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Lord Brahma, Hindu God of Creation

Within the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, Brahma is the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer.  Brahma is recognized as the creator of the Universe. Brahma is regarded as the Supreme Being, the god of gods. Lord Brahma is the originator and the generator of the mankind. Brahma symbolizes the universal mind, as creation is the work of the mind and the intellect.  The daily alternation of light and dark is attributed to the activity of Brahma.

Brahma was born by being grown in a lotus out of the navel of the sleeping Vishnu.  Brahma possesses greater than normal powers than most of the Hindu gods except for Vishnu and Shiva. He has superhuman strength, stamina and resistance to injury. He has extra-ordinary clairvoyance on a nearly omniscient level as well as the ability to tap into and manipulate mystical and cosmic energies equal to Vishnu, Odin or Zeus. Brahma is also credited with riding Hamsa, a great cosmic goose across the sky.  

Birth of Brahma Statue

Saraswati Statue

In order to create the world and produce the human race, Brahma made a goddess out of himself. One half was woman and the other half was man. Brahma called the woman Gayatri, but she also became known by many other names such as Saraswati.

Brahma sprouted five heads, so that he could watch Gayatri at all times. To restrain Brahma's lust, Shiva wrenched off one of Brahma's five heads. This helped Brahma come to his senses, and he took Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, as his consort. With her help, he regained control of his mind.

Brahma with four heads

Bronze Brahma Statue

Brahma was later seen as having four heads.  Brahma can be seen as a four-faced, four-armed, bearded deity. He carries a rose and a book in the upper hand; a water pot (Kamandala) in the lower hand and one hand is always there to bestow grace. The four faces represent the holy knowledge of the four Vedas (Riga, Yajur, Sama and Atharva). It symbolizes that Brahma is the foundation of all the knowledge required for the creation of the universe. The four arms represent the four directions and therefore symbolize that Lord Brahma is the omnipresent and the omnipotent.

The four Veda's are said to have sprung from his heads. In the Life of Ganga, Brahma advised Bhagiratha to ask the help of Shiva in containing the power of Ganga (goddess of the Ganges river).

Although Brahma is one of the three major gods in Hinduism, few Hindus actually worship him. For creating the universe, Brahma became known as the lord of progeny. But he is not worshipped because he is responsible for distracting the mind away from the soul and towards the cravings of the flesh.  India today has very few temples dedicated to Brahma alone as opposed to the tens of thousands of temples dedicated to the other deities in the Trimurti, namely Vishnu and Shiva.

There are various stories in Hindu mythology that talk about curses that have supposedly prevented Brahma from being worshipped on Earth.

Learn about the Hindu God Shiva

Learn about the Hindu God Vishnu

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