According to the Skanda Purana, Dēvī Sati was born in the previous Kalpa (Pitri Kalpa) before the present Śvetavārāha Kalpa and after self-immolation was reborn as Goddess Pārvatī near the end of the present Chakshusha Manvantara. (Refer this answer). The very same part of the Skanda Purana also mentions that Goddess Parvati shall have a life for a period equal to Brahma’s 6 months i.e. 180 Kalpas (6 x 30 days, each Kalpa being a day of Brahma).

(A) It could thus be stated that the birth and immolation of Sati is not a recurring event in every Kalpa. There is a difference of more than one Kalpa between Sati and Parvati.

It is said that different Puranas tell different versions of the same story owing to the concept of Kalpa Bheda, according to which most events (though there are some new ones) recur in each Kalpa. One such repetitive event is the Yajña of Daksha Prajapati, where his daughter Sati self-immolates herself owing to an insult from Daksha. We come to know this is a repetitive event owing to the following-

1) In the Shiva Purana Chapter 14 (describing the birth of Sati) of the Satī-khaṇḍa of the Rudra-saṃhitā says as follows:

केचिद्वदंति तां ज्येष्ठां मध्यमां चापरे शिवाम्।
सर्वानन्तरजां केचित्कल्पभेदात्त्रयं च सत॥९॥

Some say that Śivā (Satī) was the eldest of his daughters, some say that she was the middle and some say that she was the youngest. All the three opinions are correct in different Kalpas. 9

2) The story of Kakabhushundi in the Puranas says that he witnessed the Ramayana and Mahabharata with different outcomes. He also witnessed the Daksha Yajña episode multiple times and it always had the same outcome i.e. ending with Devi Sati’s self-immolation and Lord Shiva’s fury.

(3) Furthermore, the events narrated in the Śrimad Bhāgavata Purana belonging are from the the Pādma Kalpa (same as the present Śvetavārāha kalpa [also stated to be the same in the purport to ŚB 2.10.47 and Tattvasandarbha of Jiva Goswami]) as is stated in ŚB 2.10.47. In the Bhagavata Purana (while talking in context of the present Śvētavārāha Kalpa) the story of Daksha Yajña is given as being in the Swāyambhuva Manvantara, after which he is reborn as the son of the Pracētas (ŚB 6.6.1)

(B) From this we can see that the birth of Sati is repetitive. Sati was born in the Swayambhuva Manvantara of the current Śvētavārāha Kalpa and was later born as Goddess Parvati towards the end of the Chakshusha Manvantara of the present Kalpa only.

Reconciling (A) and (B)

(i) If we go by the logic that the Yajña of Daksha is a repetitive event happening in every Kalpa, then the case of Sati (Pitri kalpa) and Goddess Parvati (Svetavaraha Kalpa) being more than a Kalpa apart does not hold good.

(ii) Goddess Parvati and 180 Kalpas wouldn’t hold good and Devi would have to give up being with Lord Shiva at the end of every Kalpa

(iii) Usually it is said Trideva (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) and Tridevi (Saraswati, Lakshmi and Uma) are not affected by Kalpa ending, why then should the Devi Sati episode and Devi Parvati’s birth happen in every Kalpa? By that logic the Skanda Purana talking about more than a Kalpa’s difference between Sati and Parvati, and also the life of Parvati being more than one Kalpa holds good. (Though why only 180 calls for a separate discussion)

My question is how do we reconcile the above?

  • Not all recurring events happen once every Kalpa. Some events take place once every Mahakalpa, for instance. – Keshav Srinivasan May 16 at 14:45
  • @KeshavSrinivasan thank you! If you don’t mind, could you please give an example? – Archit May 19 at 18:47
  • 1
    Brahma’s birth from Vishnu, for instance. That happens in the beginning of every Mahakalpa. – Keshav Srinivasan May 19 at 18:58

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