The lake of Pushkara, fifteen kilometres from Ajmer, Rajasthan, is the most sacred lake in India. The next is on the borders of Tibet, known as Manasarovar.
Once, while Brahma was looking for a place to perform a sacrifice, the lotus from his hand dropped to the earth here at Pushkara. He was charmed by this beautiful place. There is an old temple here. This Brahma temple was built in the beginning of the last century by a prince of the Scindia family. Once Brahma wished to perform a sacrifice to invoke Siva’s help in the task of creation, All the gods were invited to take part and they came down to earth. Sentinels were posted at the mountain passes to stop evil spirits from entering. Nandi, Siva’s bull, guarded the mouth of the valley, and Vishnu the northern path. All the devas came but Brahma’s wife, Saraswati did not. Brahma knew very well that he should not conduct a sacrifice without his wife, but he kindled the sacred fire all the same.
Saraswati got angry and disappeared into the mountain of gems. Later she relented and decided to attend the sacrifice as the river Saraswati. Brahma prayed for long years but there was no sign of Siva. The unhappy god knit his brow in pain. Then came a surprise. From his brow sprang the unique figure of Ardhanari, man and woman in one! It was none other than Siva. The devas saw who it was and bowed low. Brahma was overjoyed and asked for help. Siva just smiled; as he did so, the figure split into two beautiful forms-male and female. Brahma understood the message. He peopled the earth with men and women.
It was on a full moon day that Brahma first conducted his sacrifice and it has been held sacred ever since. On this day, hundreds of pilgrims bathe in the lake and offer prayers to Siva and Brahma. The temple top looks much the same as the one at Kashi, but instead of Trisula, it is the swan swaying high on the skyline.
The temple was small with a square hall. Inside the garbhagriha was a four-faced image of Brahma. Siva was very good to Brahma. When Brahma wished for a son he favoured him by becoming one himself. Brahma, Vishnu and Siva are all different forms of the Supreme Being. Together they are known as Trinity or Trimurti. When Brahma wished for a son as powerful as Himself, who else could it be but Siva?” so one day a copper-coloured boy appeared on Brahma’s lap. The boy cried piteously and tried to run away but the creator held him firmly. ‘Why do you cry so and why do you try to run away?’ he asked. ‘I wish to have a name,’ said the boy. Brahma named him Rudra but the child was not happy and went on crying. To satisfy him, Brahma gave him more names. He called him-Bhava, Sarva, Isana, Pasupati, Bhima, Ugra, and Mahadeva. ‘Dear’, said Brahma to His son. ‘You are the sun and the moon, the earth and the sky; you are ether, water, fire and air; marry and create for my sake.’ Little boys-the eight selves of Siva grew and entered the sun, the moon, the sky and the earth and created beings. Rudra married Sati, the daughter of Daksha. Sati threw herself into her father’s sacrificial fire and later was born as Parvati.