By Swami Harshananda
Brahmavāda literally means ‘the philosophy that propounds Brahman’.
The Bhāgavata occupies a pre-eminent place not only among the purāṇas but also among the general scriptures. The book can be considered as a gospel of divine life rather than a textbook of systematic philosophy. Its teaching has a theoretical as well as a practical aspect. The book having this gospel is known as Brahmavāda while the textbook of philosophy is called as the Bhāgavata-dharma.
The essence of Brahmavāda is that Brahman or Ātman is the only Absolute Reality. The whole universe, including our body, mind and ego, is only an expression in name and form of that Brahman. However, this view differs from pantheism. According to pantheism theory Brahman does not exhaust himself in the manifestation of this universe. He is neither limited nor affected in any way by the phenomenal universe. He is both immanent and transcendent.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore