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Brahma | Creation | Source
of the Vedic knowledge | Progeny
Time reference | Residence | Destination
mahajana but influenced by passion (BG 9.30, falldown of great persons is only temporary and immediately rectified), His falldown may be a part of lila; other mahajanas also "fell down" (like in case of Siva and Mohini, Narada wanted to see the power of maya and Krsna fulfilled his desire)
after awakening from his sleep he has to undergo austerity to be able to create the universe as it was before. (SB 3.12.18)
his form the first after coming from the spiritual world (SB 9.24.58p.)
Brahma-vimohana lila: Lord Balarama was not among the stolen cowherd boys because He celebrated His birthday at home (same as next year when Brahma returned). One reason for this pastime is given in Brahma-vaivarta Purana: The next day after Balarama's appearance is auspicious time for marriage. When Krsna returned with cowherd boys (His expansions) He requested Nanda M. to take advantage of it and marry all single gopis to His friends (Himself). Thus criticism of Krsna's amorality in rasa-lila has no grounds.
SB 3.8.20 - end of his life?
Astaratha Das: "In the commentaries this word (purusa-ayusa) is unanimously explained as 'the duration of life of a purusa' (man), and by some, like the Jiva Gosvami, is stated that Maitreya Rsi is there referring to the average hundred years duration of man's life in Kali-yuga."
Ekanath Das: SB 2.9.6 tells us that Brahma heard two syllables "while thus engaged in thinking, in the water."
SB 2.9.8 describes how Brahma, after hearing those two syllables, begins to meditate: "Lord Brahma underwent penances for one thousand years by the calculations of the demigods."
SB 3.8.20 tells us that Brahma used up his entire life span diving down in the water inside the lotus stalk: "...while searching in that way about his existence, Brahma reached his ultimate time..."
SB 3.8.22 confirms that Brahma's meditation lasted for his entire 100 years: "At the end of Brahmas one hundred years, when his meditation was complete, he developed the required knowledge,..."
SB 3.9.30 explains that after his meditation, and after asking the Lord to grant him the power to create, Brahma is instructed to meditate AGAIN: "O Brahma, situate yourself in penance and meditation and follow the principles of knowledge to receive My favor."
SB 3.10.4 informs us that this second meditation lasted for one hundred celestial years: "O Vidura, Brahma thus engaged himself in penances for one hundred celestial years, as advised by the Personality of Godhead,.."
The caption under Plate Seven refers to 3.8.22. Both verse and purport seem to confirm that Brahma indeed meditated for his entire life.
Visvanatha confirms that "ayuh" in (3.8.20) means 100 years: "samvatsara-satatmaka"
He explains 3.8.22 as follows:
'abhipravrtta-yogena' (being engaged in yoga), means 'who had attained a youthful condition by meditating on the Lord' (pakadasa-praptabhagavad-dhyanena).
Jiva Gosvami, commenting on SB 3.8.22, explains that the one thousand celestial years mentioned in 2.9.8, refer to events in the Brahma-kalpa. (That is the first kalpa).
While Visvanatha's explanation that one who meditates on the Lord retains or attains a youthful condition, is well taken, the two other passages, where the duration of Brahma's second meditation is given as one thousand (2.9.8), or one hundred (3.10.4) celestial years respectively, are not convincing. Both figures are extremely short times in relation to Brahma's own time scale. Since Brahma's one minute equals six million solar years, this would mean that in the Brahma kalpa his second meditation lasted 3.6 seconds (according to his time), and in the subsequent kalpas it lasts 0.36 seconds. Even the figures that Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaja gives in his commentary on SB 3.8.22, do not improve the situation. He says that the one hundred years equaled 43,200,000 solar years, while the one thousand year meditation lasted 432,000,000 solar years. Those would be 7.2 or 72 minutes of Brahma's time. None of these deserve to be called "severe austerities."
In any case, to sum it up, Brahma seems to have gone through three phases: 1. underwater research for 100 years of his own life 2. meditation on the lotus for 100 years of his own life 3. 1000 celestial years of meditation in the Brahma kalpa, or 100 celestial years in the subsequent kalpas.
Brahma (a masculine form not to be confused with Brahman, the neuter gender denoting the spiritual splendor of the Lord's body) is a title for the secondary creator of the universe (vaikrta phase of creation) and the progenitor of the living beings, Prajapati. He is the chief of all the demigods and the original brahmana. He is usually a jiva (living being) but when there is no qualified jiva to assume this post, the Supreme Lord expands Himself as Brahma.
Brahma, also known as Aja ("Unborn"), Padma-ja ("Lotus-born"),
Svayambhu ("Self-existent"), or Caturmukha ("Four-faced"),
is said to have been born from a golden egg and in turn to have created the
earth and all things on it. He is also described as having come forth from a
lotus that issued from Visnu's navel.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.2, 2.8.9. 3.8.16 etc.)
Brahma is usually depicted as having four faces (Brahmas in other universes
have more heads) and four arms, holding sacrificial instruments, prayer beads,
and a book, and either seated or standing on a lotus throne or on his mount,
the hamsa (swan). His consorts, Savitri and Sarasvati, frequently accompany
him. In painting he is depicted with a yellow complexion, wearing white garments
and garlands. His four heads were manifested while he was moving his eyes in
all four directions after his birth. (SB 3.8.16) His body is composed of mahat-tattva,
the reservoir of intelligence predominated by passion.
He prayed for Lord Krsna's descent on the earth.
Lord Varahadeva appeared from his body.
According to Mahabharata Adi Parva 224.23, the Gandiva bow was formerly Lord
Brahma's. He gave Lord Siva a sword
(MB Santiparva 166.45).
By meditating on the virat-rupa, he regained his lost consciousness and was
able to rebuild the creation as it was before.
(SB 2.2.1, 2.4.22)
"...The creator, Brahma, as the incarnation of the passion mode of the
Personality of Godhead, creates the universal affairs with unfailing desires
in every millennium by the force of the Lord's energy."
"Thus engaged in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord
Brahma entered into the whorl of the lotus, and as it spread all over the universe
he divided it into three divisions of worlds and later into fourteen divisions."
"Lord Brahma is the most exalted personality in the universe because of
his causeless devotional service unto the Lord in mature transcendental knowledge.
He therefore created all the fourteen planetary divisions for inhabitation by
the different types of living entities."
Source of the Vedic knowledge
The Vedas are revealed by Lord Krsna to Brahma.
The four Vedas issued from his four mouths together with Vedic hymns which
had not been pronounced before, rituals, the subject matters of the recitation,
and transcendental activities.
"Education, charity, penance and truth are said to be the four legs of
religion, and to learn this there are four orders of life with different classifications
of castes according to vocation. Brahma created all these in systematic order."
"The four divisions of retired life are the vaikhanasas, valakhilyas,
audumbaras and phenapas. The four divisions of the renounced order of life are
the kuticakas, bahvodas, hamsas and niskriyas. All these were manifested from
"The science of logical argument, the Vedic goals of life, and also law
and order, moral codes, and the celebrated hymns bhuh, bhuvah and svah all became
manifested from the mouths of Brahma, and the pranava omkara was manifested
from his heart."
He studied the Vedas in detail three times, and he ascertained that attraction
for the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna is the highest perfection of
"Although I am known as the great Brahma, perfect in the disciplic succession
of Vedic wisdom, and although I have undergone all austerities and am an expert
in mystic powers and self-realization, and although I am recognized as such
by the great forefathers of the living entities, who offer me respectful obeisances,
still I cannot understand Him, the Lord, the very source of my birth."
(SB 2.6.35 etc.)
He revealed the Srimad-Bhagavatam, which was described by the Personality of
Godhead, to his son Narada.
He created ten sons from different parts of his body to populate the universe.
He also created different coverings of ignorance.
He became attracted to his daughter Vak.
He created Svayambhuva Manu and Satarupa from his body.
Soma, the moon-god is a partial representation of Brahma
Kalpa (a day of Brahma) is consists of thousand mahayugas, fourteen manvantaras, or 4,320,000,000 years.
The beginning of this kalpa was 2.3 billion years ago (453 mahayugas back).
Brahma's life (vikalpa) is 311,040,000,000,000 years long. "Our" Brahma is fifty years old.
"Outside of the three planetary systems [Svarga, Martya and Patala], the
four yugas multiplied by one thousand comprise one day on the planet of Brahma.
A similar period comprises a night of Brahma, in which the creator of the universe
goes to sleep."
"After the end of Brahma's night, the creation of the three worlds begins
again in the daytime of Brahma, and they continue to exist through the life
durations of fourteen consecutive Manus, or fathers of mankind."
His residence Satakaumbhi is on the top of the Mount Meru. It is made of gold.
(SB 5.16.28, 8.5.17-18)
His planet is called Brahmaloka (Satyaloka) and there is no birth, disease, old age, and death. Its inhabitants live as long as Brahma, for the duration of the universe.
He is worshiped at Puskaradvipa. (5.20.32) His worship on earth was gradually eclipsed by that of Visnu and Siva. Today there is no group that exclusively worships Brahma, and few temples are dedicated to him. The only prominent ones are Khedbrahma (Gujarat state) and Puskara, near Ajmer (Rajasthan state).
After dissolution of the universe he goes back to Godhead.
"Maharaja Pariksit said: O my lord, O Sukadeva Gosvami, you have already
described [in the Second Canto] the path of liberation [nivrtti-marga]. By following
that path, one is certainly elevated gradually to the highest planetary system,
Brahmaloka, from which one is promoted to the spiritual world along with Lord
Brahma. Thus one's repetition of birth and death in the material world ceases."