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Brahma (Sanskrit: ; IAST: ) 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. Brahmā is often identified with Prajapati, a Vedic deity.

Name

In Sanskrit grammar, the noun stem brahman forms two distinct nouns; one is a neuter noun bráhman, whose nominative singular form is ; this noun has a generalized and abstract meaning.

Contrasted to the neuter noun is the masculine noun brahmán, whose nominative singular form is . This noun is used to refer to a person, and as the proper name of a deity it is the subject matter of the present article.

The god is known as Berahma in Malay and as Phra Phrom in Thai.

Attributes

At the beginning of the process of creation, Brahmā created eleven Prajapatis (used in another sense), who are believed to be the fathers of the human race. The Manusmriti enumerates them as Marici, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratuj, Vashishta, Pracetas or Daksha, Bhrigu, and Narada . He is also said to have created the seven great sages or the Saptarishi to help him create the universe. However since all these sons of his were born out of his mind rather than body, they are called Manas Putras or mind-sons or spirits.

Within Vedic and Puranic scripture Brahmā is described as only occasionally interfering in the affairs of the other devas (gods), and even more rarely in mortal affairs. He did force Soma to give Tara back to her husband, Brihaspati. He is considered the father of Dharma and Atri.

Creation

According to the Puranas, Brahma is self-born (without mother) in the lotus flower which grew from the navel of Vishnu at the beginning of the universe. This explains his name Nabhija (born from the navel). Another legend says that Brahmā was born in water. In this he deposited a seed that later became the golden egg. From this golden egg, Brahma the creator was born, as Hiranyagarbha. The remaining materials of this golden egg expanded into the Brahm-anda or Universe. Being born in water, Brahmā is also called Kanja (born in water). Brahmā is said also to be the son of the Supreme Being, Brahman, and the female energy known as Prakrti or Maya.

The image depiction displaying the connection by lotus between Bramha and Vishnu can also be be taken as a symbolism for the primordial fetus and primordial placenta. The placenta is generated upon conception, but only the fetus continues into the world afterwards. Likewise, Bramha is involved in creation, but Vishnu continues thereafter.



Lack of Brahma worship in India

Although Brahmā is one of the three major gods in Hinduism, few Hindus actually worship him. Today, India has very few temples dedicated to Brahmā, as opposed to the tens of thousands of temples dedicated to the other deities in the Trimurti, namely Vishnu and Shiva. Among the few that exist today, the most famous is in Pushkarmarker in Rajasthanmarker. Others include one in Thirunavayamarker in Keralamarker; one in the temple town of Kumbakonammarker, (Thanjavur District) in Tamil Nadumarker; Nerurmarker village in Kudalmarker taluka of Sindhudurgmarker district of Maharashtramarker ; one in Asotramarker village in Balotramarker Taluka of Barmer district in Rajasthanmarker known as Kheteshwar Brahmadham Tirtha; one in Brahmā-Karmali village in Sattari Taluka in Goamarker; one in Khedbrahmamarker in Gujaratmarker; and one in the village of Khokhan in the Kullumarker Valley, 4 km from Bhuntarmarker. Regular puja are held for Lord Brahmā at the temple in Thirunavayamarker, and during Navrathris this temple comes to life with colourful festivities.

Another temple for Lord Brahmā is located at Thirupattur, near Tiruchirapallimarker, Tamil Nadu, South India. This temple also has the Samadhi for Sage Vyakrapatha.

Various stories in Hindu mythology talk about curses that have supposedly prevented Brahmā from being worshiped on Earth.

According to a story in the Shiva Purana (dedicated to Lord Shiva), at the beginning of time in Cosmos, Vishnu and Brahmā approached a huge Shiva linga and set out to find its beginning and end. Vishnu was appointed to seek the end and Brahma the beginning. Taking the form of a boar, Vishnu began digging downwards into the earth, while Brahma took the form of a swan and began flying upwards. However, neither could find His appointed destination. Vishnu, satisfied, came up to Shiva and bowed down to him as a swarupa of Brahman. Brahmā did not give up so easily. As He was going up, he saw a ketaki (Sanskrit - Kaetakee) flower, dear to Shiva. His ego forced him to ask the flower to bear false witness about Brahmā's discovery of Shiva's beginning. When Brahmā told his tale, Shiva, the all-knowing, was angered by the former's ego. Shiva thus cursed him that no being in the three worlds will worship him.

A depiction of Khambhavati Ragini, A lady worshiping Brahma


According to another legend, Brahmā is not worshiped because of a curse by the great sage Brahmarishi Bhrigu. The high priest Bhrigu was organising a great fire-sacrifice (yajna) on Earth. It was decided that the greatest among all Gods would be made the presiding deity. Bhrigu then set off to find the greatest among the Trimurti. When he went to Brahmā, the god was so immersed in the music played by Saraswati that he could hardly hear Bhrigu's calls. The enraged Bhrigu then cursed Brahmā that no person on Earth would ever invoke him or worship him again.

In the Brahma Purana and Hindu cosmology, Brahmā is regarded as the creator but not necessarily as God. Rather, He is regarded as a creation of God / Brahman. The lifespan of Brahmā is 100 Brahmā years, equivalent to 311,040,000,000,000 solar years. At the end of His lifespan, there will be a gap of 100 Brahmā years, after which another Brahmā or creator will begin the process of creation anew. This cycle is thought to repeat without end.

Appearance

A handcoloured engraving of Brahma.


The complexion of Lord Brahma is red. He is clad in red clothes. Brahma is traditionally depicted with four heads, 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 nearly eternal nature of his existence. Unlike most other Hindu Gods, Brahma holds no weapons. One of His hands holds a scepter in the form of a spoon, which is associated with the pouring of holy ghee or oil onto a sacrificial pyre, signifying Brahma as the lord of sacrifices. Another of His hands holds a 'kamandalu'- a jar made of metal or even coconut shell, containing water. The water in this jar signifies the initial, all-encompassing ether in which the first element of creation evolved. Brahma also holds a string of prayer beads called the 'akshamālā', which He uses to keep track of the Universe's time. He is also shown holding the Vedas and, sometimes, a lotus flower.

Another story in connection with Brahma's four heads is that when Brahmā was creating the Universe, He made a female deity known as Shatarupā (one with a hundred beautiful forms). Brahmā became immediately infatuated with Her. Shatarupā moved in various directions to avoid the gaze of Brahmā. But wherever She went, Brahmā developed a head. Thus, Brahmā developed five heads, one on each side and one above the others. In order to control Brahmā, Shiva cut off one of the heads. Also, Shiva felt that Shatarupā was Brahmā's daughter, having been created by Him. Therefore, Shiva determined it was wrong for Brahmā to become obsessed with Her. Shiva directed that there be no proper worship on earth for the "unholy" Brahmā. Thus, only Vishnu and Shiva continued to be worshipped, while Brahmā is almost totally ignored. Ever since this incident, Brahmā has been believed to be reciting the four Vedas in His attempt at repentance. However, there are many other stories in the Puranas about the gradual decrease Lord Brahmā's importance, such as in the Shiva Purana. The omission of Brahmā from most temples regarding worship is a serious concern in the orthopraxis of Hinduism. Ignoring the Supreme Creator also sidelines the importance of Saraswati, the goddess of learning, in temples. A British viceroy and admirer of Hinduism reportedly remarked in philosophical reflection that India cannot afford to lose the blessings of Brahmā and Saraswati, without whom the populace would lack creativity, knowledge, and education!This staute of Brahma;his ancient family name is Rishi.

Symbols

The Four Hands - Brahmā's four arms represent the four cardinal directions: east, south, west, and north.The back right hand represents mind, the back left hand represents intellect, the front right hand is ego, and the front left hand is self-confidence.

The Rosary - Symbolizes the substances used in the process of creation.

The Book - The book symbolizes knowledge.

The Gold - Gold symbolizes activity; the golden face of Brahmā indicates that He is actively involved in the process of creating the Universe.

The Swan - The swan is the symbol of grace and discernment. Brahmā uses the swan as his vāhana, or his carrier or vehicle.

The Crown - Lord Brahmā's crown indicates His supreme authority.

The Lotus - The lotus symbolizes nature and the living essence of all things and beings in the Universe.

The Beard - Brahmā's black or white beard denotes wisdom and the eternal process of creation.

The Four Faces - The four Vedas (Rik, Sāma, Yajuh and Atharva).The Vedas Symbolises his four faces, heads and arms

Vehicle

Brahmā's vehicle is a divine Swan. This divine bird is bestowed with a virtue called Neera-Ksheera Viveka, or the ability to separate milk and water from a mixture of the two. The swan signifies that all creatures deserve justice, however entwined they might be in challenging situations. Also, this virtue indicates that one should learn to separate the good from the bad, accepting that which is valuable and discarding what is worthless.

Temples



Though almost all Hindu religious rites involve prayer to Brahmā, very few temples are dedicated to His worship. Among the most prominent is the temple at Pushkarmarker, close to Ajmermarker. Once a year, on Kartik Poornima, the full moon night of the Hindu lunar month of Kartik (October - November), a religious festival is held in Brahmā's honour. Thousands of pilgrims come to bathe in the holy Pushkar Lakemarker adjacent to the temple.

Temples to Brahmā also exist in Thirunavayamarker in Keralamarker; in the temple town of Kumbakonammarker in the Thanjavurmarker District of Tamil Nadumarker; in Asotramarker village in Balotramarker Taluka of Rajasthan's Barmer district, known as Kheteshwar Brahmadham Tirtha; and in Goamarker, in the small, remote village of Carambolimmarker in the Sattari Taluka in the northeast region of the state. Regular puja are held for Lord Brahmā at the temple in Thirunavayamarker, and during Navrathris this temple comes to life with colourful festivities. There is also a shrine for Brahmā within the Bramhapureeshwarar temple in Thirupatur, near Trichymarker, and a famous murti of Brahmā exists at Mangalwedha, 52 km from the Solapurmarker district of Maharashtramarker. Statues of Brahmā may be found in Khedbrahmamarker, Gujaratmarker, and in Soparamarker near Mumbaimarker. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Brahmā in the temple town of Sri Kalahastimarker near Tirupati in Andhra Pradeshmarker. The largest and most famous shrine to Lord Brahmā may be found in Cambodia's Angkor Watmarker. There is a statue of Brahma at the Erawan Shrinemarker in Bangkokmarker. The golden dome of the Government House of Thailandmarker also contains a statue of Phra Phrom(Thai representation of Brahma).

In Carnatic music

Brahma is also the name of the 9th chakra (group) of Melakarta ragas in Carnatic music. The names of chakras are based on the numbers associated with each name. In this case, there are nine Brahmas and hence the ninth chakra is Brahma.

In Literature

In 1856-1857, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a poem entitled "Brahma".

See also



References

3.- the knowledge of the golden egg or white is common in ancient cultures "... the white egg with little beard is our universe surrounded by the big black universe.." need exact reference"sorrynotgoodenough.org"

External links




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