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Brahma (god)
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Brahma (god)

Brahma is the Hindu creator god, and one of the Trimurti, the three principal Hindu deities (all hatched from an egg laid by Ammavaru), the others being Vishnu and Shiva. He is the husband of Sarasvati. However, being the Creator, all of his "sons" are "manas-putras," or mind-sons, indicating their birth from Brahma's mind and not from his body.

Brahma only occasionally interferes in the affairs of the gods, and even more rarely in mortal affairs. He did force Soma to give Tara back to her husband, Brihaspati. He is considered the father of Dharma and Atri. Brahma lives in Brahmapura, a city located on Mt. Meru.

Brahma is an agent of Brahman, the Supreme Being or Absolute of Hinduism.

Brahma is traditionally depicted with four heads, faces and arms. Each head recites one of the four Vedas. The hands hold a water-pot used in creating life, a string of rosary beads used to keep track of the Universe's time, the text of the Vedas, and a lotus flower.

The acquiring of Brahma's heads makes for an interesting legend. When Brahma was creating the universe, he made a female deity known as Shatarupa (one with a hundred beautiful forms). Brahma was immediately infatuated. Shatarupa moved in various directions to avoid the gaze of Brahma. But wherever she went, Brahma developed a head. Thus, Brahma developed five heads, one on each side and one above the others. In order to control Brahma, Shiva cut off the top head. Also, Shiva felt that Shatarupa was Brahma's daughter, being created by him. Therefore, Shiva determined, it was wrong for Brahma to become obsessed with her. He directed that there be no proper worship in India for the "unholy" Brahma. Thus, only Vishnu and Shiva continue to be worshipped, while Brahma is almost totally ignored. Ever since the incident, Brahma has been reciting the four Vedas in his attempt at repentance.

There is another legend which relates Brahma's not being worshipped to a curse by the great sage Brahmarishi Bhrigu. Once a great fire-sacrifice (yajna) was being organised on Earth with Bhrigu being the high priest. It was decided that the greatest among all Gods would be made the presiding deity. Bhrigu then set off to find the greatest among the Trinity. When he went to Brahma, he was so immersed in the music played by Saraswati that he could hardly hear Bhrigu's calls. The enraged Bhrigu then cursed Brahma that no person on Earth would ever invoke him or worship him again.