Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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Trimūrti (lit. having three forms) is a conception that posits a supreme deity manifesting itself in three particular shapes in order to perform the basic cosmological functions: as Brahmā he emits the world, as Viṣṇu he preserves it, and as Śiva he annihilates it. The grouping together of Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Śiva – albeit not always in this order – and the emphasis on their specific yet complementar…

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Rigopoulos, Antonio, “Trimūrti”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 25 March 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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