Para Brahman

Para Brahman (Sanskrit:परब्रह्मन्) (IAST: Para Brahman) is the "Highest Brahman" that which is beyond all descriptions and conceptualisations. It is described in Hindu texts as the formless (in the sense that it is devoid of Maya) spirit (soul) that eternally pervades everything, everywhere in the universe and whatever is beyond.[1]

Hindus conceptualize the Para Brahman in diverse ways. In the Advaita Vedanta tradition, Nirguna Brahman (Brahman without attributes) is Para Brahman. In Dvaita and Vishistadvaita Vedanta traditions, Saguna Brahman (Brahman with qualities) is Para Brahman. In Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Shaktism, Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti respectively are Para Brahman.[2] Mahaganapati is considered as Para Brahman by the Ganapatya sect.

Para is a Sanskrit word that means "higher" in some contexts, and "highest or supreme" in others.[3]

Brahman connotes the Highest Universal Principle in Hinduism, the Ultimate Reality in the universe.[4][5] In major schools of Hindu philosophy it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists.[5][6][7] Brahman is a key concept found in Vedas, and extensively discussed in the early Upanishads.[8]

Para Brahman means the "Highest Brahman". It is found in early Advaita Vedanta literature.[9]

Nirguna Brahman (Devanagari निर्गुण ब्रह्मन्, Nirguṇa Brahman), Brahman without form or qualities,[10] is Para Brahman, the highest Brahman. According to Adi Shankara, Nirguna Brahman is Para Brahman,[11][12] and is a state of complete knowledge of self as being identical with the transcendental Brahman, a state of mental-spiritual enlightenment (Jnana yoga).[13] It contrasts with Saguna Brahman which is a state of loving awareness (Bhakti yoga).[13] Advaita Vedanta non-dualistically holds that Brahman is divine, the Divine is Brahman, and this is identical to that which is Atman (one's soul, innermost self) and nirguna (attribute-less), infinite, love, truth, knowledge, "being-consciousness-bliss".[14]

According to Eliot Deutsch, Nirguna Brahman is a "state of being"[15] in which all dualistic distinctions between one's own soul and Brahman are obliterated and are overcome.[13] In contrast, Saguna Brahman is where the distinctions are harmonized after duality between one's own soul and Brahman has been accepted.[13]

Advaita describes the features of a nondualistic experience,[13] in which a subjective experience also becomes an "object" of knowledge and a phenomenal reality. The Absolute Truth is both subject and object, so there is no qualitative difference:

The Upanishads state that the Supreme Brahma is Eternal, Conscious, and Blissful sat-chit-ânanda. The realisation of this truth is the same as being this truth:

In Vaishnavism, Vishnu or Krishna (among other incarnations of Vishnu) is considered as Para Brahman. Vishnu in his universal form is considered to be the supreme. According to Bhagavat Purana, when Arjuna asked the true reality about Krishna, he revealed his Parabramhan form showing that he is the supreme form of souls, demons, deities and qualities, namely, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.

In Shaivism, Shiva is Para Brahman. Parashiva, the supreme form of Lord Shiva, is considered as Para Brahman. According to mythology, Parashiva is the single incarnation of all souls and deities. He is also depicted as the only Adipurusha or Mahadeva.

In Kashmir Shaivism, Svachhanda Bhairava is considered as the supreme form of Lord Shiva. Kashmir Shaivism consider Svachhanda Bhairava as Para Brahman. Kashmir Shaivism holds turiya the fourth state of consciousness as Brahman. It is neither wakefulness, dreaming, nor deep sleep. In reality, it exists in the junction between any of these three states, i.e. between waking and dreaming, between dreaming and deep sleep, and between deep sleep and waking. [17]. In Kashmir Shaivism there exists a fifth state of consciousness called Turiyatita - the state beyond Turiya which represents Parabrahman. Turiyatita, also called the void or shunya is the state where one attains liberation otherwise known as jivanmukti or moksha.[18][19]

In Shaktism, Mahakali Devi or Tripura Sundari the supreme form of Devi Adi parashakti, is considered to be the Para Brahman or energy of the Brahman, ultimate reality, inseparably. According to Devi Suktam and Sri Suktam in Rigveda she is the womb of all creation. Thus Mahakali is epithets is Brahmamayi, meaning "She Whose Essence is Brahman". Parvati as Lalita Tripura Sundari Her eternal abode is called Manidvipa.

Parbrahm is regarded as the supreme reality in Sikhism. It is also known as "Akaal purakh" (immortal being) and is also known by mantra "Waheguru" .

Sikh scripture and the last sikh guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib refers to Parbrahm with a variety of adjectives and nouns , such as Nirankar, Niranjan, Bhagat Vachhal , Kirpal , Dayal, Deen Dayal , Madho, Raam, Hari, Rahim, Karim, Rehman, Parvardigar, Sahib, Malik , etc.....