aham brahmāsmi – “I am Brahman”, or “I am Divine”
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 , Yajur Veda
A Mahâvâkya from the Yajurveda
Brhadâranyaka Upanisad 1.4.10
- brahma vâ idam agra âsît, tad âtmânam evâvet, aham brahmâsmi iti; tasmât tat sarvam abhavat.Olivelle (p. 15): “In the beginning this world was only brahman, and it knew only itself (âtman), thinking: ‘I am brahman.‘ As a result, it became the Whole.”
Hume (p. 83): “Verily, in the beginning this world was Brahma. It knew only itself (âtmânam): ‘I am Brahma!’ Therefore it became the All.”
Radhakrishnan (p. 168): “Brahman, indeed, was this in the beginning. It knew itself only as ‘I am Brahman.‘ Therefore it became all.”
A variant of this mahâvâkya is so ‘ham, “I am that,” which in its inverted form hamsa has connections with the goose used as a symbol of the Srngeri monastery founded by the nondualist master Sankara, and with the Paramahamsa line of ascetics tracing their lineage to him and including nondualist teachers such as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.