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The Business of Creation

July 22, 2010

by Uma Gowrishankar

Two leaves placed one over the other are pierced by a needle. The time required for the needle to pass from the first leaf to the second is called alpakala. Nine hundred alpakala make one kala. Thirty kala make one nimisha, nodi or matra. Four nimisha make one ganita. Sixty ganita one vinadi. Sixty vinadi one ghatika, sixty ghatika one day. Fifteen days make one paksha. Two paksha make one chandra masa (lunar month). Twelve chandra masa make one year of the human beings. One year of human beings is one day of the gods. Three hundred sixty days of gods make one Deva Varsha (one year of the Devas/Gods). 12,000 such God years make one chaturyuga. Manu is the Supreme King of the earth. A Manu’s life span is completed at the end of 71 chaturyuga. After his lifetime another Manu rules the earth for 71 chaturyuga. Life spans of fourteen such Manus make a kalpa. Two kalpa make a day of Brahma. 360 such Brahma days make a Brahma year. Brahma lives for 100 such years which is 309,173,760,000,000 human years. (Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia)

Father of all beings
the architect of the universe

the four faced Brahma
born of the radiant lotus,
the god with a big libido,
pulsating with passion
for the swan-gaited Saraswati,
lusting for wives of gods and rishis,

fathering the universe
for a lifetime of hundred years —
one Brahma day 8.6 billion human years.

limbs weakened with toil,
loins sore,
etherized in the luminescence of Meru

Brahma wants to rest.

His hands on his lap,
tapering fingers
curl in a mudra
cradling whorls of Boundless Energy.

Eyes turned inwards,
spills the seeds of Life’s Essence,
he fathers four sons —
the pure and luminous souls

sons to inherit the business of procreation;
the boys embarrassed flee,
seek the Silent One
to learn the truth of the Endless.

Brahma the aging father,
tumescence of creation
vibrating in
scarlet flowers, piercing call of birds

counts the years left
crossing out the shunyas in human years.

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Uma Gowrishankar lives in Chennai, South India with her husband, son and parents-in-law. She works as an education consultant for a cluster of schools that offer a meaningful learning program to rural and small urban communities. She paints and practices yoga. She maintains a terrace garden in the middle of the noisy and populated city: she clears space in her garden and poetry for the many demands her crowded day make.

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  1. July 22, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Oh, that’s wonderful, Uma! I love the image of Brahma crossing off the last days on his calendar :-) (No, no, no personal resonance at all, why do you ask?)

  2. padmaja
    July 23, 2010 at 4:19 am

    very eloquent and beatiful…liked it a lot… wating for more ;)

  3. Suresh
    July 23, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Poetic justice in being creative about Brahma. Narration as beautiful as the poem.

  4. July 25, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Lovely, very well realized. I’d love you to read my yoga poems.

  5. Jaidev
    July 25, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    as the denizens of the the mortal world
    borne by the burdened hands of Bhudevi
    seek an extension
    to the beneficient gaze of Vishnu

    the seekers, the seers, the knowers

    is a hundred sacrosanct
    to the Trinity
    or is the Will of the Absolute
    yet unknown

  6. Jaidev
    July 25, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Your poem is truly beautiful, Uma. Very very nice.

  1. July 23, 2010 at 8:21 am
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