I’m sure all of you must have heard about the world-famous Brahma temple in Pushkar- in fact, it is the most famous one in the world. It’s the oldest, as well. All of this, and various legends have led to the relatively unknown nature of five other Brahma temples in the country, of which some are of much significance and beauty.
According to legend, Brahma created a lady deity, Shatarupa, one with a hundred forms. As soon as she was created, Brahma was infatuated by her and followed her everywhere in order to pursue her. However, she tried avoiding him for as long as possible. But Brahma was adamant enough to give himself five heads. One in each direction — north, south, east and west and the fifth head above the others.
Since Shatarupa was considered to be be Brahma’s daughter, Shiva cut off Brahma’s fifth head as an incestuous relationship was not considered to be appropriate. Since then, Brahma has is believed to be the ignored one among the trimuthi, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
However, with time as Brahma sought repentance and forgiveness, several other temples came up in his name.
Brahma Temple, Pushkar, Rajasthan
This temple is located near the Pushkar Lake in Ajmer, Rajasthan. Every year, in the Hindu month of Kartik (November), hundreds of thousands pilgrims visit the temple and take a dip in the lake to wash off their sins.
Asotra Brahma Temple, Barmer, Rajasthan
Located in the Barmer district of Rajasthan, this is a temple dedicated primarily dedicated to Brahma. It was built by the Rajpurohits of the village and is built in Jaisalmer and Jodhpur stone. However, the idol of the deity is made of marble. It is known to be the second oldest temple dedicated to Lord Brahma, in the world.
Brahmapureeswarar Temple, Tirupattur, Tamil Nadu
Shiva’s consort, Parvathi, once mistook Brahma to be Shiva. This angered Shiva and he cut off one of Brahma’s head and cursed him to be forgotten by his worshipers and stripped him of all his powers. Soon, the pride in Brahma crumbled and he pleaded for forgiveness. However, the angered Shiva wasn’t ready to accept his apology. To mend everything he had done wrong, Brahma set on a pilgrimage. On his journey, he reached Tirupattur, where he installed 12 Shiva lingas and worshiped Shiva there. Moved by his attempts to redeem himself, Shiva appeared in front of Brahma, relieved him of the curse adn restored all his powers.
Isn’t that something?
Shiva then blessed Brahma and granted him a shrine at the temple. Since then, Brahma has been the deity of the temple.
Adi Brahma Temple, Khokhan, Kullu Valley
The prefix ‘Adi’ in the name of this temple comes from the influence of Buddhists through the years, int he area. When built, the temple was worshiped by people from both, the Mandi and Kullu district. However, as the two kingdoms split, there was a replica built on the other side, at Mandi and devotees had to stick to the visiting the temple that belonged within the boundaries of the kingdom.
Brahma Karmali Mandir, Panaji, Goa
I bet you never thought of al the places in the country, Goa would not be one to have a little-known temple to Lord Brahma!It is located at a distance of 60 kms from Panaji. Though the temple is not as old, it is believed that the idol dates roughly back to the 11th century! The black stone statue of Brahma placed in the temple was brought into Carambolim, Goa, only in the 20th century, by a large section of devotees who escaped the religious intolerance imposed upon them by the Portuguese.
Brahma Temple, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu
This temple has a very beautiful and arguably significant legend behind it. Strangely, many till this day, believe that this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
It is believed that Brahma was proud of his gift of creation to the extent that he boasted of better than Shiva and Vishnu at the art of creation. This caused Vishnu to create a ghost who went on to scare Brahma. Terrified, he came to Vishnu for help, after having apologized for his immodesty. Vishu then asked Brahma to observe penance on Earth to redeem himself. It is believed that Brahma chose Kumbakonam to meditate. Pleased by Brahma’s attempts, Vishnu accepted his apology and reinstated his knowledge and status among the gods.