In Hindu cosmology, particularly long periods of time are reckoned in terms of units like "days of Brahma", where one day of Brahma is equal to 4.32 billion "human" years.

I always thought that the "Brahma" here was Brahma as in the creator deity of the Trimurti. However, in another answer, it is claimed that this is actually Brahman, the supreme being that underlies all. Which of these is correct?

My thinking in associating this with the Trimurtic Brahma was that it is said the universe is remade on each day of Brahma, and so the association with Trimurtic Brahma makes sense, since he is the one that does the remaking.

1 Answer 1


A Kalpa is definitely a day of Brahma the creator god, not Brahman the divine essence. This can be gleamed from numerous Hindu scriptures, but for instance here's how the Srimad Bhagavatam describes the kalpa:

Outside of the three worlds, the four yugas multiplied by one thousand comprise one day in the world of Brahmā. A similar period comprises a night of Brahmā, in which the creator of the universe goes to sleep. After the end of Brahmā’s night, the creation of the three worlds begins again in the daytime of Brahmā, and they continue to exist through the life durations of fourteen consecutive Manus, or fathers of mankind.

  • ..then how do you concile this with the VishnuPurana which says that The world, 'maya' as we see it is just a dream of Lord Vishnu? Jun 21, 2014 at 4:30
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    @VineetMenon First of all, what statement in the Vishnu Purana are you referring to? Second of all, to the extent that the Vishnu Purana does discuss maya, how does that conflict with what I quoted? Jun 21, 2014 at 4:59
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    @VineetMenon I looked up the Brahma Samhita, and it looks like it's a Pancharatra Agama that only Gaudiya Vaishnavas believe in. (I'm a Sri Vaishnava.) But in any case, even to the extent that there are accepted scriptures that discuss maya as emerging from Vishnu's yoga-nidra, how does any of that conflict with what I quoted? Jun 24, 2014 at 1:24
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    You answered by saying that the world or 'maya' is a creation of Brahma, while BS as I mentioned says 'maya' is manifested while Vishnu dreams! You cannot claim both to be true, otherwise it I agree with what you said about the school of philosophy, that you follow Vaishnavam. Jun 24, 2014 at 4:42
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    @VineetMenon Let me put it this way: Is the statement "Today I made a table." inconsistent with the world being Vishnu's maya? Of course not, since the table itself would be ultimately part of Vishnu's maya, so that in a deep sense Vishnu is really the one that made the table. In the same way, Brahma may have made the objects in the universe, but that doesn't mean that the universe as a whole isn't Vishnu's maya. Jun 24, 2014 at 8:46

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