(Sanscrit, fri, "three," and murti, "form"), the name of the Hindu triad, the gods Brahma (masculine), Vishnuu, and Siva, which are considered an inseparable unity, though three in form. Different works assign the chief place to different members, according to the schools from which they emanate. The Paduca-Purana of the Vaishnava (q.v.) sect assigns to Vishnu the highest rank in the trimurti, and thus defines its character: "In the beginning of creation the great Vishnu, desirous of creating the whole world, became threefold — creator, preserver, and destroyer. In order to create this world the Supreme Spirit produced from the right side of his body himself, as Brahma; then, in order to preserve the world, he produced from the left side of his body Vishnu; and, in order to destroy the world, he produced from the middle of his body the eternal Siva. Some worship Brahma, others Vishnu, others Siva; but Vishnu, one, yet threefold, creates, preserves, and destroys; therefore let the pious make no difference between the three." The Matsya-Purana, speaking of the Mahat, or intellectual principie, says, "Mahat becomes distinctly known as three gods, through the influence of the three qualities, goodness, passion, and sin; being one person and three gods, viz., Brahma, Vishnf, and Siva." We are thus enabled to see that, aside from sectarian belief, which makes its own god the chief, trimurti implies the unity personified of the three principles of creation (Brahma), preservation (Vishnuf), and destruction (Siva). When represented, the trimurti is one body with three heads: in the middle that of Brahma, at its right that of Vishnuf, and at its left that of Siva. The symbol of the trimurti is the mystical syllable om, in which o is equivalent to a and u, and where a means Brahma, u means Vishnu, and m, means Siva.

Definition of trim

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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