Lifetime of Lord Brahma

September 22, 2022 in Articles by Laksman dasa

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 1

The duration of a day in the life of Brahmā is 4,320,000,000 solar years. This is stated also in the Bhagavad-gītā.

SB 1.6.30, Translation and Purport:

After 4,300,000,000 solar years, when Brahmā awoke to create again by the will of the Lord, all the ṛṣis like Marīci, Aṅgirā, Atri and so on were created from the transcendental body of the Lord, and I also appeared along with them.

The duration of a day in the life of Brahmā is 4,320,000,000 solar years. This is stated also in the Bhagavad-gītā. So, for this period Brahmājī rests in yoga-nidrā within the body of the Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, the generator of Brahmā. Thus, after the sleeping period of Brahmā, when there is again creation by the will of the Lord through the agency of Brahmā, all the great ṛṣis again appear from different parts of the transcendental body, and Nārada also appears. This means that Nārada appears in the same transcendental body, just as a man awakes from sleep in the same body. Śrī Nārada is eternally free to move in all parts of the transcendental and material creations of the Almighty. He appears and disappears in his own transcendental body, which is without distinction of body and soul, unlike conditioned beings.

There are two types of dissolution of the manifested cosmos. At the end of every 4,320,000,000 solar years, when Brahmā, the lord of one particular universe, goes to sleep, there is one annihilation.

SB 1.10.21, Translation and Purport:

They said: Here He is, the original Personality of Godhead as we definitely remember Him. He alone existed before the manifested creation of the modes of nature, and in Him only, because He is the Supreme Lord, all living beings merge, as if sleeping at night, their energy suspended.

There are two types of dissolution of the manifested cosmos. At the end of every 4,320,000,000 solar years, when Brahmā, the lord of one particular universe, goes to sleep, there is one annihilationAnd at the end of Lord Brahmā’s life, which takes place at the end of Brahmā’s one hundred years of age, in our calculation at the end of 8,640,000,000 x 30 x 12 x 100 solar years, there is complete annihilation of the entire universe, and in both the periods both the material energy called the mahat-tattva and the marginal energy called jīva-tattva merge in the person of the Supreme Lord. The living beings remain asleep within the body of the Lord until there is another creation of the material world, and that is the way of the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the material manifestation.

The material creation is effected by the interaction of the three modes of material nature set in action by the Lord, and therefore it is said here that the Lord existed before the modes of material nature were set in motion. In the Śruti-mantra it is said that only Viṣṇu, the Supreme Lord, existed before the creation, and there was no Brahmā, Śiva or other demigods. Viṣṇu means the Mahā-Viṣṇu, who is lying on the Causal Ocean. By His breathing only all the universes are generated in seeds and gradually develop into gigantic forms with innumerable planets within each and every universe. The seeds of universes develop into gigantic forms in the way seeds of a banyan tree develop into numberless banyan trees.

This Mahā-Viṣṇu is the plenary portion of the Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is mentioned in the Brahma-saṁhitā as follows:

“Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the original Personality of Godhead, Govinda, whose plenary portion is the Mahā-Viṣṇu. All the Brahmās, the heads of the universes, live only for the period of His exhaling, after the universes are generated from the pores of His transcendental body.” (Bs. 5.58)

Thus Govinda, or Lord Kṛṣṇa, is the cause of Mahā-Viṣṇu also. The ladies talking about this Vedic truth must have heard it from authoritative sources. An authoritative source is the only means of knowing about transcendental subject matter definitely. There is no alternative.

The merging of the living beings into the body of Mahā-Viṣṇu takes place automatically at the end of Brahmā’s one hundred years. But that does not mean that the individual living being loses his identity. The identity is there, and as soon as there is another creation by the supreme will of the Lord, all the sleeping, inactive living beings are again let loose to begin their activities in the continuation of past different spheres of life. It is called suptotthita naya, or awakening from sleep and again engaging in one’s respective continuous duty. When a man is asleep at night, he forgets himself, what he is, what his duty is and everything of his waking state. But as soon as he awakens from slumber, he remembers all that he has to do and thus engages himself again in his prescribed activities. The living beings also remain merged in the body of Mahā-Viṣṇu during the period of annihilation, but as soon as there is another creation they arise to take up their unfinished work. This is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (8.18-20) (BG 8.18).

The Lord existed before the creative energy was set in action. The Lord is not a product of the material energy. His body is completely spiritual, and there is no difference between His body and Himself. Before creation the Lord remained in His abode, which is absolute and one.

SB Canto 4

Although Lord Brahmā has a long life-span (4,320,000,000 years constitute twelve hours in a day of Brahmā), Brahmā is afraid of death and consequently engages in the devotional service of the Lord.

SB 4.24.67, Purport:

An advanced devotee, or a perfect human being who is actually wise and learned, cannot give up his service at the lotus feet of the Lord. Although Lord Brahmā has a long life-span (4,320,000,000 years constitute twelve hours in a day of Brahmā), Brahmā is afraid of death and consequently engages in the devotional service of the Lord. Similarly, all the Manus who appear and disappear during the day of Brahmā are also engaged in the Lord’s devotional service. In Brahmā’s one day, fourteen Manus appear and disappear. The first Manu is Svāyambhuva Manu. Each Manu lives for seventy-one yugas, each consisting of some 4,320,000 years. Although the Manus have such a long life-span, they still prepare for the next life by engaging in the devotional service of the Lord.

SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)

The gopīs felt that those same nights dragged on forever, as if each night were equal to a day of Brahmā.

SB 11.12.11, Translation:

Dear Uddhava, all of those nights that the gopīs spent with Me, their most dearly beloved, in the land of Vṛndāvana seemed to them to pass in less than a moment. Bereft of My association, however, the gopīs felt that those same nights dragged on forever, as if each night were equal to a day of Brahmā.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Preface and Introduction

Lord Brahmā lives only for the duration of one breath, and according to our time scale 4,320,000,000 years constitute only twelve hours for Brahmā, and Brahmā lives one hundred of his years.

CC Introduction:

We cannot imagine, however, the duration of one breath of Mahā-Viṣṇu, for within one breath all the universes are created and annihilated. This is stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā. Lord Brahmā lives only for the duration of one breath, and according to our time scale 4,320,000,000 years constitute only twelve hours for Brahmā, and Brahmā lives one hundred of his years. Yet the whole life of Brahmā is contained within one breath of Mahā-Viṣṇu. Thus, it is not possible for us to imagine the breathing power of Mahā-Viṣṇu, who is but a partial manifestation of Lord Nityānanda. This the author of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta explains in the ninth verse.

CC Adi-lila

From the beginning of Brahmā’s day of 4,320,000,000 years, six Manus appear and disappear before Lord Kṛṣṇa appears.

CC Adi 3.10, Translation and Purport:

At the end of the Dvāpara-yuga of the twenty-eighth divya-yuga, Lord Kṛṣṇa appears on earth with the full paraphernalia of His eternal Vraja-dhāma.

Now is the term of Vaivasvata Manu, during which Lord Caitanya appears. First Lord Kṛṣṇa appears at the close of the Dvāpara-yuga of the twenty-eighth divya-yuga, and then Lord Caitanya appears in the Kali-yuga of the same divya-yuga. Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Caitanya appear once in each day of Brahmā, or once in fourteen manv-antaras, each of seventy-one divya-yugas in duration.

From the beginning of Brahmā’s day of 4,320,000,000 years, six Manus appear and disappear before Lord Kṛṣṇa appears. Thus 1,975,320,000 years of the day of Brahmā elapse before the appearance of Lord Kṛṣṇa. This is an astronomical calculation according to solar years.

CC Madhya-lila

One day of Brahmā consists of the four yugas multiplied a thousand times—or, according to solar calculations, 4,320,000,000 years—and such also is the duration of his night.

CC Madhya 20.305, Translation and Purport:

“If in a kalpa a suitable living entity is not available to take charge of Brahmā’s post, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself personally expands and becomes Lord Brahmā.

One day of Brahmā consists of the four yugas multiplied a thousand times—or, according to solar calculations, 4,320,000,000 years—and such also is the duration of his night. One year of Brahmā’s life consists of 360 such days and nights, and Brahmā lives for one hundred such years. Such is the life of a Brahmā.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Lord Brahmā only lives for the duration of one breath, and according to our time scale 4,320,000,000 years constitute only twelve hours of Brahmā, and Brahmā lives one hundred of his years.

Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter Intoduction:

Brahmā is born from the navel of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is but a partial manifestation of the Mahā-Viṣṇu. Countless universes reside like seeds within the skin pores of the Mahā-Viṣṇu, and when He exhales, they all are manifest. In the material world we have no experience of such a thing, but we do experience a perverted reflection in the phenomenon of perspiration. We cannot imagine, however, the duration of one breath of the Mahā-Viṣṇu, for within one breath all of the universes are created and annihilated. Lord Brahmā only lives for the duration of one breath, and according to our time scale 4,320,000,000 years constitute only twelve hours of Brahmā, and Brahmā lives one hundred of his years. Yet the whole life of Brahmā is contained within one breath of the Mahā-Viṣṇu. Thus, it is not possible for us to imagine the breathing power of the Supreme Lord. That Mahā-Viṣṇu is but a partial manifestation of Kṛṣṇa.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Brahmā’s one daytime duration, twelve hours ours, is calculated to be forty-three hundred thousands of years multiplied by one thousand.

Lecture on BG 9.3 — Melbourne, April 21, 1976:

Prabhupāda: In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that even if you go to the topmost planet, there is also birth, death, old age and disease. You cannot avoid this. So long you shall remain within this material world, you have to accept these four principles of material condition, that you’ll have to die. Either you live for ten thousands of years or ten millions of years, it doesn’t matter; you have to die. Even Brahmā dies, who has got many millions of years. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Brahmā’s one day, daytime duration, which is calculated, our twelve hours. There are twelve hours, day, twelve hours, night. That is twenty-four hours. So Brahmā’s one daytime duration, twelve hours ours, is calculated to be forty-three hundred thousands of years multiplied by one thousand. Now calculate what is the… That is forty-three hundred thousands of years.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: 4,000,300,000.

Prabhupāda: Four billion, three hundred years or something like. That is our… As our twelve hours, Brahmā’s twelve hours is that. Then add twelve hours again, four hundred billion. That means altogether eight billions of years. That is one day, Brahmā’s. Then calculate one month. Then calculate one year. Such hundred years he lives. So that is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Sahasrayuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ (BG 8.17). Sahasra-yuga-paryantam. One yuga means forty-three lakhs of, hundred thousands of years. Sahasra means thousand times. That is… Everything is stated there. You can learn. You can understand. So that is called Brahmaloka. And it is also stated, ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino ‘rjuna (BG 8.16). Even if you reach to the Brahmaloka… You can get long duration of life. There is no doubt. But again, punar āvartinaḥ, you have to die and you have to go to another body and another planet.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Now calculate, I have already given the duration of one day, twelve hours, of Brahmā means 4,300,000 years multiplied by one thousand.

Lecture on SB 6.1.3 — Melbourne, May 22, 1975:

Devotee (7): How long do you say it is before Kṛṣṇa comes to this planet again in His physical, in human form?

Prabhupāda: Now calculate, I have already given the duration of one day, twelve hours, of Brahmā means 4,300,000 years multiplied by one thousand. What it comes? 4,300,000 years multiplied by one thousand.

Devotees: Four thousand, three hundred million.

Prabhupāda: No, no.

Paramahaṁsa: Four billion, three hundred million.

Prabhupāda: Oh, difference of opinion. (laughter)

Madhudviṣa: In Australia they calculate different. (laughter)

Prabhupāda: Anyway, what is your Australian calculation? Let me know.

Madhudvīṣa: It’s true. Their billion is something else.

Prabhupāda: Oh. Anyway, I give you the right figure, four million, according to American or English calculation, (laughter) 4,300,000 years and multiply it by one thousand. Then what it comes according to English calculation?

Paramahaṁsa: 4,300,000.

Prabhupāda: That is twelve hours. And add again twelve hours, night. Then eight billion…?

Paramahaṁsa: 600,000,000.

Prabhupāda: So Kṛṣṇa comes after this period. (laughter) In one day, after one day of Brahma, He appears.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

This one day, twelve hours, within this twelve hours, there are fourteen Manus. Twelve hours of Brahmā means 4, 3, five zero, eight zero. What is that, 4, 3, eight zeroes? What is the calculation according to your arithmetic, 4, 3, eight zeroes?

Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.318-329 — New York, December 22, 1966:

Prabhupāda: So far other incarnations are concerned, we have somehow counted three or say ten, like that. But here, when we speak of manvantarāvatāra, they are countless.” Asaṅkhya. Asaṅkhya means countless. Nobody can count how many manvantarāvatāras are there. How it is so? He is explaining. Brahmāra eka-dine haya caudda manvantara: “In one day of Brahmā, in one day of Brahmā…” That you have calculated according to Bhagavad-gītā: sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ (BG 8.17). Brahmaṇo, or Brahmā, arhat. Arhat means one day, twelve hours. What is that twelve hours according to our calculation? Sahasra-yuga-paryantam, sahasra, one thousand yugas. And what is the duration of yuga? Four million, three hundred thousands of years, one yuga. Such one thousand, that makes Brahmā’s one day, twelve hours. Similarly, night, twelve hours. Similarly, one month. In this way he has got hundred years’ duration of life.

Now, this one day, twelve hours, within this twelve hours, there are fourteen Manus. Twelve hours of Brahmā means 4, 3, five zero, eight zero. What is that, 4, 3, eight zeroes? What is the calculation according to your arithmetic, 4, 3, eight zeroes? Huh?

Hayagrīva: 4,300,000,000.

Rūpānuga: Four billion three hundred and eight.

Prabhupāda: 4, 3, eight zeroes.

Devotee: 4,300,000,000.

Rūpānuga: Yes. That’s right.

Prabhupāda: Four billion…

Rūpānuga: …three hundred million.

Prabhupāda: 4,300,000,000. That’s all right. Within that 4,300,000,000’s divide into fourteen. That is the duration of one Manu. Four billion, three hundred millions divide into fourteen. That will make… That one part is the duration of a Manu.

So anyway, fourteen Manus are taking place in one day of Brahmā.