Brahma in art : various depictions

 

          Brahma is a part of the Hindu trinity of Gods along with Vishnu and Shiva. He has four faces and  the four Vedas are attributed to him. He is mentioned in post-vedic literature the puranas. Brahma is associated with the Vedic God Prajapati and Hiranyagarbha. Brahma is the creator God in the Trinity. He has been credited with creation as well as being mentioned as born from a lotus emerging form the navel of Lord Vishnu.Some puranas mention him to be born of Lord Shiva. 

     Brahma is worshipped at Pushkar Temple in Rajasthan. Brahma is worshipped at Thailand too. Brahma has been born from the Supreme being who has  been described as first of the Gods, Guardian of the world, Pitahma  in the Yajurveda. However there are different versions of his origin.  As per the Puranas, he is also believed to have hatched out of the Golden egg which was floating on primal waters. He is also believed as born from Lord Vishnu’s navel and has been depicted as such, in many paintings.

    Lord Brahma has four heads, though originally he had five, one being cut off by Lord Shiva. Legend has it that Shiva cut it off when it began speaking about the superiority of Brahma over Shiva.Another account has it that when the head uttered a lie, Shiva cut it off. Another says that the head asked Shiva to be born as Brahma’s son and Shiva cut it off.

Image result for brahma

Brahma,  Pahari painting, about 1700, North India.

By Probably Nurpur, Punjab Hills, Northern India [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

File:Brahma with Sarasvati, a miniature painting, c.1793.jpg

Brahma with Saraswati ,  illustration, Bhagavata Purana, 1793, Paris.

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

    Lord Brahma is depicted  reddish in colour  with four heads , each Veda  believed to have sprung from his heads. He is seen riding a swan/goose and his heaven is considered superior to the other heavens. He is also called Prajapati, Kamalasana, Atmabhu, Hiraynagarbha and Adikavi besides others. He is considered to be the deity of wisdom.

Brahma astride a crane (6125128654).jpg

Brahma, 1710, Chamba painting. Himachal Pradesh.

By thesandiegomuseumofartcollection – Flickr, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38307973

Image result for brahma wiki commons

Brahma on hamsa/swan,  17th-18th century, gilt bronze and polychrome,Tibet.

By Hiart (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

File:Brahma Musée Guimet 1197 1.jpg

Brahma, sculpture, Cambodia, Musée Guimet, Paris.

Autor: Vassil – Vlastní dílo, Volné dílo, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2751278

File:12th century Chennakesava temple at Somanathapura, Karnataka, India Lord Brahma.jpg

Brahma,Chennakesava temple, 13th century,Somanathapura, Karnataka, India.

By Nagarjun Kandukuru (Flickr: Lord Brahma) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva within an OM, Mahabharata manuscript,1795.

See page for author [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons,Source: http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/resources/collections/specdivision/botm.shtm

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Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva seated on lotuses with their consorts, Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati respectively,1770. Guler painting,  Himachal Paradesh,India.

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

File:Brahma, West India, c. 12th century AD, schist - Matsuoka Museum of Art - Tokyo, Japan - DSC07159.JPG

Brahma, West India,  12th century AD, schist, Matsuoka Museum of Art – Tokyo

By Daderot (Own work) [Public domain or CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

File:Brahma riding on his goose.jpg

Brahma, seated on a lotus seat, mounted on the back of his vehicle, the swan,painting, 19th century.

By Unknown (production) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O81891/brahma-riding-on-his-goose-painting-unknown/

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Brahma and his consort,Chitragupta temple,11th century, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.

By Aakash.gautam (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

File:Indian - The Recumbent Vishnu and the Creation of Brahma - Walters W906.jpg

The Recumbent Vishnu and the Creation of Brahma, between 1775 and 1800, Walters.

See page for author [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Brahma gives boon to Sheshnag and order to bear  Prthvi or Earth

By Ramanarayanadatta Shastri Not in Copyright [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Mahabharata. by Mahabharata. Published by Geeta Press in Gorakhpur . Written in Hindi. Classifications Library of Congress PK3631 A22 G6 ID Numbers Open Library OL23365037M Internet Archive mahabharata01ramauoft

File:Brahma preaches to sages.jpg

Brahma with the sages.

By Ramanarayanadatta astri (http://archive.org/details/mahabharata06ramauoft) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

File:Brahma, Phu Hung, 11th-12th century, Quang Nam - Museum of Cham Sculpture - Danang, Vietnam - DSC01939.JPG

Cham sculpture at the Museum of Cham Sculpture, Da Nang, Vietnam.

By Daderot (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Fil:Brahma Vishnu Mahesh.jpg

Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma,(from right) From the Story of the Sages Markandeya and Bhavana,  1850-1900,Opaque watercolour on cloth,Andhra Pradesh, LACMA collection, USA.

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

File:Brahma, the God of Creation LACMA M.2000.30.jpg

Brahma,sculpture,9th century, Central Java, Indonesia, LACMA, USA.

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Lord Brahma and Adhiti - 19th Century Illustration.jpg

Lord Brahma and Adhiti – 19th Century Illustration, Saraswati Mahal Library Collection, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

By Unknown – Saraswati Mahal Library Collection, Tanjorehttp://www.kamat.com/kalranga/mythology/5922.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17082400

Brooklyn Museum - Brahma Worships Krishna Page from a Dispersed Bhagavata Purana Series.jpg

Brahma worships Krishna,page from a Bhagavata Purana.

By Unknown – Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum; Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 75.203.3_IMLS_PS4.jpg, No restrictions, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14613962

Brooklyn Museum - Brahma.jpg

Brahma, Kalighat painting, Kolkata,19th-20th century.

By Unknown – Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum; Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2000.98.2_IMLS_PS4.jpg, No restrictions, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14623133

Hayagriva restoring Vedas to Brahma which were taken to Rasatala.jpg

Hayagriva handing over the Vedas to Brahma.

Ramanarayanadatta astri Volume: 5 Publisher: [Gorakhpur Geeta Press]

By Ramanarayanadatta astri – http://archive.org/details/mahabharat05ramauoft, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21174900

References :

  • Epics, myths and legends of India/Thomas, P, Bombay : D.B. Taraporevala and Sons.
  • wikipedia.org

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Soma Ghosh

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This entry was posted in Ancient Indian history, art history, Brahma, history of india and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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