[Advaita-l] Brahman was (Re: Pramanas - Sruti vs. Anubhava)

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Fri May 4 09:26:58 CDT 2007

Thanks for the etymological explanation. 

The word "brAhmaNa" is a secondary derivative of 'brahman', and based on that, the five meanings can be explained as 1. that which reveals, explains, or pertains to, Brahman, 2. same, 3. one who seeks Brahman, 4. an offshoot of the derivation in 3 (incidentally, in AP, we tend to refer to such a priest as brahmA, not brAhmaNa), established by usage and 5. as you put it, the knower of Brahman. All the five derivations are consistent with the notion that Sruti reveals Brahman, and need not imply that Sruti is Brahman.


----- Original Message ----
From: Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Thursday, May 3, 2007 10:36:37 AM
Subject: [Advaita-l] Brahman was (Re: Pramanas - Sruti vs. Anubhava)

On Sat, 28 Apr 2007, Siva Senani Nori wrote:

> * And I will further go with you in assuming that Brahman = Sruti
>   (though I am not sure it is so).

One can make a definite case that this was an ancient belief.  Consider 
the various definitions of Brahmana (masculine):

1.  The parts of the Vedas which are not mantras (vedo dvividhaH
     mantrarUpo brAhmaNarUpashcheti - mImAMsA paribhAShA)

2,  The specific "books" of the Vedas which deal with the application of
     mantras e.g. shatapatha brahmana, aitereya brahmana etc.  A subset of (1)

3.  A member of the varna whose occupation is the learning and teaching of
     Brahmana defined as (1) and (2) i.e the Vedas.

4.  The supervising priest (3) of a shrauta yajna who should know
     Brahmana (1) and (2) ideally all four or some say Atharvaveda.

5. The knower of Brahman (neuter) in the Vedantic sense.

So you can see that from the beginning the overlap between brahmana as 
text and  brahmana as experience (and experiencer) was there.  The 
Vedantic overlap between shruti and anubhava is a natural progression.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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