Brahmā (ब्रह्मा) who is the creator aspect of the Trimurti God, while Vishnu (विष्णु) and Shiva (शिव ) being the Preserver and the Destroyer aspects.

The most frequently used etymological meaning for Vishnu and Shiva which I have encountered almost everywhere is :-

Vishnu (विष्णु) = The all pervader, who is everywhere, all pervading. The One who enters (everywhere?), etc.

Shiva (शिव ) = The all auspicious one, the one who's Pure and the most auspicious, etc.

For the word Brahmā (ब्रह्मा), I haven't found anywhere, any proper etymology and meaning.

I'd like to know (with scriptural as well as non-scriptural references too) all possible etymology and meanings of all of the Trimurtis - Brahmā, Vishnu, Shiva, with specific emphasis on Brahmā (ब्रह्मा).

  • Brahma is derived from root बृह् which means to become big or expand in the sense that Brahma is big expanding and all pervading again.
    – Adiyarkku
    Feb 11, 2021 at 7:59
  • You can just look up the meanings in dictionaries. Brahma means big/expansion, Vishnu means all-pervading, and Shiva means auspicious.
    – Ikshvaku
    Feb 11, 2021 at 13:53
  • @Ikshvaku I couldn't find any acceptable or proper etymology for the word - Brahmā (ब्रह्मा). There are several sahasranamam for Vishnu and Shiva in the scriptures and thus almost all of their major names have have been dissected and analysed with multiple perspectives by several eminent Acharya or commentators. Not the same case with Brahmā though. Thus, I'm quite interested to know his etymology.
    – Vivikta
    Feb 11, 2021 at 14:43
  • @Vivikta As the other commenter said, acharyas say that it comes from the root word "brh", which means growth/expansion.
    – Ikshvaku
    Feb 11, 2021 at 15:39

2 Answers 2


From chapter 4 of Kurma Purana (translation by MOTILAL BANARSIDASS publication):

in view of his vastness, he is called Brahma

Here is the screenshot of Sanskrit verse and Hindi translation:

enter image description here


What are the different names of Brahma as per scriptures?

Why is Brahma referred as Viranchi in Scriptures?:

Brahmā — he who increases.

  • 1
    @vivikta, in case you may not be aware, if this answer is satisfactory, you can accept it by clicking the tick (✔️) below the voting arrows on the answer. And of course if you did like the answer, you can contribute an upvote too by pressing the up arrow. Thanks :)
    – Adiyarkku
    Feb 11, 2021 at 17:42

According to Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati, Brahma means to develop.

Brahma (brihi - to develop, multiply) is One who has created the world and multiplies it.

Satyarth Prakash Page 14

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