# Yuga Cycles

This will be my first post here, and I hope it's not too grand. I've read the types of replies to the origins of dzyan discussion and am hoping some of the experts here can bring their knowledge to a question I've been puzzling over. My question is regarding the commonly accepted calculations of our yuga cycles.

HPB gave the yuga calculations as follows:

Krita Yuga contains ................................................... 1,728,000
Treta Yuga contains .................................................. 1,296,000
Dwapara Yuga contains ............................................... 864,000
Kali Yuga contains ....................................................... 432,000

And said that:

The year 1887 is from the commencement of
Kali-Yuga ..................................................... 4,989 years.

Now, I've struggled with these calculations for some time, because I just can't seem to coordinate them with the rounds and races, and our current position therein. But I'll pass over that for the moment.

I've also been troubled, because another theory, put forth by Sri Yukteswar, that some may be familiar with, contradicts these calculations, while providing an alternative. This alternative can be found here (see Introduction): http://www.scribd.com/doc/35297919/Sri-Yukteswar-The-Holy-Science

Sri Yukteswar's theory seems, to me, relatively sound, in that it is (seemingly) capable of being linked to known astronomical events (i.e. the procession of the equinoxes). It also seems, to me, to line up fairly well with some basic historical ideas. It places the peak of the previous satya yuga at around 11,500 BC, after which would've been a fall (geological cataclysms?), through satya into treta at 6700 BC, then into Dwapara at 3100 BC, reaching into Kali at 700 BC, and then to the bottom of the cycle at 500 AD, at which point the upward arc begins, rising into dwapara yuga beginning around 1700 AD. This all seems to coordinate quite well with historic accounts (i.e. a low at 500AD, a renaissance and scientific revolution as Kali Yuga comes to a close, etc.).

Both systems mark the date 3100 BC as important. Blavatsky's marks this as the beginning of a Kali Yuga of 432,000 years, and Sri Yukteswar's marks this as the beginning of a Dwapara Yuga of 2400 years. The two sets of calculations provide very different views of our world though.

My questions are plenty, but I'll keep to the essential ones:

Are these cycles mutually exclusive? Are they two separate cycles?

Is one false and the other correct? and what evidence is there for one or the other?

How do they compare to other accounts of yuga cycles?

Basically, after puzzling over this for some time, I would like to invite any and all of you to provide your thoughts, evidences, theories, etc. in order to perhaps come to some basic conclusions.

Thanks in advance for helping with this inquiry.

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Welcome Jon.

Yukteshwar Giri's Kaivalya Darshanam is much more scientific and logical than what HPB has quoted from Shrimad Bhagvat Purana, in my opinion. Bhagvat Purana is full of metaphors and requires deep esoteric background to comprehend its text. A good source is Purnendu Sinha's study which can be downloaded from here. My own understanding is that it is the numbers 432, 864 ... and so on which are important rather than the zeroes that come after them.

HPB, having little knowledge of Hinduism and constrained by the secrecy of which perhaps she was a victim, quoted verbatim what was told to her. It is common knowledge that the authorty on esoteric Hinduism T Subba Row even refused to edit the work when requested to do so due to the number of errors he felt, it contained. Sri Aurobindo did not hold the Secret Doctrine in high esteem, perhaps for similar reasons. So, those figures may be looked at in that context.

David Frawley gives a good explanation of the cycles within the each yuga with historical examples to support Yukteshwar Giri's theory. I am uploading that file.

And, together with you I will be looking forward to the views of scholars to enlighten us on this very interesting topic.

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Hi Jon, From what I've been studying, the measure of the Yugas has been misunderstood for quite some time ... perhaps for thousands of years. Ms. Norelli-Bachelet teaches that the figure for the yuga  (432,000) was never meant to be understood in terms of years, but in terms of seconds of degrees of arc in the 360 degree circle. 432,000 seconds of degrees of arc equals ONE THIRD of the 360 degree circle.

432,000° = 120° x 60′ x 60″
864,000″ = 240° x 60′ x 60″
1,296,000″ = 360° x 60′ x 60″
1,728,000″ = 360° x 60′ x 60″

Thus, the sacred measure of the Yuga (which is also the measure of the radius of the Sun in miles) is known as a measure of the Earth’s 360° Precession of the Equinoxes, in harmony with the 12 astrological ages. 432,000″ = one third of the Precession = 4 Astrological Ages.

432,000″ = 120° x 60′ x 60″  =  8640 years = 4 Ages
864,000″ = 240° x 60′ x 60″ = 17,280 years = 8 Ages
1,296,000″ = 360° x 60′ x 60″  = 25,920 years = 12 Ages (1 Precessional Cycle)
1,728,000″ = 480° x 60′ x 60″ = 34,560 years = 16 Ages

Note that the measure of the Ages in this ancient system of measure is 2160 years, and that 2160 happens to be our measure of the diameter of the Earth’s moon in miles. These correspondences between measures of Time and Space should give the modern mind pause to consider how such ‘coincidences’ came to be, and what is the significance behind such. People do not normally stop to notice or think about why the 360 degree measure of the Circle, shows up in the measure of our Sun (360 x 1,200 mile radius), Moon (360 x 3 mile radius) and our Earth (360 x 11 mile radius) as well as the measure of the Yugas/Ages. Being multiples of 360, these important measures are also naturally multiples of both 9 and 12. It is a wonder that few take the time to wonder about.

The standard belief about the Zodiac is that it came to us through Babylonia, but serious study of the matter reveals that, along with the Circle divided by 9 which is the basis/framework of our 0/9 number system, our civilization has also inherited the 12-rayed Zodiac from our Vedic ancestors. There are passages in the Rig Veda (thought to be at least 5,000 years old) which clearly describe Vishnu the Preserver as traveling through the ages of the Zodiac/Precession of the Equinoxes. Vishnu rides on an Eagle (Scorpio), backwards through the Preservation signs of the Zodiac to the Lion (Leo), to the Bull (Taurus), and to the Friend (Aquarius). This backward order corresponds exactly to movement through the Precessional cycle.  [See RV 1.154]

So if these connections are SEEN, then the Vedic Yugas are known are measurements of the Earth’s Precession, calculated in terms of the 12 ages of the Zodiac and in terms of the Circle of 9/0 (of which the circle of 360° is just an expansion).  The Gnostic Circle (1976) by Ms. Norelli-Bachelet gives readers a thorough background in these matters and conveys the importance of restoring our civilization’s understanding/knowledge of the spherical and cyclical geometries and dynamics of material existence and time that have been encoded in the Vedas for many thousands of years.

The grand theme that comes across in her teachings is that the evolution of our consciousness and our material experience on Earth includes the evolution of a Supramental Gnosis/Knowledge of Time; and that such knowledge of Time illuminates the connection between our own soul and our 360° journey in Time and Space. Such an illumination must necessarily include a seeing of the real geometries that arise from the ZERO POINT/Sun/Soul and extend into our 360° field of Time and Space … including the geometries of the Earth’s Day, the Earth’s Tropical Year, and our Precessional cycle.

'Fractals and the Divine Matrix' (from my blog 2009)
'Updating the Vedic Altar'
(PNB's latest series)
Map of the Manifestations (as found in The Gnostic Circle)

Thank You 360Lotus. Brilliant Work! In one post you have clarified what has confused our minds for long. This is what sharing and the Theosophical Network is all about.

Your so welcome Anand, ... Ms. Norelli-Bachelet really deserves the credit. I would have little to NO understanding or interest in these matters if not for her work. Reading The Gnostic Circle at the age of 31 was like entering into a whole new level of understanding of what KNOWLEDGE is (like entering into a true UNIVERSITY). From that point it became clear to me that true knowledge must have true power to Unify and Integrate and Harmonize the whole field, just like the true power of the Sun.

On another note:

I meant to mention to you Jon (and anyone interested in these issues), that Ms. Norelli-Bachelet sees the start of our current Precessional cycle (0 Degrees Aries) as 234 BCE. Meaning the Age of Pisces lasted from 234 BCE to 1926 CE, and the Age of Aquarius began in 1926 CE. Several ago I wondered what the significance of 3114 BCE was in terms of using 234 BCE as the Zero Point of the Precession (Because of the importance of 3114 BCE in the Mayan calendar). Well the span from 3114 BCE to 234 BCE equals 2,880 years. And amazingly it just so happens that 2,880 years is EXACTLY 1/9th (40 degrees) of the Precession of the Equinoxes. I find that to be quite amazing. In terms of seconds of degrees of arc, 1/9th of the Precession, or 40 degrees of the circle equals 144,000". This makes me wonder if the sacred significance of the number 144,000 as it shows up in the Vedas, the Bible, the Mayan Calendar and in various religious or spiritual traditions has been misunderstood, just as the measure of the Yugas has been misunderstood.

As 1/9th of the circle 144,000" is equivalent to ONE integer of our 9 number system.  Does this make sense?

Just as: 1 x 9 makes up the full circle of 9, and 40 degrees x 9 = a full 360 degree Circle .... 144,000" x 9 = 1,296,000" = the full measure of the 360 degree circle (the measure of 3 Yugas or Treta Yuga). Or in terms of years, 2,880 years x 9 = 25,920 years or the full measure of the Precession of the Equinoxes. For more information on the circle of 9/0, see 'The Vedic Circle of 9 and 0' and 'The Circle and the Point'.

It seems to be an amazing 'coincidence' 3114 BCE - 234 BCE marks off ONE integer of the Precession of the Equinoxes, especially in light of the fact that the Mayans Ages seem to correspond to 1/5th of the Precession of the Equinoxes (5184 years). Perhaps the Mayans were aware of other divisions of the Circle/Precession. Or perhaps the coincidence has been organized 'Supramentally', i.e. not mentally, but played out in time via the consciousness-forces at work through out the whole journey, regardless of human ignorance. Who is to say, really, how this correspondence/precision regarding the measure of the Mayan Calendar, the Ages of the Zodiac and the beginning of the Great Year as measured from 234 BCE came to be ... but it certainly invites us to take notice of and contemplate the geometry of time.

More related links from my blog:
The Yugas & the Precession of the Equinoxes
234 and 432 - the Basic Numbers of the Zodiac, Radius of the Sun ...

And here's a picture I just posted on my blog regarding the 3114 BCE - 234 BCE span of the Precessional Cycle:

Hi Jon, you should get a hold of The Gnostic Circle if you can, it is a powerful initiation into these matters. It builds this knowledge more organically and thoroughly than I can manage here.

Regarding the 3 and 1/3 Precessional Cycles ... well here's the thing about that:

According to Ms. Norelli-Bachelet, the Kali Yuga functions as a Unit of Measure, like the integer ONE is a unit in the circle of Nine. If the Kali Yuga is understood as a unit, and not an Age itself, then the Dwapara (2) + Treta (3) + Satya (4) Yugas = 9 Yugas = 3 Precessional Cycles (i.e. 77,760 Years or 36 Astrological Ages). When we remind ourselves of the numbers for Kali Yuga/Radius of the Sun 432,000 ... and remember the function and potency of the circle/cycle of the 9/0 number system of Vedic origin, this understanding of the Yugas makes much sense.

Patrizia writes: 'In truth, mankind is in the 'dark' simply by not realising that there is no such thing as a Kaliyuga, and that in effect the Age of Darkness is only determined by an ignorance of Truth, which can come about in any Age. Man has believed himself to be in an age of darkness, which is only the illusion of Time, and consequently Time is illusion only in so far as vision is fragmentary. When one breaks through to a full vision of Truth, Time then is the key and saviour, not the bondage.’

According to her, we have been in Satya Yuga since 0 degrees Leo of the previous Precession (some 10,800 years ago), and have 11 Ages in the 25,920 year Precessional Cycle ahead of us. If you look at the the Map of the 12 Manifestations, look for the Age of Aquarius in the outer ring … that is where we fall. The ‘Manifestations’ in this map are 3-Age ‘Seasons’ or ¼ of the Precessional Year. It is interesting to think that perhaps the Sphinx of Giza was built in the Age of Leo as a marker for the Earth’s passage into Satya Yuga. Patrizia points out the fascinating coincidence that the Lion body of the Sphinx was not excavated/unburied from the sands of Giza until 1926, the beginning of the Age of Aquarius ... half a Precession, perhaps, from when it was built as a monument to the Leo-Aquarius (Lion-Man) axis of the Zodiac.

In an even larger cycle, the 3 Precessional Cycles formed by the Dwapara, Treta and Satya Yuga (MahaYuga) form a Season of an even greater Year. Four of such seasons would be 311,040 years (77,760 x 4) or 12 Precessional Cycles (144 Astrological Ages). In THAT macro cycle. Ms. Norelli-Bachelet writes that we are 9 ‘months’ into the last Season (77,760 years) of this macro cycle, which corresponds to the 9th Astrological sign Sagittarius.

This is a lot to take in, and I think it all REALLY needs to be read within the larger context of The Gnostic Circle. It is all laid out there with pictures and better explanations of the measures, geometries and forces at work. Also in Secrets of the Earth, Patrizia discusses the way the Vedic lore of the 10 Avatars of Vishnu (the Preserver) plays out in the Manifestations, as incarnations in the astrological ages corresponding to the PRESERVATION or fixed signs of the zodiac. It is very intriguing and eye opening reading … making sense of these ancient myths and measures.

Also, one trick is to request your library to purchase it for you.  Here's a link to the original publisher AeonBooks ... at full price (\$27 plus shipping & handling).

My thesis at Exeter concerns Blavatsky's philosophy of time throughout her writings.  I was contacted by a member of the Russian TS and was explained that Blavatsky's view of time is an extremely important topic in the Russian TS.  For a limited English version of this site click here http://www.resht.ru/eng/index.htm  I found the 'tables' simply fascinating...

Once a civil engineer always a civil engineer?  Do you know the Buddhist story of the man with the arrow in his arm?
Or he learns the steps of a good rain dance.
‘Religious movements and revolutions have come and gone or left their mark but after all and through all the Veda remains to us our Rock of the Ages, our eternal foundation.... The Upanishads, mighty as they are, only aspire to bring out, arrange philosophically in the language of later thinking and crown with the supreme name of Brahman the eternal knowledge enshrined in the Vedas. Yet for some two thousand years at least no Indian has really understood the Vedas.’ Sri Aurobindo, India’s Rebirth (emphasis added).

It is worth considering that the 2,000-year extended lack of understanding of the Vedas that Sri Aurobindo points out, extends our modern-day understanding of the Yuga cycles.

I have been reading up on the characteristics of Kali the Goddess, figuring there must be clues to the true nature of the Kali Yuga as a measure of the Precession of the Equinoxes in the mythology and iconography of the goddess. As pointed out in a previous note, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet describes the Kali Yuga as a unit of measure covering 4 astrological ages of the 12-age Precession. 3 Kali Yuga (Treta Yuga) equals a full Precessional cycle. In this seeing of the Yugas, Kali Yuga is a measure, not a manifest age. Interestingly enough the goddess Kali is known to have 4 arms and to carry the 3 pronged Trident as her weapon. She is also known as an incarnation of Shakti/Parvati who is the wife of Shiva (a member of the Trimurti or Trinity of Vedic Gods: Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva). I read this about her on Wikipedia:
‘She is often depicted naked which symbolizes her being beyond the covering of Maya since she is pure (nirguna) being-consciousness-bliss and far above prakriti. She is shown as very dark as she is brahman in its supreme unmanifest state. She has no permanent qualities — she will continue to exist even when the universe ends. It is therefore believed that the concepts of color, light, good, bad do not apply to her — she is the pure, un-manifested energy, the Adi-shakti.’
With these characteristics in mind, is not too farfetched, to see Kali Yuga as ‘unmanifest’ and to understand the Goddess and the Yuga as inseparable from the Trinity that is so fundamental to Vedic mythology and gnosis. The mathematics of Kali’s persona do beg some consideration … the 4 arms and a 3 pronged trident are the very essence of the 12 month Zodiac, which is divided into 4 seasons of 3 months each, and is also based on the 4 elements (fire, water, air and earth) and 3 gunas (rajas, sattva, tamas or creation, preservation, destruction/dissolution). Also Kali wears a garland of 108 human heads. The sacredness of the number 108 is literally a product of its factors 9 and 12 (9 x 12 = 108). These are the formative numbers of our cyclical/circular 9/0 number system and our 12 month year inherited from Vedic civilization. Learning to see these two numbers as formative divisions of the One Circle of life, just as the 3 and the 4 are formative divisions of the One Circle of life is an important key to developing some understanding of the Vedic cycles of time (as discussed in The Gnostic Circle).

Trying to understand the Yuga cycles without these keys, I truly think, is something of a wild goose chase … trying to decipher, read and accurately interpret an ancient sacred code with the wrong cipher.

Shakti (part of the Tridevi of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati/Shakti) is known as the source of all forms (sarvarupe) and as the power that mobilizes the immobile. In other words, she informs the geometries and dynamics of time and space. The whole matrix comes to being and into motion through her geometries and dynamics. Shakti’s incarnation as Kali, ‒ the dark one, associated with death and the destructive nature of time ‒, can better be understood in terms of how the Mother/Material Creation seems when TIME IS NOT SEEN and EXPERIENCED in its proper measures and proper light … i.e. She is seen and experienced by our ‘darkened’ consciousness as fearsome and destructive … as a killer. But this is not Ma Shakti’s (Parvati’s) true nature.

The fact alone that our Vedic ancestors structured their gnosis and hence their civilization firmly on a vision of a Triadic-Oneness, should give students of the Yugas reason enough to seriously consider that our Vedic ancestors also measured the Precession of the Equinoxes in terms of a Triadic-Cycle – i.e. one great cycle made up of 3 Yugas (TretaYuga) –, each Yuga consisting of 432,000 seconds of degrees of arc.

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