Brahman

Brahman is all of which the Upaniṣads speak‘ begins the celebrated Kena Upanishad.

In other words, Brahman is a very important idea. And the Symbol ‘0’ took birth, found formulation in the many attempts to understand what this word Brahman meant.


Brahman is from the root ‘Brh‘: ‘To Uphold, Support’. Brahman is: ‘That which upholds’, and was originally a Mantric expression for Yagnic formalities.

So what is this Brahman? What’s been told about it in the primary texts?

The earliest Mahāvākyam, a summary affirmation of primal Vedic Truth, is from the Chāndogya Upaniṣad (3.14.1, among others; around 1,000 BCE):

Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma: ‘All [this] is Brahman‘.

This is reflected in an early interpretation of the Symbol ‘0’ as Pūjyam, a mystical expression marking: ‘That worthy of worship’.

It was a simultaneous reference to both a Completeness [the Plenum of the Iśopaniṣad] and one of Absence.


OK. Now for the tricky part. If you miss this Loop, you miss the intuition of Brahman.

What is Brahman? I don’t know. In fact I can never know what Brahman is. And why not? Because I am part of this ‘All’, whatever this ‘All’ is. Else it wouldn’t be the ‘All’.

The word Brahman is ensconced in layers of self-reference. It will twirl you around like a top if you don’t stay alert.

I can’t locate ‘The All’ while sitting on my rocker because ‘The All’ includes me sitting on my rocker. And it includes me thinking about locating ‘The All’ while sitting on my rocker. And…ad infinitum.


I am being kind when I say that an articulation of this elementary condition is almost never found in the copious commentaries that this word has been put through over the centuries.

If you don’t see it, you will reduce Brahman to another Man-Made ‘God’. Which is pretty much the state of things today.

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