The Hindu religion comes with a great deal of gods, but there are three that are considered some of the most important. They are called the Trimurti (or “three forms” in Sanskrit). The trio represents a chief triad of Hindu deities , not to be confused with the Holy Trinity of Christianity. In this article, you will learn more about the three gods and some of their characteristics.
The Trimurti is comprised of the gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. The gods symbolize the supreme, impersonal, eternal, and universal Spirit or World Soul known as Brahman. There is a threefold aspect to the Trimurti, which symbolizes the creator, preserver, and destroyer.
Brahma is seen as the creator god, who is born from the lotus in Vishnu’s navel. This is why the god is often depicted as a four-faced god that sits on top of a lotus flower. There is a tale that says Brahma is responsible for writing the Rig-Veda, which is a collection of 1,028 ancient Sanskrit hymns that belong to the gods. It is believed that his own hand wrote the hymns on leaves made out of gold.
Worshipping Brahma is not as strong as the attention that Vishnu and Shiva receive because his main job was to create the universe. There are other stories that say Brahma laid an egg that hatched into what became the universe. Brahma also plays a significant role in the life/death cycle. It is said that one day in the life of Brahma is equal to 4,320,000,000 years. After Brahma has lived just one day, Hindus believe all that exists will be destroyed , only to be reborn again in an eternal cycle of death of creation.
Vishnu is seen as the preserver god, who is associated with nine chief incarnations. The tenth and final one is Kalki, who is the rider on the white horse. He comes with a fiery sword in his hand and is believed to have the power to put an end to all sin and sinners. Some of Vishnu’s have included Krishna (the eighth) and Buddha (the ninth).
Out of all the Hindu gods, Vishnu is considered one of the most popular because he is willing to incarnate himself in order to save the world and mankind from an array of threats , tyrants, demons, and other dangerous entities that threatens order and justice. It is not hard to see why many Hindus worship Vishnu as the supreme deity.
Shiva is seen as the destroyer god. He possesses fierceness, but is also balanced by qualities that are kinder and gentler. Because of this, the god is often associated with the arts, music, and dancing. Shiva is generally depicted as a white figure with four arms that is seen performing a cosmic dance on the body of a demon whose back has been broken. The dance represents the switching of destructive powers and creations that eternally occurs on the universe. The Hindus have always believed that destruction is met with a period of restoration.
Because of this, it is not uncommon to see Shiva linked to fertility and reproduction. The god is also hard to pinpoint. On one hand, he is known to drink a drug made out of hemp that makes him “out of sorts” yet he is a practitioner of yoga. While he protects cattle, he also creates the fire that causes destruction across the universe. He also has an evil third eye located on his forehead, which is usually kept closed. When opened, the eye is similar to a flamethrower.