Srimad Bhagavatam 12.04.01-06 - Bhakti Purifies Unlimited Desires of Limited Jiva (download mp3)
by Gaura Vilas Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
kālas te paramāṇv-ādir
kathito yuga-mānaṁ ca
śṛṇu kalpa-layāv api
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: My dear King, I have already described to you the measurements of time, beginning from the smallest fraction measured by the movement of a single atom up to the total life span of Lord Brahmā. I have also discussed the measurement of the different millennia of universal history. Now hear about the time of Brahmā’s day and the process of annihilation.
brahmaṇo dinam ucyate
sa kalpo yatra manavaś
One thousand cycles of four ages constitute a single day of Brahmā, known as a kalpa. In that period, O King, fourteen Manus come and go.
tad-ante pralayas tāvān
brāhmī rātrir udāhṛtā
trayo lokā ime tatra
kalpante pralayāya hi
After one day of Brahmā, annihilation occurs during his night, which is of the same duration. At that time all the three planetary systems are subject to destruction.
eṣa naimittikaḥ proktaḥ
pralayo yatra viśva-sṛk
śete ’nantāsano viśvam
This is called the naimittika, or occasional, annihilation, during which the original creator, Lord Nārāyaṇa, lies down upon the bed of Ananta Śeṣa and absorbs the entire universe within Himself while Lord Brahmā sleeps.
dvi-parārdhe tv atikrānte
tadā prakṛtayaḥ sapta
kalpante pralayāya vai
When the two halves of the lifetime of Lord Brahmā, the most elevated created being, are complete, the seven basic elements of creation are annihilated.
eṣa prākṛtiko rājan
pralayo yatra līyate
aṇḍa-koṣas tu saṅghāto
O King, upon the annihilation of the material elements, the universal egg, comprising the elemental amalgamation of creation, is confronted with destruction.
It is significant that Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the spiritual master of King Parīkṣit, is broadly discussing cosmic annihilation just before the death of his disciple. By attentively hearing the story of universal destruction, one can easily understand one’s personal departure from this temporary world to be an insignificant incident within the gigantic scope of the total material manifestation. By his deep and relevant discussions of the creation of God, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, as an ideal spiritual master, is preparing his disciple for the moment of death.