Chapter

Íśvara

Arvind Sharma

in Modern Hindu Thought

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195676389
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081974 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195676389.003.0004
Íśvara

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Íśvara, an important philosophical concept in modern Hinduism, has been identified with one of the three members of the trimūrti-Brāhmā, Visnu, or Śiva. However, historians of Hindu religion have noted that, in classical Hinduism, this identification was extremely wrong. Three of the major associations of theism in classical Hinduism were image-worship, sectarianism, and belief in incarnation. The doctrine of incarnation includes non-Hindu figures such as Jesus Christ, and has gained a certain vogue in Śaiva theology. For example, the modern God-man, Sathya Sai Baba, is considered an incarnation of Śiva. In the context of modern Hinduism, the concept of the trimūrti may be replaced by the triple description of brahman as sat, cit, and ?nanda, or saccidānanda brahman. The Truth established in the Vedas, the Purānas, and the Tantras represents only one Satchidānanda.

Keywords: Íśvara; Hinduism; trimūrti; Brāhmā; Visnu; Śiva; image-worship; sectarianism; incarnation; saccidānanda

Chapter.  1248 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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