Trimurti

A Sanskrit word meaning triple form and referring to the trinity of Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu, the main Hindu deities. Use of the term usually connotes worship of the divine as a composite of these three forms, as opposed to the separate worship of one of the three gods, and it does not refer to any overarching trinity comparable to the Trinity of Christianity. Worship of the trimurti, which can be found as early as the fourth century, describes the three gods as each representing one face of the divine. Brahma is the creator, Shiva the destroyer, and Vishnu the preserver. Trimurti can also consist of Sarasvati, Lakshmi, and Parvati, three of the female consorts of the male deities and representatives of the female, or Shakti, aspects of the divine. The conception was probably invented by priests seeking to reconcile differences among separate Hindu sects.

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