BRAHMA

Real Name: Brahma

Identity/Class: Hindu god

Occupation: God of creation, magic and wisdom

Group Membership: The Daevas (Hindu gods); Trimuti (Shiva, Vishnu)

Affiliations: Thor

Enemies: Ravanna, Kubera, the Asuras, the Rakshasas

Known Relatives: Ammavaru (mother), Shiva, Vishnu (brothers), Sata-Rupa (first wife), Manu (son), Sarasvati (second wife), Vach (daughter), Adharma (son), Lakshmi, Parvati, Ganga (sisters-in-law), Ganesha, Skanda, Kama (nephews), Kāli (niece/sister-in-law)

Aliases: The Creator; Vohu Manah (Persian name), Purusha, Prajapati, Kamalasana, Narayana,

Base of Operations: Nirvana

First Appearance: Thor I#301 (November, 1980)

Powers: Brahma possesses greater than normal powers than most of the Hindu gods except for Vishnu and Shiva. He has superhuman strength (Class 50 perhaps), stamina and resistance to injury. He has extra-ordinary clairvoyance on a nearly omniescent level as well as the ability to tap into and manipulate mystical and cosmic energies equal to Vishnu, Odin or Zeus. Brahma is also credited with riding Hamsa, a great cosmic goose across the sky.

History: (Hindu Myth)- Brahma is the son of the ancient Earth goddess Ammavaru. According to ancient myth, she laid the great egg from which sprang Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The three brothers used the top part of the egg to create the sky and the bottom half the earth itself. Brahma was also considered the reincarnation of their ancient ancestor, Purusha and was known under that name as well as Prajapati. He was also described as self-existent and the embodiment of eternity in Hinduism and father of all Brahmans. He fell in love with the goddess Sata-Rupa and grew up to five faces to look upon her beauty, but Shiva destroyed one. As the divine god in the Brahman Religion, Brahma once dared to suggest he was more powerful than Vishnu, but Shiva appeared to them both in such force that they both had to admit his supremacy over themselves.

Brahma also married the river-goddess, Sarasvati. She gave birth to Vach, goddess of speech, and Adharma, god of prayer. Traditionally, in some myths, she is his second wife, but in others, she is the reincarnation of Sata-Rupa.

(Thor I#301)- As part of the divine Trimutri with Vishnu and Shiva, Brahma arbitrated many of their decisions and kept the balance between creation and destruction. When Thor came to Nirvana to petion the life energies to restore the Asgardians after Ragnarok, they discussed his case and turned down his wish to revive his pantheon. Brahma watched as Shiva and Thor clashed over egos and refused to get involved, but Shiva, sensing how passionate Thor was to his cause, changed his vote and donated the life energies.

(Thor II#61) - Thor was called before the Council Elite to be tested for worthiness to join them, as a replacement for Odin. Brahma was present at this meeting, in which Thor was judged as having failed the test.

Comments: Adapted by Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio and Keith Pollard.

The use of the Hindu gods in Thor#301 obviously did not sit well with numerous Hindu-Americans and the hindu gods ended up reduced to occaisional cameo roles in the Marvel Universe to prevent further offense. A similar contoversy occurred when Rama appeared in Wonder Woman II#148-150. Likewise, during the Legendary Journeys of the TV series Xena, the more obscure entity of Azhi Dahak was used over a recognizable Hindu demon as Ravanna (Persian: Ahriman).
As a result of the uproar of Thor's defeat of Shiva, Indra appeared in Thor Annual#10, and claimed that it was he who had fought Thor in Thor#301, not Shiva.

See the comments on Shiva for Pranshu B. Saxena's take on these events.

Ammavaru is an ancient Dravidian earth-goddess comparable to the Olympian Rhea. In Vedic myth, she has been described as the mother of Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva.

In Balinese Hinduism, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were three aspects of one god named Sang Hyang Wasa, a being so great he could not attain a human form.

by Will Uchtman

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connections (other than serving as the namesake) to:


Appearances:
Thor I#301 (November, 1980) - Mark Gruenwald & Ralph Macchio (writers), Keith Pollard (pencils), Chic Stone (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Thor II#61 (May, 2003) - Dan Jurgens (writer), Ben & Ray Lai (artists), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 03/08/03

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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