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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 3a

Division of Time Expanding from the Atom

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 3a   

 Division of Time Expanding from the Atom

(1) Maitreya said: 'The ultimate truth of that what shows itself in the manifold as being indivisible, one should know to be the infinitesimal particle [paramânu] whose combination [into material forms] creates illusion in man. (2) The supreme oneness of that particle being present within material bodies keeps its original form till the end of time, it is of a continual, unrivaled uniformity. (3) And thus time, my best one, can be measured by the motion of the minutest and largest forms of combinations of particles, of which the Supreme, unmanifest Lord is the great force that controls all physical action. (4) Atomic time is the time taken by an infinitesimal particle in occupying [or vibrating in] a certain atomic space. The greatest of time is the time taken by the existence of the complete of all atoms.

(5) Two infinitesimal particles constitute an atom [an anu] and three atoms make a trasarenu of which one is reminded by a beam of sunlight falling through a lattice window in which one sees something [a dust-particle] going up in the sky. (6) The time taken by the combination of three trasarenus is called a truthi [calculated as 1/16.875 of a second] of which one hundred are called a vedha. Three of them are called a single lava. (7) The duration of three lavas equals one nimesha [± 0.53 second] and the time of three of them is called a kshana [± 1.6 seconds], five of those make a kâshthhâ [± 8 seconds] and a laghu consists of  fifteen of them [± 2 minutes]. (8) The exact of fifteen of those laghus is called a nâdikâ [or danda, ± 30 minutes] and two of them make a muhûrta [about an hour] while six to seven of them form one yâma [a quarter of a light day or night] depending the human calculation [the season, the latitude]. (9) The measuring pot (water-clock) has the weight of six palas [14 ounces] and has a four mâsha [17 karats] golden probe four fingers long covering a hole through which it fills with water till next sunrise. (10) Four yâmas form the duration of both the day and the night of the human being and fifteen days [of eight yâmas each] make one pakshah [fortnight] which measured is known as being either black or white [depending on whether there is a full moon or new moon in it]. (11) The aggregate of such a 'day' and 'night' is called an ancestral [traditional and solar] month with two of them forming a season.  There are six of them [resp. 'cold' or hemanta, 'dew' or s'is'ira, 'spring' or vasanta, 'warm' or grîshma, 'rainy' or varshâs and 'autumn' or s'arad, counting from December 22] corresponding to the movement of the sun going through the southern and northern sky. (12) This movement of the sun is said to form one day of the demigods and is called a vatsara [a tropical year] of twelve months. The duration of life of the human being is estimated to be of a great number [a hundred] of those years [see also the 'full calendar of order'].

(13) The infinitesimal particles and their combinations, the planets, the heavenly bodies [like the moon] and the stars, all rotate in the universe, to return in a year in the Almighty [cyclic order] of eternal of time. (14) We speak about an orbit of the sun, about an orbit of the other planets, the orbit of the stars [in our galaxy around Sagittarius A in the sky], the orbit of the moon oh Vidura, and the orbit of the earth as being a single [but differently named] year [resp. a celestial year, a planetary year, a galactic year, a lunation and a tropical year]. (15) The One [Lord of Time] who differing from all that was created moves by the name of Eternal Time, who by means of His energy in different ways brings to life the seeds of creation and who during the day dissipates the darkness of the living entities, should be offered respect with attention for all His five different types of years, so that one thus with one's offerings brings about quality in one's material existence.'

(16) Vidura said: 'You pointed out the measure of time of the life periods of the elevated living beings of the ancestors, the gods and the human beings. Can you now, oh great sage, give a description of the time periods that cover more than a millennium? (17) Oh mighty one of the Spirit, you know the movements of the Supreme Lord in the form of eternal time, for you in the control of your yogic command have the eyes of a self-realized soul to see the entire universe.'

(18) Maitreya said: 'The four yugas [ages or millennia] called Satya, Tretâ, Dvâpara and Kali together take approximately 12.000 years [or one mahâyuga] of the demigods [comprising 360 vatsaras each]. (19) The subsequent yugas starting with Satya-yuga are each respectively four, three, two and one time 1.200 demigod years long. (20) Experts say that the transitional periods at the beginning and end of each yuga cover several hundreds of demigod years and that they are the millennia [like the millennium we live in now] wherein all kinds of religious activities take place. (21) The complete sense of duty of mankind concerning its four principles of religion [of satya, dayâ, tapas, s'auca; truth, compassion, penance and purity] was during Satya-yuga properly maintained, but in the other yugas the principles gradually declined one by one [first penance, then compassion, then purity] with an increasing tolerance for irreligion. (22) Next to the one thousand [mahâ-]yugas that, oh dear one, together constitute one day of Brahmâ [of 4.32 billion years] of the external reality of the three worlds [the heavenly, svarga; earthly, martya and lower, pâtâla ones], there is also a night just as long wherein the Creator of the universe goes asleep. (23) Following the end of the night when another day of Lord Brahmâ begins, the creation of the three worlds that in its totality covers the lives of fourteen Manus, starts all over. (24) Each Manu enjoys a time of living of a little more than seventy-one [mahâ-]yugas.

(25) After the end of each Manu, the next one appears as also simultaneously his descendants, the seven sages, the God-conscious and the king of the demigods [Indra] together with all those who follow them. (26)  This is Lord Brahmâ's day to day creation wherein the lower animals, the human beings, the forefathers and the gods wander around in the three worlds because of their karma. (27) With the change of each Manu, the Supreme Lord manifests His goodness in His different incarnations, as the Manu Himself and as others, and thus unfolding His divine potencies He maintains this universe. (28) At the end of the day [of Brahmâ] the Almighty Time arrests its manifestation and remain, with the complete whole fallen in darkness, all living entities merged in silence. (29) The sun, the moon and all three worlds have disappeared from sight then, just as it happens during an ordinary night. (30) When the life-spheres of the three worlds are being set afire by the potency of the fire that emanates from the mouth of Lord Sankarshana [see 3.8: 3], then the sage Bhrigu and others who are agitated by the heat move from the world of the saints [Maharloka, the fourth world] to the world of men [Janaloka, the next world]. (31) Immediately after the onset of the devastation of the three worlds all the seas will overflow with excessive, violent winds and hurricanes pushing up the waves. (32) Within the water the Lord, who in His mystical slumber with closed eyes lies down on the bed of Ananta, is glorified by the inhabitants of the worlds of the God-conscious people.

(33) Thus there is decline in the course of time of these days and nights wherein his [Lord Brahmâ's] life comes to an end. [His life ends in a hundred years] just like it happens with our lives, even though [in his case] it are a hundred of his years [together forming two parârdhas or 2 times 155.5 trillion human years, see also 3.9: 18]. (34) The first half of his lifetime called one parârdha has passed and now in this age we have begun with the second half. (35) The superior first half started with a grand kalpa called the Brâhma-kalpa in which Lord Brahmâ manifested whom one knows as the [source of the] Vedic sounds. (36) Thereafter, at the end of the Brâhma-millennium, the period called the Pâdma-kalpa came into being in which the lotus of the universe sprouted from the Lord His navel. (37) The present kalpa at the beginning of the second half, oh descendant of Bharata, is celebrated as the one of Vârâha in which the Lord appeared in the form of a boar [see also 1.3: 7]. (38) The time measured by the two halves of Brahmâ's life takes but a second for the beginningless, unchanging and unlimited Soul of the universe. (39) This eternal time, beginning from the atom up to the final duration of two parârdhas, is never capable of controlling the Supreme Lord, it is the controller of the ones identified with their body. (40) As a combination of the basic elements and  their transformations this manifest universe has expanded to a diameter of half a billion [yoyanas - a dynamic cosmic measure]. (41) [The space occupied by the infinitesimal particles of the primal ether, pradhâna] expanded to the tenfold [of the dimensions of the therefrom condensating basic elements and their transformations] that appearing like atoms entered to cluster into many other lower universes [or galaxies]. (42) That cause of all causes [containing all the universes] is said to be the imperishable Absolute Truth, the supreme abode of the direct, personal manifestation of the Supreme Soul: Lord Vishnu.'

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SOURCE: Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/