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Hinduism and Christianity are two major religions that give faith and hope to millions of followers across the world. The Trimurti and the Holy Trinity both have three figures at the helm of each religion, but they are not similar to each other.

Hinduism is a polytheistic religion. Thousands of gods and goddesses are prayed to across the country. They play distinctive roles in people’s lives. Christianity is a monotheistic religion. There is a Supreme God, and all his aspects lead back to his oneness and divinity.

The Trimurti is Hinduism constitutes three major Gods within the Indian pantheon. Often referred to as ‘Brahma-Vishnu-Maheshwara’, together they bring balance to the cosmos.

The Holy Trinity, which consists of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are three aspects of

God. They have differing roles, but they are all God. To understand this better, let’s look at these concepts separately.

What is the Trimurti?

The word Trimurti is a combination of two words. ‘Tri’ means three and ‘Murti’ means images. The word Trimurti refers to three Gods.

A core belief in Hinduism is the ‘Brahman’. The Brahman is not a God and does not have any image or Murti. The Brahman is the Supreme Reality and can be experienced in the material world through the Trimurti.

Verse 12.5 of the Bhagvad Gita details this idea. The Brahman is ‘Unmanifest’ and cannot be experienced by humans. Humans live in the material world and are subjected to the laws of material reality. To progress spiritually, people worship Murtis.

The Trimurti are the three primary manifestations of the Brahman within Hinduism. Brahma is the Creator God, Vishnu is the Preserver, and Shiva is the Destroyer. Together, they maintain cosmic equilibrium.

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Hindu temples don’t have any images of the Brahman. Instead, different gods and goddesses are prayed to, and they each have different roles assigned to them. At the helm of these Gods is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. This is not to be confused with the King of the Gods, as that is Indra. Instead, the Trimurti are the most powerful Gods within the Hindu pantheon, and together they hold extraordinary power. As individuals entities, they aren’t considered the Trimurti or Brahman. But when they come together, they are the Trimurti.

Mentions of the Trimurti go as far back as the Rig Veda (1500 BC). The Maitri Upanishad (800-400 BC) contains no mention, but a note about the Trimurti.

The first time the Trimurti were actively written about was in a poem called ‘The Birth of the War God’, around the 4th-5th Century AD. The Puranas, written around 300 AD explained the roles and powers of the Trimurti.

Who are the Trimurti?

Three Gods make up the Trimurti – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Brahma is the Creator. According to Hindu mythology, he created the Universe with the help of the Prajapatis, the ancestors of humanity. The Saptarishi, or the seven sages, and the Manasputras, or the children of Brahma’s mind also helped him with the creation process. He is the God of knowledge, and he is the provider of knowledge.

Brahma has four heads that point in the four cardinal directions. Originally he had a fifth head, but an enraged Shiva decapitated him and left him with four. He carries four symbols of power in his hands – a goblet, a scepter, a bow, and the four Vedas. Brahma is not prayed to in Indian temples, save for a few.

Vishnu, the second God in the Trimurti, is the Preserver of the Universe. His role is to protect and guard Brahma’s Creation. In India, Vishnu is popularly prayed to by thousands. Hailed as the God of enlightenment, Vishnu the followers of Vishnu are Vaishnaviites.

His four symbols of power are a lotus flower, a conch shell, a discus, and a mace. Vishnu, through his avatars, has descended to the material plane multiple times to help humanity progress. Some of his avatars include Lord Ram and Lord Krishna.

Shiva is the Destroyer God of the Trimurti. He is often portrayed as a dancing figure. Most of the time, Shiva resides in a meditative state on the top of Mount Kailash. There, he lives with his wife Goddess Parvati. He has four symbols of power. These are the crescent moon on his head, his third eye, Vasuki -or the cobra that hangs around his neck, and the trident that he holds in his left hand.

Together, these three powerful Gods make the Trimurti in Hindu religion.

What is the Holy Trinity?

In Christianity, the concept of a single God is important. Christians believe in a Supreme Being – God. The Holy Trinity is three aspects of the same God. They are distinct because of the roles they perform, but they are the same entity.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are three equal and eternal parts of God. The idea of the oneness of God can be found in various sources of Christian religion. The Old Testament clearly stresses the importance of the oneness of God. The Nicene Creed, which is recited during the Holy Communion, also exemplifies the importance of a single diving being – God. So, what is the Holy Trinity?

The Holy Trinity is three aspects of God that help his followers understand him and the role he plays in the universe. The Father is the aspect that shows how God lovingly created the Universe, and through his love, how he provides for all his Creations.

The Son helps his followers understand how he loves all his Creations. When Jesus Christ walked the Earth, he taught compassion, forgiveness, and kindness. The Holy Spirit helps Christians understand that God is with them at all times, and is a source of strength for any follower who needs him.

The Holy Trinity is treated with equal respect and reverence. The Trinity is not separate from God, but together, is God.

An easier way to understand this is by looking at the concept of Time. For humans, time is a combination of the past, the present, and the future. These three aspects of time are not separate from each other and hold equal value when it comes to experiencing Time. In this way, the Holy Trinity is equally important in experiencing God. In Christianity, followers can experience happiness when they live together in communion with God.

Is the Trimurti and Holy Trinity related in any way?

Hinduism and Christianity are very different. The Trimurti and the Holy Trinity are not similar, even though both religions involve the presence of three aspects of a Supreme Being.

The Brahman in Hinduism cannot be experienced by humans, while in Christianity, followers strive to live in communion with God. The Holy Trinity are equal while the Trimurti are not often seen that way. Some followers believe that Brahma is the Supreme God while others attribute this role to Vishnu.

There aren’t very many similarities between the Trimurti and the Holy Trinity. However, within their respective religions, they play important roles in improving the human experience for devout followers.