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The First Explicit Reference to the Trimurti

The first explicit reference to the Trimurti or Trinity can be found in the later Hindu scriptures known as the Puranas. Among the Puranas, the earliest reference to the Trimurti concept is believed to be in the Vishnu Purana, which is one of the eighteen major Puranas. In the Vishnu Purana, the Trimurti is described as a triad of gods with distinct roles:

  1. Brahma: The creator of the universe.
  2. Vishnu: The preserver or sustainer of the universe.
  3. Shiva: The destroyer or transformer of the universe. (I prefer to call Parameshwara)

This triad represents the three fundamental aspects of existence – creation, preservation, and destruction. The Trimurti concept gained popularity and became a significant aspect of Sanathana Dharma and philosophy in subsequent centuries.

It’s important to note that the Trimurti concept as described in the Puranas is a theological interpretation and synthesis of various Vedic deities and concepts, including Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and others. The Rigveda itself does not explicitly mention the Trimurti in the same way as it is described in later Puranic texts.

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