Definitions

Brahman

Brahman

[brah-muhn]
Brahman or Brahmin. In the Upanishads, Brahman is the name for the ultimate, unchanging reality, composed of pure being and consciousness. Brahman lies behind the apparent multiplicity of the phenomenal world, and is ultimately identical to the atman or inner essence of the human being (see Vedanta). This ultimate quality relates to the second meaning of Brahman, or Brahmin—a member of the highest, or priestly, Hindu caste. Brahmins alone may interpret the Vedas and perform the Vedic sacrifice. The vast majority of modern Brahmins are in occupations unrelated to religion, but they have retained their social prestige and many caste conventions. The Brahmins of India are divided into 10 territorial subcastes, 5 in the north and 5 in the south.
or zebu

Any of several varieties of cattle that originated in India and were crossbred in the U.S. with improved beef breeds to produce the hardy beef animal known as the Santa Gertrudis. Similar blending in Latin America resulted in the breed known as Indo-Brazil. The Brahman is characterized by a pronounced hump over the shoulder and neck, horns that usually curve up and back, and drooping ears. Gray is the prevalent colour, with deep shading in the fore and rear quarters of the bull. A red strain has also been developed.

Learn more about Brahman with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Brahman-Atman Yoga (ब्रह्म आत्मा योग) is the name of a style of Yoga developed in the Philippines.

It was introduced to an international audience on Saturday, September 27, 2003 through a lecture and demo entitled Brahman-Atman Yoga: The Art and Science of Evolutionary Acceleration at the First World Yoga Expo held at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The style is characterized by enhanced flowing poses coupled with deep audible breathing, philosophical discussion, mudra, pranayama, and long meditation.

Explanation of Brahman-Atman Yoga

Philosophy

Adi Shankara said:

Existence is Brahman-Atman alone

Brahman-Atman is the philosophy which, tradition holds, was taught by Shiva and expounded by Vyasa through the character Krishna in the Mahabharata most especially in the Bhagavad Gita.

The same was presented in a clearer and more practical way by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras by meticulously going through the methods, processes, and shedding light on the saguna and nirguna attributes of Atman (purusha).

According to Palmer and Keller (1992):

Brahman is the ocean and Atman is the wave. Brahman is the reality that constitutes all things and Atman merely the extension of that reality. Atman does not exist apart from Brahman, for they are one, just as the ocean and its wave are one.

When taken together the above concepts define the Way of Knowledge, the mystical way in which one realizes the oneness of all things and the oneness of Brahman-Atman.

Word Meaning

Brahman is the most ancient name for God, its literal translation being Universal or One Great Power. Atman is the soul, the individualized unit of consciousness emanating from Brahman. Yoga means union or oneness. Therefore, Brahman-Atman Yoga means "oneness of the individual with the Universal," or "union of the soul with God."

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