Markandeya Puranam

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KRAUSTUKI said: – The revered one has duly related to me the birth of the egg, and the high-souled one has similarly told me of the birth of the soul in this egg of Brahma. (1) And I desire to know in truth, O thou descendant of the clan of Bhrigu, when, in course of time, all this enter into final dissolution? At the end of this period of dissolution, what becomes of the elements, and how are they reproduced, or whether do they exist at all? (2)

Markandeya said: – When this fleeting universe loses itself in Prakriti or Primordial nature, the learned call this as dissolution into the Prakriti. (3) When the Unmanifest, having withdrawn unto himself the course of creation, lives in himself, then both Prakriti and Purusha remain in their own nature. (4) Then the two qualities of Tamas and Sattva remain in a state of equilibrium, without increase or decrease and in harmony with each other. (5) Just as oil exists in the sesamum seed, or butter in milk, so does the third quality of Rajas exist in the qualities of Tamas and Sattva. (6) The limit of the life of Brahma are 200,000,000,000,000,000 years; the length of the days of the supreme-lord is the same as that of the period of his sleep and night. (7) At the commencement of the day, he the un-caused cause of this fleeting world, the source of all, unapproachable by thought, the supreme spirit, who is above all

activities, – awakes. (8) The soul of the world immediately enters into Prakriti and Purusha, and the superior lord of all quickens them thus by means of his superior union with them. (9) Just as pubescence quickens the nerves of a young maiden, just as lightning quickens the atmosphere, even so does this lord, entering into Prakriti and Purusha, quicken them. (10) And I have already told you that, when Prakriti is quickened, that bright one called Brahma manifests himself through living in the “egg”. (11) He is at first the quickener of the Prakriti; and having quickened her, he becomes himself her spouse and is moved himself; and thus he resides in the Prakriti, holding to the two-fold characters of drawing in and sending out that which inheres in the Prakriti. At first he was the cause of the quickening of Primordial Nature, then he, the lord of Primordial Nature, himself became quickened; in this way, through the dual process of dissolution and evolution, it is he who exists even as Nature or Pradhana. (12) Having thus come into activity he, the origin of this fleeting universe, though himself beyond the three qualities, took hold of the quality of Rajas as Brahma, and entered upon the work of creation. (13) As Brahma, having created the creatures and coming afterwards into an excess of the quality of Sattva in the form of Vishnu, he ruled and sustained the world as Dharma or Law. (14) Then owing to the growth of the quality of Tamas, as Rudra, he withdraws into himself all this immense universe, and becomes once more inactive. Thus though he is really beyond and without the three qualities of Rajas, Sattva and Tamas, in the three periods of creation, preservation and dissolution of the world, he takes to these three qualities respectively. (15) In as much as he, who exists before creation as occupying by his essence all space, becomes, by turn in creation, its mover and owner, preserver and destroyer, he is designated as Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara. (16) As Brahma he creates the worlds, as Rudra he dissolves them; and as Vishnu he preserves them; yet the self-caused one, though he attains these three states, exists equally indifferent to all. (17) Rajas is Brahma, Tamas Rudra, and Sattva Vishnu; the lord of the universe becomes all these, through the preponderance of the qualities; thus are the three gods manifested through these three qualities. (18) These are however joined in pairs, one with the other, and are related to one another; there is not even a moment’s separation among them; they never leave one another. (19) In this way, before the sending forth of this world, the four-mouthed Brahma, the god of gods, adopting the quality of the Rajas, entered upon the work of creation. (20) He is Hiranyagarbha, the first of the gods; and in a sense, he is without beginning. This Brahma, who resides in the sheath of the lotus-seed of the world, (i.e. – who is himself the seed of all that is -) was the first to come to being. (21) The age of that high-souled being is a hundred years. The calculation of these years is made on the standard of Brahmic measurement; hear this from me. (22) Fifteen Nimesha (the time taken up in a twinkling of the eye) make one Kasta. Thirty Kastas make one Kala, – thirty Kalas make one Muhurta. Thirty such Muhurtas make one human day and night. Thirty such days and nights or two Pakshas or fortnights make one month. By six of these months is one Ayana or equinox made; and by two Ayanas is made a year – these Ayanas or equinoxes are called the southern and the northern Ayanas. This year with two Ayanas makes one day and night of the gods; of those Ayanas the northern Ayana forms the day of the gods. (23-25) By twelve thousand years of the gods are the four Yugas called Satya, Treta &c, (Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kali) formed. Hear from me their divisions. (26) Four thousand years of the gods are called Satya-yuga; the evening and twilight of this Yuga are each of four hundred years’ duration. (27) Treta is formed by three thousand years of the gods, and its evening and twilight contain three hundred years each. (28) Dwapara contains two thousand years, and its evening and twilight are each of two hundred years. (29) O most excellent Brahmana! Kali is one thousand years of the gods, and its evening and twilight are each said to be of one hundred years’ duration. (30) These twelve thousand years are called, by the learned, Yugas, and these multiplied a thousand fold is declared to be a day of Brahma. (31) O Brahmana in such a day of Brahma twelve Manus are generated, – and the period of each Manu is again divided into a thousand parts. (32) The gods, the seven Rishis with Indra, Manu and the Manu’s sons, the kings, are all created with each Manu, and are, as before, dissolved again with him. (32) One Manwantara takes place in more than seventy such Yugas. Hear from me an enumeration of the years contained in a Manwantara as measured by human years. (34) Full thirty crores sixty seven millions and twenty thousand human years make one

Manwantara. Hear from me now the measurement of a Manwantara according to the year of the gods. (35-36) Eight hundred thousand years of the gods, with another twice fifty thousand years, multiplied by fourteen, are said to be a day of Brahma. At the close of this, it is said by the sages, the periodical dissolution takes place. (37-38) The terrestrial, the celestial, and the etherial worlds are all liable to destruction, and therefore they are all then destroyed; only the Mahaloka or the fourth world, remains. (39) The inhabitants of this world also, are driven to the Janaloka by the heat that is generated at the time of the dissolution. The three worlds become one vast ocean, and on this ocean, Brahma sleepeth during his night. (40) The measure of the night of Brahma is the same as that of his day; at the close of this night, he again creates this world. Measuring by this a year of Brahma, multiplying it a hundredfold and again multiplying the result by a hundred, – is found the period of time, called Param. Fifty such periods of years are declared to be a Parardha. (41-42) At the close of such a Parardha, O most superior Brahmana, occurred that Mahakalpa which is heard of as Padma.

(43) The present is the second Parardha, O thou twice born one, – of the Kalpa called Baraha, which is thought to be the first Kalpa. (44)