Brahmā/Bonten (Biographical details)

Brahmā/Bonten (deity; Hindu; Buddhist; Male)

Also known as

Brahma; Bonten (梵天); Brahmā


One of the three most important male deities of Hinduism, the other two being Siva (q.v.) and Visnu (q.v.). Iconographically, he can be shown as multi-headed and usually carries a water-pot, signifying his position as the deity who oversees ritual activities. He is also in some legends conceived as the Creator, appearing on a lotus from the navel of recumbent Visnu. For many centuries, he has not been the recipient of a major cult. In Buddhism, a deva (one of the 'Twelve Devas', protectors of the faith) representing the Zenith; appearing together with Indra/Sakka (q.v.) as protectors of the historical Buddha.