It is well known in Sanathan dharma that the universe we exist in is the creation of Brahma through his manas and hence we call him 'samisthi Jiva'. The experience of time is different for humans and Brahma. The following statements are useful in understanding this

The learned say that these twelve thousand years (of the deities) constitute what is called a yuga. A thousand such yugas compose a single day of Brahman. The same is the duration of Brahman's night. With the commencement of Brahman's day the universe begins to start into life. During the period of universal dissolution the Creator sleeps, having recourse to yoga-meditation. When the period of slumber expires, He awakes. That then which is Brahman's day extends for a thousand such yugas. His nights also extends for a thousand similar yugas. They who know this are said to know the day and the night. On the expiry of His night, Brahman, waking up, modifies the indestructible chit by causing it to be overlaid with Avidya. He then causes Consciousness to spring up, whence proceeds Mind which is identical with the Manifest.

[Section 231, Mokshadharma Parva, Santi Parva, The Mahabharata]

This question is not about the time spans. But about the existence of time and the perceiver of time. It is known that the sixth organ, the manas, is responsible for the perception or experience of time. So, humans don't experience time during Sushupthi/deep sleep. Time does exist only during waking/Jagrut and Swapna/dream state. Although time does not exist to a human during her Sushupthi, other humans, Brahma, pitrus, devtas experience time since their manas is active.

But when Brahma goes into yogic sleep then who experiences the time and how can one calculate the sleep time is the same as the daytime of Brahma? As I told before if a human is in a deep sleep state, she does not experience time but other persons can experience time if they are awake or dreaming and hence they have the perception of time. Is it the same case with Brahma? Since there are infinite Brahmas, even if a Brahma is sleeping, time continues to exist for other Brahmas who may be continuing their creations in a wake-up state? Or is there anything I need to consider?

  • Kindly re-read the highlighted statement. You mentioned about Brahman (ब्रह्म) in citation, but in later section you asked about Brahmā. So, it's confusing to whose slumber you want to point to Brahmā or Parambramh? Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 18:55
  • @Chamundadas Ha. The chapter refers to Brahma only. It is not referring to para brahman.
    – hanugm
    Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 19:05
  • Brahma lives for 100 divya varsha, Vishnu lives 7 times that of a Brahma & Shiv lives for 7 times that of Vishnu. If Brahma sleeps as per the doubt he doesn't experience time as per logic you gave. But, time isn't wht one experiences. It keeps moving. Also, to track the sleep of Brahma if you notice other dwi murtis r still present.Now, even if Brahma sleeps, Parabrahm keeps account for time. Thus, we call it Mahakala (the great time). And that which dissolves even time is Mahakali. Suppose whole creation is sleeping, Maharatri, it's Parabrahm who at a perfect time again does Shrishti. Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 19:18
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    Thus ultimate time is recorded by Parbrahm. Take for example, in starting of Shrishti alone vishnu is present who sleeps in Yognidra for a definate years. And then Madhu Kaithaba are born. Now who kept the record of time for Madhu Kaithaba to be born? Since, only Vishnu was present and he too was asleep & Brahma on his Nabhikamal was deeply engrossed in Tapa. Thus we can confirm. Time is not relative to experience. It moves on & on, thus Kala is not bound to anyone. But, every one is bound to Kala. Who rules over Kala is Mahakala, and who even eats him is Mahakali. Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 19:29
  • @Chamundadas But I never came across time scales of para Brahman. I think that para brahman allows Brahmas to awake and sleep and in that way para brahman records time.
    – hanugm
    Commented Jul 10, 2022 at 4:35

2 Answers 2


This question is based literally on Puranic statements about Brahma's sleep. Puranas warn us not to read such statements literally. These statements are figurative in nature.

Brahma’s day and night figurative

The period of the duration of the Prakrita creation is said to be a day of Brahma. There is a similar period constituting the night. The Lord effects creation during day time and dissolution during the night. He had neither a day nor a night (as we understand the terms). The time-duration by day and night is used in the secondary sense.

Linga Purana I.4.1-2

  • Does it mean, the time duration can't be taken as numbers? Like day time of Brahma = night time of Brahma ≈ 4.__ billion years?
    – hanugm
    Commented Jul 10, 2022 at 11:24
  • Good question. I reread the Linga Purana quote. What Linga Purana is saying is that you can take the time duration of the manifestation and de-manifestation of the universe as numbers but you shouldn't take the phrases 'day of Brahma' and 'night of Brahma' literally. Commented Jul 10, 2022 at 11:38

The Ultimate God or Ishwara experiences time, when everybody is sleeping.

Mandukya Upanishad 5th and 6th verse

यत्र सुप्तो न कञ्चन कामं कामयते न कञ्चन स्वप्नं पश्यति तत्सुषुप्तम् । सुषुप्तस्थान एकीभूतः प्रज्ञानघन एवाऽऽनन्दमयो ह्यानन्दभुक् चेतोमुखः प्राज्ञस्तृतीयः पादः ॥ ५ ॥
yatra supto na kañcana kāmaṃ kāmayate na kañcana svapnaṃ paśyati tatsuṣuptam | suṣuptasthāna ekībhūtaḥ prajñānaghana evā''nandamayo hyānandabhuk cetomukhaḥ prājñastṛtīyaḥ pādaḥ || 5 ||
5. That is the state of deep sleep wherein the sleeper does not desire any objects nor does he see any dream. The third quarter (Pāda) is the Prājña whose sphere is deep sleep, in whom all (experiences) become unified or undifferentiated, who is verily, a mass of consciousness entire, who is full of bliss and who experiences bliss, and who is the path leading to the knowledge (of the two other states).

एष सर्वेश्वरः एष सर्वज्ञ एषोऽन्तर्याम्येष योनिः सर्वस्य प्रभवाप्ययौ हि भूतानाम् ॥ ६ ॥
eṣa sarveśvaraḥ eṣa sarvajña eṣo'ntaryāmyeṣa yoniḥ sarvasya prabhavāpyayau hi bhūtānām || 6 ||
6. This is the Lord of all; this is the knower of all; this is the controller within; this is the source of all; and this is that from which all things originate and in which they finally disappear.

Refer here

Now see the sleeping state is under Ishwara. But Brahman is Turiya. Brahman is timeless. Ishwara is within maya, he experiences time. In Vishnu Sahasranama it says Sahasra koti yuga dharine nama. Ishwara experiences time always.

Refer to this answer

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    Commented Jul 10, 2022 at 6:36

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