Physics:Yuga Cycle

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Short description: Cycle of Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali yugas (ages) in Hindu cosmology

A Yuga Cycle (a.k.a. chatur yuga, maha yuga, etc.) is a cyclic age (epoch) in Hindu cosmology. Each cycle lasts for 4,320,000 years (12,000 divine years[lower-alpha 1]) and repeats four yugas (world ages): Krita (Satya) Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga.[4]

As a Yuga Cycle progresses through the four yugas, each yuga's length and humanity's general moral and physical state within each yuga decrease by one-fourth. Kali Yuga, which lasts for 432,000 years, is believed to have started in 3102 BCE.[5][6] Near the end of Kali Yuga, when virtues are at their worst, a cataclysm and a re-establishment of dharma occur to usher in the next cycle's Satya Yuga, prophesied to occur by Kalki.[7]

There are 71 Yuga Cycles in a manvantara (age of Manu) and 1,000 Yuga Cycles in a kalpa (day of Brahma).[6]


A Yuga Cycle has several names.

Age or Yuga (Sanskrit: युग, lit. 'an age of the gods'):

"Age" and "Yuga", sometimes with reverential capitalization, commonly denote a "catur-yuga", a cycle of four world ages, unless expressly limited by the name of one of its minor ages.[8][lower-alpha 2] Its archaic spelling is yug, with other forms of yugam, yugānāṃ, and yuge, derived from yuj (Sanskrit: युज्, lit. 'to join or yoke'), believed derived from *yeug- (Proto-Indo-European: lit. 'to join or unite').[11]

Chatur Yuga (Sanskrit: चतुर्युग, romanized: caturyuga, catur-yuga, chaturyuga, or chatur-yuga, lit. 'catur means four; a set of the four ages'):[12]

A cyclic age encompassing the four yuga ages[6][13] as defined in Hindu texts: Surya Siddhanta,[8] Manusmriti,[14] and Bhagavata Purana.[15]

Daiva Yuga (Sanskrit: दैवयुग, romanized: daivayuga or daiva-yuga, lit. 'a divine or celestial age; an age of the gods'),[16]
Deva Yuga (Sanskrit: देवयुग, romanized: devayuga or deva-yuga, lit. 'an age of the gods'),[17]
Divya Yuga (Sanskrit: दिव्य युग, romanized: divyayuga or divya-yuga, lit. 'a divine or celestial age'):[18]

A cyclic age of the divine, celestrial, or gods (Devas) encompassing the four yuga ages (a.k.a. "human ages" or "world ages"). The Hindu texts give a length of 12,000 divine years, where a divine year lasts for 360 solar (human) years.[5][6]

Maha Yuga (Sanskrit: महायुग, romanized: mahāyuga or mahā-yuga, lit. 'a great age'):[19]

A greater cyclic age encompassing the smaller four yuga ages.[6][20]

Yuga Cycle (Sanskrit: युग, lit. 'age') + (English: cycle):

A cyclic age encompassing the four yuga ages.

It is theorized that the concept of the four yugas originated some time after the compilation of the four Vedas, but prior to the rest of the Hindu texts, based on the concept's absence in the former writings. It is believed that the four yugasKrita (Satya), Treta, Dvapara, and Kali—are named after throws of an Indian game of long dice, marked with 4-3-2-1 respectively.[5][21] A dice game is described in the Rigveda, Atharvaveda, Upanishads, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Puranas, while the four yugas are described after the four Vedas with no mention of a correlation to dice.[13][22] A complete description of the four yugas and their characteristics are in the Vishnu Smriti (ch. 20),[23] Mahabharata (e.g. Vanaparva 149, 183), Manusmriti (I.81–86), and Puranas (e.g. Brahma, ch. 122–123; Matsya, ch. 142–143; Naradiya, Purvardha, ch. 41).[24] The four yugas are also described in the Bhagavata Purana (3.11.18–20).

Duration and structure

Structure of a Yuga cycle

Hindu texts describe four yugas (world ages) in a Yuga Cycle—Krita (Satya) Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga—where, starting in order from the first age, each yuga's length decreases by one-fourth (25%), giving proportions of 4:3:2:1. Each yuga is described as having a main period (a.k.a. yuga proper) preceded by its yuga-sandhyā (dawn) and followed by its yuga-sandhyāṃśa (dusk), where each twilight (dawn/dusk) lasts for one-tenth (10%) of its main period. Lengths are given in divine years (years of the gods), each lasting for 360 solar (human) years.[4][5][6]

Each Yuga Cycle lasts for 4,320,000 years (12,000 divine years) with its four yugas and their parts occurring in the following order:[4][5][6]

  • Krita (Satya) Yuga: 1,728,000 (4,800 divine) years
    • Krita-yuga-sandhya (dawn): 144,000 (400 divine)
    • Krita-yuga (proper): 1,440,000 (4,000 divine)
    • Krita-yuga-sandhyamsa (dusk): 144,000 (400 divine)
  • Treta Yuga: 1,296,000 (3,600 divine) years
    • Treta-yuga-sandhya (dawn): 108,000 (300 divine)
    • Treta-yuga (proper): 1,080,000 (3,000 divine)
    • Treta-yuga-sandhyamsa (dusk): 108,000 (300 divine)
  • Dvapara Yuga: 864,000 (2,400 divine) years
    • Dvapara-yuga-sandhya (dawn): 72,000 (200 divine)
    • Dvapara-yuga (proper): 720,000 (2,000 divine)
    • Dvapara-yuga-sandhyamsa (dusk): 72,000 (200 divine)
  • Kali Yuga: 432,000 (1,200 divine) years
    • Kali-yuga-sandhya (dawn): 36,000 (100 divine)
    • Kali-yuga (proper): 360,000 (1,000 divine)
    • Kali-yuga-sandhyamsa (dusk): 36,000 (100 divine)

The current cycle's four yugas have the following dates based on Kali Yuga, the fourth and present age, starting in 3102 BCE:[6][13][25]

Yuga Cycle
Yuga Start (– End) Length
Krita (Satya) 3,891,102 BCE 1,728,000 (4,800)
Treta 2,163,102 BCE 1,296,000 (3,600)
Dvapara 867,102 BCE 864,000 (2,400)
Kali* 3102 BCE – 428,899 CE 432,000 (1,200)
Years: 4,320,000 solar (12,000 divine)
(*) Current. [lower-alpha 3][25][26]

Mahabharata, Book 12 (Shanti Parva), Ch. 231:[27][lower-alpha 4]

(17) A year (of men) is equal to a day and night of the gods ... (19) I shall, in their order, tell you the number of years that are for different purposes calculated differently, in the Krita, the Treta, the Dwapara, and the Kali yugas. (20) 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. (21) Regarding the other cycles, the duration of each gradually decreases by a quarter in respect of both the principal period with the minor portion and the conjoining portion itself. (29) The learned say that these twelve thousand celestial years form what is called a cycle ...

Manusmriti, Ch. 1:[28]

(67) A year is a day and a night of the gods ... (68) But hear now the brief (description of) the duration of a night and a day of Brahman [(Brahma)] and of the several ages (of the world, yuga) according to their order. (69) They declare that the Krita age (consists of) four thousand years (of the gods); the twilight preceding it consists of as many hundreds, and the twilight following it of the same number. (70) In the other three ages with their twilights preceding and following, the thousands and hundreds are diminished by one (in each). (71) These twelve thousand (years) which thus have been just mentioned as the total of four (human) ages, are called one age of the gods.

Surya Siddhanta, Ch. 1:[29]

(13) ... twelve months make a year. This is called a day of the gods. (14) ... Six times sixty [360] of them are a year of the gods ... (15) Twelve thousand of these divine years are denominated a Quadruple Age (caturyuga); of ten thousand times four hundred and thirty-two [4,320,000] solar years (16) Is composed that Quadruple Age, with its dawn and twilight. The difference of the Golden and the other Ages, as measured by the difference in the number of the feet of Virtue in each, is as follows : (17) The tenth part of an Age, multiplied successively by four, three, two, and one, gives the length of the Golden and the other Ages, in order : the sixth part of each belongs to its dawn and twilight.

Greater cycles

Main pages: Hindu units of time, Physics:Kalpa (time), Philosophy:Pralaya, and Philosophy:Manvantara

There are 71 Yuga Cycles (306,720,000 years) in a manvantara, a period ruled by Manu, who is the progenitor of mankind.[30] There are 1,000 Yuga Cycles (4,320,000,000 years) in a kalpa, a period that is a day (12-hour day proper) of Brahma, who is the creator of the planets and first living entities. There are 14 manvantaras (4,294,080,000 years) in a kalpa with a remainder of 25,920,000 years assigned to 15 manvantara-sandhyas (junctures), each the length of a Satya Yuga (1,728,000 years). A kalpa is followed by a pralaya (night or partial dissolution) of equal length forming a full day (24-hour day). A maha-kalpa (life of Brahma) lasts for 100 360-day years of Brahma, which lasts for 72,000,000 Yuga Cycles (311.04 trillion years) and is followed by a maha-pralaya (full dissolution) of equal length.[6]

We are currently halfway through Brahma's life (maha-kalpa):[6][31][32][33]

  • 51st year of 100 (2nd half or parardha)
  • 1st month of 12
  • 1st kalpa (Shveta-Varaha Kalpa) of 30
  • 7th manvantara (Vaivasvatha Manu) of 14
  • 28th chatur-yuga (a.k.a. Yuga Cycle) of 71
  • 4th yuga (Kali Yuga) of 4

Yuga dates are used in an ashloka, which is read out at the beginning of Hindu rites to specify the elapsed time in Brahma's life:[34]

5121 of Kaliyuga year (for 2020 CE) of the 28th Caturyuga of the 7th Manvantra on the first day of the 51st year of Brahma.



Ganesha avatars are described as coming during specific yugas.[35][36][37]


The Puranas describe Vishnu avatars that come during specific yugas, but may not occur in every Yuga Cycle.

Vamana appears at the beginning of Treta Yuga. According to Vayu Purana, Vamana's 3rd appearance was in the 7th Treta Yuga.[38][39]

Rama appears at the end of Treta Yuga.[40] According to Vayu Purana and Matsya Purana, Rama appeared in the 24th Yuga Cycle.[41] According to Padma Purana, Rama also appeared in the 27th Yuga Cycle of the 6th (previous) manvantara.[42]


Vyasa is attributed as the compiler of the four Vedas, Mahabharata, and Puranas. According to the Vishnu Purana, Kurma Purana, and Shiva Purana, a different Vyasa comes at the end of each Dvapara Yuga to write down veda (knowledge) to guide humans in the degraded age of Kali Yuga.[43][44][45]

Modern theories

Breaking from the long duration of a Yuga Cycle, new theories have emerged regarding the length, number, and order of the yugas.

Sri Yukteswar Giri

Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri (1855–1936) proposed a Yuga Cycle of 24,000 years in the introduction of his book The Holy Science (1894).[46]

He claimed the understanding that Kali Yuga lasts for 432,000 years was a mistake, which he traced back to Raja Parikshit, just after the descending Dvapara Yuga ended (c. 3101 BCE) and all the wise men of his court retired to the Himalaya Mountains. With no one left to correctly calculate the ages, Kali Yuga never officially started. After 499 CE, in ascending Dvapara Yuga, when the intellect of men began to develop, but not fully, they noticed mistakes and attempted to correct them by converting what they thought to be divine years to human years (1:360 ratio). Yukteswar's yuga lengths for Satya, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali are respectively 4,800, 3,600, 2,400, and 1,200 "human" years (12,000 years total).[47][48]

He accepted the four yugas and their 4:3:2:1 length and dharma proportions, but his Yuga Cycle contained eight yugas, the original descending set of the four yugas followed by an ascending (reversed) set, where he called each set a "Daiva Yuga" or "Electric Couple". His Yuga Cycle lasts for 24,000 years, which he believed equals one precession of the equinoxes (traditionally 25,920 years; 1,920 years ignored). He states that the world entered the Pisces-Virgo Age in 499 CE ("cycle bottom"), and that the current age of ascending Dvapara Yuga started in 1699 CE around the time of scientific discoveries and advancements such as electricity.[49][48]

He explained that in a 24,000-year Yuga Cycle, the Sun completes one orbit around some dual star, becoming nearer and farther to a galactic center, which the pair orbit in a longer period. He called this galactic center Vishnunabhi (Vishnu's Navel), where Brahma regulates dharma or, as Yukteswar defined it, mental virtue. Dharma is lowest when farthest from Brahma at the descending-ascending intersection ("cycle-bottom"), where the opposite occurs at the "cycle-top" when nearest. At dharma's lowest (499 CE), human intellect cannot comprehend anything beyond the gross material world.[50][51]

Sri Yukteswar's Yuga Cycle
Yuga Start (– End) Length
Descending (12,000 years):
Krita (Satya) 11,501 BCE 4,800
Treta 6701 BCE 3,600
Dvapara 3101 BCE 2,400
Kali 701 BCE 1,200
Ascending (12,000 years):
Kali 499 CE 1,200
Dvapara* 1699 CE 2,400
Treta 4099 CE 3,600
Krita (Satya) 7699 CE – 12,499 CE 4,800
Years: 24,000
(*) Current. [lower-alpha 5]

Joscelyn Godwin states that Yukteswar believed the traditional chronology of the yugas wrong and rigged for political reasons, but that Yukteswar may have had political reasons of his own, evident in a police report printed in Atlantis and the Cycles of Time, which links Yukteswar to a secret anti-colonial movement called Yugantar, meaning "new age" or "transition of an epoch".[52]

Godwin claims the Jain time cycle and the European myth of progress influenced Yukteswar, whose theory only recently became prominent outside India. Humanity in an upward cycle is contrary to traditional ideas. Godwin points out many philosophies and religions that started during a time when "man could not see beyond the gross material world" (701 BCE – 1699 CE). Only materialists and atheists would welcome the post-1700 age as an improvement.[53]

John Major Jenkins, who adjusted ascending Kali Yuga from 499 CE to 2012 in his version, criticizes Yukteswar as wanting the "cycle-bottom" to correspond to his education, beliefs, and historical understanding. Technology has thrust us deeper into material dependency and spiritual darkness.[54]

René Guénon

René Guénon (1886–1951) proposed a Yuga Cycle of 64,800 years in his 1931 French article, which was later translated in the book Traditional Forms & Cosmic Cycles (2001).[55]

Guénon accepted the doctrine of the four yugas, the 4:3:2:1 yuga length proportions, and Kali Yuga as the present age. He couldn't accept the extremely large lengths and felt they were encoded with additional zeros to mislead those who might use it to predict the future. He reduced a Yuga Cycle from 4,320,000 to 4,320 years (1,728 + 1,296 + 864 + 432), but he felt this was too short for humanity's history.[56]

In looking for a multiplier, he worked backwards from the precession of the equinoxes (traditionally 25,920 years; 360 72-year degrees). Using 25,920 and 72, he calculated the sub-multiplier to be 4,320 years (72 x 60 = 4,320; 4,320 x 6 = 25,920). In noticing the "great year" of the Persians (~12,000) and Greeks (~13,000) as almost half the precession, he concluded a "great year" must be 12,960 years (4,320 x 3). In trying to find the whole number of "great years" in a manvantara or reign of Vaivasvata Manu, he found the reign of Xisuthros of the Chaldeans to be set to 64,800 years (12,960 x 5), someone he thought to be the same Manu. Guénon felt 64,800 years was a more plausible length that may line up with humanity's history. He calculated a 64,800 manvantara divided into a 4,320 "encoded" Yuga Cycle gave a multiplier of 15 (5 "great years"). Using 15 as the multiplier, he "decoded" a 5-"great year" Yuga Cycle as having the following yuga lengths:[55][57]

  • Satya: 25,920 (4 ratio or 2 x "great year"; 15 x 1,728)
  • Treta: 19,440 (3 ratio or 1.5 x "great year"; 15 x 1,296)
  • Dvapara: 12,960 (2 ratio or 1 x "great year"; 15 x 864)
  • Kali: 6,480 (1 ratio or 0.5 x "great year"; 15 x 432)

Guénon did not give a start date for Kali Yuga, but instead left clues in his description of the cataclysmic destruction of the Atlantean civilization. His commentator, Jean Robin, in an early 1980s publication, claimed to have decoded this description and calculated that Kali Yuga lasted from 4481 BCE to 1999 CE (2000 CE excluding year 0).[58] In Les Quatre Âges de L’Humanité (The Four Ages of Humanity), a book written in 1949 by Gaston Georgel, this same end date of 1999 CE was calculated; although, in his 1983 book titled Le Cycle Judéo-Chrétien (The Judeo-Christian Cycle), he later argued to shift the cycle forward by 31 years to end in 2030 CE.[59]

René Guénon's Yuga Cycle
Yuga Start (– End) Length
Krita (Satya) 62,801 BCE 25,920
Treta 36,881 BCE 19,440
Dvapara 17,441 BCE 12,960
Kali 4481 BCE – 1999 CE 6,480
Years: 64,800
Current: Krita Yuga [1999 CE – 27,919 CE], next cycle. [lower-alpha 5][lower-alpha 6]

Alain Daniélou

Alain Daniélou (1907–1994) proposed a Yuga Cycle of 60,487 years in his book While the Gods Play: Shaiva Oracles and Predictions on the Cycles of History and the Destiny of Mankind (1985).[60]

Daniélou and René Guénon had some correspondence where they both couldn't accept the extremely large lengths found in the Puranas. Daniélou mostly cited Linga Purana and his calculations are based on a 4,320,000-year Yuga Cycle containing (his calculation of 1000 ÷ 14) 71.42 manvantaras, each containing 4 yugas [4:3:2:1 proportions]. He pegged 3102 BCE as the start of Kali Yuga and placed it after the dawn (yuga-sandhya). He claimed his dates are accurate to within 50 years, and that the Yuga Cycle started with a great flood and appearance of Cro-Magnon man, and will end with a catastrophe wiping out mankind.[61]

Alain Daniélou's Yuga Cycle
Yuga Start (– End) Length
Krita (Satya) 58,042 BCE 24,195
Treta 33,848 BCE 18,146
Dvapara 15,703 BCE 12,097
Kali* 3606 BCE – 2442 CE 6,048.72
Years: 60,487
(*) Current. [lower-alpha 5][62]

Joscelyn Godwin found that Daniélou's misunderstanding rests solely on a bad translation of Linga Purana 1.4.7.[63]

Hindu astronomy

In the early texts of Hindu astronomy such as Surya Siddhanta, the length of a yuga cycle is used to specify the orbital period of heavenly bodies. Instead of specifying the period of a single orbit of a heavenly body around the Earth, the number of orbits of a heavenly body in a yuga cycle is specified.

Surya Siddhanta, Ch. 1:[64]

(29) In an Age (yuga), the revolutions of the sun, Mercury, and Venus, and of the conjunctions (shighra) of Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter, moving eastward, are four million, three hundred and twenty thousand; (30) Of the moon, fifty-seven million, seven hundred and fifty-three thousand, three hundred and thirty-six; of Mars, two million, two hundred and ninety-six thousand, eight hundred and thirty-two; (31) Of Mercury's conjunction (shighra), seventeen million, nine hundred and thirty-seven thousand, and sixty; of Jupiter, three hundred and sixty-four thousand, two hundred and twenty; (32) Of Venus's conjunction (shigra), seven million, twenty-two thousand, three hundred and seventy-six; of Saturn, one hundred and forty-six thousand, five hundred and sixty-eight; (33) Of the moon's apsis (ucca), in an Age, four hundred and eighty-eight thousand, two hundred and three; of its node (pata), in the contrary direction, two hundred and thirty-two thousand, two hundred and thirty-eight; (34) Of the asterisms, one billion, five hundred and eighty-two million, two hundred and thirty-seven thousand, eight hundred and twenty-eight....

The orbital period of heavenly bodies can be derived from the above numbers provided the starting point of a yuga cycle is known. According to Burgess, the Surya Siddhanta fixes the starting point of Kali Yuga as:

The instant at which the Age is made to commence is midnight on the meridian of Ujjayini, at the end of the 588,465th and beginning of the 588,466th day (civil reckoning) of the Julian Period, or between the 17th and 18th of February 1612 J.P., or 3102 B.C.[65]

Based on this starting point, Ebenezer Burgess calculates the following planetary orbital periods:

Comparative Table of Sidereal Revolutions of the Planets (geocentric)[66]
Planet Surya Siddhanta Modern
Revolutions in
a yuga cycle
Revolution length[lower-alpha 7]
(day hr min sec)
Orbital period
(day hr min sec)
Sun 4,320,000 365 6 12 36.6 365 6 9 10.8
Mercury 17,937,060 87 23 16 22.3 87 23 15 43.9
Venus 7,022,376 224 16 45 56.2 224 16 49 8.0
Mars 2,296,832 686 23 56 23.5 686 23 30 41.4
Jupiter 364,220 4,332 7 41 44.4 4,332 14 2 8.6
Saturn 146,568 10,765 18 33 13.6 10,759 5 16 32.2
Moon (sidereal) 57,753,336 27 7 43 12.6 27 7 43 11.4
Moon (synodic) 53,433,336 29 12 44 2.8 29 12 44 2.9

Other cultures

According to Robert Bolton, there is a universal belief in many traditions that the world started in a perfect state, when nature and the supernatural were still in harmony with all things in their fullest degree of perfection possible, which was followed by an unpreventable constant deterioration of the world through the ages.[67]

In the Works and Days (lines 109–201; c. 700 BCE), considered the earliest European writing about human ages, the Greek poet Hesiod describes five ages (Golden, Silver, Bronze, Heroic, and Iron Ages), where the Heroic Age was added, according to Godwin, as a compromise with Greek history when the Trojan War and its heroes loomed so large.[68] Bolton explains that the men of the Golden Age lived like gods without sorrow, toil, grief, and old age, while the men of the Iron Age ("the race of iron") never rest from labor and sorrow, are degenerated without shame, morality, and righteous indignation, and have short lives with frequent deaths at night, where even a new-born baby shows signs of old age, only to end when Zeus destroys it all.[69]

In the Statesman (c. 399 – c. 347 BCE), the Athenian philosopher Plato describes time as an indefinite cycle of two 36,000-year halves: (1) the world's unmaking descent into chaos and destruction; (2) the world's remaking by its creator into a renewed state.[70] In the Cratylus (397e), Plato recounts the golden race of men who came first, who were noble and good daemons (godlike guides) upon the earth.

In the Metamorphoses (I, 89–150; c. 8 BCE), the Roman poet Ovid describes four ages (Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages), excluding Hesiod's Heroic Age, as a downward curve with the present time as the nadir of misery and immorality, according to Godwin, affecting both human life and the after-death state, where deaths in the first two ages became immortal, watchful spirits that benefited the human race, deaths in the third age went to Hades (Greek god of the underworld), and deaths in the fourth age had an unknown fate.[71]

Joscelyn Godwin posits that it is probably from Hindu tradition that knowledge of the ages reached the Greeks and other Indo-European peoples.[71] Godwin adds that the number 432,000 (Kali Yuga's duration) occurring in four widely separated cultures (Hindu, Chaldean, Chinese, and Icelandic) has long been noticed.[72]

See also


  1. 360 solar years constitute a divine year. This is as per the following belief system: The gods are believed to reside in the north celestial sphere.[1] Due to the axial tilt of the earth, the Sun is overhead the northern hemisphere during the period between the vernal and the autumnal equinox. This period is designated the daytime of the gods. Conversely, the Sun is overhead the southern hemisphere during the period between the autumnal and the vernal equinox. This period is designated the nighttime of the gods. Put together, an entire tropical solar year is designated the day of the gods.[2] 360 such day of the gods make a divine year.[3]
  2. The general word "yuga" is sometimes used instead of the more specific word "catur-yuga". A kalpa is described as lasting 1,000 catur-yuga in Bhagavata Purana 12.4.2 ("catur-yuga")[9] and Bhagavad Gita 8.17 ("yuga").[10]
  3. Each Kali-yuga-sandhi lasts for 36,000 solar (100 divine) years:
    * Sandhya: 3102 BCE – 32,899 CE
    * Sandhyamsa: 392,899 CE – 428,899 CE
  4. Chapter 224 (CCXXIV) in some sources: Mahabharata 12.224.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 A common error exists in calculating from 1 BCE to 1 CE as 2 years instead of 1. There is no year zero.
  6. René Guénon's Yuga Cycle table: the calculated dates are based on the 1949 publication by Gaston Georgel, Les Quatre Âges de L’Humanité (The Four Ages of Humanity), and an early 1980s publication by Jean Robin.
  7. Calculated in mean solar time.


  1. Burgess 1935, pp. 285,286, chapter XII verse 34-36.
  2. Burgess 1935, pp. 288,289, chapter XII verse 45-51: The Surya Siddhanta identifies the vernal equinox with the First Point of Aries and hence does not distinguish between the sidereal and tropical year.
  3. Burgess 1935, pp. 8,9, chapter I verse 13,14.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Atlantis and the Cycles of Time: Prophecies, Traditions, and Occult Revelations. Inner Traditions. 2011. pp. 300–301. ISBN 9781594778575. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Merriam-Webster (1999). "Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions". Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. pp. 445 (Hinduism), 1159 (Yuga). ISBN 0877790442. "
    * HINDUISM: Myths of time and eternity: ... Each yuga is preceded by an intermediate "dawn" and "dusk". The Krita yuga lasts 4,000 god-years, with a dawn and dusk of 400 god-years each, or a total of 4,800 god-years; Treta a total of 3,600 god-years; Dvapara 2,400 god-years; and Kali (the current yuga) 1,200 god-years. A mahayuga thus lasts 12,000 god-years ... Since each god-year lasts 360 human years, a mahayuga is 4,320,000 years long in human time. Two thousand mahayugas form one kalpa (eon) [and pralaya], which is itself but one day in the life of Brahma, whose full life lasts 100 years; the present is the midpoint of his life. Each kalpa is followed by an equally long period of abeyance (pralaya), in which the universe is asleep. Seemingly the universe will come to an end at the end of Brahma's life, but Brahmas too are innumerable, and a new universe is reborn with each new Brahma.
    * YUGA: each yuga is progressively shorter than the preceding one, corresponding to a decline in the moral and physical state of humanity. Four such yugas (called ... after throws of an Indian game of dice) make up a mahayuga ("great yuga") ... The first yuga (Krita) was an age of perfection, lasting 1,728,000 years. The fourth and most degenerate yuga (Kali) began in 3102 BCE and will last 432,000 years. At the close of the Kali yuga, the world will be destroyed by fire and flood, to be re-created as the cycle resumes. In a partially competing vision of time, Vishnu's 10th and final AVATAR, KALKI, is described as bringing the present cosmic cycle to a close by destroying the evil forces that rule the Kali yuga and ushering in an immediate return to the idyllic Krita yuga.".
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 "Ch. 1.2.4 Time Measurements". Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer Series in Materials Science: 122. Springer. 2010. pp. 6–8. ISBN 9783642007378. "Paraphrased: Deva day equals solar year. Deva lifespan (36,000 solar years) equals 100 360-day years, each 12 months. Mahayuga equals 12,000 Deva (divine) years (4,320,000 solar years), and is divided into 10 charnas consisting of four Yugas: Satya Yuga (4 charnas of 1,728,000 solar years), Treta Yuga (3 charnas of 1,296,000 solar years), Dvapara Yuga (2 charnas of 864,000 solar years), and Kali Yuga (1 charna of 432,000 solar years). Manvantara equals 71 Mahayugas (306,720,000 solar years). Kalpa (day of Brahma) equals an Adi Sandhya, 14 Manvantaras, and 14 Sandhya Kalas, where 1st Manvantara preceded by Adi Sandhya and each Manvantara followed by Sandhya Kala, each Sandhya lasting same duration as Satya yuga (1,728,000 solar years), during which the entire earth is submerged in water. Day of Brahma equals 1,000 Mahayugas, the same length for a night of Brahma (Bhagavad-gita 8.17). Brahma lifespan (311.04 trillion solar years) equals 100 360-day years, each 12 months. Parardha is 50 Brahma years and we are in the 2nd half of his life. After 100 years of Brahma, the universe starts with a new Brahma. We are currently in the 28th Kali yuga of the first day of the 51st year of the second Parardha in the reign of the 7th (Vaivasvata) Manu. This is the 51st year of the present Brahma and so about 155 trillion years have elapsed. The current Kali Yuga (Iron Age) began at midnight on 17/18 February 3102 BC in the proleptic Julian calendar." 
  7. Merriam-Webster 1999, p. 629 (Kalki): At the end of the present Kali age, when virtue and religion have disappeared into CHAOS and the world is ruled by unjust men, Kalki will appear to destroy the wicked and usher in a new age. ... According to some myths, Kalki's horse will stamp the earth with its right foot, causing the tortoise that supports the world to drop into the deep. Then Kalki will restore the earth to its initial purity.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Burgess 1935, p. 9: The period of 4,320,000 years is ordinarily styled Great Age (mahayuga), or, as above in two instances [1.15–16], Quadruple Age (caturyuga). In the Surya-Siddhanta, however, the former term is not once found, and the latter occurs only in these verses; elsewhere, Age (yuga) alone is employed to denote it, and always denotes it, unless expressly limited by the name of the Golden (krta) Age.
  9. "Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa) 12.4.2". "
    catur-yuga-sahasraṁ tu brahmaṇo dinam ucyate ।
    sa kalpo yatra manavaś caturdaśa viśām-pate ॥ 2 ॥

    (2) One thousand cycles of four ages [catur-yuga] constitute a single day of Brahmā, known as a kalpa. In that period, O King, fourteen Manus come and go."
  10. Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 8.17,, retrieved 2020-05-10, "
    sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ ।
    rātriṁ yuga-sahasrāntāṁ te ’ho-rātra-vido janāḥ ॥ 17 ॥

    (17) By human calculation, a thousand ages [yuga] taken together form the duration of Brahmā’s one day. And such also is the duration of his night."
     , Wikidata Q854700
  11. "युग (yuga)".युग#Sanskrit. 
    "Yuga". 29 June 2012. 
    "युज् (yuj)".युज्#Sanskrit. 
  12. "चतुर् (catur)".चतुर्#Sanskrit. 
    "Caturyuga, Catur-yuga". 23 November 2017. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Flood, Gavin, ed (2003). "Part II, Ch. 6: The Puranas / Part III, Ch. 18: Calendar, Astrology, and Astronomy". The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 139–140, 390. ISBN 0631215352. 
  14. Bühler 1886, p. 20:
    yadetat parisaṅkhyātamādāveva caturyugam ।
    etad dvādaśasāhasraṃ devānāṃ yugamucyate ॥ 71 ॥

    (71) These twelve thousand (years) which thus have been just mentioned as the total of four (human) ages [caturyugam], are called one age of the gods.
  15. "Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa) 12.2.39". "
    kṛtaṁ tretā dvāparaṁ ca kaliś ceti catur-yugam ।
    anena krama-yogena bhuvi prāṇiṣu vartate ॥ 39 ॥

    (39) The cycle of four ages [catur-yugam] — Satya, Tretā, Dvāpara, and Kali — continues perpetually among living beings on this earth, repeating the same general sequence of events."
  16. "दैव (daiva)".दैव#Sanskrit. 
    "Daivayuga, Daiva-yuga". 29 January 2019. 
  17. "देव (deva)".देव#Sanskrit. 
    "Devayuga, Deva-yuga". 18 August 2017. 
  18. "दिव्य (divya)".दिव्य#Sanskrit. 
  19. "महा (mahā)".महा#Sanskrit. 
    "Mahayuga, Maha-yuga, Mahāyuga". 6 January 2019. 
  20. Godwin 2011, p. 301(a): Great Age (Mahayuga).
  21. "Note on Kali and Dvāpara and their connection with the dice". 29 June 2019. "They are in order Kṛta, Tretā, Dvāpara and Kali, and correspond roughly to the Gold, Silver, Brass and Iron Ages of the classics. The Sanskrit names are called after the sides of a die in descending order of their value in play. Thus Kṛta is the side with four dots, while Kali, being the side with only one dot, is always a certain loser." 
  22. Brown, W. Norman (1964). "The Indian Games of Pachisi, Chaupar, and Chausar". Expedition magazine (Penn Museum) 6 (2): 34. ISSN 0014-4738. "The Rig-Veda, which we may reasonably consider to have been in its present form before 1000 B.C., has references to the use of dice, and one of its hymns (Book 10, 34) is a charm to cure an inveterate and unsuccessful gambler of the compulsion to gamble that has ruined him. In the Atharva Veda, also, gambling with dice is mentioned (2.3; 4.38; 6.118; 7.52; 7.109). The Aryans of Rig-Vedic times made their dice of the vibhidaka-tree nuts, and we do not know how they used them. Evidently dicing was considered a fitting vice of kings, and in the ritualistic literature of the centuries following the Rig-Veda, say at around 800 B.C., the consecration ceremonies for a king included a game of dice–which the new king must always win–and there was a special officer to take charge of the dice. In the great epic known as the Mahabharata there are two famous instances of kings ruined by gambling.". 
  23. Vishnu Samhita.
  24. "Kalivarjya (actions forbidden in the Kali Age)". Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (The Asiatic Society of Bombay) 12 (1–2): 4. September 1936. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 Godwin 2011, p. 301: The Hindu astronomers agree that the [Dvapara Yuga ended and] Kali Yuga began at midnight between February 17 and 18, 3102 BCE. Consequently [Kali Yuga] is due to end about 427,000 CE, whereupon a new Golden Age will dawn.
  26. Burgess 1935, p. ix (Introduction): Calculated date of 2163102 B.C. for "the end of the Golden Age (Krta yuga)", the start of Treta yuga, mentioned in Surya Siddhanta 1.57.
  27. "Ch. 231 (CCXXXI)". A Prose English Translation of The Mahabharata (Translated Literally from the Original Sanskrit text). Book 12 (Shanti Parva). Calcutta: Elysium Press. 1903. p. 351 (12.231.17, 19–21, 29). 
  28. Müller, F. Max, ed (1886). "Ch. 1, The Creation". The Laws of Manu: translated with extracts from seven commentaries. Sacred Books of the East. XXV. Oxford University Press. p. 20 (1.67–71). 
  29. Gangooly, Phanindralal, ed (1935). "Ch. 1: Of the Mean Motions of the Planets.". Translation of the Sûrya-Siddhânta: A text-book of Hindu astronomy, with notes and an appendix. University of Calcutta. pp. 7–9 (1.13–17). 
  30. Merriam-Webster 1999, p. 691 (Manu): a day in the life of Brahma is divided into 14 periods called manvantaras ("Manu intervals"), each of which lasts for 306,720,000 years. In every second cycle [(new kalpa after pralaya)] the world is recreated, and a new Manu appears to become the father of the next human race. The present age is considered to be the seventh Manu cycle.
  31. Burgess 1935, pp. 12–13 (1.21–24), 19.
  32. "Ch. 20: The Cosmic Flow of Time as per Scriptures". Meet the Ancient Scriptures of Hinduism. Notion Press. 2019. ISBN 9781684669387. "According to the traditional time-keeping ... Thus in Brahma's calendar the present time may be coded as his 51st year - first month - first day - 7th manvantara - 28th maha-yuga - 4th yuga or kaliyuga." 
  33. Godwin 2011, p. 301(b): Vishnu Purana, translated by the great Sanskritist Horace Hayman Wilson: One Pararddha, or half [Brahma's] existence, has expired, terminating with the Maha Kalpa called Padma. The Kalpa (or day of Brahma) termed Varaha is the first of the second period of Brahma's existence. ... The Hindu astronomers agree that the Kali Yuga began at midnight between February 17 and 18, 3102 BCE. Consequently it is due to end about 427,000 CE, whereupon a new Golden Age will dawn.
  34. Gupta 2010, p. 9: At the beginning of any Hindu rite, an ashloka in Sanskrit is read out, which means that this ritual is being performed for a certain purpose (name of the purpose) by this particular person (name of the person including father's and family names) at this place (full address with country name) at this time of day (Ghadi and Pala or in hours and minutes) in 5109 of Kalyugi year (for AD 2007, or Hindu calendar year 2064 Sambat) of the 28th Chaturyugee of the 7th Manvantara on the first day of the 51st year of the 2nd Brahma [2nd half of Brahma's life]. This is a wonderful example of counting time from the start of the universe to the present time.
  35. Gaṇeśa: Unravelling An Enigma. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. 1999. pp. 79–80. ISBN 978-81-208-1413-4. 
  36. Ganapati: Song of the Self. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. 1995. pp. 101–104. ISBN 0-7914-2439-1. "In the Gaṇeśa Purāṇa, Gaṇapati is described as taking a different incarnation (avatāra) in each of the four cosmic ages (yugas). In the kṛta yuga, Gaṇeśa incarnates as Vināyaka (or Mahotkaṭa), the son of Kāśyapa and Aditi. ... During the treta yuga, Gaṇapati incarnates as Mayūreśvara, the son of Lord Śiva. ... During the dvapara yuga, Gaṇeśa incarnates as Gajānāna, the son of Lord Śiva. ... During the kali yuga, Gaṇapati incarnates as Dhūmraketu (or Śūrpakarṇa)." 
  37. Gaṇeśapurāṇa — Part II: Krīḍākhaṇḍa. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. 2008. p. 5–8. ISBN 978-3-447-05472-0. 
  38. Part 1: 50.41 (city of Bali), 55.3, 55.7. The Vāyu Purāna: Part I. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. 1960. pp. 377–382. 
  39. Part 2: 5.133, 35.73, 35.77, 36.74–85, 37.26–32, 38.21–22, 46.29 (Bali as oblation). The Vāyu Purāna: Part II. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. 1960. 
  40. "Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa) 9.10.51". "Lord Rāmacandra became King during Tretā-yuga, but because of His good government, the age was like Satya-yuga. Everyone was religious and completely happy." 
  41. "Lord Rama: Fact or Fiction". "In the Vayu Purana (70.47–48) [published by Motilal Banarsidass] there is a description of the length of Ravana’s life. It explains that when Ravana’s merit of penance began to decline, he met Lord Rama, the son of Dasarath, in a battle wherein Ravana and his followers were killed in the 24th Treta-yuga. ... The Matsya Purana (47/240,243–246) is another source that also gives more detail of various avataras and says Bhagawan Rama appeared at the end of the 24th Treta-yuga." 
  42. "A Comprehensive Dictionary with Special Reference to the Epic and Puranic Literature". Puranic Encyclopedia. Motilal Banarsidass. 1975. p. 630. ISBN 0842608222. "The following story is told in the Padma Purana (Chapter 14) ... Devendra raised a legal objection to the above injunction of Vishnu as follows: "You, who incarnated yourself as Rama in the twentyseventh yuga of the last Manvantara for the purpose of killing Ravana, killed my son Bali. Therefore I do not wish to procreate Nara as my son." To this objection of Indra, Vishnu assured him that as a penalty for the mistake of killing Bali, he would be a companion of Nara (Arjuna) who would be born as Indra's son.". 
  43. Motilal Banarsidass 1960, p. 2 (fn. 1).
  44. Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Purāṇas. 1 (A–C). New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. 2001. p. 169. ISBN 81-7625-226-3. "The Doubt of Vyāsa: According to the Indian tradition, the sage Vyāsa was the compiler of all the Vedas, and the composer of the Mahābhārata and many other works. The [Bhāgavata Purāṇa] repeats this tradition ..." 
  45. "The Vishnu Purana: A System of Hindu Mythology and Tradition". London: John Murray. 1940. p. 272. "Twenty-eight times have the Vedas been arranged by the great Rishis in the Vaivaswata Manwantara in the Dwápara age, and consequently eight and twenty Vyásas have passed away; by whom, in their respective periods, the Veda has been divided into four." 
  46. The Holy Science. Self-Realization Fellowship. 1990. pp. 7–17. ISBN 0876120516. 
  47. Yukteswar 1990, pp. 15–17.
  48. 48.0 48.1 Godwin 2011, pp. 331–332.
  49. Yukteswar 1990, pp. 9–13.
  50. Yukteswar 1990, pp. 7–8, 10.
  51. Godwin 2011, pp. 332–333.
  52. Godwin 2011, pp. 330–331.
  53. Godwin 2011, pp. 330, 331, 332.
  54. Godwin 2011, pp. 333–334.
  55. 55.0 55.1 Fohr, Samuel D., ed (2001). Traditional Forms & Cosmic Cycles. Sophia Perennis. pp. 5–8. ISBN 0900588179. 
  56. Godwin 2011, pp. 305–306.
  57. Godwin 2011, p. 306.
  58. Godwin 2011, pp. 306–307.
  59. "Timeline of Cycles by René Guénon and Gaston Georgel". 20 April 2019. 
  60. While the Gods Play: Shaiva Oracles and Predictions on the Cycles of History and the Destiny of Mankind. Inner Traditions International. 1987. pp. 193–198. ISBN 0892811153. 
  61. Godwin 2011, pp. 307–310.
  62. Godwin 2011, p. 309: Daniélou said his figures are accurate to within fifty years.
  63. Godwin 2011, p. 308.
  64. Burgess 1935, p. 17 (1.29–34).
  65. Burgess 1935, p. 19.
  66. Burgess 1935, pp. 19, 27.
  67. The Order of the Ages: World History in the Light of a Universal Cosmogony. Sophia Perennis. 2001. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-900588-31-0. 
  68. Godwin 2011, pp. 298–299.
  69. Bolton 2001, pp. 64–65.
  70. Bolton 2001, pp. 65–68.
  71. 71.0 71.1 Godwin 2011, p. 299.
  72. Godwin 2011, p. 304.

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