12

What is the duration (timeline) of the four Yugas in Hindu cosmology?

  • Are you asking total time of four yugas or time duration between one yug to another ? – Kedarnath Jul 21 '14 at 15:02
  • bibhudev.blogspot.in/2011/03/… please check at this Site. You can find other material too. – user2532 Feb 22 '15 at 18:48
4

I would agree with those answers, which suggest following durations:

  1. Krita Yuga 4800 years
  2. Treta Yuga 3600 years
  3. Dwapara Yuga 2400 years
  4. Kali Yuga 1200 years

Here is the scriptural proof from Moksha Dharma Parva (assuming that it's not interpolated):

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. 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.

Krita yuga is 4000 + 400 + 400 = 4800 years. Other subsequent Yuga-s reduce by quarter, i.e. 1200 (1000 + 100 + 100) years. I have found some issues with Sanskrit translation, but have accepted above.


There are some interesting counter questions to be discussed in this regard.

Q-1: "Are these human years or some divine years?"

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.

They are indeed human years. The above verse (Verse-20 from MahAbhArata book > Volume-8 > Chapter-231 > Page-178), does not show anything related to deity or celestial, even though it's translated such by few people.
Moreover, if we start multiplying according to "deity" years, then it will come up with very unrealistic figures, which are simply unbelievable.

Q-2: "Then what's the relation between human year & deity year?"

In the same source, we can find relation of human years with pitri-s & divine-s:

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.

This is the only relation I could find between humans & deities/gods.

Q-3 "How the Brahman's time is related to humans?

From the same source, 12000 years make a Yuga ( = Krita + Treta + DwApara + Kali). Thousand such Yuga-s duration make Brahman's day (i.e. morning, to be specific) and Thousand such Yuga-s duration makes Brahman's night.

The learned say that these twelve thousand years constitute what is called a yuga. A thousand such yugas compose a single day of Brahman. The same is the duration of Brahman's night.

That means Brahman's full cycle constitutes 24 million years.

Q-4: "What happens during Brahma's day & night?

The manifestation occurs only during the 1st half of 12 million years. Remaining part is completely void or Moskha.

With the commencement of Brahman's day the universe begins to start into life. During the period of universal dissolution the Creator sleeps, having recourse to yoga-meditation. When the period of slumber expires, He awakes. That then which is Brahman's day extends for a thousand such yugas. His nights also extends for a thousand similar yugas. They who know this are said to know the day and the night. On the expiry of His night, Brahman, waking up, modifies the indestructible chit by causing it to be overlaid with Avidya. He then causes Consciousness to spring up, whence proceeds Mind which is identical with the Manifest.

This has a striking similarity with what Krishna said in Gita:

BG 8.17, 8.18, 8.19 - Knowing that thousand eras constitute a day of Brahman, [and] thousand eras complete a night, are the people who know day, [and] night. On arrival of day, all manifestations originate from "Unmanifest"; On arrival of night they annihilate into [what is] known as "Unmanifest" only. This [same] elementary world only happens again & again; Annihilates upon arrival of night, [and] originates upon arrival of day.

Q-5: "If manifestation happens within 12 million years, then what about dinosaurs?"

Dinosaurs happened supposedly before 65 million years before. Even so called "big bang" happened 4.5 billion years ago. And it's difficult to fit them in the 12 million box. This could be the inspiration for those, who come up with superlative figures of each yuga (e.g. 432000 years for Kali).

However, this can be explained in following ways:

  • Dinosaurs & Big bang were dated X million/billion years ago using certain technique. As certain principles change over time, this may also change. May be we don't have full knowledge of dating back.
  • Assume that the dating is 100% accurate. In such case, we may think of video game analogy. Super Mario is the most famous game in the world. It has multiple stages (i.e. 30+ depending on version). Each stage has its own imagination for animals & plants. However, Mario can be limited within this 30+ stages. If someone digs into the evolution of those animals & plants, then they may really find the duration beyond those 30+ rounds. But in reality, they never evolved like that. Mario, plants, animals, queen & dragon just existed.
  • 1
    Hmm... I find Video game analogy interesting .. I have found Buddhist also solve evolution problem by this way... – Tejaswee Nov 25 '16 at 14:51
  • 1
    I watched this BBC documentary in which they do a gene identification experiment on many people from different parts of the world and conclude that some core genes common to all those can be traced back to Africa. They were saying about 70,000 years ago the first humans spread from Africa to Asia and rest of the world. Given that I'm not sure how Ramayana could have happened 1.6 million years ago. – sv. Dec 5 '16 at 22:42
  • @sv, there is recent evidence that humans appeared ~300,000 years ago.. since science keeps changing, so will your beliefs – ram Jul 28 '17 at 7:08
  • I also believe this (not the x365 version) but then how do we explain these 2 things - (1) Ramayana had a description of elephants with 4 tusks, they existed around 1.6 million years ago. hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/9009/1275 (2) The bridge between Sri Lanka and India is 1.75 million years ago (krishna.org/…) - Both of these facts fit with the x365 idea. – Avi Mar 29 at 18:50
9

The duration of the 4 yugas is:

  • Satya Yuga           - 4800 years
  • Treta Yuga            - 3600 years
  • Dwapara Yuga      - 2400 years
  • Kali Yuga               - 1200 years

This theory was given by Sri Yukteswar in his book "The Holy Science" written in 1894 on the request of Mahavatar Babaji.

                                                Sri Yukteswar

This theory differs from the traditional theory given in the scriptures:

  • Satya Yuga - 1728000 years
  • Treta Yuga - 1296000 years
  • Dwapara Yuga - 864000 years
  • Kali Yuga - 432000 years

Sri Yukteswar has given a very detailed explanation on why these wrong figures crept into the books but I will here outline the error that led to this inflated figure. It all started with a word "deva" years. 1 deva year is believed to be 360 human years. Now the scholars who did the calculation wrongly multiplied the original yuga duration with 360. So, if you multiply original theory with 360 you will get the inflated figures.

The original yuga figures are also mentioned in the Laws of Manu and the Mahabharata. The yugas also work in a cycle of ascending and descending arc.

Yuga-cycle

The right part is the descending arc and the left one is ascending. Right now wer are living in Ascending Dwapara Yuga. In descending arc, as time passes conditions get worse but in the ascending arc, things improve as time passes. After the present yuga, we will enter into ascending Treta Yuga. You may have noticed that 2 Satya Yugas and 2 Kali Yugas are together, on the other hand, in the yuga theory of the scriptures, it is said that after Kali Yuga ends, a new Satya Yuga starts but this is not true. In Kali Yuga, more and more people are entangled in worldy life so how can the world change suddenly if we move directly from Kali Yuga to Satya Yuga. Sri Yukteswar's theory solves this problem in which we don't suddenly make a transition from Kali to Satya.

His theory can also be proved using a simple example. Suppose you want to go from one location to another. We will pass through 2 cities before we reach the destination. The city from which we will start is A, the next city is B, the next one is C and finally our destination is D. Now let us believe that A is Satya Yuga, B is Treta Yuga, C is Dwapara Yuga and D is Kali Yuga. We will pass through all these yugas. On reaching our destination D i.e Kali Yuga, how will we return? Directly to A(Satya Yuga)? No, we will again have to go through the same cities by which we came. So, from D(Kali Yuga), we will again come to another C(Dwapara Yuga), then B(Treta Yuga) and finally A(Satya Yuga).

Using some advanced planetary software, a study was conducted to find out the date of Ramayana which came at 5114 BC. This date fits perfectly in Sri Yukteswar's Yuga theory as I discuss here.

According to Sri Yukteswar, Kali Yuga ended in 1699. After the Kali Yuga ended, there was a rise in people's capacity to think, their works. This can be seen by the various inventions that happened after 1699 some of which are:

Inventions

These inventions are just tip of the iceberg. There are many many more inventions that happened after 1699, i.e, with the onset of Ascending Dwapara Yuga. This new age was the cause of the rapid development in all areas. The Internet, the various technologies, this website itself came in this Dwapara Yuga. You can ask yourself one question - why didn't Hinduism.SE came 500 years ago? Because people's mind were not capable enough to develop all these things.

                                Shivaji

Chhatrapati Shivaji, who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva, was born at the end of Kali Yuga. He was born around 1630 and died in 1680. 19 years after his death, Kali Yuga ended. Why did Shiva chose this time? It may be because this period marked the end of Kali Yuga.

  • Now, I'm also in close to Sri Yukteshwor theory rather than traditional Yuga theory.... – Tejaswee Jun 15 '16 at 8:13
  • 1
    If this is ascending Dwapara Yuga, then why people are becoming more materialistic as time is passing by? Also people are becoming self centric. People now consider their 'Body' as themselves and that they live only once, and that money is measure of success, and like to live more in divided family and not care of parents, and be materialistic. These are serious no no from our vedic point of view. How can you explain that? – user5155835 Jun 16 '16 at 5:25
  • 2
    I don't think spirituality is increasing among people. From what I'm seeing as time is passing by, spirituality among people is decreasing. Also, if materialism is increasing, that means spirituality is decreasing. – user5155835 Jun 16 '16 at 14:57
  • 1
    Using carbonDating Scientists came to know RaamSetu was made 17 million years Ago. – Rishi Feb 22 '17 at 4:44
  • 1
    @ChinmaySarupria Science atleast works my friend, at least its better than superstition – Rishi Feb 23 '17 at 4:17
4

According to Sri Yukteswar (The Holy Science), the duration of the four Yugas are:

  • Satya Yuga: 4800 years
  • Treta Yuga: 3600 years
  • Dwapara Yuga: 2400 years
  • Kali Yuga: 1200 years

Remark: Personally, I do not know if Sri Yukteswar right, but this answer should be given until the lighting is done on this matter. Sometimes masters transmit erroneous information for subtle reasons...

  • No. It is a multiple of 432000 years and not 1200. – Shreemay Panhalkar Aug 15 '14 at 15:58
  • @user3749781: so in your opinion Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri has transmitted a wrong information. But he didn't give just his point of view, this information is based on documentary research. Do you read "The Holy Science" and can you disprove his argument? – Sebastien Palcoux Aug 15 '14 at 17:07
2

The Time Period of 4 Yuga's

  1. Sat Yuga - 1,728,000 Solar Years

  2. Treta Yuga - 1,296,000 Solar Years

  3. Dwapar Yuga - 864,000 Solar Years

  4. Kali Yuga - 432,000 Solar Years

you see because of mercy lord cut through the time for Kaliyuga! For more information over Hindu time measurement, read here,more-reading

  • 1
    4 Yugas don't make a Kalpa. They make up a Mahayuga. 1000 Mahayugas make a Kalpa. – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 21 '14 at 16:04
  • 1
    Sri Yukteswar disagrees, see here and there. – Sebastien Palcoux Jul 21 '14 at 18:49
  • @SebastienPalcoux, and I disagree with Yuketswar. This comment is the reference. – ram Jul 28 '17 at 7:10
2

@Sébastien Palcoux, Sri Yukteswar might be speaking in the terminology of demi-gods. One year of demi-gods is equal to 360 years of human beings, for more information read here. If you convert it in a human being year, then your answer will be equal to the traditional theory (kali yuga - 432,000 years; as given in @Yogi's answer). Sri Yukteswar in terms of demi-god years might be correct, and didn't find a circumstantial evidence about Yukteswar denying the theory of demi-god (divine) years. Appreciate if someone could add reference to his rejection of divine years.

I differ with the answer given by Parth Trivedi, it may be the opinion of Brahmakumaris but your logic is perplexing. You said,

Yuga is measurement for years. If the 4 yugas are measured with different number of days then it is not proper unit!!!

You can't say it is not a proper unit, moreover yuga is not a unit of measurement (like kilometers or meters). If you consider it as a unit, then we need to draw some calculations.

According to Hinduism the nature of humans is made of 3 properties(गुण).

Accordingly, if we relate 3 properties(satva, rajas, tamas) as an unit of measurement. These 3 units must be equal in all humans as they are not. So, we can't generalize it to all.

  • No, Sri Yukteswar was not speaking in terminology of demi-gods. He rejected that demi god theory. Manu Samhita, Mahabharata never mentions anything about demi-gods in calculation of yuga theory. Earlier 360 was never multiplied to the yuga years. – Chinmay Sarupria Dec 9 '15 at 8:46
  • @ChinmaySarupria well, I've derived my opinion based on A.C.B.S. Prabhupada's writings- vedabase.com/en/sb/3/11/18. He termed the demi-god years and based on that I was relating it to other theories. – GIRI Feb 21 '17 at 16:39
  • @ChinmaySarupria, who is Yukteswar to reject demi-god theory.. – ram Jul 28 '17 at 7:09
  • @ram Sri Yukteswar was the great guru of the great yogi Paramahamsa Yogananda, he was also the disciple of the mahayogi Lahiri Mahasaya who himself was the disciple of Sri Krishna's avatar Mahavatar Babaji. Also, whatever Sri Yukteswar said is fully supported by Manu Smriti and Vedas. Vedas is considered the ultimate authority. You can believe whatever is written in Puranas, I will believe what is present in Vedas. – Chinmay Sarupria Jul 28 '17 at 17:30
1

Sébastien Palcoux and Creator found good numbers from some scripture/ literature / Wikipedia.

I recently visited "Brahmakumaris".

I would like to share this what they said about "Yugas". What they said to me, I could think as it was logically true.

This is just a belief of Brahmakumaris, so There is no dispute with Hindu scriptures. I am just sharing their belief. And as per my understandings it was logically true.


Yugas :

According to the BrahmaKumaris, each Yuga consists of 4 ages in a single cycle of 5000 years.

Yuga = 5000/4 = 1250 Years

In this cycle, the Sat Yuga or Golden Age emerges as the very first yuga and lasts for a period of 1250 years.

The hindu swastik is the symbol of dividing the four Yugas in exactly 1250 years.


Why I thought it is logically true? What I think?

  1. There is nothing like satiyuga or kaliyuga, it is just a time in which people follow either Shubha (good) or Labha (Benefits).

In our Gujarat State we draw swastika near our door of home and we write Shubha on left side and Labha at right side. swastika stands for lucky charm. means both good and benefit.


How swastika is related to Yugas??

  • Satiyuga and Tretayuga, People follow what is good. They do not think for badness/benefit of self.

  • Dwaparyuga and kaliyuga , people follow what is beneficial regardless of whether it will harm others or not.

This trueness of these two, we can understand by the example of Rama and Krishna. Rama followed what dharma(ethics of that time of Tretayuga) says and Krishna followed what benefit holds in Mahabharata. We can also understand how the thoughts of people changed with Yuga.

  1. Yuga is measurement for years. If the 4 yugas are measured with different number of days then it is not proper unit!!!

1 Yuga = 1250 years <-- This should be common unit like 1 km = 1000 meters.

Do we ever consider 2km=3456meters??

3 According to Hinduism the nature of humans is made of 3 properties(गुण).

Satva, Rajas and Tamas.

According to Brahmakumaris,

Satiyuga is satopradhan stage (Golden Age according to Bible)

Satva(Deities) more, Rasjas less, Tamas few (Asuras) - People do not do sins - Nature is perfect - No accidental deaths - People live exactly 150 years - They follow proper stages of life (Brahmcharya, Grihastashram, Varnaprasthasharm and Sanyaas) - They do with the law of अकर्म Akarma - So no harmness to others and that is why they are called gods(pure souls)

In Golden age the souls were complete in all respects. Vishnu is called "sarva guna sapanna"(16 guna).

Tretayuga Silver Age

Satva little bit less but still more, Rajas Medium, Tamas Growing (Ravana)

In silver age, there was a slight decline in divine qualities. But even then there was sovereignty of complete peace and happiness.

Rama is 14 guna.

Dwaparyuga Couper Age

  • Satva Medium, Rajas More, Tamas Medium

Copper age follows the Silver Age. By this time, the souls, who had transmigrated through several lives, become body-conscious. The vices like lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego cast their shadows on them. And they had thus fallen from the state of purity and worthiness and become vicious and unworthy. As they forget their true selves and broke with purity, natural laws came to be violated. Even nature deviated from her usual course, having thus begun to harm them, even though slightly.

It is in this age that various religions were established. A good many faiths began appearing like branches coming forth from the World-Tree.

Abraham founded Islam; Buddhism was founded by Budha; Jesus Christ founded Christiniaty; Shankaracharya established the class of recluses and hermits; Mohammed Prophet established the Muslim religion.

The previous deity religion came to be known as Hindu religion because they lost their deity-hood or divinity in them.

The population also increased considerably. Whereas in the beginning, everything was one, now there are many religions, many kingdoms, languages, cultures and dynasties. Thus grew mutual strife, divisions and disunity and this state of affairs continued.

kaliyuga Iron Age

Satva Less, Rajas More, Tamas More

In the Iron Age that follows the Copper-Age, problems, difference of views and disputes begin to increase. The souls in this age are over-powered by vices and darkness of ignorance. They become vicious and impious. There is quite a crop of dissensions due to religious, communal and sectarian difference. Women are treated with utter contempt. Nature becomes instrumental in causing distress to man. Disease, grief, old age, premature death, death by accident, etc afflicted mankind.

The duration of one World Cycle is 5000 years. Ages repeats.

Reference :

  1. The Human Tree
  2. World Cycle
  • so as per your answer.. which is the yuga we are currently living in??? does brahmakumari people said that as well?? – Nishant Solanki May 8 '15 at 5:34

You must log in to answer this question.

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