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MARKANDEYA PURANA

Bhagwan Shiv

Time measurement, Life span of Brahma and his various Creations

The Life-span of Lord Brahma was determined at hundred Divine years and the calculation of each year was conceived as follows beginning from the minimum measure of Time upwards: three nimeshas or blinks make one ‘Kshana’;  fifteen ‘nimeshas’ make one ‘kashtha’; thirty kashthas make one ‘kala’; thirty kalas make one ‘Muhurta’; thirty Muhurtas make one day-night; thirty day-nights make one ‘Paksha’; two Pakshas make one ‘maasa’; six maasas make one ‘Ayana’; two Ayanas make one ‘Varsha’ or a Year.

The Ayanas in a Year are ‘Dakshina Aayana’ and ‘Uttara Ayana’.Each human Year comprising three sixty five day-nights (Ahorathras) accounts for a ‘Divya Ahoratra’ (Divine day-night) and on this count, each Uttarayan is a Divine Day and Dakshinayan is a Divine night. One Divya Day-night thus is a full day-night year for human beings. As per Divya calculations, the total count of Four Yugas is twelve thousand years, the Satya Yuga comprising four thousand years, Treta Yuga three thousand Divya Years, Dwapara Yuga two thousand years and Kaliyuga of one Divya thousand years; the rest of two thousand years of the twelve thousand Divine Years is accounted for additional four hundred of Divine years of ‘Sandhya’ and an equivalent period additionaly for ‘Sandhyamsha’ for Satya Yuga; three hundred years each for these periods in respect of Treta Yuga; two hundred years each of Dwapar Yuga and one hundred years each of Kali Yuga. In Lord Brahma’s life span of hundred Divya Years, each day comprises fourteen Manvantaras and each Manvantara consists of one thousand ‘Kalpas’. At each change of Manvantara, there is a fresh stock of Indras, Devas, and Sapta Rishis etc. There are seventy one Cycles of Four Yugas in each Manvantar. Viewed from the view point of human years, one Manvantara has three crore sixty six lakh two thousand years; by Divine Years, one Manvantara has one lakh fifty two thousand years. If this Period is multiplied four times, it would then equate Brahma’s one day, that is, one million nineteen lakh twenty seven thousand Divya years; or, four twenty nine crores forty lakh (429, 40, 00,000) human years! After each day-night of Brahma, there occurs a ‘Naimittika’ Pralaya. The residents of Bhulok, Bhuvarloka and Swarloka then get shifted to Maharloka and the residents of Maharloka would get tranfferred to Janloka and Tribhuvanas or allthe Three Bhuvanas become ‘Ekarnava’ or replete with water and Brahma goes to sleep overnight. On the following day, Brahma starts Creation afresh; this is how every year of three hundred sixty days, Brahma’s each year, there would be a Maha Pralaya. As of now, Brahma’s age is past fifty years or one ‘Parartha’ plus; that is how one reckons that the ‘Dwitheeya’ Parartha is on going in the Kali Yuga’s ‘Prathama Paada’, in Varaha kalpa which followed the Padma kalpa. At the end of the latter Kalpa, when Brahma recovered from sleep, he foumd the entire surroundings were full of water and he realised:

Aapo Naaraa Iti  prokta aapovai Narasunavah,
thasu shetey sa yasmamcha thena Narayanah/

( The word ‘Jala’ denotes ‘Naara’ and thus Lord Vishnu sleeps over it and thus He is known as Narayana); thus Brahma felt that Lord Vishnu must be engaged in lifting Earth from the deep waters of ‘Patala’ by assuming the Avatar of Varaha and this scene was witnessed by the residents of Janaloka Maharshis. When Prithvi was steadying in water like a ship, the Brahma commenced Srishti with Mountains, followed by ‘Sapta Dweepas’ and kept on meditating further as in the earlier Kalpa viz. Padma Kalpa. He materialised ‘Five Avidyas’ viz. Tamomaya, Tamah, Moha, Mahamoha, Tamisra and Andhakamishra. As the ‘Prathama Sarga’ of Srishti (the first Stage of Creation) was essentially of Mountains, Brahma meditated further but the Second Sarga to was not satisfactory as that had the feature of Ahamkari Srishti of ‘Agyan’ which was the resultant of Tamo Guna and was primarily of animals. Once again Brahma meditated with Satvik Guna and the outcome was the creation of the Deva sarga as He was highly satisfied in the Third Sarga. In the Fourth sarga, Brahma created Human Beings as a result of the Rajo Guna and the resultant dominance of ‘Duhkha’ (unhappiness). The Fifth Sarga is known as ‘Anugraha’ (Blessing) featuring Viparyaya Siddhi (Fulfilment) and Shanti (Peace).  The Sixth Sarga deals with the creation of those who know the past and present; these are the ‘Bhutas’ and ‘Bhutadhikas’ ; the latter are those who have the features of inspiring and getting inspired, who great interest in various matters and have narrow mind and thinking. In a different context, the First Sarga comprises of Brahma’s Srishti, the Second Sarga relates to Brahmamsa Srishti or of Bhuta Sarga; the Third Sarga is Indriyak/Vaikarik Srishti which is of Prakrtika Sarga; the Fourth Sarga or the Chief Sarga is essentially of ‘Sthavara ganas’; the Fifth Sarga is of ‘Tiryakyoni’ or of lower animals; the Sixth Sarga is of Devas; the Seventh Sarga is of ‘Maanush’ (Human beings);  the Eighth Sarga is of Satvika and Taamasika features and finally the Ninth Sarga is of Praakrut and Vikaari Srishti, which is the root of the World.

In the process of Lord Brahma’s Creation of Devas, Asuras, Pitras and Human Beings, Tamasika Guna prevailed most and he rubbed his thighs and created Danavas. He assumed another Physical form whose predominance was of Satvika guna and created Devas.With another Body along with the same Satvika Guna, he created Pitras. Subsequently, he took over yet another Physical form full of Rajasika Guna and produced Human Beings. He devoted the day time for the creation of Devas, the nights for the production of Asuras, Sandhya (the day- break time) for Pitras and the Jyotsna Sandhya for the creation of human beings. While creating Asuras during the night, Brahma was tired, felt hungry and with the mix of Tamasika and Rajasika Gunas in that darkness created a species and attempted to eat the species with moustaches and beards which shouted desperately saying ‘Rakshaami’ (Please do not eat us!) and thus were born ‘Yakshas.‘ As Brahma’s hair from his head started dropping, he grew angry and created serpents; when he grew further angry the result was the creation of  ‘Pashitaashana’ or Consumers of Meat known as ‘Pisachaas’. In the early morning hours of the day, Brahma thought of ‘Gou’ (Cow) and thus were born ‘Gandharvas’. Further, the Eight-fold Devas were created .Thereafter, the Srishti of ‘Pasu Pakshi’ (animals and birds) was generated from Brahma’s body; from his stomach and sides emerged cows, from both of his feet were generated horses, elephants, donkeys, hares and deer;  camels and asses besides innumerable animals, birds and medicinal plants from his body hairs. Brahma’s creations were classified as ‘Graameena Srishti’ (Rural based) like buffalo, goat, cow, horse, donkey etc. and ‘Aaranya Srishti’ like monkeys, birds, water-based, Snakes, and wild animals. From his first face, Brahma created Yagna Gayatri, Tri Ruk, Tri-vrut, Saama Rathantar and Agni-shtom; from his Dakshina mukha or Southern faced were produced Yajuh, Thrishthubhchhanda, Panch Dasa shtoma,  Brihat Saam ; from his Western face were produced Saama Jagaticchanda,  Vairupa and Atiraatra.;from his Northern  face emerged twenty one Attharva Vedas, Aptoryaam, Anushthup chhanda, and Vairaaja. Lord Brahma performed already the creation of illumination, diamonds, clouds, Indra Dhanush (Rainbow) and birds even before the of Kalpa. Thus whichever ‘Praani’ with life is to be born with scheduled tasks in its life-time is in position. These Praanis now born with their actions in their earlier lives with violence, non-violence, roughness or smoothness, cruelty or kindness, Dharma or Adharma, Satya or Asathya would receive back the opposite treatment in their life ahead.

Lord Brahma meditated further when his Manasa Putras viz. Bhrugu, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Angira, Marichi, Daksha, Atri and Vasishtha were materialised; he created then the Krodhaatmak (Irate) Rudra, followed by ‘Samkalpa’ (mental desire) and Dharma (Virtue). Brahma also created Swayambhu Manu and his wife Shatarupa; the latter gave birth to girls Akruti and Prasuti; Akruti was wedded to Prajapati Ruchi and Prasuti was married to Daksha Prajapati. Akruti and Ruchi gave birth to a son Yagna and a daughter Dakshina. Prasuti and Daksha gave birth to twenty four daughters; these were as follows: Shraddha, Lakshmi, Drhiti, Tushti, Pushti, Medha, Kriya, Buddhi, Lajja, Vapu, Shanti, Siddhi and Kirti were wedded to Dharma; the remaining eleven were Khyati, Sati, Sambhuti, Smriti, Preeti, Kshama, Sannati, Anasuya, Urja, Swaha and Swadha were respectively married to Bhrigu, Mahadeva, Marichi, Angira, Pulastyha, Pulaha, Kratu, Vasishtha, Atri, Vahni and Pitrugana. Out of these, Dharma’s progeny were as follows: Shraddha to Kama, Shri to Darpa, Dhriti to Niyam, Santosh to Tushti, Lobha to Pushti, Medha to Shruta, Kriya to Danda, Buddhi to Bodha, Lajja to Vinay, Vapu to Vyavasayak, Shanti to Kshema, Siddhi to Sukha, and Kirti to Yasha. Shraddha’s son Kama (desire) gave birth to Harsha (happiness) and the latter’s son Adharma (Evil) was married to Himsa (Violence) and Anrut (Untruth) was born to Adharma and Himsa. In this family lineage emerged Nikruti, Naraka, Bhaya (Fear), Maya (Illusion), Vedana (Distress), Vyadhi (Disease), Jara (Old Age), Shoka (Anguish), Trishna (Thirst), Krodh (Anger), Mrityu (Death), Alakshmi (Scarcity) and one of the latter’s sons was named Dussaha (Intolerant).

Markandeya Purana Home   Next: Dussaha the intolerant and his notorious sons, daughters and grandchildren

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