We all have seen paintings of Vishnu where Brahma is shown to sprout out of the navel of Vishnu.

What is the truth behind Brahma emerging from the navel of Vishnu?


2 Answers 2


Different views can exists.

Shiva Purāṇa:-

As per Shiva Purana Brahma was created by Shiva from his right side, but was made to come out of the Lotus from Vishnu's navel, as per Shiva's maya.


Exerting himself as before, Śiva, the great lord, with Pārvatī as his better half created me from His right limb.

O sage, having deluded me with His illusion immediately, Śiva in the course of His sport, produced me through the umbilical lotus of Viṣṇu.

Thus it was that I came to be known as Lotus-born and conceived in a golden womb. I had four faces, red complexion.

English Translation by J.L Shastri.

Thus, as per Shaivite view, Shiva is the Creator of Brahma.

As per Mahabharata

Section CCLXX, Draupadi-harana Parva, Vana Parva

The Supreme Spirit has three conditions. In the form of Brahma, he is the Creator, and in the form of Vishnu he is the Preserver, and in his form as Rudra, he is the Destroyer of the Universe!.

English Translation by K.M. Ganguli

So, it's the one-same Supreme deity who's manifesting as per the role required for the universe.

Similarly other texts describe Brahma as unborn, yet self-born, unmanifested, etc. Depending upon sectarian literature.

There can't be a conclusive answer, for different texts will have different answers and interpretations by people, for Brahmâ's or any other deities origin.


This symbolism of creator Brahma is well explained as part of Dhuruva Stuti and Prahalada Stuti occuring in shrimad Bhagvada Mahapurana

Narasimha stuti by Bhaktha Prahalad (seventh Skanda, ninth Adhyaya of Srimad Bhagavada Mahapurana)

tasyai thE vapu: idam nija kAla sakthyA sanchOditha prakriti dharmiNa Aatma ghooDam/ ambasi anantha sayanAth viramath samAdhE: nabhEhr abhooth svakaNikAth vaDavath mahA abjam(33)
" You, after the yOga nidra, get up from the deep slumber and begin to create the universe again i.e. you exhibit yourself again. Then, from your divine navel springs up a lotus flower, just as a Banyan tree rises up from a small seed. The lotus flower is a very big one"
tath sambhava: kavi: athO anyath apasyamAnah: tvAm beejam Aatmani thatham sva bahir vichinthya/ na avindaath abda satham apsu nimajjamAnah: jAtha ankurE katham athah: upalabEda beejam(34)
" From that flower, Lord Brahma was born. Then, Brahma did not see anything except himself and that flower. He was curious to know how he and the flower came. He went round and round. No success. Then, for full one hundred Brahma-years he dived into the praLaya ocean. Even then he could not see the Lord who was the cause of that lotus flower. This, however, is nothing strange. How can a seed be again observed when the seed has sprouted?"
sa tvat AatmayOnir athi vismitha aasritha abjam kAlEna theevra tapasA parisuddha bhAva:/ tvam Aatman Eesa! Bhuvi gandham iva athi sookshmabhootha indriyAsayam ayam vithatham dadarsa(35)
" Then, that Brahma performed Tapas for a very long time and became purified in mind. Then he saw you, Oh! Lord!, all pervading, in a subtle fashion, just as one feels smell in the earth. How were you then? You were all exhibiting yourself in all your Bhuta-sookshma and Indriyas (senses). Such are you. Oh! Lord!"
yEvam sahasra vadhana angri sirah: kara OorunAsAsya karNa nayana AbharaNa AayudhAdyAm/ mAyamayam sad upalakshaNa sannivEsam drishTvA mahA purusham Aapa mudham virinchih:( 36)
" That same Brahma then saw your awe-inspiring form full of mAya, with thousands of faces, mouths, ears, hands, thighs, noses etc. and realized that you are the one mahApurusha and derived immense pleasure" (English Translation by Sri P.N.Krishnaswamy Iyengar)

Dhuruva Stuti - shloka 3 (12 verses of Dhuruva stuti is in the 4th skanda of Shrimad Bhagavada Mahapurana)

tvad-dattayA vayunayedam acashTa viSvam supta-prabhuddha iva nAtha bhavat-prapannaH / tasyApavargya-SaraNaM tava pAda-mUlaM vismaryate kRta-vidA katham Arta-bandho
O my master, Lord Brahmā is fully surrendered unto You. In the beginning You gave him knowledge, and thus he could see and understand the entire universe, just as a person awakens from sleep and visualizes his immediate duties. You are the only shelter of all persons who desire liberation, and You are the friend of all who are distressed. How, therefore, can a learned person who has perfect knowledge ever forget You?(Translation vedabase.io)

It was You who gave the divine sight to the Creator Himself to recall how He did the Creation in the previous cycle. Let us note here that the Hindu theory of Creation and Dissolution is a phenomenon of recurring cycles. Once Creation starts it is Brahma's day. When everything dissolves in the Infinite Absolute the day-time of Brahma is over and Brahma 'sleeps' as it were. The next morning there is another day of manifestation, that is, creation - which will end up in Brahma's evening by another dissolution. Each such day of Brahma is called one kalpa. On the beginning of every such day, it is the Lord that has to 'sanctify' Brahma with the necessary spiritual power to create the universe. (Explanation by prof. V . Krishnamurthy)

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