kālākhyaṁ lakṣaṇaṁ brahman
yathā varṇaya naḥ prabho
The complete universe is a manifestation of varieties of entities, beginning from the atoms up to the gigantic universe itself, and all is under the control of the Supreme Lord in His form of kāla, or eternal time. The controlling time has different dimensions in relation to particular physical embodiments. There is a time for atomic dissolution and a time for the universal dissolution. There is a time for the annihilation of the body of the human being, and there is a time for the annihilation of the universal body. Also, growth, development and resultant actions all depend on the time factor. Vidura wanted to know in detail the different physical manifestations and their times of annihilation.