Brahma - Yoga Lingo
Brahma is an essential concept for both the practice of yoga and the Hindu religion in general. According to Hinduism, Brahma is the name of one of the trinity gods and was responsible for creating the world and everything in it.
He is considered the most senior of the gods and is often described as the Creator. The other two of the trio consist of Vishnu - the Sustainer, and Shiva - the Destroyer.
As well as creating the world, Brahma is also said to have been ‘self-manifested’ or Swayambhu and is believed to have created himself. Pitamaha also describes him as - ‘father of fathers,’ Hiranyagarbha - ‘golden fetus,’ and Vishwakarma - ‘architect of the universe.’
He is described as having four hands, said to represent the four aspects of the personalities of human beings - intellect, ego, the mind, and conditioned consciousness. He also has four heads which can look in four directions. These symbolize that he possesses all of the knowledge required to create the world. They are also the source from which the four Vedas were said to have been born.
A white beard symbolizes the wisdom of the god, while the book held by his back hand shows the importance of the correct knowledge. The water pot, or kamandal, in his left hand, represents cosmic energy, while the mala in his right is used for chanting.
Brahma is usually pictured as sitting on the lotus flower, assuming lotus pose, or padmasana. He is also identified by the white swan in which he moves about; this represents the ability to make the right decisions, as well as intelligence.
There is an ancient text, or Purana, which states that Brahma originally had five heads, but lost one in a fight with Shiva. The latter cut off Brahma’s head in a rage when he lied to him, leaving him with the four which now make him so recognizable.