The above verse ornamentally explains to us that Brahma’s entire lifespan is just a fraction of a second to Lord Srihari. The truth is that it is impossible to calculate the lifespan of Srihari! This is because He is changeless, deathless and birthless!
Time, which begins from the subtlest atom and covers all various divisions including the lifespan of Lord Brahma, fails to have any influence on that Supreme Lord. This is because the Supreme Lord Srihari is over and above time! The divisions of time are not applicable to Him. Time is not the cause for His existence! He is the cause for the existence of time!
This time rules over all the spiritually ignorant beings who consider this body and this wealth to be everything i.e. those who consider themselves to be the gross body.
This universe has a width of 50 crore yojanas (one yojana is about 8 miles). It is composed of 16 transformations viz., 10 senses (5 organs of perception and 5 organs of action), mind and 5 basic elements. This universal egg is enclosed by thick layers made up of 5 subtle elements (such as subtle earth, subtle air etc.), ahamkara, mahat and Prakriti (Nature). Each among them in turn is 10 times thicker than its previous one. Such a vast universe is the size of an atom and is contained within the Supreme Lord!
The Supreme Lord is indestructible. Beginning with the fundamental principle of Mahat, He is the cause for all the causes. Within Him, innumerable vast universes exist and each of them appears like a tiny atom within Him. Thus these innumerably vast universes are like innumerable atoms within His body. This Supreme Lord is complete in all aspects. He is none other than Srihari! He is Paramatma!
With this the eleventh chapter of the third Canto comes to an end.
Third Canto Twelfth Chapter
In this chapter the origin of creation, the origin of Sanaka and other Kumaras, the creation of Rudra, Marichi and other Maharishis, the origin of Goddess Saraswati and the Vedas are covered. In addition, the birth of Swayambhuva Manu and Shatarupa from the body of Brahma are also explained.
Maitreya Maharishi said to Vidura, “Until now I explained to you the Supreme Lord’s divine manifestation (vibhuti) known as time. Now I will explain to you the manner in which Lord Brahma, the embodiment of Vedas, expanded this creation.
At the outset Lord Brahma created the five modifications of spiritual ignorance viz., andha-tāmisra, tāmisra, mahā-moha, moha and tamas.
Andha-tāmisra means ‘fear of death’ or seeking to ‘cling to life’. Tāmisra means feelings of aversion/ hatred (dwesa). Maha-moha means ‘excessive attachment or infatuation’ (rāga). Moha means sense of I-ness (egoism, asmita). Tamas means being unable to know about one’s true Self (ignorance).
Brahma who created these was not at all happy. This creation appeared to be very sinful. It was abounding in spiritual ignorance (ajnana) and appeared to be driven towards sins. This was the reason for his unhappiness.
Bhagavad-dhyāna-pūtena manasānyāṁ tato ’sṛjat– He purified himself through intense meditation upon the Supreme Lord. Thereafter he began another creation.
Sanakaṁ ca sanandaṁ ca sanātanam athātmabhūḥ
Sanat-kumāraṁ ca munīn niṣkriyān ūrdhva-retasaḥ
This time Brahma created the four Kumaras. These were the four great sages known as Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanātana and Sanatkumara. They had upward flowing semen (urdhva-retas) and were embodiments of the traits of goodness (sattva guna). They were pure beings who had given up actions in totality (sarva karma sanyasa) and were absolutely dedicated towards Self-realization.
Brahma then addressed these mind-born sons and said, “My sons, please beget children and expand this creation”. However these great saints, who possessed infinite devotion towards Srihari, who were absolutely dedicated towards Self-knowledge and were deeply longing for liberation could not relish this idea. The path of worldly progression (pravṛtti mārga) was unacceptable to them. Pravṛtti mārga is the path of expanding one’s lineage. They rejected their father’s idea.
Brahma was infuriated with his sons who had disobeyed his command. Through various ways he tried to suppress his anger but it was of little avail. From the centre of his eyebrows this intense anger gushed out and a boy who was of reddish-black complexion was created. This boy was Lord Rudra.
Rudra was born even before the birth of the Devatas. Immediately after his birth Rudra began to wail loudly. Addressing Brahma he said, “O Lord of the Universe! Who are You? Who am I? What is my name? Please tell me where to reside.”
Lord Brahma then pacified the boy and said to him,
Yad arodīḥ sura-śreṣṭha sodvega iva bālakaḥ
Tatas tvām abhidhāsyanti nāmnā rudra iti prajāḥ
O supreme amongst the Devatas! Do not cry. Since you cried like a little infant you will be famous as Rudra. Now I will explain the places where you can live. I have already readied for your living the following places viz., heart, 10 senses (indriyas), life-force (prana), space, wind, fire, water, earth, Sun, Moon and penance (tapas).
Now I will explain your different names. At the time of annihilation (pralaya) you will be intensely furious. For that reason you will be known as Manyu. As you incarnate in the form of Manu, you will be known as Manu. For possessing limitless strength you will be known as Mahinaśa. As you are of incomparable infinite vastness you will be known as Mahāṇ.
As you are an embodiment of auspiciousness you will be known as Śiva. As you are of unlimited radiance you will be known as Rutudhwaja. Due to your frightful prowess you will be called Ugraretasa. For being the cause of the universe you will be addressed as Bhava. You are the form of time. You are also the form of death. Hence you will be addressed as Kāla. For being supremely beautiful and for being Self-effulgent you will be known as Vāmadeva. Due to your dedication towards rituals (vratanishta) you will be famous as Dhrtavrata.
In this way, my son, you will have 11 names. Reciting these eleven names on a daily basis bestows auspiciousness. You also have eleven wives. I will explain their names. Dhī, Vṛtti, Uśana, Umā, Niyat, Sarpi, Ila, Ambikā, Irāvati, Sudhā, Dikśa. These 11 wives are also known as Rudrāṇi.
Dhī means good intellect (buddhi). Vṛtti means effectiveness in work. Uśana means happiness. Umā means OM-kara (pranava). Niyat means speed of movement. Sarpi means ahuti (offerings made in holy fire). Ila means speech. Ambika means universal mother. Irāvati means ‘she who showers nectar’. Sudha means form of nectar. Dīksha means firm vow.
My Son! Now accept the names I have given you and together with your wives reside in the places I have allotted to you. Kindly continue to create. You are the Prajapati (lord of all living beings)”- in this manner Brahma commanded Rudra.
Rudra obediently abided by the dictates of his father. He created innumerable progeny who were akin to him in appearance, strength and ferocious nature. In no time his valourous children, the Rudra-ganas began to swallow the entire earth.