Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Brahman

  • David A. LeemingEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_9052

For Hindus, especially those in the Advaita Vedanta tradition, Brahman is the undifferentiated reality underlying all existence. Brahman is the eternal first cause present everywhere and nowhere, beyond time and space, the indefinable Absolute. The gods are incarnations of Brahman. It can be said that everything is Brahman. And it can be argued that Brahman is a monotheistic concept or at least a monistic one, since all gods – presumably of any tradition – are manifestations of Brahman and real only because Brahman exists. In Hinduism such manifestations would include the great goddess Devi as well as the triad of major deities, Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu.

As a psychological principle, Brahman shares with the deity concepts of other traditions the task of giving meaning to our inner lives. The existence of the gods we create give significance to our existence as human beings in an otherwise seemingly arbitrary universe.

More specifically, in Hinduism, Brahman becomes a psychological...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.Blanton-Peale InstituteNew YorkUSA