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Cyclic arrangement of The Universe

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Cyclic arrangement of The Universe

presented by - Aryika Chandnamati

According to Jain literature, there are two divisions of time in the form of Evolution (UtasarpiàÍ) and Devolution (AvasarpiàÍ) epochs in the Àryan section of Bharata region of JambödvÍpa. The epoch, in which the life-span of human and sub-human beings, their body-height and prosperity etc. are gradually decreasing, is called Devolution (AvasarpiàÍ) epoch. In contrast, there is gradually increasing order in the above properties in the Evolution (UtsarpiàÍ) epoch. The duration of devolution period is 10 crore x crore (KoÅÂ-KoÅÍ) SÂgaras consisting of many Palya years. The duration of Evolution period is also the same. Both of these epochs combined make up a KalpakÂla (Aeon) with a total duration of 20 crore x crore (20 x1014) SÂgaras. Each of the epoch of the Devolution and Evolution has six spokes or divisions.
Six Divisions or Spokes of Devolution Epoch (of time)

The six spokes of the Devolution epoch are : (1) Extreme plentitude (Suîam - SuîamÂ), (2) Plentitude (SuîamÂ), (3) Plentitude-cum-Penury (Suîam - DöîamÂ), (4) Penury-cum-Plentitude (Duîam - SuîamÂ) (5) Penury (DuîamÂ) and (6) Extreme penury (Duîam - DuîamÂ). The Evolution epoch also has six spokes which are in the reverse order of these six ones. The word, ‘îamÂ’ means division of time. The prefixes ‘Su’ and ‘Du’ mean good and bad respectively. Thus, etymologically, the terms ‘SuîamÂ’ and ‘DuîamÂ’ signify the ‘good time’ and ‘bad-time’. Both these epochs run a revolving cycle of time like the dark & bright half of the months. They undergo a cycle starting from Devolution epoch followed by Evolution epoch and so on.
Out of these six, the first spoke of extreme plentitude (SuîamÂ-SuîamÂ) has a duration of four crore x crore SÂgaras (4 x 1014 SÂgaras). The second spoke has a duration of three crore x crore SÂgaras. The third spoke has a duration of two crore x crore SÂgaras. The fourth spoke has a duration of one crore x crore SÂgaras less by forty two thousand years (i.e. 1 crore x crore SÂgaras-42000 years). The fifth spoke has a duration of 21000 years and the sixth spoke also has a duration of 21000 years.

Changes of The Six Spokes of Time

The First Spoke of Extreme Plentitude : In the first spoke of extreme plentitude, the land is devoid of sands, smoke, fire, ice and thorns etc. There are no deficient-sensed beings (Vikalatraya-having two, three or four senses) like conch, scorpion, ant, flies etc. during this epoch. There are divine sands and pleasantly smelling soil. There are no non-instinctive (AsanjnÍ, without Mana) and mutually opponent beings. There is no difference of day and night there. There is no heat, cold or darkness during this spoke. There are also no bad habits (Vyasanas) of enjoying other’s wives and wealth etc. During this spoke, the men are born in pairs (a male and a female). Their body height is 6000 Dhanuîas (~three Koías or ~ 6 miles or ~ 10 kms.). They have a life-span of three Palyas (uncountable years). The men and women living during this spoke have two hundred and fifty six bones in the backside of their body. Their bodies do neither excrete urine nor faeces. They have good smelling respirations. The colour of their body is like heated gold. Their body configuration is Samacaturasra (symmetrical) and their bone joints are adamantinely nailed and wrapped i.e. VajravçîabhanÂrÂca Samhanana. The strength of everybody is equivalent to 9000 elephants. During this spoke, there is no other family member except the male and female born in pair. There are no villages and towns etc. during this spoke. There are only ten kinds of Kalpa-vçkîas (wish-fulfilling trees) which offer the mentally desired materials to these pairs.
The Names of The Wish-fulfilling Trees (Kalpa-vçkîas)
There are ten classes of wish-fulfilling trees during the first spoke which are as below :
(1) Drinks - supplying Trees (PÂnÂnga)
(2) Musical instruments supplying trees (TöryÂnga)
(3) Ornament-supplying trees (BhöîanÂnga)
(4) Dress-supplying trees (VastrÂnga)
(5) Food-supplying trees (BhojanÂnga)
(6) Residence-supplying trees (ÀlayÂnga)
(7) Light-supplying trees (DÍpÂnga)
(8) Vessels - supplying trees (BhÂjanÂnga)
(9) Garland-supplying trees (MÂlÂnga)
(10) Lustre-supplying trees (Jyotiranga)
These wish-fulfilling trees are neither plants (vegetation) nor any peripatetic deities. However, their specificity is that they offer the fruits of the sacred karmas of the living beings despite their being of the nature of earth (PçthvÍkÂyika).

Pleasure etc. in The Lands of Enjoyment (Bhogabhömis)
The paired couples, in the lands of enjoyment, receive the materials offered by the wish-fulfilling trees and proteate themselves in many kinds of body (i.e. VikriyÂ-assuming different body forms) and enjoy the various types of sensuals. They have an intake of food equivalent to the size of plum on every fourth day. These pairs do not have accidental or sudden death (KadalÍghÂta Maraàa) and they enjoy pleasures infinite-times more than the CakravartÍs. The males of the lands of enjoyment are more beautiful than the Lords of deities (Indra) in the heavens. The women there, are beautiful like the angels or nymphs.
On birth in the lands of enjoyment, the newly born pairs spend their first three days in sucking their thumbs on the birth- bed. Afterwards, they begin sitting, wavering movement, regular movement, learning of arts and crafts, acquiring youthhood and capacity of acquiring righteousness. Each of this development stage takes place in three days each. In other words, the pair becomes fully young and skilled in all kinds of arts by acquiring seven kinds of capacities as above in twenty-one days.
As the time passes, the height of the body, life-span, strength, prodigy and radiance etc. of the living beings of this first spoke of four crore x crore SÂgaras have a gradual decrement.

The Second Spoke of Plentitude
With the above kinds of gradual decrements in various spheres, the second spoke named as Suîam (Plentitude) begins. In the beginning of this spoke of time, the body height of men is 4000 Dhanuîas (2 koías or ~ 4 miles or ~ 6 kms.), their life-span is two Palya and the colour of their body is white like the moon. They have two hundred twenty eight bones in the back-side of their body. They have a beautiful symmetrical body. They have a food-intake equivalent to the weight and size of Belleric myrabolan (BahedÂ) every third day.
The pair- born children in this spoke suck their thumbs for five days on their birth-bed. Afterwards, they spend five days each during the processes of sitting, wavering movement, steady movement, acquirement of learning of arts etc., youthhood and capacity for acquiring righteousness. Besides these specifics, the other descriptions of the living beings born in this spoke are similar to those described in case of the spoke of extreme plentitude. The duration of this second spoke is three crore x crore SÂgaras. As it moves, the height, strength, prodigy, life-span and radiance etc. of the living beings there gradually decrease.

The Third Spoke of Plentitude-cum-Penury
After the passing away of three crore x crore SÂgara years, the third spoke of time - Suîam - Duîam commences. It has a duration of two crore x crore SÂgaras. In the beginning of this spoke, the height of men is 2000 Dhanuîas (1 kosa or ~ 2 miles or ~ 3.2 kms.). Their life-span is one Palya and the body colour is white like the Priyangu fruit. The number of bones in the back-side of males and females of this spoke is sixty four. All the human have symmertical body. They have food - intake equivalent to the size and weight of a Myrabolan every alternate day.

The pair of infants born during this spoke have a seven-days system. They suck their thumbs for seven days while on birth bed. Afterwards, they have each process of seven days duration like sitting, wavering movement, steady movement, acquirement of learnings, youthhood and capacity for being righteous. Every stage requires seven days for completion. Besides these specifics, the rest of the description about the pairs in this spoke is similar to that of the first spoke.
During all these three spokes of time, there are the lands of enjoyment and there are no thieves, enemies, six-occupations like weaponry and writing etc., cold, heat, hurricanes and rains etc. The period of three spokes are respectively known as the maximal (Uttama), medial (Madhyama) and minimal (Jaghanya) lands of enjoyment.
One more important fact is that there are two types of Lands of enjoyment. Some are eternal and the others are temporary. Ete