Kali Yuga

From TSL Encyclopedia

Kali Yuga is a Sanskrit term in Hindu philosophy for the “age of darkness.” It is the last of the four ages, or yugas, in Hindu cosmology; called the age of conflicts or the dark age in which strife, discord, and moral deterioration are prevalent.

The four yugas are Satya or Krita, Tretā, Dvāpara, and Kali; the first age begins in perfection and each succeeding one decreases in length and increases in its degradations.

The Hindu scriptures describe the Kali Yuga as characterized by greed, lust, deception, fatal disease and continuous hunger, revolution, war, disrespect for scripture and true sages, and the practice of ritualistic religion rather than true spirituality.

Every Kali Yuga, according to some calculations, lasts 432,000 years and then ends in destruction, after which the entire cycle of the four yugas begins again. Most scholars agree that we are presently in a Kali Yuga that began in 3102 B.C.

Swami Sri Yukteswar, however, believes that this theory is based on an incorrect method of calculating the yugas. According to Sri Yukteswar, we are not presently in a Kali Yuga. In his book The Holy Science, he outlines an ancient method of calculation, based on astrological cycles, that makes the yugas much shorter. He says that scholars began miscalculating the yugas about 700 B.C. Sri Yukteswar sets the present age 292 years into the third yuga—the Dvāpara Yuga, the age of rapid development in all departments of knowledge. See Swami Sri Yukteswar, The Holy Science, 7th ed. (Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1977), pp. x–xxi.

See also



Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Lost Teachings of Jesus: Missing Texts • Karma and Reincarnation.

Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 35, no. 46, October 25, 1992., endnotes.