Mythos 27 – Maha-Yuga Calculation

 

The Cycle of Yugas

The idea that Rama lived 8,800 years ago is not supported by the majority of Hindus today, as the concept of how time is measured in India was changed around 1,500 years ago. The ancient Indians had an advanced calendar system, based on yugas (eras), that formed in to mahā-yugas (great-eras). The length of these yugas and mahā-yugas has been debated throughout the ages, and is today quite astronomical, however the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu, still retain the original value of the Yuga Cycle as 12,000 years. The renowned Sanskrit scholar and nationalist leader of India, Bâl Gangâdhar Tilak explained in his book The Arctic Home in the Vedas that:

The writers of the Puranas, many of which appear to have been written during the first few centuries of the Christian era, were naturally unwilling to believe that the Kali Yuga had passed away…An attempt was, therefore, made to extend the duration of the Kali Yuga by converting 1000 (or 1200) ordinary human years thereof into as many divine years, a single divine year, or a year of the gods, being equal to 360 human years…this solution of the difficulty was universally adopted, and a Kali of 1200 ordinary years was at once changed, by this ingenious artifice, into a magnificent cycle of as many divine, or 360 × 1200 = 432,000 ordinary years.- Bâl Gangâdhar Tilak (1)Bâl Gangâdhar Tilak (1903) The Arctic Home in the Vedas

Many other ancient cultures including the Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks also used a 12,000 year Cycle of the Ages. The eminent Yogi astronomer and scholar Sri Yukteswar Giri stated in the book The Holy Science, that a complete Yuga Cycle takes 24,000 years, and includes an ascending cycle of 12,000 years when virtue gradually increases and a descending cycle of another 12,000 years, in which virtue gradually decreases. Yukteswar stated:

Each of these periods of 12,000 years brings a complete change, both externally in the material world, and internally in the intellectual or electric world, and is called one of the Daiva Yugas or Electric Couple.- Sri Yukteswar (2)Sri Yukteswar (1894) The Holy Science, Page 11

The Path of the Sun Through the Zodiac

The Path of the Sun Through the Zodiac

The 24,000 year duration of the complete Yuga Cycle closely approximates the Great Year of 25,800 years,(3)NASA (1965) “Great Year” Aerospace Science and Technology Dictionary which is the period of one complete cycle of the equinoxes around the ecliptic. While several ancient cultures used calendars based on the 12,000 and 24,000 year Great-Era, the oldest surviving reference to the Great Year comes from Plato who described the concept in his book Timaeus around 2,375 years ago:

And so people are all but ignorant of the fact that time really is the wanderings of these bodies, bewilderingly numerous as they are and astonishingly variegated. It is none the less possible, however, to discern that the perfect number of time brings to completion the perfect year at that moment when the relative speeds of all eight periods have been completed together and, measured by the circle of the Same that moves uniformly, have achieved their consummation.- Plato (4)Plato (circa 375 BC) Timaeus, 39d

References   [ + ]

1. Bâl Gangâdhar Tilak (1903) The Arctic Home in the Vedas
2. Sri Yukteswar (1894) The Holy Science, Page 11
3. NASA (1965) “Great Year” Aerospace Science and Technology Dictionary
4. Plato (circa 375 BC) Timaeus, 39d