BRAHMA MEASURES HIS DAY IN COSMIC CYCLES
The Hindu tradition sustains that the universe exists for one day of Brahma (kalpa). At the end of this day (lasting, by human measurements for four billion years) the whole universe is dissolved.
At his point, Brahma rests for one night, just as long as the day. This process, named pralaya, repeats for about 100 such years, a period that represents Brahma’s life span.
After Brahma’s “death”, it is necessary that another 100 of his years pass until he is reborn and the whole creation begins anew.
As Linga Purana (the text in which we find clear calculations of the different cycles) indicates, “Brahma’s life is divided in one thousand cycles (Maha Yuga , or the Great Year). Maha Yuga, during which the human race appears and then disappears, has 71 divisions, each made of 14 Manvantara (1000) years.”
Manvantara is Manu‘s cycle, the one who gives birth and governs the human race. Each Manvantara has four divisions, four eras or Yugas, each presenting a gradual decline of spiritual values, in favor of material progress.
A time of “sunrise” precedes each of these Yugas, and they end in a period of twilight.
These four cosmic eras, or Yugas, whose duration is in “divine” years are: Satya Yuga (1,728,000 human years), Treta Yuga (1,296,000 human years), Dvapara Yuga (864,000 human years), and Kali Yuga (432,000 human years).
The duration of the four Yugas is consequently 4,320,000 human years or 12,000 divine years.
Satya Yuga is the ideal period, in which hatred, envy, suffering, fear, and threat do not exist.
This is the time of the maximum bloom of human spirituality, in which the noble feelings of love, aspiration and happiness are present everywhere.
Treta Yuga presents the appearance of sacrifices, a whole set of rites and ceremonies is necessary. The spirit of justice diminishes, and people act to their own interest, expecting rewards for their good deeds and for the manifestations of their cult.
Dvapara Yuga witnesses the decrease of the spirit of justice to even a greater degree, so that only a few people will seek to observe the truth.
The rites that exist now will lead people both to the good and to the bad. Also, diseases and inferior desires come up at this time.
In Sanskrit, Kali Yuga is the era of maximum spiritual decadence, of ignorance, darkness, materialism, conflicts, misunderstandings and violence.
The spirit of justice is reduced to a minimum during this age. Spiritual aspirations, as well as spiritual and scientific ancient knowledge are forgotten, and evil is almost all-pervading.
Human beings are subject to all kinds of diseases, hatred, starvation and fear. This is the age we live in at the moment.
All of a sudden, a young boy came forth, asking Brahma: “What do you create?” Brahma’s answer was quick and proud: “Everything”.
Asking the other two gods, the boy got the answers: “We sustain and then dissolve everything”. The young visitor was holding a small straw in his hand.
Showing it to Brahma, the boy asked: “Can you create a straw just like this?” after an extraordinary effort, Brahma admitted that he cannot create such a straw.
The child turned to Vishnu and asked him to preserve the form of the straw. To his amazement, Vishnu was looking helpless to the dissolving form of the straw.
Finally, the child asked Shiva to destroy the straw. Despite all his efforts, the straw was still there. Then the boy turned again towards Brahma and asked him: “Are you my creator?” Brahma thought thoroughly, but he could not remember creating this amazing boy.
The child suddenly disappeared from their bewildered eyes, and the three gods remembered that behind their amazing powers there is always God.