The Four Yugas in one cycle, Hindu Cosmology

Yuga in Hinduism is an epoch or era within a four-age cycle. A complete Yuga starts with the Satya Yuga, via Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga into a Kali Yuga. Our present time is ascending Kali yuga.[1]

Four yugas[]

There are four Yugas in one cycle:

Characteristics of each Yuga[]

Durations of the four Yugas[]

Relationship between various time units in Hindu cosmology

However, the actual duration of yugas is still controversial as in context of some text such as holy science written by Sri Yukteshwar Giri in which the approximate length of yugas is mentioned to be as follows:

This results in 24,000 year cycle. This calculation is also supported [2] by modern day spiritual masters such as Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. This has meant that the following calculation is erroneously used:

The common belief until Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri had analyzed the dating of the Yuga cycles was that the Kali Yuga would last for roughly 438,000 years after the end of the Dwapara Yuga (3102 BCE). This originated during the puranic times when the famous astronomer Aryabhatta recalculated the timeline by artificially inflating the traditional 12,000 year figure with a multiplication of 360, which was represented as the number of "human years" that make up a single "divine year". This was likely a purposeful miscalculation due to conflicts with one of the preeminent astronomer of the time Brahmagupta. However, both the Mahabharata (which was used by Aryabhatta in his calculations) and the Manu Smriti have the original value of 12,000 years for one half of the Yuga cycle. According to one Puranic astronomical estimate, the four Yuga have the following durations:[3]

Together, these four yuga constitute one Mahayuga, equal to 4.32 million human years.[3] According to one version, there are 1,000 Mahayugas in one day of Brahma or 4.32 billion human years. A Mahakalpa consists of 100 years of Brahma.[3]

According to Srimad Bhagavatam 3.11.19, which most scholars agree was composed around Mahabharat war (3000 to 3100 BC), the Yugas are much longer, using a divine year in which one day is equal to one human year, thus:

The Viṣṇu Purāṇa Time measurement section of the Viṣṇu Purāṇa Book I Chapter III adds:

While the long yuga count is the most popular, it does not correlate to any known celestial motion found in the Astronomical Almanac. The value of 24,000 years fits relatively close with the modern astronomical calculation of one full precession of the equinox, which takes 25,772 years.[a] Thus the yuga cycle may have some basis in known terrestrial cycles. Srimad Bhagavatam 3.11.19 describes the timespans of the devas, in which a year of a yuga is a year of the demigods. It is this second sloka which appears to have been modified over the years.


The ages see a gradual decline of dharma, wisdom, knowledge, intellectual capability, life span, emotional and physical strength.

In the present days we may be said to live in a Kali Yuga, which is said to have started in 3102 BCE[6] with the end of the Mahabarata(Dwapra). This date is also considered by many Hindus to be the day that Lord Krishna left Earth and went to abode.[b]

See also[]


  1. ^ This phenomenon is observed as the stars moving retrograde across the sky at about 50 arc seconds per year, and is thought to produce periods of warm ages and ice ages known as the Milankovitch cycle.
  2. ^ According to Sri Yukteswar Giri, guru of Paramahansa Yogananda, The ascending phase of the Kali Yuga began in September 499 CE (not exactly). Since September 1699, we have been in the ascending phase of the Dwapara Yuga. According to Sri yukteswar,since nobody wanted to announce the bad news of the beginning of the descending Kali Yuga, so they kept adding years to the Dvapara date (at that time 2400 Dvapara) only retitling the epoch to Kali.[7]


  1. ^ Prophet, Mark L.; Clare Prophet, Elizabeth (2006). The Path to Immortality. Summit University Press. p. 15. ISBN 9781932890099.
  2. ^ Sadhguru (2017-09-12), The Great Cycles or 'YUGAS' Isha Fondation Sadhguru, retrieved 2019-04-12
  3. ^ a b c Penprase, Bryan E. (2017-05-05). The Power of Stars. Springer. p. 182. ISBN 9783319525976.
  4. ^ a b c d Kng, Hans (2006-10-31). Tracing The Way: Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions. A&C Black. p. 50. ISBN 9780826494238.
  5. ^ SB 3.11.19. vedabase.com. 2011-07-15. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  6. ^ Richter-Ushanas, Egbert (1997). The Indus Script and Rg-veda. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 16. ISBN 9788120814059.
  7. ^ Swami Yukteswar (1949). The Holy Science. Yogoda Sat-Sanga Society of India. p. [page needed]..

External links[]