Book IV Chapter 4 of Vishnu Purana describes Ikshvaku dynasty as:

"Rama and his brothers had each two sons. Kusha and Lava were the sons of Rama; those of Lakshman were Angada and Chandraketu; the sons of Bharata were Taksha and Pushkara; and Subáhu and Śúrasena were the sons of Śatrughna. The son of Kusha was Atithi; his son was Nishadha; his son was Nala; his son was Nabhas; his son was Puńdaríka; his son was Kshemadhanwan; his son was Deváníka; his son was Ahínagu; his son was Páripátra; his son was Dala; his son was Chhala; his son was Uktha; his son was Vajranábha; his son was Śankhanábha; his son was Abhyutthitáśwa; his son was Viśwasaha; his son was Hirańyanábha, who was a pupil of the mighty Yogí Jaimini, and communicated the knowledge of spiritual exercises to Yájnawalkya. The son of this saintly king was Pushya; his son was Dhruvasandhi; his son was Sudarśana; his son was Agnivarńa; his son was Śíghra; his son was Maru, who through the power of devotion (Yoga) is still living in the village called Kalápa, and in a future age will be the restorer of the Kshatriya race in the solar dynasty. Maru had a son named Prasuśruta; his son was Susandhi; his son was Amarsha; his son was Mahaswat; his son was Viśrutavat; and his son was Vrihadbala, who was killed in the great war by Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna. These are the most distinguished princes in the family of Ikshvaku: whoever listens to the account of them will be purified from all his sins."

In short, the dynasty starting Lord Rama goes as:

Rama, Kusha, Atithi, Nisadha, Nala, Nabhas, Pundarika, Kshemadhanwan, Devanika, Ahinagu, Paripatra, Dala, Chhala, Uktha, Vajranabha, Sankhanabha, Abhyutthitaswa, Viswasaha, Hiranyanabha, Pushya, Dhruvasandhi, Sudarsana, Agnivarna, Sighra, Maru, Prasusruta, Susandhi, Amarsha, Mahaswat, Visrutavat, Vrihadbala.

Now Vrihadbala was killed by Abhimanyu in the Mahabharata war. This makes it clear that there are 31 kings starting Lord Rama to Vrihadbala, so, 31 kings (of Ikshvaku dynasty) ruled from Ramayana until Mahabharata.

Now, Rama is said to be of 24th Treta. Some references to support this are:

Treta yuge chaturvinshe ravane tapseh shakshyat |
Ram dashrtathi prapiye sagane shakyamiyeewan || 
[Vayu Puraan 70.88]
Chaturvinshe yuge chapi vishwamitra pure sare |
Loke ram iti khyate tejsah bhaskaropam || 
[Harivansh 22.104]

Chaturvinshe yuge vats tretayaam raghuvanshaje |
Ramo naam bhavishyami chaturvhayu sanatane ||
[Brahmand Puraan]

All of the above references are stating "Treta Yuge ChaturVimshe" i.e., Rama is of 24th Treta. Mahabharata is of 28th Dwapara and we are now in 28th Kali.

This means that the period from Ramayana to Mahabharata went as:

24th Treta + 24th Dwapara + 24th Kali +
25th Satya + 25th Treta + 25th Dwapara + 25th Kali +
26th (Satya, Treta, Dwapara, Kali) +
27th (Satya, Treta, Dwapara, Kali) +
28th Satya + 28th Treta + 28th Dwapara

Assuming 1 Chatur-yuga = 12000 years (4800 years of Satya, 3600 years of Treta, 2400 years of Dwapara and 1200 years of Kali), we get 54,000 years.

Now, here comes the debate whether 4800 years of Satya, 2400 years of Treta etc. are "Human-years" or "God-years":

  • Assuming they're God-years:

    Then, 54,000 Deva-years = 54000 × 360 = 19,440,000 i.e., around 1.9 crore years. This means Mahabharata happened 1.9 cr. years after Ramayana took place. As there are only 31 kings ruling, average life of one king comes to 1.9 crore ÷ 31 = around 6 lakh years!

    i.e., those 31 kings lived an average life of 6 lakh years.

  • Assuming 54,000 as Human-years:

    This answer actually suggests that they are Human-years. Then 31 kings would have an average age of about 1700 years. I also checked Linga Purana and in the chapter where ages are described it also calls 4800 years as Human-years.

    So, whether it is human-years or deva-years, the average age of kings would be 1000+ years. Assuming it as Deva-years, their average age will be 6 lakh+ years!

  • BUT Srimad Bhagavatam suggests here that it is Deva-year:

    kṛtaṁ tretā dvāparaṁ ca kaliś ceti catur-yugam
    divyair dvādaśabhir varṣaiḥ sāvadhānaṁ nirūpitam

    Maitreya said: O Vidura, the four millenniums are called the Satya-, Tretā-, Dvāpara- and Kali-yuga. The aggregate number of years of all of these combined is equal to twelve thousand years of the demigods.

    It uses the word Divya which suggests it referring to celestial years. In such cases as already discussed average life of those Kings would be around 6 lakh years.

If we go with Linga Purana (which suggests Human-years) and Mahabharata, average life would be about 1700 years if Ramayana took place in the 24th Treta.

But as discussed in the answer here, the Vedas prescribe 100 years (to 300 years) of life to Humans. In such a case, if Ramayana occurred in recent Treta (i.e., 28th Treta) then the average life of those kings would be around 193 years (if Rama was born in beginning of Treta) to 77 yrs (if Rama was born during end of Treta). This value is quite reasonable and is also in accordance with the Vedas.

Bhavishya Purana also suggests that Rama was born in 28th Treta.

An interesting thing to note in this huge figure is that if a king married or reproduced even after 20,000 years after his birth, he'll still be alive to see his 31st generation!

So, considering above calculations, I actually want to know:

  • What was the average age of those 31 Ikshvaku kings?

  • Did they live a life of about 6 lakh years (assuming Deva-years) or 1700 years (assuming 24th Treta Human-year) or 77 to 193 years (assuming recent i.e., 28th Treta)?

  • Does any scripture talk about the age of those kings?

  • Can we form a family tree of Ikshvaku kings from Ramayana to Mahabharata using data (ages of those kings) from various scriptures?

  • Do we at least know ages of few of those 31 kings?

  • Does any scripture record who among those 31 kings ruled in Kali-yuga of previous ages (i.e., 24th Kali, 25th Kali, 26th, 27th etc.)?

  • 1
    It's simple: some kings were extremely long lived in earlier Yugas. In any case, Hindu scripture generally don't specify the Yuga in which each individual ruler lived, it only specifies the Yuga in very important cases. – Keshav Srinivasan Mar 30 '16 at 2:10
  • @ Keshav Srinivasan and what about king Maru ? – Tejaswee Mar 30 '16 at 2:13
  • 1
    I'm guessing that Maru lived relatively recently, perhaps in the 28th Dwapara Yuga. Shantanu's brother Devapi lived in the Dwapara Yuga, and it seems likely to me that Devapi and Maru were contemporaries, although it's possible that Maru was born a few generations earlier. – Keshav Srinivasan Mar 30 '16 at 2:17
  • Can you provide some example of extremely long lived Ikshvaku king ? – Tejaswee Mar 30 '16 at 2:27
  • 1
    @Yogi No, it lists all.. you can check the passage of Vishnu Purana in the top of this question.. it goes with "his son is..".. So it is not leaving anyone.. it provides Perfect dynastical name from Lord Rama to Vrihadbala... – Tejaswee Dec 10 '16 at 11:16

"what was the average age of those 31 Ikshavaku Kings? Can we form a dynastical age map from Ramayana to Mahabharata using age of those kings using data from various scriptures? Do we at least know age of few of those among 31 Kings? "

According to archaeological survey, RAmAyana is believed to have happened around 7000 years back and from various stars' positions, it's widely believed that MahAbharata happened 5000 years back.

Irrespective of whichever Yuga these epics happened, the age of those kings should be 100 +/- years. The only sensible age I could find is of Drona = 85 years, seen here:

Having slain Bharadwaja's son (Drona). Dhrishtadyumna was filled with great joy, and uttered leonine shouts, whirling his sword. Of a dark complexion, with white locks hanging down to his ears, that old man of five and eighty years of age, used, for thy sake only, to career on the field of battle with the activity of a youth of sixteen.

Human anatomy hasn't changed much for many thousands of years. Hence, over the top ages are simply not possible. Not at least in 1000s of years for so many kings/people in form of their mortal bodies.
Here is another post, which suggests that men [mostly] live for 100 years [even] while practising Yoga.

"How to solve this PARADOX? How can some kings live for 1000's of years and yet some live for only 100 years? What's really going on? What is the truth?"

There is an misinformation in assuming that people really lived 1000s of years. Here are the reasons:

  • Rational: It's a well known fact that, RAma had to live 14 years in exile, & repenting this situation DasarathA died. Now let's assume that the ages of Dasaratha & RAma were 10000 years (this answer). Do you think, that 14 years will be a great deal for Dasaratha to repent & RAma to pass through, when they are going to live for 10k years?! Ofcourse not.

  • Scripture: One [mostly] authentic source of the duration of various Yuga-s is found in "Moksha Dharma Parva" as in this answer. Here is that Verse-20 from MahAbhArata book > Volume-8 > Chapter-231 > Page-178:

चत्वार्याहुः सहस्राणि वर्षाणां तत्कृतं युगम्। तस्य तावच्छती संध्या संध्यांशश्च तथाविधः ।।२०।।
Four thousand celestial years is the duration of the first or Krita age. The morning of that cycle consists of four hundred years and its evening is of four hundred years.

From Sanskrit to English translation, nowhere it can be found that the years mentioned in Yuga are Deva (celestial) years. Hence, those years are human years only.

Note: In the abive linked answer, it's also calculated that a Brahman cycle (day + night) constitutes 24 million years. Out of which the existence happen only for 12 million years, i.e. 120 lacs years. If someone lives 6 lacs years, then it is as good as 5% of that duration, which is way too high.

  • Archeological Survey is not sure when Ramayana happened. See results of Rama setu. Results are ambiguous. If you do now, you may get different results. If you go by Astrological events, positions of stars could recur. "Human anatomy hasn't changed much for many thousands of years". This is for physical body alone without considering subtle body. So, we can't apply these laws to our ancestors who are spiritually advanced to us. Puranas do mention clearly Krita yuga is 4k years of Devas. – The Destroyer Dec 11 '16 at 7:14
  • 2
    @TheDestroyer See this article, it clearly explains Ramayana events. Yes, position of stars could recur but the dates found in case of Ramayana fit exactly in a human's 100 year life span. It's not that one date found is 5114 BC and the other date is 2700 BC, it is consistent. Almost all the puranas clearly mentioned deva years but puranas are also the only one to mention deva years. Manu Smriti, Mahabharat, Upanishads all talk about just 100 years as human life span. – Chinmay Sarupria Dec 11 '16 at 15:21
  • @TheDestroyer But more importantly, Yajur Veda talks about average life span as 100 years. – Chinmay Sarupria Dec 11 '16 at 15:25
  • @TheDestroyer If Hanuman could increase his body to enormous sizes, I wonder why couldn't he carry the whole vanara sena to Lanka on his back. Why to build a bridge? I don't understand the logic there. – sv. Dec 11 '16 at 23:09
  • 1
    @YDS 100 year age is for most people, there are of course exceptions, the basis of Hatha Yoga is to extend life. If you do Kumbhaka, your life will be extended as well. Also, the life events of Rama and Ravana are enough to refute traditional theory. If 1000s of year of life span was correct, then people will grow also accordingly like infancy till 50-100 years, toddler till 500-600 year but if you see the stats given in the scriptures, they say that Sita was married to Rama very early in double digits or maybe single digit age, if that's true then according to tradional theory, Sita and Rama – Chinmay Sarupria Dec 13 '17 at 9:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .