From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Trimurti literally means ‘Trinity’.

Brahman, God the Absolute, creates the world, sustains it and withdraws it back into Himself.[1] As per the Parāṇa-s, Brahman is described as three deities:

  1. Brahmā responsible for creation
  2. Viṣṇu responsible for its sustenance
  3. Rudra or Śiva responsible for its destruction at the end of a cosmic cycle

These three deities correspond to the three guṇas (rajas, sattva and tamas) in the cosmic play of creation, sustenance and destruction. They are the Trimurtis. There are composite images in which all the three gods are represented, like Dattātreya.


  1. Brahmasutras 1.1.2
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore