Stories from Indian Mythology: February 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Story of Creation: The Beginning, or one of the beginnings

Before the beginning there was only Brahman. Brahman has no beginning and no end, no shape , no form, but is the basis of all forms and matter, is eternal, timeless and beautiful beyond description.

From the Brahman emerged a Great Egg, Hiranyagarbha. Immense in size and yet minuscule to the Brahman. Resplendent, brilliant and indestructibly. From this Hiranyagarbha of the Brahman arose the true creator of the universe, Lord Brahma.

With the other remains of the Hiranyagarbha, Brahma created the universe which is created, destroyed and re-created in an eternal cycle. Each new universe, lasts for a day in the life of Brahma (4,320,000,000 human years). Then the universe folds back into Brahma, who then in a period of maha-pralay sleeps for a night (equal to a day for Brahma), wakes up and re-creates the universe. This cycle of maha-srijan and maha-pralay lasts of 100 Brahma years (311 trillion, 40 billion human years). The life span of the current Lord Brahma then ends and he returns back into the Brahman.

A 100 Bramha years later, a new Hiranyagarbha merges from the Brahman and a new Lord Brahma is born. And so the cycle of creation and destruction continues eternally.

In each day of srijan, Lord Brahma creates 14 Manus one after the other. Thus there are 14 generations of Manu in each universe. When Manu perishes at the end of his life, Brahma creates the next Manu and the cycle continues until all fourteen Manus and the Universe perish by the end of Bramha's day.Manu creates the world, and all its species during that period of time, each Manvantara lasts the lifetime of a Manu, upon whose death, Brahma creates another Manu to continue srishti. Each Mahavanta consists of 71 Chaturyug (Mahayug) and each Chaturyugconsists of four yugas or ears - Satya yug (1,728,000 human years), Treta yug (1,296,000 human years), Dwapar yug (864,000 human years) and Kali yug (432,000 human years). Each Manvantara follows a Sandhi Kal during which the entire world is submerged in water.

We stand here today, in these concentric cycles of srijan and pralay, in the first day of the 51st year in the life of the current Brahma. 6 Manvantaras, 27 Mahayugas and the satya, treta and dwapar yug of the 28th Mahayug have already passed. 155 trillion years have passed since the present Brahma took up the task of creation. We are now in the Kali yug which started in 3104 BC, when Krishna, the last manifestation of Vishnu departed from the world.

It will be the endeavor of this blog to look back from here, across the four yugas and beyond, and through myths, epics and stories try to stitch together our story, the story of Manu's children, the story of Bharatvarsh.