Bg. 8.17

सहस्रयुगपर्यन्तमहर्यद् ब्रह्मणो विदुः ।
रात्रिं युगसहस्रान्तां तेऽहोरात्रविदो जनाः ॥१७॥


ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ
rātriṁ yuga-sahasrāntāṁ
te ‘ho-rātra-vido janāḥ


sahasraplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigsahasra

a thousand; many thousands; of thousands; one thousand; thousand; thousands; thousands and thousands; thousands of.
—thousand; yugaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigyuga

4,300,000 years; in the pair; millennium; millenniums; the four yugas.
—millenniums; prayantamplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigprayantam

—including; ahaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigahaḥ

alas; day; days; daytime; during daytime.
—day; yatplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigyat

which; about whom; all these; all those; although; and as; and whichever; anything; as; as a matter of fact; as it is; as its; as much as; as they are; because; because of; because of which; because of whom; by the result of which; by the Supreme Lord; by which; by which way; by whom (the Supreme Lord); by whom; by whose; by whose merciful; even though; everything that was required; fixed under Your direction; for; for which; from both of whom; from him; from which; from whom; from whose; from Yuyudha; he whose; his; His eternal form which; his son; if; in which; in whom; inasmuch as; Kṛṣṇa; now further; of him (Somāpi); of him; of Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune; of the fire-gods; of the Lord; of the Supreme Lord; of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; of which (the intermediate space); of which; of whom (of the Supreme Lord); who; who is; whom; whose; whose form; Your.
—that; brahmaṇaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigbrahmanah

Brahman; Brahmā; from the Absolute Truth; of all the Vedas; of Brahman; of Brahmā; of Brahmā, the first puruṣa; of Lord Brahmā; of the Vedas; of the Absolute Truth; of the impersonal brahmajyoti; of the Supreme Brahman; of the supreme truth; of Transcendence; the brāhmaṇas; to Lord Brahmā.
—of Brahmā; viduḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigviduḥ

advanced transcendentalists know; as it is known; being cognizant of; can know; can understand; could understand; do know; everyone should understand; is known; know; know it; know them; known as; knows; one should know; one should understand; one who knows; the learned understand; they know; they know as; they understood; understand; understood; were aware of; you may know it from me; you may understand; you should know; you should understand.
—know it; rātrimplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigrātrim

night; the night.
—night; yugaplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigyuga

4,300,000 years; in the pair; millennium; millenniums; the four yugas.
—millenniums; sahasraplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigsahasra

a thousand; many thousands; of thousands; one thousand; thousand; thousands; thousands and thousands; thousands of.
-antāmplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigantam

and so also without any end; at the end; end; the end; the limit of transcendental qualities; without end.
—similarly, at the end of one thousand; teplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigte

all; all of them (the demigods and demons); all of them (the demigods and the demons); all of them; all of those; all the gopas; all the asuric ministers; all the demigods; all the demigods and demons; all the demons; all the great sages; all the Pracetās; all the sons; all the sons of Jamadagni; all the watchmen; all those; all those persons who arrived; also from you; as desired by you; by him; by them; by You; for you; for your; from you; in your possession; Lord Paraśurāma's mother and brothers; of the two divisions; of them; of you (mother Ganges); of You (O dear Lord); of you; of Your good self; of Your Lordship; of yourself; speaking to you; such; such as you; such austerity and knowledge; such household life; such persons; such pure devotees are fully satisfied; that; that is; the gopīs and gopas; the hotā, brahmā and other priests; the cowherd men and ladies; the demigods; the demons (Yakṣas and Rākṣasas); the demons; the Gandharvas; the great sages (the Kumāras); the husbands; the men of Kārtavīryārjuna; the Pracetās; the Pāṇḍavas; the sages; the sons of Kārtavīryārjuna; the Yakṣas; their; therefore; these; these sons (the Savalāśvas); they; they are; to you; unto you; with you; You; your; Your Lordship; your request; Your service; yours; yourself.
—that; ahaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigahaḥ

alas; day; days; daytime; during daytime.
-rātraplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigrātra

of passing a night.
—day and night; vidaḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigvidaḥ

greatly learned; those who perceive; understand.
—understand; janāḥplugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigjanah

a foolish person; a person; a person who is not a bona fide guru (an ordinary person); all the people; any person; anyone; every living entity within this material world; human society; man; men; people in general; person; persons; such a person; the conditioned soul; the conditioned soul subjected to birth and death; the Janaloka planet; the Janaloka planetary system; the people in general; the person; the planetary system above Mahar; they.


By human calculation, a thousand ages taken together is the duration of Brahmā’s one day. And such also is the duration of his night. 


The duration of the material universe is limited. It is manifested in cycles of kalpas. A kalpa is a day of Brahmā, and one day of Brahmā consists of a thousand cycles of four yugas or ages: Satya, Tretā, Dvāpara, and Kali. The cycle of Satya is characterized by virtue, wisdom and religion, there being practically no ignorance and vice, and the yuga lasts 1,728,000 years. In the Tretā-yuga vice is introduced, and this yuga lasts 1,296,000 years. In the Dvāpara-yuga there is an even greater decline in virtue and religion, vice increasing, and this yuga lasts 864,000 years. And finally in Kali-yuga (the yuga we have now been experiencing over the past 5,000 years) there is an abundance of strife, ignorance, irreligion and vice, true virtue being practically nonexistent, and this yuga lasts 432,000 years. In Kali-yuga vice increases to such a point that at the termination of the yuga the Supreme Lord Himself appears as the Kalki avatara, vanquishes the demons, saves His devotees, and commences another Satya-yuga. Then the process is set rolling again. These four yugas, rotating a thousand times, comprise one day of Brahmā, the creator god, and the same number comprise one night. Brahmā lives one hundred of such “years” and then dies. These “hundred years” by earth calculations total to 311 trillion and 40 million earth years. By these calculations the life of Brahmā seems fantastic and interminable, but from the viewpoint of eternity it is as brief as a lightning flash. In the causal ocean there are innumerable Brahmās rising and disappearing like bubbles in the Atlantic. Brahmā and his creation are all part of the material universe, and therefore they are in constant flux. 

In the material universe not even Brahmā is free from the process of birth, old age, disease and death. Brahmā, however, is directly engaged in the service of the Supreme Lord in the management of this universe-therefore he at once attains liberation. Elevated sannyāsīs are promoted to Brahmā’s particular planet, Brahmaloka, which is the highest planet in the material universe and which survives all the heavenly planets in the upper strata of the planetary system, but in due course Brahmā and all inhabitants of Brahmaloka are subject to death, according to the law of material nature.