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What yuga are we in? - Length of yugas, two systems

Subal - Sat, 08 Jan 2005 21:37:49 +0530
In my readings, I have been coming across two systems of calculating the yugas. One is the traditional Hindu system most of us have probably been taught in which Kali yuga began about 5,000 years ago and lasts for 432.000 years. The other, put forth by Sri Yukteshwar, guru of Yogananda, claims we are in Dwapara yuga.

According to Swami Sri Yukteswar, the descending phase of Satya Yuga lasts 4800 years. That of Treta Yuga lasts 3600 years. That of Dwapara Yuga lasts 2400 years. That of Kali Yuga lasts 1200 years. The ascending phase of Kali Yuga then begins, also lasting 1200 years; and so on. The ascending phase of Kali Yuga began in September of 499AD. Since September 1699, we have been in the ascending phase of Dwapara Yuga.

This is not the traditional schedule of mainstream Hinduism, which holds that the yugas are much longer, and that we are in the long Kali Yuga today. For example, many followers of Sri Satya Sai Baba agree that Lord Rama was an avatar of Treta Yuga and Lord Krishna an avatar of Dwapara Yuga, but say we are still in Kali Yuga today.

Satya Yuga or Krita Yuga - 1,728,000 years
Treta Yuga - 1,296,000 years
Dwapar Yuga - 864,000 years
Kali Yuga - 432,000 years
Traditionally, upon conclusion of 71 circuits of this cycle, (1, 728,000 years) there is a period equally long during which the world is inundated; then the cycle begins again.

According to Yukteswar (in The Holy Science), the traditional view is based on a misunderstanding. He says that at the end of the last descending Dwapara Yuga (about 700 BC) "Maharaja Yudhisthara, noticing the appearance of the dark Kali Yuga, made over his throne to his grandson [and]...together with all of his wise men...retired to the Himalaya Mountains...Thus there was none in the court...who could understand the principle of correctly accounting the ages of the several Yugas."

The full article can be found here on Wikipedia. As a sidereal astrologer, Yukteswar's arguments and those of his followers sound very convincing and appealing.

Are any of you knowledgable in this field and able to give authoritative information? This affects how we view yuga dharma and the future prognosis of the direction our planet is heading.
babu - Sat, 08 Jan 2005 23:53:46 +0530
" ...the sun, with its planets and their moons, takes some star for its dual and revolves around it in about 24,000 years of our earth-a celestial phenomenon which causes the backward movement of the equinoctial points around the zodiac. The sun also has another motion by which it revolves round a grand center called Vishnunabhi, which is the seat of the creative power, Brahma, the universal magnetism. Brahma regulates dharma, the mental virtue of the internal world."

"The Holy Science" by Sri Yukteswar Giri

The math according to Sri Yuktesvara Giri:

Satya 4800 yrs. + Treta 3600 yrs. + Dvapara 2400 yrs. + Kali 1200 yrs. = 12,000 years for 1/2 revolution around companion star which takes it progressively closer and then farther away from the mystic center of Vishnunabhi which fits into his theory of ascending and descending yugas.
Madanmohan das - Sun, 09 Jan 2005 16:25:19 +0530
You only have to look around you to discern what yuga we are in. Kali yuga set in when lord Krsna departed from the mortal world, leaving the Bhagavata scripture as his stand in as it were. The great kings and their royal houses descended from Surya and Candra become extinct after the first couple of thousand years or so and then it gradually degenerates into where we are now, and is predicted to degenerate further till Kalki avatara purges the times and Satya yuga begins again with one or two of those Surya and Chandra vamsa kings emerging from caves in the Himalayas. The enormous time scale can be totally baffling to a westerner whose basic education in history starts with the Roman invassion of Britain (if your English) a couple of thousand years ago, which in the history of the world is but a tiny speck of time even in one day of Brahma. I think the only way to imbibe a really true outlook is intensive cultivation of the Bhagavat scripture. blush.gif
Madanmohan das - Sun, 09 Jan 2005 16:54:13 +0530
Also in the Gita;

All worlds including Brahma's world,
O Arjun, ever come and go;
But he who once has come to me,
Is ne'er reborn, O Kunti's son.

The men who reckon day and night,
They know a single "day" of his
A thousand "ages" doth endure,
His "night" a thousand ages too.

At dawn of "day" all things defined
Spring into life from the Unseen.
At fall of "night" they all disolve
Into the same Unseen again.

Gita 8,16-18

Sridhara Swami commenting on 17 says; "The men who.. etc" through their yoga power "know a single day of his a thousand ages doth endure" and who also know that "his night a thousand ages too" those all knowing persons alone are "knowers of the day and night" But those whose knowledge comes only from the motion of the sun and the moon, are not such knowers of day and night, for their vision is limited. By "ages" or yuga here is meant quartet of yugas for the Visnu Puran says; " Brahma's day last a thousand quartets of yugas". The word "Brahma" in the text includes the inhabitants of Maharloka etc., by implication. Now that is the method of computing time; One year of men is equal to a day and night of the gods. Computing fortnights, months etc., with such days and nights, one complete quartet of yugas stands for twelve thousand such years. A thousand such yugas is Brahma's day, and his night is also of equal duration. Again computing fortnights, months etc., with such days and nights, Brahma's lifetime lasts a hundred such years.

( I know you are all familiar with this, but I posted it just for fun)
Subal - Sun, 09 Jan 2005 20:19:58 +0530
Yes but the question is how long is a yuga. I was really wondering if anyone in the group had studied this and examined both positions and come up with a conclusion based on more than dogma. Thank you.
Madanmohan das - Sun, 09 Jan 2005 20:27:00 +0530
biggrin.gif I kind of got your point. I admit I've never heard of Yuktesvara Giri or his proposition. I did'nt mean to sound "dogmatic" but just found a chance to make the quotes.

Vaisnava carane dandavat

not only that but I really do think that intensive reading of the Bhagavat allows a perspective that cannot be otherwise got. blush.gif
I took the trouble to read the article in the link and confess it is beyond my capacity to debate the subject.
Subal - Sun, 09 Jan 2005 23:44:35 +0530

Thank you for your input. I did not mean to sound overly dismissive of your comments, but they are the ones I am most familiar with. I came across Yukteswar's theory twice in the past year. First in a "fringe science" magazine a friend gave me. Most recently in a Vedic astrology book which I took more seriously. Yukteswar's system is a least based on something of an observable scientific basis in the precession of the equinoxes, and we know the Indian tendency to use really big numbers. I am also not in a position to be able to decide the matter myself, even after looking at other websites. I was hoping we might have a Vedic astrologer in the group who is more knowledgable about this or some other scholar. I tend to be iconoclastic and not believe things just because many persons have believed them for a long time. Bhaktivinode Thakur warned us not to believe everything we read in old books.
sadhaka108 - Mon, 10 Jan 2005 06:23:18 +0530
What about Swami Prabhupada prophecies that will be a Satya Yuga at this Kali Yuga?

I recall a lecture that Jadurani said that Narayna Maharaj said that at this Kali Yuga Kalki didn't come. blink.gif

Anyone known more about it?
Madanmohan das - Mon, 10 Jan 2005 17:34:14 +0530
You mean he did'nt come yet, or's not coming at all? smile.gif
babu - Mon, 10 Jan 2005 19:56:22 +0530
Sri Yuktesvara Giri number of 24,000 years fits neatly into what is the 24,000 year progression of the zodiac. As the calendar year is divided into the 12 signs of the zodiac, so do the years (approximately every 2,000 years... due to slight wobble in the earth but slight wobble as well throws off calculations some what... according to our own Jatayu here at Gaudiya Discussions, the aliens tried to fix this wobble but their experiment went awry in what was the dreadful tsunami in the Indian Ocean). Termed the "Procession of the Equinoxes" and is known to both astronomers (as it is a verifiable phenomenon) and astrologers. The most notable aspect to it is the Polaris' (Dhruva's home) return to true north every 24,000 years.

As moderate to sometimes really smart guy who as well thinks from the gut and doesn't let the head get in the way, I find of all theories and ideas on this, Sri Yuktesvara Giri's to be most compelling. As Subal noted, there is a tendency for Hindus to fudge numbers on the long side. Every race and culture though seems to be predisposed to creative accounting.

And as to Madanmohan's comments on how it sure looks like Kali yuga out there. Compost all this crap and garbage and we will have abundant fertilizer for our garden. In the "twinkling of an eye" shall our world be transformed. Let each of our hearts be the way for that transformation.
Subal - Mon, 10 Jan 2005 20:55:35 +0530
I am at the point of accepting Sri Yukeshwara's dates and calculations. He explains things rationally and they make sense. I am more of an intuitive than an intellectual, and my intuition is telling me it is Dwapara Yuga. We are still in the early stages of Dwapara and there are still plenty of influences from Kali Yuga around, just as there are influences from the previous Dwapara Yuga. Ages don't change all of a sudden, but gradually like the seasons. This also explains the rapid changes that have occurred in the past three hundred years.

While I see darkness and ignorance all around me, I also see the growth of the light. I am going to be an optimist at this point and say that the light will win over the darkness. We are in the ascending stage of Dwapara Yuga. Things will get better, but not without much travail resulting from cosmic, environmental and human caused events.

Just as Krishna appeared just before the end of the decending Dwapara Yuga, 700 BCE, and passed on the essence of all that came before, so Krishna Chaitanya appeared just before the end of Kali Yuga, 1700 CE, and gave us a means of enlightenment which is the distilled essence of the previous ages' teachings. In the descending cycle of ages, people look back to the glorious past to try and preserve it. In the ascending cycle, people look ahead to a glorious future. Rather than lament a past that is no more, I think it might be helpful if we started looking at the bright side and help bring in a glorious new future rather than 427,000 more years of doom and gloom.
jijaji - Mon, 10 Jan 2005 21:26:33 +0530
sadhaka108 - Tue, 11 Jan 2005 12:15:27 +0530
QUOTE(Madanmohan das @ Jan 10 2005, 12:04 PM)
You mean he did'nt come yet, or's not coming at all? smile.gif

Not coming at all.
Narayna Maharaj says that when Mahaprabhu come Kalki didn't come! biggrin.gif
sadhaka108 - Tue, 11 Jan 2005 12:36:28 +0530
So at the opinion of Sri Yukteswar Giri, who was Kali Yuga avatara?
babu - Tue, 11 Jan 2005 18:28:05 +0530
QUOTE(sadhaka108 @ Jan 11 2005, 07:06 AM)
So at the opinion of Sri Yukteswar Giri, who was Kali Yuga avatara?


Some teachings of Babaji:


The first thought about something, before you have time to "think" about it.


Living within your means.


Comes when you practice Truth and Simplicity; Love is God.

Karma Yoga:

Selfless service to humanity.
Staying in action while repeating the Name of God.

Doing your very best at work without thought of reward or compensation.

Karma means "action". Yoga means "union with God."

Babaji's Message

"Pinda Kacha, Sabda Sacha"
The body is perishable, the Word is eternal

Babaji encouraged the ceaseless repeating of the Maha Mantra "Om Namah Shivaya" (Different than the Gaudiya Maha Mantra of Hare Krishna)

jijaji - Tue, 11 Jan 2005 21:21:44 +0530
Subal - Wed, 12 Jan 2005 01:39:31 +0530
Upper left hand corner.
jijaji - Wed, 12 Jan 2005 01:42:04 +0530
sadhaka108 - Wed, 12 Jan 2005 02:16:36 +0530
Upper left hand corner.

at the side of the Great Beast 666 Aleister Crowley! tongue.gif
jijaji - Wed, 12 Jan 2005 20:46:08 +0530
Subal - Wed, 12 Jan 2005 21:12:24 +0530
I really don't have much interest in Kriya as I know little about it. A SRF friend of mine loaned me a copy of The Holy Science. I read the introduction dealing with the yugas, but had no interest in the rest of the book comparing Shankara's teachings with the Revelation of John. I also don't have much interest in SRF. I'm not as much interested in following another path as in discovering my own path as I continue to push forward in life challenging the limits.

It did strike me, however, what close contemporaries Yukteswar and Bhaktivinode were. I wonder if they ever met.

Last night I read in the preface to Sri Krsna-samhita by Bhaktivinode, "If one considers history and time according to reason and argument, there will be great benefit for India. By this one can also hope to make gradual advancement on the path towards the ultimate goal of life. If reason and argument is combined with ancient beliefs, then all the accumulated moss of misconceptions will be destroyed..."
sadhaka108 - Thu, 13 Jan 2005 07:55:44 +0530
Just curious you have interest in Kriya at all?
I ask that as you have interest in Sri Yukteswar's conclusions regarding the Yugas. If you are interested I can show you some interesting links. Actually Kriya was practiced by Vijaya Krishna Gosvami (direct descendent of Advaita Acarya) and his wife. The description is given in his biography given by Adi-Keshava das (OBL Kapoor) in Saints of Bengal. They spent time in the Himalaya's and recieved diksha into Kriya from the famous saint of Kriya lore known simply as (Babaji), he is referred to in Adi-Keshava's story as Brahmananda Svami. The Maths related to Vijaya Krishna Gosvami to this day practice chanting Hari-nam mixing it with breath concentration.

Hi Bangli,

I have some interest at Kriya and would like to see this links. I would like to known more Vijaya Krishna Gosvami and his followers too. wink.gif

babu - Thu, 13 Jan 2005 08:21:06 +0530
I became interested in Kriya Yoga due to George Harrison featuring Babaji on the cover of his 1974 Darkhorse album. At a later time I was travelling through an airport and a Self Realization Fellowship member handed me the book, "Autobiography of a Yogi" and said it was about yoga and meditation and said the Beatles and George Harrison were into it so I bought it.
jijaji - Thu, 13 Jan 2005 08:24:52 +0530
babu - Thu, 13 Jan 2005 08:36:33 +0530
Bangli, do you know where a picture is of the Darkhorse album cover with Babaji on it that inspired so many young hippy boys and girls to not cut their hair and take up Kriya yoga?
jijaji - Thu, 13 Jan 2005 08:53:49 +0530
jijaji - Thu, 13 Jan 2005 09:10:53 +0530
jijaji - Thu, 13 Jan 2005 09:47:56 +0530
sadhaka108 - Thu, 13 Jan 2005 11:25:23 +0530
Thanks Bangli! Very nice websites.

I liked very much of the picture of Swami Keshavananda Bramachari. I really love a sadhu with dreads! laugh.gif

Today I was reading another cool website about Kriya Yoga and Kaula Tantra:
babu - Fri, 14 Jan 2005 06:19:20 +0530
Thanks Bangli.
jijaji - Fri, 14 Jan 2005 06:27:31 +0530
jijaji - Sat, 15 Jan 2005 10:19:00 +0530
babu - Sat, 15 Jan 2005 20:40:06 +0530
QUOTE(sadhaka108 @ Jan 11 2005, 08:46 PM)
Upper left hand corner.

at the side of the Great Beast 666 Aleister Crowley! tongue.gif

This doesn't sound very beastly.

"My predecessors have invariably said, 'My belief is right and yours is wrong; my customs are worthy, yours are ignoble; my dress is decent, yours is not; think as I think, talk as I talk, do as I do, or you will be wretched, poor, sick, disgraced and dammed; besides which, I shall cut your head off, burn you alive, starve you, imprison you, ostracize you and otherwise make you sorry you did not agree to be a good boy.' The essence of every missionary message has been to assimilate the taught to the teacher; and it has always been accompanied by bribes and threats. My message is exactly opposed to any of this. I say to each man and woman, 'You are unique and sovereign, the centre of an universe. However right I may be in thinking as I do, you may be equally right in thinking otherwise. You can only accomplish your object in life by complete disregard of the opinions of other people. You must not even take the outward signs of success as indications that the course of action which has produced them would serve your turn. For one thing, my coronet might not suit your complexion but give you a headache; for another, the measures which I took to obtain that coronet might not succeed in your case.'

Aleister Crowley.
sadhaka108 - Sun, 16 Jan 2005 02:53:41 +0530
"Do what thou will shall be the whole of the Law!"

"Love is the Law, Love under Will."


Mina - Sun, 16 Jan 2005 04:17:09 +0530
As poetic as those descriptions of the cycle of yugas may be, there is absolutely no way to prove its objective reality. In fact is it far easier to disprove the notion. We have no archaeological evidence to support any theory that humans have essentially lived any differently in the past than they have in the present. Our current technology has changed society to some degree, but then again that is something that is very recent. The natural world has various cycles. There is no doubt about that. It appears that the idea of the yugas was some sort of extrapolation from those observable phenomena, rather than any type of observations over time. What we have directly observed in our own lifetimes is a mixture of progress and strife with respect to society. Power struggles continue, as they have in the past. The victors inevitably fall as the next champions conquer. New ideas constantly emerge and some actually take hold.

So, no matter what has been written in some books, trust your own ability to discern patterns. Our brains are actually very good at that.
jijaji - Sun, 16 Jan 2005 07:23:47 +0530
Subal - Sun, 16 Jan 2005 20:40:10 +0530
Good points.
Advaitadas - Sun, 16 Jan 2005 20:54:46 +0530
Where is the Baba on the Dark Horse cover and which Baba is it?
Mina - Sun, 16 Jan 2005 22:00:10 +0530
That's an excellent quote from the Kalama Sutta Bangli.

History is always problematic for a number of reasons. As one author has pointed out, the history books have been written by the conquerors, and the conquered have a different point of view. Coming up with some unbiased reconstruction of past events is a major hurdle. Getting all of the essential details is another one. It is not safe to assume that written records are either complete or accurate, given the very real possibility of hidden agendas and poetic license. The best we can really do is assess how well any accounts have the ring of truth. If there are discussions of fire breathing dragons and unicorns, well I rest my case.
jijaji - Sun, 16 Jan 2005 23:00:51 +0530
Advaitadas - Sun, 16 Jan 2005 23:47:12 +0530
So its the figure in the sky, above the group?
jijaji - Sun, 16 Jan 2005 23:54:59 +0530
babu - Mon, 17 Jan 2005 07:15:16 +0530
Does anybody really know what yuga it is
Does anybody really care
If so I can't imagine why
We've all got yuga enough to cry
jijaji - Mon, 17 Jan 2005 07:27:12 +0530
sadhaka108 - Mon, 17 Jan 2005 09:55:45 +0530

Bangli you are hilarious! laugh.gif