PhraPhrom Erawan - 4 faces Buddha.
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Lord Brahma or Phra Phrom, an important god in both Buddhism and Brahmanism, is considered the God of creation of the Universe. It is believed that Brahma is self-existent, and willed the Universe from a cosmic egg.
Brahma is one of the three Great Gods.
- Brahma : God of Creation.
- Shiva : God of Destruction.
- Vishnu : God of Protection.
The origins of the birth of Brahma are various, depending on the different beliefs. For exampla, Varahapurana says that Brahma was born in a lotus, emerging from the navel of God Vishnu. In another scripture, it is said that Phra Artumaphu wished to create whole things in universe. He sowed plant seeds into water and it became a golden egg. The golden egg then was broker in two; one was becoming the sky and another one the land and along together Brahma. Brahma afterward created whole things.
When there was calamity, Vishnu protected the Universe. When the Universe going to be finished, Shiva destroyed it with the great fire. According to the scripture, when the fire from Shiva destroyed the Universe, the Vedas of Hindu and Dharma met. And they became Brahma, who created the new Universe. Moreover, this caused caste' in Brahmanism.
Four Basic Varnas (caste) are :
- Brahmins Priests: Believed to come from Brahma's head.
- Kshatryas Warriors: Believed to come from Brahma's chest.
- Vaishyas Traders: Believed to come from Brahma's stomach.
- Shudras Laborers: Believed to come from Brahma's feet.
The priests then are considered the highest class in society.
Brahma appears in various names such as
- The Creation.
- The Great
- God who was in a lotus.
- God who was born from golden egg.
- God of four faces.
- God of the Universe.
- God of eight ears.
- God who was born from navel.
Brahma is very important. He was invited to be the president when the other gods had meetings. He was a witness, to give blessings or to curse. This was written in the mixed poetical composition called "Ong Kaan Chaeng Naam" The story in this literary work says that Brahma resided in the realm of Brahma. (The path to the highest goodness). Brahma is seen as seated on a golden lotus and his vehicle is a swam. He has four heads, representing the four varnas (caste).
According to ancient scripture, Brahma's body is red with four heads to be able to look in every direction. He has four arms, (and some say he has 8 arms). These are as follows:
- His first arm holds a mala.
- His second arm holds a sacrificial spoon.
- His third arm holds a water pot.
- His fourth arm holds a vedas.
Another scripture says that he has eight arms, described as follows:
- His first arm holds a trident.
- His second arm holds a baton.
- His third arm holds a wheel.
- His fourth arm holds a conch.
- His fifth arm holds a water pot.
- His sixth arm holds a rosary.
- His seventh arm holds a vedas.
- His eighth arm placed his hand on the breast chain.
Brahma rides a golden swan and it is said that his swam is absolutely gorgeous. Brahma also owns the arrow named "Paravita", which is believed to be absolutely sufficient. He has a serene soul and is regarded as the God of wisdom, and the God of mercy, who blesses all.
According to Ramayana, Brahma's consorts are Saraswathi, Savitri, Sonthaya and Sattrupa.
- Saraswathi was once the consort of Vishnu. She is the Goddess of wisdom and learning. She is praised as very beautiful and elegant. She is seated on a white lotus, representing purity and brilliance. Her vehicle is a swan and sometimes a peacock.
- Savitri is the second consort of Brahma
- Sonthaya (Dusk).
- Sattrupa (a hundred appearances) caused Brahma to have four heads.
Brahma and Buddhism
In Buddhism, Brahma is a great god who always supports Buddhism. The realm of Brahma appeared in " Trai Phum Phra Ruang ", a Thai leterary work. The realm of Brahma has six levels higher than heaven. These are called :
Anyone who can be born in the realm of Brahma must gain merits, so that when he or she dies, he or she will be able to reincarnate in the realm of Brahma and live for eternity.
The Relation between Brahma and Buddhism
- In the literary work of King Lithai, the Lithai Sermon of the Three Worlds says that the work and humanity begun since Brahma ate savory earth and could not go back to the realm.
- At the time of the great fire destroying the world, Brahma kept the eight necessary requisites of Lord Buddha in the highest realm of Brahma.
- Brahma invited Lord Buddha to give a sermon to people.
- When Queen Sirimahamaya gave birth to Prince Siddartha, there were four great Brahmas who held the golden net to support the little Prince.
- When Prince Siddartha was ordained, all gods along with Brahma were in parade and Brahma presented the requisites to the Prince.
- When Price Siddartha was about the be enlightened, he was obstructed by devils, Brahma took care of him
- Brahma encouraged Lord Buddha to disseminate his knowledge to all.
- The Dharma of Lord Buddha named Four Heavenly Abodes which are :
- Metta : Loving kindness
- Karuna : Compassion
- Mudita : Sympathetic
- Upekha : Equanimity
- In the first sermon of Lord Buddha, it is said that the voices of Lord Buddha and Brahma are the same.
- Not hoarse
- Harmonious / Melodious
At the time Lord Buddha went to give a sermon to his mother, Brahma and Indra and other gods built silver, golden and gold bronze stairs along with gold, silver and gold bronze tiered umbrellas which were presented to Buddha both back and forth from heaven.
When Buddha died and reached Nirvana, Brahma and other gods served him and showed deep sorrow for the death of Lord Buddha. They also cremated Lord Buddha.