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Theosophical Encyclopedia


A Sanskrit term with a wide range of meanings, but often used to indicate “a day of BRAHMĀ,” i.e., a period of 4,320,000,000 human years or 1,000 Yugas. Brahmā’s months are said to be 30 of his days long and his year is 12 of his months; his lifetime is said to be 100 of his years, in other words an extraordinarily long period of time, indicating that ancient Hindus had a much vaster concept of time than that found in Europe until the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The term kalpa derives from the Sanksrit root klṛp, meaning “order,” “ceremonial rule,” “what is proper,” etc. The kalpa is divided into a number of smaller periods called manvantaras, i.e., periods presided over by a Manu.


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