Brahma

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Brahma

One of the most significant gods in Hinduism is Brahma. In fact, Brahma is considered the first god and the creator among the three gods that comprise the Hindu triumvirate or trimurti. This Hindu triad also includes the gods Shiva and Vishnu.

The god Brahma must not be confused with brahman, which is a spiritual, metaphysical concept and believed to be the supreme force that is present in all things. However, these two are said to be closely intertwined. Hindu scholars suggest that the god Brahma actually originates from the concept of brahman and is the very personification or visible representation of the brahman principle.

Bhagawan Brahma

When it comes to the actual genesis of Brahma, there are two well-known narratives about his birth. According to some Puranas or Indian literature, at the dawn of the universe, water was first created, and in this water, the seed of brahman was placed. The seed then turned into a golden egg and it was from this golden egg, known as the Hiranyagarbha, that Brahma was born. However, according to other legends, Brahma was born from a lotus flower, which arose from the navel of Vishnu.

Composite Image of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh

Brahma is attributed to the creation of the universe and of all beings in it. It is said that Brahma gave birth to the Prajapatis, referred to as the eleven forefathers of the human race, and also to the Saptarishi of the seven great sages, in order to aid him in creating the universe. Collectively, all these children of Brahma are known as the Manasputras. However, unlike any normal birth, these children were born from Brahma’s mind and not his body and are therefore also called his mind-sons. Along with all creation, Brahma is believed to be responsible for creating gods, demons, ancestors, and men, which are four types of beings.

Haloed Brahma-Brahmani

Brahma is said to have many consorts or wives, including Saraswati, who is the goddess of knowledge. As his wife, Saraswati also represents Brahma’s creative energy and all the knowledge that he possesses 

While known as the Hindu god of creation, Brahma is also associated with knowledge and the Vedas, which are the ancient holy Hindu scriptures. Because of this, Brahma is also known as the father of Dharma. In Hinduism, Dharma is the cosmic law, the innate nature of reality and the proper social order.

Brahma, One of the Trimurti – The Three-Aspected Supreme (Large Size)

Due to Brahma’s elevated status as a Supreme Being and the first god in the Hindu triumvirate, he is not often depicted in Hindu myths as a god in human form but usually described as an abstract idea of a great god. When it comes to the depiction of the god Brahma, he is portrayed as having four heads, with each head facing the four cardinal directions. It is said that the Vedas came from these four heads of Brahma. Along with the multiple heads, he is also depicted as a white-bearded man with a red or golden complexion, dressed in white, red or pink, as well as having four arms and hands.

38" Large Size Lord Brahma - The Creator of the Universe | Brass Statue | Handmade | Made In India

While many other gods are pictured holding weapons, Brahma doesn’t hold any type of weapon. Instead, his image is one that is clutching symbols of knowledge and creation in his hands. The Vedas, a mala or rosary beads that symbolize time, a sruva or ladle that represents the feeding of the sacrificial fire, and a kamandalu which is a utensil with water that symbolizes that from which all creation emits from, are the objects which Brahma holds. While holding these symbolic items, Brahma is also frequently seen sitting on a lotus or perched on a vahana or vehicle in the form of a swan or goose.

Brahma Ji

Aside from the four heads of Brahma being the source of the four Vedas, they also represent the four yugas or ages in Hinduism, the four varnas or social classes in the caste system, and the four ashramas or stages in life, among others. In fact, some believe that the varnas actually originate from the different parts of Brahma’s body.

Trimurti From Elephanta (Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha)

While ancient Hindu texts considered Brahma as the primary or supreme god, as time has gone by, he has been largely eclipsed by Vishnu, Shiva, and other Hindu gods. Today, unfortunately, Brahma is not as popularly worshipped as other Hindu gods are. In fact, unlike Shiva, there is no specific sect in Hinduism that exclusively worships Brahma. Throughout India, there are also only a few temples that are specifically dedicated to Brahma. This is unlike the other two gods in the Hindu triumvirate who have thousands of temples in their honor. However, most temples that are devoted to Shiva and Vishnu also include images of Brahma. So, while Brahma is greatly revered in ancient Hindu scripture, in the present day, he is not as widely venerated by Hindus. It is believed that an explanation for this could be because Brahma has accomplished his role as the creator. With all that he has created, everything is now in the hands of and is the responsibility of Vishnu and Shiva. Despite this, there is no questioning the significance of Brahma in the whole of the Hindu faith.

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