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Brahma the creator

At the beginning of the process of creation, Brahma creates the four Kumaras or the Chatursana. However, they refused his order to procreate and instead devote themselves, to Vishnu and celibacy.

He then proceeds to create from his mind ten sons or Prajapatis, who are believed to be the fathers of the human race. But since all these sons were born out of his mind rather than body, they are called Manas Putras or mind-sons or spirits.

Brahma the creator
Brahma the creator

Brahma had ten sons and one daughter:

1. Marichi Rishi

Rishi Marichi or Mareechi or Marishi (meaning a ray of light) is the son of Brahma. He is also one of the Saptarshi (Seven Great Sages Rishi), in the First Manvantara, with others being Atri Rishi, Angiras Rishi, Pulaha Rishi, Kratu Rishi, Pulastya Rishi, and Vashishtha.
Family: Marichi is married to Kala and gave birth to Kashyap

2. Atri Rishi

Atri or Attri is a legendary bard and scholar. Rishi Atri is said to be ancestor of some Brahmin, Prajapatis, kshatriya and Vaishya communities who adopt Atri as their gotra. Atri is the Saptarishis (Seven Great Sages Rishi) in the seventh, i.e. the present Manvantara.
Family: When the sons of Brahma were destroyed by a curse of Shiva, Atri was born again from the flames of a sacrifice performed by Brahma. His wife in both manifestations was Anasuya. She bore him three sons, Datta, Durvasas, and Soma, in his first life, and a son Aryaman (Nobility), and a daughter, Amala (Purity), in the second. Soma, Datta and Durvasa, are the incarnations of the Divine Trinity Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra (Shiva) respectively.

3. Angirasa Rishi

Angirasa  is a rishi who, along with sage Atharvan, is credited to have formulated (“heard”) most of the fourth Veda called Atharvaveda. He is also mentioned in the other three Vedas.
Family: His wife is Surupa and his sons are Utathya, Samvartana and Brihaspati

4. Pulaha Rishi

He was born from the navel of Lord Brahma. He was burned due to a curse made by Lord Shiva, then was born again in Vaivasvata Manvantara, this time from Agni’s hair.
Family:During his birth in the first Manvantara, Rishi Pulaha was married to another of Daksha’s daughters, Kshama (Apology). Together they had three sons, Kardama, Kanakapeetha and Urvarivat, and a daughter named Peevari.

5. Pulutsya Rishi

He was the medium through which some of the Puranas were communicated to man. He received the Vishnu Purana from Brahma and communicated it to Parashara, who made it known to mankind. He was one of the Saptarishis in the first Manvantara.
Family: He was father of Visravas who was the father of Kubera and Ravana, and all the Rakshasas are supposed to have sprung from him. Pulastya Rishi was married to one of Kardam ji’s nine daughters named Havirbhoo. Pulastya Rishi had two sons – Maharshi Agastya and Visravas. Vishravaa had two wives: one was Kekasi who gave birth to Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhishana; and another was Ilavida and had a son named Kuber.

6. Krathu Rishi

Kratu which appears in two different ages. In the Swayanbhuva Manvantara. Krathu was a Prajapati and a very dear son of Lord Brahma. He was also the son-in-law of Prajapati Daksha.
Family:His wife was named Santhati. It is said that he had 60,000 children. They were named as included in the Valakhilyas.

Rishi Kratu was again born in the Vaivaswata Manvantara because of Lord Shiva’s boon. In this Manvantara he had no family. It is said that he was born from the hand of Lord Brahma. As he had no family and no children, Kratu adopted Agastya’s son, Idhvaaha. Kratu is considered as one of the Bhargavas.

7. Vashistha

Vashistha is one of the Saptarishis in the seventh, i.e. the present Manvantara.  He had in his possession the divine cow Kamadhenu, and Nandini her child, who could grant anything to their owners.
Vashistha is credited as the chief author of Mandala 7 of the Rigveda. Vashistha and his family are glorified in RV 7.33, extolling their role in the Battle of the Ten Kings, making him the only mortal besides Bhava to have a Rigvedic hymn dedicated to him. Another treatise attributed to him is “Vashistha Samhita” – a book on the Vedic system of electional astrology.
Family:  Arundhati is the name of the wife of Vashista.
In cosmology Mizar star is known as Vashistha and Alcor star is known as Arundhati in traditional Indian astronomy. The pair is considered to symbolise marriage and, in some Hindu communities, priests conducting a wedding ceremony allude to or point out the constellation as a symbol of the closeness marriage brings to a couple. Since Vasishta was married to Arundathi, he was also called Arundathi Natha, meaning the husband of Arundathi.

8. Prachethasa

Prachetasa is considered to be one of the most mysterious figures of Hindu mythology. According to the puranas Prachetasa was one of the 10 Prajapatis who were ancient sages and law gives. But there is also a reference to 10 Prachetas who were sons of Prachinabarthis and great grandsons of Prithu. It is said that they lived for 10,000 years in a great ocean, very deeply engaged in meditation upon Vishnu and obtained from Him the boon of becoming the progenitors of mankind.
Family: They married a girl named Manisha, a daughter of Kanclu . Daksha was their son.

9. Bhrigu

Maharrishi Bhirgu is the first compiler of predictive astrology, and also the author of Bhrigu Samhita, the astrological (Jyotish) classic.The adjectival form of the name, Bhargava, is used to refer to the descendants and the school of Bhrigu. Along with Manu, Bhrigu had made important contributions to ‘Manusmriti’, which was constituted out of a sermon to a congregation of saints in the state of Brahmavarta, after the great floods in this area, nearly 10,000 years ago.
Family:He was married to Khyati, the daughter of Daksha. He had two sons by her, named Dhata and Vidhata. His daughter Sri or Bhargavi, married Vishnu

10. Narada Muni

Narada is a Vedic sage who plays a prominent role in a number of Hindu texts, notably the Ramayana and the Bhagavata Purana. Narada is arguably ancient India’s most travelled sage with the ability to visit distant worlds and realms. He is depicted carrying a Veena, with the name Mahathi and is generally regarded as one of the great masters of the ancient musical instrument. Narada is described as both wise and mischievous, creating some of Vedic literature’s more humorous tales. Vaishnav enthusiasts depict him as a pure, elevated soul who glorifies Vishnu through his devotional songs, singing the names Hari and Narayana, and therein demonstrating bhakti yoga.

11. Shatarupa

Brahma had one daughter Named Shatrupa- (one who can take hundred forms) born from various parts of his body. She is said to the first woman created by Lord Brahma. Shatarupa is the female portion of Brahma.

When Brahma created Shatarupa, Brahma followed her wherever she went. To avoid Brahma following her Shatarupa then moved in various directions. In whichever direction she went, Brahma developed another head until he had four, one for each direction of the compass. Shatarupa tried every way to stay out of Brahma’s gaze. However a fifth head appeared and this is how Brahma developed five heads. At this moment Lord Shiva came and cut off the top head of Brahma as it is misdeed and incestuous of Brahma to become obsessed with her, as Shatarupa was her daughter. Lord Shiva ordered that Brahma would not be worshipped for his offence. Since then Brahma has been reciting the four Vedas, one from every mouth in remorse.

The 10 Mahavidyas in Hinduism

The 10 Mahavidyas are Wisdom Goddesses, who represent a spectrum of  feminine divinity, from horrific goddesses at one end, to the gentle at  the other.

The name Mahavidyas comes from the Sanskrit roots, with maha meaning ‘great’ and vidya meaning, ‘revelation, manifestation, knowledge, or wisdom

Mahavidyas (Great Wisdoms) or Dasha-Mahavidyas are a group of ten aspects of the Divine Mother Durga or Kali herself or Devi in Hinduism. The 10 Mahavidyas are Wisdom Goddesses, who represent a spectrum of feminine divinity, from horrific goddesses at one end, to the gentle at the other.

Shaktas believe, “the one Truth is sensed in ten different facets; the Divine Mother is adored and approached as ten cosmic personalities,” the Dasa-Mahavidya (“ten-Mahavidyas”). The Mahavidyas are considered Tantric in nature, and are usually identified as:

Kali:

Kali is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment
Kali is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment

The ultimate form of Brahman, “Devourer of Time” (Supreme Deity of Kalikula systems)
kali is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment, shakti. She is the fierce aspect of the goddess Durga (Parvati). The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death

Tara: The Protector

Tara The Protector
Tara The Protector

The Goddess as Guide and Protector, or Who Saves.Who offers the ultimate knowledge which gives salvation (also known as Neel Saraswati).
tara meaning “star”. As the star is seen as a beautiful but perpetually self-combusting thing, so Tara is perceived at core as the absolute, unquenchable hunger that propels all life.

Tripura Sundari (Shodashi):

Tripura Sundari
Tripura Sundari

The Goddess Who is “Beautiful in the Three Worlds” (Supreme Deity of Srikula systems) or Beautiful Goddess of the Three Cities; the “Tantric Parvati” or the “Moksha Mukta”.
As Shodashi, Tripurasundari is represented as a sixteen-year-old girl, and is believed to embody sixteen types of desire. Shodashi also refers to the sixteen syllable mantra, which consists of the fifteen syllable (panchadasakshari) mantra plus a final seed syllable.
Bhuvaneshvari: The Goddess Whose Body is the Cosmos

Bhuvaneshvari
Bhuvaneshvari

The Goddess as World Mother, or Whose Body is the Cosmos.
The Queen of the Universe. Bhuvaneshwari means the Queen or ruler of the Universe. She is the Divine Mother as the Queen of all the worlds. All the Universe is her body and all beings are ornaments on her infinite being. She carries all the worlds as a flowering of her own Self-nature. She is thus related to Sundari and to Rajarajeshwari, the supreme Lady of the Universe. She is capable of turning situations according to her wish. It is considered that even the navagrahas and Trimurti cannot stop her from doing anything.
Bhairavi: The Fierce Goddess

Bhairavi The Fierce Goddess
Bhairavi The Fierce Goddess

She is also called Shubhamkari, good mother to good people and terrible to bad ones. She is seen holding book, rosary, and making fear-dispelling and boon-conferring gestures. She is also known as Baala or Tripurabhairavi. It is believed that when Bhairavi entered the battle field, her horrible appearance made the demons become weak and very feeble, and it is also believed that most of the demons started panicking as soon as they saw her. Bhairavi is seen mainly as the Chandi in the Durga Saptashati version of slaying Shumbha and Nishumbha. However, she kills and drinks the blood of Chanda and Munda the Chieftains of asuras, so the Goddess Parvati gives her a boon that she would be called Chamundeshwari.
Chhinnamasta: The self-decapitated Goddess.

Chhinnamasta The self-decapitated Goddess.
Chhinnamasta The self-decapitated Goddess.

Chhinnamasta can be easily identified by her fearsome iconography. The self-decapitated goddess holds her own severed head in one hand, a scimitar in another. Three jets of blood spurt out of her bleeding neck and are drunk by her severed head and two attendants. Chhinnamasta is usually depicted standing on a copulating couple.
Chhinnamasta is associated with the concept of self-sacrifice as well as the awakening of the kundalini – spiritual energy. She is considered both as a symbol of self-control on sexual desire as well as an embodiment of sexual energy, depending upon interpretation. She symbolizes both aspects of Devi: a life-giver and a life-taker. Her legends emphasize her sacrifice – sometimes with a maternal element, her sexual dominance and her self-destructive fury.
Dhumavati: The Widow Goddess,or the Goddess of death.

Dhumavati The Widow Goddess
Dhumavati The Widow Goddess

She is often portrayed as an old, ugly widow, and is associated with things considered inauspicious and unattractive in Hinduism, such as the crow and the Chaturmas period. The goddess is often depicted on a horseless chariot or riding a crow, usually in a cremation ground.
Dhumavati is said to manifest herself at the time of cosmic dissolution (pralaya) and is “the Void” that exists before creation and after dissolution. She is often called tender-hearted and a bestower of boons. Dhumavati is described as a great teacher, one who reveals ultimate knowledge of the universe, which is beyond the illusory divisions, like auspicious and inauspicious. Her ugly form teaches the devotee to look beyond the superficial, to look inwards and seek the inner truths of life.
Dhumavati is described as a giver of siddhis (supernatural powers), a rescuer from all troubles, and a granter of all desires and rewards, including ultimate knowledge and moksha (salvation).
Bagalamukhi: The Goddess Who Paralyzes Enemies

Bagalamukhi
Bagalamukhi

Bagalamukhi Devi smashes the devotee’s misconceptions and delusions (or the devotee’s enemies) with her cudgel.
Matangi: – the Prime Minister of Lalita (in Srikula systems)

Matangi
Matangi

She is considered to be the Tantric form of Sarasvati, the goddess of music and learning. Like Sarasvati, Matangi governs speech, music, knowledge and the arts. Her worship is prescribed to acquire supernatural powers, especially gaining control over enemies, attracting people to oneself, acquiring mastery over the arts and gaining supreme knowledge.
Kamalatmika: The Lotus Goddess; the “Tantric Lakshmi”

Kamalatmika
Kamalatmika

Kamalatmika has a golden complexion. She is being bathed by four large elephants, who pour kalashas (jars) of amrita (nectar) over her. She has four hands. In two hands, she holds two lotuses and her other two hands are in abhayamudra (gesture of giving assurance) and varamudra (gesture of conferring boons) respectively. She is shown as seated in padmasana (lotus posture) on a lotus,[1] symbol of purity.
The name Kamala means “she of the lotus” and is a common epithet of Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi is linked with three important and interrelated themes: prosperity and wealth, fertility and crops, and good luck during the coming year.

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Tridevi - the three supreme Goddess in Hinduism

The Tridevi (त्रिदेवी) is a concept in Hinduism conjoining the three consorts of the Trimurti (Great Trinity), that are personified by the forms of Hindu Goddesses: Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati or Durga. They are the manifestations of the Adi Parashakti, the Supreme Being and Divine Mother in Shaktism.

Saraswati:

Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge
Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge

Saraswati is the goddess of learning and arts, cultural fulfillment (consort of Brahma the creator). She is the cosmic intelligence, cosmic consciousness,and cosmic knowledge.

Lakshmi:

Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth
Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth

Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and fertility, material fulfillment (consort of Vishnu the maintainer or preserver). However, she does not signify mere material wealth like gold, cattle, etc. All kinds of prosperity, glory, magnificence, joy, exaltation, or greatness come under Lakshmi.

Parvati or Durga:

Durga
Durga

Parvati/ Mahakali (or in her demon-fighting aspect Durga) the goddess of power and love, spiritual fulfillment (consort of Shiva the destroyer or transformer). She also depicts the transformational power of divinity, the power that dissolves multiplicity in unity.

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Trimurti - The Hindu Trinity | Hindu FAQs

The Trimurti is a concept in Hinduism “in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver and Shiva the destroyer or transformer.” These three gods have been called “the Hindu triad” or the “Great Trinity”, often addressed as “Brahma-Vishnu-Maheshwara.”

Brahma:

Brahma - The creator | Hindu FAQs
Brahma – The creator

Brahma is the Hindu god (deva) of creation and one of the Trimurti. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Manu, and from Manu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, he is often referred to as the progenitor or great grandsire of all human beings.

Vishnu:

Vishnu the Protector
Vishnu the Protector

Vishnu is one of the three supreme deities (Trimurti) of Hinduism. He is also known as Narayana and Hari. He is conceived as “the Preserver or the Protector” within the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the divinity.

Shiva or Mahesh

Shiva the Destroyer | Hindu FAQs
Shiva the Destroyer

Shiva also known as Mahadeva (“Great God”) is one of the three most influential denominations in contemporary Hinduism. He is “the Destroyer” or “the Transformer” among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine.

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