Monday, March 02, 2009

The Hindu trinity: Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma

evening puja in kanchi
Originally uploaded by depaolis
Brahma is the Hindu god (deva) of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva.

He is not to be confused with the Supreme Cosmic Spirit in Hindu Vedanta philosophy known as Brahman.

Brahmā's consort is Saraswati, the goddess of learning.

Although Brahma is one of the three major gods in Hinduism, few Hindus actually worship him. 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.

Brahma is traditionally depicted with four heads and four faces and four arms. With each head he continually recites one of the four Vedas. He is often depicted with a white beard (especially in North India), indicating the near eternal nature of his existence. He is shown as having four arms, with none holding a weapon, unlike most other Hindu Gods.

Related words:
- Brahmin - person of the highest caste
- brahmin - in English, a person of a family that is wealthy and seems noble (Ex, the Rockefellers, the Kennedys).
- The Brahman (named for the sacred cow of Hinduism) or Brahma is a breed of Zebu cattle (Bos primigenius indicus), later exported from India to the rest of the world.

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