The Brahmanda Purana

by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 319,243 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246

This page describes description of the dissolution of the universe (a) which is Chapter 1 of the English translation of the Brahmanda Purana: one of the oldest puranas including common Puranic elements such as cosmogony, genealogy, ethics, geography and yoga. Traditionally, the Brahmandapurana is said to consist of 12,000 verses metrical Sanskrit verses.

Chapter 1 - Description of the dissolution of the Universe (a)

1. After hearing the third Section recounted by the intelligent Sūta, the excellent sages asked him about the fourth Pāda.

The sages said:—

2. “Out of tenderness and affection for us, the third fore-gone Section has been covered by you. Describe in detail the fourth Section called ‘annihilation’ (Saṃhāra).

3-4. Recount to us all the Manvantaras, the earlier ones along with the others (i.e. future ones). Narrate to us the details of all the Saptarṣis (seven sages). In the present Manvantara, mention all the parts in detail about the creation of the Great Soul. Mention everything to us in detail and in the proper order.”

Sūta said:—

5-6. “I shall narrate to you this Fourth Section along with (the description of) annihilation. O excellent sages, I shall mention everything as it is.

Listen, O Brāhmaṇas, to this creation of Vaivasvata Manu who is the current Manu of noble soul. Listen to his creation in detail and in the proper order.

7. Understand, even as I recount, the summary of the Manvantaras along with the future seven (Manvantaras) as well as the dissolution of the worlds.

8. These Manvantaras have been recounted perfectly. The subjects (i.e. creations) in the seven Manvantaras have also been recounted.[1] Listen to the brief description of the future Manvantaras from me.

9. I shall mention the details of Sāvarṇa the future Manu and son of Vivasvān (the Sun god). Understand briefly the future[2] (details).

10-13. The future great sages are remembered as seven in number. They are Gālava of Kauśika family, Jāmadagnya (i.e. Paraśurāma) of Bhārgava family, Dvaipāyana of Vasiṣṭha family, Kṛpa of Śāradvata family, Dīptiman of Atri family, Ṛṣyaśṛṅga of Kaśyapa family and Aśvatthāmā, the son of Droṇa, of great renown, of Bharadvāja family. These are the noble-souled seven great sages of the future.

There will be three groups of Devas named Sutapas, Amitābhas and Sukhas. Each of these groups of Devas is remembered as consisting of twenty Devas. I shall mention their names separately. Understand the same with attention and concentration.

14-16a. The twenty Devas of the Sutapa group are: Ṛtu, Tapa, Śukra, Kṛti, Nemi, Prabhākara, Prabhāsa, Māsakṛt (? Bhāsakṛt), Dharma, Tejas, Raśmi, Kratu, Virāṭ, Arciṣmān, Dyotana, Bhānu, Yaśas, Kīrti, Budha and Dhṛti. Thus the twenty Sutapas have been glorified with their names.

16b-17. The twenty Devas of the Amitābha group are:—Prabhu, Vibhu, Vibhāsa, Jetā (Jetṛ), Hantā (Hantṛ), Arihā, Ṛtu, Sumati, Pramati, Dīpti Samākhyāta, Mahas, Mahān, Dehī, Muni, Ina, Poṣṭā (Poṣṭṛ), Sama, Satya and Viśruta. These are the twenty Amitābhas. They have been duly recounted.

18-19. The twenty Devas of the Sukha group are:—Dāma, Dānī, Ṛta, Soma, Vitta, Vaidya, Yama, Nidhi, Homa, Havya, Huta, Dāna, Deya, Dātā (Dātṛ), Tapas, Śama, Dhruva, Sthāna, Vidhāna, and Niyama. These twenty arc mentioned as the groups of Devas called Sukhas in the first (future) Manvantara of Sāvarṇa.

20-21. They are the sons of the noble-souled Kaśyapa, the son of Marīci. In that Manvantara (the above-mentioned) sixty Devas will be born to Kaśyapa who is the present one. Nine sons will be born to Manu Sāvarṇa.

22. They will be Virajas, Arvarīvān, Nirmoka and others. I shall mention the nine sons in the other Sāvarṇa Manvantaras.

23. Other Sāvarṇa Maṇus will be the future sons of Brahmā. They are four, endowed with divine visions such as Merusāvarṇi etc. (or from Merusāvarṇi).

24. They are the grandsons of Dakṣa, the sons of Kriyā, his daughter. They have equipped themselves with great power of penance on the ridge of the Meru. They have great prowess.

25. They are begot by Brahmā and others as well as by the intelligent Dakṣa. On passing away, they go over to Maharloka. They will resort to Meru and become the future Manus.

26. Those peṛsons endowed with dignity and splendour were formerly born in the Cākṣuṣa Manvantara. They themselves will be born in the future Manvantaras.

27. Of those Manus who are the grandsons of Prācetasa Dakṣa, five are named Sāvarṇas and four are born of great sages.

28. One Sāvarṇi is the son of Saṃjñā, born of Vivasvān (the Sun-god). The eldest son of Saṃjñā is lord Manu, son of Vivasvān.

29-30. Their excellent manifestation is at the advent of Vaivasvata Manvantara. Thus these fourteen Manus, who cause the increase of reputation have been glorified in the Vedas, Smṛtis and Purāṇas. All of them are the mighty ones with great potentiality. All of them are lords of subjects as well as those of living beings.

31. The entire Earth including the cities and consisting of seven comments is to be protected by those rulers of men for the full period of a thousand Yugas.

32. Their detailed description along with that of their progeny and power of penance will be stated. These creations of Svāyambhuva and other Manus, it should be known, are fourteen.

33. They hold offices of authority in the Manvantaras (only) once.- After the expiry of the tenure of their office they resort to Maharloka.

34. (?) Of them six have passed on and the rest are eight in number. The lord Manu reigns by himself in the case of the previous ones as well in the current one.

35. I shall recount those who yet remain along with the Devas, Sages and Dānavas. O Brāhmaṇas, I shall mention to you all the - future ones along with the creation of their progeny.

36. Their details should be known through the example of creation of Vaivasvata Manu, because all of them are neither inferior nor superior to Vivasvān.

37. Due to the multiplicity of repetitions, I shall not recount the details of the future as well as past Manvantaras.

38. Hence the creations in the different families should be understood partially for the realization of their details and proper sequence.

39. A virtuous daughter of Dakṣa is well-known by the name Suvratā. She was the most excellent of all the daughters and was the eldest daughter of Vīriṇī.

40. The father took his daughter of Brahmā. Vairāja (i.e. Brahmā), was seated there attended upon by Dharma and Bhava.

41-44a. Brahmā spoke to Dakṣa who was seated near Bhava and Dharma. This, your daughter Suvratā, will procreate four sons who will be splendid Manus establishing the discipline of the four castes.

On hearing the words of Brahmā, Dakṣa, Dharma and Bhava, the three of them along with Brahmā mentally approached that girl.

Immediately that girl gave birth to four sons similar in appearance and form to them because they were of truthful conception.

44b-46. Even as they were born, they were prepared for carrying out their duties, They were endowed with splendour, with physical bodies produced immediately and capable of experiencing and enjoying.

On seeing them born by themselves and uttering Vedic hymns, they (Brahmā and others) became excited. They pulled them saying “My son, My son”. Meditating upon them as born of themselves, they spoke among themselves.

47-49. “He shall take unto him as his son, the one who is similar to him in physical form, who is similar to him in physical features, size and prowess. Welfare unto you, let him take the one who is of the same complexion (as his son). Certainly, the son always conforms to the form and feature of his father. Hence, the son is equal to his father and mother in. prowess”.

Àfter arriving at this argument among themselves, all of them took their respective sons.

50-54. After the Cākṣuṣa Manvantara had elapsed and the Vaivasvata Manvantara had arrived, a son named Raucya was born to Ruci, the Prajāpati.

He who was begot of Bhūti as the son of Kavi, was named Bhautya.

In the Vaivasvata Manvantara two Manus were born of Vivasvān.

One is well known as Vaivasvata Manu and the other is reputed as Sāvarṇa.

The learned lord Vaivasvata Manu should be known as the son of Saṃjñā. Another Vaivasvata Mānu is remembered as the son of Savarṇā.

Those Sāvarṇa Manus, the four born of great sages, have equipped themselves with the power of penance. They will be persons achieving all their tasks as Manus in their respective future Manvantaras.

55-56. In the first (future Manvantara) three groups of Devas will be born when Merusāvarṇi[3], the son of Dakṣa, is the Manu. They will be Pāras, Marīcigarbhas and Sudharmans. Each group consists of twelve Devas. Those noble-souls have all been born in the Vaivasvata Manvantara as the sons of Rohita, the Prajāpati, the son of Dakṣa. They will be the future groups of Devas.

57. Aiśvara, Vāku, Vaṃśa, Rāhu and (the other eight) Grahas (planets) should be known, as Pāras. Understand the others.

58-59. The following are the twelve Marīcis viz.—Vājipa, Vājijit, Prabhūti, Kakudmī, Dadhikrāvan[?], Vipakva, Praṇīta, Vijaya, Madhu, Utathya and two Uttamakas (?).

I shall mention the Sudharmans by name. Understand them.

60-61. Varṇa, (?) Athagarvi[4], Bhuraṇya, Vrajana, Amita, Asita, Dravaketu, Jambha, Aja, Śakraka, Sunemi and Dyutaya. The Sudharmans are glorified thus. Then their Indra will be the future one named Adbhuta.

62-64a. This (Adbhuta) is Skanda, the son of Pārvatī (otherwise known as) Kārttikeya and Pāvaki. The seven sages in the Rohita Manvantara are Medhātithi of the family of Pulastya, Vasu of the family of Kaśyapa, Jyotiṣmān of the family of Bhṛgu, Dyutimān of the family of Aṅgiras, Vasina of the family of Vasiṣṭha, Havyavāhana of the family of Atri and Sutapas of the family of Pulaha.

64b-65. The following are declared as the nine sons of the first Sāvarṇi:—Dhṛtiketu, Dīptiketu, Śāpa, Hasta, Nirāmaya, Pṛthuśravas, Anīka, Bhūridyumna and Bṛhadyaśas.

66-68. In the tenth recurrence of Manvantara, the Manu will be the second Sāvarṇi[5], the son of Dharma. In that future Manvantara, there will be two groups of Devas namely Sudhāmans and Viruddhas.

All of them are effulgent and they equally number a hundred. The hundred Prāṇas mentioned by the Sages in Puruṣa will be the Devas (during the reign) of the Manu, the son of Dharma.

69-71a. Their Indra, it is said, will be the future learned Śānti.

The seven great sages will be the glorious Haviṣmān of the family, of Pulaha, Sukīrti of the family of Bhṛgu, Āpomūrti of the family of Atri, Āpava of the family of Vasiṣṭha, Apratima of the family of Pulastya, Nābhāga of the family of Kaśyapa and Abhimanyu of the family of Aṅgiras.

71b-72. It is proclaimed that the following will be the ten sons of Manu:—Sukṣetra, Uttamaujas, Bhūriṣeṇa, Vīryavān, Śatānīka, Nirāmitra, Vṛṣasena, Jayadratha, Bhūridyumna and Suvarcas.

73-76. In the eleventh Manvantara of the third Sāvarṇa, the groups of Devas will be the following three, namely Nirvāṇaratis, Kāmagas (? Vihaṅgama in Verse 75) and Manojavas. These three sets of noble-souled Devatās are well-known. Each of those groups of heaven-dwellers consists of thirty Devas. The thirty days of the month, the poets know, as the set of Devas named Nirvāṇaratis and the thirty nights are Vihaṅgamas (Kāmagas). Manojavas who had been mentioned as the third set of Devatās will be the Muhūrtas. Thus the Devas have been recounted.

77. These are remembered as the future mental sons of Brahmā. Their Indra is Vṛṣa by name. He will be the future king of Suras.

78-81. Understand their seven sages too being recounted: They are Haviṣmān of the family of Kaśyapa, Vapuṣmān of the family of Bhṛgu, Āruṇi of the family of Atri, Nāga of the family of Vasiṣṭha, Puṣṭi who should be known as belonging to the family of Aṅgiras, Niścara of the family of Pulastya and Atitejas of the family of Pulaha.

The Devas in the eleventh Manvantara (have been mentioned). The nine sons of the Sāvarṇa of Prājāpatya (i.e. Brahmasāvarṇa) are Sarvavega, Sudharma, Devānīka, Purovaha, Kṣemadharma, Graheṣu, Ādarśa, Pauṇḍraka and Maru.

82. In the twelfth Manvantara Manu will be Rudra’s son. The fourth Sāvarṇa will be Rudrasāvarṇa.[6] Listen to the Devas during his Manvantara.

8.3-85A. The future Devas (of this Manvantara) are said to be of five groups. They are Haritas, Rohitas, Sumanas, Sukarmans and Sutāras.

The following ten are remembered as Haritas viz. Vidvān, Sahasrada, Parvata, Anucara, Apāṃśu Manojava, Ūrjā, Svāhā, Svadhā and Tārā.

85b-86. The following ten Devas are remembered as Rohitas viz. Tapa, Jñānī, Mṛti, Varcas, Bandhu, Rasa, Raja, Svarṇapāda, Puṣṭi and Vidhi.

87. Those thirty-three Devas who have already been mentioned, beginning with Tuṣita, should be known as Sumanas.

Understand the Sukarmans: They are Suparvā, Vṛṣabha, Pṛṣṭa, Kapi, Dyumna, Vipaścit, Vikrama, Krama, Vibhṛta and Kānta. These Devas are Sukarmans.

88-90, Understand the Sutāras: They are Varṣa, Divya, Añjiṭṭha, Varcasvī, Dyutimān, Kavi, Śubha, Havi, Kṛtaprāpti and Vyāpṛta the tenth. The Devas called Sutāras have been glorified with their names.

91-93. The highly glorious Ṛtadhāmā should be known as their Indra. The following are the seven sages of great achievement during the Manvantara of the last of seven Sāvarṇis viz.—Dyuti the son of Vasiṣṭha, Sutapas belonging to the family of Atri, Tapomūrti belonging to the family of Aṅgiras, Tapasvī of the family of Kaśyapa, Tapodhana of the family of Pulastya, Taporati of the family of Pulaha and Tapodhṛti who is the seventh among them and should be known as belonging to the family of Bhṛgu.

94-95a. The following are the sons of the twelfth Manu viz.—Devavān, Upadeva, Devaśreṣṭha, Vidhūratha, Mitravān, Mitrasena, Citrasena, Amitrahā, Mitrabāhu and Suvarcas.

95b-96. In the future Raucya Manvantara, which is the thirteenth Manvantara,[7] only three groups of Devas have been mentioned by Svayambhu (Brahmā). All those noble souls are the mental sons of Brahma.

97-100. Sutrāmans and Sudharmans, Sukarmans, these three are mentioned as the future groups of Devas who will imbibe Soma juice (Somapāyins).

Of them, the sutrāmans are three. They are the thirty-three Devatās who should be worshipped separately by the Yājñikas (people who perform Yajñas). Understand that they are to be worshipped separately by means of Ājya (ghee) and Pṛṣadājya (ghee mixed with coagulated milk) along with Graha-Śreṣṭha (the most excellent one among the planets i.e. the Sun). The Sutrāmans (are also known as) Prayājyas. They are those who take in Ājya now. The Sukarmans are also called Anuyājyas because they are those who consume Pṛṣadājya. The Sudharmans are Upayājyas.1

Thus the Devas have been mentioned.

101. Divaspati of great inherent prowess will become their Indra. The sons of the son of Pulaha should be known as Ruci’s sons.

102-103. (The Seven Sages in the thirteenth Manvantara are as follows) Dhṛtimān of the family of Aṅgiras, Avyaya belonging to the family of Pulastya, Tattvadarśī of the family of Pulaha, Nirutsuka of the family of Bhṛgu, Niṣprakampya of the family of Atri, Nirmoha of the family of Kaśyapa and Sutapas of the family of Vasiṣṭha—these are the sages in the thirteenth Manvantara.

104-105a. In the thirteenth Manvantara, the following will be the sons of Manu Raucya. They will be ten (in number). They are Citra-Sena, Vicitra, Naya, Dharma, Dhṛta, Bhava, Aneka, Kṣatraviddha, Surasa and Nirbhaya.

105b-107. In the fourteenth Manvantara of the Manu Bhautya, it is said that there will be five groups of Devas. Tḥc following five groups of Devas are remembered namely, Cākṣuṣas, Pavitras, Kaniṣṭhas, Bhrājitas and Vācā-Vṛddhas.

108-109. There are seven Svaras (Notes in the Gamut of Indian Music) beginning with Niṣāda. Understand them as the Seven Cākṣuṣas. The seven Sāman-Mantras beginning with Bṛhat are the seven Kaniṣṭhas. The seven worlds are the Pavitras and the seven oceans are the Bhrājitas. Understand those sages as Vācāvṛddhas—those sages who were in the Manvantara of Svāyambhuva Manu.

All the Indras of the Manvantaras should be known as having similar characteristics such as splendour, power of penance, intellect, strength, learning, and exploits.

110-114. These Indras overpower all the living beings in three worlds by means of their qualities (irrespective of whether the living beings are mobile or immobile). The Indras (? or Devas) are Bhūtāpavādins, Hrṣṭas, Madhyasthas, Bhūtavādins and the Bhūtābhavādins. The three Vedas are competent in respect to Pravādins (those who argue and expound).

The seven sages of the Bhautya Manvantara are Agnīdhra of the Kaśyapa family, Māgadha of the family of Pulastya Agnibāhu of Bhṛgu family, Śuci of Aṅgiras family, Śukra of Vasiṣṭha’s family, Mukta of Pulaha’s family and Śvajita who is said to be of the family of Atri.

Now listen (to the enumeration of) the sons of Manu. They are Uru, Guru, Gambhīra, Buddha, Śuddha, Śuci, Kṛti, Ūrjasvī and Subala. These are the sons of Bhautya.

115-116. These four Sāvarṇa Manus arc the sons of Brahmā. A son of Vivasvān is (also) called Sāvarṇa Manu.

The Manus Raucya and Bhautya are considered to be sons (or descendants) of Pulaha and Bhṛgu.

During the reign of Bhautya[8] the Kalpa will shortly be completed.

Sūta said:

117-120. When all the Manvantaras pass by at the end of many Caturyugas, when everything is annihilated it is called Saṃhāra. At the end of Manvantara all these (?) seven Devas of the family of Bhṛgu (?), after enjoying the period of seventy-one Caturyugas while being stationed in the three worlds (pass away too).

When the Manvantara passes by along with the Pitṛs and Ṃanus, the entire space of the three worlds will be devoid of support.

The splendid abodes of Sthānins (the super-human beings presiding over various worlds) fall off on being separated from stars, constellations and planets.

121-125. After passing away, the lord of the three worlds goes over to Maharloka where the fourteen groups of Devas, Ajitas and others are present. These Ajitas are long lived ones. They are Kalpavāsins (staying alive throughout the Kalpa). They are indeed the fourteen groups of Devas in all the Manvantaras. It is reported that they go over to Janaloka along with their followers and with their physical bodies.

When the Devas have gone over to Janaloka from Mahar-Loka, when the Bhūtādis (the Ahaṃkāra and other prime causes of the Universe) alone remain, when all the immobile beings have come to an end, when all the Lokasthānas (the abodes of worlds) beginning with Bhū and ending with Mahar have become void and when the Devas have gone up, it is the period when the Kalpavāsins (those who remain alive throughout the Kalpa) attain their Sāyujya (salvation).

126. After withdrawing (i.e. annihilating) gods, sages, Pitṛs and Dānavas (demons), god Brahmā, on visualizing the end of his day at the end of Yuga, verily puts an end to his creation.

127. Persons who know that the day of god Brahmā terminates at the end of a thousand sets of four Yugas and that his night ends with a thousand sets of four Yugas are called the conversant ones with the day and night (of god Brahmā).

128. The Pratisañcara[9] (Dissolution and reabsorption) of all living beings is of three types viz. Naimittika (Periodical), Prākṛtika (Pertaining to Prakṛti) and the Ātyantika (the ultimate one).

129-131. The Naimittika reabsorption (of the living beings) is the burning at the end of the Kalpa caused by Brahmā (?) It is his Prasaṃyama (withdrawal and Restraint) of all beings. The destruction of Karaṇas (instruments and means) of the living beings during Pratisarga (Reabsörption into Prakṛti) is called Prākṛta.

The dissolution due to dawning of Jñāna (Perfect knowledge) is said to be Ātyantika (the ultimate one) as it renders causes (of Saṃsāra) impossible.

At the end of his Prahara (a watch or 1/8 part of a full day) Brahmā annihilates Devas, the residents of the three worlds and again starts the creation. When he is desirous of sleeping, lord Brahmā annihilates the subjects.

132. At the end of a thousand sets of Caturyugas, when the period of annihilation of the Yuga arrives, the Prajāpati (Lord of the Subjects i.e. Brahmā) begins to make the subjects abide in him (i.e. reabsorb in him).[10]

133-136a. Then a continued drought lasting for a hundred years takes place. On account of it, only those living beings deficient in strength or having very little potentiality on the surface of the earth become dissolved and get mingled with the dust.

The sun rises up with his seven rays for his chariot. The lord with rays of unbearable heat begins to drink water by-means of his rays. As he blazes, his seventy brilliant green rays whirl again and slowly pervade the sky.

136b-140. The worldly fire burns wood and fuel along with water (when water boils many solids are dissolved in it). Hence, when the sun takes up water, it is said that it blazes. The sun is sprinkled when there is drought (i.e. when the sun blazes water becomes vapour); when there is drought the sun has a glow. Therefore, the sun blazes with water. Seven rays of the sun that blazes in the sky sucking up water, drink water from the great ocean. Being illuminated with that intake seven suns are evolved. Then those rays that have become suns, burn the four worlds in the four directions. Those fires burn up the entire Universe.

141. With those rays, the seven suns move up and down. They blaze burning up (everything) like the fire at the close of the Yugas.

142. Kindled by the waters, those suns with thousands of rays envelop the firmament and stay on, burning the Earth.

143. Being burned by their brilliant flames, the Earth including mountains, rivers and oceans becomes bereft of moisture and viscidity.

144. Being restrained by those rays of the Sun, that burn brightly, that move about in a continuous series and that have variegated colours, the Earth is enveloped entirely, beneath, above and on all sides.1

145. The multifarious fires of the sun become expanded and augmented and then mingle with one another. They then form a single unit—a single flame.

146. It will be the destroyer of all the worlds. That fire takes a circuitous movement and enveloping the set of four worlds burns it up by means of its fiery splendour.

147. When everything mobile and immobile becomes dissolved, the Earth devoid of trees and (even) grass may seem like the back of a tortoise.

148. Everything filled with its flames blazes like a solid ball of fire. The entire universe appears like a frying pan.

149. Whatever be the animals and living beings on the surface of the Earth or within the great oceans become annihilated and dissolved and turned into dust (ashes).

150. The continents, the mountains, the subcontinents and the great ocean—all these will be reduced to ashes by that universal fire, the soul of everything.

151. The kindled fire resorting to the earth blazes and drinks up water from the seas, rivers, nether worlds completely from all sides.

152. Increased in its dimensions, this enkindled Saṃvartaka fire, of terrible form transcends the mountains and planets and annihilates the worlds.

153. Thereafter, it breaks through the Earth and dries up Rasātala. After burning up Pātāla completely, it burns up the world of wind in the end.

154-157a. After consuming the Earth from below it bums the firmament above. The innumerable flames and tongues of that Saṃvartaka fire rise up into thousands, millions and trillions of Yojanas:

The excessively ignited fire burns Gandharvas, Piśācas and Rākṣasas along with the great serpents. It burns entirely the globe of Bhūloka, Bhuvarloka, Svarloka and Maharloka. The horrible fire of death thus burns the four worlds.

157b-159. When all those worlds are pervaded by the fire above and on the sides, the terrible Saṃvartaka clouds rise up. Getting the fiery splendour transmitted to it, the entire universe slowly assumes the form of a huge block of iron and shines thus. Thereafter, the terrible Saṃvartaka clouds rise up in the sky. They are of the size and shape of huge herds of elephants. They will be adorned with lightning streaks.

160. Some of them are dark in colour like the blue lotus, some resemble the water lilies. Some appear like Vaidūrya (Lapis Lazuli). Others resemble Indranīla (blue Sapphire).

161. Other clouds appear white like conch and jasmine flowers as well as dark like the black pigment. Some clouds are smoke-coloured and some are yellow.

162. Some clouds have a shining lustre like the colour of a donkey. Similarly, some resemble the colour of the lac exudation. Others appear like the Manaḥśilā (Red Arsenic) and other clouds have the colour of doves.

163. Some clouds resemble the glow-worm. Some are like the red orpiment. Some resemble the wings of the blue jay. Clouds like these rise up in the firmament.

164. Some of the clouds are of the size of an excellent city. Some can be compared to herds of elephants. Some clouds shine like huge mountains. Some clouds appear like an extensive flat ground.

165. Some clouds resemble the hall of games. Some can be compared to shoals of fish. The clouds have different forms. They are aweful in appearance and make terrific thundering sound.

166-169a. Then the clouds fill the entire area of the firmament. After that, these clouds, producing terrific rumbling sound group themselves in seven, identifying themselves with the Suns, and they extinguish the fire. Then those clouds shower rain in huge torrents. They destroy the whole of extremely terrific and inauspicious fire. With the waters so profusely showered, the universe becomes filled up with it. With its splendour attacked and subdued by the waters, the fire enters into the waters.

169b-l 73. Drenched by the shower, the fire is subdued and destroyed. The clouds arising from those fires permeate the entire universe with huge torrents of water-currents. Urged by the self-born Lord, they fill this universe with currents of water. Other clouds attack the seashore with huge columns of the downpour. A vast expanse of the ground including mountains, continents and the intervening spaces, being (as if) swallowed up, stand submerged in water. Then the water from the sky falls down on the Earth. A violent wind of terrible nature envelopes it all round in the sky. When everything mobile and immobile becomes dissolved and destroyed in that single terrible vast expanse of water, when thousand Caturyugas are completed it is said that the Kalpa has come to a close.

174-178. When the world is covered by Ambhas[11] (water), learned men say that it is Ekārṇava (a general inundation of the sea). When the fire is destroyed, when everything is blinded, nothing is observed clearly whether Earth (land) or water, Ether or wind. All the products of Earth and the waters of the ocean as well as Daivyas (those of celestial origin) become entirely immobilised. Without any movement they attain the state of a single unit and are designated as Salila (water). Then that Salila is remembered as one devoid of to and fro movement.

That water which is called Arṇava (ocean) covers this Earth. The word Bhā is used in Vyāpti (pervasion) and Dīpti (illumination). This water pervades the entire mass of ashes and becomes illuminated. So it is called Ambhas.

179-181. The root ar (i.e. ṛ) is used in the sense of multiplicity and quickness. In that single expanse of Sea (Ekārṇava) the waters are not quick (i.e. they are stationary). Therefore they are Naras.

When a day of Brahmā consisting of a thousand Caturyugas passes by, the universe becomes Ekārṇava for an equal period of time. Then all the activities of Prajāpati cease.

Thus when everything mobile and immobile is dissolved and destroyed in that single vast expanse of sea, Brahmā becomes an entity possessing thousand eyes and a thousand feet.1

182. The first Prajāpati (creator) who is expressly declared as a Person in the form of the Trayī, i.e. the three Vedas, is one with thousand heads, thousand feet, thousand arms and a gracious disposition.

183. He has the brilliant complexion of the Suṇ. He is the protector of the Universe. He is unparalleled, the only one (without a second), the first, quickly overpowerer (of the mighty), a cosmogonic power (lit. born of a golden egg), the Supreme Person, the great one. It is recited (in the scriptures) that he is beyond the quality called Rajas.

184. At the end of the thousand sets of four Yugas, when all space is flooded with water on all sides, the lord becomes desirous of sleep. As he does not wish for light, he creates the Night.

185-188. When all the subjects (creatures) of the four types (i.e. ovoviparous, born of sweat etc.) are dissolved in him and lie within him, the seven sages see that Noble-souled Kāla (God of Time—God of death). These seven sages have acquired (divine) vision due to penance and they have reverted to the Janaloka. They are the noble souls beginning with Bhṛgu and their characteristic features have already been explained. They can see with their eyes, the seven worlds beginning with Satya. During the period of the nights of Brahmā they always see Brahmā.

The seven sages see Kāla who sleeps during his night. Since he abides beyond the Kalpas heis cited as Ādya (the Primordial one).

189-1.90. He is the creator of all living beings repeatedly during the beginnings of Kalpa. Lying down thus, the Prajāpati of great splendour takes up everything and keeps it within himself. He, the maker of all, stays in the waters of the single vast expanses of the Sea in darkness during the night.

191. When the Night comes to a close, Prajāpati wakes up. He becomes induced with a desire to create. He then once again applies his mind to the activity of creation.

192-196. Thus, when Prajāpati becomes calm after creating everything including the worlds, when the Naimittika (periodic or occasional) dissolution pertaining to Brahmā occurs, it is remembered that all living beings get separated from their bodies.

When all the living beings are burnt by the rays of the Sun, when the excellent Devas, sages and Manus (are submerged) in that watery flood, all those living beings beginning with the Gandharvas and ending with the Piśācas, perish too.

Those that are not burned up resort to Jana-Loka (world) at the beginning of the Kalpa. The living beings of the lower strata of animals and those beings that have fallen into the hell—all those become burned up. All of them will be rid of their sins. As long as the universe is flooded by water, those beings too become submerged in water.

197. When the night becomes dawn, all those living beings are born again from Brahmā of unmanifest source of origin.

198. The Sages, the Manus and the four types of living beings—all these are born again. It is mentioned that even those Siddhas do have birth and death.

199. Just as the rising and setting of the Sun in this world happens regularly, so also (it should) be remembered that the birth and death of all living beings are happening, regularly.

200-203. The re-birth after the annihilation of all living; beings is called Saṃsāra.

After the rainfall, all the immobile beings (i.e. trees etc.) are reborn (i.e. germinate and grow). In the same manner alī the subjects regularly (take their origin) in every Kalpa.

Just as the. different seasons, the various characteristic features of the seasons do manifest themselves in various forms in their due order, so also are the different happenings in the course of the days and nights of Brahmā. All the living beings mobile and immobile enter Brahmā, the Prajāpati. the lord of Time in the process of dissolution. They come out of him at the time of creation. He is the great lord of great Yogic power.

204, He is the creator of all living beings repeating the process at the beginnings of Kalpas. The great lord is both manifest and unmanifest. To him belongs this entire Universe.

205-207. (Parṭially defective Text). It is he by whom the waters are at first created, the waters that reach the surface of the Earth along the path taken before. They go back again along the same path to the heaven. Thus they go up and down, due to the Sun. In the same manner, human beings go up and down, due to their auspicious and inauspicious activities. They move about here and there in the course of their transmigrations from body to body.

There are Devas, Manus, Lords of Subjects and Siddhas who reach heaven. It is on being evolved and created by them that the virtuous brings take their birth (in the various species) in accordance with their fame.

208-209. Henceforth, I shall recouṇt the time of Ābhūtasamplava[12] (the annihilation of all living beings). The Manvantaras that are yet to be, have been explained, O Brāhmaṇas, by me, along with the creations of subjects and also along with the Devas. Altogether there are fourteen Manvantaras and they extend to a period of a thousand Caturyugas.

210. When two thousand Caturyugas are completed it is called Viśeṣa Kalpa (? Special Kalpa). This should be known as the day of Brahmā under its calculation.

211. A mātrā has been made equal to a Nimeṣa (winking of the eye) by a person at leisure. Fifteen winkings of human eyes make one Kāṣṭhā.[12]

212. (Defective Text) (?) Nine winkings make a Kṣaṇa or five winkings make one Kṣaṇa. Twenty winkings make one Kāṣṭhā. Three Kāṣṭhās make one Prastha (?). Seven Prasthas make one udaka (?). One more (i.e. Eight Prasthas) make one Lava.[13] (?)

213. It should be known that thirty Lavas make one Kalā. Thirty Kalās make one Muhūrla. Thirty Muhūrtas make one day and night. This is the position.

214. One day and night consists of more than six hundred Kalās (30 x 30 = 900). These should be known in accordance with the movements of the moon and the Sun.

215-216. (?) Fifteen Nimeṣas make one Kāṣṭhā. Thirty Kāṣṭhās make one Kalā. Thirty Kalās make one Muhūrta. (According to another calculation) Kalā is remembered as one tenth of a Muhūrta. Forty-five Kalās make what is termed as one Muhūrta. Thus Muhūrtas and Lavas are reckoned by those conversant with measurements.

217. In the same manner thirteen Palas of water constitute a Jalapraṣṭha according to Magaḍha reckoning.

218-219. Four Prasthas filled with water make one (?) Nālikoccaya. It contains four holes totally extending to four Aṅgulas. Each hole is as big as a Māṣa of gold (?) During, the days when day and night are of equal duration two Nālikas (a period of twenty-four minutes) make one Muhūrta. This calculation is always in accordance with the peculiar movement of the Sun.

220. What is mentioned as a day having more than six hundred Kalās should be known as human day. The stellar day comprises ten more.

221. This is remembered as a year according to Sāvana calculation and this constitutes one day and night according to divine reckoning.

222-224. Months, Ayanas (transits of the Sun) and years should be calculated on the basis of this day. The knowledge and terminology is based on that. The measure of the digits is mentioned as Kalā. What is mentioned as one day of Brahmā consists of a crore, twenty lakhs and ninety thousand days according to the calculation of the Devas.

225. On learning this the sages (become) surprised. They considered it wonderful. Then they sought the knowledge regarding the division of the number of days.

The sages said:—

226. We wish to hear the measurement and calculation according to human reckoning. Let it be brief with very few letters and words. Human calculation alone is in accordance with our opinion.

227. On hearing their requests, the wind-god engaged in what is beneficial to the worlds, said succinctly as follows. He could do it because he is endowed with divine power of vision.

228. “The night and day (of god Brahmā) have been recounted before. I shall calculate the number of days in a year through mundane measure and mention the extent of duration at the close of a day of Brahmā.

229-231. Four hundred and thirty-two crores eight million nine hundred and eighty thousand human years (4328980000 years). This is the period of extent of the period of annihilation. It has been so calculated by the Brāhmaṇas.

When all the worlds are burnt-down by the seven suns all the four types of creatures get merged in the Mahābhūtas (Great Elements).

232-236a. When the world is flooded with water, when everything mobile is dissolved and destroyed, when the activity of annihilation is concluded, when Prajāpati becomes quiescent, when there is no light, when everything is burnt down and enveloped in the nocturnal darkness and when it is presided over by Īśvara—that is the time when a vast expanse of Sea comes into being. The extent of duration of the vast expanse of Sea is as much as that of the day of the lord. The night is the period when there exists the Salila (motionless water). The period when it recedes is remembered as the daytime.

His days and nights come one after the other successively. The day and night of the lord is remembered as Abhūta-samplava.

236b-238. It is called Ābhūta-samplava because whatever living beings there are, whether mobile or immobile in the entire range of the three worlds become merged in the Bhūtas (Elements).

All the subjects, of the past, present and future get merged like this.

Divine calculation has been reckoned as subservient to Parārdha (the number one followed by seventeen zeroes). The ultimate longevity is declared as extending to twice the period (of Parārdhas)

239. This much is the period of existence of Aja, the Prajāpati. At the close of existence there is the Pratisarga (Reabsorption) of Brahmā, the Parameṣṭhin.[14]

240. The burning wick of the lamp becomes extinguished by a violent gust of wind. In the same manner Brahmā becomes quiescent due to Pratisarga.

241-243. Brahmā gets merged in Mahat etc., the great Īśvara, created by himself. This Mahat gets merged in Avyakta. Thereafter, the Guṇas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) regain their equilibrium:

Thus Ābhūtasamplava has been recounted unto you by me. This withdrawal by complete washing with water is a periodic (Naimittika) reabsorption carried out by Brahmā. It has been briefly recounted. What else shall I describe unto you?

If any one retains this always or listens to this frequently or glorifies this or describes this, he shall attain great spiritual achievement.

Notes on this chapter:

Although the title signifies the ‘merger of the entire three worlds in their constituent elements during the period of a complete day (i.e. day and night) of Brahmā (vide VV. 236,237), it contains much more material from the description of future Manus or rather Manu-periods and the ultimate dissolution of everything after god Brahmā’s ‘merger’ into the ‘equilibrium of three guṇas’.

The influence of Sāṅkhya theory of involution of the universe is obvious under the Purāṇic way of description of dissolution.

Footnotes and references:


For the general information about Manu-Periods (Manvantaras), vide supra I. ii. 35-150-215, Ibid chapters 36, 37, 38.


As stated in Bh. P. XII.7-15, in every Manu-Period there are five types of officers: (1) Manu, (2) A group of seven sages, (3) A group of gods, (4) Indra or the chief of gods, (5) Sons of Manu. There is some variation in the details of names etc. of these officers in different Purāṇas. In this Purāṇa also the information about these office-bearers etc. is given in a rather confusing way that it is somewhat difficult to prepare a tabular statement for each of the Manus with the names of special office-bearers of each category under him even though the information here is more detailed than in other Purāṇas like VP.

The future saptarṣis (Seven great Sages) etc. mentioned in VV. 10-22 belong to the 8th Manu, Sāvarṇa. Cf. VP. III. ch. 2.14-19.

The author states that ‘due to the multiplicity of repetitions’, he has curtailed details (V. 37 below.)


VV. 55-65 give details of the office-bearers, gods, sages etc. of Meru-Sāvarṇi who is otherwise known as Dakṣa-Sāvarṇi. Cf. VP. III.2.20-23. Our text gives more detailed information about these categories or groups of office-bearers than in VP.


Aṅga and Viśva as per Vā. P. 100.64.


Although the specific name of this second Sāvarṇi is not mentioned here, it is Brahma-sāvarṇi. vide verse 81 below. VV. 66-81 state the names of groups of gods, sages etc. during this tenth Manu Period. In V. 81 this Manu is called Prājāpatya (i.e. Brahma-sāvarṇa).


VV. 82-95a state the names of Saptarṣis, Devas etc. under the twelfth Manu Rudra-Sāvarṇa (-Sāvarṇi).


VV. 95-105 give the detailed list of Devas, Saptarṣis, Manu’s sons, etc. of the thirteenth Manu called Ruci. Raucya is the name of Manvantara after Manu Ruci.


VV. 106-116 state the office-bearers in the regime of the last Manu Bhautya. Our text omits the name of Indra of this Manvantara. VP. III.2.41 informs us that Śucī[?] was the Indra then. He seems to be different from Śuci, the son of this Manu (in V. 114).


After stating what happens after the day of god Brahmā is over, the author explains the three types of dissolutions viz. Naimittika (Periodical), Prākṛtika (Pertaining to Prakṛti) and Ātyantika (The Ultimate one, resulting from spiritual knowledge) vide VV. 128-132.


VV. 132-178 describe the deluge that pervades the universe after the completion of Brahmā’s day. The description is common to all Purāṇas.


Our author is fond of giving etymologies some of which are funny, vide the etymologies of ambhas ‘water’, salila ‘water’, arṇava and Nara.


The units of time are re-stated here to give the idea of the time of Ābhūta-samplava.


Prob. “Lava” meaning ‘A Lava consists of five Kṣaṇas’.


VV. 239-243 describe what happens when the life of god Brahmā terminates.

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