White on blue basic yugas cycle chart, high resolution

Diagram of the yugas cycle

What Are the Yugas?

In the West people often view time as linear, with the future being more evolved than the past. In India, however, time is viewed a cyclical, that people slowly evolve, then slowly devolve, only to slowly evolve again. This is called the “yuga cycle,” and it is divided into four different “yugas” or ages. The highest age is Satya Yuga, then Treta Yuga, then Dwapara Yuga, and the least evolved age is Kali Yuga.

The yugas are further broken up by whether they are ascending or descending, meaning whether we are in the part of the cycle that is going up toward the higher ages, or heading down to the lower ones. The entire cycle takes 24,000 years. Sri Yukteswar, a renowned Indian astrologer and Self-realized soul, gives us in his book The Holy Science some idea of what the different yugas are like.

Kali Yuga — The Age of Materialism

During Kali Yuga, humans are the least evolved, spiritually and intellectually. People are generally only able to comprehend material things, and live lives of ignorance. Will power was very low and most people passively accepted their fate. Most written accounts of ancient knowledge were destroyed.

Religion was rigid, dogmatic, and intolerant. Some people did know higher religious teachings, but they had to hide to avoid persecution. Of course in every yuga there are souls whose consciousness reflects a higher age, and the world’s last Kali Yuga was no exception, having brilliant philosophers and artists. Near the end of ascending Kali Yuga (1700 AD) the Renaissance happened and a lot of knowledge that was thought lost was refound.

Dwapara Yuga — The Age of Energy

Dwapara Yuga, the age we are living in now, is referred to as the age of energy because in this age we are better able to understand and harness energy than in Kali Yuga. In this Dwapara Yuga, technology is booming and all sorts of new religions, philosophies, and scientific discoveries are popping up. We now know that matter and energy are interchangeable.

This is the age when we learn to transcend space and distance. We are already doing it somewhat, with telephone, internet, and high speed transportation, and in the future we will probably discover the secret of instantaneous travel allowing us to wander among the stars. Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go.  Dwapara Yuga people are extremely self-interested, and so our motivation to achieve is usually selfish. And there are higher ways of perceiving the universe than just reason. In Treta Yuga, we learn how to use our intuition.

Treta Yuga — The Age of Thought

In Treta Yuga, we recognize that everything is interconnected. We will have strong mental powers such as telekinesis, mental telepathy, and the ability to manifest whatever we need. If there is any war, it will not be widespread; most people will be peace-loving and compassionate. It will not necessarily be more technologically advanced than Dwapara Yuga, just more spiritually advanced. Being more spiritually advanced and able to manifest at will whatever we need, we may actually leave technology behind and choose to live more simply and naturally.

The big difference that separates the lower two yugas, Kali and Dwapara, from the upper two, Treta and Satya, is self-interest. People in Kali and Dwapara Yuga are often greedy and live only to help themselves and sometimes their family and friends. In Treta and Satya Yuga, however, people recognize that we’re all connected and so work for the good of everyone as much as themselves.

Satya Yuga — The Age of Spirit

Satya Yuga is currently incomprehensible to us, as is Treta Yuga; however, Sri Yukteswar does say in his book, “The human intellect can comprehend all, even God the Spirit beyond this visible world.”

This is the age when we will be so spiritually advanced, that God himself is part of our everyday experience. We will be able see God in everyone and everything. Our intuition will be completely developed, and we will live in happiness and natural simplicity. We will understand the nature of the universe, and be able to communicate telepathically to anywhere in the world.

There are many myths about this “Golden Age” in many different cultures. Some of the things that these myths share are:

  • People are considered “demi-gods” and can able to fly and create things at will
  • People look young their entire lives and do not get diseases
  • People can communicate with animals and live in harmony with nature and each other
  • The weather is perfect and there is plenty of food
  • Everyone can communicate in one language


Although this cycle of the yugas is not currently accepted in Western science, there is plenty of evidence for it that is known to the West but currently ignored. For more about this evidence, see The Yugas: Keys to Understanding Our Hidden Past, Emerging Energy Age, and Enlightened Future by Joseph Selbie and David Steinmetz.

If we can better understand our past and where our world is headed, it will help us to make better decisions now. We can also hold the Satya Yuga person up as an example of how we should behave: in harmony with nature and the rest of humankind, treating everything as if it were a part of ourselves, because, underneath the appearance of life, it is.

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See The Yugas In Depth, an on-demand online course. The cycle of yugas holds keys to understanding our hidden past, an emerging energy age, and the enlightened future.


  1. With the dawning of the age of Aquarius upon us, when will we pass into the silver age or Treta Yuga? And how to you determine this?

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      Hi Maary,

      According to Sri Yukteswar, we will enter Treta Yuga in 4100 AD. He explains his logic in his book “The Holy Science”, although it’s a bit difficult to understand.


      1. Explore yourself into the vedic wisdom- vedas, puranas, itihasa, samhita and other ancient indic texts, where repeatedly you can derive the yuga timeline of – Krita – . 1,728,000 y, Treta- 1,296,000 y, dvapara- 864,000 y, Kali- 432,000 – followed by a transition phase – Sandhi, the same yugas are repeated– this continues 71 times—known as manvantara (300 + million years) — 14 manvantaras is Kalpa= 4.32 billion years of this manifested world, 4.32 billion years of dissolution of the world- this continues for a whole 311,000,000,000,000 years. since beginning of the first yuga cycle…. 155.5 trillion years already completed and presently we are in the second half .

        do not subscribe to neo-interpreters who twist the facts knowingly or unknowingly! They want to make things easily acceptable to their followers , by oversimplification and disregarding the clearly stated difference between divine year and human year in the vedic wisdom.
        Kali Yuga started ~ 7,000 years ago and we have 427,000 years more to go!

        1. Thank you for your clarification, brother. Your calculations seem to be based on the right data and principles. [I don’t know why] A lot of people from this Ananda cult (‘cult’, for lack of a better word, i do not mean any disrespect), seem to be presenting the misleading idea that we are in 314th Dwapara yuga (ascending). My only earnest question to these people is, if we can agree that Kali yuga begins post Sri Krishna’s demise (and we know that date to be about 3102 BC, just 5,125 years ago). So, where is Bhagwan Kalki? Who is (or was) he? How is it that we have documentation of all other avatars of Sri Maha Vishnu but nothing about Kalki, and we just breezed past and entered the Dwapara Yuga [Ascending]?
          Sorry, but these new age guys from the west (again, no disrespect) are doing a disservice with their hasty new interpretations and hypotheses.
          Look, Hindu texts are not easy. They may perplex the best minds, but they are accurate. If there are gaps in understanding them, that shouldn’t become cause for inventing new theories & interpretations. Have faith in our Puranas, Vedas and our gurus, and persevere in comprehending them via arduous sadhana and pure intuition, not just synthetic logic and sterile intellect.

          1. The idea that we are in ascending dwapara yuga did not come from new age or the west. It came from an Enlightened Guru Swami Sri Yukteswar from India. He wrote a book explaining it, “The Holy Science”.

  2. LOL, these people believe we are in the Dwapara Yuga, with all the corruption and greed in this world…LOL Lord Kalki that’s funny!!!!!

  3. Dwarpayuga ended when the Krishna aka Vishnu god left the earth after his death. It is said that Kali yuga started after Krishna’s death.

  4. According to Hinduism , the the life time of kali yuga is about 432000 years, now we are in golden age of kali yuga, at end of kali yuga people have no character , donot respect relationship , outcry everywhere , all people will preveil gods,
    at the end 10th avtaar of vishnu lord kalki take birth for disaster and human rights . And new yuga start with zero negative earth.
    for more detail read ‘kalki purana’.

    1. nope sir, even aaryabhatta said it is wrong.

  5. This is AMAZING!!! Thank you for providing this most excellent breakdown of the Yuga cycle.

  6. Dear All,
    There are many Incarnations on the planet, both seen and unseen to help humanity out of the morass of Ego and separation and spiritual Ignorance
    Meher Baba was one avatar
    Mata Amritananda Mayi is here.. http://www.amritapuri.org
    She received the United Nations Gandhi-King award in 2002 for Her global charity and peace work.
    There are others paths up the mountain through other faith traditions, & all are here to hold the Light as we slog through this endless “leela”.

  7. Hey ! Nice to learn about yugas
    How one can identify how long a yug will long or end and when other will start

  8. I have been seriously researching on this topic.The following are recommended:_
    The Gita any version. This gives the introduction to yugas and talks of yrs without specifying as Divya or human. Since God is speaking to a human he would have sufficed them with the word Divya. Since it is not so we should consider that Krishna meant it to be human yrs.The detailed explanation to corroborate it is given by astronomer saint Sri Yukteshwar in The Holy Science.
    Now we could go to see the working of the titanic plates in the Drift theory of various continents.
    ‘re gently Lwisconian university with Smithsonian institute came up with their calculations when we have a Dissolution .This dissolution we call as Maha. Parody. The last parlay. Happened a mountain Himmalyas were formed from a sea bed. Similarly The Australian continent separated
    some 70 yrs ago etc

  9. Thank you for the information,

    For those with eyes, open them, and see, even a blind person can see
    For those with ears listen carefully, even a deaf person can hear
    For those who are able, use your tactile abilities, and sensory input, you have the ability to fully understand

  10. I can see how we are at the beginning of the ascending Dwarpra Yuga cycle. Both Kali and Dwarpra Yugas are material and self motivated periods. What makes me believe that we are currently in Dwarpra Yuga rather than Kali is our breakthroughs and new discoveries in Quantum Mechanics which will be the key to greater and cleaner energy. People are self motivated and materialistic, but we are having scientific breakthroughs and ascending in technology whereas Kali we would be forgetting technology and declining. Also, Eastern philosophies and religion is growing in the West which is a sign of the upcoming Tretya Yuga cycle. Pretty fascinating and it’s all backed up with existence if you are willing to have an open mind long enough to look.

  11. Please pardon me, but as the term shows, the Satyayuga is that part of the Kritayuga (the yuga of creation), when already intelligent people (the first generation of gods, called Jayas in the Puranas) existed.
    Further Rigveda 10.72.2b + 3a shows that the yugas are yugas of the gods (compare also Rigveda 4.58.3: the 7 hands taken as zeros are showing a day of Brahma, taken as digits they show a Mahayuga). The basis of the lenghth of the yugas is an old (before the end of Tretayuga) cycle of the Precession of the Equinoxes of 43.200 years as is indicated by the time units before the flood of Saros = 3600 years, Neros = 600 years and Sossos = 60 years, given by Berossos (4th century BC). He evidently was based on an old version (of the beginning of Dvaparayuga) of the Surya Siddhanta.
    The Yuga cycle as given in the Surya Siddhanta and Puranas is no more valid! Berossos shows that the great flood which ended the Tretayuga and the Chakchusha Manvantara took place about 33.500 BC. According to him the Kritayuga was the only yuga of our Chatur- or Mahayuga which arrived it’s full length and ended according to him about 465.500 BC. That means as well the Tretayuga as the Dvaparayuga ended Prematurely and according to Rigveda 5.87.4 and Mahabharata 3.189.33 our Kaliyuga will also end prematurely when Vishnu (the constellation Orion) ended his third step (his three steps are his up-, down- and again up movement in the course of precession) which will be the case about 2500 CE.

  12. I find a simmirality to the Yugas and the interpretation of Daniel for Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon.s dream

    Could it be that the yugas were known during the days of theSumarians.

    1. blank

      I am unfamiliar with the king’s dream, but similar cycles of ages to India’s yuga cycle of ages have been found in the ancient records of the Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese, Norse, and even North American indigenous tribes such as the Sioux. I would say it is likely the Sumerians had a similar cycle.

  13. In the Holy Science it says that the Yugas are based on the motion of the sun around a grand center called Vishnunabhi, which is the seat of the creative power, Brahma, the universal magnetism.
    What is this Vishnunabhi? In the same way that bodies like stars and planets are the sources of magnetism, what is this Vishnunabhi in the physical dimension?

    1. blank

      You ask a question that often comes up. The short answer is that no one knows–but there are several theories. Some think it isn’t in the physical dimension. Some think it is in the physical dimension: perhaps the center of the Milky Way galaxy, perhaps way beyond our galaxy in the Virgo Cluster, or perhaps as nearby (relatively speaking) as the star Sirius. You could go to the Binary Research Institue where you will find lots of informed speculation about where it is and what it is.

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