"Brahma desired Sarasvati and went to her, asking her to stay with him. She, being his daughter, was furious at this and said, 'Your mouth speaks inauspiciously and so you will always speak in a contrary way.' From that day, Brahma's fifth head always spoke evilly and coarsely. Therefore one day when Siva was wandering about with Parvati and came to see Brahma, Brahma's four heads praised Siva but the fifth made an evil sound. Siva, displeased with the fifth head, cut it off. The skull remained stuck fast to Siva's hand, and though he was capable of burning it up, Siva wandered the earth with it for the sake of all people, until he came to Benares." -- Siva Purana, Jnanasamhita 49:65-80.
What does it mean? Did lord Brahma want to commit incest with his own daughter? Please tell me the actual fact.
Nobody has given any parameter to explain why Saraswati was a daughter of Brahma. Daughter is produced only by X-chromosome of father and X-chromosome of mother. That means X-X combination of father and mother respectively.
In the case of Brahma and Saraswati this rule is not applied at all. So she is not bilogical daugter of Brahma. Hence there is no question of incest at all. That she was produced from the sperm of Brahma is a trash story without any evidence.
Muslims and Christians are citing this on the name of Saraswati puran, which no Hindu has ever heard about. It is not enlisted among the sub-purans also. Ignorant Hindus having no connection with their scriptures are becoming prey to this conspiracy.
The authentic sources talk about her manifestation from the air coming out from the mouth of Brahma. So she has no bodily connection with Brahma. Hence daughtership of Saraswati is invalid. No body is talking about the Sanskrit word used in scripture in this case for 'daughter' in English. It has different meanings too.
Another fact is that he(Brahma) and she(Saraswati) are not human with bones and flesh like us, so there is no incest. Lamb and Lion are not herded with same stick. Four heads of Brahma and four arms of Saraswati signifies that they are not human. Unless you accept the very first proposition you should not jump to your conclusion.
She is eternal consort which manifested from half of his body via air. So she has been explicitly called Patni/wife as per Brihadaranyaka upanishad :
यथा स्त्रीपुमान्सौ सम्परिष्वक्तौ स इममेवात्मानं द्वेधाऽपातयत् ततः पतिश्च पत्नी चाभवताम्।
Patni is called better half of man in veidc principle. Though it has secondary meaning for human beings, it has primary meaning for Vishnu, Brahma, and Mahesh. It has been stated in above sentence of Upnishad. We will see the vedic incidences in vedic perspective not in Islamic perspective.
And now the story of Urvashi? One who projected/injected this story is just the best ignorant. He does not know the chronology in vedic genesis. Urvashi never existed when Sarawati manifested. Have pity on them. Suggest to read our scriptures in vedic perspective.
For more detailed knowledge for this episode please visit this link.
Manu asked, "O Omniscient lord, it is surprising to stare at the
daughter again and again which is a painful situation, but by
indulging in such a manner, how could the lotus born Brahmä not earn
any blemish? Moreover. how could the sons of Brahmä marry in the same
gotra? You kindly remove my doubt in this connection".
Lord Matsya said, "The rajoguna creation emerging in the form of Satarüpä
and others is divine. As the Mulaprakruti is beyond the reach of the
organs of senses, similarly the damsel Satarüpä's body was beyond the
reach of the sense organs. It possesses the divine lustre besides the
divine knowledge, therefore, the humans having the bodies of flesh
cannot be described with their mortal eyes.
As the paths of the serpents are known to the serpents and those of
the birds are known to the birds alone, similarly the ways of the
divine souls like Satarüpä and others could be known to the divine
jivas alone and not to humans. O Great king, since the activities of
the gods (irrespective of their being) proper or improper, do not
yield good or bad fruits, therefore it would not be proper for the
humans to think about them.
The other reason is that as Brahmä happens to be the creator of the
Vedas, similarly, Gäyatri in the form of Satarüpä is said to have been
born of the limbs of Brahmä, therefore, this union is conceived as
visible as well as invisible. Alas wherever there is Brahmä, Sarasvati
is bound to be there and wherever there is Sarasvati, Brahmä must be
there. As the sunshine cannot be separated from the sun, similarly
Gäyatrl cannot leave the company of Brahmä. Though Brahmä represents
all the Vedas and Sävitri or Gäyatri is the supreme goddess for him,
therefore Brahmä does not earn any blemish casting an evil eye over
Still Brahmä, felt shameful for his evil action at that time and he
cursed the god of love his own son. He said, "Since you have badly
wounded my mind with your arrows, therefore, lord Rudra will soon burn
you to ashes."
First of all we are not enough capable of translating each and everything correctly, but if you go through all the Puranas you will find one thing in common, the Param Brahma in creation divided itself into two parts, Purusha and Prakriti, the Purusha itself is the Tridev, the Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.
The Prakriti is the universe, everything as the part of universe i.e. galaxy, planets, plants, animals, and atoms. As universe is finite but Prakrati is not, a lot of energy was left out after creation, this left out infinite energy was the cause of the creation of Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Parvati(Sati). All three came into creation by same physical word if you go deeper into Brahma's Creation.
This might not fulfill the answer because we are of meager brains, we need to learn a lot to translate and get the actual meaning of Puranas correctly.
Last thing most of English translation are invalid, so don't give a lot of emphasis on them, I have read an altogether different story which says,
There was a fight between Rakshasas and Devas, where Devas were overpowered, and they went for help to Tridev, amongst which Shiva fought with the Devas, but Brahma just watched it. When Rakshasas were overpowered they started fleeing on which the fifth head of Brahma suggested the Rakshasas return to the battlefield and fight Shiva, this made Shiva angry and he tore off his fifth head.
In relation to incest, I already explained that Brahma is a Purusha part of Param Brahma, and Saraswati is a Prakriti part of Param Brahma, therefore they will naturally attract as two opposite type of energies. But the word incest is actually limited towards biological beings, and it cannot be used to define the relations of Atman. To Describe it more, there are two types of Reproduction, Sexual(found in mammals) and Asexual(as in ameba) and the asexual, the initial creation of Brahma all reproduce Asexually. And foremost we even cannot call Saraswati as daughter of Brahma, she is Prakriti(matter) and Brahma is Purusha(anti-matter), both with opposite nature.
Even we are attracted towards the Tridev, because they are Purusha and we are Prakriti.
Saraswati was not born from Bramha's relationship with any other woman. She was created by Bramha just the way he created everything else. I mean if he created Himalaya and if he created Shiva then isn't Shiva, Parvati's uncle?
Incest is a very modern concept probably derived from practical experience than inbreeding leads to defects. I dont think it can be applied in a mythological structure like this.
Brahma desired to have a wife. Since it was Brahma himself who is responsible for creation, he created a lady named Saraswati. When Brahma expressed his desire to marry her, Saraswati opposed Brahma arguing that he was like a father to her since it was he who created her.
But Brahma persuaded Saraswati by saying that the very reason for her creation is to be his wife. Saraswati tried arguing that she could not copulate with her own father. However, it was useless and finally Saraswati succumbed to Brahma's wish and became his wife.
daughter,--either the Sky or the Dawn 1. 'May I pair with her!' thus (thinking) he united with her.
1:7:4:22. This, assuredly, was a sin in the eyes of the gods. 'He who acts thus towards his own daughter, our sister, [commits a sin],' they thought.
1:7:4:33. The gods then said to this god who rules over the beasts (Rudra) 2, 'This one, surely, commits a sin who acts thus towards his own daughter, our sister. Pierce him!' Rudra, taking aim, pierced him. Half of his seed fell to the ground. "
Also, siva only pierced him for the incest - siva cutting off one of brahma's heads appears to be a puranic story.
Westerners regard this story as an allegory for some atmospheric phenomenon.
Incest of Prajapati from Shatapatha Brahmana was mentioned in this answer.
This mention has a forerunner in Rig Veda. (X.61.5-7). The following is the translation of Stephanie W. Jamison and Joel P. Brereton.
Many modern day translators misunderstood the DIVINE concept here.
He whose (penis,) which performs the virile work, stretched out, discharging (the semen)—(that one,) the manly one, then pulled away
(his penis, which had been) “attending on” (her). Again he tears out
from the maiden, his daughter, what had been “brought to bear” on
her—he the unassailable.
When what was to be done was at its middle, at the encounter when the father was making love to the young girl— as they were going
apart, the two left behind a little semen sprinkled down on the back
and in the womb of the well-performed (sacrifice).
When the father “sprang on” his own daughter, he, uniting (with her), poured down his semen upon the earth. The gods, very concerned,
begat the sacred formulation, and they fashioned out (of it?) the Lord
of the Dwelling Place, protector of commandments.
We have to remember that there is no incest here, as misunderstood many modern day scholars. This issue is to be understood esoterically.
Rig veda V.79.8 states about Usha as daughter of heaven - duhitar divaḥ.
And, Rig veda I.65 says about fostering of a child, well-begotten in the lap of truth.
Esoterically, it is a Knowledge that ONE gets after getting SELF REALISATION, with the help of the God.
So, we can conclude that there is no HEAVENLY INCEST as thought of modern translators, but it is only DIVINE knowledge ONE gets (child - kumara) through SELF REALISATION (Ushas - dawn) with the help of the God (prajapati)
I believe, nowhere in the puranas is mentioned that Saraswati is a daughter of Brahma. Most of the people confuse it for Prakriti as Saraswati. Brahma created Prakriti, out of his thoughts and I've no answer if you ask me how.
Brahmanda Purana mentions:
Brahma splits himself and the left-half forms a woman.
That's how we relate husband-wife relation, likewise Parvati is the left-half with Shiva. So, there is nothing incest in it.
Some scriptures say Saraswati is born from Brahma's thoughts, that doesn't mean incest.
For example, you envision a person in your dream and suddenly you get to see that person. That doesn't mean the person is your son/daughter. And moreover, it is not incest.
I have three answers to your question.The first two is no but the last one is yes.
If you consider Saraswati to have appeared before the creation of the manas-putras of Brahma, then Saraswati had not been actually created from half of Brahma's body.Instead, in the beginning of time, Brahma had been instructed by Vishnu to create the world.However, Brahma did not know what to create as he lacked wisdom, knowledge and creativity.Hence, he prayed to Devi to show him the way.Devi thus manifested from the left half of Brahma's body as Saraswati, the Goddess of wisdom, knowledge and creativity.Gaining wisdom, knowledge and creativity from her, he realised that creating the universe was no easy feat annd thus created his manas-putras to help him.It was during that time that he started to lust Devi and Shiva came into the picture.Devi had also done such a miracle when Shiva had worshipped her.She had manifested from Shiva's left half as Sidhatri/Durga and Shiva became known as Ardhinaeshwara.
If you consider Saraswati to have appeared before the creation of the manas-putras of Brahma, then Saraswati is the shakti of Brahma.Also, in this story, Saraswati had not been actually created from half of Brahma's body.Together with Saraswati, Brahma had created the manas-putras.Then, in this story, the manas-putras are not just the sons of Brahama.They are also the sons of Saraswati.After their creation, Saraswati manifested from Brahma's body's left side in a phisycal body.Upon seeing his shakti (he couldn't see her before as she had no phisycal form), Brahma lusted her and so on.
Beliefs that Saraswati is Brahma's daughter is mainly from temple lore.Hence, after avoiding Brahma, Saraswati became a consort of Vishnu (according to Vaishnavas), a daughter of Durga (according to Shaktas) or a follower of Ganesha (according to Shaivas).
This (sacred place) is beginningless like the Vedas which constitute Hari’s body. The presiding deity is Hari himself. It is
resorted to by Nārada and others.
Formerly, in the beginning of Kṛtayuga, Brahmā attempted to have sexual intercourse with his own daughter who was richly endowed with
beauty and youth.
to 5. On seeing him like that I cut off his head with a sword into five
parts in a great fury. Taking the skull (sticking to) the hand that
attempted the murder of Brahmā, I immediately left the place in order
to resort to various Tīrthas in heaven, earth and nether worlds and
performed penances as well.
English Translation by G.V. Tagare
So yes, it is attested from two different Purāṇas (Śiva Purāṇa & Skand Purāṇa), that god Brahmā did try to commit an incest with his daughter.
If someone asks why did he try to commit incest, then it maybe answered that it was part of the Divine Pastimes i.e., his "līlā".
Brahma Sutra 2.1.33 explains the term līlā as:
लोकवत्तु लीलाकैवल्यम् । २.१.३३ ।
But (Brahman's (i.e., gods') creative activity) is mere sport, such as is seen in
the world (or ordinary life).
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