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The Symbolic Meaning of Brahma in Hindu Myth

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Brahma

Although Lord Brahma is a member of the Hindu Trinity, he is not widely worshipped and there are no festivals or rituals held in his honor. Curiously, there are only three temples dedicated to him in India.

Yet Brahma is the Creator God of Hindu mythology, and as a member of the Trimurti is considered a Supreme Deity. So why is Brahma not revered by Hindus with the same passion and fervor as Vishnu and Shiva?

The official reason can be found in a Hindu myth. After angering Shiva, “the destroyer” Shiva curses Brahma and tells him he will never be worshipped by mankind.

However, this is not the true reason – the proposition that I am making here. Perhaps it is speculation. In ancient symbolism, Brahma represents the mind, and because the mind is unpredictable and can deceive us, Brahma is not worthy of veneration.

Having said that, the enlightened men and women among us that have learned to master their minds, have every reason to worship Brahma.

As the creator God, Brahma is described as the “Universal Mind”, thus in ancient symbolism represents our conscious thoughts. He is mentioned in myth as being born from the cosmic egg, whilst later he emerges from Vishnu’s navel on a lotus flower.

The cosmic egg is the Universe. Vishnu represents absolute consciousness and the ultimate laws of existence. As I will demonstrate later in this article, Brahma essentially represents our conscious thoughts and the nature of the human mind. His consort Saraswati represents our emotions.

In the myths of Brahma and the other members of the Trimurti, you will find in ancient Hindu wisdom, the modern concept that we have a higher consciousness and by tapping into it we can overcome attachment to desires that ultimately destroy the connection we have with our true self.

Brahma and Saraswati

Having emerged from Vishnu’s navel, Brahma creates the world, but finds he is alone, so creates a female consort, Saraswati (although she is called many names) from his head.

Readers that are familiar with Greek and Roman mythology will be familiar with this story. Zeus gives birth to his “daughter” Hera, who later becomes his wife.

The story told in the ancient Hindu literature of the Matsya-Purana, explains that the Creator God splits in two whilst meditating and produces the female dimension of himself.

As the daughter, Saraswati represents the untamed emotions of a child and distracts Brahma with her beauty, representing the essence of desire. It is times like this when the ego takes over and the habitual mind kicks into auto-pilot.

The Creator God becomes infatuated by Saraswati, but she spurns his advances and runs away. Brahma sprouts five heads in search of his desire and finally finds her. The five heads represent our emotions which dictate the desires we have.

Emotions provoke desire and attachment which become a distraction. We lose our sense of higher consciousness and become controlled by the habitual mind of the material world.

In the Puranas, Brahma’s fascination with Sarswati angers Shiva, who burns off one of his heads with a fiery third eye. Shiva is known as the destroyer of ego and burns away our desires and attachments.

Brahmas misdeeds are essentially a reminder that we can sometimes allow our emotions to run away from us. When impulsions overcome the mind, we have crazy thoughts and act out of desperation. Shiva is a karmic reminder of the destruction that follows.

The symbolic meaning of Saraswati in Hindu myth

The name Saraswati comes from the root word “Swa” in ancient Sanskrit, meaning essence or self. Assigned as the goddess of knowledge, learning and creativity, she is a reminder that we need to acquire skills and information before we act.

She also represents the vibrations of the Universe, seen by her playing musical instruments. The instruments make sound, and the sound – symbolized by Aum – is the point of creation in Hindu mythology.

The goddess is often pictured with a peacock in Hindu art. The peacock represents resurrection, but because of the bird’s ability to kill and eat snakes, represents our innate sense to overcome the demons of our habitual mind.

Thus the vibrations of creation that Saraswati represents, “resurrect” on the material plane as manifested reality. This is what Hindus and Buddhists call karma.

When Saraswati eventually yields to Brahma, they become one. Together the couple represents the balance of mind and emotions. By controlling the emotions with the mind, rather than mind with emotions, order is restored.

Here, ancient myths reveal that the ego must overcome temptation and balance the heart and mind with analytical thought and nurturing emotions. Essentially, we have to focus on doing the right thing in every moment.

The lessons we can extract from the stories of Brahma and Saraswati is that by being consciously aware of your emotions and taking control of perpetual yearnings, you will find peace of mind and attract more harmony in your life.

The fate of Brahma

It is also said in Hindu myth that Brahma goes to sleep for 4.32 billion years, which represents one day in cosmic terms. In Gematria, 4.32 billion years is nine (4+3+2) which symbolizes absolute consciousness, personified in Hindu mythology by Vishnu.

When Brahma consciousness returns to absolute consciousness – which we do in our sleep – boons or curses are handed out depending on whether we learned our lesson and acted accordingly.

Psychoanalysts believe that during sleep, our mind, and our physical bodies, explore the spiritual worlds of the astral planes. It is believed there are nine levels, the final destination being absolute consciousness.

Whilst our sub-conscious is in the astral planes, our future is being created based on our vibrational energies. If we have acted negatively, we emit low vibrations and only reach the lowest levels of consciousness where demons lurk.

This is when bad fortunes occur.

Whilst Brahma sleeps, the world – you – are consumed by fire. Order is only restored when he awakes. Thus the fire forges a new creation and when the metal cools, it hardens in reality. We call it fate.

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