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"Trimurti" - Trinity of Siva, Vishnu, Brahma

Read about the Trimurti at Wikipedia

TRIMURTI. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] 'Triple form.' The Hindu triad. This was foreshadowed in the Vedic association of the three gods Agni, Vayu, and Surya. The triad consists of the gods Brahma, Siva, and Vishnu, the representatives of the creative, destructive, and preservative principles. Brahma is the embodiment "of the Rajoguna, the quality of passion or desire, by which the world was called into being; Siva is the embodied Tamoguna, the attribute of darkness or wrath, and the destructive fire by which the earth is annihilated; and Vishnu is the embodied Satwaguna, or property of mercy and goodness by which the world is preserved. The three exist in one and one in three, as the Veda is divided into three and is yet but one; and they are all Asrita, or comprehended within that one being who is Parama or 'supreme,' Guhya or 'secret,' and Sarvatma, 'the soul of all things.'" -- Wilson.

The Padma Purana, which is a Vaishnava work and gives the supremacy to Vishnu, says, "In the beginning of creation, the great Vishnu, desirous of creating the whole world, became threefold: creator preserver, and destroyer. In order to create this world, the supreme spirit produced from the right side of his body himself as Brahma; then in order to preserve the world he produced from the left side of his body Vishnu; and in order to destroy the world he produced from the middle of his body the eternal Siva. Some worship Brahma, others Vishnu, others Siva; but Vishnu, one yet threefold, creates, preserves, and destroys, therefore let the pious make no difference between the three." The representation of the Trimurti is one body with three heads: in the middle Brahma, on the right Vishnu, and on the left Siva. The worship of Brahma is almost extinct, but Vishnu and Siva receive unbounded adoration from their respective followers, and each is elevated to the dignity of the supreme being.

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM