Difference Between Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva

Brahma, Vishnu vs Shiva

Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are the three important Gods in Hinduism. Brahma is considered as the creator, Vishnu as the protector and Shiva as the destroyer.


The four Vedas, namely, Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda are said to have been produced by Brahma. Satyaloka is said to be the abode of Brahma. His consort is Goddess Saraswati. Brahma is said to possess four heads. Interestingly, there are no temples built for Brahma in India. Sage Narada is the son of Brahma.  Brahma is seated on a lotus. He is said to be the creator who is assigned the duty of creating living beings. He is considered as the writer of destiny of people.


Vishnu is the God who is said to live in Vaikuntha. He is said to recline on Adi Sesha, the serpent with his consort Goddess Lakshmi attending on him. He has the disc in his hand to protect the good from the wicked. He has Garuda as his vehicle. Garuda is a large eagle upon which Vishnu is believed to travel. Vishnu takes incarnations to protect the good from the evils of the wicked. His incarnations are ten in number.

The incarnations of Vishnu are Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parasurama, Rama, Balarama, Krishna and Kalki. The last incarnation is yet to come and it is believed to take place during the time of pralaya or the universal deluge. In addition to the 10 avataras of Vishnu he is said to have taken 32 other incarnations too. Vishnu is looked upon as the chief deity by the Vaishnavaites. He is considered as the God who dwells in every living being. There are a number of temples built for Vishnu in India. This is especially the case with South India. There are 108 kshetrams or pilgrimage centers for Vishnu including Vaikuntham. A man who is said to visit 107 of them is assured of a place in the Vaikuntham, the 108th center.


Shiva is the God associated with destruction. He is said to live in Mount Kailas. He has two notable children, namely, Vinayaka and Kartikeya or Muruga. His consort is Goddess Parvati. She is the daughter of Mount Himavan. Shiva is the presiding deity of the cremation ground. He is said to be donned in tiger skin. He is adorned with a snake around his neck and the digital moon over his head. Ganges is said to flow from his head down to the earth. In fact, it is said to have fallen on to his head as the heavenly Ganges.

Brahma is said to be bestowed with the quality of Rajas or activity. Shiva is said to be bestowed with the quality of Tamas and Vishnu is Sattvic in character. The quality of Sattva gives rise to calmness and peace. Tamas gives rise to dullness and sleep. Shiva is said to be an expert in Tandava dance, whereas Vishnu once appeared in the form of a woman as Mohini.