Unknown13th - 14th century

Museum Nasional Indonesia

Museum Nasional Indonesia
Jakarta, Indonesia

Being one of the supreme gods, Brahma represents one third of the Hindu Holy Trinity - Trimurti. His role is The Creator, as opposed to Śiwa, The Destroyer and Wișņu, The Nurturer. As the creator of the world, Brahma is considered a manifestation of Brahman, with neither a beginning nor an end. He is therefore also known as Swayambhu, the one who was not borne, but gave birth to himself from a golden egg, the Hiranya-garbha. Another of Brahma's celestial titles is Prajapati (the king of all creatures). In Hindu mythology, Brahma is often depicted riding on a swan (hamsa), a symbol of freedom and eternal life, which is one of his other characteristics.
Here he is represented as a four-headed deity, with four arms and hands, symbolizing Brahma's omnipotence; on each head he has a crown, called the Kirīţamakuţa, with ribbons emerging from the back. He is thus also called Catur Mukha (one who has four faces) or Asta Karna (having eight ears). His left arm, in the back, is holding a Kamaņḍalu (Holy Water container), the right one a spear, while his other two arms are held in front of his chest. This Brahma statue is wearing a pleated long cloth, and jewelry, like a necklace, shoulder pieces, a sacred thread and belt, and an uncal (accessories hanging from his belt). In this case he is depicted as standing on the back of his swan.


  • Creator: Unknown
  • Creator Gender: None
  • Date Created: 13th - 14th century
  • Location: Boom Baru, Palembang, Indonesia
  • Place Part Of: Indonesia
  • Physical Dimensions: h545 mm
  • Classification: Archaeology
  • Type: Metal Work

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