Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

(Sanskrit; pl. of brāhmaṇa, neut.). The Brāhmaṇas, a collection of sacrificial texts dating from the centuries just after 1000 bce, constitute the second oldest stratum of the Vedas. They comprise in part lengthy prose texts appended to the Vedic collections of the Rigveda, the Sāmaveda, and the Yajurveda, which they discuss and explain. The Brāhmaṇas embody a ritualistic form of religion, in which sacrifices correctly offered (Sacrifice: VIII) and sacrificial expertise– rather than prayer – can compel the gods to grant desires (e.g. offspring).…

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Michaels, Axel, “Brāhmaṇas”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 12 August 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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