We're making big changes. Please try out the beta site at beta.ccel.org and send us feedback. Thank you!
« Prev Appendix IX. Brahma. Next »

IX.

(Lecture II., page 50.)

BRAHMA.

Referring to a passage which he quotes from the first book of the ’Sama-Veda,’ Bunsen says:—

“Here we have the portentous word which divides the India of the Ganges from that of Indus, and in general the later religious consciousness of India from the Irano-Aryan. But we have by no means the noun masculine Brahma, the supreme god of the Brahmans, who are his priests. We have the neuter Brahma, an abstract noun, belonging entirely to the ideal world; which has its tangible roots in no historical tradition, but rather in a 225thoroughly externalistic treatment of the ancient Vedic sacrificial rites. According to Haug, it would appear from his researches into the Aryo-Zendic remains that the word Brahma originally signified the strewing of the sacrificial grass on the spot appointed for the immolation, or the contemplation of this holy work, from which it was extended to the contemplation of every holy act. Here we find the stepping-stone to the objective meaning according to which the neuter Brahma, as an abstract noun, denotes the Divine, the Godhead; philosophically therefore the Absolute, Unconditioned, Eternal, which is placed in opposition to the temporal, the phenomenal, the imperfect, and conditioned.”—Bunsen’s ‘God in History,’ i. 319.

« Prev Appendix IX. Brahma. Next »



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |