God in Jainism
In Jainism, godliness is said to be the inherent quality of every soul. This quality, however, is subdued by the soul's association with karmic matter. All souls who have achieved the natural state of infinite bliss, infinite knowledge, infinite power and infinite perception are regarded as God in Jainism. Jainism rejects the idea of a creator deity responsible for the manifestation, creation, or maintenance of this universe. According to Jain doctrine, the universe and its constituents have always existed. All the constituents and actions are governed by universal natural laws and perfect soul, an immaterial entity cannot create or affect a material entity like the universe. From the essential perspective, the soul of every living organism is perfect in every way, is independent of any actions of the organism, is considered God or to have godliness, but the epithet of God is given to the soul in whom its properties manifest in accordance with its inherent nature. There are countably infinite souls in the universe.
According to Ratnakaranda śrāvakācāra: आप्तेनो च्छिनदोषेण सर्वज्ञेनागमेशिना। भवितव्यं नियोगेन नान्यथा ह्याप्तता भवेत्।।५।In the nature of things the true God should be free from the faults and weaknesses of the lower nature. In Jainism, godliness is said to be the inherent quality of every soul characterizing infinite bliss, infinite power, Kevala Jnana, infinite perception, perfect manifestations of infinite other attributes. There are two possible views after this point. One is to look at the soul from the perspective of the soul itself; this entails explanations of the properties of the soul, its exact structure and nature, the nature of various states that arise from it and their source attributes as is done in the deep and arcane texts of Samayasāra, Niyamasara and Pravachanasara. Another view is to consider things apart from its relationships with the soul. According to this view, the qualities of a soul are subdued due to karmas of the soul. Karmas are the fundamental particles of nature in Jainism.
One who achieves this state of soul through right belief, right knowledge and right conduct can be termed a god. This perfection of soul is called Kevalin. A god thus becomes a liberated soul – liberated of miseries, cycles of rebirth, world and liberated of body as well; this is called moksha. Jainism does not teach the dependency on any supreme being for enlightenment; the Tirthankara is a guide and teacher who points the way to enlightenment, but the struggle for enlightenment is one's own. Moral rewards and sufferings are not the work of a divine being, but a result of an innate moral order in the cosmos. Jains believe that to attain enlightenment and liberation from all karmic bonding, one must practice the ethical principles not only in thought, but in words and action; such a practice through lifelong work towards oneself is regarded as observing the Mahavrata. Gods can be thus categorized into embodied gods known as arihantas and non-embodied formless gods who are called Siddhas. Jainism considers the devīs and devas to be souls who dwell in heavens owing to meritorious deeds in their past lives.
These souls are in heavens for a fixed lifespan and they have to undergo reincarnation as humans to achieve moksha. Thus, there are infinite gods in Jainism, all equivalent and infinite in the manifestation of all attributes; the Self and karmas are separate substances in the former living and the latter non-living. The attainment of enlightenment and the one who exists in such a state those who have achieved such a state can be termed gods. Therefore, beings who've attained omniscience are worshipped as gods; the quality of godliness is the same in all of them. Jainism is sometimes regarded as a transtheistic religion, though it can be atheistic or polytheistic based on the way one defines "God". In Jainism, the Pañca-Parameṣṭhi are a fivefold hierarchy of religious authorities worthy of veneration; the five supreme beings are: Arihant Siddha Acharya Upadhyaya Muni or Jain monks A human being who conquers all inner passions and possesses infinite right knowledge is revered as an arihant in Jainism.
They are called Jinas or Kevalin. An arihant is a soul who has destroyed all passions, is unattached and without any desire and hence is able to destroy the four ghātiyā karmas and attain kevala jñāna, or omniscience; such a soul still has four aghātiyā karmas. Arihantas, at the end of their human life-span, destroy all remaining aghātiyā karmas and attain Siddhahood. There are two kinds of kevalin or arihant: Sāmānya Kevalin–Ordinary victors, who are concerned with their own salvation. Tirthankara Kevalin–Twenty-four human spiritual guides, who show the true path to salvation; the word Tīrthaṅkara signifies the founder of a tirtha. The Tirthankara show the'fordable path' across the sea of interminable birth
Saint Thomas Aquinas was an Italian Dominican friar, Catholic priest, Doctor of the Church. He is an immensely influential philosopher and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is known as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis; the name Aquinas identifies his ancestral origins in the county of Aquino in present-day Lazio, Italy. He was the father of Thomism, his influence on Western thought is considerable, much of modern philosophy developed or opposed his ideas in the areas of ethics, natural law and political theory. Unlike many currents in the Church of the time, Thomas embraced several ideas put forward by Aristotle—whom he called "the Philosopher"—and attempted to synthesize Aristotelian philosophy with the principles of Christianity, his best-known works are the Disputed Questions on Truth, the Summa contra Gentiles, the Summa Theologiae. His commentaries on Scripture and on Aristotle form an important part of his body of work. Furthermore, Thomas is distinguished for his eucharistic hymns, which form a part of the Church's liturgy.
The Catholic Church honors Thomas Aquinas as a saint and regards him as the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood, indeed the highest expression of both natural reason and speculative theology. In modern times, under papal directives, the study of his works was long used as a core of the required program of study for those seeking ordination as priests or deacons, as well as for those in religious formation and for other students of the sacred disciplines. Thomas Aquinas is considered philosophers. Pope Benedict XV declared: "This Order... acquired new luster when the Church declared the teaching of Thomas to be her own and that Doctor, honored with the special praises of the Pontiffs, the master and patron of Catholic schools." The English philosopher Anthony Kenny considers Thomas to be "one of the dozen greatest philosophers of the western world". Thomas was most born in the castle of Roccasecca, Aquino, in the Kingdom of Sicily, c. 1225, According to some authors, he was born in the castle of Landulf of Aquino.
Though he did not belong to the most powerful branch of the family, Landulf of Aquino was a man of means. As a knight in the service of King Roger II, he held the title miles. Thomas's mother, belonged to the Rossi branch of the Neapolitan Caracciolo family. Landulf's brother Sinibald was abbot of the first Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino. While the rest of the family's sons pursued military careers, the family intended for Thomas to follow his uncle into the abbacy. At the age of five Thomas began his early education at Monte Cassino but after the military conflict between the Emperor Frederick II and Pope Gregory IX spilled into the abbey in early 1239, Landulf and Theodora had Thomas enrolled at the studium generale established by Frederick in Naples, it was here that Thomas was introduced to Aristotle and Maimonides, all of whom would influence his theological philosophy. It was during his study at Naples that Thomas came under the influence of John of St. Julian, a Dominican preacher in Naples, part of the active effort by the Dominican order to recruit devout followers.
There his teacher in arithmetic, geometry and music was Petrus de Ibernia. At the age of nineteen Thomas resolved to join the founded Dominican Order. Thomas's change of heart did not please his family. In an attempt to prevent Theodora's interference in Thomas's choice, the Dominicans arranged to move Thomas to Rome, from Rome, to Paris. However, while on his journey to Rome, per Theodora's instructions, his brothers seized him as he was drinking from a spring and took him back to his parents at the castle of Monte San Giovanni Campano. Thomas was held prisoner for one year in the family castles at Monte San Giovanni and Roccasecca in an attempt to prevent him from assuming the Dominican habit and to push him into renouncing his new aspiration. Political concerns prevented the Pope from ordering Thomas's release, which had the effect of extending Thomas's detention. Thomas passed this time of trial tutoring his sisters and communicating with members of the Dominican Order. Family members became desperate to dissuade Thomas.
At one point, two of his brothers resorted to the measure of hiring a prostitute to seduce him. According to legend, Thomas drove her away wielding a fire iron and two angels appeared to him as he slept and strengthened his determination to remain celibate. By 1244, seeing that all of her attempts to dissuade Thomas had failed, Theodora sought to save the family's dignity, arranging for Thomas to escape at night through his window. In her mind, a secret escape from detention was less damaging than an open surrender to the Dominicans. Thomas was sent first to Naples and to Rome to meet Johannes von Wildeshausen, the Master General of the Dominican Order. In 1245 Thomas was sent to study at the Faculty of the Arts at the University of Paris, where he most met Dominican scholar Albertus Magnus the holder of the Chair of Theology at the College of St. James in Paris; when Albertus was sent by his superiors to teach at the new studium generale at Cologne in 1248, Thomas followed him, declining Pope Innocent
Existence of God
The existence of God is a subject of debate in the philosophy of religion and popular culture. A wide variety of arguments for and against the existence of God can be categorized as metaphysical, empirical, or subjective. In philosophical terms, the question of the existence of God involves the disciplines of epistemology and ontology and the theory of value; the Western tradition of philosophical discussion of the existence of God began with Plato and Aristotle, who made arguments that would now be categorized as cosmological. Other arguments for the existence of God have been proposed by St. Anselm, who formulated the first ontological argument. John Calvin argued for a sensus divinitatis. Philosophers who have provided arguments against the existence of God include Immanuel Kant, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche and Bertrand Russell. In modern culture, the question of God's existence has been discussed by scientists such as Stephen Hawking, Francis Collins, Lawrence M. Krauss, Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, John Lennox and Sam Harris, as well as philosophers including Richard Swinburne, Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, Rebecca Goldstein, A. C.
Grayling, Daniel Dennett, Edward Feser and David Bentley Hart. Scientists follow the scientific method, within which theories must be verifiable by physical experiment; the majority of prominent conceptions of God explicitly or posit a being, not testable either by proof or disproof. On these bases, the question regarding the existence of God, one for which evidence cannot be tested, may lie outside the purview of modern science by definition; the Catholic Church maintains that knowledge of the existence of God is the "natural light of human reason". Fideists maintain that belief in the existence of God may not be amenable to demonstration or refutation, but rests on faith alone. Atheists view arguments for the existence of God as insufficient, mistaken or weighing less in comparison to arguments against whereas some religions, such as Buddhism, are not concerned with the existence of gods at all and yet other religions, such as Jainism, reject the possibility of a creator deity. Positions on the existence of God can be divided along numerous axes, producing a variety of orthogonal classifications.
Theism and atheism are positions of belief, while gnosticism and agnosticism are positions of knowledge. Ignosticism concerns belief regarding God's conceptual coherence. Apatheism concerns belief regarding the practical importance of. For the purposes of discussion, Richard Dawkins described seven "milestones" on his spectrum of theistic probability: Strong theist. 100% probability of God. In the words of C. G. Jung: "I do not believe, I know." De facto theist. High probability but short of 100%. "I don't know for certain, but I believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there." Leaning towards theism. Higher than 50% but not high. "I am uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God." Impartial. 50%. "God's existence and non-existence are equiprobable." Leaning towards atheism. Lower than 50% but not low. "I do not know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical." De facto atheist. Low probability, but short of zero. "I don't know for certain but I think God is improbable, I live my life on the assumption that he is not there."
Strong atheist. "I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung knows there is one." The Catholic Church, following the teachings of Paul the Apostle, Thomas Aquinas, the First Vatican Council, affirms that God's existence "can be known with certainty from the created world by the natural light of human reason". In classical theism, God is characterized as the metaphysically ultimate being, in distinction to other conceptions such as theistic personalism, open theism, process theism. Classical theists do not believe that God can be defined, they believe. Robert Barron explains by analogy that it seems impossible for a two-dimensional object to conceive of three-dimensional humans. In modern Western societies, the concepts of God entail a monotheistic, supreme and personal being, as found in the Christian and Jewish traditions. In monotheistic religions outside the Abrahamic traditions, the existence of God is discussed in similar terms. In these traditions, God is identified as the author of certain texts, or that certain texts describe specific historical events caused by the God in question or communications from God.
Some traditions believe that God is the entity, answering prayers for intervention or information or opinions. Many Islamic scholars have used rational arguments to prove the existence of God. For example, Ibn Rushd, a 12th-century Islamic scholar and physician, states there are only two arguments worthy of adherence, both of which are found in what he calls the "Precious Book". Rushd cites “providence” and “invention” in using th
Philosophy of religion
Philosophy of religion is "the philosophical examination of the central themes and concepts involved in religious traditions." These sorts of philosophical discussion are ancient, can be found in the earliest known manuscripts concerning philosophy. The field is related to many other branches of philosophy, including metaphysics and ethics; the philosophy of religion differs from religious philosophy in that it seeks to discuss questions regarding the nature of religion as a whole, rather than examining the problems brought forth by a particular belief system. It is designed such that it can be carried out dispassionately by those who identify as believers or non-believers. Philosopher William L. Rowe characterized the philosophy of religion as: "the critical examination of basic religious beliefs and concepts." Philosophy of religion covers alternative beliefs about God, the varieties of religious experience, the interplay between science and religion, the nature and scope of good and evil, religious treatments of birth and death.
The field includes the ethical implications of religious commitments, the relation between faith, reason and tradition, concepts of the miraculous, the sacred revelation, mysticism and salvation. The term "Philosophy of Religion" did not come into general use in the West until the nineteenth century, most pre-modern and early modern philosophical works included a mixture of religious themes and "non-religious" philosophical questions. In Asia, examples include texts such as the Hindu Upanishads, the works of Daoism and Confucianism and Buddhist texts. Greek philosophies like Pythagoreanism and Stoicism included religious elements and theories about deities, Medieval philosophy was influenced by the big three Monotheistic Abrahamic religions. In the Western world, early modern philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, George Berkeley discussed religious topics alongside secular philosophical issues as well; the philosophy of religion has been distinguished from theology by pointing out that, for theology, "its critical reflections are based on religious convictions".
"theology is responsible to an authority that initiates its thinking and witnessing... philosophy bases its arguments on the ground of timeless evidence."Some aspects of philosophy of religion have classically been regarded as a part of metaphysics. In Aristotle's Metaphysics, the prior cause of eternal motion was an unmoved mover, like the object of desire, or of thought, inspires motion without itself being moved. This, according to Aristotle, is the subject of study in theology. Today, philosophers have adopted the term "philosophy of religion" for the subject, it is regarded as a separate field of specialization, although it is still treated by some Catholic philosophers, as a part of metaphysics. Different religions have different ideas about Ultimate Reality, its source or ground and about what is the "Maximal Greatness". Paul Tillich's concept of'Ultimate Concern' and Rudolf Otto's'Idea of the Holy' are concepts which point to concerns about the ultimate or highest truth which most religious philosophies deal with in some way.
One of the main differences among religions is whether the Ultimate Reality is a personal God or an impersonal reality. In Western religions, various forms of Theism are the most common conceptions of the ultimate Good, while in Eastern Religions, there are theistic and various non-theistic conceptions of the Ultimate. Theistic vs non-theistic is a common way of sorting the different types of religions. There are several philosophical positions with regard to the existence of God that one might take including various forms of Theism and different forms of Atheism. Monotheism is the belief in a single deity or God, ontologically independent. There are many forms of monotheism. Keith Yandell outlines three kinds of historical monotheisms: Greek and Hindu. Greek monotheism holds that the world has always existed and does not believe in Creationism or divine providence, while Semitic monotheism believes the world is created by a God at a particular point in time and that this God acts in the world.
Indian monotheism meanwhile teaches that the world is beginningless, but that there is God's act of creation which sustains the world. The attempt to provide proofs or arguments for the existence of God is one aspect of what is known as natural theology or the natural theistic project; this strand of natural theology attempts to justify belief in God by independent grounds. Most of philosophy of religion is predicated on natural theology's assumption that the existence of God can be justified or warranted on rational grounds. There has been considerable philosophical and theological debate about the kinds of proofs and arguments that are appropriate for this discourse. Common types of arguments for the existence of god include: Cosmological Argument Ontological Argument Teleological argument Argument from religious experience Argument from morality Wager arguments like Pascal's Wager attempts to rationally argue that one should believe in God. Skeptics and atheists have put forth various arguments against the existence of God including: The argument from inconsistent revelations The problem of evil, the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with that of a deity who is, in either absolute or relative terms, omnipotent and omnibenevolent.
Argument from poor design Argument from nonbelief or the argument from divine hiddenness Eastern Religions have included both theistic and other alternative positions about the ultimate nature of reality. One such v
Conceptions of God
Conceptions of God in monotheist and panentheist religions – or of the supreme deity in henotheistic religions – can extend to various levels of abstraction: as a powerful, human-like, supernatural being, or as the deification of an esoteric, mystical or philosophical entity or category. The first recordings that survive of monotheistic conceptions of God, borne out of henotheism and monism, are from the Hellenistic period. Of the many objects and entities that religions and other belief systems across the ages have labeled as divine, the one criterion they share is their acknowledgment as divine by a group or groups of human beings. In his Metaphysics, Aristotle discusses meaning of "being as being". Aristotle holds that "being" refers to the Unmoved Movers, assigned one of these to each movement in the heavens; each Unmoved Mover continuously contemplates its own contemplation, everything that fits the second meaning of "being" by having its source of motion in itself, moves because the knowledge of its Mover causes it to emulate this Mover.
Aristotle's definition of God attributes perfection to this being, as a perfect being can only contemplate upon perfection and not on imperfection, otherwise perfection would not be one of his attributes. God, according to Aristotle, is in a state of "stasis" untouched by imperfection; the "unmoved mover" is unlike the conception of God that one sees in most religions. It has been likened to a person, playing dominos and pushes one of them over, so that every other domino in the set is pushed over as well, without the being having to do anything about it. Although, in the 18th century, the French educator Allan Kardec brought a similar conception of God during his work of codifying Spiritism, this differs to the interpretation of God in most religions, where he is seen to be involved in his creation. "The All" is the Hermetic version of God. It has been called "The One", "The Great One", "The Creator", "The Supreme Mind", "The Supreme Good", "The Father" and "The Universal Mother"; the All is seen by some to be a panentheistic conception of God, subsuming everything, or can be experienced.
One Hermetic maxim states that "While All is in THE ALL, it is true that THE ALL is in All." The All can be seen to be hermaphroditic, possessing both masculine and feminine qualities in equal parttext. These qualities are, however, of mental gender. According to The Kybalion, The All is more complicated than being the sum total of the universe. Rather than The All being the physical universe, it is said that everything in the universe is within the mind of The All, since The All can be looked at as Mind itself; the All's mind is thought to be infinitely more powerful and vast than humans can achieve, capable of keeping track of every particle in the Universe. The Kybalion states that nothing can be outside of The All or The All would not be The All; the All may be a metaphor alluding to the godhead potentiality of every individual. "... That invisible power which all know does exist, but understood by many different names, such as God, Supreme Being, Mind, Nature and so forth." In the Hermetic Tradition and every person has the potential to become God, this idea or concept of God is perceived as internal rather than external.
The All is an allusion to the observer created universe. We create our own reality. Another way would to be to say. Freemasonry includes concepts of God as an external entity, esoteric masonic teachings identify God as the individual himself: the perceiver. We are all as such we create our own reality. Although others believe God to be abstract. Meaning he is not seen in reality, but understood through deep contemplation, he is all around us every day, just hiding in the beauty of our Earth. The Abrahamic God in this sense is the conception of God that remains a common attribute of all three traditions. God is conceived of as eternal, omniscient and as the creator of the universe. God is further held to have the properties of holiness, justice and omnipresence. Proponents of Abrahamic faiths believe that God is transcendent, meaning that he is outside space and outside time and therefore not subject to anything within his creation, but at the same time a personal God, listening to prayer and reacting to the actions of his creatures.
In Judaism, God has been conceived in a variety of ways. Traditionally, Judaism holds that YHWH, the God of Abraham and Jacob and the national god of the Israelites, delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, gave them the Law of Moses at biblical Mount Sinai as described in the Torah. According to the rationalist stream of Judaism articulated by Maimonides, which came to dominate much of official traditional Jewish thought, God is understood as the absolute one and incomparable being, the ultimate cause of all existence. Traditional interpretations of Judaism emphasize that God is personal yet transcendent, while some modern interpretations of Judaism emphasize that God is a force or ideal. Jewish monotheism is a continuation of earlier Hebrew henotheism, the exclusive worship of the God of Israel as prescribed in the Torah and practiced at the Temple of Jerusalem. Strict monotheism emerges in Rabbinical Judaism. Pron
Problem of evil
The problem of evil is the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with an omnipotent and omniscient God. An argument from evil claims that because evil exists, either God does not exist or does not have all three of those properties. Attempts to show the contrary have traditionally been discussed under the heading of theodicy. Besides philosophy of religion, the problem of evil is important to the field of theology and ethics; the problem of evil is formulated in two forms: the logical problem of evil and the evidential problem of evil. The logical form of the argument tries to show a logical impossibility in the coexistence of God and evil, while the evidential form tries to show that given the evil in the world, it is improbable that there is an omnipotent and wholly good God; the problem of evil has been extended to non-human life forms, to include animal suffering from natural evils and human cruelty against them. Responses to various versions of the problem of evil, come in three forms: refutations and theodicies.
A wide range of responses have been made against these arguments. There are many discussions of evil and associated problems in other philosophical fields, such as secular ethics, evolutionary ethics, but as understood, the "problem of evil" is posed in a theological context. The problem of evil acutely applies to monotheistic religions such as Christianity and Judaism that believe in a monotheistic God, omnipotent and omnibenevolent; the problem of evil refers to the challenge of reconciling belief in an omniscient and omnibenevolent God, with the existence of evil and suffering in the world. The problem may be described either experientially or theoretically; the experiential problem is the difficulty in believing in a concept of a loving God when confronted by suffering or evil in the real world, such as from epidemics, or wars, or murder, or rape or terror attacks wherein innocent children, men or a loved one becomes a victim. The problem of evil is a theoretical one described and studied by religion scholars in two varieties: the logical problem and the evidential problem.
Originating with Greek philosopher Epicurus, the logical argument from evil is as follows: If an omnipotent and omniscient god exists evil does not. There is evil in the world. Therefore, an omnipotent and omniscient god does not exist; this argument is of the form modus tollens, is logically valid: If its premises are true, the conclusion follows of necessity. To show that the first premise is plausible, subsequent versions tend to expand on it, such as this modern example: God exists. God is omnipotent and omniscient. An omnipotent being has the power to prevent that evil from coming into existence. An omnibenevolent being would want to prevent all evils. An omniscient being knows every way in which evils can come into existence, knows every way in which those evils could be prevented. A being who knows every way in which an evil can come into existence, able to prevent that evil from coming into existence, who wants to do so, would prevent the existence of that evil. If there exists an omnipotent and omniscient God no evil exists.
Evil exists. Both of these arguments are understood to be presenting two forms of the'logical' problem of evil, they attempt to show that the assumed propositions lead to a logical contradiction and therefore cannot all be correct. Most philosophical debate has focused on the propositions stating that God cannot exist with, or would want to prevent, all evils, with defenders of theism arguing that God could well exist with and allow evil in order to achieve a greater good. If God lacks any one of these qualities—omniscience, omnipotence, or omnibenevolence—then the logical problem of evil can be resolved. Process theology and open theism are other positions that limit God's omnipotence and/or omniscience. Dystheism is the belief; the evidential problem of evil seeks to show that the existence of evil, although logically consistent with the existence of God, counts against or lowers the probability of the truth of theism. As an example, a critic of Plantinga's idea of "a mighty nonhuman spirit" causing natural evils may concede that the existence of such a being is not logically impossible but argue that due to lacking scientific evidence for its existence this is unlikely and thus it is an unconvincing explanation for the presence of natural evils.
Both absolute versions and relative versions of the evidential problems of evil are presented below. A version by William L. Rowe: There exist instances of intense suffering which an omnipotent, omniscient being could have prevented without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil bad or worse. An omniscient, wholly good being would prevent the occurrence of any intense suffering it could, unless it could not do so without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil bad or worse. There does not exist an omnipotent, wholly good being. Another by Paul Draper: Gratuitous evils exist; the hypothesis of indifference, i.e. that if there are supernatural beings they are indifferent to gratuitous evils, is a better explanation for than theism. Therefore, evidence prefers that no god, as understood by theists, exists; the problem of e
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