Trimūrti (Skt., ‘of three forms’). The Hindu recognition of threefold interaction being necessary for creation and dissolution, hence especially the three interrelated manifestations of the divine: Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Śiva. As Brahmā diminished in importance, the ‘social’ necessity of being (cf. TRINITY) led to Viṣṇu or especially Śiva being represented in threefold activity.
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