It is been a few centuries since science has been pondering over the big question of how everything was created. How did life, the complex human body, the planets, and the universe was created? Even though science has quite a few theories it still doesn’t have a concrete answer. However, the Puranas mention in simple words that everything was created by Brahma. Our great-grandfather first in the ancestral hierarchy Created all animate and inanimate in this universe. He is seated on a lotus, with four faces and four hands holding a ladle, manuscripts, a rosary, and a pot.
In Srimad Bhagavatam, it is said that a lotus emerged from the navel of Lord Vishnu, who was lying on his Shehnaag. The lotus then opened up and Brahma was born. Unaware of his identity and his cause of birth, he went downwards in the stalk of the lotus. As he went downwards he heard the words ‘Ta pa’, and understood that he has to do penance. He did penance for 1000 years and Lord Vishnu appeared to him and made him aware of his duties and identity. Brahma then began the creation process. In the Shiva, Puran’s Brahma is born from the Shiva Shakti, the Ardhanarishwara form of Shiva. Brahma was always a very important deity and a presiding deity of the Yagayas, he was always the giver of boons, and a creator of sacred Vedas.
Then why is it so that he lost the glory and is not worshipped anymore? There are only very few temples dedicated to him. The Puranas give three different narratives explaining the real reason why he is not worshipped, anymore.
The Shiva Puran mentions two narratives that stripped Brahma of being a worshipable deity. The first narrative begins with Brahma and Vishnu arguing about knowing the beginning and end of the Creation. They start a race, where Brahma out of Pride and ego says that I would not bow down so I would go to see the beginning, whereas humble Vishnu agrees to see the end. Vishnu takes the boar incarnation and proceeds downwards, whereas Brahma seated on his swan moves toward the sky. They both struggle for thousands of years tired and worn out. Vishnu humbly gives up and accepts defeat. Then suddenly Brahma finds a ketki flower falling from the Sky. He Asks the flower to be his witness and Brahma falsely claims that he has seen the beginning. This Angers Lord Shiva and he appears as a pillar of fire, knocking Brahma unconscious. Shiva then cursed Brahma so that no one would worship him, as a liar is not worthy of worship. Shiva also cursed the Ketki flower so that no one would use the flower in worship.
Another narrative in Shiva Puran talks of Brahma’s Lust. Brahma originally possessed one Head. From a part of his own body, He created a woman Shatarupa. Seeing the beautiful lustrous body of Shatrupa Brahma became infatuated. Since Shatrupa was created by Brahma she was like the daughter of Brahma. It is not right for a father to lust for his daughter. Being embarrassed by Brahma’s gaze she tried to escape his eyes. she ran through the universe, and where ever she went Brahma chased her. She took many animal forms, and with every animal form she took, Brahma took the male counterpart form.
Brahma initially had one head but because he wanted to gaze at Shatrupa with lust he sprouted a head in every direction. He did not stop here but he sprouted a fifth head. This angered indecent behavior on the part of Brahma angered Lord Shiva. In order to control Brahma, Shiva with his nails cut off the fifth head of Brahma. Also, Shiva felt that it was wrong for Brahma to become obsessed with his daughter Shatrupa. He cursed Brahma that there be no proper worship on earth for the “unholy” Brahma.
According to another legend from Padma Puran, Brahma is not worshiped because of a curse by the great sage Bhrigu. Once a great yajna was being organized on Earth and all the sages were discussing who should be made the presiding deity among the trinity, Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma. Brighu was chosen to test the trinity. Brighu first went to Brahmaloka where Brahma was busy playing veena with Saraswati. Being preoccupied and did not notice Brighu’s presence. Feeling insulted, Brighu cursed Brahma, “You are so proud of your power of creation, you did not notice my arrival. For this, you shall have no temples on earth.” Thus, there are very few temples of Brahma on earth. Next, Brighu went to see Shiva in Kailash, but Shiva was busy in romance with Parvati and did not notice Brighu’s arrival. Brighu, again feeling offended, cursed Shiva to be worshiped only as a lingam on earth. This is the reason why Lord Shiva is primarily represented and worshiped as a lingam on this planet.
Then Brighu went to see Lord Vishnu, who was asleep and did not recognize Brighu’s presence. Brighu was so angered that he went forward and kicked Vishnu’s chest. Lord Vishnu apologized if he had hurt Brighu’s foot and began praising Brighu. Brighu immediately felt pleased and could understand that Vishnu was actually the most qualified to receive the offerings from the sacrifice.