Time in the Puranas

A poetic way of appreciating the vastness of time....

The Shiva Puranas were first written down in 4-6th century, but are said to have been orally transmitted since ancient times. (There are some references in older Upanishads from 5 th century BC to the Puranas for example.)

But anyhow....this can be read like a poem, even if the words are not understood.

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The basic unit of life is nimesha, the instant.

Fifteen nimeshas make one kastha, thirty kasthas one kaala, thirty kaalas one muhurta and thirty muhurtas one day.

Thirty days is a maasa, a month, which is one day of the gods and ancestors;

six maasas make an ayana,

two ayanas a year.

One human year is a day and a night.

Three hundred and sixty-five human years make a divine one.

Four are the yugas in the land of Bharata: the krita, treta, dwapara and kali.

The pristine krita lasts 4,800 divine years, the less perfect treta 3,600 years, the half-corrupt dwapara 2,400 and the almost entirely evil kali, 1,200.

A chaturyuga, one cycle of four ages, is 12,000 godly years long, 12,000 X 365 human years.

Seventy-one chaturyugas make a manvantara,

fourteen manvantaras make a kalpa.

A kalpa, of 1000 chaturyugas, 12 million divine years, is one day of Brahma, the Creator.

8,000 years of Brahma make one Brahma yuga;

1,000 Brahma yugas make a savana.

Each Brahma lives for 3,003 savanas.

One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma.

One day of Shiva is the lifetime of Vishnu.

Phenakistoscope - France - c. 1833

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