In Hindu religion, the three greatest gods are Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer. They are considered a trinity, each being an aspect of the greatest God. Rama and Krishna, the seventh and eighth avatars of Vishnu respectively, also draw many worshippers.
The first mention of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva comes down through ancient oral traditions collected in the Vedas as hymns. These original texts describe gods very different from those commonly worshipped today.
The stories of Vishnu's avatars, Rama and Krishna, unfold in the Ramayana and the Bhagavad Gita, These works combine religious and philosophical ideas with the adventure of epic poetry.