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Re: REQUEST : Hindu Creation Story

Posted By Gary Stevason (caitanyamahaprabhu@yahoo.com)
Mon, 8 Dec 1997 05:40:55 -0800 (PST)

Dennis Curran wrote:
What do Hindus believe regarding the creation of the earth and life
upon
it?
[...]

Dennis, I did some research on this earlier and I have retrieved it
from our good friends at DejaNews
for posting here:

>From the excerpt of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is (by A.C. Bhaktivedanta)
from the ancient eternal Vedas that follows my summary below, some
figures may be important in resolving the riddle of the life forms
found to have existed here in past years:

Each material cosmos is manifest for 311.04 trillion earth years.

Life is manifest in the universe for 4.32 billion years, then for
4.32 billion years no life is manifest, then again for 4.32 billion
years
life is manifest and so on. This continues for 36,000 cycles before
the
cosmic manifestation is wound up and later a completely new one is
created.

Which cycle are we in now? Good question. I don't know if anyone has
been able to deduce that. That will date the material cosmos. We do,
however, know where in this cycle we find ourselves.

This kalpa (day of Brahma) began 2.0 billion years ago. This means
that life was here 2.0 billion years ago, and before that there was no
life for 4.32 billion years. Based on this information we should
expect to see distinct traces of major change every 4.32 billion
years. There are also periodic phases of partial dissolution and
partial creation throughout the manifestation of the cosmos. So, we
may also even see phases starting 3.89 million years ago and prior to
that every 4.32 million years.

Another interesting note found in the Vedas, but not quoted here, is
that
the average lifespan of a human varies significantly in the various
ages.
In the current Age of Kali, life is 100 years, in Dvapara it is 1,000
years,
in Treta it is 10,000 years and in the Satya Age it is 100,000 years.

[Bhagavad-gita As It Is (8:17-19) by BBT]:

'The duration of the material universe is limited. It is manifested
in
cycles of kalpas. A kalpa is a day of Brahma, and one day of Brahma
consists of a thousand cycles of four yugas, or ages: Satya, Treta,
Dvapara 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 Treta-yuga vice is
introduced, and this yuga lasts 1,296,000 years. In the Dvapara-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 Brahma, and
the same number comprise one night. Brahma lives one hundred of such
years and then dies. These hundred years by earth calculations
total to 311 trillion and 40 billion earth years. By these
calculations the life of Brahma 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 Brahmas rising and
disappearing
like bubbles in the Atlantic. Brahma and his creation are all part
of
the material universe, and therefore they are in constant flux.

In the material universe not even Brahma is free from the process of
birth, old age, disease and death. Brahma, however, is directly
engaged in the service of the Supreme Lord in the management of this
universe--therefore he at once attains liberation. Elevated
sannyasis
are promoted to Brahma's particular planet, Brahmaloka, which is the
highest planet in the material universe and which survives all the
heavenly planets in the upper strata of the planetary system, but in
due course Brahma and all the inhabitants of Brahmaloka are subject
to
death, according to the law of material nature.

At the beginning of Brahma's day, all living entities become
manifest
from the unmanifest state, and thereafter, when the night falls,
they
are merged into the unmanifest again.

Again and again, when Brahma's day arrives, all living entities come
into being, and with the arrival of Brahma's night they are
helplessly annihilated.

The less intelligent, who try to remain within this material world,
may be elevated to higher planets and then again must come down to
this planet earth. During the daytime of Brahma they can exhibit
their
activities on higher and lower planets within this material world,
but
at the coming of Brahma's night they are all annihilated. In the day
they receive various bodies for material activities, and at night
they
no longer have bodies but remain compact in the body of Visnu. Then
again they are manifest at the arrival of Brahma's day. Bhutva
bhutva
praliyate: during the day they become manifest, and at night they
are
annihilated again. Ultimately, when Brahma's life is finished, they
are all annihilated and remain unmanifest for millions and millions
of
years. And when Brahma is born again in another millennium they are
again manifest. In this way they are captivated by the spell of the
material world.'

A very good lay book with a scientific bent is called "Vedic
Cosmography and Astronomy" by Dr. Richard Thompson. Actually, a sample
chapter of that book is linked to my webpage below.

gHari

==
<CENTER><A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/Athens/2108">
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ALT="Forty Bhakti pictures from Toronto"></A></CENTER>

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