Did Lord Krishna Leave His Body in Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga, or Kali Yuga?


Hi, I was going through the Yugas (Joseph Selbie) book and concepts. The question I have is — Lord Krishna’s departure date is 3102 BCE, as per the yuga classification in the book, given that descending Dwapara Yuga starts from 3102 BCE. Does this mean Lord Krishna lived during descending Treta Yuga, or are the dates of His birth/departure incorrect as per the current calculations?

—Tusha, USA


Dear Tusha,

Lord Krishna, so the Puranas teach, left his body at the point of transition when our world just left Dwapara Yuga and entered Kali Yuga. The Bhagavata Purana (1.18.6), Vishnu Purana (5.38.8), and Brahma Purana (212.8) all say that the day Krishna left the Earth was the day that Dwapara Yuga ended, and the Kali Yuga began.

Some calculations specify that this moment occurred on 17/18 February, 3102 BCE, over 5000 years ago.

However, according to Sri Yukteswar’s Yuga system, this is an incorrect date, as the transition between Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga occurred around 700 BCE, meaning about 2700 years ago.

Is there any scientific evidence for Sri Yukteswar’s claim? Yes. For example, the famous Dwarkadhish Temple in Dwarka, Krishna’s city, was built by Krishna’s grandson, Vajranabha, over the “Hari-griha”, Krishna’s residential place. This construction, then, must have happened around 50 to 100 years after Krishna’s passing (about 2600 years ago). The temple in fact was built around 2500 years ago (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarka), quite close to the date of Krishna’s departure as given by Sri Yukteswar.

Scientific and archeological findings will, I believe, continue to show that Sri Yukteswar’s date of Krishna’s passing is correct.

I don’t know if it interests you, but according to our yogic tradition, Lord Krishna later reincarnated as Mahavatar Babaji, who, as Yogananda writes in his Autobiography of a Yogi, has “retained his physical form for centuries, perhaps for millenniums. The deathless Babaji is an avatara.” This is why Yogananda prayed to him as “Babaji-Krishna”.

All the best, jai Krishna,