Brahman is the Indestructible and Supreme Spirit. It is present in every atom of creation, but remains there as the Viewer, not affected by creation. The individual soul is a part of Brahman. (1)
Is Brahman the Same as God?
The concept of Brahman is similar in some ways to the God of Judaism, in that Brahman is believed to be the single supreme formless spirit from which everything comes. It is believed to be the only reality in existence, meaning that everything that exists is made of different forms of Brahman. The separate seeming gods of Hinduism are manifestations of Brahman, not separate beings. (2)
Schools of Thought in Hinduism
Yoga philosophy describes the nature of Brahman. Within Vedanta, there are two distinct schools of thought, advaita and dvaita. The advaita, or nondualist, school of thought teaches that the individual soul is Brahman, and that our goal is to realize our oneness with It and merge back into It. It teaches that Brahman is the only reality and that there is no separation between the soul and Brahman. Any apparent separation is illusion.
The dvaita (dualist) school, on the other hand, teaches that the soul and Brahman are separate, distinct beings, and that Brahman has a form and personality, vs. the advaita belief that Brahman is formless Spirit. This way of thinking is similar to religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. (3)
- ↩ The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, Swami Kriyananda. Chapter 20, “The Outer and Inner Universe.”
- ↩ Revelations of Christ, Swami Kriyananda. Chapter 23, “The Missing Years.”
- ↩ Encyclopedia Britannica, “Brahman”