A manvantara (also spelled manwantara; a.k.a. reign, period, or age of Manu) is a cyclic age in Hindu cosmology. In each manvantara, seven Rishis, certain deities, an Indra, a Manu, and kings (sons of Manu) are created and perish. Each manvantara is distinguished by the Manu who rules/reigns over it, of which we are currently in the seventh manvantara of fourteen, which is ruled by Vaivasvata Manu.
Each manvantara lasts for 306,720,000 years and repeats seventy-one Yuga Cycles (dharmic ages). There are a total of fourteen manvantaras in a kalpa (day of Brahma), where each manvantara is followed by and the first preceded by a manvantara-sandhya (fifteen connecting periods), where each sandhya lasts for 1,728,000 years (the duration of a Satya Yuga). During each manvantara-sandhya, the earth (Bhu-loka) is submerged in water.
Manvantara (Sanskrit: मन्वन्तर, lit. 'period or age of a Manu') is a compound of "manu" (Sanskrit: मनु, lit. 'man') and "antara" (Sanskrit: अन्तर, lit. 'period'), i.e. "manu-antara" or "manvantara", literally meaning the duration of a Manu, or his lifespan.
- Manusmriti Ch. 1, Slokas 67, 71-72, 79-80; Sanskrit and romanized transliteration:
दैवे रात्र्यहनी वर्षं प्रविभागस्तयोः पुनः ।
अहस्तत्रोदगयनं रात्रिः स्याद् दक्षिणायनम् ॥ ६७ ॥
daive rātryahanī varṣaṃ pravibhāgastayoḥ punaḥ ।
ahastatrodagayanaṃ rātriḥ syād dakṣiṇāyanam ॥ 67 ॥
यदेतत् परिसङ्ख्यातमादावेव चतुर्युगम् ।
एतद् द्वादशसाहस्रं देवानां युगमुच्यते ॥ ७१ ॥
yadetat parisaṅkhyātamādāveva caturyugam ।
etad dvādaśasāhasraṃ devānāṃ yugamucyate ॥ 71 ॥
दैविकानां युगानां तु सहस्रं परिसङ्ख्यया ।
ब्राह्ममेकमहर्ज्ञेयं तावतीं रात्रिमेव च ॥ ७२ ॥
daivikānāṃ yugānāṃ tu sahasraṃ parisaṅkhyayā ।
brāhmamekamaharjñeyaṃ tāvatīṃ rātrimeva ca ॥ 72 ॥
यद् प्राग् द्वादशसाहस्रमुदितं दैविकं युगम् ।
तदेकसप्ततिगुणं मन्वन्तरमिहोच्यते ॥ ७९ ॥
yad prāg dvādaśasāhasramuditaṃ daivikaṃ yugam ।
tadekasaptatiguṇaṃ manvantaramihocyate ॥ 79 ॥
मन्वन्तराण्यसङ्ख्यानि सर्गः संहार एव च ।
क्रीडन्निवैतत् कुरुते परमेष्ठी पुनः पुनः ॥ ८० ॥
manvantarāṇyasaṅkhyāni sargaḥ saṃhāra eva ca ।
krīḍannivaitat kurute parameṣṭhī punaḥ punaḥ ॥ 80 ॥
- Wilkins, William Joseph (1913) . Hindu Mythology, Vedic and Purānic (3rd ed.). Calcutta: London Missionary Society. p. 365.
In each Manvantara (period of a Manu), seven Rishis, certain deities, an Indra and a Manu, and the kings, his sons, are created and perish.
- Account of the several Manus and Manwantaras Vishnu Purana, translated by Horace Hayman Wilson, 1840, Book III: Chapter I. p. 259, The first Manu was Swáyambhuva, then came Swárochisha, then Auttami, then Támasa, then Raivata, then Chákshusha: these six Manus have passed away. The Manu who presides over the seventh Manwantara, which is the present period, is Vaivaswata, the son of the sun...
- Pralaya The Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky, Vol. 2, p. 307 THE SEVEN AND FOURTEEN MANUS.
- Doniger, Wendy; Hawley, John Stratton, eds. (1999). "Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions". Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. p. 691 (Manu). ISBN 0877790442.
a day in the life of Brahma is divided into 14 periods called manvantaras ("Manu intervals"), each of which lasts for 306,720,000 years. In every second cycle [(new kalpa after pralaya)] the world is recreated, and a new Manu appears to become the father of the next human race. The present age is considered to be the seventh Manu cycle.
- Gupta, Dr. S. V. (2010). "Ch. 1.2.4 Time Measurements". In Hull, Prof. Robert; Osgood, Jr., Prof. Richard M.; Parisi, Prof. Jurgen; Warlimont, Prof. Hans (eds.). Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer Series in Materials Science: 122. Springer. pp. 7–8. ISBN 9783642007378.
Paraphrased: Mahayuga equals 12,000 Deva (divine) years (4,320,000 solar years). Manvantara equals 71 Mahayugas (306,720,000 solar years). Kalpa (day of Brahma) equals an Adi Sandhya, 14 Manvantaras, and 14 Sandhya Kalas, where 1st Manvantara preceded by Adi Sandhya and each Manvantara followed by Sandhya Kala, each Sandhya lasting same duration as Satya yuga (1,728,000 solar years), during which the entire earth is submerged in water. Day of Brahma equals 1,000 Mahayugas, the same length for a night of Brahma (Bhagavad-gita 8.17). Brahma lifespan (311.04 trillion solar years) equals 100 360-day years, each 12 months. Parardha is 50 Brahma years and we are in the 2nd half of his life. After 100 years of Brahma, the universe starts with a new Brahma. We are currently in the 28th Kali yuga of the first day of the 51st year of the second Parardha in the reign of the 7th (Vaivasvata) Manu.
- Krishnamurthy, Prof. V. (2019). "Ch. 20: The Cosmic Flow of Time as per Scriptures". Meet the Ancient Scriptures of Hinduism. Notion Press. ISBN 9781684669387.
Each manvantara is preceded and followed by a period of 1,728,000 (= 4K) years when the entire earthly universe (bhu-loka) will submerge under water. The period of this deluge is known as manvantara-sandhya (sandhya meaning, twilight).
- "Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.13.14-16". Archived from the original on 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
- Bühler, G. (1886). "Ch. 1, The Creation". In Müller, F. Max (ed.). The Laws of Manu: translated with extracts from seven commentaries. Sacred Books of the East. Vol. XXV. Oxford University Press. p. 22.
Ch. 1, Slokas 67, 71-72, 79-80
- Wilson, Horace Hayman (1840). The Vishnu Purana. Book I, Ch. III. pp. 23–25.