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ancient Indian sacred tracts forming part of Vedic literature. The texts of the Brahmanas were created approximately from the eighth to sixth centuries B. C. and are the very earliest examples of ancient Indian prose. The Brahmanas reflected the pretensions of the Indian priesthood (the brahmins) to a ruling position in society; sacrificial offerings are regarded in the texts as the foundation and meaning of life, and the priests are regarded as “living gods.” The Brahmanas contain myths, traditions, detailed descriptions of ritual, and information on the social and cultural history of ancient India. The language of the Brahmanas is terse and dry, but certain legends, tales, and parables have artistic value or contain a philosophical generalization. In the vast literature of the Brahmanas, the Shatapatha Brahmana is the most esteemed.


Winternitz, M. A History of Indian Literature, 2nd ed., vol. 1, part 1. Calcutta, 1959.
Oldenberg, H. Zur Geschichte der altindischen Prosa. Berlin, 1917.
Rau, W. Staat und Gesellschaft im alten Indien. Wiesbaden, 1957.


References in periodicals archive ?
17) These sacred texts, the earliest and most recondite expression of monotheism in the history of religious literature, were, according to Dara, so protected among the holy Brahmanas that one of his motivations for delving into their difficulties became a desire "to solve the mystery that underlies their effort to conceal it from the Muslims," though he did not explain or support this oblique accusation.
If we view the idea of escaping from cyclic rebirth as already developing in the Kosala-Videha region when the Upanisads were being composed, we could see the emergence of the idea in Sramana and Brahmana culture as a parallel development.
It relates in detail the religious emancipation of certain descent groups and their priests from the religious domination of the traditional brahmana priests.
Abbreviations A Anguttara Nikaya BU Brhadaranyaka Upanisad CU Chandogya Upanisad D Digha Nikaya Dhp Dhammapada M Majjhima Nikaya PED The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary S Samyutta Nikaya SB Satapatha Brahmana V Vinaya
Seek not to know the caste of a Brahmana nor of a Chandala".
An Indian trooper has committed suicide by hanging himself with a tree near his camp at Bari Brahmana in Samba district.
We can answer these questions through an understanding of the classification of human beings according to their worth and merit because in the Hindu system of chaturvarnashrama a person can be classified as a Brahmana, a Kshyatriya, a Vysya, and as a Shudra based on religious hierarchy (see Klostermaier, 1989, pp.
In a reading of the myth of Sunahsepa, taken from the Aitareya Brahmana,
On the basis of this world view as unfolded in the famous Asvamiyasukta in the X Mangala of Rigveda, and in Atharvaveda also, Aitareya Mahidasa, spelt out the first concept of art--creativity in his Aitareya Brahmana around 1000 BC.
According to the Satapatha Brahmana (a Brahmana of Yajurveda compiled by the sage Yajnavalkya), the list of 33 devas includes Astavasu, Ekadasa Rudra, Dvadsaditya, Svarga and Prithvi.
Franken 1984|1951~; Connor 1986; Lovric 1987) and the refusal to accept holy water from Brahmana priests by descent groups claiming prior ancestral origin in Bali are most emphatic examples (Adatrechtbundels 1924:455; Goris 1960|1929~:295; Guermonprez 1991).