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According to the Matysa Purana, the events of the Srimad Bhagavatam took place during the Sarasvata Kalpa.

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When was the Sarasvata Kalpa? Currently, we're in the Sveta Varaha Kalpa.

And who is it referring to by "degraded men"?

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Saraswata Kalpa is as same as Sveta Varaha Kalpa only.

In the Mahabharata 12:350 (Shanti Parva), previous birth of Vyasa is narrated. After Brahma was created from the navel of Narayana, the goddess of intelligence (Buddhi) upon the orders of Narayana entered into Brahma, then Brahma finished the creation. Thereafter Vishnu decided to incarnate in the earth whenever Adharma arises.

After this, the original Creator of the universe once more uttered the syllable, Bho, causing the atmosphere to resound with it. From this syllable of speech (Saraswati) arose a Rishi of the name Saraswat. The son, thus born of the Speech of Narayana, came to be, also called by the name of Apantara-tamas. Endued with great puissance, he was fully conversant with the past, the present, and the future. Firm in the observance of vows, he was truthful in speech. Unto that Rishi who, after birth, had bowed his head unto Narayana, the latter, who was the original Creator of all the deities and possessed of a nature that was immutable, said those words: Thou shouldst devote thy attention to the distribution of the Vedas, O foremost of all persons endued with intelligence. Do thou, therefore, O ascetic, accomplish what I command thee.In obedience to this command of the Supreme Lord from whose Speech the Rishi Apantaratamas sprang into existence, the latter, in the Manvantara K.M Ganguli wrongly translated this as "in the Kalpa" instead of "in the Manvantara" named after the Self-born Manu(swayambhu Manu), distributed and arranged the Vedas. For that act of the Rishi, the illustrious Hari became gratified with him, as also for his well-performed penances, his vow and observances, and his restraint of the senses or passions. Addressing him,

Narayana said, At each Manwantara, O son, thou wilt act in this way with respect to the Vedas. Thou shalt, in consequence of this act of thine, be immutable, O regenerate one, and incapable of being transcended by any one. When the Kali age will set in, certain princes of Bharata's line, to be called by the name of Kauravas, will take their birth from thee. They will be celebrated over the Earth as high-souled princes ruling over powerful kingdoms. Born of thee, dissensions will break out among them ending in their destruction at one another's hands excepting yourself. O foremost of regenerate persons, in that age also, endued with austere penances, thou wilt distribute the Vedas into diverse classes. Indeed, in that dark age, thy complexion will become dark.

Thou shalt cause diverse kinds of duties to flow and diverse kinds of knowledge also. Although endued with austere penances, yet thou shalt never be able to free thyself from desire and attachment to the world. Thy son, however, will be freed from every attachment like unto the Supreme Soul, through the grace of Madhava. It will not be otherwise. He whom learned Brahmanas call the mind-born son of the Grandsire, viz., Vasishtha endued with great intelligence and like unto an ocean of penances, and whose splendour transcends that of the Sun himself, will be the progenitor of a race in which a great Rishi of the name of Parasara, possessed of mighty energy and prowess, will take his birth. That foremost of persons, that ocean of Vedas, that abode of penances, will become thy sire (when thou wilt take birth in the Kali age). Thou shalt take thy birth as the son of a maiden residing in the house of her sire, through an act of congress with the great Rishi Parasara. Doubts thou wilt have none with respect to the imports of things past, present, and future. Endued with penances and instructed by me, thou wilt behold the incidents of thousands and thousands of ages long past away. Thou wilt see through thousands and thousands of ages also in the future. Thou shalt, in that birth, behold me, O ascetic,--me that am without birth and death,--incarnated on Earth (as Krishna of Yadu's race), armed with the discus. All this will happen to thee, O ascetic, through the merit that will be thine in consequence of thy ceaseless devotion to me. These words of mine will never be otherwise.

Thou shalt be one of the foremost of creatures. Great shall be thy fame. Surya's son Sani (Saturn) will, in a future Kalpa, take birth as the great Manu of that period. During that Manwantara, O son, thou shalt, in respect of merits, be superior to even the Manus of the several periods. Without doubt, thou shalt be so through my grace. Whatever exists in the world represents the result of my exertion. The thoughts of others may not correspond with their acts. As regards myself, however, I always ordain what I think, without the least impediment! Having said these words unto the Rishi Apantaratamas, otherwise called by the name of Saraswat, the Supreme Lord dismissed him, saying unto him. Go. I am he that was born as Apantaratamas through the command of Hari. Once more have I taken birth as the celebrated Krishna-Dwaipayana, a delighter of the race of Vasishtha. I have thus told you, my dear disciples, the circumstances, of my own former birth which was due to the grace of Narayana in so much that I was a very portion of Narayana himself.

Summary

  • The creator of the universe uttered the syllable of speech (Saraswati). From that syllable arosed a Rishi named Saraswat, who was called by the name Apantara-tamas.
  • He in the Swayambhu manvantara distributed the Vedas. Because of this, Lord Narayana became very happy and said to him that Saraswat will be born in the Kali Yuga when Kauravas take birth. Narayana also said in that birth his complexion will be dark(krishna Dwaipayana).
  • Narayana said he will be born in the lineage of Vasishtha to Parashara, (We all know that Vyasa was the son of Parashara) in the Manvantara when sun god vivasvan's son Shani (i.e., vaivaswata) will be the Manu.

Conclusion

The current Kalpa is called Sveta Varaha Kalpa because Varaha Avatar of Vishnu happened in the beginning of this Kalpa. Similarly, in the beginning of this Kalpa, a Rishi named Saratwata was born which was the previous birth of Vyasa of 28th Dwaparayuga of Vaisvasvata Manvantara, because of which this kalpa is called Saraswata Kalpa.

  • K.M Ganguli wrongly translated this as "in the Kalpa" instead of "in the Manvantara" --- Whose words are those? yours? – Rickross Jan 22 at 8:12
  • Okay, then this proves the point of @RaRe – Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury Jan 22 at 8:23
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According to Srimadbhagavam, the thirty kalpas of Brahmā are:

Śveta-kalpa, Nīlalohita, Vāmadeva, Gāthāntara, Raurava, Prāṇa, Bṛhat-kalpa, Kandarpa, Sadyotha, Īśāna, Dhyāna, Sārasvata, Udāna, Garuḍa, Kaurma, Nārasiḿha, Samādhi, Āgneya, Viṣṇuja, Saura, Soma-kalpa, Bhāvana, Supuma, Vaikuṇṭha, Arciṣa, Valī-kalpa, Vairāja, Gaurī-kalpa, Māheśvara, Paitṛ-kalpa.

The names of 30 Kalpas are found in the Matsya Purāṇa (290.3-12). These are:

Śveta Nīlalohita Vāmadeva Rathantara Raurava Deva Vṛhat Kandarpa Sadya Iśāna Tamah Sārasvata Udāna Gāruda Kaurma Nārasiṃha Samāna Āgneya Soma Mānava Tatpumān Vaikuṇṭha Lakṣmī Sāvitrī Aghora Varāha Vairaja Gaurī Māheśvara and Pitṛ The Vāyu Purāṇa in chapter 21 gives a different list of 28 kalpas. It also lists five more kalpas in the next chapter.

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

Sveta Varaha Kalpa Nilalohita Kalpa Vamadeva Kalpa Gathantara Kalpa Raurava Kalpa Prana Kalpa Brhat Kalpa Kandarpa Kalpa Sadyata Kalpa Isana Kalpa Dhyana Kalpa Sarasvata Kalpa Udana Kalpa Garuda Kalpa Kaurma Kalpa Narasimha Kalpa Samadhi Kalpa Agneya Kalpa Visnuja Kalpa Saura Kalpa Soma Kalpa Bhavana Kalpa Supuma Kalpa Vaikuntha Kalpa Arcisa Kalpa Vali Kalpa Vairaja Kalpa Gauri Kalpa Mahesvara Kalpa Paitr Kalpa (Source): WikiPedia

So Sarasvata and svetabaraha are two different kalpas.

  • Curiously, each kalpa is a day of Lord Brahma. He lives for a 100 years by that order of time. So how come only 15 kalpas are named and others are left out? I have heard of a swarna varaha kalpa as well. So, obviously, there is a chance that the reference you have given is not complete. – Ambi Jan 22 at 13:50
  • @Ambi i have nentioned the names of 30 kalpas – user17294 Jan 22 at 13:57
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    Matsya Purana in chapter 290 mentions Sveta, Varaha and Saraswata Kalpa separately. hinduscriptures.in/scriptures/puranas-18-puranas-mahapurana/… – Spark Sunshine Jan 22 at 15:35
  • @NaveenKick Maybe Sveta is one Kalpa, Varaha is another Kalpa, and Sveta Varaha is altogether another Kalpa? – Ikshvaku Jan 22 at 18:25
  • @Ikshvaku No. i think its one. total count including purnima and amabasya is okay – user17294 Jan 22 at 18:27

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