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Hinduism is an epoch or era within a four-age cycle. A
Yuga starts with the
Satya Yuga, via
Treta Yuga and Dvapara
Yuga into a
Kali Yuga. Our present time is a
Kali Yuga, which
started at 3102 BCE with the end of the
Kurukshetra War (or
1 Four yugas
1.1 Characteristics of each Yuga
2 Durations of the four Yugas
4 See also
7 External links
There are four Yugas in one cycle:
Characteristics of each Yuga
Yuga (also known as Krita
Yuga "Golden Age"): The first and best
Yuga. It was the age of truth and perfection. The Krita
Yuga was so
named because there was but one religion, and all men were saintly:
therefore they were not required to perform religious ceremonies.
Humans were gigantic, powerfully built, honest, youthful, vigorous,
erudite and virtuous. The
Vedas were one. All mankind could attain to
supreme blessedness. There was no agriculture or mining as the earth
yielded those riches on its own. Weather was pleasant and everyone was
happy. There were no religious sects. There was no disease,
decrepitude or fear of anything.
Treta Yuga: Is considered to be the second
Yuga in order, however
Treta means the "Third". In this age, virtue diminishes slightly. At
the beginning of the age, many emperors rise to dominance and conquer
the world. Wars become frequent and weather begins to change to
extremities. Oceans and deserts are formed. People become slightly
diminished compared to their predecessors. Agriculture, labour and
mining become existent.
Dvapara Yuga: Is considered to be the third
Yuga in order. Dvapara
means "two pair" or "after two". In this age, people become tainted
with Tamasic qualities and aren't as strong as their ancestors.
Diseases become rampant. Humans are discontent and fight each other.
Vedas are divided into four parts. People still possess
characteristics of youth in old age. Average lifespan of humans is
around a few centuries.
Kali Yuga: The final age. It is the age of darkness and ignorance.
People become sinners and lack virtue. They become slaves to their
passions and are barely as powerful as their earliest ancestors in the
Satya Yuga. Society falls into disuse and people become liars and
hypocrites. Knowledge is lost and scriptures are diminished. Humans
eat forbidden and dirty food. The environment is polluted, water and
food become scarce. Wealth is heavily diminished. Families become
non-existent. By the end of
Yuga the average lifespan of humans
will be as low as 70 years.
Durations of the four Yugas
Relationship between various time units in
According to one Puranic astronomical estimate, the four
Yuga have the
Yuga equals 1,728,000 Human years
Treta Yuga equals 1,296,000 Human years
Dvapara Yuga equals 864,000 Human years
Yuga equals 432,000 Human years
Together, these four yuga constitute one
Mahayuga and equal 4.32
million human years. According to one version, there are 1,000
Mahayugas in one day of
Brahma or 4.32 billion human years. A
Mahakalpa consists of 100 years of Brahma.
Srimad Bhagavatam 3.11.19, which is dated around the
400–500 BC, the Yugas are much longer, using a divine year in
which one day is equal to one human year, thus:
one year of the demigods is equal to 360 years of the human beings.
The duration of the Satya-yuga is therefore 4,800 x 360, or 1,728,000
years. The duration of the Tretā-yuga is 3,600 x 360, or 1,296,000
years. The duration of the Dvāpara-yuga is 2,400 x 360, or 864,000
The Viṣṇu Purāṇa
Time measurement section of the Viṣṇu
Purāṇa Book I Chapter III adds:
2 Ayanas (6-month periods, see above) = 1 human year or 1 day of the
12,000 divine years = 4 Yugas (= 4,320,000 human years) = 1 Mahā-Yuga
(also is equal to 12,000 Daiva (divine) Yuga).
2*12,000 = 24,000 divine year = 12000 revolutions of sun around its
While the long yuga count is the most popular, it does not correlate
to any known celestial motion found in the Astronomical Almanac. The
value of 24,000 years fits relatively close with the modern
astronomical calculation of one full precession of the equinox, which
takes 25,772 years.[note 1] Thus the yuga cycle may have some basis in
known terrestrial cycles.
Srimad Bhagavatam 3.11.19 describes the
timespans of the demigods, in which a year of a yuga is a year of the
demigods. It is this second sloka which appears to have been modified
over the years.
The ages see a gradual decline of dharma, wisdom, knowledge,
intellectual capability, life span, emotional and physical strength.
Yuga – Virtue reigns supreme. Human stature was 21 cubits.
Average human lifespan was 100,000 years.
Treta Yuga – There was 3 quarter virtue and 1 quarter sin. Normal
human stature was 14 cubits. Average human lifespan was 10,000 years.
Dwapara Yuga – There was 1 half virtue & 1 half sin. Normal
human stature was 7 cubits. Average human lifespan was 1,000 years.
Yuga – There is 1 quarter virtue & 3 quarter sin. Normal
human stature is 3.5 cubits. Average human lifespan will be 100 years.
In the present days we may be said to live in a
Kali Yuga, which is
said to have started in 3102 BCE with the end of the Mahabharata
war. This date is also considered by many Hindus to be the day that
Krishna left Earth and went to his abode.[note 2]
Hindu units of time
List of numbers in
^ This phenomenon is observed as the stars moving retrograde across
the sky at about 50 arc seconds per year, and is thought to produce
periods of warm ages and ice ages known as the Milankovitch cycle.
^ According to Sri Yukteswar Giri, guru of Paramahansa Yogananda, The
ascending phase of the
Yuga began in September 499 CE. Since
September 1699, we have been in the ascending phase of the Dwapara
Yuga. According to Sri Yukteswar, nobody wanted to announce the bad
news of the beginning of the descending
Kali Yuga, so they kept adding
years to the Dvapara date (at that time 2400 Dvapara) only retitling
the epoch to Kali.
Vedic knowledge online, Vedic
Time in religion and mythology
Time and fate deities
Kalpa (day or night of Brahma)
Manvantara (age of a Manu)
Yuga (4'320'000 years)
Yuga (1,728,000 years)
Treta Yuga (1,296,000 years)
Dvapara Yuga (864,000 years)
Yuga (432,000 years)
Manvantara (life of Manu )= 71 * by 4,320,000 years
Abraham (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)
Mashya and Mashyana
Mashya and Mashyana (Zoroastrianism)
Nyatri Tsenpo (Tibetan Buddhism)
Melampus (Greek Mythology)
Wurugag and Waramurungundi (Australian Gunwinggu)
Míl Espáine (Irish)
Wau Rauh (Bali)
^ Mark L. Prophet, Elizabeth Clare Prophet. The Path to Immortality.
Summit University Press.
^ Giriwar Charan Agarwala. Age of Bhārata War. Motilal
^ a b c Bryan E. Penprase. The Power of Stars. Springer.
^ a b c d Hans Kng. "Tracing The Way: Spiritual Dimensions of the
World Religions". A&C Black.
^ Kashi Nath Upadhyaya. "Early Buddhism and the Bhagavadgita".
^ pnd (15 July 2011). "SB 3.11.19". vedabase.com.
^ Richter-Ushanas 1997, p. 16.