For Hindus, Brahman is the divine force underlying all reality or, in some interpretations, the equivalent of reality itself. In contrast to the personal creator God of the Abrahamic faiths, Brahman is conceived as an all-pervasive universal consciousness. As such, Brahman is infinite, unchanging, and eternal. For some schools of Hindu thought, Brahman manifests itself in an impersonal, abstract manner. Others hold that Brahman is manifested as a personal force, such as through anthropomorphic gods or goddesses. Among the most prominent of these manifestations is Brahma the creator, Vishnu the sustainer, and Shiva the destroyer. While they differ on the nature of Brahman and the most important manifestations, most Hindus agree that the Brahman is ultimately beyond human comprehension.
As the source of reality and the goal of all human existence, Brahman is the cornerstone of Hindu theology, philosophy, and ethics. Human beings achieve liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth by realizing their oneness with Brahman and the entire cosmos. At the level of ethics, progress towards this goal of finding unity with Brahman emerges out of living in accordance with dharma, the moral order of the universe. Unlike other core teachings shared across the different Indian religious traditions, like dharma and karma, Brahman is unique to Hinduism alone.
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