Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 12 Chapter 4:1-14

Book 12: Chapter 4

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 12: Chapter 4: Verses 1-14

Sri Suka began again : The divisions of Time commencing from a Paramanu (its minutest division) and ending with two Parardhas (comprising the life-time of Brahma) have already been described to you, as also the duration of the four Yugas (in Discourse X! of Book Three). Now hear also the extent of a Kalpa (one round of creation) and Laya (the period of final dissolution), 0 king ! One thousand revolutions of the four Yugas (Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kali) are spoken of as a day of Brahma. This constitutes a Kalpa, in the course of which fourteen Manus (successively) hold sway, 0 king ! At the end of a Kalpa an equally long period of Pralaya (Dissolution) follows; it is spoken of as one night of Brahma; for during that period these three worlds (heaven, earth and the intermediate region) remain dissolved. This is called Naimittika (occasional) Pralaya (because it is occasioned by Brahma's going to bed and is different from the Mahapralaya or Final Dissolution when Brahma's career comes to a close). During this Pralaya Lord Narayana (the Maker of the universe) withdraws the whole universe into Himself and remains asleep on His couch of Ananta (the serpent-god) and Brahma (the self-born) follows suit. When the lifetime of Brahma, the greatest of all (the Jivas), consisting of two Parardhas, has expired, all the seven causal principles (viz., Mahat-tattva or the principle of cosmic intelligence, Ahankara or the cosmic Ego and the five Tanmatras or subtle elements) actually get dissolved (in Prakrti or Primordial Matter). This constitutes, 0 king, the Prakrtika Pralaya, as in this, the occasion for final dissolution having been reached, the aggregate of (all) the (twenty-four) fundamental principles in the form of the cosmic egg gets (finally) dissolved. For one hundred years, O king, the god of rain does not send down any shower on earth. Then, tormented by hunger, the earth being divested of food-grains, people actually begin to eat one another and, persecuted by time, gradually perish. Rendered much brighter by the 'period of final dissolution, the sun sucks up by its fearful rays all the water in the seas, on the earth and in the human bodies, and does not release it.Sprung from the mouth of Lord Sankarsana (the serpent-god) and rising in flames by the force of the wind, the fire characteristic of the period of dissolution then burns the subterranean regions, already desolate (all their inhabitants having been burnt long before due to their moisture having been sucked up by the rays of the sun).Being burnt above and below as well as on all sides by the rays of the sun and the flames of fire, the cosmic egg now looks like a burnt ball of cowdung. Then a strong and violent wind characteristic of the period of final dissolution blows for (a little) more than a hundred years, so that the sky gets enveloped in dust and assumes a smoky appearance. Next, O dear one, numerous hosts of clouds of various colours pour down showers for a hundred years roaring with violent peals of thunder. Then the universe within the cosmic egg is swept by a single sheet of water. Everything being submerged in water, the latter absorbs the (essential) property of the earth, viz., smell; denuded of its smell, the earth then gets dissolved (in water).



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