The Creator in the classic trinity of Hinduism. The other two gods being Vishnu and Shiva.
▵ The Cosmic Pillar
Creator Brahma and Preserver Vishnu came across a great pillar of fire. From this unending column of effulgence emanated the sound, Aum. Awed, they decided to investigate. Taking the form of a swan, Brahma rose high into the blue skies in pursuit of its summit. Taking the form of a boar, Vishnu bored his way deep into the universe in pursuit of its base.
Both failed. For this cosmic pillar was none other than Shiva himself. How can one measure the immeasurable? When Vishnu returned, he conceded defeat. However, not wanting to admit failure, Brahma boasted that he had scaled the summit. As proof, he presented a white ketaki flower that he claimed to have discovered at the roof of the universe. The flower vouched for Brahma’s claim.
▵ Brahma’s Lie
The lie cost Brahma dear, for no sooner was the sentence uttered than Shiva appeared as Adiyogi. The two gods fell at his feet. For this lie, Shiva declared, Brahma would henceforth be deprived of the privilege of worship. The flower, by becoming accomplice to this subterfuge, fell from grace. Adiyogi refused henceforth to accept it as an offering. However, an exception was made for the holy night of Mahashivratri. To this day, the white ketaki flower is offered for worship only on this darkest night in the year, considered to be the night of profoundest spiritual possibility.
Brahma’s lie marks the first act of fundamentalism on the planet. The flower too, is punished for offering tacit support to the fundamentalist impulse. To claim a limited end to a limitless process, to draw borders across the borderless, to make conclusions about the unfathomable – this is the beginning of the human impulse to create certainty where none exists. It is the birth of pain, of delusion.
▵ Brahma and the First Fundamentalist Act (Isha)