(Last Updated on : 15/01/2011)
Lord Brahma is one of three major gods in late Vedic Hinduism
. He is four-faced as depicted in pictures and sculptures with a crown on each of them. The four Vedas are said to have proceeded from his four heads. He is seated on a lotus
and rides on a swan. With the rise of sectarian worship, he was gradually eclipsed by Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva
. Brahma is associated with the Vedic creator god Prajapati, whose identity he came to assume. As such there is no cult that exclusively worships Lord Brahma though there few temples dedicated to him. The creative principle of the universe is called Brahma in Sanskrit. Brahma is a metaphor for all of creation: its laws, its inherent intelligence, and its consciously manifested potencies which operate as sages, saints, rishis, devas, celestials, and divine beings of all kinds of nature, temperament and description.
According to Mythology, Brahma originally had five heads. Shiva had cut one of them down in rage. Now Brahma`s icon has four heads (chatur mukha brahma) facing the four quartem. They represent the four Vedas
, the four yugas (krita, treta, dwapara, kali) (epochs of time), and the four varnas (brahmana, kshatriya, vaisya, sudra). The faces have beards with eyes closed in meditation. There are four arms holding up different objects, akshamala (rosary), kurcha (kusha grass), sruk (ladle), sruva (spoon), kamandala (water pot) and pustaka (book) and in different poses representing the four quartem.
Brahma`s abode is known as Brahmaloka, which is said to contain all the splendors of earth and of the heavens of the other Gods. His vehicle is a white swan or goose, which has magical abilities: it can separate soma and milk from water. Therefore the bird Goose is also a symbol of sifting well from evil. His Consort Saraswati is the Goddess of wisdom and science, the Mother of the Vedas, and the Inventor of the Devanagari script.
The Devil-worshippers of south India symbolize him as a demon in. human form. The Tulu community worships Lord Brahma as a devil. Vidhi is a universal concept especially in India. It is believed that Lord Brahma wrote on the forehead of every individual what would they face in life. However Brahma has primarily remained an Aryan deity.