Kali Yuga

For other uses, see Kalyug (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Kālī.
Not to be confused with Kali Yug, a 1963 Italian film.

Kali Yuga ( Devanāgarī: कलियुग [kəli juɡə], lit. "age of [the demon] Kali", or "age of vice") is the last of the four stages the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Sanskrit scriptures, within the present Mahayuga. The other ages are called Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, and Dvapara Yuga.

Kali Yuga is associated with the demon Kali (not to be confused with the goddess Kālī). The "Kali" of Kali Yuga means "strife", "discord", "quarrel" or "contention".

According to Puranic sources, [1] Krishna's departure marks the end of Dvapara Yuga and the start of Kali Yuga, which is dated to 17/18 February 3102 BCE. [2]

Current Kali Yuga and possible starting dates

There is considerable controversy over the date for the start of the Kali Yuga and its duration. According to the Surya Siddhanta, Kali Yuga began at midnight (00:00) on 18 February 3102 BCE. [3] This is also considered the date on which Lord Krishna left the earth to return to his heavenly abode. [4] This information is placed at the temple of Bhalka, the place of this incident (see photo).

Information Kiosk at Bhalka, the place from where Lord Krishna returned to his heavenly abode

According to the astronomer and mathematician Aryabhatta the Kali Yuga started in 3102 BCE. He finished his book “Aryabhattiya” in 499 CE, in which he gives the exact year of the beginning of Kali Yuga. He writes that he wrote the book in the "year 3600 of the Kali Age" at the age of 23. As it was the 3600th year of the Kali Age when he was 23 years old, and given that Aryabhatta was born in 476 CE, the beginning of the Kali Yuga would come to (3600 - (476 + 23) + 1 (As only one year elapses between 1 BCE and 1 CE) = ) 3102 BCE. [5]

According to KD Abhyankar, the starting point of Kaliyuga is an extremely rare planetary alignment, which is depicted in the Mohenjo-Daro seals. [6] Going by this alignment the year 3102 BCE is slightly off. The actual date for this alignment is February 7 of 3104 BCE. There is also sufficient proof to believe that Vrdhha Garga knew of precession at least by 500 BCE. Garga had calculated the rate of precession to within 30% of what the modern scholars estimate. [7] [8]

Most interpreters of vedic scriptures, as Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami and his recent disciple Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada believe that Earth is currently in Kali Yuga and lasts 432,000 years. Other authors, such as Swami Sri Yukteswar [9] and Paramhansa Yogananda, [10] believe that it is now an ascending Dvapara Yuga, indicating levels of cycles within each major Yuga period as each being a development, the smaller cycles within cycles eventually leading to full development of the qualities of the ages. The Kali Yuga is thought by some authors to last 6480 years although other durations have been proposed. [11]