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Category: The Yugas

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Prehistoric Yugas
November 28, 2010

A
Canada

Question

Swami Sri Yukteshwar mentions in his book that all the yugas occur within a 24000 yr period and that we are currently in the dwapara yuga. Based on this theory it believed that perhaps the human civilization has already seen several such complete 24000yr yugas and we refer to them as ' Days of Brahman' . I was wondering as to where prehistoric animals such as dinosaurs etc fit into the yuga cycle? Furthermore how does the yugas account for the prehistoric ape man? where does he fit it?

Nayaswami Byasa

Answer

Dear A,

We know from Sri Yukteswar that the yugas pertain to the human level of consciousness and the process of soul evolution leading to liberation. What they mean to animal consciousness in prehistoric times is an open question.

The consciousness of early humans is not recorded in bones. The influence of Darwin and the notion of linear, rather than cyclic, development have strongly colored conventional thinking. The peoples of the Satya Yuga are characterized by paleoanthropologists as "hunter-gatherers", yet at Göbekli Tepe in Southern Turkey there are elaborate megalithic structures built about 9000 BC, in the middle of the Satya Yuga, with no sign of a permanent settlement nearby contemporary with those structures. The popular image of a hunter-gatherer's life style of that time period doesn't fit with these discoveries of coordinated work at a fixed location over a 1500 year time period. If you strip away the thick layer of biased guess work and just look at the data, what is known about the period of the higher yugas is not inconsistent with Sri Yukteswar's description.

It has been very roughly 100,000 years since the earth has experienced an extended period of climate like today's. In between there was ice in the north and oceans were lower. Whatever evidence peoples of the intervening four full cycles of yugas left behind is probably under the sea. Would we even recognize and understand artifacts of earlier cycles? The finest cave art comes from two periods: the Satya yuga of our current cycle and the Satya Yuga of the previous cycle. Why? Nobody knows. The uncertainty of the dates and of the meaning of prehistoric archaeological artifacts leaves us with little to say about earlier cycles. Our present understanding of the yugas is far too limited to apply to early hominids, let alone the dinosaurs.

These issues are addressed in our forthcoming (early 2011) book The Yugas by J. Selbie and D. Steinmetz

Nayaswami Byasa Steinmetz

Human evolution
October 11, 2010

Brock
usa

Question

Just to be sure, Yogananda says that human beings are a special creation of god, and not linked with apes. So essentially human beings are a one time creation of God (they magically and radomly appeared). This means that one must place oneself in direct conflict mainstream biological evidence concerning human origins to be a disciple of Yogananda. In other words, humans can't have evolved at all, but must have been a one time creation. Am I missing something concerning PY's view on human origin?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Paramhansa Yogananda did indeed say that human beings are a special creation. I don't know about the "magically and randomly appeared" part of your question, but special, yes. Check out this article.

It's true that this does not tally with mainstream anthropological thought. But then again, mainstream thought seems to change on a regular basis, doesn't it? The most recent change I'm aware of turned up just this year (or was it last year?), when the acknowledged "family tree" got pushed back much earlier than had been accepted for quite some time. It was shocking for many anthropologists. But why shocking? It's the way of material science to have a prevailing theory, which eventually gets replaced by another, and then another, and on and on it goes, never reaching absolute knowledge. That's how it is when dealing with mere outward facts, as science does, rather than with inner, divine understanding, as the great masters do.

That's not to say that human beings haven't evolved in the time they've been around (which, Yogananda said, has been for over 50 million years - another huge departure from conventional thought). In fact, the teachings on the yugas specifically say that humans do evolve, not just on the level of consciousness, but physically, too. (See the upcoming book on the yugas from Crystal Clarity, as well as this article and others from recent issues of Clarity Magazine.)

Anyway, don't worry about placing yourself "in direct conflict mainstream biological evidence concerning human origins." Why would you care? You don't have to believe anything like this in order to know God. As I said, the mainstream is in constant flux. And even if it weren't, this entire issue does not concern your own spiritual growth in the least. Why would it matter to you whether humans evolved from some primate or were acts of special creation? Knowing the answer, or even believing one answer or another, certainly won't help your growth, and it might hinder it if you decide to make the issue a stumbling block.

The important thing is that each one of us evolve from lower understanding to ever-higher understanding, until we merge back into God. And by then, I'll bet this whole question won't be very high on your list of things you need - or even want - to know.

Blessings,

Gyandev

The Cosmic Drama
October 11, 2010

KJ
India

Question

Does God want this drama to continue? Or does he want all of us to get back to him?

If God wants us to perform drama and if all of us get back to him using self realization then will it not be against his will..?

If this drama ( this cycle of Yugas ends) then will there be a new drama?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Yes, KJ, God does want the drama to continue - but only in an overall sense, not for us individually. He is, Paramhansa Yogananda said, very keen for each one of us to "go home." That's why He has given us the techniques of yoga through the great souls who have handed them down through the ages. He has plenty of ways (and souls) to keep the show going without our being part of it. Still, he doesn't make it easy for us, does He? Well, it's all part of His drama.

Yes, the yuga cycle will end at some point. In fact, all creation ends at some point. But then, as you say, there will be a new drama after that. And that will end sometime, and another new one will begin. Let's do our best to make sure we're not part of those, too!

Blessings,

Gyandev

Dominic McKay
Australia

Question

Hi, I'm researching the Dwapara vs Kali Yuga confusion after having read The Holy Science. Any suggestions of where I can find out more about this subject? Any clear articles about it? I found an answer to a similar question on this website that had a link that's now dead:

http://www.ananda.org/ask/114/kali-yuga-or-dwapara-yuga---are/

so was unable to find out more.

Your time and expertise is much appreciated.

Dominic.

Answer

Dear Dominic,

Thank you for your question: the yugas are a fascinating topic!

You might be interested in Swami Kriyananda's recent book, Religion in the New Age. The first chapters go in detail into dwapara versus kali yuga. Here is the book's introduction.

I'm sorry that link didn't work for you. It referenced articles from Clarity Magazine, which has several articles on dwapara yuga, including:

The above articles are excerpts from the forthcoming book, The Yugas: Keys to Understanding Man's Hidden Past, Emerging Present, and Future Enlightenment by Joseph Puru Selbie and Byasa Steinmetz.

Also, on the Clarity Magazine site, you may want to search for "dwapara".

And you might be interested in Lost Star of Myth and Time by Walter Cruttenden.

I hope that helps. Good luck with your research!
Dharmaraj

Vinay
India

Question

Greetings... I just wanted to ask the role of ignorance in this Dwapara Yuga. We've all read of what evolutionary changes come in the yugas, but what about the behavior of ignorance. I've already had good share of ignorance being in the form of "Scientific truths" and "laws of this and that". Are these the version of ignorance in this age? Ignorance being in the form of supposed knowledge? People are using science to spread ignorance. What do you feel? :-)

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Hello Vinay,

Until we're Self-realized, there is ignorance. It will manifest in different ways in different people and in different yugas, but it's the same seed thought: that we are the body and personality, not the soul.

The ascending Dwapara Yuga that we're now in manifests ignorance in its own distinctive ways.

One is that our collective wisdom has not kept pace with technological development, and we therefore find ourselves with the unique (in recorded history) potential - and even the tendency - to exterminate ourselves and/or completely spoil our own planet. Now that's ignorance! This wasn't possible in Kali Yuga, but as Paramhansa Yogananda said, "There is no safety in Dwapara Yuga."

Another manifestation of ignorance is that, having pulled out of matter-bound, rule-bound Kali Yoga, and having begun breathing the fresh Dwapara air of energy, freedom and creativity, there can be a tendency to deny that we're limited by any rule whatsoever. Epitomizing this is Jean-Paul Sartre's ridiculous contention that we are "radically free." Don't we wish! To think we are above the laws that govern our own nature is radical ignorance.

Yes, as you say, there is scientific ignorance as well, the ignorance of supposed knowledge. But that is not true science at all. And unfortunately, such attitudes are not unique to Dwapara. People will always try to justify their personal opinions, rather than to break free of personal interest altogether. So it will be with all who have not learned to give themselves completely to the quest for Self-realization.

The important thing for each one of us is to stop reinforcing the ego, stop seeking our happiness outside ourselves, and instead look for it in the only place where happiness and wisdom exist: within our own selves.

Blessings,

Gyandev

Is this a time of crisis?
February 8, 2010

Ganesh
Nepal

Question

Jai Guru,

On one of the talks I heard Swamiji say this this planet is in a crisis and a downturn and because of global warming it may stop spinning. Swamiji and other people state that this is an age of energy which Yukteshwar named Dwapara Yuga. That means this planet is ascending towards higher awareness. Will these kind of negative things happen to this planet even when it is moving towards a higher age? I coudn't understand. Can I get help on this?

Nayaswami Pranaba

Nayaswami Pranaba

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Ganesh,

Since we are at a time of ascending Dwapara Yuga, we are indeed developing more awareness, particularly in regards to our understanding and use of energy.

The challenge is that we currently still have the lingering effects of Kali Yuga with its emphasis on form and materialism. What we are experiencing is that many people are clinging to old ways of form but have increased energy. This produces a lot of tension and friction on many levels.

Yogananda predicted that most likely we feel face increased tension, including a likelihood of more warfare. But then we will have several centuries where we have peace permeating the planet.

This is a time when it is more clear that we can each be an instrument for either increasing light or darkness. The energy available can be tremendous in helping to find our true home in the Infinite Consciousness. But it is up to each one of us to make the choice and act accordingly.

To find out more about the Yugas I suggest that you read Swami Kriyananda's book, Religion in the New Age.

In divine friendship,
Nayaswami Pranaba

Will
USA

Question

Do the changing Yugas have anything to do with Global Warming and Climate Change. I saw a program that stated the fossil record shows that many animals not normally found in or near the Arctic Circle were found to have lived close to it many thousand of years ago. Is there a written record showing what events took place during a specific Yuga.

Answer

By Nayaswami Byasa, Ananda Village.

Through the ages, climate changes have had profound effects on human societies.

Civilizations have been wiped out by a prolonged drought or an extended cold period. The Sahara has switched from rich savanna dotted with lakes to dry sand dunes causing mass migrations of human population.

Today we experience the great impact of natural forces such as tsunamis and hurricanes, monsoon failures, and concern about global warming. No discussion of history on the broad scale would be complete without considering the role of weather....Click here to read full answer in PDF format.

Vinay Kumar
India

Question

Hello dear friend,

i have read from Swamiji that the transition of yugas happens because of sun's motion around the centre of galaxy. Could you elaborate as to how and why this motion affects human evolution... as is said that nature's workings are unveiled more and more in higher yugas, how exactly and why this happens? what about other planets.. are there different yugas there? Are the planets closer to the centre of galaxy more evolutionarily advanced?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

It's actually a bit more complicated that just the motion around the galactic center: It's the sun's revolution around a dual star, that brings it alternately closer to, then farther from, the galactic center.

It affects human evolution in that the galactic center emits powerful energy that lifts our consciousness, and the closer we get to the center, the more energy (hence upliftment) we receive. As we get more of that energy (i.e., as we enter higher yugas), we live more in harmony with nature and with our own selves, and thus are better able to perceive nature's workings.

The other planets in our solar system experience the same phenomenon, although mankind has not yet discovered on those planets any life forms with intelligence similar to that of humans. However, there are, Yoganandaji said, other planets in other solar systems that do have life forms similar to humans (in essence, if not in physical appearance), and they would experience their own versions of yugas, depending on how close they are to the galactic center, whether their suns orbit around dual stars, etc. And if such planets are closer to the galactic center, it seems likely that the intelligent life forms thereon are more evolved than humans because they receive more energy from the galactic center.

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