Brahma

Brahma

Brahma is one of the three major gods of India, the other two being Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma is said to represent the creative force in the universe and is thus commonly known as “the creator.”

The Devi Mahatmya tells this story:

At the end of a kalpa, when the Universe was returned to one great ocean, and Vishnu, the Preserver was deep in slumber, with Sesa the great serpent as his bed, Brahma was sitting in the lotus that emerged from Vishnu’s navel. From the dirt in the sleeping Vishnu’s ears emerged two demons who sought to murder Brahma. Brahma, seeing these two demons, and that Vishnu dreamed on, called out to Yoganidra, the Supreme Goddess, who dwells in Vishnu’s eyes. Extolling Her, as the supporter of the worlds, and the cause of sustentation and dissolution alike, as the great Goddess and the great Asura alike. He implored Her to bewitch the two demons and to wake up Vishnu that he might slay the two. She emerged then from Vishnu’s eyes in Her full and resplendent form, and feeling her taking leave of him, Vishnu awoke and thus came to kill the demons Madhu and Kaitabha. (from the Sri Ramakrisna Math English translation of the Devi Mahatmya)

A famous teaching story in Jyotish (the divination practices of India) describes how the lunar constellation of Mrgasirsa came to be:

Brahma had a daughter, and at a certain moment, he began to lust after her. The frightened girl took the form of a deer, and fled into the heavens. Brahma, his lust growing, took stag form and pursued her into those same heavens. On seeing these events unfold, Shiva intervened and cut off the stag’s head, where it hangs now as the Nakshatra Mrigasirsa. (from an English language rendering in Light on Life by Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda)