Talk:Brahma

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Disagree with last edit[edit]

@VictoriaGrayson: I feel like the material in your last edit [1] belongs in the body and not in the lede. Especially as this 'puranic' perspective on brahman is a sectarian view that isn't fully representative of how Brahma is or has been viewed in Hinduism (especially beyond India proper). In fact, just from a chronological standpoint, this gives a late medieval interpretation of Brahma first and undercuts other views, ignoring the greater role he is afforded in the older vedic religion. It is nice that it isn't pushing the Vaishnav angle exclusively thanks to elegant verbiage on your part, but the citations are coming from a 'Krishnaist' perspective. Do we have anything from Shiva, Devi, or other Puranas about Brahman to balance it? If not I would think this should be in a 'puranic' section.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 21:14, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

The source is Edwin Bryant, a top indologist. Just because the topic of the book is Krishna, doesn't mean this info is from a Krishna perspective.VictoriaGraysonTalk 21:23, 8 November 2015 (UTC)
Well, the picture of Lakshmi pressing the feet of Vishnu says it all, doesn't it? (Sorry, couldn't resist, I am after all the Kautilya :-)
But the terminology of "secondary creator" credited to Bryant is not mainstream. I agree that it shouldn't be in the lead. - Kautilya3 (talk) 21:52, 8 November 2015 (UTC)
Google Books search turns up many books which use the exact phrase "secondary creator". And many books state the same concept with different words.VictoriaGraysonTalk 21:57, 8 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, Edwin Bryant is actually very unpopular among Gaudiyas for some of his writing. My point was that this was not a book on pan-hindu concepts but rather on vaishnav philosophy (and not a book about Brahma or Trimurti or smartha, etc). And the point still stands. It may be commonly mentioned in google results (and remember there are seemingly many more Vaishnavs on the internet at least as evidenced by the amount of biased Gaudiya edits this site gets) but that doesn't make it a balanced presentation for the lede. And the puranas are notorious for sectarian POV info. Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 03:01, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
But it appears you're just doubling down with more sectarian sources. The Mahabharata is primarily a Vaishnav text. It's popularity doesn't supersede our obligation to give a balanced summary in the introduction. This is profoundly unbalanced.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 03:05, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Neither academic book makes their claim within the context of Vaishnavism. They are both making general statements about pan-Hindu concepts. Even in Shaivism, Brahma grows out the navel of Vishnu. See WP:VNT.VictoriaGraysonTalk 04:24, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
You're misunderstanding. First, as I already explained: it's not the authors you cited who are sectarian, it's the things they're describing: puranas and the Mahabharata. Vishnu puranas describe him making the universe like Shiva puranas describe Shiva making the universe. And there are Thai and Buddhist perspectives too. His universal aspect is as the creator god and that's what the intro should emphasize first. Either your sources and additions are both describing beliefs in a system specifically oriented to one god as supreme (Religious Doctrines of the Mahabharata and Krishna: A Sourcebook). So academic sourcing isn't the issue. It's the inappropriate placement of the material within the article. You still have not once responded to the core complaint, instead we keep arguing about your sources. The issue is placement. If anything the earlier vedic view should be presented first and elaborated upon with the common secondary place he found in these sources as well as śaiva and other sources. It looks like you're just conveying the supremacy of Vishnu in popular modern practice (not a purely pan-Hindu concept) in an article that isn't about Vishnu.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 04:58, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
I am not misunderstanding. You are making all sorts of claims without reading the books cited. Neither is talking about Vishnu puranas.VictoriaGraysonTalk 05:01, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Again: not about your sources (but a book on the doctrines of the Mahabharata is undeniably about a vaishnav weltanschauung because it's a vaishnav text). These statements don't go in the intro. And there are plenty of sources about Brahma as supreme and not secondary, they're just primarily historical perspectives. [2] He had a rise and fall in worship. His secondary status is something that developed not how it is and was. The Vishnu's navel story is not universal, even within the Puranas.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 05:07, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Please cite academic sources instead of Swami Parmeshwaranand.VictoriaGraysonTalk 05:18, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Being a Swami does not preclude one from being an academic. Look at the Rig Veda: Hiranyagarbha, self-manifested from the void. The Hiranyagarbha page is replete with citations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiranyagarbha#Translation_in_English This is the view that goes at the top.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 05:23, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Thats a primary source. Please cite secondary sources.VictoriaGraysonTalk 05:24, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
The burden of proof is on you. Why does this go in the lede? What's the quote from your sources that says Brahma is primarily viewed as a secondary creator across denominations? The lede should look like this "Brahma. The Creator-God of the famous medieval Hindu triad of deities, which is known as tri-mûrti. The other two are Vishnu (as Preserver) and Shiva (as Destroyer). Brahma must be carefully distinguished from brahman, which is the eternal, impersonal foundation of existence transcending all deities." -Feuerstein. Answer the question I've repeatedly asked you and stop dancing around citations. Your change alters the tone drastically and you're avoiding defending it. We both know that Vishnu is not worshipped as a primary deity in the samhitas of the Rig Veda where the Hiranyagarbha Sukta comes from. In fact Brahma was clearly a big deity with his own cult at different historical points. Prajapati refers to Brahma. I do not exactly have JSTOR access at home right now without driving to across town to Loyola, but any academic book on Brahma or the Rig Veda will agree with me, even if your book on Krishna is being presented as disagreeing (Bryant's quote says "In the Puranas" he was a secondary creator, and is explaining the puranas as alternately propping up Shiva or Vishnu, context missing from your contribution). Hiranyagarbha is born in the void. Hiranyagarbha = Prajapati. Prajapati = Brahma. How about two quotes from the glossary of The Yoga Tradition to elucidate on the Hiranyagarbha Sukta:
"Prâjapâti (“ lord of creatures”). Creator, same as Hiranyagarbha."
Feuerstein, Georg (2013-09-11). The Yoga Tradition: It's History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice (Kindle Locations 15891-15892). Hohm Press. Kindle Edition.
"Hiranyagarbha (“golden germ”), (i) The mythical originator of Yoga, (ii) Cosmologically, the condition preceding manifestation, corresponding to Brahma."
Feuerstein, Georg (2013-09-11). The Yoga Tradition: It's History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice (Kindle Locations 15715-15716). Hohm Press. Kindle Edition.
Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 06:00, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
See WP:VNT. You can call it "dancing around citations", but its how Wikipedia works. Please provide secondary academic sources which support your POV. These citations from Feuerstein don't support your claims.VictoriaGraysonTalk 06:16, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
You're still dancing. The Bryant quote is literally only talking about the Puranas: "The three chief gods in the puranas are brahma, the secondary creator..." it's a statement about the Puranas emphasizing Shiva or Vishnu as primary in their sectarian creation stories (not pan-hindu). I'm pretty sure the other source, is the same one Bryant cites here, unless you happen to have that $100 hardcover sitting around. You don't give citations from anything about Brahma. And you haven't once tried to defend placing this in the intro, because that's the issue. You haven't once said the word intro/lead/lede in this whole conversation. My sources clearly state general facts about Brahma, Hiranyagarbha, Prajapati, etcetera without the qualifiers of 'in the puranas' or 'in the mahabharata'. Are you saying my sources don't disprove your sources? There not supposed to: they're giving the generalized view I think should be in the lede. Citing Feuerstein's definition of Brahma is adequate for that. There is no source that directly says 'Brahma is not a secondary creator', only ones that say he is the creator God. Your citations say he is a secondary creator in specific contexts. Specific contextual definitions of the subject go in the body. that's the argument here. Your citations don't claim to express a pan-hindu view of anything. You can't even pull a quote.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 06:34, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Your sources are not reliable or are primary. See WP:WPNOTRS.VictoriaGraysonTalk 07:13, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Are you not even reading?! I didn't add anything to the article. I don't need citations. I want the article returned to how it was. That is already defended by the old version. YOU made the changes. Your citations are for the puranas and mahabharata. You made undefended changes with bad citations in the wrong section. Move it to a proper section or defend its placement and seriously stop talking about citations! Defend your edit or I am removing your edit.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 08:24, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
And Feuerstein is actually a perfectly fine citation, as is the Encyclopedia of Puranas, and the Rigveda. You're either being obtuse or not reading my responses. You still haven't addressed a single issue I've brought up. You're just playing with strawmanning my argument and avoiding the issue. Get a second opinion, because Kautilya agreed with me, as will anyone else.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 08:30, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"Worship of Mahat is enjoined in the Manu Samhitã ( Chapter 12 ). Mahat is Brahmã according to the Pafícarãtra texts ( See Schrader's Introduction to Pancarãtra ), as well as in the Vedãnta. Both Brahmã and Mahat were known as the first thing produced by Brahman, according to the Indian creation legends, and by Purusa-Prakrti in the Sãmkhya Philosophy. Hence the earliest object of worship in India was Brahmã. He was known by various names, of which ' Prajäpati ' occurs in the Veda and Brähmanas. The name Brahma was not a creation of the Purãnas." THE AVESTA, ṚGVEDA AND BRAHMĀ CULT, Author(s): Tarapada Bhattacharyya, Source: Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Vol. 51, No. 1/4 (1970), pp. 31-50. quote from p.49. Ignore all the pdf copy errors. I just remembered my jstor password.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 10:17, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

"In these accounts Hiranyagarbha does not create Brahmâ, he is rather born himself as Brahmâ Svayambhü. Candrânanda does not tell us what position he attributes to Brahma in the process of creation: was Brahma created by, or rather identical with the highest God?" GOD'S ARRIVAL IN THE VAIŚEṢIKA SYSTEM, Author(s): JOHANNES BRONKHORST, Source: Journal of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 24, No. 3 (June 1996), pp. 281-294 (pp.9-10)Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 10:23, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
"In the beginning there was no sun, no moon, no star, no sky nor earth. There were only the great waters. Then a great egg (anda) like a hen's egg, arose, golden and brilliant all around. As it hatched it broke into two halves. The half which was above became heaven; the other half which was below became earth. In the middle sphere between these two was born Brahma, the fore- father of all living beings. He created all things, both the living and the lifeless. The dissolution of all these things, the living and the lifeless, into him, is called nirvana. Thus, those heretics who hold the doctrine of the egg teach that the great egg produces Brahma, who is eternal and who is the cause of nirvana." Upanisadic Tradition and The Early School of Vedānta as Noticed in Buddhist Scripture, Author(s): Nakamura Hajime, Source: Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Vol. 18, No. 1/2 (Jun., 1955), pp. 74-104 (p.95)Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 10:36, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
"With the basic elements thus evolved, Brahmã-Prajãpati is introduced, and the creation of beings and all the world commences (sarvabhutãni cãdãya tapasaš caranãya ca / ãdikartã mahãbhutam tam evãhuh prajãpatim ¡¡sa vai srjati bhiitãni sa èva purusah parafi / ajo janayate brahmã devarsipitrmãnavãn / / Mbh. 12. 224. 44-45, cr. ed. ). Here, then, the basic elements are created, and not préexistent, but after their creation, they do exist as the basic ontic stuff of the world. It is noteworthy that they evolve out of brahman (n.), but are the instruments of Brahma (m.) in his formation of the phenomenal world. As no mention is made of Brahma's origin, we may presume at least a vague identity with brahman, especially as it is mentioned in verse 29 that the cycle of creation and dissolution corresponds to the waking and sleeping of the Lord (iśvara ). This verse is possibly an insertion, for it is missing from the South Indian edition,18 but its inclusion in the present text suggests the development of a theistic framework which, even if vague here, makes it a precursor of the mythology of Visnu sleeping on the ocean of milk, a motif which is accompanied by the hiranyagarbha image." THE CREATION ACCOUNT IN MANUSMṚTI, Author(s): James W. Laine, Source: Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Vol. 62, No. 1/4 (1981), pp. 157-168 (p.162) Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 11:13, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── (ec) @VictoriaGrayson: You are totally missing the point. We are saying that these ideas are have been given undue weight and putting them in the lead violates WP:NPOV. To assess the weight, you need to examine how many of the sources from among a broad sample of sources contain these ideas. How many of the sources cited on Hinduism contain them? - Kautilya3 (talk) 10:39, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

I completely understand thats what you erroneously believe. However Frazier says "...it is the itihāsa narratives of the epics and Purānas or the emotive poems of the bhakti saints that are most influential on the religious life of the majority." page 19 of Continuum Companion to Hindu Studies.VictoriaGraysonTalk 17:34, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
so you've changed your argument from 'this is the pan-Hindu view' to 'this is the most popular view' even though it's not what your edit or used citations say. And you still haven't explained why the contextual definition of puranic Brahma should come before the others or proved that this is the only puranic perspective (while I have clearly disproven that). Your original synthesis of ideas through the new Frazier quote is flimsy at best and does not supersede the the long quotes I just added showing the academic view (expressed in the Mahabharata no less, an itihasa, and expressed in puranas) of hiranyagarbha emerging from the primordial waters with no allusion to Vishnu and Brahma as "svayambhu"-self born and a direct quote from a secondary source saying the hiranyagarbha story predates the Vishnu's navel story (which, again, I have shown is not universal to the puranas). But it's seemingly quite easy for you to keep dancing around the point with obtuse arguments instead of defending your edit. Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 18:20, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
There is a serious flaw with defining Brahma exclusively by later texts that directly obscure his worship. It's equivalent to defining Judaism with the new testament. Read the three quotes that came off of JSTOR that I put up because they undercut literall everything you're saying. And they required no cherry picking: I just searched for 'birth of brahma', 'hindu creation', and 'hiranyagarbha'. I have found the quote from your first source and shown it only refers to a contextual definition that it does not claim is preeminent, and superseded the claims of your second source by showing how hiranyagarbha is treated in the Mahabharata. And my sources also define him in Vedantic, Samkhyan, Pañcaratran, Vaisheshika and Itihasa contexts. Your standing on swiss cheese here, mate.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 18:39, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
None of your "long quotes" indicates which ancient text they are talking about. So you have not disproven anything.VictoriaGraysonTalk 18:43, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Um, yes they do very explicitly if you read them: Rig Veda, Mahabharata, Manu Smriti, Vaisheshika texts (I forget which ones, but the article gives a list in it's intro that didn't make it to the quote), "Mahayana sources" and Pancaratra texts (which also includes the Mahabharata). It's actually your sources don't say which texts they're from and you don't offer any quotes (because between the two of us, I'm apparently the only one who owns the Bryant book, and neither of us has ever seen the other or you would have furnished a quote at one of my previous 5 requests). And you defend edits to Brahma with sources that aren't about Brahma from books that are about Vishnu. My first source is from a book with "Brahma Cult" in the title! @Joshua Jonathan: seriously need a second opinion here, because @VictoriaGrayson: is being patently stubborn and defending her edits by synthesizing ideas from almost exclusively Vaishnav puranic perspectives.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 18:55, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Here are the 2 quotes of top mainstream indologist Edwin Bryant:

pg. 6-7 The word purana, in Sanskrit, signifies ‘‘that which took place previously,’’ that is, ancient lore. Several Puranas list the total number of Puranas as eighteen, and these texts, as we have them today, are essentially a vast repository of stories about kingship; the gods and their devotees; sectarian theologies; traditional cosmologies; popular religious beliefs concerning pilgrimages, holy places, and religious rites; and yogic practices—the popular Hinduism of India today essentially stems from the Puranas rather than the old Vedic corpus of texts. The three chief gods in the Puranas are Brahma, the secondary creator, Shiva, the destroyer, and Vishnu, the maintainer, and a number of stories speak of the competition between these three for ultimate supremacy. Brahma is never, in actuality, a serious candidate, and the main rivalry in the Puranas is played out between the two transcendent lords Vishnu and Shiva. Despite the usually playful rivalry between Vishnu and Shiva, much in the Puranas point to the fact that it is Vishnu who as a rule occupies a position of preeminence in the earlier texts.

pg. 18 Brahma is the creator of all the forms in the universe in the sense of being their engineer, but he is not the creator of the primordial universal stuff itself. He is born from the lotus stemming from Vishnu’s navel.

VictoriaGraysonTalk 19:04, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes: in the puranas. The puranas are a bad source of information on Brahma and are a "vast repository of...sectarian theologies". The four sources I listed are about Brahma. The navel story is presented as the only story when in fact it is a later sectarian persepective as is directly stated in another one of my sources describing hiranyagarbha as "a precursor of the mythology of Visnu sleeping on the ocean of milk". And popular conception is not what goes in the lede. The general view goes in the lede. This goes under popular conception in context. My first source alone represents the view in more than half of the darsanas of hinduism (vedanta, vaishesika, samkhya) as well as in the most popular itihasa in India.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 19:39, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
The majority view should be in the lede. Minority views go in the body.VictoriaGraysonTalk 19:43, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
You haven't shown anything to suggest this is more popular only that it is sectarian. Nor have you represented the Saiva or Buddhist or Samkhyan or Vedantic perspectives. You're literally propping up one view in the lede with undue weight through your own OR. One source saying puranas inform the popular religion and another unrelated source saying Brahma's role in the puranas becomes your synthesis conclusion. I have shown that the hiranyagarbha story is older, given way more sources and offered definitions of Brahma that are equally academic to Bryant's and not written on in the context of sectarian milieus.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 20:13, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
What do you mean by unrelated sources? Everything I just quoted is from one book. You don't even know what OR and synthesis means. You are always quoting primary sources and then making stuff up about them. This is really the height of WP:IRONY.VictoriaGraysonTalk 20:25, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Your conclusion is a synthesis of two quotes from different sources. 1)Puranas inform the popular religion 2)Brahma is secondary and born from Vishnus navel in the puranas. Where's your source that says "the popular/mainstream view of Brahma in Hinduism is as a secondary creator"? To mix those to make your conclusion is exactly synthesis and OR. And, like many puranas, the Kanda Purana doesn't even mention Vishnu or Brahma in its creation myth "There are three major ontological categories or principles of being in the kandapuranam: Shiva, Shakti, and asura (or, the "demonic"), in this descending order of encompassment." Myths of Murugan: Asymmetry and Hierarchy in a South Indian Puranic Cosmology, Author(s): Don Handelman Source: History of Religions, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Nov., 1987), pp. 133-170. Meanwhile if you want to accuse me of making things up name a single example of something I made up. You made baseless claims against every source I've offered for me to refute one-by-one. First you ask for secondary sources. Then you say they don't reference their sources even when the first sentence of the first full quote is a list of sources. You say they are unreliable and primary but they are all academic, from journals of religious studies and secondary sources. The quote from the Rig Veda was the only primary source I gave and I was pointing to that page's citations, not just the quote (though the source of the translation, Griffith gives the same interpretation of Brahma). And the only actual issue debated here is that the popular view (which you only partially present) does not trump the general view, the historical view, or the mainstream academic view in an article's introduction. These need to be presented side by side and none gets the weight you assign here.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 20:46, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Its the same book.VictoriaGraysonTalk 20:46, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
The definition of "secondary creator" does not reflect the Hindu belief as well as RS definitions of Brahma. He is the creator in the Trimurti and features an important god in Hindu legend. "secondary creator" is a WP:FRINGE term that does not need to be included in the lead sentence, promoting the views of a scholar. Some other encyclopedia entries to think about:
  • Please model the first 2 sentences of the article based on your own source HERE. Your own source's first 2 sentences say:

"Brahma is a divinity who makes his appearance in the post-Vedic Indian epics (c. 700 B.C.E-100 C.E.). He has an important role in the stories of the great gods in the epics and Puranas."

  • Note that Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities refutes that Brahma is the same as Vedic Prajapati and Hiranyagarbha, an idea Iṣṭa Devatā was constantly promoting.

VictoriaGraysonTalk 14:48, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Again you miss the point. Fringe is a bit harsh. The only point is that not all Puranas list Brahma coming from Vishnu's navel. The conclusion you're edit is based on is (that A: the puranas inform the popular religion B: many puranas describe Brahma coming from Vishnu's navel) is not what is at issue. The only matter for debate is that the puranic view of Brahma is not the only or even primary depiction of Brahma across Hindu denominations. In fact if we're agreed that Brahma is not often worshiped in the popular religion, then maybe you could concede that we are depicting the historical development of Brahma (who was around for thousands of years before the Vaishnav Puranas. It's like defining Moses by the New Testament. Sure it mentions him, but it's not a book about him. The Krishna Sourcebook in no way claims to be about Brahma, it just mentions him. The fact that Brahma is viewed multiple ways is being undercut by your biased edit. You don't add anything new to the article, you just rearrange it to emphasize your position which doesn't make the article better, but clearly makes neutrality issues. You are presenting your point in an undue way by putting this definition at the top. One author interpreting Brahma as different than Prajapati doesn't mean that there aren't as many (or more) that define him as the same. And the fact that Bryant isn't a fringe author doesn't mean that the Puranas he describes aren't sectarian (because Bryant clearly says they are in the quote you furnished). No one is trying to remove the view of 'secondary creator'; it just needs to be placed appropriately. It is not the primary definition or even a general definition (and no other encyclopedia seems to put any emphasis on this fairly insignificant concept). Rather it is just one of several sectarian views that (no matter how poplular) should not be presented as the primary view. My sources clearly show the many darshanas that don't hold the 'puranic' view your asserting. So stop arguing facts about Prajapati and Bryant which are not at issue and read up on how the intro is supposed to look. We just want a balanced presentation of all views. That's how wiki works. Not by stubbornly guarding an article like it's yours.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 18:08, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────We should model the first 2 sentences based on the first 2 sentences HERE:

"Brahma is a divinity who makes his appearance in the post-Vedic Indian epics (c. 700 B.C.E-100 C.E.). He has an important role in the stories of the great gods in the epics and Puranas."

This is one of Redtigerxyz's tertiary sources.VictoriaGraysonTalk 18:34, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

The source you just said we should model this on presents it the same way we want it presented. It mentions his secondary role as an aside at the end of the introductory paragraph the same way it was here before your edit. And it explicitly says he is "generally considered the creator of the universe, but there are many different accounts of this act." It does not even address the Prajapati myth. And we're not saying the relation between Hiranyagarbha and Brahma didn't come later than the Rig Veda. All of this is later than the Vedas. Stop making strawman arguments. The Prajapati association is still the default academic explanation of the Hiranyagarbha myth which doesn't mention Vishnu either. All that matters is presenting the spectrum which you are suppressing.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 18:40, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
What are you talking about? The first 2 sentences of Redtigerxyz's edits are not remotely close to the first 2 sentences here.VictoriaGraysonTalk 18:44, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm not talking about that edit. I'm talking about the perfectly fine intro that this article had before your first edit. It agreed with this https://books.google.co.in/books?id=OgMmceadQ3gC&pg=PA89&dq=brahma+encyclopedia&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CDIQ6AEwBGoVChMIqZPv4b-PyQIVERmOCh26wgVK#v=onepage&q=brahma%20encyclopedia&f=false in every way without your shift in emphasis which added no new information. Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 18:49, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
And we've all seen you can edit war forever with your fingers in your ears. How about finding someone to support you. Right now it's three against one.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 18:51, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Do you agree we should model the first 2 sentences of the lead based on the first 2 sentences HERE:

"Brahma is a divinity who makes his appearance in the post-Vedic Indian epics (c. 700 B.C.E-100 C.E.). He has an important role in the stories of the great gods in the epics and Puranas."

VictoriaGraysonTalk 18:56, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

I think we should imitate the tone of the whole paragraph. Which is how the old edit was. The 'makes his appearance in the Puranas' is a little questionable. But the fact that the paragraph says "generally considered the creator of the universe, but there are many different accounts of this act" is literally the only thing at issue. We are not trying to present our view individually or by consensus, we are trying to present the multiplicity of views that have legitimate academic sources which means Hiranyagarbha and Vishnu's navel. Not one or the other. Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 19:05, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
I am specifically asking about the first 2 sentences. Yes or No?VictoriaGraysonTalk 19:08, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
And I specifically answered. We clearly have sources that indicate Brahma was mentioned outside of the puranas, but that's not what we're discussing. One source does not trump another. They both deserve inclusion. I would have no problem with the sentence: "Brahma, sometimes said to first appear in the Puranas, is viewed as the god of creation. His creative role is often secondary to that of Vishnu/Shiva/Krishna/Prajapati etc" I won't say yes to you selectively quoting another source to synthesize support for your shape-shifting argument. But honestly I don't care. Talk about balance and the format of a lede. Even once. This is the issue. The only actual issue. I'm not disagreeing with your content, only your presentation. I have made this abundantly clear. Repeatedly. You haven't even grazed the issue. We're not having a theological debate because our opinions are not important: we're having a balance and arrangement disagreement. Don't make new issues. Resolve the issue at hand.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 19:31, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
I am asking you specific things about presentation and arrangement, with simple yes or no questions.VictoriaGraysonTalk 19:36, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
And I'm sorry the answer wasn't just yes or no. You haven't answered any of my questions and I'm not a witness at a trial for you to badger. Multiple views exist. We don't get to decide which ones matter or which are right.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 19:38, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Trimurti, Trinity, Primary and secondary creator[edit]

@Iṣṭa Devatā:, @VictoriaGrayson: See page 214 of Jan Gonda source in this article, where he states, "it seems worthwhile to collect in this paper, some data relating to the rise and development of the Trimurti idea and to rectify more or less current errors and misconceptions". Gonda's work is now widely accepted: See e.g. Antonio Rigopoulos (1998), Dattatreya: The Immortal Guru, Yogin, and Avatara, SUNY Press, ISBN 978-0791436967, page 229; Doniger in her book Purana Perennis, and others. I left the lead wording on Trimurti and Trinity alone, as it seems fine, but added a footnote to address the valid points of @Vic. I also added some wording on primary and secondary creator, keeping it brief to avoid making this "Brahma" article into a "Trinity in Hinduism" article. Please review and revise it where appropriate. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 14:58, 5 December 2015 (UTC)

Brahma was never conceived as a supreme deity. There never was such a thing as a Brahma sect. The 4 major sects of Hinduism were Saivism, Vaishnavism, Saura (Surya) and Goddess. Saura got absorbed into Saivism in the middle ages. See Sanderson's Saiva Age or Flood's Tantric Body.VictoriaGraysonTalk 20:45, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
@Vic: The word "sect" may not be the right one for Hinduism, since Vaishnavism texts acknowledge and revere Shiva/Devi/etc, Shaivism texts acknowledge and revere Shiva/Devi/etc, and so on. See Julius Lipner, Flood, and others. Smarta not major, but Saura was major? Which page numbers of Sanderson or Flood are you referring to? Are they discussing Brahma in southeast Asia? Henotheism is the best generic approximation of the Hindu texts, where each god or goddess is supreme and others are aspects or manifestations of the same universal - see PT Raju, Structural Depths of Indian Thought, SUNY Press, ISBN 978-0887061394, pages 10-14. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 22:59, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
Sanderson's Saiva Age pg. 43 and 53. Gavin Flood's Tantric Body pg. 7. Brahma was never viewed as a supreme deity. There never was a Brahma "sect" or whatever term you want to use. The 4 major sects of Hinduism were Saivism, Vaishnavism, Saura (Surya) and Goddess.VictoriaGraysonTalk 23:12, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
@Vic: Flood doesn't state, on page 7, that "Brahma was never viewed as a supreme deity". Nor does he use the word "sect" there. He is just discussing Tantra movements. There were sub-movements with Shaivism/Vaishnavism/etc, but let us keep our focus on Brahma and this article. I do not see where Sanderson is stating "Brahma was never conceived/viewed as a supreme deity" on page 43 or 53; his only mention of "supreme deity" is on page 290, footnote 692. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 23:34, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
There is no "sub-movement" associated with Brahma. Thats the point.VictoriaGraysonTalk 01:33, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
@Vic: Indeed. The sub-movements were different flavors of tantra and non-tantra, but that is irrelevant to this article. The article already states "Brahma does not enjoy popular worship", and "is rarely worshipped as a primary deity in India". Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 02:28, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Although there is scant information on Brahma's cult worship, there is a book entitled 'The Cult of Brahma'. I have only found a few pieces of it, but I've seen it referenced in other works. I don't know that it makes any conclusive argument for a Brahma cult's existence, but it might be worth a look if you can get access to it. I'd definitely be curious to know its arguments. Brahma's worship in the diaspora would be hard to explain without some former popularity, even if it were pre-puranic. Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 05:19, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Iṣṭa Devatā: Indeed. The likes of Tarapada Bhattacharya's theory is among them. See the bit old, yet still a good summary by S Bhattacharji (1970), The Indian Theogony, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521053822 (2007 Reprint), pages 346-349 (Bhattacharji's book, p. 346, at Google Books). Note Bhattacharji spells deity Brahma as Brahman, and refers to metaphysical Brahman as Brahman (n.). This theory states that Brahma, Buddha and Indra were the Buddhist triad, and the Brahma cult existed but merged into Buddhism and influenced Buddhist art (by the way, another theory merges part of the Brahma cult into Jainism).

To support their Brahma-Buddhism theory, they refer to these Buddhist texts: Majjhima Nikaya, Assalayana Sutta, Milinda Panha, among others, which do discuss Brahma. These texts formulate Buddhist Brahmakayika gods, goes the theory, whose chief is Mahabrahma, the lord of the sufferers and Buddha is above both Brahma and Indra. FWIW, both Brahma and Indra (Thagyamin, Phra-In, Sakka in Buddhaghosa) are common in SE Asia and Japan. Perhaps after your review of Bhattacharji and related literature, you can summarize the relevant Brahma-related literature in one of the sections of this article? Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 09:09, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

That could be a fun research project. We'll see where I'm at when finals are done! Either way that's a very interesting concept to explain the Buddhist use of Brahma. Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 08:19, 8 December 2015 (UTC)