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Cause of the universe
Creation and Birth of first humans
Solar systems
Creation, Maintenance and Dissolution
Calculation of time
Age of the present universe


Rig Ved .10.126.8 states “The one who has created this multiform universe and is the cause of its sustenance as well as dissolution, the Lord of the universe in whom the whole world exists, as sustained and then resolved into elementary condition, is the Supreme Spirit God. Believe in no other as the Creator of the universe.”

RigVed 10.129.3 states “In the beginning the whole was enveloped in utter darkness. Nothing was visible. It was like a dark night, matter was in its elementary form. It was like ether. The whole universe completely overspread by darkness, was significantly small compared with the infinite God who thereafter by his Omnipotence, evolved this cosmic world - the effect - out of elementary matter- the cause.”

Yajur Ved 21.2 states “O human beings! All-pervading Being alone is the Lord of the imperishable prakriti - the material cause of the world and of the soul and is yet distinct from both. God is the Creator of the universe - the past, the present and the future.”

Cause of the universe

There are three things that are eternal in the universe. These three have never been created nor will they ever be destroyed. Their main features are outlined as follows:

(a) God: There is only one God. He is the Creator, sustainer and destroyer of the universe. He exists, is conscious and is blissful. God has no shape or size and cannot be seen with our eyes. He is present everywhere and watches and advises us in our souls at all times. He punishes us for our bad deeds and rewards us for our good deeds.

(b) Soul: Soul is the living agent within us and is a separate entity from God. There are many souls. Souls exist and are conscious. Souls enjoy the fruits of their good deeds and suffer as a result of their bad deeds.

(c) Matter: Matter is the material out of which God evolves this universe. Matter exists and is never destroyed. It has no life in it. Being devoid of life and thus intelligence, matter can neither make nor unmake itself, but is always made or unmade by a conscious intelligent being.

God is the efficient cause or the maker of this universe. He makes this universe with the material cause or matter which is called prakriti. Prakriti may be likened to the seed which develops into a tree and branches out like the multiform universe and which goes back into its elementary condition at the time of dissolution of the universe.

There are three things or causes in making something; they are: -

(a) Efficient cause: The one who makes a thing.

(b) Material cause: The matter with which something is made.

(c) Common cause: All such means like knowledge, strength, hands, tools, time and space that are required for the making of a thing.

For example, in the making of a pot, the potter is the efficient cause, clay is the material cause whilst the rod, the wheel and other tools, time, space, light, eyes, hands of the potter, knowledge and the necessary labour make up the common cause. Nothing can be made or unmade without these three causes.

Creation and Birth of first humans

While creating this universe, God follows the following sequence:

(a) Space
(b) Air
(c) Sun and moon
(d) Water
(e) Earth
(f) Plants
(g) Animals and other beings
(h) Humans

It can be easily realised that human beings could not be created until the creation was made inhabitable and the things needed were created first. The creation started with the space, air, sun, moon, water, earth and all other primary things. Once the world was made inhabitable for humans, God created human beings. At the beginning of creation many human beings were born. It is stated in the Vedas “In the beginning there were born many human beings as well as Rishis, i.e., learned seers of nature. They were the progenitors of the human race. By observing nature with reason we come to the same conclusion namely, that human beings are descended from many mothers and fathers and not from one mother and one father.

At the beginning of creation human beings were created as adults, because had God created them as children they would have required adults to bring them up and had God created them as old people, they would not have been able to propagate the human race.

Human beings were first created in Trivishtap otherwise called Tibet. They all belonged to one class namely that of human beings. Later on they were divided into two main classes - the good and the wicked according to their deeds. The good and learned were called Aryas (or Devas) and the ignorant and wicked Dasyus (or Asur).

One billion, nine hundred sixty millions, eight hundred and fifty three thousands and one hundred and five years have passed since the creation of the world and the revelation of the Vedas.

Solar systems

Yajur Ved 3.6 and 33.43 state that this earth with all its waters revolves around the sun. Again the Ved says that the glorious resplendent sun, that gives life and energy to all the world- animate and inanimate - through rain and solar rays and makes all physical objects visible, attracts all other planets and rotates in its own orbit, but does not move around other planets. In each solar system there is one sun that gives light to all the planets such as the earth. As the moon is illuminated by the sun, so are other planets such as the earth illuminated by the sun.

Creation, Maintenance and Dissolution

Just as the night follows the day and the day follows the night, the night precedes the day and the day precedes the night, so does creation follow dissolution and dissolution follows creation, dissolution precedes creation and creation precedes dissolution. This alternate process has been eternally going on. It has neither a beginning nor an end, but just as the beginning and end of a day or of a night are seen, so do creations and dissolutions have beginnings as well as ends. God, soul and matter are eternal by nature, whilst creation and dissolution are also eternal but they follow each other in alternate succession - like the flows of a river which is not continuous throughout the whole year. It dries up and disappears in summer and reappears in the rainy season. Just as the nature, attributes and character of God are eternal, so are God’s works namely creation, sustenance and dissolution of the world.

After the dissolution or pralay, the next creation starts with the help of the above mentioned causes. In other words, the next creation starts after a lapse of time after dissolution. At the time of dissolution all things like sun, moon, earth and planets start disintegrating and change into minute invisible particles. As these particles fill the whole space there is no space left. In the absence of space there is neither any direction nor any time.

When it is time for the next creation, God activates the minute particles with various chemical values which start mixing with each other in exact and set proportion. The nucleus of each particle becomes active. With this starts the process of contraction and solidification.

The first combination of the highly subtle and invisible particles existing separately is called the beginning of the creation. When these particles combine, the space, which was filled with them earlier, starts coming into being. That is why the Vedic texts declare the space as the first body appearing in the process of creation. The various combinations of these particles in different proportions and ways give rise to various stages, grades and conditions, till they reach the gross, visible and multiform stage called universe.

The movement among innumerable particles results in providing effects. The particles of heat and light begin to rise and those of water begin to go down. These forces going up and down react upon each other and their actions and reactions continue in extensive space. The atoms of air interfere with and push these forces. The atoms of ether give their space to move further. All these forces of atoms go on moving speedily, acting and reacting on each other, in a circular form. This revolving mass is called “hiranyagarbha”. This is a highly luminous globular object. It is egg-shaped and throws out very bright light. Each such luminous body separated from the main body becomes an independent solar system, which is really a celestial family made up of one sun, one moon, one earth, nine planets and a number of stars and satellites.

Calculation of time

The period of one creation (srishti) is 4,320 million years. Similarly the period of one dissolution (pralay) is also 4,320 million years. Time is divided into 4 cycles or 4 yugas as follows:

Satyug …………… 1,728, 000 years
Tretayug …………… 1,296, 000 years
Dvaparyug …………… 864, 000 years
Kaliyug …………… 432, 000 years
Total …………… 4,320, 000 years

The four cycles together are known as one chaturyug of 4,320,000 years.

Going further on, 71 chaturyugs are known as one manwantar that is:

One manwantar = 71 x 4,320,000 = 306,720,000 years.

Thus 14 manwantars make up one shrihsti as follows:

(14 x 306,720,000) + (15 x 1,728,000)* = 4,294,080,000 + 25,920,000 years or 4,320,000,000 years.

* NB: Between each manwantar, there are 1,728,000 years. In other words when one manwantar ends and new one begins, the time in between the two manwantars is equal to 1,728,000 years known as yug sandhi. In between 14 manwantars there are 15 of these time frames. In other words 15 yug sandhis.

Age of the present universe

Until year 2005 the present universe has completed 6 manwantars out of 14 manwantars which totals to six manwantars multiplied by number of years in one manwantar. i.e. 6 x 306,720,000 = 1,840,320,000 years.

The seventh manwantar is in progress. The total number of years that have passed in the seventh manwantar is as follows:-

27 chaturyugis out of 71 chaturyugis have passed in other words 27 multiplied by 4,320,000 years (one chaturyug) which totals to 116,640,000 years.

Three yugs, satyug, tretayug and dvaparyug in the 28th chaturyugi have passed i.e. 1,728,000 + 1,296,000 + 864,000 = 3,888,000 years. At present the fourth yug, kaliyug is in progress out of which 5,105 years have already passed.

When we add up the figures in bold then it adds up to one billion, 960 million, 853 thousand and 105 years. This is the age of the present universe.

Adapted from ‘Dharmic Shiksha (Vedic Religious Knowledge) – Form Five’, Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji, 2001.
Copyright: Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji

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