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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Cyclic Universe and Creations - Maha Bharatha Series 20


                 Answering another question, Markandeya who is always young and has no “death”, tells the Pandavas about the recurring manifestation and dissolution of this Universe and what happens in between (Book 3, Section 187). He is the only person who can tell us about such events since he was the only person to have witnessed those events. This is a myth too, but it is an interesting one.

According to Markandeya this is what happens. The cosmic cycle is divided into yugȧs (as outlined in a previous post). One day and one night of Brahma (Not Brahman, the Primordial source, but the creator in each cycle) is made of 1,000 mahȧyugȧs each. At the end of the day when Brahma goes to sleep, there is a pralaya or deluge called anvantara pralaya when three of the seven worlds namely, bhu, bhuvah and svah cease to exist.

Each Brahma rules for 100 years, each made of 365 of brahma days.  At the end of the current Brahma there is a big deluge and all the seven worlds disappear. Then the cycle starts again, with a new Brahma and of course, new Vishnu, Shiva etc. At the end of one such cycle, Markandeya is alone after the great floods and the only “person” he can see is a young boy. Markandeya asks the boy how he is the only one left and finds out that the boy is indeed That Brahman.

Brahman is described in the following words: self existent, primordial, eternal, without beginning or end and devoid of attributes. He is called the Lord, the Immaculate, and the Great one.

Brahman addresses Markandeya and tells him: “I call the water nara and water is my home (ayana in Sanskrit). Therefore, I am called Narayana. I am the creator of things and also the destroyer. I am Brahma, and Vishnu and Siva and Soma and Yama. At the end of each cycle, Brahma goes to sleep and all of the Universe is reposed in Me. When the next cycle starts Brahma wakes up and I create all creatures back again”. In the actual translation of words from the Maha Bharatha, Brahman says: “When the grandsire wakes up, I will alone create all creatures endowed with bodies, the firmament, the earth, the light, the water and all else of mobile and immobile creatures”.

The clear implication to my understanding is that Brahman is the Primordial Source of the Universe, the Universe has no time line as we understand in this Time dominated world, it is a recurring cycle and if there is such a real-life person called Brahma, or Vishnu or Siva, he has to come into being from the Primordial source called Brahman, at the start of each cycle. If Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are called gods, gods also have a beginning and an end. 
Other points mentioned are that dharma or virtues diminish through Krita, Dwapara and Treta and is the lowest in Kali Yuga and that towards the end of each cycle, all natural orders break down and the earth is over-run by animals and people with animal qualities.

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