Brahma is the Hindu god (deva) of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. He is not to be confused with the Supreme Cosmic Spirit in Hindu Vedanta philosophy known as Brahman. Brahmā's consort is Saraswati, the goddess of learning. Brahmā is often identified with Prajapati, a Vedic deity.
Within Vedic and Puranic scripture Brahmā is described as only occasionally interfering in the affairs of the other devas (gods), and even more rarely in mortal affairs. He did force Soma to give Tara back to her husband, Brihaspati. He is considered the father of Dharma and Atri.
There are various stories in Hindu mythology that talk of the curse that has prevented Brahma from being worshipped on Earth.
At the beginning of time in Cosmos, Vishnu and Brahmā approached a huge Shiva linga and set out to find its beginning and end. Vishnu was appointed the end, and Brahma the beginning. Each took their journey, Vishnu took the form of a boar and began digging downwards into the earth while Brahma took on the shape of a swan began flying upwards. But neither could find their appointed destination. Vishnu, satisfied, came up to Shiva and bowed down to him as a swarupa of Brahman. Brahmā did not give up so easily. As he was going up, he saw a kaitha flower, dear to Shiva. His ego forced him to ask the flower to bear false witness of Brahmā's finding Shiva's beginning. When Brahmā told his tale, Shiva, the all-knowing, was angered by the former's ego. Shiva thus cursed him that no being in the three worlds will worship him.
According to another legend, Brahmā is not worshiped because of a curse by the great sage Brahmarishi Bhrigu. Once a great fire-sacrifice (yajna) was being organised on Earth with Bhrigu being the high priest. It was decided that the greatest among all Gods would be made the presiding deity. Bhrigu then set off to find the greatest among the Trinity. When he went to Brahmā, he was so immersed in the music played by Saraswati that he could hardly hear Bhrigu's calls. The enraged Bhrigu then cursed Brahmā that no person on Earth would ever invoke him or worship him again.
According to Brahma Purana and Hindu cosmology, Brahmā is the creator but not necessarily regarded as God in Hinduism. He is mostly regarded as a creation of God / Brahman. The lifespan of Brahmā is 100 Brahmā years or 311 trillion, 40 billion human years. At the end of his lifespan, there is a gap of 100 Brahmā years after which another Brahmā or creator begins anew and the process is repeated forever. For this reason, Brahmā might be considered only as a creator who is the executor of the order from the Supreme being - The Brahman.
Brahma is traditionally depicted with four heads and four faces and four arms. With each head he continually recites one of the four Vedas. He is often depicted with a white beard (especially in North India), indicating the near eternal nature of his existence. He is shown as having four arms, with none holding a weapon, unlike most other Hindu Gods. One of his hands is shown holding a scepter in the form of a spoon, which is associated with the pouring of holy ghee or oil into a sacrificial pyre, indicating that Brahma is the lord of sacrifices. Another of his hands holds a water-pot (sometimes depicted as a coconut shell containing water). The significance of the water is that it is the initial, all-encompassing ether in which the first element of creation evolved. Brahma also holds a string of prayer beads that he uses to keep track of the Universe's time. He also is shown holding the Vedas, and sometimes, a lotus flower.
Another story in connection with Brahma's four heads is that when Brahmā was creating the universe, he made a female deity known as Shatarupā (one with a hundred beautiful forms). Brahmā became immediately infatuated. Shatarupā moved in various directions to avoid the gaze of Brahmā. But wherever she went, Brahmā developed a head. Thus, Brahmā developed five heads, one on each side and one above the others. In order to control Brahmā, Shiva cut off the top head. Also, Shiva felt that Shatarupā was Brahmā's daughter, being created by him. Therefore, Shiva determined, it was wrong for Brahmā to become obsessed with her. He directed that there be no proper worship on earth for the "unholy" Brahmā. Thus, only Vishnu and Shiva continue to be worshipped, while Brahmā is almost totally ignored. Ever since the incident, Brahmā has been reciting the four Vedas in his attempt at repentance.
The Rosary - Symbolizes the substances used in the progress of creation.
The Book - Symbolizing knowledge
The Gold - symbolizes activity in the universe and the golden face of Brahma indicates that the Lord is active when involved in the process of creation.
The Swan - The Swan symbolizes the power of discrimination. Brahma uses the swan as a vehicle.
The Crown - The crown on the head implies that the Brahma has supreme authority.
The Lotus - Lotus symbolizes the nature and living essence of all things and beings in the universe.
The Beard - The black or white beard denotes wisdom and a longer beard denotes eternal process.
Brahma's vehicle is a divine Swan. This divine bird is bestowed with a virtue called Neera-Ksheera Viveka or the ability to separate milk and water from a mixture of the two. The significance of this is that justice should be dispensed to all creatures, however entwined it might be in a situation. Also, this virtue indicates that one should learn to separate the good from the evil and then accept that which is valuable and discard that which is worthless or evil.
Although Brahmā is prayed to in almost all Hindu religious rites, there are very few temples dedicated to him in India, the more prominent of which is at Pushkar, close to Ajmer. Once a year, on the full moon night of the Hindu lunar month of Kartika (October - November), a religious festival is held in Brahmā's honour. Thousands of pilgrims come to bathe in the holy lake adjacent to the temple.
There are also temples in Asotra village in Balotra Taluka of Barmer district in Rajasthan known as Kheteshwar Brahmadham Tirtha, Goa, (in the small, remote village of Carambolim in the Sattari taluka in the northeast region of the state); in the temple town of Kumbakonam, (Thanjavur District) in Tamil Nadu; and in Thirunavaya in Kerala. Regular pujas are held for Brahma and during Navrathris, this temple comes to life with colourful festivities. There is also a shrine for Brahma within the Bramhapureeshwarar temple in Thirupattur, near Trichy and a famous murti of Brahmā at Mangalwedha, 52 km from Solapur district in Maharashtra, the largest of which is in Angkor Wat in Cambodia. In Khedbrahma, Gujarat, there is a statue of Brahma.A six feet tall statue was also discovered at Sopara near Mumbai. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the temple town of Sri Kalahasti near Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh
In 1856-1857, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a poem entitled "Brahma".