Manier times,one might have heard about the four main eras in many theologies. What do the ‘four eras’ mean? The below article describes the eras in the Hindu theology.
Yugas can be roughly explained as time periods or eras. In the Hindu theology,there were 4 yugas(ages)
- Sat yuga/ Satya Yuga/Krita or Kruta Yuga
- Treta Yuga
- Dwapara Yuga
- Kali yuga
- Sat Yuga
Dharma is depicted as an Indian bull. In the Sat Yuga,Dharma had four legs. Sat Yuga is also known as the golden age. In this age,every person was in complete consciousness of God. They were not attached to any material needs or wants. The people were solely devoted towards the Supreme God. There was no stain of any evil within any person. Nobody experienced any untimely deaths. Meaning,that the people knew already about when their deaths were going to occur. The lifespan of a person was around 100,000 years. People were as big and about 30 feet. There were no diseases and people lived peacefully. It is said that Lord Vishnu incarnated with 10 avatars(Dashavatara) on earth. During the golden age,he took 4 Avatars:
Although these incarnations have their own deeds on goloka(Earth),we just have to get a brief introduction of them. Even the currency was made of all jewels and the pots were believed to be made of gold. The cycle of death happened for around 8 times. The period lasted for about 17,28,000 years. This was the life in the Sat Yuga,where nobody lied. Sat Yuga was believed to be ended by the killing of Hiranya Kashipu.
- Treta Yuga
Dharma had three legs in this age. This age was also called the silver age.Treta Yuga was the time when the evil co-existed. And the average human life during this period lasted for about 10,000 years. This was an era when people were as big as 21 feet. The birth and the death cycles were occuring about 12 times. Treta Yuga did have a decline of virtues from the previous Yuga.During this period,the main incarnations of Vishnu were:
Again,all these avatars have their own divine story. But explaining them in one article is not possible,at all. Treta Yuga lasted for about 12,96,000 years. All the pottery during that period were made of silver and the currency was minted with gold. It is said that the Yuga ended with the demise of Rama when King Rama took Jala samadhi and returned to Vaikunta.
- Dwapara Yuga
This was the period when Dharma had two legs. This era is also said to be the Copper age. Many people did some or the other ill deeds done in their life. May it be with the path of righteousness or against the path of righteousness. The percentage of evil came to rise. Many also made the wrong use of their talents.The birth and the death cycles increased to 21 times. The average lifespan of humans got reduced to a 1000 years. The people were as tall as 11 feet. Most of the currency was minted in silver and the pots were made of copper. The value of sin and virtues were equally divided. The main incarnations of Lord Vishnu were:
Lord Krishna descended on Earth to show the true path of righteousness. To give the divine knowledge of Shrimad Bhagvad Gitā. He is the supreme Lord,the cause of all causes. Nobody can describe Krishna,nor can anyone understand Krishna,then who am I to describe Krishna? Buddhas,with their great teachings which were filled with wisdom were also very significant. The Mahabharata was said to occur in the same period. Lord Krishna though provided priceless teachings to the people of Dwapara Yuga. The period lasted for about 8,64,000years. Krishna’s departure from the Earth made the end of this era.
- Kali Yuga or The age of Kali
Kali Yuga is the most curious Yuga. Because we are actually living in this Yuga. This age is also known as the Iron age. The last of the four periods.This was the period when Dharma had only one leg. The age of Kali began approximately on 17th February,midnight,3102 BCE. The first King of this age was King Parikshit,the only descendent of the Lunar dynasty (Kuruvanshas). The name of this Yuga came from the Asura Kali. He was the son of Kashyapa Rishi and Muni. Kali was instructed by King Parikshit to leave his provinces but Kali pleaded to King Parikshit , because the whole Bharatvarsha was under his province. And so,King Parikshit allowed him to stay at the following places:
- Gambling houses
- Slaughtering places
And then Kali requested that these places were not enough and King Parikshit gave him one more place to live: 6. Gold. Kali is basically the source of destruction.
During this period,the percentage of evil was most of all. The approximate lifespan of humans came down to 100 years. The birth and death cycles increased to 42. People will easily get mis-leaded by their path of life. Even after knowing great things,people will continue to be selfish and cunning. Many will question the existence of God. Parents will be over-protective about their children,and this would initially lead to the destruction of their own child. The currency will be made of iron and the pots,out of soil. These were some of the predictions which were already made by Krishna. Kaliyuga has already completed its 5,122 years and with the completion of year 2020,it would be 5,123. Kaliyuga still has 426,878 years to complete after which the Last avatar of Lord Vishnu,10. Kalki
will end the age of Kali by partially disintegrating the world for the linear cycle of the Yugas to continue.
The scriptures regarding the Yugas are extremely disturbing, because we can actually see these factors happening in our surroundings. Not only the Hindu theology but also the Greek theology, Egyptian theology and many such theologies which tell us about the four eras.
There are many many circumstances and phenomenons in these four eras from which we can learn infinite virtues.
Confusion 1: The approximate lifespan in the above articles mean that the specific lifespans were actually observed in those periods. It was not like every person was a bulging giant. In fact many rishis were Chiranjeevi (immortal) and also Trikaldarshi (ability to have see and understand all the three tenses, the present,past and future)
Confusion 2: All this information was actually written in many Puranas. You might find two or three lines of these Puranas through the medium of the internet but the true,authoritative and without any mental speculation with pure knowledge can only be attained in the ancient scriptures.
Thank you dear readers for reading my article. You all are wonderful!