The Mahabharata Home
"Yajnavalkya said, I have, one after another, told thee the order of the creation, with their total number, of the various principles, as also the extent of the duration of each. Listen now to me as I tell thee of their destruction. Listen to me how Brahman, who is eternal and undecaying, and who is without beginning and without end, repeatedly
creates and destroys all created objects. When his day expires and night comes, he becomes desirous of sleep. At such a time the unmanifest and holy one urges the Being called Maharudra, who is conscious of his great powers, (for destroying the world). Urged by the unmanifest, that Being assuming the form of Surya of hundreds of thousands of rays, divides himself into a dozen portions each resembling a blazing fire. He then consumes with his energy, O monarch, without any loss of time, the four kinds of created beings, viz., viviparous, oviparous, filth-born, and vegetable. Within the twinkling of the eye all mobile and immobile creatures being thus destroyed, the Earth becomes on every side as bare as a tortoise shell. Having burnt everything on the face of the Earth, Rudra, of immeasurable might, then quickly fills the bare Earth with Water possessed of great force. He then creates the Yuga-fire which dries up that Water (into which the bare Earth has been dissolved). The Water disappearing, the great element of Fire continues to blaze fiercely. Then comes the mighty Wind of immeasurable force, in his eight forms, who swallows up quickly that blazing fire of transcendent force, possessed of seven flames, and identifiable with the heat existing every creature. Having swallowed up that fire, the Wind courses in every direction, upwards, downwards, and transversely. Then space of immeasurable existent swallowed up that Wind of transcendent energy. Then Mind cheerfully swallows up that immeasurable Space. Then that Lord of all creatures, viz., Consciousness, who is the Soul of every-thing, swallows up the Mind. Consciousness, in his turn, is swallowed up by the Mahat-soul who is conversant with the Past, the Present, and the Future. The incomparable Mahat-soul or Universe is then swallowed up by Sambhu, that Lord of all things, to whom the Yoga attributes of Anima, Laghima, Prapti, etc., naturally inhere, who is regarded as the Supreme and pure Effulgence that is Immutable. His hands and feet extend over every part; his eyes and head and face are everywhere, his ears reach every place, and he exists overwhelming all things. He is the heart of all creatures; His measure is of a digit of the thumb. That Infinite and supreme Soul, that Lord of all, thus swallows up the Universe. After this, what remains is the Undecaying and the Immutable. One who is without defect of any kind, who is the Creator of the Past, the Present, and the Future; and who is perfectly faultless, I have thus, O monarch, duly told thee of Destruction. I shall now discourse to thee on the subjects of Adhyatma, Adhibhuta, and Adhidaivata.--'"
Next: Section CCCXIV