Yuga, in Hinduism, is the Sanskrit term for an «age,» meaning one of the four periods in which the world cycle is divided:

(i) krta (or satya)-yuga, the golden age when there is unity (one god, one veda, one ritual), in which the varnas perform their roles without oppression or envy;

(ii) treat-yuga, when righteousness begins to decline by a quarter and sacrifice begins;

(iii) dvapara-yuga, when righteousness again declines by a quarter, the Vedas split into four and few study them;

(iv) kali-yuga, further decline by a quarter, when disease, despair, and conflict dominate. At present the world is considered to be in kali-yuga, which began 3102 BC, so there should be no optimism concerning general future prospects.

The duration of each yuga (with each in succession reducing by a quarter to reflect the decline in righteousness) is:

(i) 1,728,000 human years;

(ii) 1,296,000;

(iii) 864,000;

(iv) 432,000.


The total 4,320,000 = one maha-yuga, or «great age»; 2,000 maha-yugas = one day and one night in the life of BrahmaA.G.H.


Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 1061