In the Skanda Purāṇa Verse, Shiva explains to Parvati thus -

अन्यो विष्णुश्च भवति अन्यो ब्रह्मा भवत्यपि । कल्पे कल्पे मया सृष्टः कल्पे विष्णुः प्रजापतिः ॥ ८ ॥

Shiva Said -

  1. A new Viṣṇu is born in every Kalpa. So also a new Brahmā. In every Kalpa, Viṣṇu and Prajāpati are created by me.

Also in the previous chapter 7, Shiva recounts names of Brahma in various successive Kalpas.

Shiva Said -

  1. Six Brahmās have passed away. The present Prajāpati who is well-known as Śatānanda is the seventh one, O goddess.

English Translation by G.V. Tagare

Question -

How can a new Brahma and Vishnu be born every new kalpa when as per the Shiva Purana, as I discuss here, A complete lifetime of Brahma is a day of Vishnu, and Vishnu's lifetime is a day of Rudra? Is there some contradiction here? The verses seem to be quite contradictory to me.

How to resolve the contradiction?

Do we have similar list of names for Vishnu too, just like Brahmâ?

Is this theory expounded in more detail in some core-Shaivite scriptures?

  • 2
    Seems like translation issue. Kalpa means again or cyclical in nature. Kalpe kalpe can mean again and again.. And in some places, Kalpas means Mahakalpas not Kalpa, day of Brahma
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Apr 29, 2022 at 17:05
  • 3
    Even in that case, Vishnu shouldn't be born in every new "Mahakalpa", because a lifetime of Brahma is just a day of Vishnu, as per Shiva Purana. But, in the above excerpt, Shiva clearly says, a new Vishnu is born every Kalpa, along with Brahma.
    – Vivikta
    Commented Apr 30, 2022 at 2:44

2 Answers 2


Purāṇas sometimes, within themselves, portray varying accounts. Although, in the general cases, we can solve them by kalpa-bheda theory. However, in this case, since it's talking about deities whose lifetimes are generally considered much greater than a kalpa itself, it becomes problematic.

We can't conclusively say if every new Kalpa, a new Brahma and Vishnu are born.

Further, the contradiction seems unsolvable in the light of the following statements of god Shiva, yet again from the Skanda Mahā-Purāṇa

Verse 7.1.19.(12-16)

मासैश्चैवायनं षड्भिर्वर्षं स्यादयनद्वये । चत्वारिंशच्च लक्षाणि लक्षाणां त्रितयं पुनः ॥ १२ ॥ विंशतिश्च सहस्राणि ज्ञेयं सौरं चतुर्युगम् । चतुर्युगैकसप्तत्या मन्वंतरमुदाहृतम् ॥ १३ ॥

Shiva explained to Parvati -

  • 12-13. Six months make one Ayana and two Ayanas make one Varṣa (year). Four million three hundred twenty thousand years should be known as one Caturyuga according to the solar reckoning. Seventy-one Caturyugas can be cited as constituting one Manvantara.

ऐंद्रमेतद्भवेदायुः समासांतं च कीर्तितम् । चतुर्दशेन्द्रैः प्रलीनैः कल्पं ब्रह्मदिनं भवेत् ॥ १४ ॥

  1. This period along with the end of a month is acclaimed as the span of life of Indra. The period covered by the lives of fourteen Indras constitutes a Kalpa and it shall be one day of Brahmā.

रात्रिश्च तावती चैव चतुर्युगसहस्रिका । अनेन दिनमानेन शताब्दं जीवति प्रिये ॥ १५ ॥

  1. The same period of a thousand Caturyugas constitutes his Rātri (Night) of Brahmā. O my beloved, he (Brahmā) lives for a hundred years calculated thus.

ममैव निमिषार्द्धेन सहस्राणि चतुर्द्दश । विनश्यंति ततो विष्णोरसंख्याताः पितामहाः ॥ १६ ॥

  1. Along with half of a Nimiṣa pertaining to me, fourteen thousand Viṣṇus and unlimited number of Pitāmahas (Brahmās) die.

English Translation by G.V. Tagare.

So, as per Skandamahāpurāṇam, within a blink (Nimeṣa) of Shiva (Rudra)'s eye, unlimited BrahmA, and fourteen thousand Vishnu's die.

So, the contradiction persists because even if we take into account the case of "translation-error", Vishnu shouldn't be born in every new "Mahakalpa", because a lifetime of Brahma is just a day of Vishnu, as per Shiva Purana. But, in the above excerpt from Skanda Purana in the question, Shiva clearly says, a new Vishnu is born every Kalpa, along with Brahma. But in the excerpt from the Skanda Purāṇa in the answer, Shiva says yet another different cosmology. So the contradiction persists.

  • an important discovery.
    – S K
    Commented May 1, 2022 at 14:22

In my opinion, I think there is no contradiction et all. But 1st let's solve some name issues as per logic as we are talking about higher beings viz the Tridevs who are beyond Kalpas.

  • 100 years of Brahma = 1 Maha Kalpa (MK).

By following, this naming pattern, let's say.:

  • 100 years of Vishnu = 1 Para Kalpa (PK).
  • 100 years of Rudra = 1 Parat Para Kalpa (PPK).
  • 1 breath of Sada Shiva = 1 Tat Parat Para Kalpa (TK).

As, I have discussed in this answer of mine. After 100 yrs Brahma merges into Vishnu, then Vishnu into Rudra after his 100 yrs and Rudra into Prakriti after becoming Nara and completing his 100 yrs which is equal to just a breath of SadaShiva. And Sada Shiva is undecaying and the count of his breaths are uncountable, infinite and unpredictable.

As, I have discussed in this answer of mine that it's actually the same Brahma who takes birth again and again as a newborn. Also, the names given to each Brahma are the names of Brahma only like Vrinchi, Chaturmukha, etc etc. So, it should be same in case of Vishnu and Rudra also.

Sri Shiva Purana 1.10.:

Bhagawan Shiva says to Brahma and Vishnu.:

9. In order to look after these five-fold activities (pañcakṛtya) I have five faces, four in the four quarters and the fifth in the middle.

10. O sons, in view of your austerities you two have received the first two activities:—creation and maintenance. You have gratified me and are blessed therefore.

11. Similarly, the other two activities (annihilation and concealment) have been assigned to Rudra and Maheśa. The fifth one of Anugraha (liberation) cannot be taken up by any other.

12. All this previous arrangement has been forgotten by both of you due to lapse of time, not so by Rudra and Maheśa.

13. I have assigned them my equality in form, dress, activity, vehicle, seat, weapons etc.

14. O dear sons, your delusion was the result of your not meditating upon me. If you had retained my knowledge you would not have embibed this false pride of being Maheśa yourselves.

15. Hence, hereafter, both of you shall start reciting the mantra Oṃkāra to acquire knowledge of me. It shall quell your false pride as well.

16. I have taught this great auspicious mantra. Oṃkāra came out of my mouth. Originally it indicated me.

17. It is the indicator and I am the indicated. This mantra is identical with me. The repetition of this mantra is verily my repeated remembrance.

As for this contradiction about the life span of Tridevs, my best logic is each Breath of SadaShiva is not same in lenght and is unpredictable. Plus, the occurrence of the life span of Tridevs varies in Shiva Purana only as you can see from both mine and your answer. It's because they are from different TK. The proof is that both the Lingodhbhava and Daksha Yagna episodes varies in Srishti Khanda and Vayu Khanda. So, different TK same with Skanda Purana i guess.

Rig Veda Khilani SSS.:

परात्परतरो ब्रह्मा तत्परात्परतो हरिः । तत्परात्परतो ईश तन्मे मन शिवसंकल्पमस्तु ।। 18 ।।

Greater than the great is Brahma, greater still than that great one is Hari, even greater than this one is Ishana. May my mind always remains full of Auspicious Shiva thoughts.

I hope this clarifies your queries.


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