka Upanishademphasizes the knowledge of the cosmic connection underlying ritual.
When the doctrine of the identity of atman the self and brahman the Absolute was established in the Upanishads, those sages who were inclined to meditative thought substituted the true knowledge of the self and the realization of this identity for the ritual method. This theme of the quest for a supreme unifying truth, for the reality underlying existence, is exemplified in the question posed by the seeker in the Mundaka Upanishad: Thus, the supreme truth is understood as ineffable.
The Taittiriya Upanishad says that brahman is this ineffable truth; brahman is also truth satyaknowledge jnanainfinity anantaconsciousness chitand bliss ananda. Other Upanishads describe brahman as the hidden, inner controller of the human soul. The experiential knowledge of the relationship between the human soul atman and the supreme being brahman is said to bring an end to the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
To know brahman is to know all; in knowing brahman, one achieves a transcendental consciousness that comprehends, in some measure, the unity of the universe and the deep connection between the soul and brahman. In subsequent centuries the main theories concerned with the divine essence underlying the world were harmonized and synthetically combined. The tendency of these theories was to extol one god as the supreme lord and originator Ishvara —at once Purusha and Prajapati and brahman and the self of all beings.
For those who worshipped him, he was the goal of identificatory meditationwhich leads to complete cessation of phenomenal existence and becomes the refuge of those who seek eternal peace. The Advaita Vedanta philosopher and theologian Shankara 8th century ce exercised enormous influence on subsequent Hindu thinking through his elegant synthesis of the nontheistic and theistic aspects of Upanishadic teaching. In his commentaries on several of the Upanishads, he distinguished between nirguna brahman without attributes and saguna brahman with attributes.
His was a monistic teaching that stressed that saguna brahman was a lesser, temporary form of nirguna brahman. He taught also that the self atman is identical with nirguna brahman and that through knowledge of this unity the cycle of rebirth can be broken.
The Upanishads were composed during a time of much social, political, and economic upheaval. Rural tribal society was disappearing, and the adjustments of the people to urban living under a monarchy probably provoked many psychological and religious responses.
Teachings and quotes of the The Upanishads
During this period many groups of mystics, world renouncers, and forest dwellers appeared in Indiaamong whom were the authors of the Upanishads. The most important practices and doctrines of these world renouncers included asceticism and the concept of rebirth, or transmigration.
- The Upaniṣads
- Atman & Brahman
- Ātman (Hinduism)
The Atharvaveda describes another class of religious adepts, or specialists, the vratya s, particularly associated with the region of Magadha west-central Bihar. The vratya was a wandering hierophant one who manifested the holy who remained outside the system of Vedic religion. He practiced flagellation and other forms of self-mortification and traveled from place to place in a bullock cart with an apprentice and with a woman who appears to have engaged in ritual prostitution.
The Brahmans sought to bring the vratyas into the Vedic system by special conversion rituals, and it may be that the vratyas introduced their own beliefs and practices into Vedic religion. At the same time, the more-complex sacrifices of the later Vedic period demanded purificatory rituals, such as fasting and vigil, as part of the preparations for the ceremony.
Thus, there was a growing tendency toward the mortification of the flesh. The origin and development of the belief in transmigration of souls are very obscure.
A few passages suggest that this doctrine was known even in the days of the Rigveda, and the Brahmanas often refer to doctrines of re-death and rebirth, but it was first clearly propounded in the earliest Upanishad—the Brihadaranyka. There it is stated that the soul of a Vedic sacrificer returns to earth and is reborn in human or animal form.
This doctrine of samsara reincarnation is attributed to the sage Uddalaka Aruni, who is said to have learned it from a Kshatriya chief.
Both doctrines seem to have been new, circulating among small groups of ascetics who were disinclined to make them public, perhaps for fear of the orthodox priests.
These doctrines must have spread rapidly, for they appear in the later Upanishads and in the earliest Buddhist and Jain scriptures. Sutrasshastras, and smritis The Vedangas Toward the end of the Vedic period, and more or less simultaneously with the production of the principal Upanishads, concise, technical, and usually aphoristic texts were composed about various subjects relating to the proper and timely performance of the Vedic sacrificial rituals. The preoccupation with the liturgy gave rise to scholarly disciplinesalso called Vedangas, that were part of Vedic erudition.
There were six such fields: The texts constituting the Kalpa-sutras collections of aphorisms on the mode of ritual performance are of special importance. The composition of these texts was begun about bce by Brahmans belonging to the ritual schools shakhaseach of which was attached to a particular recension of one of the four Vedas.
A complete Kalpa-sutra contains four principal components: Society was ritually stratified in the four classes, each of which had its own dharma law.
The ideal life was constructed through sacraments in the course of numerous ceremonies, performed by the upper classes, that carried the individual from conception to cremation in a series of complex rites. The Grihya-sutras show that in the popular religion of the time there were many minor deities who are rarely mentioned in the literature of the large-scale sacrifices but who were probably far more influential on the lives of most people than were the great Vedic gods.
Their principal contents address the duties of people at different stages of life, or ashrama s studenthood, householdership, retirement, and renunciation ; dietary regulations; offenses and expiations; and the rights and duties of kings. They also discuss purification rites, funerary ceremonies, forms of hospitality, and daily oblations, and they even mention juridical matters. The most important of these texts are the sutras of Gautama, Baudhayana, and Apastamba.
Although the direct relationship is not clear, the contents of these works were further elaborated in the more systematic Dharma-shastras, which in turn became the basis of Hindu law. It deals with topics such as cosmogony, the definition of dharma, the sacramentsinitiation and Vedic study, the eight forms of marriage, hospitality and funerary rites, dietary lawspollution and purification, rules for women and wives, royal law, juridical matters, pious donations, rites of reparation, the doctrine of karma, the soul, and punishment in hell.
Hinduism: core ideas of Brahman, Atman, Samsara and Moksha.
And, it's interesting for several reasons. First, it is considered to be one of the oldest religions that is still practiced. Some historians would place the origins of Hinduism at 5, years into the past. It has elements that may have been practiced in the Indus Valley civilization. You also have significant elements that come from the Vedic Period.
In fact, the Vedas, for which the Vedic Period is named really form the root of Hinduism as it is practiced today. It is believed that the Vedas come from an Indo-Aryan people that many historians believe came from Central Asia and were related to many of the people who colonized Europe.
Now, the other thing that is fascinating about Hinduism, and I really just referred to some of it, it is a combination of many cultures that really merged over thousands of years. And, they merged around the Indian subcontinent.
As you will see there are many traditions, many cultures, many different ways that one can, and many different ways that people do practice Hinduism. But, there are also core beliefs that we wanna get to the heart of in this video.
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And, we'll discuss more in future videos. Now, what's also interesting is where the name Hinduism or Hindu comes from, a Hindu being someone who practices Hinduism.
The name for what we now call the Indus River in Sanskrit was Sindhu, and Sindh is still a region in the Indian subcontinent.
The version that the Persians said was Hindus and this got converted to Indus in Latin. So really, Hinduism is the term for the cultural and religious practices of people beyond the Indus River. The India really comes from this same root.
Indus is where India comes from, but Indus comes from Hindus, which comes from Sindhu and these are all related to the word Hindu.
And, you can see that very clearly in the Persian version. Now, as I mentioned, there's many different practices in Hinduism, many different traditions, many different rituals in Hinduism, but I'm going to try to focus in on what could be considered the spiritual core.Hinduism ,Physics ,And Metaphysics(Veda, Atman, Brahman)
And, a lot of this comes out of the Vedas. They're a collection of hymns, rituals, but also philosophy. And, the subset of the Vedas that are very concerned with the spiritual and the philosophical are known as the Upanishads, which means sitting down or coming near to. Some people say coming near to God, some people say coming near to the actual reality, or coming near to a teacher as in sitting down to get a lesson or to have a dialog.
Now, the central idea in Hinduism is the idea of Brahman. And Brahman should not be confused with the god Brahma. Brahma is sometimes, you could view, as a aspect of a Brahman, but Brahman is viewed as the true reality of things.
It is shapeless, genderless, bodiless, it cannot be described. It can only be experienced. Now, according to Hindu belief we are all part of Brahman. And, what we perceive as our individuality is really, you can consider to be a quasi-illusion. So, this might be one individual right over here and then we might have another individual right over here.