The Secret of Trimurti and its Application in Daily Life
Before answering this question, let’s bust the popular misconception of Thrimurti – the triad of gods consisting of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. I asked her: “Please explain about Thrimurti.
“Trinity is a manifestation of the supreme God (Brahmam) in three forms – consisting of Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer – and is the oldest concept in Hinduism,” she said. In fact, this is being taught all over the world.
“This is totally baseless,” I replied, “Vedic literature does not mention such trinity. Such a concept of triple deity is not present in Vedic literature, the foundation of Sanatan Dharma. Thrimurti concept comes into existence recently along with later Puranas. There are very few places in Indian literature where the Thrimurti is mentioned.”
– There is only one Purana, to the best of my knowledge that says Brahmam is worshipped as Thrimurti and they are identified as Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. It is Kūrma Purāṇa.
– Among these three, only Vishnu is mentioned in Vedas – that too as a minor deity. Vedas predominantly worship nature in its most sublime aspects. Shiva is not mentioned in Vedas. There is another minor god – Rudra. And only a few hymns are assigned to him. Some Sages later believed that Rudra is Shiva. Brahmanaspati is the lord of hymns. Later, puranic Hinduism names it Brahma.
“Uday, do you know, even the word ‘GOD’ stands for Generator, Operator, and Destroyer. It comes from the Hindu concept of Thrimurti – Brahma the Generator, Vishnu the Operator, and Shiva the Destroyer. It all has immense cosmic energy.” a friend, who is a retired professor, told me once.
“Sir, it cannot even qualify to be called a bedtime story. It is just an idiotic concept. It is just a superstitious Semitic belief. Brahma is not the creator. He is our ancestor. The cosmos was in place before he was born. And Shiva is not a destroyer – what did he destroy? Even the number of Asuras (demons) killed by him is much less than that by Vishnu. The conservation of energy is an absolute law – Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one. So, this concept is totally baseless in terms of literature as well as science.”
My college mate, a hardcore Hindu, Sanal, once told me: “Thrimurti represents the three basic, fundamental forces in this universe. It is pure science.”
We both studied physics. “Then there should be four Murtis. There are four fundamental interactions or forces: gravitation, electromagnetism, the weak interaction, and the strong interaction.” I said.
“Udayji, do you worship Thrimurti?” George, a friend of mine and a Christian by faith asked me.
“Yes, I do. The first thing I do when I get up from the bed is to pay my homage to Brahma, then Vishnu and Shiv among other deities…”
“What a conflict. You are telling that they do not exist. You still worship them! Your Vedic literature doesn’t sanction that…”
“We don’t have Ram, Krishna, and Hanuman in Vedas but still we pray to them. They are historical characters. What I said was, there is no Thrimurti as pictured by the artists in this universe.”
“Then what’s the real concept of Thrimurti?”
“Our learned ancestors – among them were scientists and sages – taught us that the concept of Thrimurti to develop a healthy, happy and long life.”
“I don’t understand,” he said.
“Use your brain…” I said, “Brain is the seat of creativity.”
“Yes, it is – but how is it related to Thrimurti?” he asked.
“Our ancestors have gone much beyond the modern knowledge on brain aka mind and they found that it has four parts – 1. manas (the mind), 2. chitta (the memory), 3. buddhi (the intellect) and 4. ahańkāra (the ego). To make it simple, they pictured these four parts into four separate heads. Hence they represented creativity with four heads. Brahma is pictured to have four heads…”
“For any creative work, you need wisdom and learning, so they have added Saraswati – the goddess of learning to partner with Brahma.”
“Udayji, but his vehicle (vahana) is hansa (swan). Isn’t that funny?”
“The brain needs to have the power of discrimination – according to sages, a swan is said to possess a unique discriminating faculty, which enables it to distinguish pure milk from a mixture of milk and water.”
“He is sitting in a lotus flower that’s connected to Vishnu’s navel button, what a funny picture?”
“George, is it really possible to stand or sit in a lotus flower? Try to put a small stone on a lotus flower, it may sink. So, how can one person sit in a lotus flower? It’s impossible. It’s just to show that he sits so balanced in a delicate world that represents the dual nature of creation, that is purity and impurity, happiness and unhappiness, vice and virtue, knowledge and ignorance, and so on. And the lotus grows out of Vishnu’s (Vishnu represents cosmos) navel shows the umbilical cord connection of the creation to the cosmos.”
(There is no creator, but the creation and created exist – Please check my article “Is there a creator?”)
“Oh, I didn’t know those things…”
“Brahma represents the dawn, Vishnu the day, and Shiva the Sandhya (evening),” I said.
Our ancestors maintained that we should adjust our biological clock with the solar clock. The human system is best suited according to Sun’s energy – direct and indirect. They have estimated the life expectancy of a human being as 125 years! To live a healthy and fruitful life per nature they have created a concept of Thrimurti.
The quality of time, the best state of brain, etc in the early morning. The time then is called Brahma muhurta Saraswati yamam. It’s the best time to learn something – that’s why almost all intellectual and mind related activities (like meditation, Surya namaskar, yoga, mantra, havan, etc) are designed for the early morning time.
Astanga Hridayam, the reputed Ayurvedic text, says: “Brahmi muhurte uttishtet swastho rakshaarthamayushah|” – A person who is interested in preserving the health and longevity should get up early in the morning in Brahma-muhurta. A human being would be more creative during that time – (of course, I know, you will show some exceptions for the sake of arguing).
“Udayji, what about Vishnu then?”
“You know that Vishnu’s abode is Vaikunta in Ksheera Sagara (Milky Ocean). Incidentally, the name of our galaxy is the same He is lying in a serpent named Ananta-Sesha. The latest astronomical discovery says Galaxy contains about 100,000 suns’ worth of material and looks more like a cosmic snake. Ananta means Infinity. Sesha means “that which remains”. Even if this world is destroyed, Shesha remains as he is. It is just a representation of the existence of the galaxy. Vishnu is blue in color. Sky like blue. The blue color represents the depth. He is described as being blue, meaning that he is all-pervasive and omnipresent. The color represents infinity too.”
“Salutation to our sages, who were also astronomers…” he said.
“Vishnu represents Dharma. In its feet, there is Artha (wealth), represented by his wife, Lakshmi. So to say, ‘make money through Dharmic way’. Do I have to explain more?”
“No – I understand – we have to make money righteously – if you follow Dharma, wealth will come under your feet,” George said, “What about Shiva?”
– The latest studies say that the universe can endlessly expand and contract in a cosmological cyclic model. Atharva Veda calls the process ‘pracharana’ (expand) and ‘sangkochana’ (contract). When the universe expands creation (of stars, galaxies, and content inside) happens. When it contracts, trillions of celestial bodies are destructed. This cyclical, rhythmical process can happen simultaneously in the infinite number of parallel dimensions too.
– The creation (expansion) or destruction (contraction), the process is just the energy changing its form. You know energy can be neither created nor be destroyed, but it transforms from one form to another.
– This is a rhythmic continuous process of the cosmic energy that appears like a dance (This is my humble understanding). Our ancestors termed it as “tandava” (cosmic dance). ‘Rudra Tandava’ or the dance of destruction. ‘Aananda Tandavam’ or dance of bliss is associated with the creation of the world, after its total destruction. (See Is Shiva for real?)
“Oh, Shiv is such a beautiful concept…” he said.
“When you come back to Thrimurti concept – Shiva is the day-end. Then Tamas, darkness or night begins – only to transform towards the next dawn…It’s a cyclical process. Shiva is represented as ArdhaNareeswara – when a man and woman join together as one. To simplify it, we worship Shiva in the form of Linga (phallus). The circular horizontal base of it is called a yoni. It is a union of a Linga and a Yoni (of Mother Parvati) showing that this is the source of all creation. It also represents the Kama. The end of the day or destroyer of the day also means Moksha.”
“I don’t understand…”
“The whole life is represented as a single day here – through which the cycle of Purushartha (four aims of life – Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha) is complete. A full day is actually your full life – be creative and educate yourself (Brahma), make money through dharmic way (Vishnu), use that money to fulfill your desires (kama), and move towards moksha(Shiva) – in the end, you go to sleep – eternal sleep. Is it clear now?”
“Yes, Uday, it is very clear.”
“The life-span of a human is divided into four – student (Brahmacharya), householder (Grihastha), retired (Vanaprastha), and renunciation (Sannyasa). The first part is being with Brahma – education and skill learning. Then live a fulfilling life – as a family man and retired – based on Dharma fulfilling the Kama. After that, move towards renunciation. That’s what Thrimurti concept reminds us every moment…”
“Now tell me, shouldn’t we worship Thrimurti every day? Aren’t they a reminder to every human being?” I asked.
Our ancestors were very liberal and offer to live the way you want, pray the way you want and our restrictions are mostly based on rules of humanity.
Our ancestors saw that there is a consciousness from which the entire cosmos is sprung into existence and then expanded exponentially. What can expand? Mass, which is another form of energy. An expansion of mass using energy can look like an explosion too, right? It is a bang! When it happens on a universal scale, we call it the Big Bang. So consciousness expands into the universe the way a spider spin its web. That’s how Vedic scriptures explain the Big Bang theory.
In the Sanskrit language, the Consciousness was given a name – “Purusha” (literal meaning is male). That which created (mass/energy or nature) is Prakriti (female). The female creative energy is also known as Shakti (the force).
There is an interesting conversation in Shiv Purana. Sage Bhrigu askes Shiv: “Who is your father?” Shiv says: “Brahma”. Who is his father? Brahma manifested from Vishnu’s navel. Hence Vishnu is his father. Who is the father of Vishnu then? Shiva replied, “I am”.
The Purusha is always manifested as Vishnu->Brahma->Shiva and this cycle repeats. There is no endpoint, no one, thus can be called “Supreme, the father of all”. Prakriti also manifests herself into Shakti (Parvati), Lakshmi, and Saraswati, the energy of the three Purushas. This is how our ancients explained. I don’t know if anything more can be added from quantum theory.
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