Arvind Sharma

in Modern Hindu Thought

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195676389
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081974 | DOI:

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A doctrine of trinity known as trimūrti (‘The Three Forms’) in Sanskrit provides for the coexistence, as part of a single visionary conception, of the three gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. This trinity, a philosophical concept in modern Hinduism, is a convenient doctrine for relating God to the universe that undergoes the processes of manifestation, maintenance, and dissolution. Hindu metaphysical categories can give rise to several trinities. There is a trinity of the three ‘male’ gods which function in relation to Goddess (Devī), rather than God, as the ultimate principle. Pairing Íśvara and Devī can produce another trinity. In other words, the categories of modern Hindu thought are capable of forming several trinities, which confirms Hinduism's penchant for expansion, classification, and even infinite or at least indefinite extension.

Keywords: trinity; trimūrti; Hinduism; Hindu thought; gods; Brahma; Vishnu; Shiva; Íśvara; Devī

Chapter.  615 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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