One of the common questions among the ones trying to know about Hindu dharma is “Why is Brahma not worshiped as much as Vishnu and Shiva?” Or even “Why Brahmaji has only a few temples all across the world, but Vishnu and Shiva have tons?”
Let’s debunk the reasons for it:
Shiva Purana has it that there was one time when Brahma and Vishnu had an argument on who was the most powerful amongst the Trimurti. The argument went on and on until they asked Shiva to intervene. Shiva then took the form of a gigantic lingam made of flaming fire, and that went up to the heavens and also descended underneath the earth. Shiva told them that the one who can find the end of the light will be considered the most powerful among the Trimurti.
Right then and there, Brahma took the form of a swan and started the search for the end of light along the length of ascending lingam. On the other hand, Vishnu took the form of a Varaha (wild boar) and started the search for the end of the light along the length of descending lingam.
They kept moving fast and continuously. But their search was in vain. Both couldn’t find the end.
Vishnu realized the fact that Shiva was, in fact, the greatest of the triad and he had been outdone by Shiva. But, Brahma thought that he could outdo Shiva with trickery. He passed the ketaki flower and requested ketaki to tell Shiva that he had in fact reached the uppermost end. Ketaki told Shiva that he had seen Brahma reach the upper end of the lingam.
Shiva knew that he was lying and that made him really angry. So, he cursed Brahma that he shall never be worshiped on earth. Also, the ketaki flower was cursed that it shall never be used in any of Hindu worship rituals.
In Matsya Purana, Shatarupa is known with different names: Satarupa, Sandhya or Brahmi.
It says that when Brahma created the universe, he made a female deity known as Shatarupa (the one with a hundred beautiful forms).
The goddess’s beauty was alluring and Brahma too was allured and infatuated by her beauty. He could not contain his passion and pursued her wherever she went But Shatarupa had no such desire and moved in various directions so that she could avoid his gaze. For each direction she went, Brahma developed a head, until he had four, each for the direction of the compass. Shatarupa had no other option but to leap over Brahma. Even then, Brahma developed another head on top of others. He had a total of five heads now.
Right then, Shiva appeared and cut the top head. He told Brahma that Shatarupa was, in fact, Brahma’s daughter because he created her, and Shiva told him that it was not right for him to be obsessed with her. It was deemed unholy by Shiva. So, he directed that no proper worship should be done in the name of “unholy” Brahma. Ever since Brahma has been reciting the Vedas so that he can be freed from his sins.
There is another version of the story that talks about different kinds of animals that were born. When Brahma grew his fifth head, Shatarupa then turned into a cow to avoid his lust. When Brahma found about that, he turned into a bull and found her. Then, Shatarupa turned into another female animal; Brahma again turned into a male version of that animal. That process went on and on until Shiva arrived and cut Brahma’s fifth head to end his lust.
There was a time when great sages gathered at the bank of the river Saraswati to participate in Mahayagya. When they were discussing who they should offer Pradhanta, the master of the Yagya, the were confused. Back then, Maharishi Bhrigu was also present and everyone decided that Maharishi Bhrigu will test and decide who is the greatest of all.
So, Maharishi Bhrigu thought of testing Brahma first. So, he went to Brahmalok and on purpose, showed utter disrespect to Brahma. As Bhrigu was his son, Brahma got angry and thought of punishing him. But Maha Saraswati, wife of Brahma, saved Maharishi from being punished. But instead, Maharishi got angry and thought that Brahma is not worthy of being called “Supreme”, and thus cursed him to never be worshiped in Kaliyug.
Another version of the story states that Brahmarshi Bhirgu cursed Brahma because when he went to Brahma to invite for the Yagna, Brahma didn’t bother to hear a thing he was saying as Brahma was completely immersed in the music played by Saraswati.
Bhavishya Purana, one of the eighteen major Puranas states that daityas had begun to worship Brahma and thus, the devas of heaven could not defeat them. To sway them from worshipping, Vishnu appeared on Earth as Buddha and convinced the daityas to stop worshiping Brahma.