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Creation and Annihilation of the Universe

"The Lord is both the efficient and material cause for He is simultaneously one with and different from everything."
(Vs 1.4.25 paraphrased)

Krsna's three energies
The three kinds of creation
The nine kinds of creation
Visarga; recreation - creations of Brahma
The creations of the Kumaras and others
The species of life
The four categories of the universal annihilation

...nirvikAraH paro devo vikArAn srjate prabhuH

...The Supreme God is changeless, but creates by the process of changing. (Parama samhita 26.70)

Krsna's three energies

viSNu zaktiH parA proktA
kSetra-jJAkhyA tathA parA
avidyA-karma saMjJAnyA
tRtIyA zaktir ISyate

"The Supreme Lord has diverse and innumerable energies which are beyond our conception; however, great learned sages or liberated souls have studied these energies and have analyzed them into three parts. All of the energies are of visnu-sakti, that is to say they are different potencies of Lord Visnu. The first energy is para, transcendental. Living entities also belong to the superior energy. The other energies, or material energies, are in the mode of ignorance." (Visnu Purana 6.7.61)

1) Antaranga sakti - internal potency (Yoga-maya)

sat - sandhini - eternal potency
cit - samvit - knowledge potency
ananda - hladini - pleasure potency

The spiritual energy is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. It is transcendental and beyond all changes of material nature. More info

2) Bahiranga sakti - external energy (Maha-maya) (BG 7.4)

a) bhumih - earth
b) apah - water
c) analah - fire
d) vayuh - air
e) kham - ether
f) manah - mind
g) buddhih - intelligence
h) ahankara - false ego

The external energy is the exact opposite and is therefore temporary, full of ignorance and misery. It is mundane and always changing.

3) Tatastha sakti - marginal potency (living beings) (BG 7.5; 15.7)

The marginal energy (jiva) also belongs to the spiritual energy, but because he has the independence to be either in the spiritual world or the material world, he is called marginal.

Krsna is the saktimana or the source of all energy. (BG 7.6)

The whole manifestation is the Lord himself by diffusion of His different energies only, namely the internal, external and marginal. Such energy is simultaneously one with and different from the Lord (acintya-bheda-abheda-tattva). (SB 2.9.27 p.)

The material world is also called Durga or jail. Just as the jail is for those people who break the laws of the government, this material world is created for those souls who do not like to accept Krsna's supremacy. Just as the purpose of the jail is to reform criminals, in the same way the purpose of creation is to reform the conditioned soul or to get rid of his criminal desire to use Krsna's property without Krsna. (SB 2.9.19 purport)

The elementary creation of the sixteen items of matter

1) earth
2) water
3) fire
4) air
5) ether
1) nose
2) tongue
3) eyes
4) skin
5) ear
6) mind
1) smell
2) taste
3) sight
4) touch
5) sound

The five gross elements, the five senses, the five sense objects and the mind make up the sixteen items of matter. The creation of these elementary manifestations is a result of the energies of Maha Visnu. All this is called creation or sarga.

The interaction of the modes of nature is called visarga, recreation or secondary creation. The secondary creation is a result of the original ingredients and is performed by Brahma. (SB 2.10.3) After manifesting the universes from the pores of His skin, Maha Visnu expands as Garbhodakasayi Visnu and enters into each and every universe which is half filled with water made from the perspiration from His transcendental body. Because He is the Supreme Person or Nara and the water from His body is called Nara, because he lies on this water He is called Narayana. While lying on His bed of mystic slumber the Lord desired to manifest varieties of living entities from Himself alone.

The Lord divides His potency into three divisions:

1) Adhidaiva - controlling entities
2) Adhiyatma - controlled entities
3) Adhibhuta - material bodies or forms of matter

SB 2.10.15-30:

From the sky situated within the body of the manifesting Maha Visnu sense energy, mental force and bodily strength are all generated, as well as the sum total of the fountainhead of the total living force. (This explains how everything originally comes from Maha Visnu).

When the total energy is in motion, all other entities move, and when the total energy stops endeavoring, all other living entities stop sensual activities. The individual entities are completely dependent on the total energy of the Lord, just as every electrical instrument depends of the power house.

Being agitated by the virata purusa, the living force generated hunger and thirst and when He desired to eat and drink the mouth opened.

From the mouth the palate became manifested as well as the tongue. After this all the different tastes came into existence. The controlling deity Varuna also became manifest along with the tongue.

When the Supreme desired to speak, speeches were vibrated from the mouth. Then the controlling deity of speech Fire (Agni) was generated from the mouth.

When the Supreme desired to smell odors, the nostrils and respiration were generated, the nasal instrument and odors also came into existence, and the controlling deity of air, carrying smell, also became manifested.

When the Lord desired to see the eyes, the Sun, the power of vision and the object of sight all became manifested.

Because of the desire of the great sages to know, the ears, the power of hearing, and the objects of hearing became manifested. The controlling deities of directions also became manifested.

When there was a desire to perceive the physical characteristics of matter, the skin, the skin pores and hairs on the body as well as their controlling deities (the trees), were generated.

When the supreme Person desired to work, the hands and their controlling deity Indra became manifested and acts dependent on the hands were also generated.

Because of His desire to control movement the legs became manifested and the controlling deity Visnu was generated.

Sexual pleasure and the genital organ along with the controlling deity Prajapati developed.

When He desired to evacuate the refuse of eatables, the evacuating hole developed along with the controlling deity Mitra.

When He desired to move from one body to another, the navel and the air of departure and death (apana vayu) were created.

When He desired food and drink the abdomen, the intestines and arteries became manifest. The controlling deities, the rivers and the oceans, are the source of their sustenance and keep these organs healthy.

When there was a desire to think about the activities of his potent energy, the heart, the mind, the moon, determination and desire all became manifested. The mind's activities begin only when the heart becomes manifested. The heart becomes manifested when the Supersoul desires to remind the soul of his past activities and to see His creation.

The whole explanation and description given above is on the subject of the absolute dependence of the living entities and absolute independence of the Supreme Lord. Everything must first be desired by the Lord before the subordinate living entity can act upon it. The living entity can only see when the Lord sees, he can only smell when the Lord smells, etc.

The Visvarupa, the gigantic universal form of the Lord, is not an eternal form. It is manifested after the ingredients of the material creation in each universe by Garbhodakasayi Visnu. (SB 3.6.4)

The conception of the Visvarupa, the universal form is especially meant for the neophytes who cannot understand the transcendental form of the Lord. For them He manifests a material form or the universal form. (SB 1.3.3 purport)

SB 2.5.22-24: After the incarnation of the first purusa (Karanodakasayi Visnu) the mahat-tattva (sum total of material energy) becomes manifested. Then time is generated and in course of time false ego appears and transforms into three qualities.

1) Goodness - vaikarika ahankara
2) Passion - taijasa ahankara
3) Ignorance - tamasa ahankara

Manifestations of false ego in ignorance

SB 2.5.24-29:

From the darkness of false ego five elements are generated.

1) Sky becomes manifested first. Its subtle form is the quality of sound.

2) Because sky is transformed air is generated with its subtle quality of touch. (It also contains the quality of sound).

3) When air is transformed fire is generated with its subtle quality of shape or form. (Fire also contains the qualities of sound and touch).

4) When fire is transformed water is generated with its subtle quality of taste. (Water also contains the qualities of sound, touch and form).

5) When water is transformed earth is generated with its subtle quality of smell. (Earth also contains the qualities of sound, touch form and taste).

Subtle element Gross element

Sound is the subtle quality of sky
Touch is the subtle quality of air
Form is the subtle quality of fire
Taste is the subtle quality of water
Smell is the subtle quality of earth

Each of the elements evolve from subtle to gross. The evolving element has the quality of the previous element as well as its own. Hence the sky, the subtlest of the five gross elements has one quality. As the different elements evolve they have the qualities of the previous elements and so earth, the last element to manifest has all the qualities of all the elements. (SB 3.5.32-36)

Sky - sound
Air - sound, touch
Fire - sound, touch, form
Water - sound, touch, form, taste
Earth - sound, touch, form, taste, smell

The construction of the whole material world is prominently made by three elements, namely earth, water and fire. But the living force is produced by sky, air and water. So water is the common element in both the gross and subtle forms of the material creation. Water is the most prominent element and is therefore the principle element of all the five. (SB 2.10.31 purport)

Manifestations of false ego in passion

SB 2.5.31: From false ego in the mode of passion all of the sense organs are generated. There are two kinds of senses:

Knowledge acquiring senses
1) ears
2) skin
3) eyes
4) tongue
5) nose
Working senses
1) hands
2) legs
3) voice
4) anus
5) genitals

The intelligence and the living energy are also generated.

Manifestations of false ego in goodness

SB 2.5.30: From false ego in the mode of goodness the mind is generated and becomes manifested. The ten demigods controlling bodily movements are also manifested.

The five knowledge acquiring senses and their controlling deities:

1) Ears - sense of hearing - controlling deities of directions
2) Skin - sense of touch - controlling deity of air, Vayu
3) Eyes - sense of sight - controlling deity the Sun god
4) Tongue - sense of taste - controlling deity of water, Varuna
5) Nose - sense of smell - controlling deity the Asvini Kumaras

The five working senses and their controlling deities: (e.g. SB 2.10.30, 3.1.40, 3.26.61, 4.24.35, 11.3.16p.)

1) Voice - Agni
2) Hands - Indra, king of heaven
3) Legs - Lord Visnu
4) Anus - Mitra
5) Genitals - Brahma

Aniruddha - mind - Moon god
Pradyumna - intelligence - Brahma
Sankarsana - false ego - Siva

The sense of perception is of two kinds; touch and itching.

The controlling deity of air in the body is called Anila. Anila also controls the sense of touch.

The controlling deity of hairs on the body is called Osadhya. He also controls the itching sensation.

The controlling deities of the trees control the hairs on the body.

Vayu, the controller of air, controls smell because smell is carried by air.

The controlling deities of the rivers control the nervous system.

The ocean is considered to be the controlling deity of the abdomen.

The three kinds of creation

viSNos tu trINi rUpANi
puruSAkhyAny atho viduH
ekaM tu mahataH sraSTR
dvitIyaM tv aNDa-saMsthitam
tRtIyaM sarva-bhUta-sthaM
tAni jJAtvA vimucyate

"For material creation, Lord Krsna's plenary expansion assumes three Visnus. The first one, Maha-Visnu, creates the total material energy, known as the mahat-tattva. The second, Garbhodakasayi Visnu, enters into all the universes to create diversities in each of them. The third, Ksirodakasayi Visnu, is diffused as the all-pervading Supersoul in all the universes and is known as Paramatma. He is present even within the atoms. Anyone who knows these three Visnus can be liberated from material entanglement." (Satvata tantra, quoted in BG 7.4 p., Laghu Bhagavatamrta, Purva-khanda 2.9)

SB 2.10.46 purport: also see 3.5.23, p., 3.11.42, p., 3.20.17, p.

1. Mahakalpa: the creation of the sixteen elementary elements, which are all products of the false ego, created by Maha Visnu. (Maha Visnu creates the total material energy). These elements form cosmic eggs (jagad-aNDa). Visnu Purana 1.2.54-55 (Wilson):

puruSAdhiSThita tvAc ca pradhAnA nugraheNa ca
mahad Adya vizeSAntA hy aNDam utpAdayanti te
tat krameNa vivRddhaM saj jala budbuda vatsamam... 55

"(Having combined, therefore, with one another, they assumed, through their mutual association, the character of one mass of entire unity;) and from the direction of spirit, with the acquiescence of the indiscrete Principle, Intellect and the rest, to the gross elements inclusive, formed an egg, which gradually expanded like a bubble of water." (Here the expansion of the universe is suggested.)

2. Vikalpa: the creation of Brahma by Garbhodakasayi Visnu and the dispersion of the material elements. (Garbhodakasayi Visnu creates the diversities in each universe).

3. Kalpa: the creation by Brahma in each day of his life after waking from his sleep.

Lord Brahma's one day is called a kalpa, the creation of Brahma is called vikalpa and the creation of the total creation is called mahakalpa.

In the Skanda Purana, Brahma's thirty days are mentioned:

1) Sveta Varaha Kalpa
2) Nilalohita Kalpa
3) Vamadeva Kalpa
4) Gathantara Kalpa
5) Raurava Kalpa
6) Prana Kalpa
7) Brhat Kalpa
8) Kandarpa Kalpa
9) Sadyata Kalpa
10) Isana Kalpa
11) Dhyana Kalpa
12) Sarasvata Kalpa
13) Udana Kalpa
14) Garuda Kalpa
15) Kaurma Kalpa
16) Narasimha Kalpa
17) Samadhi Kalpa
18) Agneya Kalpa
19) Visnuja Kalpa
20) Saura Kalpa
21) Soma Kalpa
22) Bhavana Kalpa
23) Supuma Kalpa
24) Vaikuntha Kalpa
25) Arcisa Kalpa
26) Vali Kalpa
27) Vairaja Kalpa
28) Gauri Kalpa
29) Mahesvara Kalpa
30) Paitr Kalpa

Each day of Brahma is a duration of one thousand divya yugas. A divya yuga comprises of one thousand of the four yugas. The same duration comprises his night.

The nine kinds of creation

SB 3.10.15-29:

1) The first creation is of the Mahat-tattva (by Mahavisnu)

In the first creation the modes of nature mix and give rise to false ego.

2) False ego or identification of the body, along with the material ingredients, material knowledge and material activities arise (working senses and knowledge acquiring senses).

3) The sense perceptions are created and from these the material elements are generated.

i) sound - sky
ii) touch - air
iii) sight - fire
iv) taste - water
v) smell - earth

4) The creation of knowledge and working capacity.

5) The controlling deities become manifest by the interaction of the mode of goodness.

6) The sixth creation is the ignorant darkness of the living entity, by which the master acts as a fool.

7) The seventh creation is that of immovable living beings - plants and trees.

8) The eight creation brings into existence animal species comprising twenty eight groups.

9) The ninth creation gives rise to the human beings which belong to only one species. They are predominantly under the influence of passion. These last three creations as well as the tenth creation are called vaikrta creations and they are different from the previous creations called prakrta. Creation of Kumaras belongs to both. 10) There is also tenth creation, of demigods, who comprise eight species. (There are two sets of devas. Primordial ones like Agni, Varuna, Vayu, etc., are born from the cosmic shell during the fifth stage of creation. Others are born from Brahma and his rishi sons during the ninth stage. There is an example of yaksas who descend in different genealogical lines, according to Mahabharata and Agni Purana. Some appeared at the same time as Brahma, from out of the shell of the universe. Some descended from Kasyapa and some from Pulastya.)

Visarga; recreation - creations of Brahma

SB 3.10.7-9: Sitting on top of the lotus, which was spread throughout the universe, Brahma contemplated on how to create all the planets. Brahma then entered in the whorl of the lotus and divided it into three divisions and then into fourteen divisions.

The seeds of all the planets in the universe were impregnated in the lotus by the Supreme Lord. The material world and the living entities were already generated in seedling forms by the Lord and Brahma was to disseminate the seedlings all over the universe. (SB 3.10.7 purport)

The creations of the Kumaras and others

SB 3.12.2-57:

Brahma first created the nescient engagements which are five in number.

1) Self-deception - Moha
2) The sense of death - Andha Tamisra
3) Anger after frustration - Tamisra
4) The sense of false ownership - Maha Moha
5) Forgetfulness of one's real identity - Tamas

Before creating the living entities in their different species of life, their living conditions were created by Brahma.

Brahma then gave up his body and began a new term of creation.

In the beginning Brahma created the four Kumaras; Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanat Kumara.

Brahma asked his four sons to generate progeny. The Kumaras declined, which made Brahma very angry. He tried to control his anger but it came out from between his eyebrows in the form of a child in a mixed colour of red and blue. The child was crying and was therefore called Rudra. He was given eleven places to reside. Rudra then began to increase the progeny of the universe with offspring resembling himself in every way. They attempted to devour the universe, which made Brahma very afraid. He told Rudra to go and perform penance and wait for the time of dissolution, when his services would be called upon.

Brahma then created ten sons:

1) Narada - born from Brahma's deliberation
2) Vasistha - born from Brahma's breathing
3) Daksa - born from Brahma's thumb
4) Bhrgu - born from Brahma's touch
5) Kratu - born from Brahma's hand
6) Pulastya - born from brahma's ears
7) Angira - born from Brahma's mouth
8) Atri - born from brahma's eyes
9) Marici - born from Brahma's mind
10) Pulaha - born from Brahma's navel

Religion was manifested from his breast and irreligion from his back.

- lust and desire became manifest from his heart
- anger from his eyebrows
- greed from his lips
- the power of speaking from his mouth
- the ocean from his genitals
- abominable activities from his anus

Kardama was manifested from his shadow.

Brahma had a daughter named Vak born from his body. His mind was attracted sinfully to her and his sons prayed to the Supreme Lord for the good sense of Brahma.

Brahma gave up his body of sinful thought which became the dangerous fog of darkness.

The four Vedas, the four principles of religion, the four social orders, medical science, military art, musical art, architectural science all emanated one after another. The fifth Veda (Purana) as well as histories all became manifest from his different mouths in systematic order. The eight varieties of fire sacrifice, the four divisions of retired life, the four divisions of renounced life, the science of logical argument, law and order, and moral codes all became manifest from his mouth. The pranava omkara was manifested from his heart. The art of literary expression usnik was generated from his hair. The principle Vedic hymn, gayatri, from his skin, tristup from the flesh, anustup from the veins, and jagati from his bones. The art of writing verse, pankti, came from the bone marrow, and brhati, another type of verse, was generated from the life-breath. Brahma's soul was manifested as the touch alphabets (sparsas), his body as the vowels, his senses as the sibilant alphabets, his strength as the intermediate alphabets and his sensual activities as the seven notes of music.

When Brahma saw that in spite of the presence of the sages there was no sufficient increase in the population, he seriously began to consider how the population could be increased. While he was thus contemplating, two forms were generated from his body. They were Svayambhuva Manu and Satarupa. In due course of time Manu begot two sons, Uttanapada and Priyavrata, and three daughters, Akuti, Devahuti and Prasuti. Manu gave Akuti to the sage Ruci, Devahuti to Kardama and Prasuti to Daksa. From them, all the world filled with population.

SB 3.20.18-50:

Brahma first created the five kinds of ignorance from his shadow (tamisra, andha-tamisra, tamas, moha and maha-moha).

Out of disgust, Brahma threw off the body of ignorance, which became the night. The Yaksas and Raksasas took possession of that body. Night is the source of hunger and thirst. Overpowered by hunger and thirst they ran to devour Brahma and Brahma became very afraid and asked to be spared.

He then created the chief demigods. He dropped before them the form of daytime and the demigods sportingly took possession of it.

Brahma then gave birth to the demons from his buttocks. They were very fond of sex and even approached him for copulation. Brahma first laughed at their stupidity, but seeing their determination grew indignant and ran away to approach the Lord for protection. The Lord ordered him to give up that body, which took the form of the evening twilight. The demons became bewildered and took the twilight to be a beautiful woman and seized her.

Brahma then evolved the Gandharvas and Apsaras.

Then he evolved from his sloth the ghosts and goblins. The ghosts took possession of the body thrown off in the form of yawning by Brahma. (This is the sleep that causes drooling. Ghosts attack such unclean people who are subject to be haunted or to go insane.)

Brahma then evolved the Sadhyas and Pitas from his own invisible form, from his navel.

Brahma then evolved the Siddhas and Vidyadharas and gave them his form known as Antardhana. (Antardhana means that these living creatures can be perceived to be present, but they cannot be seen.)

Seeing his reflection in the water and admiring himself, Brahma evolved the Kimpurusas as well as the Kinnaras out of that reflection.

Brahma once laid down with his body at full length. In a sullen mood he gave up that body which transformed into snakes.

From his mind Brahma evolved the Manus who promote welfare activities and Brahma gave them his own human form.

The species of life

jalajA nava-lakSANi
sthAvarA lakSa-viMzati
kRmayo rudra-saGkhyakAH
pakSiNAM daza-lakSaNam
trimzal-lakSANi pazavaH
catur lakSANi mAnuSAH

"There are 900,000 species living in the water. There are also 2,000,000 nonmoving entities such as trees and plants. There are 1.100,000 species of insects and reptiles and there are 1,000,000 species of birds. As far as animals are concerned there are 3,000,000 varieties and there are 400,000 human species." (Padma Purana)

SB 2.10.37-40: Brahma and his sons like Daksa, the periodical heads like Vaivasvata Manu, the demigods like Indra, Candra and Varuna, the great sages like Bhrgu, Vyasa and Vasistha, the Gandharvas, Vidyadharas, Asuras, Yaksas, Kinnaras and apsaras, the serpents, the monkey-shaped Kimpurusas, the human beings, the inhabitants of Matrloka, the demons, Pisacas, ghosts, spirits, lunatics and evil spirits, the good and evil stars, goblins, the animals in the forest, the birds, the household animals, the reptiles, the mountains, the entities born from the embryo, from eggs, from perspiration, from seeds and all others, whether they be in water, land or air, in happiness or distress. All of them, according to their past deeds are created by the Supreme Lord.

SB 5.5.21-22: Beings who have a living force (vegetables, trees and plants), are superior to earth, stone or dull matter, etc. Superior to non-moving beings are snakes and worms, etc., or beings that move. Superior to snakes and worms are animals with developed intelligence. Superior to animals are human beings. Superior to human beings are ghosts because they have no material (gross) bodies. Superior to ghosts are Gandharvas. Superior to Gandharvas are the Siddhas. Superior to the Siddhas are the Kinnaras. Superior to the Kinnaras are the demons. Superior to the demons are the demigods. Of the demigods Indra is the topmost. Brahma's direct sons like Daksa, etc., are superior to Indra. Among Brahma's sons Siva is the most elevated.

SB 6.6.*: Prajapati Daksa begot sixty daughters in the womb of his wife Asikni. These daughters were given in charity to different people to increase the population. Ten daughters were given to Dharmaraja, thirteen to Kasyapa, and twenty-seven to the moon god. In this way fifty daughters were distributed. Of the other ten, two were given to Bhuta, Angira and Krsasva and the remaining four were given to Kasyapa. Thus Kasyapa got seventeen of Daksa's daughters. It was because of the union of these daughters with various exalted personalities, that the entire universe was filled with various kinds of living entities in various bodies like humans, demigods, birds, etc.

The four categories of the universal annihilation

There are four kinds of annihilation summarized as constant, occasional, material and final.

1) At every moment time invisibly transforms the bodies of all created beings and all other manifestations of matter. This process of transformation causes the living entity to undergo the constant annihilation of birth and death.

"Experts in the subtle workings of nature, O subduer of the enemy, have declared that there are continuous processes of creation and annihilation that all created beings, beginning with Brahma, constantly undergo. (SB 12.4.35)

"For a person who is suffering in the fire of countless miseries and who desires to cross the insurmountable ocean of material existence, there is no suitable boat except that of cultivating devotion to the transcendental taste for the narrations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's pastimes." (SB 12.4.40)

2) One thousand cycles of the four yugas constitute one day of Brahma. During his night Brahma sleeps and the three planetary systems meet destruction. This is called naimittika or occasional annihilation. (SB 12.4.2-4)

When Brahma's night appears, the sun and the moon are without glare. The sun and the moon do not vanish, they appear in the remaining portion of the universe. The devastation takes place due to fire emanating from the mouth of Sankarsana. The great sages like Bhrgu and other inhabitants of Maharloka, transport themselves to Janaloka, being disturbed by the warmth of the blazing fire that rages throughout the universe. At the beginning of devastation all the seas become ferocious and in no time all the three worlds become full of water. The fire from Sankarsana's mouth rages for 36,000 years. Then for another 36,000 years there are torrents of rain with wind, etc., and the oceans overflow. These reactions for 72,000 years are the beginning of the partial devastation of the three worlds. When Brahma goes to sleep, the three worlds below Brahmaloka are submerged in the water of devastation. In his sleeping condition Brahma dreams about the Garbhodakasayi Visnu and takes instruction from the Lord how to recreate the devastated area.

There is also a partial annihilation up to the earthly planet after the period of each Manu.

3) When Brahma's life span is finished there occurs the prakrtika or total material annihilation. At that time the entire universal egg is destroyed.

"At the time of devastation, when Lord Ananta desires to destroy the entire creation, He becomes slightly angry. Then from between His eyebrows, the three-eyed Rudra carrying a trident becomes manifested. This Rudra who is known as Sankarsana is the embodiment of the eleven Rudras. He appears to devastate the creation." (SB 5.25.3, 2.10.43)

As the annihilation approaches there will be no rain on the earth for one hundred years. Drought will lead to famine and the starving populace will consume one another. Thus they will gradually be destroyed. The sun will then drink the water of the oceans, of the living bodies and of the earth itself. But the devastating sun will not give rain in return. Next the fire of annihilation will flare up from the mouth of Lord Sankarsana. Carried by the mighty wind, this fire will burn throughout the universe, scorching the lifeless cosmic shell. Burned from all sides, from above by the blazing sun and from below by the fire of Lord Sankarsana, the universal sphere will glow like a burning ball of cow dung. A great and terrible wind of destruction will begin to blow for more than one hundred years, and the sky, covered with dust, will turn grey. After that, groups of multicolored clouds will gather, roaring terribly with thunder, and will pour down floods of rain for one hundred years. At that time, the shell of the universe will fill up with water, forming a single cosmic ocean. As the entire universe is flooded, the water will rob the earth of its unique quality of fragrance, and the element earth, deprived of its distinguishing quality, will be dissolved. The element fire then seizes the taste from water and water merges into fire. Air seizes form from fire and fire merges into air. Ether then seizes the quality of touch from air and air merges into ether. False ego in ignorance seizes sound from ether. False ego in passion seizes the senses and false ego in goodness seizes the demigods. The mahat-tattva seizes false ego and thus everything is wound up. (SB 12.4.7-19)

4) When a person achieves knowledge of his relationship with Krsna or when he understands his factual identity, he is then liberated from the material nature. This is called final annihilation or atyantika. (SB 12.4.34)

Creation in the Vedic tradition - an encyclopedic entry
Vedic Planetarium - walk through the universe
Three gunas

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