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brahma
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Brahma !



Brahma, 1820 British engraving ©

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Article about Brahma, the first god in the Hindu trimurti. He is regarded as the senior god and his job was creation.
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Who is Brahma?

Brahma is the first god in the Hindu triumvirate,or trimurti. The triumvirate consists of three gods who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world. The other two gods are Vishnu and Shiva .
Vishnu is the preserver of the universe, while Shiva's role is to destroy it in order to re-create.
Brahma's job was creation of the world and all creatures. His name should not be confused with Brahman , who is the supreme God force present within all things.
Brahma is the least worshipped god in Hinduism today. There are only two temples inthe whole of India devoted to him, compared with the many thousands devoted to the other two.

What does Brahma look like?

Brahma has four heads and it is believed that from these heads camethe four Vedas (the most ancient religious texts for Hindus). Somealso believe that the caste system , or fourvarnas, came from different part of Brahma's body.
He has four arms and isusually depicted with a beard.
Brahma's consort is Saraswati, goddess of knowledge.

Why is Brahma not worshipped so much?

There are a number of stories in the Hindu mythology which point to why he is rarely worshipped. These are two of them.
The first view is that Brahma created a woman in order to aid him with his job of creation. She was calledShatarupa.
She was so beautiful that Brahma became infatuated with her, and gazed at her wherever she went. This caused her extreme embarrassment and Shatarupa tried to turn from his gaze.
But in every direction she moved, Brahma sprouted a head until hehad developed four. Finally, Shatarupa grew so frustrated that she jumped to try to avoid his gaze. Brahma, in his obsession, sprouted a fifth head on top of all.
It is also said in some sources that Shatarupakept changing her form.She became every creature on earth to avoid Brahma. He however, changed his form to the male version of whatever she was and thus every animal community in the worldwas created.
Lord Shiva admonished Brahma for demonstrating behaviour of an incestuous nature and chopped off his fifth head for 'unholy' behaviour. Since Brahmahad distracted his mind from the soul and towards the cravings of the flesh, Shiva's curse was that people should not worship Brahma.
As a form of repentance, it is said that Brahma has been continually reciting the four Vedas since this time, one from each of his four heads.
A second view of why Brahma is not worshipped, and a moresympathetic one, is that Brahma's role as the creator is over. It is left to Vishnu to preserve the world and Shiva to continue its path of cosmic reincarnation.
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