Gods of the Hindu Religion:
The Hindu Trinity
Brahma, Vishnu, & Shiva
In Hinduism, it is believed that the whole universe was created and run by the three fundamental forces which are symbolized by the three Gods of Hindu Trinity - namely Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They have also been referred as the "Trimurti".
Lord Brahma is perceived as the creator of Universe, Lord Vishnu - the sustainer or preserver and Lord Shiva, the destroyer.
Their consorts or wives are helpful to them in performing their duties. Goddess Saraswathi - the deity of Knowledge is Brahma's consort, Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth and prosperity is Vishnu's wife and Parvati - referred to as mother goddess is the wife of Lord Shiva.
Although the three gods of Hindu Trinity are said to rule three different worlds namely - Brahmalok, Vaikunth and Kailash respectively - all three are seen as a manifestation of one Supreme Being called - "Ishwara".
The concept of the Trinity does not seem to originate from the Vedic period (the period during which the Vedas were being composed) as there isn't any mention of the Trinity in the Vedas (the Sacred Texts of Hinduis).
In the Rig Vedic age Lord Vishnu was a solar deity and Lord Shiva was not popular at all. So it seems the perception of the Trinity is an Indian theory, and not something that has emerged from the Vedas. The roles of the three Gods - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were eventually assimilated in the Hindu religion.
The Trinity of God appears in three different roles at the same time. While Brahma is said to have created the universe, the universe is set to remain for a "Brahmakalpa" which is equivalent to four billion earth years. At the end of this Brahmakalpa, according to the beliefs of Hinduism, the whole of the universe will be destroyed.
Lord Vishnu plays the role of sustainer of life in the Hindu cosmology and maintains his steadfast principles of truth, righteousness and order on earth. Whenever there is a risk or threat to these values, Lord Vishnu emerges in an avatar or mortal form on earth to restore order and peace.
Lord Shiva's role in the Hindu Cosmology has been termed as the destroyer. On the Pralay day, i.e. on the day of end of Brahma's lifespan, Lord Shiva takes the form of "Natraj" and dances his "Tandava" steps until the whole earth is destroyed only to be rebuilt and start a new era after 100 years of its end.
Thus the Hindu cosmological order is in the hands of the Hindu Trinity comprising of the three principal or supreme deities of Hinduism - Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh and each of them plays an integral role in the running of the cosmos and maintaining the cycle of the Universe.
Hinduism: An Overview of the Hindu Religion
4 Central Beliefs: Karma
Hindu Gods: Brahma Lord Who Created the Universe
4 Central Beliefs: Samsara
Hindu Gods: Lord Vishnu Removing the Darkness of Illusion
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