S'rî Brahma symbolizes the aspect of the Supreme Reality that brings forth the creation, and is the Creator of the universe. His divine consort (S'akti) is Sarasvati, the Goddess of learning and knowledge, symbolizing the reality that the universe is nothing but a knowledge construct.
Brahma is usually conceived of mythically as a bearded, four-faced, four-armed deity. In popular Vedic images, He carries a lotus in the upper right hand (symbolic of bestowing grace), a book (the Vedas) in the upper left hand, a kamandalu (water pot) in the lower left hand, and a rosary in His lower right hand.
The fact that he is the only celestial being, other than the Rîshis or Ascended Masters, who is depicted with a beard indicates that Brahma is not celestial in origin, but rather, like the Rîshis, is jîva.
The four faces represent the sacred knowledge of the four Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva), and this is the most prominent feature of any image of Brahma. The four faces, therefore, symbolize that Brahma is the source of all knowledge necessary for the creation of the universe. The four arms represent the four directions and thus represent the omnipresence and omnipotence of Lord Brahma.
The four hands represent the four aspects of human personality: mind (back right hand), intellect (back left hand), ego (front right hand), and the empirical self or conditioned consciousness (front left hand). The rosary symbolizes the time cycle through which the world moves from creation to sustenance, from sustenance to dissolution, and from dissolution to new creation. The rosary also symbolizes the materials used in the process of creation. Its position in the back right hand suggests the intelligent use of these materials in the process of creation.
A book in the back hand (symbolizing the intellect and the Vedas) illustrates that right knowledge is important for any kind of creative work. A water pot (kamandalu) in the front left hand symbolizes the S'akti by which Brahma brings the universe into existence. The hand symbolizing ego (the front back hand) is shown holding a lotus flower in the pose of bestowing grace. This conveys the idea that the Lord bestows grace and protects all sincere devotees.
The color gold symbolizes activity and thus the golden face of Brahma indicates that the Lord is active when involved in the process of creation. The white beard signifies that His origin is jîva and the long beard conveys the idea that creation is an eternal process. The crown on the head of the Lord implies that the Lord has supreme power and authority over the process of creation.
The lotus symbolizes the S'rî Chakra, the Supreme Reality, the essence of all things and beings in the universe. Brahma sitting or standing on a lotus indicates that His foundation is the S'rî Chakra, which represents the creative power of the universe. The color white symbolizes purity. Thus Brahma wearing clothes that are off-white, represents the dual nature of creation, that is purity and impurity, happiness and unhappiness, vice and virtue, knowledge and ignorance, and so on.
In Vedic mythology, a swan is said to possess a unique discriminating faculty (the intellect), which enables it to distinguish pure milk from a mixture of milk and water. The swan is therefore used to symbolize the power of discrimination and to indicate again that the creation is a intellectual conception and therefore Brahma is sometimes depicted as using the swan as a vehicle. Knowledge can be acquired by an individual by training his mind and intellect to discern the reality of creation as simply a mirage of the intellect.
As creation is the work of the mind and the intellect, Lord Brahma symbolizes the Universal Mind. From the standpoint of an individual, Brahma symbolizes one's own mind and intellect. Since an individual is naturally gifted with the mind and intellect, he or she may be said to be already established in Brahman Consciousness, but for the imperfection of the individual's S'rî Chakra due to ungrounded energies is aware of it not.
In a very rare occurance for any universe, Lord Brahma incarnated to save this world during the late 1800's. He foresaw a series of wars, each one greater than the one before, that would bring unparalled misery and suffering to millions and millions of people. The cycle of Kali Yuga that only started a few thousand years prior was deepening too much and needed to be curbed so he incarnated as His Divinity Swami Brahmanada Sarasvati.