Prof. Dean Brown points out that most European languages can be traced back to a root language that is also related to Sanskrit – the sacred language of the ancient Vedic religions of India. Many English words actually have Sanskrit origins. Similarly, many Vedic religious concepts can also be found in Western culture. He discusses the fundamental idea of the Upanishads – that the essence of each individual, the atman, is identical to the whole universe, the principle of brahman. In this sense, the polytheistic traditions of India can be said to be monistic at their very core.