Creation (A Story from Ancient India)
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, by whose compassion we have been moved to bring this wonderful story of Creation to the children of the world so that as they grow they have the opportunity to experience the happiness of Krishna consciousness and thus achieve perfection even in this life.
Vishnu Creates the Universes
Despite the joy of the spiritual world, from time to time some residents want to leave. The Lord begs them to stay. Some souls, however, insist on leaving his service. Lord Vishnu reluctantly agrees, thinking, "Even I, powerful as I am, cannot interfere with their free choice. They want a world where they can be the center of attention, and can be served and worshipped just like me. They want to be happy in this way. Finding this impossible they will eventually return to their happy home. But now I shall create the material world to fulfill their selfish desires."
First, in one corner of the spiritual sky, Vishnu creates a dark cloud. Then he takes the colossal form of Maha Vishnu, lying there in meditation, as if soundly asleep. As he slowly exhales, countless universes pour out of his body, like streams of massive bubbles.
Did you know? The Vedas say that as Vishnu breathes in, the material universes reenter his gigantic body. They last for trillions of years. For Maha Vishnu, however, they exist for less time than his one breath! We all experience time differently. For some people it passes quickly, for others more slowly. Even for ourselves, it changes. When we are happy it flys by, but when we are bored or miserable it seems never-ending.
Brahma Creates Time and Space
Brahma thought, "Material nature now needs shape. Just like a tailor makes clothes, I will make the bodies to dress the souls who have come here." From Vishnu he receives the material elements, namely ether, air, fire, water and earth. From these ingredients he made ears to hear, eyes to see, skin to feel, tongues to taste and noses to smell. To dispel the darkness of space, Brahma then fashioned a brilliant sun and a silvery moon. He constructed other stars and planets, and hurled them throughout the universe. He arranged the cosmos in three levels; the dark lower regions, the middle planets (including Earth), and the upper, heavenly worlds.
Brahma then introduced time, measured by the rotation of the planets. The earth and sun marked the days and years; the moon's orbit measured the months. He names the seven days of the week after the main planets - the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn.
Did you know? Time is represented by Vishnu's weapon, the disc. It is called the kala-chakra - 'the wheel of time'. It shows how time rotates continuously like the hands of the clock or the four seasons. Time represents God. No one can stop it, and ultimately it destroys everything.
The Silver Age
The second age, known as the Silver Age, lasted for 1,296,000 years. During this period priests performed sacrifice to thank Lord Vishnu for the gifts of nature. The cow was especially important in these rituals. She gave the milk needed to make clarified butter (ghee), which priests poured onto the sacrificial fire. The priests also offered to Lord Vishnu various other gifts of the earth, such as grains, fruit and coconuts. The utensils, such as the ladle for pouring ghee, were fashioned from precious metals like gold and silver.
These costly rituals were performed to satisfy Vishnu, and other deities such as Agni, the fire god. The Vedas explain how Vishnu, pleased with the sacrifice performed in his honor, would sometimes appear there, descending from Vaikuntha on the back of Garuda.
Did you know? Vedic worshipers still perform the havan (sacred fire sacrifice) on special occasions. At weddings the bride and groom sit side by side and toss grains into the fire. They later walk around it four times. If the ceremony is at night the groom points to the pole star, indicating that the couple will be fixed in their devotion to each other. In some traditions the couple prays that their children will be liberated from the cycle of reincarnation, and return home to the spiritual world.
- Main Personalities in the stroy
- Questions in today's world
- Answers from ancient India
- Krishna in Goloka
- Vishnu in Vaikuntha
- Vishnu creates the Universes
- The birth of Brahma
- The birth of Shiva
- Shiva marries Shakti
- Brahma creates Time and Space
- The Trimurti takes charge
- Brahma creates the Demigods
- Brahma creates the Prajapatis
- Human Beings
- Human Society
- The journey of life
- The Golden Age
- The Silver Age
- The Copper Age
- The Iron Age
- Caring for Creation
- Notes for Teachers / Parents
- Further Reading
- Useful Contacts