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Related to Brahmanas: Brahmin, Upanishads, Aranyakas



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 ?
While there is some sense in which the transmission of early Upanisads was in the context of ritual Vedic practices privy only to the Brahmana class, this etymology is in itself indefensible.
This is because the Brahmanas may become too powerful because of their knowledge.
64) For an in-depth study of such patriarchal elements, sec Uma Chakravarti, "Conceptualising Brahmanical Patriarchy in Early India: Gender, Caste, Class and State' in idem, Everyday Lives, Everyday Histories: Beyond the Kings and Brahmanas of Ancient India' (New Delhi: Tulika, 2006), 138-55.
The topics include the Brahmanas and the sacrificial systems, the Buddhistic movement and its influence on Brahmanism, the doctrine of devotion (bhakti) as developed in the puranas and tantras, and modern castes.
The Brahmanas do not have to be cross-checked against the Bible, although one could do so if the desire arose.
For this reason the Brahmanas extol the virtues of sons: Aitareya Brahmana 7.
He compares Brahmanas Vedic sacrifice in ancient India and the sacrifice of Christ in the Gospels of the Bible and asserts that both cases of symbolic sacrifice serve as devices to prevent actual violence in society, illustrating how vital mimetic sacrifice is to the shaping of human culture.
11a: ananudo vrsabho jagmir ahavam nistapta satrum pranasu sasahih/asi satya maya brahmanas pate An unyielding bull, approaching the fight, (6) burning down the enemy, victorious in the battles --you are the true avenger of offenses, Brahmakias Pati
The race for the Sun Maiden is known only from the Brahmanas (JB 1.
Pursuing various literary figures (most notably, Uddalaka, Svetaketu, Satyakama, Yajnavalkya, Janaka, Ajatasatru) through passages and longer narratives in the Brahmanas and Upanisads, Black's book follows the thematic program of his subtitle: chapter 1 is on teacher/student relationships, chapter 2 on inter-Brahmin debates, chapter 3 on the relationship of kings and Brahmins, and the final chapter on Brahmin men and women.
The cosmogonic account of the second part (chapters 9-26) is situated in an already created world, whose three main sites are Mount Meru (the seat of Brahma), Puskara (a place of austerity), and the Brahmaksetra, which changes from the Brahmanical and Vedic place it was in the Krtayuga to a place of fighting (between gods and daityas, brahmanas and ksatriyas, order and imbalance) in the Tretayuga.
Interestingly, in the calendar of the Maga Brahmanas preserved by Varahamihira (6th century), Indra corresponds to Tir in the Sasanian Zoroastrian calendar, who replaced Tistriia in the Avestan calendar.