Chapter

Īśvara

Arvind Sharma

in Classical Hindu Thought

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780195658712
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199082018 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195658712.003.0004
Īśvara

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The one ultimate reality can be visualized either in personal or impersonal terms. However, the chronological order of priority of Brahman (neuter) and Brahman (masculine) cannot be determined with certainty. In fact, it is quite possible that the Hindus did not consciously distinguish between the two, and that may be why we find monotheism and monism ‘often mixed up with each other’ in the Brāhmanic period. This chapter discusses monotheism as represented by the concept of Īśvara. The qualified Brahman, if personified, becomes the God or Īśvara. Like it, God also may be represented as the cosmic parallel to the finite individual self, the distinction between them being entirely one of adjuncts.

Keywords: Brahman; Hinduism; Brahmanic period; Monotheism; Īśvara; monism; God

Chapter.  2529 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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