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Origin of the name BRAHMA.
Etymology of the name BRAHMA.
Meaning of the baby name BRAHMA.


BRAHMA (ब्रह्मा).  Hindu myth name of a creator god, a member of the Trimurti, called the "mover of waters," probably originally meaning "growth."

Brahma.  In Hindu mythology a member of the Trimurti, the other two members being Vishnu and Siva.  He is a great and beneficent from out of whose body all human and divine souls emanated by a process of volition, and to whom they must finally return.  Every sect of Hinduism has its particular views of the nature and attributes of this supreme divinity, who is also adored by the Buddhists under another theory. (An Archaic Dictionary, Cooper, 1876).

    3 Brahmân is derived from brahma.  This is an abstract noun, in the neuter gender, of a root brih (original form barh), to which the two meanings "to raise," and "to grow" are given by the Indian grammarians.  The latter thought both meanings so irreconcilable that they substituted two roots brih.  But there is certainly no necessity for that.  What grows, becomes bigger, and higher, and thus "rising in height," is a necessary consequence of growth.  It is, however, very doubtful whether the root brih without a preposition (such as ud) can convey the meaning "to raise."  The meaning "to grow" is at any rate the original one.  Thus derived brahma means originally "growth."  That this was the original sense of the word can be proved from other reasons also.  Brahma is the same word, in every respect, as the bares'ma of the Zend-Avesta, the h of Sanscrit being changed according to the phonetical laws of the Zend grammar, into a sibilant.  This means a bunch of twigs tied together by a reed which is used up to the present day by the Parsi priests when performing the Homa ceremony.  The Brahmans use at all their sacrifices a bunch of kus'a grass which is also tied together.  They call it Veda (see As'v. S'r. S. 1, 11 vedam patnyâi pradâya vâchayet i.e. after having handed over to the wife of the sacrificer that bunch of kus'a grass, which is called Veda, he should make her repeat this mantra, &c).  Veda is a synonymous word for brahma; for the latter term is often explained by veda (so does Kaiyata in his notes on Patañjali's explanation of Pânini's Sûtra 6, 3, 86, in the Mahâbhâshya), and thus identified with the designation of the whole body of sacred knowledge of the Brahmans.  In the Nighantavas, the ancient collectino of Vedic words, brahma occurs twice, once as a name for "food" (2, 7), and another time as that for "wealth."  Both these meanings, principally the former, can easily be connected with that of "growth."  They appear to be founded on passages of the Brâhmanas, where is said, that the Brahma is food.  In the Sam̃hitâ, however, these meanings are never to be met with; but from this circumstance it certainly does not follow that they never existed.  The meaning attached to the word in the Sam̃hitâ appears to be that of "sacred hymn, chant."  Sâyana explains it often by stoira, i.e. the performance of the Sâma chanters (see his Commentary on Rigveda, 7, 22, 9) or by stotrâni havîm̃shicha (7, 23, 1) i.e. chants and offerings.  This meaning is, however, not the original one, and does even in the Sam̃hitâ hardly express its proper sense.  It cannot be an equivalent either for mantra, or sâman, or sto'ram, or havis, and if it appear to be used in one of these senses, it means their common source; for the hymn, repeated by the Hotar, as well as the chant of the Sâma singers, and the oblations given to the fire by the Adhvaryu, are all equally made sacred by means of their participation in the brahma.  Such expressions as, "to make the brahma," "to stir up the brahma," (brahma jiuvati) throw some light on its nature.  They show (as one may clearly see from such passages as Taittirîya Brâhmanam 1, 1) that it was regarded as a latent power, like electricity, which was to be stirred up at the time of the performance of a ceremony.  The apparatus were the sacred vessels, or the hymns, or chants.  So, at a certain ceremony at the morning libation of the Soma feast, the Adhvaryu and Pratipasthâtar put the two Grahas (Soma cups), called S'ukra and Manthi (see Ait. Br. 3, 1) together, and address them in the following way, "Put, ye two (Grahas)! together the Brahma; may ye stir it up for me," &c.  (Taittir. Br. 1, 1).  This evidently means, that these two Grahas are put together for the purpose of eliciting the Brahma-power, and all the other powers, dependent upon it, such as the Kshattram, &c.  The presence of the brahma at every sacrifice is necessary; for it is the invisible link connecting the ceremony performed with the fruits wished for, such as sovereignty, leadership, cattle, food, &c.
    It is, as we have seen, symbolically represented by a bunch of kus'a grass, which is always wandering from one person to another, as long as the sacrifice lasts.  It expresses the productive power in nature, which manifests itself in the growth of plants, and all other creatures.  The sacrificer wishes by means of the mystical process of the sacrifice to get hold of it; for only then he is sure of obtaining anything he might wish for. (The
Aitareya Brahmanam of the Rigveda, Haug, v.1, 1863).


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