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One palya is the length of time it takes to build a cube of lambswool 1 (or possibly 100) yojans high (between 4 and 9 miles or 6.4 km and 14.5 km), if one strand was laid down every century.It has also been defined as the length of time it would take a little bird to empty a well one mile square full of fine hairs, if it carried away one hair every hundred years.

The palya is the unit of time used to describe when the Lord Adinath came to India. More specifically it was 100,000,000,000,000 palyas ago.

The concept of Palya was born of the desire to quantify relative dimensions in time and space in proportion to the achievement of Nirvana or some similar enlightened state.