the holy hindu trinity

Being born and raised in India, there’s something that I learned many years back when I was growing up and now in these times of uncertainty and global crisis, I’m gaining more clarity and understanding about this concept and seeing it in a completely new light.

According to Hindu mythology, and as described in the Vedas, the ancient holy scriptures of India, there are three fundamental principles always at work in the Universe and each operating principle is governed by its own diety:

  1. Brahma embodies creation
  2. Vishnu embodies preservation.
  3. Shiva embodies destruction.

Brahma’s role was creating this world and all the creatures. He’s a force that brings a progressive change in Nature. Vishnu is the preserver of the Universe, and he nurtures and protects the essential and the relevant, while Shiva destroys and eliminates the irrelevant and superfluous in order to restore balance and re-create. Brahma comes first, then comes Vishnu and finally, Shiva comes in the third position. This is the holy Trinity (as you would observe in other cultures as well) according to the Hindu tradition.

These three forces — creation, preservation, and destruction — apply both in the grand scale of the Universe as well as in our individual lives. As a being of Nature, it’s our primary job to create and bring new ideas and entities into existence. However, when we deviate from this path and instead focus on preservation and maintenance alone instead of taking new challenges and creative risks, we bring the force of Vishnu (preservation) in the primary position paying less to no attention to Brahma (creation). And as we choose to settle and become passive in our lives, we unknowingly fuel negativity and bring chaos both in our internal cosmos as well as in the external world, thus creating conditions ripe for the force of Shiva (destruction) to manifest in our lives and eliminate the trivial, the unnecessary and the unwanted so that order is restored again. 

If we look in the right light, Shiva is not an evil force; in fact, he represents a natural process, similar to the removal of toxins and waste from our own bodies. When things get messy and chaotic in our lives, it’s a sign that we went into an autopilot mode and the Universe wants us to wake up again. Disruption indicates that the force of Shiva has been awakened and Nature is getting rid of the old and making room for the new to arrive. 

The Universe is by no means punishing us for becoming lackadaisical and passive. Rather, we are been given a warning, a strict but helpful reminder to get ourselves out of our comfort zone and back on the path of taking creative risks and bringing newness into the world putting Brahma back in the driver’s seat. 

Essentially, the best way to align ourselves with the workings of the Universe so that we are able to flourish and thrive, both individually and as a species, is to become brave and muster the courage to bring new things and entities into life. 

Embracing newness and progressive change, and refusing to settle under all circumstances is the wisest and most beneficial thing can we do for ourselves.