Brahmā (Buddhism)

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For for the Hindu deity, see Brahma.

Brahmā is a leading Deva and heavenly king in Buddhism.

In Buddhist cosmology, there are several Brahmās who go by different titles. Their common nature is that they abide outside the realm of desire (kāmadhātu) in the realm of form (rūpadhātu). Baka Brahmā is the figure that held the false view that he had created the world.


  • The seer of the destruction of birth,
    Compassionate, knows the one-way path
    By which in the past they crossed the flood,
    By which they will cross and cross over now.
  • The Tathagatas are to be venerated thus:
    "Rise up, O hero, victor in battle!
    O caravan leader, debt-free one, wander in the world.
    Teach the Dhamma, O Blessed One:
    There will be those who will understand."

Quotes about Brahmā

  • As far as moon and sun revolve in their course
    And light up all the quarters with their radiance,
    So far extends the thousand-world system:
    Here your sway is exercised.
    But do you know the distinctions?
    The passionate and dispassionate likewise?
    The becoming thus, the becoming otherwise,
    The coming and the going of beings?
    • The Buddha, about Baka Brahmā, in the Majjhima Nikāya 49 (Brahmanimantanika Sutta)
  • Mother and father are called "Brahmā"
    and also "first teachers."
    They are worthy of gifts from their children,
    for they have compassion for their offspring.
  • When, lord, Brahma Sanaṅkumāra appears before the Three-and-Thirty gods, he manifests himself as an individual of relatively gross substance which he has specially created. For Brahma’s usual appearance is not sufficiently materialized for the scope of the sight of the Three-and-Thirty gods. And, lord, when Brahma Sanaṅkumāra is manifested before these gods, he outshines the other gods in his appearance and his glory. Just as a figure made of gold outshines the human frame, so, when Brahma Sanaṅkumāra is manifested before the Three-and-Thirty gods, does he outshine the other gods in his appearance and his glory.
    • Śakra, about Brahma Sanaṅkumāra, in the Dīgha Nikāya 19 (Mahāgovinda Sutta)
  • The king said: "How far is it, Nāgasena, from here to the Brahma world?"
    "Very far is it, O king. If a rock, the size of an upper chamber, were to fall from there, it would take four months to reach the earth, though it came down eight-and-forty thousand leagues each day and night."
  • Just as Great Brahma is the father of all the sentient beings, in the same way this sutra is the father of all the wise, the noble, those who have more to learn and those who do not, and those in whom the thought of enlightenment has awakened.
    • The Buddha, in the Lotus Sutra, Chapter 23
  • I have also manifested in Jambudvīpa assuming the form of the deity Brahmā, thereby enabling those who serve Brahmā to situate themselves in the true-dharma. Although in truth I was not him, those living beings all assumed that I was the true Brahmā deity. I appeared in the form of deities worshiped widely in local shrines in just this same way.
    • The Buddha, in the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra

See also


Buddhism and Hinduism

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