Brahma The Trimurti

I have seen many pictures and photos (such as above) of Chaturmukha Brahma with white hair and white beard. Why is Brahma shown as an old person? All the devatas are known to be drinking elixir (amruth). It is said that those who drink it do not feel hunger, thirst and do not age, so, look always young. My question is Brahma being one of the Trimurti's, didn't He get a chance to drink elixir? Or did anyone curse Him to look like that? Is Brahma not an immortal? I know that being a Brahma is only a status.
What happens to this Brahma after his tenure is over?


4 Answers 4


Brahma is often referred to as "pitamaha" (forefather or grandfather) in scriptures, so I think some of the pictures that portray him in human form with white hair and beard is to just show how he is older than some of the other gods.

From Valmiki Ramayana, here are a few verses that refer to Brahma as pitamaha:

  • इति एवम् उक्त्वा देवेशः सर्वलोक पितामहः |
    यथा आगतम् तथा अगच्छत् देव लोकम् महायशाः || १-४४-१६

    16. sarva loka pitaa mahaH = for all, worlds, forefather; mahaayashaaH deva iishaH = great glorious, gods, lord of - Brahma; iti evam uktvaa = thus, this way, on saying; yathaa aagatam tathaa = as came in, like that; deva lokam agacChat = to empyrean, world, went away.

    On saying in this way, the forefather of all the worlds, and the great glorious lord of all gods, namely Brahma, went away to his empyrean world as he has came. [Bala Kanda, Sarga 44, Verse 16]

  • ततह् स्वायम्भुवैर्मन्रैर्ब्रह्मस्त्रमभिमन्त्रितम् |
    हनुमांश्चिन्तयामास वरदानम् पितामहात् || ५-४८-४०

    40. brahmaastram = (knowing it) to be missile presided over by Brahma the creator; abhimantram = and consecrated; mantraiH = by spells; svaayambhuvaiH = sacred to Brahma the creator; hanuman = Hanuma; tataH = then; chintayaamaasa = recollected; varadaanam = a boon got; pitaamahaat = by Lord Brahama; the grand-father of the entire creation.

    Knowing it to be a missile presided over by Brahma the creator and consecrated by spells sacred to Brahma, the creator, Hanuma then recollected a boon got by Lord Brahma, the grand father of the entire creation. [Sundara Kanda, Sarga 48, Verse 40]

This is no different from how Bhishma is depicted in paintings.

  • 7
    If Bramha is grandfather then Shri hari Vishnu should be great grand father of everything older than bramha he is, since Bramha is born out of Naabhi Kamala(Lotus Navel) of Shri hari Vishnu.
    – Yogi
    Apr 5, 2016 at 15:57

We live in Second half of Brahma i.e, we live in 51st Year of Brahma.

Srimad Bhagavatam says

yad ardham āyuṣas tasya
 parārdham abhidhīyate
pūrvaḥ parārdho ’pakrānto
 hy aparo ’dya pravartate

The one hundred years of Brahmā’s life are divided into two parts, the first half and the second half. The first half of the duration of Brahmā’s life is already over, and the second half is now current.

The duration of one hundred years in the life of Brahmā has already been discussed in many places , and it is described in Bhagavad-gītā (8.17) also. Fifty years of the life of Brahmā are already over, and fifty years are yet to be completed; then, for Brahmā also, death is inevitable.

Skanda Purana also states we live in second Paraardha of Brahma.

54-56. In the second Parardha of Brahma, the thirteenth Kalpa was well-known as Pitri Kalpa.

Pitri Kalpa was Kalpa before Sweta Varaha Kalpa and according to Skanda Purana we live in 14th day of Brahma (as 14th Kalpa is Swetha Varaha Kalpa). But some Puranas contradict this.

As age of the Brahma is 51, Artists might be depicting Him as man with white beard and white hair. But Vishnu and Rudra are depicted as Young due to differences in their life spans.

Shiva Purana says

A day of Brahma's life constitutes life of 14 Indras. A day of Vishnu is lifetime of Brahma. A day of Rudra is life time of Vishnu. A day of Shiva is life time of Rudra. A day of SadaaShiva is life period of Shiva. A day of SAAKSHAATSHIVA is life period of SadaaShiva.

Due to this difference in lifespan, Vishnu and Rudra might be depicted as young when compared to Brahma.

Brahma gets Moksha after He completes 100 years.



When you consider Brahma, he is:

  • The teacher.
  • The creator, who created everything.
  • The knowledge.

He is more portrayed as a teacher, a sage with all knowledge of universe. So He is portrayed as an old man.

Also, by the Vedas, they say:

Brahma is the physical reflection of the ancient Upanishadic universal Brahman. One can therefore see age and wisdom in such a depiction.

Source: Why is Lord Brahma mostly depicted as an old man in most Indian depictions while Shiva and Vishnu are not?

  • @sv. Thanks buddy, this is my first post on Hinduism. BTW, I quoted the article from where it says, and it is not Wikipedia. :) I will definitely verify it and update the post if needed. Thanks. Apr 5, 2016 at 8:37
  • @sv. Definitely. Apr 5, 2016 at 21:07
  • @TheDestroyer I have added the source as well, is that not enough? What is the expectation from the source? 😊 Jun 14, 2021 at 11:29

Brahma has white hairs because of two reasons:

  1. he is the creator (to create something we need knowledge)
  2. he writes everyone's faith (from humans faith to animals faith)

So therefore due to a lot of knowledge and stress in his brain he got white hairs and white beard.

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