This wiki article mentions that Kali Yuga is 4,32,000 human years old. The length of the other Yugas is also in similar order of magnitude.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudeva, in this video, talks about smaller cycles of Kaala. In these cycles, Kali Yuga is 1296 years of length.

Paramahansa Yogananda, in his book, The Autobiography of A Yogi mentions a similar 1200 period range of Kali Yuga as told to him by his Guru Sri Yukteswara:

Sri Yukteswar discovered the mathematical application of a 24,000−year equinoctial cycle to our present age. The cycle is divided into an Ascending Arc and a Descending Arc, each of 12,000 years. Within each Arc fall four Yugas or Ages, called Kali, Dwapara, Treta, and Satya, corresponding to the Greek ideas of Iron, Bronze, Silver, and Golden Ages.

My guru determined by various calculations that the last Kali Yuga or Iron Age, of the Ascending Arc, started about A.D. 500. The Iron Age, 1200 years in duration, is a span of materialism; it ended about A.D. 1700. That year ushered in Dwapara Yuga, a 2400−year period of electrical and atomic−energy developments, the age of telegraph, radio, airplanes, and other space−annihilators.

The 3600−year period of Treta Yuga will start in A.D. 4100; its age will be marked by common knowledge of telepathic communications and other time−annihilators. During the 4800 years of Satya Yuga, final age in an ascending arc, the intelligence of a man will be completely developed; he will work in harmony with the divine plan.

I have two questions: Is there any scripture which mentions these smaller cycles of Kaala? Which scripture mentions the longer cycles of Kaala?

  • 2
    Some Hindus believe factor 360 crept into Yuga calculations which inflated them.
    – The Destroyer
    Apr 30, 2016 at 14:17
  • 1
    I don't think there are smaller cycles within another cycle. I also support Sri Yukteswar's theory because according to the various things that happened in history fit perfectly in his theory. See this and this to know why the traditional theory is incorrect.
    – Pinakin
    May 1, 2016 at 9:35

2 Answers 2


Is there any scripture which mentions these smaller cycles of Kaala?

In Vana Parva (Markandeya-Samasya Upa-parva) of The Mahabharata, Sage Markandeya explains the Yuga cycle to Yudhishthira as follows:

"Markandeya replied, 'Indeed, I shall explain all, after having bowed down to that Self-existent, Primordial Being, who is eternal and undeteriorating and inconceivable, and who is at once vested with and divested of attributes. O tiger among men, this Janardana attired in yellow robes is the grand Mover and Creator of all, the Soul and Framer of all things, and the lord of all! He is also called the Great, the Incomprehensible, the Wonderful and the Immaculate. He is without beginning and without end, pervades all the world, is Unchangeable and Undeteriorating. He is the Creator of all, but is himself uncreate and is the Cause of all power. His knowledge is greater than that of all the gods together. O best of kings and pre-eminent of men, after the dissolution of the universe, all this wonderful creation again comes into life.

Four thousand years have been said to constitute the Krita Yuga. Its dawn also, as well as its eve, hath been said to comprise four hundred years.

The Treta-Yuga is said to comprise three thousand years, and its dawn, as well as its eve, is said to comprise three hundred years.

The Yuga that comes next is called Dwapara, and it hath been computed to consist of two thousand years. Its dawn, as well as its eve, is said to comprise two hundred years.

The next Yuga, called Kali, is said to comprise one thousand years and its dawn, as well as eve, is said to comprise one hundred years. Know, O king, that the duration of the dawn is the same as that of the eve of a Yuga.

And after the Kali Yuga is over, the Krita Yuga comes again. A cycle of the Yugas thus comprised a period of twelve thousand years.

A full thousand of such cycles would constitute a day of Brahma.

Note that he doesn't use any 360x multiplier nor calls those years deity-years, so we can assume them to be normal human years.

Which scripture mentions the longer cycles of Kaala?

Interestingly, in Shanti Parva (Mokshadharma Upa-parva), those same years are referred to as "years of the deities". Bhishma here recollects the conversation, Sage Vyasa had with his son Suka, to explain to Yudhishthira the concept of "divisions of time":

"Vyasa said, 'Only Brahma, which is without beginning and without end, unborn, blazing with effulgence, above decay, immutable, indestructible, inconceivable, and transcending knowledge, exists before the Creation.

The Rishis, measuring time, have named particular portions by particular names. Five and ten winks of the eye make what is called a Kashtha. Thirty Kashthas would make what is called a Kala. Thirty Kalas, with the tenth part of a Kala added, make what is known as a Muhurta. Thirty Muhurtas make up one day and night. Thirty days and nights are called a month, and twelve months are called a year. Persons conversant with mathematical science say that a year is made up of two ayanas (dependent on sun's motion), viz., the northern and the southern. The sun makes the day and the night for the world of man. The night is for the sleep of all living creatures, and the day is for the doing of action. A month of human beings is equal to a day and night of the Pitris. That division (as regards the Pitris) consists in this: the lighted fortnight (of men) is their day which is for the doing of acts; and the dark fortnight is their night for sleep.

A year (of human beings) is equal to a day and night of the gods. The division (as regards the gods) consists in this: the half year for which the sun travels from the vernal to the autumnal equinox is the day of the deities, and the half year for which the sun travels from the latter to the former is their night. Computing by the days and nights of human beings about which I have told thee, I shall speak of the day and night of Brahman and his years also.

I shall, in their order, tell thee the number of years, that are (thus) for different purposes computed differently in respect of the Krita, the Treta, the Dwapara, and the Kali yugas. Four thousand years (of the deities) is the duration of the first or Krita age. The morning of that epoch consists of four hundred years and its evening is of four hundred years. (The total duration, therefore, of the Krita yuga is four thousand and eight hundred years of the deities). As regards the other yugas, the duration of each gradually decreases by a quarter in respect of both the substantive period with the conjoining portion and the conjoining portion itself. (Thus the duration of the Treta is three thousand years and its morning extends for three hundred years and its evening for three hundred). The duration of the Dwapara also is two thousand years, and its morning extends for two hundred years and its evening also for two hundred. The duration of the Kali yuga is one thousand years, and its morning extends for one hundred years, and its evening for one hundred.

[Footnote] 156:1 The Krita extends in all for 4,800 years. The Treta for 3,600; the Dwapara for 2,400; and the Kali for 1,200. These are, however, the years of the deities. Verses 15-17 and 20-21 occur in Manusmriti, Chapter I.

So as per the above explanation, each Kali-yuga is 1200 deity-years (or divine years) = 432,000 human years. Vishnu Purana also agrees with this explanation.


How many kinds of Yugas are there? by Satya Sarada Kandula.

  • So, the real question is what is a deity or divine year, in the links you mentioned people assume that a deity year is different from 360 days without providing any references. May 1, 2016 at 14:58
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    Yeah looks like there is no definite reference for 1 God-year (Gy) = 360 x God-days (Gd), if I find, I'll update my answer. May 1, 2016 at 23:32

The duration of the Yuga used by Indians changed with time. You can read the details in "The chronology of ancient India" by Vedveer Arya.

The oldest Yuga division was of 5 years. The longest yuga division is found in the Puranas.

Here I am mentioning the oldest and shortest division. You can find this in the Vedanga Jyotish. Vedanga Jyotish is one of the six limbs of the Vedas. The oldest surviving text of Vedanga Jyotish is Vedanga Jyotish of Lagadha. It has two recensions - Yajurvedic and Rigvedic.

pañcasaṃvatsaramayaṃ yugādhyakṣaṃ prajāpatim
dinartvayanamāsaṅgaṃ praṇamya śirasā śucih (Verse 1, Yajurvedic recension)

jyotiṣām ayanam punyam pravaksyāmyanupūrvaśaḥ
sammatam brāhmanendrāṇāṃ yajñakālārthasiddhaye (Verse 2, Yajurvedic recension)

Translation -

Purifying myself and saluting with bent head Prajāpati, the embodiment and presider over the five-year-yuga and who has for his limbs time-segments like day, month, seasons and courses of the Sun (ayana), I shall write systematically about the effect on time of the movement of the luminaries, meritorious by itself and accepted by learned brāhmaṇas, for the purpose of determining the proper time for the different sacrifices. (Verse 1-2, Yajurvedic recension of Vedāṇga Jyotiṣa of Lagadha)

Source - Vedāṇga Jyotiṣa of Lagadha in its Ṛk and Yajus recensions with the translation and notes of Prof. T. S. Kuppanna Sastri

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