What Is the Hindu Creation Story?

John Gillespie/CC-BY-SA 2.0

There are several Hindu creation stories found in the Hindu scriptures. One story tells of the universe being created from the sound Aum. According to the BBC, the Chandogya Upanishad, a sacred Hindu text, describes creation as the breaking of an egg. This text also claims that in the beginning, Brahman, the supreme reality, created the entire universe through heaven, the earth, the atmosphere and the three seasons.

The Rig Veda, the first scripture of Hinduism, tells of how the universe was created from a single cosmic man, Purusha, when he was sacrificed. Each part of the man represents the four classes of Indian society: the priest, warrior, peasant and servant. The priest, or Brahmin, emerged from the man’s mouth. The warrior, or Kshatriya, emerged from his arms. The peasant, or Vaishya, emerged from his thighs, and the servant, the Shudra, emerged from his legs.

Reincarnation, one of the major Hindu beliefs, is evident in another creation story. Lord Brahma is the Creator of all universes. Two other gods are derived from Brahma: Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer. The universe must be destroyed before it is recreated. Thus, Shiva is also the Re-Creator. After each old universe is destroyed, only the ocean remains.