4) Creation

Vishnu next narrated to the gods and the sages the history of creation.


In the beginning, the Brahman was everywhere. The Brahman had no form, but nor was it without form. It had no beginning and no end. It had no traits, but nor was it without traits. The Brahman is impossible to describe, sense or see.


Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are derived from the Brahman, Brahma performs the function of a creator, Vishnu that of a preserver and Shiva that of destroyer.


When it was time for creation to begin, the Brahman created water throughout the universe. Before that, there was nothing. In the water, there appeared a golden (hiranya) egg (anda). The egg grew in size and Brahma, the creator, appeared inside the egg. Everything that there is in the universe was already there, in in embryonic form, inside the egg. There were gods, the demons humans, the sun, the moon, the stars, the planets and the wind. The word garbha means womb and since Brahma originated from inside a golden (hiranya) egg, he is known as Hiranyagarbha. Brahma was the first being to be created. He had four faces. He had no birth (janana) in the real sense of the term. He is therefore also referred to as Aja (without birth). It is also true that he created (bhuva) himself (svayam). It is because of this that Brahma is known as Svayambhu. Brahma was to be the lord (pati) of all the subjects who were going to be born (praja). Thus, Brahma acquired the name of Prajapati.


To appreciate how creation took place, it is first necessary to have some conception about the nature of time.

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