QUESTION VI: What is meant by “the Days and Nights of Brahm”; the “Cycles”; the “Chain of Worlds”, etc., etc.?
ANSWER: In Lesson Sixth, of the present series, you will find a brief mention of the “Days and Nights of Brahm”—those vast periods of the In-breathing and Out-breathing of the Creative Principle which is personified in the Hindu conception of Brahma. You will see mentioned there that universal philosophical conception of the Universal Rhythm, which manifests in a succession of periods of Universal Activity and Inactivity.
The Yogi Teachings are that all Time is manifested in Cycles. Man calls the most common form of Cyclic Time by the name of “a Day,” which is the period of time necessary for the earth’s revolution on its axis. Each Day is a reproduction of all previous Days, although the incidents of each day differ from those of the other—all Days are but periods of Time marked off by the revolution of the earth on its axis. And each Night is but the negative side of a Day, the positive side of which is called “day.” There is really no such thing as a Day, that which we call a “Day” being simply a record of certain physical changes in the earth’s position relating to its own axis.
The second phase of Cyclic Time is called by man by the name “a Month,” by which is meant certain changes in the relative positions of the moon and the earth. The true month consists of twenty-eight lunar days. In this Cycle (the Month) there is also a light-time or “day,” and a dark-time or “night,” the former being the fourteen days of the moon’s visibility, and the second being the fourteen days of the moon’s invisibility.
The third phase of Cyclic Time is that which we call “a Year,” by which is meant the time occupied by the earth in its revolution around the sun. You will notice that the year has its positive and negative periods, also, known as Summer and Winter.
But the Yogis take up the story where the astronomers drop it, at the Year. Beyond the Year there are other and greater phases of Cyclic Time. The Yogis know many cycles of thousands of years in which there are marked periods of Activity and Inactivity. We cannot go into detail regarding these various cycles, but may mention another division common to the Yogi teachings, beginning with the Great Year. The Great Year is composed of 360 earth years. Twelve thousand Great Years constitute what is known as a Great Cycle, which is seen to consist of 4,320,000 earth years. Seventy-one Great Cycles compose what is called a Manwantara, at the end of which the earth becomes submerged under the waters, until not a vestige of land is left uncovered. This state lasts for a period equal to 71 Great Cycles. A Kalpa is composed of 14 Manwantaras. The largest and grandest Cycle manifested is known as the Maya-Praylaya, consisting of 36,000 Kalpas when the Absolute withdraws into Itself its entire manifestations, and dwells alone in its awful Infinity and Oneness, this period being succeeded by a period equally long—the two being known as the Days and Nights of Brahm.