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Yuga in Hinduism is an epoch or era within a four-age cycle. A complete Yuga starts with the "Satya Yuga, via "Treta Yuga and "Dvapara Yuga into a "Kali Yuga.[1] Our present time is a Kali Yuga, which started at 3102 BCE with the end of the "Kurukshetra War (or Mahabharata war).[2]

Contents

Four yugas[edit]

There are four Yugas in one cycle:

Characteristics of each Yuga[edit]

Durations of the four Yugas[edit]

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Relationship between various time units in Hindu cosmology

According to one Puranic astronomical estimate, the four Yuga have the following durations:[3]

Together, these four yuga constitute one Mahayuga and equal 4.32 million human years.[3] 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.[3]

According to "Srimad Bhagavatam 3.11.19, which is dated around the 400–500 BC,[5] 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 years.[6]

The Viṣṇu Purāṇa Time measurement section of the Viṣṇu Purāṇa Book I Chapter III adds:

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.

Decline[edit]

The ages see a gradual decline of dharma, wisdom, knowledge, intellectual capability, life span, emotional and physical strength.

In the present days we may be said to live in a Kali Yuga, which is said to have started in 3102 BCE[7] 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]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ According to "Sri Yukteswar Giri, guru of "Paramahansa Yogananda, The ascending phase of the Kali 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.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Mark L. Prophet, Elizabeth Clare Prophet. The Path to Immortality. Summit University Press. 
  2. ^ Giriwar Charan Agarwala. Age of Bhārata War. "Motilal Banarsidass. 
  3. ^ a b c Bryan E. Penprase. The Power of Stars. Springer. p. 182. 
  4. ^ a b c d Hans Kng. "Tracing The Way: Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions". A&C Black. 
  5. ^ Kashi Nath Upadhyaya. "Early Buddhism and the Bhagavadgita". p. 58. 
  6. ^ pnd (15 July 2011). "SB 3.11.19". vedabase.com. 
  7. ^ Richter-Ushanas 1997, p. 16.
  8. ^ Yukteswar 1949.
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