By Swami Harshananda
Kalpa literally means ‘era’. Brahmā, the four faced deity, created the world. His lifespan is 100 divine years. A kalpa is one day in his life. The creation lasts for this one day only. At the end of this day, there is pralaya or dissolution. It is called ‘naimittika-pralaya’. During Brahma’s night there will be no creation.
Sections of Kalpa
Each kalpa is divided into 14 manvantaras. One Manu rules over each of them. Presently we are in the first kalpa called ‘Śvetavarāhakalpa’ of the 51st year of Brahmā. Of the 14 manvantaras, the 7th is now in progress. It is ruled by Vaivasvata Manu.
Yugas of Kalpa
A kalpa is also divided into 1000 caturyugas or sets of four yugas. One Manu rules over 1000/14 or 71.42 caturyugas. The present Manu is now in the Kaliyuga of the 28th caturyuga. In terms of Human years, one kalpa is 4.32 billion years.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore