ब्राह्मण, brāhmaṇa

Brahmanas are the scriptures of Hinduism, part of the shruti literature. They represent commentaries on Vedas explaining Vedic rituals.

Each Vedic shakha (school) had its own Brahmana. About twenty Brahmanas have survived to this day.

Brahmanas served as the basis for late Hindu philosophy that preceded Vedanta, and for Indian laws and sciences — astronomy, geometry, linguistics, as well as for concepts of karma and ashrams, such as brahmacharya, grihastha and sannyasa. Individual passages of some Brahmanas are in themselves Aranyakas or Upanishads.

Brahmanas, as well as Samhitas of four Vedas, were written in Vedic Sanskrit. Most scholars assume that Brahmanas were composed in the period from X to VI centuries BC.