A manvantara, in Hindu cosmology, is a cyclic period of time identifying the duration, reign, or age of a Manu, the progenitor of mankind. 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.
Manvantara (Sanskrit: मन्वन्तर), sometimes spelled manwantara or manuantara, is a compound of manu (Sanskrit: मनु, lit. 'man, mankind, or Manu, the progenitor of mankind') and antara (Sanskrit: अन्तर, lit. 'interval, period, or term'), creating manu-antara or manvantara, literally meaning "the duration of a Manu", or his lifespan, with synonym meanings of "the interval, reign, period, or age of a Manu".
Sandhya (Sanskrit: सन्ध्या or संध्या, romanized: sandhyā or samdhyā, lit. 'union, juncture, or twilight i.e. dawn/morning or dusk/night') or sandhi (Sanskrit: सन्धि or संधि, romanized: sandhi or samdhi, lit. 'union or juncture'), sometimes with a compound of kala (Sanskrit: काल, romanized: kāla, lit. 'time'), have been used to represent "the juncture before or after a manvantara", a period of universal deluge (flood):
- manvantara sandhya (Sanskrit: मन्वन्तर सन्ध्या, romanized: manvantara-sandhyā)
- manvantara sandhi (Sanskrit: मन्वन्तर सन्धि, romanized: manvantara-sandhi)
- sandhya kala (Sanskrit: सन्ध्या काल, romanized: sandhyākāla or sandhyā-kāla) when describing a manvantara
- sandhi kala (Sanskrit: सन्धि काल, romanized: sandhikāla or sandhi-kāla) when describing a manvantara
Duration and structure
Each manvantara lasts for 306,720,000 years (852,000 divine years; 1 divine year = 360 solar years) and repeats seventy-one Yuga Cycles (world ages). In a kalpa (day of Brahma), which lasts for 4.32 billion years (12 million divine years or 1,000 Yuga Cycles), there are a total of fourteen manvantaras (14 x 71 = 994 Yuga Cycles), where each is followed by and the first preceded by a manvantara-sandhya (fifteen sandhyas) with each sandhya lasting for 1,728,000 years (4,800 divine years; the duration of Satya Yuga). During each manvantara-sandhya, the earth (Bhu-loka) is submerged in water.
Each kalpa has 14 manvantaras and 15 manvantara-sandhyas in the following order:
- 1st manvantara-sandhya (a.k.a. adi sandhya)
- 1st manvantara
- 2nd manvantara-sandhya
- 2nd manvantara
- 14th manvantara-sandhya
- 14th manvantara
- 15th manvantara-sandhya
(67) A year is a day and a night of the gods ... (79) The before-mentioned age of the gods, (or) twelve thousand (of their years), being multiplied by seventy-one, (constitutes what) is here named the period of a Manu (Manvantara). (80) The Manvantaras, the creations and destructions (of the world, are) numberless; sporting, as it were, Brahman [(Brahma)] repeats this again and again.
(13) ... twelve months make a year. This is called a day of the gods. (14) ... Six times sixty  of them are a year of the gods ... (15) Twelve thousand of these divine years are denominated a Quadruple Age (caturyuga); of ten thousand times four hundred and thirty-two [4,320,000] solar years (18) One and seventy  Ages are styled here a Patriarchate (manvantara); at its end is said to be a twilight which has the number of years of a Golden Age, and which is a deluge. (19) In an Æon (kalpa) are reckoned fourteen such Patriarchs (manu) with their respective twilights; at the commencement of the Æon is a fifteenth dawn, having the length of a Golden Age.
Twelve thousand divine years, each composed of (three hundred and sixty) such days, constitute the period of the four Yugas, or ages ... a thousand such aggregates are a day of Brahma, and fourteen Manus reign within that term ... Seven Rishis, certain (secondary) divinities, Indra, Manu, and the kings his sons, are created and perish at one period; and the interval, called a Manwantara, is equal to seventy-one times the number of years contained in the four Yugas, with some additional years: this is the duration of the Manu, the (attendant) divinities, and the rest, which is equal to 852,000 divine years, or to 306,720,000 years of mortals, independent of the additional period. Fourteen times this period constitutes a Brahma day, that is, a day of Brahma ...
- Hindu units of time
- Hindu cosmology
- List of numbers in Hindu scriptures
- Saptarishi (Names in each manvantara)
- Wilkins, William Joseph (1913) [1st ed. 1882]. 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.
"मनु (manu)". Wiktionary. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
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"Manvantara, Manu-antara". Wisdom Library. 24 June 2012. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
- Gupta, S. V. (2010). "Ch. 1.2.4 Time Measurements". In Hull, Robert; Osgood, Richard M. Jr.; Parisi, Jurgen; Warlimont, 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 (14 x 71 = 994 Mahayugas), 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.
"sandhyA". Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
"संध्या (samdhyā)". Wiktionary. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
"सन्धि (sandhi)". Wiktionary. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
"संधि (samdhi)". Wiktionary. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
"काल (kāla)". Wiktionary. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
"Sandhi, Shandhi". Wisdom Library. 3 August 2014. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
"Sandhyakala, Sandhyākāla". Wisdom Library. 29 July 2018. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
"Samdhyakala, Saṃdhyākāla, Samdhya-kala". Wisdom Library. 22 August 2019. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
"Kala-sandhi, Kāla-sandhi". Wisdom Library. 17 December 2019. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
- 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.
- Krishnamurthy, 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).
- 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. pp. 20 (1.67), 22 (1.79–80).
- Burgess, Rev. Ebenezer (1935) . "Ch. 1: Of the Mean Motions of the Planets.". In Gangooly, Phanindralal (ed.). Translation of the Surya-Siddhanta, A Text-Book of Hindu Astronomy; With notes and an appendix. University of Calcutta. pp. 7–9 (1.13–15), 11 (1.18–19).
- Wilson, Horace Hayman (1840). "Ch. III". The Vishnu Purana. Vol. Book I. pp. 23–25.