The ancient Indian way or Hindu way of depicting life in its totality is through these three metaphors or symbols. This is a trinity of life. Life is a mystery and it can not be reduced into a knowledge. It can not be reduced into a knowledge means one can not write a book on life and give it to somebody for a reading. Life is more like swimming and cycling. Each individual has to jump into an ocean of life and learn the art of swimming. One can get drowned. This is okay. One has to take a risk. By the way who stops us from being careful and cautious. One can then swim through and float and enjoy life. One has to peddle the cycle on his own. Some other person can not peddle for me. There can not be a proxy for me in life. Somebody can peddle for me while teaching me. My Pa, Mom, Brother, Sister, Friend, Teacher, Guru can peddle for a small distance but only to teach me the art of cycling. And once I learn, I can grow in that art. Nobody can have a mastery over life. This is impossible. Anybody who claims that he has a Mastery over life and he can give the Art of Living has come to a dead-end. And it seems there is no further growth in his life. Keeping these things in mind the ancient Hindus have used symbols and metaphors to depict the whole mystery of life. They used a Trinity of Gods to depict the whole mystery of life.
Brahma is a beginning. It is a beginning of beginning. It is a beginningless beginning. The Hindus call it Anadi. It simply means nobody knows. We have many explanations and without any proof and conclusion. And there can not be any proof or conclusion. And we can have many explanations. And all these explanations are just partial or fragmentary knowledge of the whole reality. And they can not give much insight into the reality of everything. The Hindus also have their own theories of life and the life span of Brahma. The modern scientists say that the universe is some 14.82 billions of years old (this is latest and keeps on changing). And this depends on the definition of the universe. If we believe in the Big Bang theory then the definition of the universe is “all that is”. And if we believe into the String Theory then this theory will transport us in a hyperspace of 11 universes. And the Big Bang could be because of the collision of any of the two or many universes or a coalescing of any of the two or many universes. And the moment we step into the String Theory, the definition of the universe will go for a change and “all that is” in the context of a Big Bang is different from “all that is” in the context of the String Theory. And the definition of the beginning will also undergo change and probably the age of that universe - one according to the String Theory, will also go for a change. And probably for this reason and many other reasons the Hindus have said that the universe means all that was, all that is, and all that will be. And the reckoning of a beginning, middle, and an end is just for the heck. They called the existence as Anadi and Ananta (One that is beginningless and endless).
If you wish to know the results of your company then you have to divide the span into years, months, days, etc. And we all know that the history has taken note of it that the emperors have become beggars and the beggars have also become emperors. If Heisenberg’s theory of uncertainty is at the heart of everything then Krishna’s theory of Nishkam Karma Yoga (Renunciation of the Fruits of Action) is also at the heart of everything. These theories have stood the test of times.
Brahma is that beginning. It is something that has come into creation out of nothing. Nothing has caused it. It is just a nature of nothingness that something may come out of it because the same nothingness is embracing it. It is just like a flower or a fruit which is holding many potential seeds. Nothingness is that ever flowered flower or ever ripened fruit. Brahma means beginning of life. It is just like how a child slips out of a mother’s womb. If the Mom is not ready a stupid doctor can not do anything. He may just tear the womb. And we have to probe this. This could just be a money minting device.
Brahma means love of life. He breathes life into everything that comes into existence. He breathes life into the existence itself. If you don’t love life it can not move further, it can not grow. Therefore, this is in the nature of a mother that she loves the new born one more than anything else. And hence she nourishes the newborn life. The child then grows and becomes independent Every mother thinks that her newborn child is like Krishna. This is obvious. Then only she can take care of the child. The first symbol is, therefore, the love of life or the beginning of life.
The second symbol is Vishnu. It is the sustenance of life or endurance of life. He is a growth curve of life. The beginning stage to the growth stage. The growth has to be sustained by something. And Vishnu is a symbol for this sustenance. The scientists are trying how long this life can be. They are saying that the human being can live for some 300 years. Recently they have said that very soon they will come with ways and means to stay healthy for at least 100 years. You will be surprised to know that some animals are not dying and they are only growing. I heard that some animals like turtles and alligators are in fact not dying and they are growing. Their cells are growing and their cells are not dying. They may die out of an accident or a disease. Their cells are not dying and they are growing. And the only cells that do not die in a human being are the cancer cells. The ageing process of the human beings and that of the above animals is totally different. The scientists are saying that they have yet not understood the ageing process of the human beings otherwise they can do miracles. Hopefully many more mysteries are hidden in the future - good or bad, we have no idea. Vishnu, therefore, is a metaphor or symbol for sustenance or endurance of life. We can also say him a Life of Love. And from the “Love of Life” we have moved to the “Life of Love”.
The third symbol or metaphor is that of Shiva. Anything that has come to be has to cease to be. This is into the nature of things. A small candle of light when all the fuel is burnt out will cease to exist. Are you worried? Please do not worry. Brahma will take care of another new candle of light. Shiva is an end of something. He is the end of play that has begun in the past. He is the end of a beginning. He is the end of the sustenance. He is the end of that endurance. He can also be termed as the beginning of a new inning. You must be feeling that the word “end” is looking negative. You may say that the words “beginning” and “sustenance” look positive and the word “end” looks negative. Then no problem. We can make a small change. Let us call it “transformation”. You are right !! In fact, there is nothing called an end. In an eternity, how there can be a beginning and an end. In a timelessness how the time can be an absolute. According to Albert Einstein, the space and time are relative. I am just an ordinary human being and trying to be a better human being. But if you think that you are an Avatara then you can say that you will come in some other Avatar in the future. You can say that you are a Tirthankara and shall come into life in some other form of a Tirthankara. I also suggest that you should meet a psychologist and a neurologist. Because this could be a neurological condition. Who knows? Because more than 80% of the diseases are psychosomatic. Have you not heard the utterances of Krishna in the Bhagavad Geeta? He is again going to come. But when, nobody knows. And in what form, nobody can predict. And in which place, nobody can indicate. And if he comes, how will we reckon? Because, we have already reduced him to be a superhuman and we have imported him into mythology. And who knows, he may come in the era of technological singularity as a cyborg and with an artificial consciousness. This state we can reckon because he will be more than the mythological Krishna. He will be even much more powerful than the mythological Krishna. And he can utter the same Geeta much easily because it is just a question of a few byte codes embedded into the artificial consciousness.
Shiva is, therefore, a transformation of everything. He is a love of death. These are the three symbols - Love of Life (Brahma), Life of Love (Vishnu), and Love of Death (Shiva). Shiva is a God of Dance too. He is a symbol not only for the celebration of life but also for the celebration of death. Through his dance he is saying that there is nothing that really dies. Everything is immortal and eternal. That is what the scientists are saying that not even an electron can be destroyed. Even if you destroy the electron where will it fall. There is nothing outside the existence. Matter is energy and energy is matter. Everything just gets transformed from one form of energy to another form of energy.
There is only one thing that is formless, and that is the Supreme Consciousness. It is not an object and it is the subject itself. It is neither matter nor the spirit. It is beyond the duality of everything in the existence. The human being is a different form of energy. All energies - mechanical, kinetic, electrical, chemical, electromagnetic, thermal, nuclear, etc., are all objective in nature and hence they can be measured and quantified. The Supreme Consciousness is neither a matter nor an energy and hence can not be measured or quantified. And each and every human being is a reflection of this Supreme Consciousness. And it is only the human being who is capable of experiencing this Supreme Consciousness. This is that Trinity and this is that Tatva that applies to everything in the existence. Everything that comes into creation follows this Trinity. And the whole creation itself is this Trinity. It is also called a Swayambhu, that is, it is a self-creating, self-sustaining, and self-transforming mechanism or entity. Let us welcome these three Gods into our lives.