Unlike most other religions, which have one god, in Hinduism, many gods are worshipped differently. However, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva are worshipped as Hindu Trinity for various reasons.
The Trimurti – Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwar (Lord Shiva) are responsible for the universe’s creation, protection, and destruction. Thus, Hindu trinity gods are known for the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction.
Today, we present some interesting facts about the Vedic verses of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, famous as the Hindu Trinity, or Trimurti.
Lord Brahma is the creator of the entire universe but the less popular trinity god in the modern-day world. He had five heads; however, one head was cut off by Lord Shiva, and the other heads represent many aspects of Hinduism, such as the four Vedas, the yugas, and the four varnas. He is pretty peaceful – he does not hold any weapon in his hands, but he holds a book, rosary, and other attributes of wisdom. His wife Saraswati (Goddess of knowledge) also holds a significant position on Hindu deities. She is also known as the Goddess of learning or the Goddess of wisdom.
Lord Brahma Facts
Statues, reliefs, and drawings depict Brahma in red, with a beard, four faces and bodies, and eight arms. He lives on the top of Mount Meru, located in the center of the world, and rides on a swan.
Brahma spontaneously originated himself in the Golden Egg, which was born by the power of heat in the primordial waters. With the power of thought, Brahma split the Egg in two. From the upper half, he created Heaven, and from the lower – the Earth and placed airspace between them.
Then he, in the same way, by the power of thought, gave birth to six (and, according to some scriptures, a more significant number) sons, called the Lords of Creations (Prajapati). The gods, demons, divine sages, people, animals, birds, snakes, and monsters came from them.
The wife of Brahma, goddess Saraswati, whom he, tormented by loneliness, created from his own body – and immediately fell in love with her without memory. Confused by Brahma’s unbreakable gaze, Saraswati stepped aside and stood on his right hand. Then, a second head appeared on the shoulders of Brahma, next to one head, facing to the right. Devi Saraswati stood to his left, and Brahma’s third head appeared on the left. A fourth head grew from behind him when she hid behind his back.
According to some scripts, Saraswati also flew up into the skies – and then Brahma had five heads, but the fifth head was cut off by the god Shiva. Saraswati took her place in the heavens on the throne next to Brahma. She gave birth to sciences and arts and nourished them with her breast, patronizing the wise and pious.
Lord Vishnu is known as the guardian god because he protects the Earth. He also came to Earth in many forms or avatars for different roles to sustain the creation. Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth and Goddess of fortune) is his consort. Vishnu has four arms and light blue skin. His hands hold a lotus, a club (gada), a conch (shankha), and a disc (chakra).
Lord Vishnu Facts
The mundane incarnation of Vishnu includes many avatars: ten avatars, including Matsyavatara (fish), Koorma (turtle), Varaha (wild boar), Narasimha (the lion), Vamana (dwarf), Parasurama (angry person), Lord Rama (human of the Ramayana), Lord Balarama (brother of Krishna), and Lord Krishna (divine diplomat and statesman). Regarding the 10th incarnation, holy books have mentioned ‘Kalki avatar’ will come to earth as the savior of the human’s deeds at end of Kali Yuga.
There are also some interesting stories of Buddha being one of the avatars. This belief is a recent addition from when the concept of Dashavatara was already being developed. Bishnu is considered the savior who often takes a human form from time to time to save human life from evil entities.
On one of the backhands, he holds the shell of a white snail, or shankha, which transmits the primordial sound of Om, and on the other, the disc, or chakra – a reminder of the cycle of time – which also deadens the weapon he uses against blasphemy. The other hand holds the lotus, which means noble existence, and the mace, which denotes punishment for indiscipline.
Vishnu is often depicted as reclining on Sheshanaga – a coiled, multi-headed serpent that floats in cosmic waters representing a peaceful universe. This pose symbolizes calm and patience in the face of fear and worries that the rattlesnake represents. The message here is that you must not let fear overwhelm you and interfere with your peace.
Vishnu’s vehicle is the Garuda, the king of birds. Strengthened with courage and speed to spread knowledge of the Vedas, Garuda is the certainty of fear in times of calamity.
Lord Shiva is considered the main god of the Hindu trinity or Trimurti, who removes all evil from the world. The destroyer god, Shiva, once drank poison to provide an elixir for other gods, and thus got a blue neck (Nilkantha). He has a third eye on his forehead and it is believed that when all three eyes open up, it signals extreme holy events or unholy events. Moreover, Goddess Parvati is his companion. They had two sons named Ganesha and Kartikeya. They live in the Himalayas. Shiva moves on the white bull Nandi (he is also revered separately; we can see Nandi’s sculptures with offerings in the temples dedicated to shiva).
Lord Shiva Facts
Shiva sometimes sits on a tiger skin, which symbolizes passion. And the fact that he sits on it symbolizes victory over passion. They say that this skin was ripped from a tiger sent to Shiva by men, angry that their wives were too eager for him. Shiva coped with the beast, apparently, with his passion.
Shiva performs tandava – a cosmic dance that allows him to gain energy for the next act of destruction/creation. The dance of death is performed to defeat the demon of ignorance. Nataraja, Shiva as a cosmic dancer, is a trendy subject of figurines.
Only God Shiva and Goddess Shakti can hold Trishul. Others cannot even touch Trishul as no one has the power to carry the tremendous energy of Trishul. Trishul (three thorns) of Shiva removes the three Gunas, namely Rajas, Tamas, and Sattva. Three thorns in Trishul indicate the three eyes of Shiva, and Shiva is indicated as Trikala darshi (who knows the past, present, and future). Once a Trishul is released from the hand of Shiva, it cannot be brought back until Trishul completes the task.
Shiva and his consort Parvati are represented in the form of Ardhanarishvara, a half-male and half-female icon. The concept of the universe’s masculine energy (Purusha) and feminine energy (Prakriti) in synthesis. On another level, it is also used to mean that the wife is half of the husband in a marital relationship and has equal status. For this reason, Shiva-Parvati is often considered an example of a perfect marriage.
Shiva’s body is stained with ash. An important fact is that these ashes are usually from the cemetery. This aligns with the Hindu philosophy of life and death that death is the ultimate reality of worldly life. Everything, in the end, turns to ash, and the Lord himself goes beyond the circle of life and death.
Shiva is said to wear a Rudraksha mala with 108 beads known to be made from his tears. These beads refer to the elements of the world and thus represent the fact that Shiva is firm in the cosmic laws and strictly abides by them.
The trinity gods are not only depicted for divine energy of transcendent power or destructive power. An early European Hindu Scholar, Edwar Moor, published a book named The Hindu Pantheon. It was one of the initial books that spread the concept of Hinduism to English-speaking audiences. And guess what? The first 3 chapters of the book are about Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.