Egeria was a nymph attributed a legendary role in the early history of Rome as a divine consort and counselor of Numa Pompilius, the second Sabine king of Rome, to whom she imparted laws and rituals pertaining to ancient Roman religion. Her name is used as an eponym for a female counselor. Egeria may predate Roman myth: she could have been of Italic origin in the sacred forest of Aricia in Latium, her immemorial site, the grove of Diana Nemorensis. At Aricia there was a Manius Egerius, a male counterpart of Egeria; the name Egeria has been diversely interpreted. Egeria as a nymph or minor goddess of the Roman religious system is of unclear origin. Described sometime as a "mountain nymph", she is regarded as a water nymph and somehow her cult involved some link with childbirth, like the Greek goddess Ilithyia, but most of all, Egeria gave wisdom and prophecy in return for libations of water or milk at her sacred groves. This quality has been made popular through the tale of her relationship with Numa Pompilius.
According to mythology she counseled and guided the King Numa Pompilius in the establishment of the original framework of laws and rituals of Rome. Numa is reputed to have written down the teachings of Egeria in "sacred books" that he had buried with him; when a chance accident brought them back to light some 500 years the Senate deemed them inappropriate for disclosure to the people, ordered their destruction. What made them inappropriate was some matter of religious nature with "political" bearing that has not been handed down by Valerius Antias, the source that Plutarch was using. Dionysius of Halicarnassus hints that they were kept as a close secret by the Pontifices, she is gifted with oracular capabilities. In another episode she helps Numa in a battle of wits with Jupiter himself, whereby Numa sought to gain a protective ritual against lightning strokes and thunder. Numa invoked communicating with other deities, such as Muses; the precise level of her relationship to Numa has been described diversely.
She is given the respectful label coniuncta. By Juvenal's day that tradition was treated more critically. Juvenal called her Numa's Amica in a sceptical phrase. Numa Pompilius died in 673 BC of old age. According to Ovid's Metamorphoses, with Numa's death Egeria melted into tears of sorrow, thus becoming a spring, traditionally identified with the one nearby Porta Capena in Rome. A spring and a grove once sacred to Egeria stand close to a gate of the Porta Capena, its waters were dedicated to the exclusive use of the Vestals. The ninfeo, a favored picnic spot for nineteenth-century Romans, can still be visited in the archaeological park of the Caffarella, between the Appian Way and the more ancient Via Latina, nearby the Baths of Caracalla. In the second century, when Herodes Atticus recast an inherited villa nearby as a great landscaped estate, the natural grotto was formalized as an arched interior with an apsidal end where a statue of Egeria once stood in a niche; the primeval spring, one of dozens of springs that flow into the river Almone, was made to feed large pools, one of, known as Lacus Salutaris or "Lake of Health".
Juvenal regretted an earlier phase of architectural elaboration: Nymph of the Spring! More honour’d hadst thou been, If, free from art, an edge of living green, Thy bubbling fount had circumscribed alone, And marble ne’er profaned the native stone. In Nathaniel Lee's English Restoration tragedy Lucius Junius Brutus, Egeria appears in a vision to Brutus' son Titus. Letitia Elizabeth Landon's poem Egeria's Grotto in The New Monthly Magazine, 1826, descriptive of an artistic representation of Egeria's Spring.. In Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Ear
Atri or Attri is a Vedic sage, credited with composing a large number of hymns to Agni and other Vedic deities of Hinduism. Atri is one of the Saptarishi in the Hindu tradition, the one most mentioned in its scripture Rigveda; the fifth Mandala of Rigveda is called the Atri Mandala in his honour, the eighty seven hymns in it are attributed to him and his descendants. Atri is mentioned in the Puranas and the Hindu Epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Atri is one of the seven great Rishi or Saptarshi along with Marichi, Pulaha, Kratu and Vashistha. According to the legends of the Vedic era, sage Atri was married to Anasuya Devi, they had three sons, Dattatreya and Soma. As per divine account, he is the last among the seven saptharishis and is believed to have originated from the tongue; the wife of Atri was Anasuya, considered one of the seven female pativratas. When instructed by divine voice to do penance, Atri agreed and did severe penance. Pleased by his devotion and prayers, the Hindu trinity, Brahma and Shiva appeared before him and offered him boons.
He sought all the three to be born to him. Another version of the legend states that Anasuya, by the powers of her chastity, rescued the three gods and in return, they were born as children to her. Brahma was born to her as Shiva in some part as Durvasa; the mention about Atri is found with the notable being in Rig Veda. He is associated with various ages, the notable being in Treta Yuga during Ramayana, when he and Anasuya advised Rama and his wife Sita; the pair is attributed to bringing river Ganga down to earth, the mention of, found in Shiva Purana. He is the seer of the fifth Mandala of the Rigveda. Atri had many sons and disciples who have contributed in the compilation of the Rig Veda and other Vedic texts. Mandala 5 comprises 87 hymns to Agni and Indra, but to the Visvedevas, the Maruts, the twin-deity Mitra-Varuna and the Asvins. Two hymns each are dedicated to Savitr. Most hymns in this book are called the Atreyas; these hymns of Rigveda was composed in the north-western region of the Indian subcontinent, most between c.
1500–1200 BCE. The Atri hymns of the Rigveda are significant for their melodic structure as well as for featuring spiritual ideas in the form of riddles; these hymns include lexical, syntactic and verb play utilizing the flexibility of the Sanskrit language. The hymn 5.44 of the Rigveda in Atri Mandala is considered by scholars such as Geldner to be the most difficult riddle hymn in all of the Rigveda. The verses are known for their elegant presentation of natural phenomenon through metaphors, such as poetically presenting dawn as a cheerful woman in hymn 5.80. While the fifth mandala is attributed to Atri and his associates, sage Atri is mentioned or credited with numerous other verses of the Rigveda in other Mandalas, such as 10.137.4. In the Ramayana, Rama and Lakshmana visit Atri and Anasuya in their hermitage. Atri's hut is described to be in Chitrakuta, near a lake with divine music and songs, the water loaded with flowers, green water leaves, with many "cranes, floating tortoises, swans and pink geese".
A number of sages named. The mythical legends therein about Atri are inconsistent, it is unclear if these refer to different Rishis who had the same name. The Vaikhanasas sub-tradition within Vaishnavism found in South India near Tirupati, credit their theology to four Rishis, namely Atri, Marici and Kashyapa. One of the ancient texts of this tradition is Atri Samhita, which survives in inconsistent fragments of manuscripts; the text are rules of conduct aimed at Brahmins of the Vaikhanasas tradition. The surviving parts of the Atri Samhita suggest that the text discussed, among other things and ethics of living, with precepts such as: The Vaikhanasas continue to be a significant community in South India, they adhere to their Vedic heritage. Abhyasa Bhartrihari
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans. "Roman mythology" may refer to the modern study of these representations, to the subject matter as represented in the literature and art of other cultures in any period. The Romans treated their traditional narratives as historical when these have miraculous or supernatural elements; the stories are concerned with politics and morality, how an individual's personal integrity relates to his or her responsibility to the community or Roman state. Heroism was an important theme; when the stories illuminate Roman religious practices, they are more concerned with ritual and institutions than with theology or cosmogony. The study of Roman religion and myth is complicated by the early influence of Greek religion on the Italian peninsula during Rome's protohistory, by the artistic imitation of Greek literary models by Roman authors.
In matters of theology, the Romans were curiously eager to identify their own gods with those of the Greeks, to reinterpret stories about Greek deities under the names of their Roman counterparts. Rome's early myths and legends have a dynamic relationship with Etruscan religion, less documented than that of the Greeks. While Roman mythology may lack a body of divine narratives as extensive as that found in Greek literature and Remus suckling the she-wolf is as famous as any image from Greek mythology except for the Trojan Horse; because Latin literature was more known in Europe throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, the interpretations of Greek myths by the Romans had a greater influence on narrative and pictorial representations of "classical mythology" than Greek sources. In particular, the versions of Greek myths in Ovid's Metamorphoses, written during the reign of Augustus, came to be regarded as canonical; because ritual played the central role in Roman religion that myth did for the Greeks, it is sometimes doubted that the Romans had much of a native mythology.
This perception is a product of Romanticism and the classical scholarship of the 19th century, which valued Greek civilization as more "authentically creative." From the Renaissance to the 18th century, Roman myths were an inspiration for European painting. The Roman tradition is rich in historical myths, or legends, concerning the foundation and rise of the city; these narratives focus on human actors, with only occasional intervention from deities but a pervasive sense of divinely ordered destiny. In Rome's earliest period and myth have a mutual and complementary relationship; as T. P. Wiseman notes: The Roman stories still matter, as they mattered to Dante in 1300 and Shakespeare in 1600 and the founding fathers of the United States in 1776. What does it take to be a free citizen? Can a superpower still be a republic? How does well-meaning authority turn into murderous tyranny? Major sources for Roman myth include the Aeneid of Vergil and the first few books of Livy's history as well as Dionysius' s Roman Antiquities.
Other important sources are the Fasti of Ovid, a six-book poem structured by the Roman religious calendar, the fourth book of elegies by Propertius. Scenes from Roman myth appear in Roman wall painting and sculpture reliefs; the Aeneid and Livy's early history are the best extant sources for Rome's founding myths. Material from Greek heroic legend was grafted onto this native stock at an early date; the Trojan prince Aeneas was cast as husband of Lavinia, daughter of King Latinus, patronymical ancestor of the Latini, therefore through a convoluted revisionist genealogy as forebear of Romulus and Remus. By extension, the Trojans were adopted as the mythical ancestors of the Roman people; the characteristic myths of Rome are political or moral, that is, they deal with the development of Roman government in accordance with divine law, as expressed by Roman religion, with demonstrations of the individual's adherence to moral expectations or failures to do so. Rape of the Sabine women, explaining the importance of the Sabines in the formation of Roman culture, the growth of Rome through conflict and alliance.
Numa Pompilius, the Sabine second king of Rome who consorted with the nymph Egeria and established many of Rome's legal and religious institutions. Servius Tullius, the sixth king of Rome, whose mysterious origins were mythologized and, said to have been the lover of the goddess Fortuna; the Tarpeian Rock, why it was used for the execution of traitors. Lucretia, whose self-sacrifice prompted the overthrow of the early Roman monarchy and led to the establishment of the Republic. Cloelia, A Roman woman taken hostage by Lars Porsena, she escaped the Clusian camp with a group of Roman virgins. Horatius at the bridge, on the importance of individual valor. Mucius Scaevola, who thrust his right hand into the fire to prove his loyalty to Rome. Caeculus and the founding of Praeneste. Manlius and the geese, about divine intervention at the Gallic siege of Rome. Stories pertaining to the Nonae Caprotinae and Poplifugia festivals. Coriolanus, a story of politics and morality; the Etruscan city of Corythus as the "cradle" of Trojan and Italian civilization.
The arrival of the Great Mother in Rome. Narratives of divine activity played a more important role in the system of Greek religious belief than among the Romans, for whom ritual and cult were primary. Although Roman religion did not have a basis in scriptures and exegesis, priestly literature was one of the earliest written forms of Latin prose; the books and commentaries of the College of Pontiffs and
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The national divinity of the Greeks, Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music and prophecy, the sun and light, plague and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Seen as the most beautiful god and the ideal of the kouros, Apollo is considered to be the most Greek of all gods. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu; as the patron of Delphi, Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Apollo is the god of archery and the invention of archery is credited to him and his sister Artemis, he had a quiver of golden arrows. He is said to have never missed his aim, his arrows could inflict harm by causing sudden deaths or deadly plague.
As the leader of the Muses and director of their choir, Apollo functions as the patron god of music and poetry. He is the inventor of string-music; the Cithara and the lyre are said to be his inventions. The lyre is a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans. Apollo delights in the foundation of towns and the establishment of civil constitution. Hence is associated with dominion over colonists. Additionally, he is the god of the protector of fugitives and refugees. Apollo is the interpreter of laws, he presides over the divine law and custom along with Zeus and Themis. As the protector of young, Apollo is concerned with the health of children, he brings them out of their adolescence. Boys in Ancient Greece, upon reaching their adulthood, dedicated it to Apollo. Apollo is the patron of protector of herds and flocks, he is causes abundance in the milk produced by cattle, is connected with their fertility. As an agricultural deity, Apollo protects the crops from diseases the rust in corns and grains.
He is the controller and destroyer of pests that infect plants and plant harvests. Apollo is the god who wards off evil, he delivered men from the epidemics. Various epithets call him the "averter of evil". In Hellenistic times during the 5th century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun. In Latin texts, there was no conflation of Apollo with Sol among the classical Latin poets until 1st century AD. Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 5th century CE. Apollo The name Apollo—unlike the related older name Paean—is not found in the Linear B texts, although there is a possible attestation in the lacunose form ]pe-rjo--[) on the KN E 842 tablet; the etymology of the name is uncertain. The spelling Ἀπόλλων had superseded all other forms by the beginning of the common era, but the Doric form, Apellon, is more archaic, as it is derived from an earlier *Ἀπέλjων, it is a cognate to the Doric month Apellaios, the offerings apellaia at the initiation of the young men during the family-festival apellai.
According to some scholars, the words are derived from the Doric word apella, which meant "wall," "fence for animals" and "assembly within the limits of the square." Apella is the name of the popular assembly in corresponding to the ecclesia. R. S. P. Beekes rejected the connection of the theonym with the noun apellai and suggested a Pre-Greek proto-form *Apalyun. Several instances of popular etymology are attested from ancient authors. Thus, the Greeks most associated Apollo's name with the Greek verb ἀπόλλυμι, "to destroy". Plato in Cratylus connects the name with ἀπόλυσις, "redemption", with ἀπόλουσις, "purification", with ἁπλοῦν, "simple", in particular in reference to the Thessalian form of the name, Ἄπλουν, with Ἀειβάλλων, "ever-shooting". Hesychius connects the name Apollo with the Doric ἀπέλλα, which means "assembly", so that Apollo would be the god of political life, he gives the explanation σηκός, "fold", in which case Apollo would be the god of flocks and herds. In the ancient Macedonian language πέλλα means "stone," and some toponyms may be derived from this word: Πέλλα and Πελλήνη.
A number of non-Greek etymologies have been suggested for the name, The Hittite form Apaliunas is attested in the Manapa-Tarhunta letter related to Hurrian Aplu, a god of plague, in turn from Akkadian Aplu Enlil meaning "the son of Enlil", a title, given to the god Nergal, linked to Shamash, Babylonian god of the sun. The role of Apollo as god of plague is evident in the invocation of Apollo Smintheus by Chryses, the Trojan priest of Apollo, with the purpose of sending a plague against the Greeks (the reasoning behind a god of the plague becoming a god of healing is
In ancient Roman religion, Ceres was a goddess of agriculture, grain crops and motherly relationships. She was the central deity in Rome's so-called plebeian or Aventine Triad was paired with her daughter Proserpina in what Romans described as "the Greek rites of Ceres", her seven-day April festival of Cerealia included the popular Ludi Ceriales. She was honoured in the May lustratio of the fields at the Ambarvalia festival, at harvest-time, during Roman marriages and funeral rites. Ceres is the only one of Rome's many agricultural deities to be listed among the Dii Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology; the Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature. Ceres' name derives from the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European root *ḱerh₃-, meaning "to satiate, to feed", the root for Latin crescere "to grow" and through it, the English words create and increase. Roman etymologists thought ceres derived from the Latin verb gerere, "to bear, bring forth, produce", because the goddess was linked to pastoral and human fertility.
Archaic cults to Ceres are well-evidenced among Rome's neighbours in the Regal period, including the ancient Latins and Sabellians, less among the Etruscans and Umbrians. An archaic Faliscan inscription of c. 600 BC asks her to provide far, a dietary staple of the Mediterranean world. Throughout the Roman era, Ceres' name was synonymous with grain and, by extension, with bread. Ceres was credited with the discovery of spelt wheat, the yoking of oxen and ploughing, the sowing and nourishing of the young seed, the gift of agriculture to humankind, she had the power to fertilise and fructify plant and animal seed, her laws and rites protected all activities of the agricultural cycle. In January, Ceres was offered spelt wheat and a pregnant sow, along with the earth-goddess Tellus, at the movable Feriae Sementivae; this was certainly held before the annual sowing of grain. The divine portion of sacrifice was the entrails presented in an earthenware pot. In a rural context, Cato the Elder describes the offer to Ceres of a porca praecidanea.
Before the harvest, she was offered a propitiary grain sample. Ovid tells that Ceres "is content with little, provided that her offerings are casta". Ceres' main festival, was held from mid to late April, it included circus games. It opened with a horse-race in the Circus Maximus, whose starting point lay below and opposite to her Aventine Temple. After the race, foxes were released into the Circus, their tails ablaze with lighted torches to cleanse the growing crops and protect them from disease and vermin, or to add warmth and vitality to their growth. From c.175 BC, Cerealia included ludi scaenici through April 12 to 18. In the ancient sacrum cereale a priest the Flamen Cerialis, invoked Ceres along with twelve specialised, minor assistant-gods to secure divine help and protection at each stage of the grain cycle, beginning shortly before the Feriae Sementivae. W. H. Roscher lists these deities among the indigitamenta, names used to invoke specific divine functions. Vervactor, "He who ploughs" Reparator, "He who prepares the earth" Imporcitor, "He who ploughs with a wide furrow" Insitor, "He who plants seeds" Obarator, "He who traces the first ploughing" Occator, "He who harrows" Serritor, "He who digs" Subruncinator, "He who weeds" Messor, "He who reaps" Conuector, "He who carries the grain" Conditor, "He who stores the grain" Promitor, "He who distributes the grain" In Roman bridal processions, a young boy carried Ceres' torch to light the way.
The adult males of the wedding party waited at the groom's house. A wedding sacrifice was offered to Tellus on the bride's behalf. Varro describes the sacrifice of a pig as "a worthy mark of weddings" because "our women, nurses" call the female genitalia porcus. Spaeth believes Ceres may have been included in the sacrificial dedication, because she is identified with Tellus and, as Ceres legifera, she "bears the laws" of marriage. In the most solemn form of marriage, the bride and groom shared a cake made of far, the ancient wheat-type associated with Ceres. From at least the mid-republican era, an official, joint cult to Ceres and Proserpina reinforced Ceres' connection with Roman ideals of female virtue; the promotion of this cult coincides with the rise of a plebeian nobility, an increased birthrate among plebeian commoners, a fall in the birthrate among patrician families. The late Republican Ceres Mater is described as alma. Several of Ceres' ancient Italic precursors are motherhood. Ceres was patron and protector of plebeian laws and Tribunes
In classical mythology, Cupid is the god of desire, erotic love and affection. He is portrayed as the son of the love goddess Venus and the war god Mars, he is known in Latin as Amor. His Greek counterpart is Eros. Although Eros is portrayed as a slender winged youth in Classical Greek art, during the Hellenistic period, he was portrayed as a chubby boy. During this time, his iconography acquired the bow and arrow that represent his source of power: a person, or a deity, shot by Cupid's arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire. In myths, Cupid is a minor character who serves to set the plot in motion, he is a main character only in the tale of Cupid and Psyche, when wounded by his own weapons, he experiences the ordeal of love. Although other extended stories are not told about him, his tradition is rich in poetic themes and visual scenarios, such as "Love conquers all" and the retaliatory punishment or torture of Cupid. In art, Cupid appears in multiples as the Amores, or amorini in the terminology of art history, the equivalent of the Greek erotes.
Cupids are a frequent motif of both Roman art and Western art of the classical tradition. In the 15th century, the iconography of Cupid starts to become indistinguishable from the putto. Cupid continued to be a popular figure in the Middle Ages, when under Christian influence he had a dual nature as Heavenly and Earthly love. In the Renaissance, a renewed interest in classical philosophy endowed him with complex allegorical meanings. In contemporary popular culture, Cupid is shown drawing his bow to inspire romantic love as an icon of Valentine's Day; the Romans reinterpreted myths and concepts pertaining to the Greek Eros for Cupid in their own literature and art, medieval and Renaissance mythographers conflate the two freely. In the Greek tradition, Eros had a contradictory genealogy, he was among the primordial gods. In Hesiod's Theogony, only Chaos and Gaia are older. Before the existence of gender dichotomy, Eros functioned by causing entities to separate from themselves that which they contained.
At the same time, the Eros, pictured as a boy or slim youth was regarded as the child of a divine couple, the identity of whom varied by source. The influential Renaissance mythographer Natale Conti began his chapter on Cupid/Eros by declaring that the Greeks themselves were unsure about his parentage: Heaven and Earth and Aphrodite, Night and Ether, or Strife and Zephyr; the Greek travel writer Pausanias, he notes, contradicts himself by saying at one point that Eros welcomed Aphrodite into the world, at another that Eros was the son of Aphrodite and the youngest of the gods. In Latin literature, Cupid is treated as the son of Venus without reference to a father. Seneca says. Cicero, says that there were three Cupids, as well as three Venuses: the first Cupid was the son of Mercury and Diana, the second of Mercury and the second Venus, the third of Mars and the third Venus; this last Cupid was the equivalent of Anteros, "Counter-Love," one of the Erotes, the gods who embody aspects of love.
The multiple Cupids frolicking in art are the decorative manifestation of these proliferating loves and desires. During the English Renaissance, Christopher Marlowe wrote of "ten thousand Cupids". In the classical tradition, Cupid is most regarded as the son of Venus and Mars, whose love affair represented an allegory of Love and War; the duality between the primordial and the sexually conceived Eros accommodated philosophical concepts of Heavenly and Earthly Love in the Christian era. Cupid is winged because lovers are flighty and to change their minds, boyish because love is irrational, his symbols are the arrow and torch, "because love wounds and inflames the heart." These attributes and their interpretation were established by late antiquity, as summarized by Isidore of Seville in his Etymologiae. Cupid is sometimes depicted blindfolded and described as blind, not so much in the sense of sightless—since the sight of the beloved can be a spur to love—as blinkered and arbitrary; as described by Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream: In Botticelli's Allegory of Spring known by its Italian title La Primavera, Cupid is shown blindfolded while shooting his arrow, positioned above the central figure of Venus.
In ancient Roman art, cupids may carry or be surrounded by fruits, animals, or attributes of the Seasons or the wine-god Dionysus, symbolizing the earth's generative capacity. Cupid carries two kinds of arrows, or darts, one with a sharp golden point, the other with a blunt tip of lead. A person wounded by the golden arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire, but the one struck by the lead feels aversion and desires only to flee; the use of these arrows is described by the Latin poet Ovid in the first book of his Metamorphoses. When Apollo taunts Cupid as the lesser archer, Cupid shoots him with the golden arrow, but strikes the object of his desire, the nymph Daphne, with the lead. Trapped by Apollo's unwanted advances, Daphne prays to her father, the river god Peneus, who turns her into a laurel, the tree sacred to Apollo, it is the first of several tragic love affairs for Apollo. A variation is found in The Kingis Quair, a 15th-century poem attributed to James I of Scotland, in which Cupid has three arrows: gold, for a gentle "smiting", cured
Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient and final cause of all that exists, it is the pervasive, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind diversity in all that exists in the universe. Brahman is a Vedic Sanskrit word, it is conceptualized in Hinduism, states Paul Deussen, as the "creative principle which lies realized in the whole world". Brahman is a key concept found in the Vedas, it is extensively discussed in the early Upanishads; the Vedas conceptualize Brahman as the Cosmic Principle. In the Upanishads, it has been variously described as Sat-cit-ānanda and as the unchanging, highest reality. Brahman is discussed in Hindu texts with the concept of Atman, impersonal or Para Brahman, or in various combinations of these qualities depending on the philosophical school.
In dualistic schools of Hinduism such as the theistic Dvaita Vedanta, Brahman is different from Atman in each being. In non-dual schools such as the Advaita Vedanta, Brahman is identical to the Atman, is everywhere and inside each living being, there is connected spiritual oneness in all existence. Sanskrit Brahman from a root bṛh- "to swell, grow, enlarge" is a neuter noun to be distinguished from the masculine brahmán—denoting a person associated with Brahman, from Brahmā, the creator God in the Hindu Trinity, the Trimurti. Brahman is thus a gender-neutral concept that implies greater impersonality than masculine or feminine conceptions of the deity. Brahman is referred to as the supreme self. Puligandla states it as "the unchanging reality amidst and beyond the world", while Sinar states Brahman is a concept that "cannot be defined". In Vedic Sanskrit: Brahma, brahman from root bṛh-, means "to be or make firm, solid, promote". Brahmana, from stems brha + Sanskrit -man- from Indo-European root -men- which denotes some manifest form of "definite power, inherent firmness, supporting or fundamental principle".
In Sanskrit usage: Brahma, brahman means the concept of the transcendent and immanent ultimate reality, Supreme Cosmic Spirit in Hinduism. The concept is central to Hindu philosophy Vedanta. Brahm is another variant of Brahman. Brahmā, 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 Purusha at the end of an aeon, is born again at the beginning of a new kalpa; these are distinct from: A brāhmaṇa, is a prose commentary on the Vedic mantras—an integral part of the Vedic literature. A brāhmaṇa, means priest; this usage is found in the Atharva Veda. In neuter plural form, Brahmāṇi. See Vedic priest. Ishvara, in Advaita, is identified as a partial worldly manifestation of the ultimate reality, the attributeless Brahman. In Visishtadvaita and Dvaita, Ishvara has infinite attributes and the source of the impersonal Brahman.
Devas, the expansions of Brahman/God into various forms, each with a certain quality. In the Vedic religion, there were 33 devas, which became exaggerated to 330 million devas. In fact, devas are themselves regarded as more mundane manifestations of the One and the Supreme Brahman; the Sanskrit word for "ten million" means group, 330 million devas meant 33 types of divine manifestations. Brahman is a concept present in Vedic Samhitas, the oldest layer of the Vedas dated to the 2nd millennium BCE. For example, The concept Brahman is referred to in hundreds of hymns in the Vedas. For example, it is found in Rig veda hymns such as 2.2.10, 6.21.8, 10.72.2 and in Atharva veda hymns such as 6.122.5, 10.1.12, 14.1.131. The concept is found in various layers of the Vedic literature; the concept is extensively discussed in the Upanishads embedded in the Vedas, mentioned in the vedāṅga such as the Srauta sutra 1.12.12 and Paraskara Gryhasutra 3.2.10 through 3.4.5. Jan Gonda states that the diverse reference of Brahman in the Vedic literature, starting with Rigveda Samhitas, convey "different senses or different shades of meaning".
There is no one single word in modern Western languages that can render the various shades of meaning of the word Brahman in the Vedic literature, according to Jan Gonda. In verses considered as the most ancient, the Vedic idea of Brahman is the "power immanent in the sound, words and formulas of Vedas". However, states Gonda, the verses suggest that this ancient meaning was never the only meaning, the concept evolved and expanded in ancient India. Barbara Holdrege states that the concept