Lord Brahma :
Brahma is a creator God in Hinduism. He has four faces. He’s also known as Svayambhu (self-born), Vāgīśa (Lord of Speech), and the creator of the four Vedas, one from each of his mouths. He is sometimes identified with the Vedic god Prajapati, as well as linked to Kama and Hiranyagarbha (the cosmic egg). He’s more prominently mentioned in the post-Vedic Hindu epics and the mythologies in the Puranas. In the epics, he’s conflated with Purusha. Although, He’s part of the “Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva” in Trimurti, ancient Hindu scriptures mention multiple trinities of gods or goddesses which do not include Brahma.
Several puranas describe him emerging from a lotus, connected to the navel of Lord Vishnu. Other Puranas suggest that he is born from Shiva or his aspects, or he is a supreme god in diverse versions of Hindu mythology. Brahma, along with all deities, is sometimes viewed as a form (saguna) of the otherwise formless (nirguna) Brahman, the ultimate metaphysical reality in Vedantic Hinduism.
Brahma does not enjoy popular worship in present-age Hinduism and has lesser importance than the other members of the Trimurti, Vishnu and Shiva. He’s revered in ancient texts, yet rarely worshiped as a primary deity in India. Very few temples dedicated to him exist in India; the most famous being the Brahma Temple, Pushkar in Rajasthan.
The Origin :
Brahma is the creator of the universe and of all beings, as depicted in the Hindu cosmology. The Vedas, the oldest and the holiest of Hindu scriptures, are attributed to Prajapati, and thus He is regarded as the father of dharma.
He is not to be confused with Brahman which is a general term for the Supreme Being or Almighty God. Although He’s one of the Trinity, his popularity is no match to that of Vishnu and Shiva. He’s to be found to exist more in scriptures than in homes and temples. In fact, it is hard to find a temple dedicated to Him. One such temple is located in Pushkar, Rajasthan.
According to the Puranas, Brahma is the son of God, and often referred to as Prajapati. The Shatapatha Brahman says that He was born of the Supreme Being Brahman and the female energy known as Maya. Wishing to create the universe, Brahman first created the water, in which he placed his seed. This seed transformed into a golden egg, from which Brahma appeared. For this reason, He’s also known as ‘Hiranyagarbha’. According to another legend, Brahma is self-born out of a lotus flower which grew from the navel of Vishnu.
In order to help him create the universe, Prajapati gave birth to the 11 forefathers of the human race called ‘Prajapatis’ and the seven great sages or the ‘Saptarishi’. These children or mind-sons of Brahma, who were born out of his mind rather than body, are called the ‘Manasputras’.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) wrote a poem called “Brahma” that was published in the Atlantic in 1857, which shows many ideas from Emerson’s reading of Hindu scriptures and philosophy. He interpreted Prajapati as “unchanging reality” in contrast to Maya, “the changing, illusory world of appearance.” Brahma is infinite, serene, invisible, imperishable, immutable, formless, one and eternal, said Arthur Christy (1899 – 1946), the American author and critic.
More photos of Prambanan Temple here.
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