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Story of the Origin of the Four Heads of Brahma

In Hindu iconography, Brahma is depicted as having four heads. There is an interesting story how the Hindu God of creation came to have four heads. The legend of the origin of the four heads of Brahma is associated with Goddess Saraswati.

Before he started the cycle of creation, Brahma wanted to perform a yajna or sacrifice. But for the success of a sacrifice it is necessary to have a female counterpart.

Therefore, Brahma summoned Goddess Saraswati from his mind for the successful completion of the very important yajna he was performing prior to the creation of the universe.

After completing the yajna, Goddess Saraswati started residing in the heavenly abode of Brahmaloka, or Satyaloka, with her husband Brahma.

It is said that Brahma was so much enamoured by the heavenly beauty of Goddess Saraswati that he grew four heads in four directions so that he could keep looking on her from all directions.

As per another legend, Brahma was so proud of his creation that he ignored all the sufferings of the living beings.  His pride knew no bounds, the pride of creation made him blind to the suffering. A fifth head appeared on Brahma, Shiva who was unhappy with the sufferings of human beings plucked the fifth head of Shiva.

Shiva as Kapali - He Cut Off the Fifth Head of Brahma