Archaeology says modern humans have only been around for about 200 thousand years. Just one yuga is longer than this. Does it mean that all previous yugas were much shorter? it appears that they were even longer than kali yuga, which makes it impossible to fit in those 200000 years of human evoution span.
The 4th yuga (kali) is “x” in length. The 3rd is 2x. The 2nd is 3x. The 1st is 4x.
Between each yuga is a twilight, which is a tenth the length of the yuga.
So if the 4th yuga is “10 minutes” long, with twilights on either side it comes to 12. The 3rd (2x) is thus 24. The 2nd (3x) is 36. The 1st is “48 minutes” long.
The actual value for the 4th yuga (kali) is 1,000 years. It doesn’t matter if you are a god or a human or something else, it’s 1000 years. It’s just that if you are a god, you have access to 360 times the raw moments of time than a human does. Time is a constant, but perception of time is a relative subjectivity.
It is very confusing, I agree. Relative time is extremely confusing. Basically, if I tell you “let’s eat in five minutes”, we will eat in five minutes. But Einstein proposes that if we are traveling very close to the speed of light, our experience of 5 minutes will be equivalent to an experience of 500 years for someone on earth waiting to hear if we like the food. This is why the gods experience of the lengh of kali-yuga is equivalent to 432,000 years for humans on earth, even though in fact the duration of time is 1,200 years (360 times shorter).
Thus the value of the 4th age is absolutely 1,000 years, there are two twilights of 100 years each. So the total length of the age is 1,200 years. The 3rd age is 2,400 years. The 2nd is 3,600 years. The 1st is 4,800 years.
All for ages together form a “great age” which is 12,000 years long – which rings a bell with the precession of equinoxes, doesn’t it? 1000 great ages of the gods is a day for the creator, Brahma. After which he rests for the same duration and the entire universe falls apart to a large extent, including the Sun. So the Puranic idea is that the solar system is recreated every 8.64 billion years.
Brahma lives for 100 years, his time. So is is 8.64 billion x 360 (for his year) x 100. That’s up there in the trillions. That’s the puranic idea of how long a single universe exists before starting to be recycled.
When does Kalki appear and change the Kali yuga to Satya? Is it every 12,000 years from our point of view, or is it every 12,000 x 360 years (4,320,000 years). The Puranas are written in celestial contexts. Their topics are not of mundane human affairs and they are delivered from sages to sages. The time context is, imo, celestial. When they say Kalki comes every kali-yuga I feel pretty certain that it means he comes once in every kali-yuga from the god’s perspective, which is once every 4,320,000 years from our perspective.
Yes, this is much longer than mainstream archaeology will accommodate. And while I agree that is certainly and important consideration that raises important questions, I do not feel that it is ALL-important and an automatic veto of the validity of Puranic concepts of historical time scales.
what’s you take on swami sri yukteswar giri’s take on misunderstnading of long count view?
Long vs. short yugas are not his invention. It is valid and integral to every puranic definition of yuga as well as the definitions given in the siddhanta and samhita.
It is most facinating to me that when the human-scale (“short count”) ages are taken, the puranic view of history matches quite closely to mainstream archaeology. But when the celestial-scale (“long count”) ages are used it matches closely with mainstream astronomy’s evaluation of the age of the universe.
This is not something Yukteshvar invented. What he invented was the idea that Kali does not change to Satya. He manufactured this idea. He says that after kali yuga there is another kali yuga. The traditional idea is that the ages go 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. Yukteshvar invented the idea that they go 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 3, 2, 1.
It is a very interesting idea, and perhaps useful. But it is something he invented and is not a classical idea.
- Vic DiCara