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The triad of supreme gods from Hindu mythology who represents the cosmic cycle of existence. They consist of Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer. Their female counterparts and consorts are the Tridevi.
Carl Black.


The Trimurti is a divine triad of the three second-generation primordial gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, the Supreme Divinities of Hinduism. It is an iconographic representation of God (specifically Brahman) in Hinduism, which depicts divinity as a three faced figure.

Overview

These three faces represent God's roles of creation, preservation and destruction, which are associated with Brahma (the source or creator), Vishnu (the preserver or indwelling-life), and Shiva (the destroyer and transformer) respectively. These three personae are thought to represent different modalities of the one supreme divinity.

These three forms or faces of the Trimurti represent God's roles of creation, preservation and destruction, which are associated with Brahma (the source or creator), Vishnu (the preserver or indwelling-life), and Shiva (the destroyer and transformer) respectively. Some Hindus use these cosmological functions of the three gods to create an acronym for "GOD"; that is Generator (Brahma), Operator (Vishnu) and Destroyer (Shiva).

A widely accepted belief is that the three gods seen together represent earth, water, and fire. The earth is seen as the originator of all life and hence is regarded as Brahma. Water is seen as the sustainer of life and is represented as Vishnu. Fire consumes or transforms life and is therefore considered to be Shiva. Alternatively, the three members of the Trimurti are conceived to be analogous with the three planes of consciousness: On the spiritual plane, the spiritual element is represented by Brahma, the psychic element by Vishnu, and the physical element by Shiva. On the psychic plane, Brahma epitomizes intuitive and creative thought, Vishnu is intelligence, and Shiva represents emotion.

Myths and Legends

In general, it can be said that the Trimurti has less of a role in the Hinduism of recent centuries than in ancient India.

Trimurti temples

Temples dedicated to various permutations of the Trimurti can be seen as early as the 6th century C.E., and there are still some temples today in which the Trimurti are actively worshiped.

  • Baroli Trimurti Temple
  • Elephanta Caves
  • Mithrananthapuram Trimurti Temple
  • Prambanan Trimurti Temple
  • Savadi Trimurti Temple
  • Thripaya Trimurti Temple

Quotes

Gallery

Trivia

  • Another acronym that can be use for the cosmological functions of the three gods is "CUM"; that is Creator (Brahma), Upholder (Vishnu), and Mutilator (Shiva).
  • The legendary yogi Dattatreya is often treated as not only one of the 24 avatars of Vishnu, but also of Shiva and Brahma as well in a single three-headed body
  • The concept of Trimurti is present in the Maitri Upanishad, where the three gods are explained as three of his supreme forms.
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