Ages, Kalpas, Yugas, and Time

time and space

I was reading about the duration of the material universe this evening, and this whole notion of time, puts presure on my insignificant tiny brain.

…The duration of the material universe is limited. It is manifested in cycles of kalpas. A kalpa is a day of Brahmā, and one day of Brahmā consists of a thousand cycles of four yugas or ages: Satya, Tretā, Dvāpara, and Kali. The cycle of Satya is characterized by virtue, wisdom and religion, there being practically no ignorance and vice, and the yuga lasts 1,728,000 years. In the Tretā-yuga vice is introduced, and this yuga lasts 1,296,000 years. In the Dvāpara-yuga there is an even greater decline in virtue and religion, vice increasing, and this yuga lasts 864,000 years. And finally in Kali-yuga (the yuga we have now been experiencing over the past 5,000 years) there is an abundance of strife, ignorance, irreligion and vice, true virtue being practically nonexistent, and this yuga lasts 432,000 years. (from purport Bg 8.17)

Even if I could grasp the extent of time in the material universe, that is just a fraction of the unlimited eternal time that continues after the termination of the yuga.

…Then the process is set rolling again. These four yugas, rotating a thousand times, comprise one day of Brahmā, the creator god, and the same number comprise one night. Brahmā lives one hundred of such “years” and then dies. These “hundred years” by earth calculations total to 311 trillion and 40 million earth years. By these calculations the life of Brahmā seems fantastic and interminable, but from the viewpoint of eternity it is as brief as a lightning flash. In the causal ocean there are innumerable Brahmās rising and disappearing like bubbles in the Atlantic. Brahmā and his creation are all part of the material universe, and therefore they are in constant flux. (from purport Bg 8.17)

The above calculations Srila Prabhupada uses and I quote; “seems fantastic and interminable, but from the viewpoint of eternity it is as brief as a lightning flash. In the causal ocean there are innumerable Brahmās rising and disappearing like bubbles in the Atlantic.” Wow!

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The End of the World?

12-21-2012

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Is It The End of The World or Just Kali Yuga?

As devotees, or rather as disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, we do not accept the theory of “The End of the World”. There is too much scriptural evidence to counter such a speculative conclusion. There is ample description of “Time”, as given in the Vedic Scriptures such as the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam to confirm that there is no end to this age for another 427,000 years.

Once when Srila Prabhupada was asked by one devotee…

Lokamangala dasa: In your books you explain that we are in the Kali-yuga age. Is the Kali-yuga age coming to a close now?

Srila Prabhupada: No. It will continue for another 427,000 years. The duration of Kali-yuga is 432,000 years. Out of that, we have passed only 5,000 years. The balance is 427,000 years. And during this time the condition of society will be worse-not better but worse. In the last stage of Kali-yuga there will be no food grains, no milk, no fruits. It will be a very horrible time. People will kill their own children and eat them, just like animals. The last stage of Kali-yuga will be like that. So before coming to that stage, better to take Krsna consciousness and go back to Krsna. That is our program. We don’t wish to wait for the worst things. The worst things are already happening, and it will be still worse. Instead of waiting for that time, better to become perfect by chanting Hare Krsna and go back home, back to Godhead. That is our position.

Also in the books we find:

At the present moment we have just passed through five thousand years of the Kali-yuga, which lasts 432,000 years. Before this there was Dvāpara-yuga (800,000 years), and before that there was Tretā-yuga (1,200,000 years). Thus, some 2,005,000 years ago, Manu spoke the Bhagavad-gītā to his disciple and son Mahārāja lkṣvāku, the King of this planet earth. The age of the current Manu is calculated to last some 305,300,000 years, of which 120,400,000 have passed. (Bhagavad-gita 4.1)

The duration of the material universe is limited. It is manifested in cycles of kalpas. A kalpa is a day of Brahmā, and one day of Brahmā consists of a thousand cycles of four yugas or ages: Satya, Tretā, Dvāpara, and Kali. The cycle of Satya is characterized by virtue, wisdom and religion, there being practically no ignorance and vice, and the yuga lasts 1,728,000 years. In the Tretā-yuga vice is introduced, and this yuga lasts 1,296,000 years. In the Dvāpara-yuga there is an even greater decline in virtue and religion, vice increasing, and this yuga lasts 864,000 years. And finally in Kali-yuga (the yuga we have now been experiencing over the past 5,000 years) there is an abundance of strife, ignorance, irreligion and vice, true virtue being practically nonexistent, and this yuga lasts 432,000 years. In Kali-yuga vice increases to such a point that at the termination of the yuga the Supreme Lord Himself appears as the Kalki avatara, vanquishes the demons, saves His devotees, and commences another Satya-yuga. Then the process is set rolling again. These four yugas, rotating a thousand times, comprise one day of Brahmā, the creator god, and the same number comprise one night. Brahmā lives one hundred of such “years” and then dies. These “hundred years” by earth calculations total to 311 trillion and 40 million earth years. By these calculations the life of Brahmā seems fantastic and interminable, but from the viewpoint of eternity it is as brief as a lightning flash. In the causal ocean there are innumerable Brahmās rising and disappearing like bubbles in the Atlantic. Brahmā and his creation are all part of the material universe, and therefore they are in constant flux. (Bhagavad-gita 8.17)

There are four yugas: Satya-yuga, Tretā-yuga, Dvāpara-yuga and Kali-yuga. During the first yuga, Satya-yuga, people were very pious. Everyone practiced the mystic yoga system for spiritual understanding and realization of God. Because everyone was always absorbed in samādhi, no one was interested in material sense enjoyment. During Tretā-yuga, people enjoyed sense pleasure without tribulations. Material miseries began in Dvāpara-yuga, but they were not very stringent. Stringent material miseries really began from the advent of Kali-yuga. (Srimad Bhagavatam 5.17.12)

After the Battle of Kurukṣetra, at which Bhagavad-gītā was spoken, Kali-yuga continues for 432,000 years, of which only 5,000 years have passed. Thus there is still a balance of 427,000 years to come. Of these 427,000 years, the 10,000 years of the saṅkīrtana movement inaugurated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu 500 years ago provide the opportunity for the fallen souls of Kali-yuga to take to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and thus be delivered from the clutches of material existence and return home, back to Godhead. (Srimad Bhagavatam 8.5.23)

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Krsna Is the Source of All Incarnations


Krsna Is the Source of All Incarnations
Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1, Chapter 3, Text 1
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

TEXT 1

sūta uvāca
jagṛhe pauruṣaṁ rūpaṁ
bhagavān mahad-ādibhiḥ
sambhūtaṁ ṣoḍaśa-kalam
ādau loka-sisṛkṣayā

SYNONYMS

sūtaḥ uvāca—Sūta said; jagṛhe—accepted; pauruṣam—plenary portion as the puruṣa incarnation; rūpam—form; bhagavān—the Personality of Godhead; mahat-ādibhiḥ—with the ingredients of the material world; sambhūtam—thus there was the creation of; ṣoḍaśa-kalam—sixteen primary principles; ādau—in the beginning; loka—the universes; sisṛkṣayā—on the intention of creating.

TRANSLATION

Sūta said: In the beginning of the creation, the Lord first expanded Himself in the universal form of the puruṣa incarnation and manifested all the ingredients for the material creation. And thus at first there was the creation of the sixteen principles of material action. This was for the purpose of creating the material universe.

PURPORT

The Bhagavad-gītā states that the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa maintains these material universes by extending His plenary expansions. So this puruṣa form is the confirmation of the same principle. The original Personality of Godhead Vāsudeva, or Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is famous as the son of King Vasudeva or King Nanda, is full with all opulences, all potencies, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation. Part of His opulences are manifested as impersonal Brahman, and part of His opulences are manifested as Paramātmā. This puruṣa feature of the same Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Paramātmā manifestation of the Lord. There are three puruṣa features in the material creation, and this form, who is known as the Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, is the first of the three. The others are known as the Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, which we shall know one after another. The innumerable universes are generated from the skin holes of this Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and in each one of the universes the Lord enters as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu.

In the Bhagavad-gītā it is also mentioned that the material world is created at certain intervals and then again destroyed. This creation and destruction is done by the supreme will because of the conditioned souls, or the nitya-baddha living beings. The nitya-baddha, or the eternally conditioned souls, have the sense of individuality or ahaṅkāra, which dictates them sense enjoyment, which they are unable to have constitutionally. The Lord is the only enjoyer, and all others are enjoyed. The living beings are predominated enjoyers. But the eternally conditioned souls, forgetful of this constitutional position, have strong aspirations to enjoy. The chance to enjoy matter is given to the conditioned souls in the material world, and side by side they are given the chance to understand their real constitutional position. Those fortunate living entities who catch the truth and surrender unto the lotus feet of Vāsudeva after many, many births in the material world join the eternally liberated souls and thus are allowed to enter into the kingdom of Godhead. After this, such fortunate living entities need not come again within the occasional material creation. But those who cannot catch the constitutional truth are again merged into the mahat-tattva at the time of the annihilation of the material creation. When the creation is again set up, this mahat-tattva is again let loose. This mahat-tattva contains all the ingredients of the material manifestations, including the conditioned souls. Primarily this mahat-tattva is divided into sixteen parts, namely the five gross material elements and the eleven working instruments or senses. It is like the cloud in the clear sky. In the spiritual sky, the effulgence of Brahman is spread all around, and the whole system is dazzling in spiritual light. The mahat-tattva is assembled in some corner of the vast, unlimited spiritual sky, and the part which is thus covered by the mahat-tattva is called the material sky. This part of the spiritual sky, called the mahat-tattva, is only an insignificant portion of the whole spiritual sky, and within this mahat-tattva there are innumerable universes. All these universes are collectively produced by the Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, called also the Mahā-Viṣṇu, who simply throws His glance to impregnate the material sky.

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