Namarupa (from nama, name, and rupa, form) is a term used in Hindu philosophy to refer to the phenomenal world, the world of finiteness and limited nature, as opposed to the transcen-dent reality of the BRAHMAN or god. In Hindu thought, reality begins as an unmanifest infin-ity devoid of any manifestation or “thing.” As things emerge that acquire a “name” and take a shape or “form,” the manifest world or namarupa appears. Most Hindu traditions see liberation from birth and rebirth as a release or escape from the clutches of name and form, or namarupa. The term namarupa also appears in Buddhism with a Naked hermit of Naga sect at source of Ganges River, Gomulkh, near Gangotri, in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains (Constance A. Jones) quite different meaning, referring to the mind-body complex.
   Further reading: Maryla Falk, Nama-Rupa and Dharma-Rupa: Origin and Aspects of an Ancient Indian Concep-tion (Calcutta: University of Calcutta, 1943); Wilhelm Halbfass, ed., Philology and Confrontation: Paul Hacker on Traditional and Modern Vedanta (Albany: State Uni-versity of New York Press, 1995).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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