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'Out of one come many'
Q. What does Chocolate taste like…?
Q1: Take two minutes, think about five of the different words you
would use to describe yourself. Think of two (nice) words other
people have used to describe you.
Which one is the most important? Why?
Do any of them determine who you think you really are?
Learning Intentions:
• We will further explore what Brahman is to
• We will begin to explore the Hindu idea of
the Trimurti
• We will explore the connection between
Brahman and the Trimurti.
Hindus believe in the oneness of the
universe. They see all the different
forms in the universe as being different
aspects of Brahman - ultimate reality.
Because Hindus see Brahman as the
essence of the entire universe they can
only represent Brahman in a symbol:
Aum is the most sacred symbol in
By sound and form it symbolizes the infinite
It is said at the beginning and end of prayers.
AUM carries many different but
connected meanings. One of the
most important strands of meaning
is the way it expresses Hindus'
view of the universe as a never
ending cycle...
The A symbolises CREATION.
The U symbolises PRESERVATION
The M symbolises DESTRUCTION.
Can you think of an example where
DESTRUCTION work together?
AUM also represents the Trimurti The three gods which fulfil the cosmic functions
of the universe.
What is the Trimurti?
• Hindus believe in one God – Brahman, who is in
everything, and everyone.
• Since aspects of Brahmans personality cannot be
understood by human beings – they are shown as
• Hindus believe Brahman has three main aspects.
These are called the Trimurti. This means "three
forms" of God.
• Although they might be understood as individual
Gods in Hinduism, ultimately, they are all part of
BRAHMA - The Creator
VISHNU - The Preserver
SHIVA - The Destroyer
The Trimurti are often portrayed as three
heads connected to one body.
Q. Why do you think this is?
You might expect Brahma - the creator to be one of the most important deities in
Hinduism. But although he is one of the
three aspects of Brahman, he is not as
popular as Vishnu, the preserver, or
Shiva, the destroyer.
Four heads and four arms represent the points of the
Sceptre or spoon
associated with
sacrifice and
Reads from the Vedas,
the Hindu Holy Books.
Vase for water from
which the world was
Brahma's vehicle is a divine goose representing
the ability to tell between good and evil and the
need for justice for all.
Vishnu - the Preserver
Vishnu is the second, and probably most
popular of the Hindu gods represented in the
Vishnu's form is sometimes described
as being beyond human perception
But he can also be
shown as blue skinned
and having four arms,
holding a mace, a
conch, a lotus and
chakra (wheel)
His hood of snakes
represents the eternal
and infinite cycles of
The name Vishnu means to 'pervade' i.e. be everywhere - or 'to take different
These ideas are combined in the
concept of Vishnu's ten avatars
An AVATAR is a 'descent' or 'incarnation'
of a deity for some special purpose. They
take up a bodily form on Earth, sometimes
human, in order to restore righteousness
and order.
A bit like a superhero!!!
The Ten Avatars of Vishnu are:
Matsya - the Fish
Kurma - the Tortoise
Varaha - the Boar
Narasimha - Half-Man, Half-Lion
Vamana - the Dwarf
Parashurama - Rama with an Axe
Rama - Prince and King of Ayodha
Krishna - The Dark or Attractive One
Buddha - the Enlightened One
Kalki - The White Horse
Shiva – The Destroyer:
Shiva has a third eye – which allows him to see everything in the
universe. It is believed to be the source of his energy.
His trident symbolises the Trimurti. His drum symbolises the
sound “Aum” and the snakes around his neck symbolise his
• This is Shiva Nataraja, Lord of the
• He is the cosmic dancer who
performs his divine dance to destroy
a weary universe and make
preparations for Brahma to start the
process of creation again.
• So his role as destroyer is not
necessarily a negative one.
• Moreover, since Shiva is destroyer of
everything, he also destroys evil.
• He is seen here dancing on the
demon of ignorance that he has
• He is also the destroyer of
wrongdoing, and upholder of justice.
Q: Which God in the Trimurti do you think is the
most important? Why?
Q2: Can you think of any words that
might sum up what Brahman really