Yugas (Era):Concept of Time in Hinduism
“Paritranaya Sadhunam, Vinashaya Cha Dushkritam,
Dharmasamsthapanaarthaya, Sambhavami Yuge Yuge!”
“For the protection of the good and the destruction of the evil,
For the purpose of reinstating righteousness, I shall incarnate in every Yuga!”
The above were the words spoken by Krishna in a revelation he made about his own divinity to Arjuna, during the Great War of Kurukshetra.
In the cosmology of Hinduism, the term Yuga (meaning: “age” or “epoch”) refers to a specific division of time in the ongoing flow of cosmic history. For Hindus, time is measured in terms of cycles called Kalpas (cosmic round), Mahayugas (great ages) and yugas (ages). Each great age of the cosmos is divided into four smaller eras.
Since the Hindu notion of time is circular rather than linear, the universe is considered to be in a continual flow through these four periods of time. As time progresses from stage to stage, human society degrades to a level lower than before, culminating in the destruction of the existing order at the end of the Kali Yuga. After this, the blissful Satya Yuga begins anew. According to the prevailing Hindu calculations, we are currently living in the Kali Yuga (Dark Age).
There are four yugas(Era) widely accepted in Hinduism. They are :
3.Dwapara yug and
Our present time is a Kali Yuga, which started at 3102 BCE with the end of the Mahabharata war.
Time Span of the four Yugas:
Satya (Krita) Yuga – 17,28,000 years (Kri – four times kali yuga)
Threta Yuga – 12,96,000 years (Thre – three times kali yuga)
Dwapara Yuga – 8,64,000 years ( Dwa – two times kali yuga)
Kali yuga – 4,32,000 years
A total of 43,20,000 years constitute a Maha Yuga(Divya-Yuga)!
Incarnations (Avatars) of Lord Vishnu and Yugas:
The first FOUR Avatars happened in Kritha Yuga – Matsya, Koorma, Varaaha and Narasimha
The next THREE Avatars happened in Treta Yuga – Vaaman, Parasuraama and Sri Rama
The next TWO Avatars happened in Dwapara Yuga – Balaraama and Krishna
The next ONE Avatar will happen in Kali Yuga – Kalki
Ten Incarnations (Avatars) of Lord Vishnu:
First Avatar – Matsya – Creatures that live solely in water;
Next Avatar – Koorma – Creatures that could live both in water and land (amphibian);
Next Avatar – Varaaha – Creatures that solely live on land (of course with swimming ability);
Next Avatar – NaraSimha – The half-lion and half-human – a stage between Homo sapiens and animals (Tiryaks?);
Next Avatar – Vaamana – The Homo sapiens with short stature;
Next Avatar – Parasurama – The rough and tough human (Rama with the axe);
Next Avatar – Sri Rama – The perfect civilized human (Rama with a bow & noble practices);
Next Avatar – BalaRama – The human with occupational skills (Rama with the plough – agriculture is his occupation?)
Next Avatar – Sri Krishna – The Superhuman!
Final Avatar – Kalki – The apocalyptic (The one who would end this Mahayuga!)
*Some scripts include Buddha to the above list also.
In Sata yuga, the fight was between two worlds (Devalok and Asura lok). Asura lok being the evil, was a different WORLD.
In Treta yuga, the fight was between Rama and Ravana. Both rulers from two different COUNTRIES.
In Dwapara yuga, the fight was between Pandavas and Kauravas. Both good and evil from the SAME FAMILY.
Kindly note how the evil is getting closer. For example, from a DIFFERENT WORLD to a DIFFERENT COUNTRY to the SAME FAMILY.
Now, know where is the evil in Kalyug?
It is inside us. Both good and evil live WITHIN. The battle is within us. Whom do we want to give victory. To our inner goodness or the evil within?
The one you feed the most!
This is probably the greatest and most subtle teaching of Hinduism, that the real battle with the evil will take place inside us in the future.