Brahma vs Brahman
Brahma and Brahman are two characters in Hindu religion and philosophy. While Brahma refers to the four-faced God described in the religious texts of Hinduism, Brahman is the Supreme Entity described in the Upanishads. It is the Brahman that is said to manifest itself into this universe. Brahman projects this universe and withdraws it back unto it during the time of deluge.
Brahma is said to be the God of creation. He is assigned the duty of creating living beings. He is also called as the writer of destiny of people. Brahma is said to be the originator of the four Vedas. He is said to live in a separate world called the Satyaloka. Saraswati is his consort or wife. Sage Narada is said to be his son. Narada is a staunch devotee of Vishnu.
There is no temple built for the four-faced Brahma. Brahma is described in the mythological works as the God who is seated on the lotus. He is portrayed with a beard too.
Brahman on the other hand cannot be seen with the naked eye. It can only be experienced. Brahman is said to be all-pervasive. It pervades all parts of existence. It is present everywhere. Sages of the past have experienced the Brahman and have become realized souls. According to Advaita of Sankara, all individual souls are parts of the Supreme Brahman. After getting liberating from the human bodies, the individual souls become one with the Brahman. Death is meant only for the body and not for the soul.
Upanishads extol Brahman and says it is indestructible. Brahman cannot be burnt, made wet or blown away. It has neither shape nor color. It cannot be seen and cannot be smelt too. Brahman dwells in every living being according to Advaita. It resides in human beings, animals, birds, trees, nature, objects and virtually everywhere,
One who has realized the Supreme Brahman becomes a man of self-realization. Such a person regards all the pairs of opposites such as heat and cold, happiness and sorrow, profit and loss, victory and defeat and failure and success alike. He is not disturbed by failures and insults. He gets total control over his mind. He sees Brahman everywhere and gets liberated.
Brahman is the supreme controller. It manifests and controls the world. It creates Maya or illusion. It is only due to the innate power of maya in the Brahman that we see serpent in a rope in insufficient light. Serpent is likened to this universe. Rope is likened to the Brahman and insufficient light is likened to inadequate knowledge.
Adequate knowledge will make us realize and experience the presence of Brahman. The illusory appearance of snake or the universe goes away. The saying goes ‘Brahmaiva Satyam Jagan Mithyaa’. It means ‘The Supreme Brahman alone is the truth, the universe is illusory’. Hence the illusory appearance of snake vanishes. Rope remains. Hence Brahman alone remains when true knowledge is born.