Irrespective of the yuga, it is simply impossible for a single human being to perform a thousand-year yajña.
Also, the idea of human beings living for 1000 years goes against Śruti injunctions like Shatāyurvai puruṣah ('a man's life extends to a hundred years') so a literal interpretation does not work in this case.
ADHYĀYA VI, PĀDA VII, ADHIKARAṆA 13: The term 'thousand years' stands
for 'thousand days'.
[Pūrvapakṣa (A)—continued]—"The 'thousand-year sacrifice' must be
taken as being for those whose life-span is of that extent,—it being
impossible for human beings.”
[Pūrvapakṣa (A)—concluded]—"There is a commendatory text which already
indicates that the performers of the sacrifice are beings other than
[Pūrvapakṣa (B)]—"Or, it must be meant to be performed by human
beings, as it is their sphere of activity."
[Refutation of Pūrvapakṣa (B)]— That cannot be; because they do not
possess that capacity.
No medicines have been found to possess the capacity of prolonging
life to the extent of a thousand years. All that they are capable of
doing is—the improving of digestive powers, the removal of wrinkles
and grey hair, the improving of voice and complexion and the
resuscitation of memory;—they are never found to bring about
longevity.—"From the improvement of voice and complexion and other
signs, we shall infer a longer life also."— That is not possible, we
say.—"Why?"— Because there is the text declaring that 'a man's life
extends to a hundred years' ('Shatāyurvai puruṣah'); and this would
not be true if a man were to live longer.—"We may expound the compound
word 'Shatāyu' as 'Shatāni āyuḥ yasya', 'one whose span of life
extends over hundreds of years'."—Numerals are not compounded in this
fashion; nor are they expressive (even when formed). The learned
people have also declared that 'there can be no compounding of words
with the dual or the plural endings'.
[Further refutation of Pūrvapakṣa (B)]—Also because no connection has
ever been perceived.
Never have medicines ever been found to be connected with such
longevity (as extends over a thousand years); and until such a
connection has been actually perceived there can be no inference from
it,—"There could be an inference from general premises: Medicines are
actually found to bring about smaller degrees of stability, and it
stands to reason that, if they were repeatedly taken, they would
become more and more effective and would bring about a permanent
stability in the body. Though there is the declaration 'The man's
life-span extends to a hundred years', yet we find people actually
living longer than that."
The answer to this is as follows:—
The premiss suggested is not true beyond doubt; even though it may be
that the medicines used bring about all that is possible in the way of
the stability of the body, even to such an extent as has never before
been perceived;—for instance, when walking, people may attain all the
speed possible, but by mere repetition they could not proceed even
four miles, during the whole of their human life. So that in the case
in question, as there would be no connection (between the medicines
and longevity), it would always be open to doubt whether or not people
(using the medicines) would secure longevity; and if this remains
doubtful, there can be no inference from that premiss; and in the
matter of imperceptible things, nothing can be accepted without
sufficient proof.—From all this it is clear that without doubt there
are no persons living so long (as a thousand years),—and this is what
has been asserted regarding human beings.
Question—"What then does the text mean?"
[In answer we have the following Sūtra, which sets forth the third
[Pūrvapakṣa (C)]—"What is laid down should be regarded as a 'Function
for Generations',—says Kārṣṇājini; as it is impossible for a single
[Refutation of Pūrvapakṣa (C)]—In reality, inasmuch as the entire
performance should be connected with a single performer, the
performance of the sacrifice should be done by a single person.
Question—"What then is the meaning?"
Answer—It is as follows:—
There being mutual inconsistency, one of the two terms must be taken
in the indirect figurative sense,— says Lābukāyana.
It is the term 'year' that should be taken in an indirect figurative
sense; because it is something variable.
[Pūrvapakṣa (D)]—"That word ('saṃvatsara', 'year') should be taken as
in the case of the archetype; because that is what should be
[Final Siddhānta]—In reality, the term should be taken as standing for
'days', as it is the number of days that are referred to (in the term