Lord Brahma of Tavanoor
Thursday, October 08, 2009 | Author: Vishnu

In a place named ‘Thavanoor’ on the banks of river ‘Bharathapuzha’ (also known as ‘Nila’) in Malappuram District of Kerala, India; there is a temple dedicated to Lord Brahma. Though no one worships here, there were some stone inscriptions around the walls of this temple, which the language was unknown (As per the studies from University of Calicut archaeology Dept). What is so interesting about this temple of Lord Brahma?

In Hinduism, cosmic functions of creation, maintenance and destruction (or transformation) is personified by the concept of “Trimurti”, also known as the Hindu Trinity. This is an iconographic representation of the cosmic power by the forms of Lord Brahma serving the function of creation, Lord Vishnu serving the function of renewal and preservation and Lord Shiva serving the function of dissolution or destruction that precedes re-creation.

Although Brahma is one of the three major gods in Hinduism, few Hindus actually worship him. Today, India has very few temples dedicated to Brahma, as opposed to the tens of thousands of temples dedicated to the other deities in the Trimurti.

According to a story in the Shiva Purana, at the beginning of time in Cosmos, Vishnu and Brahma approached a huge Shiva linga and set out to find its beginning and end. Vishnu was appointed to seek the end and Brahma the beginning. Taking the form of a boar, Vishnu began digging downwards into the earth, while Brahma took the form of a swan and began flying upwards. However, neither could find His appointed destination. Vishnu, satisfied, came up to Shiva and bowed down to him as a swarupa of Brahman. Brahma did not give up so easily. As He was going up, he saw a ketaki flower, dear to Shiva. His ego forced him to ask the flower to bear false witness about Brahma's discovery of Shiva's beginning. When Brahma 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, Brahma is not worshiped because of a curse by the great sage Brahmarishi Bhrigu. The high priest Bhrigu was organizing a great fire-sacrifice (yajna) on Earth. 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 Trimurti. When he went to Brahma, the god was so immersed in the music played by Saraswati that he could hardly hear Bhrigu's calls. The enraged Bhrigu then cursed Brahma that no person on Earth would ever invoke him or worship him again.

By contrast, early Buddhist texts describe several different Brahmas coexisting in the same universe; some of them think they are "all powerful" creators of the world, but they are corrected by the Buddha. The myths, characters, and functions of these Brahmas are distinct from those of the Vedic Brahma. However, at least one of the Buddhist Brahmas is identified as being the object of worship of pre-Buddhist Brahmins. The Buddha described the Vedic Brahma as a misunderstanding, or mistaken remembrance, of one or more of the Buddhist Brahmas, as explained in the Brahmajala-sutta.

As these parts of Kerala is considered as old Jain and Buddhist settlements, before the arrival of Vedic Brahman’s, we are not sure about the origin of this temple. If this temple is dedicated to Brahma of Hindu’s or one of the Brahma of Buddhists or to any other god (which was later converted).

Anyhow this small temple in this village throws lots of mysterious questions to the minds of history curios.