The knotty and naughty problem of ‘Yuga’ definition

The problem of ‘Yuga’ definitions and its reconciling with the chronology of Indic civilization determined via various disciplines of science, and thus via empirical testing, will continue forever. Thus, the objective here is to not solve the problem, for it is intrinsically unsolvable, but to write a note that can be used as a ‘reference note’, something to point to, every time this evergreen issue of ‘Yuga definition’ arises.
Many researchers claim to have reconciled their chronology claims with that of Yugas. Many of these claims of reconciliation are flat wrong. In some cases, when the reconciliation is acceptable, the researcher has achieved it only by selecting one of the many definitions of ‘yuga’. Thus, the reconciliation claimed is not universal but limited to a specific definition of ‘yuga’.
Many want to cling to ‘yuga’ in a dogmatic fashion and insist that any chronology claim must reconcile with ‘yuga’ definition. Unfortunately, these individuals show utter lack of knowledge and familiarity with either the multiple definitions of ‘yuga’ or with our inability to test ‘yuga’ definitions in an objectively testable manner. Naturally, any discussion quickly runs into digressions from the key issue of ‘yuga’ definition and all hell breaks loose.
Recently, I had a discussion in the social media that I found representative of what happens during a typical discussion. Fortunately, in this case, both parties could state their views without getting into personal rancor. The discussion raised typical arguments of authority, sampradaya, tradition, objective testing. I thought of reproducing the discussion. I use ‘NO’ for my comments and ‘MM’ for comments of the other individual. We parted our ways on a pleasant note.
It all began with a social media post:

Respected elder brother DB says it all…With a lot of pride, and a little pain and sadness…
Re: The privilege and the responsibility of being a Hindu 🙏 🙏 🙏
How many times have you felt the awe, the majesty, the exhilaration, the privilege of being an inheritor of our 10,000+ year* old Vedic-Sanatan-Hindu Civilisation?
How many times have you felt goose bumps over the thought that our ancestors had built large wealthy cities/kingdoms and were contemplating deep philosophical questions when much of the rest of the world was still living a life of subsistence?
How many times have you felt humbled by the fact that the मंत्रोच्चारण done by Panditji during a formal puja ceremony hasn’t changed one bit for the last 5,000 years or more?
How many times have you felt proud that we have given the world two of its most ancient languages, namely, Sanskrit and Tamil (Tamizh)?
And, finally, how many times have you felt the immense RESPONSIBILITY that has devolved on our shoulders to keep the flame 🔥 of Dharma burning?
—�—�—
(*According to Nilesh Nilkanth Oak, the Ramayana is at least 14,000 years old)

MM commented…
MM: नीलेश नीलकंठ ओक जी चाहे रामायण को 14 हज़ार वर्ष पुरानी मानते हों। पर सनातन धर्म के अनुसार तो वाल्मीकि रामायण 9 लाख साल या 1 करोड़ 80 लाख साल पुरानी ही है। यदि यह सब नहीं माना जाएगा तो हिन्दू धर्म की सारी काल गणना, युग गणना आदि झूठी हो जाएगी। इसलिए इस बारे में शास्त्रों के प्रति ही rigid रहना चाहिए कि यह 9 लाख साल पुरानी है। बढ़िया पोस्ट।
It’s very much less than 9 lack years. I think it just confuses us about the real time period mentioned in the shastras and lands us nowhere. We should stick to shastras.

NO: Where is it written in Shastra that Ramayana occurred 9 lakh years ago? 9 lakh or 28 lakh? Which one? And based on what evidence?

MM: I had no other intention to write this comment except to put the shastriya time of occurence of Ramayan here. Kindly don’t take it otherwise. And I forgot the second calculation of occurence of Ramayan so I wrote that 28 lacks but actually it is 1 crore 80 lacks. But I consider 9 lack years as authentic and believable. Thanks.

एक मन्वन्तर में 71 चतुर्युगियाँ होती हैं। इस मन्वन्तर की 28वीं चतुर्युगी यानि इसी चतुर्युग में राम को मानें तो काल होगा

द्वापर+कलियुग+त्रेतामें श्रीराम का जीवनकाल
=864000+5071
=869071वर्ष
इसलिए श्रीराम का जीवनकाल हटाकर श्रीराम को कम से कम बिलकुल कम से कम 8 से 9 लाख साल हुए हैं।

अब पुराण में श्रीराम को 28वीं की जगह 24वीं चतुर्युगी का भी लिखा है उस आधार पर गणना करने पर।
एक चतुर्युगी = 4320000वर्ष
तो 24वीं चतुर्युगी के त्रेता से 28वीं के त्रेता तक 4320000×4 वर्ष= 17280000 वर्ष बीते
इसमें अब वर्तमान चतुर्युगी के त्रेता केबाद द्वापर के 864000 + इस कलियुग के 5071 वर्ष बीते तो वह जोड़ें
=18149071 वर्ष
अर्थात् लगभग 1 करोड़ 80 लाख वर्ष पहले राम हुए थे।
NO: I did not take it otherwise. These types of dialogues are very essential to bring back the ‘Pratyaksha-anumana-agama Pramanani ‘ tradition of our ancients that is been lost (for whatever reasons) for a while. The tradition of objective and testable evidence is espoused by Brahmasutra, Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavata Purana, sage Patanjali, Vyasa, Gotama, Vatsyayana and many more.

The definition of yuga length you are quoting is only one of the many definitions of Yuga. This definition has no basis in Valmiki Ramayana. Until we figure out the basis of various definitions of Yuga, estimating chronology purely based on arbitrary yuga definition would lead to disaster, as is been amply shown by 150+ researchers (Ramayana but also Mahabharata chronology).
MM: you are right that there are many definitions of Yuga present. But this definition which I have given is the only one which has shastreeya basis and accepted in all the pramanik sampradayas and pramanik acharyas. There are some bogus definitions in some cults like Brahmakumaris and Yogada satsang society which dont have any shaatreeya basis and do not come from parampara. Even in “Autobiography of a Yogi” currently it is Dwapar Yuga which is totally absurd.
NO: what is your definition of ‘Shastriya’? or Shastriya basis?
MM: श्रुति स्मृति इतिहास पुराण आदि प्रामाणिक ग्रन्थों और परम्परा से जो प्राप्य है।
NO: Dhanyavad. You write that the definition of yuga you have given is the only one which has Shastriya basis and accepted in all pramanik sampradaya. I am tempted to ask you what is your definition of ‘pramanik sampradaya’? But I will skip it for now.

I want to ask more important question.

How would you select one specific definition of yuga if pr amanik grantha and parampara you refer to mention multiple and mutually contradictory definitions of yuga?
MM: adwait shaankar sampradaya plus 4 vaishnava sampradaya including Ramanujacharya’s Shree Sampradaya and Madhvacharya’s brahma gaudiya Sampradaya etc are considered as pramanik sampradayas.

What शास्त्रीय Yug calculation I have given is accepted in all of these Sampradayas and backs clear pramanas in Manusmriti, Shrimad Bhagwatam, Vishnu Purana and other shastras. All the Jyotish Panchangs of India are based on using this काल गणना only. There are no such so many yuga definitions in Shastras. Confusion comes only in मानव वर्ष and देव वर्ष. 360 मानव वर्ष makes a देव वर्ष. This has clear proof in Manusmriti 1st Chapter 67th shloka onwards. If a Mahayug will be considered as 12000 मानव वर्ष not देव वर्ष than whole mathematics of all the Indian Panchangs will fall down and all planets will revolve around sun with a speed 360 times that of actual speed. The युग गणना I have provided is the only युग गणना used in all the Jyotish Panchangs. Also, in Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Kand 128.95, it is clearly written that Shri Rama ruled for around 11 thousand years. These things can not get fit into your assumption of 12k years of Ramayana. I have limited knowledge but many Acharyas have refuted this some thousand years old assumed age of Ramayana very clearly by Shastra Pramana and Jyotish also. Acharya Shree Vinay Jha who is a very renowned and one of the great Vedic Jyotishacharya of current time has written a book refuting this. I am giving the link to his post which contains download link as well. I request you to kindly read him. Thanks!

NO: Thank you for your response.

You write…”There are no such so many yuga definitions in Shastras.”

There are so many different definitions of yuga in Shastras and that is why I said that until and unless we go 20 levels deeper in understanding why there are these many and what different context they are to be applied, use of any yuga definition in chronology studies will lead to disaster. This is in addition to the fact that pure definitions of yuga have not yielded to ‘objective testing’ until now.

Here are few (there are many more) definitions of Yuga from Shastras. I have given here 12 of them from various Shastras. The Mahabharata itself has 5 or 6 specific definitions of Yugas (not provided here but they are discussed, briefly, in my book)
It is difficult to fully understand the meanings of verses out of context. In Purāṇas themselves, they are partly quoted from old editions in later rewriting when their meanings were not fully understood.

(courtesy: Arun Updhyaya ji)

(1) भविष्य पुराण, प्रतिसर्ग पर्व १/४-षोडशाब्दसहस्रे च शेषे तद्द्वापरे युगे॥२६॥
द्विशताष्टसहस्रे द्वे शेषे तु द्वापरे युगे॥२८॥ तस्मादादमनामासौ पत्नी हव्यवतीस्मृता॥२९॥

Bhaviṣya purāṇa, Pratisarga Parva part 1, chapter 4-It is confusing. (26) After 16,000 years, Dvāpara started. (28) Verse 28 also tells similar thing-After Adam (Svāyambhuva Manu) and his wife Havyavatī (Havva or Eve) 2 times 8000 years passed (till when?).

(2) This is more clear in Matsya Purāṇa, chapter 273- मत्स्य पुराण, अध्याय २७-
अष्टाविंश समाख्याता गता वैवस्वतेऽन्तरे। एते देवगणैः सार्धं शिष्टा ये तान्निबोधत॥७७॥
चत्वारिंशत् त्रयश्चैव भवितास्ते महात्मनः (स्वायम्भुवः)। अवशिष्टा युगाख्यास्ते ततो वैवस्वतो ह्ययम् ॥७८॥
28 Yugas have passed after Vaivasvata (Manu). This was the period of Devas (Deva supremacy)-This is being told by Sūta at epoch of kali beginning (3102 BC). 43 Yugas passed after Mahātmā (Svāyambhuva Manu). Remaining (28 yugas) passed in this Vaivasvata Manu period.

(3) Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa defines historic Manvantara-
ब्रह्माण्ड पुराण (१/२/९)-स वै स्वायम्भुवः पूर्वम् पुरुषो मनुरुच्यते॥३‌६॥ तस्यैक सप्तति युगं मन्वन्तरमिहोच्यते॥३७॥
That first Man Svāyambhuva is called Manu. His 71 Yugas are called Manvantara.

ब्रह्माण्ड पुराण (१/२/२९)-त्रीणि वर्ष शतान्येव षष्टिवर्षाणि यानि तु। दिव्यः संवत्सरो ह्येष मानुषेण प्रकीर्त्तितः॥१६॥
त्रीणि वर्ष सहस्राणि मानुषाणि प्रमाणतः। त्रिंशदन्यानि वर्षाणि मतः सप्तर्षिवत्सरः॥१७॥
षड्विंशति सहस्राणि वर्षाणि मानुषाणि तु। वर्षाणां युगं ज्ञेयं दिव्यो ह्येष विधिः स्मृतः॥१९॥
360 years is called Divya Samvatsara in human measures (16). 3030 Mānuṣa years are Saptarṣi Vatsara (17). 26000 years is Yuga of Vidhi (Brahmā-Svāyambhuva Manu).
Note-26000 years = Historic Manvantara = 71 Yugas of about 360 years each.

(4) Bhaviṣya Purāṇa (Pratisarga Parva, Chapter 1) tells that it is third day of Brahmā.

भविष्य पुराण, प्रतिसर्ग पर्व, अध्याय १-
भविष्याख्ये महाकल्पे ब्रह्मायुषि परार्द्धके। प्रथमेऽब्देऽह्नि तृतीये प्राप्ते वैवस्वतेऽन्तरे॥१॥
अष्टाविंशे सत्ययुगे राजानोऽभवन् मुने॥२॥
कल्पाख्ये श्वेतवाराहे ब्रह्माब्दस्य दिनत्रये॥ प्राप्ते सप्त मुहूर्ते च मनुर्वैवस्वतोऽभवत्॥३॥
In second half of Brahmā’s life, first year is Mahā-kalpa called Bhaviṣya. In this third day is running. In this Vaivasvata Manu period has 28 Yugas so far (till Sūta told at Kali start). This Kalpa is called Śvetavārāha. In this third day of Brahmābda is running. In its seventh Muhūrtta, Vaivasvata Manu was born.

Third Brahmābda is also indicated in Vedas-
या ओ॑षधीः॒ पूर्वा जा॒ता देवेभ्यस्त्रियुगं पुरा ।
(ऋक् १०/९७/३, वा. यजु १२/७५, तैत्तिरीय संहिता ४/२/६/१, निरुक्त ९/२८)
= These Oṣadhi (medicine, annual herbs) were created by Devas 3 Yugas ago.

(5) Utsarpiṇī (Ascending) and Avasarpiṇī (Descending) parts of Yugas are described in Jain texts only and indicated by Āryabhaṭa also-

आर्यभटीय, कालक्रिया पाद-
उत्सर्पिणी युगार्धं पश्चादपसर्पिणी युगार्धं च। मध्ये युगस्य सुषमाऽऽदावन्ते दुष्षमेन्दूच्चात्॥९॥

= First half of Yuga is Utsarpiṇī, second half is Apasarpiṇī (called Avasarpiṇī by Jains). In middle is Suṣamā. Duṣṣamā is at beginning and at end.
(6) Two measures of Saptarṣi cycle-

(a) ब्रह्माण्ड पुराण मध्य भाग, (३) उपोद्धात पाद, अध्याय ७४-
सप्तविंशति पर्यन्ते कृत्स्ने नक्षत्रमण्डले। सप्तर्षयस्तु तिष्ठन्ते पर्यायेन शतं शतम्।२३१।
सप्तर्षीणां युगं त्वेतद्दिव्यया संख्यया स्मृतम्। मासा दिव्याः स्मृताः षट् च दिव्याब्दाश्चैव सप्त हि॥२३२॥
तेभ्यः प्रवर्तते कालो दिव्यः सप्तर्षिभिस्तु तैः। सप्तर्षीणां तु यौ पूर्वौ दृश्येते उत्तरा दिशि ॥२३३॥
तयोर्मध्ये च नक्षत्रं दृश्यते यत्समं निशि। तेन सप्तर्षयो युक्ता ज्ञेया व्योम्नि शतं समाः॥२३४॥
Brahmāṇḍa purāṇa, middle part, Upoddhāta pāda, chapter 74-

(231) Complete circle has 27 Nakṣatras. Saptarṣis cover that by remaining for 100 years in each. (232) Yugas of Saptarṣis is counted in Divya measure-6 Divya months and 7 Divya years. (Here, Divya year = 360 years. & years 6 months = 7.5 x 360 = 2700 years). (233) Time counted by them (Saptarṣis) is called Divya. Among Saptarṣis in north direction, the 2 stars seen in east (Pulaha and Kratu) indicate the Nakṣatra (the line joining them meets that on zodiac) where they remain for 100 years.

(b) वायु पुराण, अध्याय ५७-त्रीणि वर्ष सहस्राणि मानुषेण प्रमाणतः। त्रिंशद्यानि तु वर्षाणि मतः सप्तर्षिवत्सरः॥१७॥
Vāyu purāṇa, chapter 57-In Mānuṣa measures, Saptarṣi Vatsara is equal to 3030 years (17).
वायुपुराण (अध्याय९८)-सप्तविंशति पर्यन्ते कृत्स्ने नक्षत्र मण्डले।
सप्तर्षयस्तु तिष्ठन्ते पर्यायेण शतं शतम्॥ सप्तर्षीणां युगं ह्येत दिव्यया संख्यया स्मृतम्॥४१९॥
मासा दिव्या स्मृता षट् च दिव्याह्नाश्चैव सप्तभिः। तेभ्यः प्रवर्तते कालो दिव्यः सप्तर्षिभिस्तुतैः॥४२०॥
Vāyu purāṇa, chapter 98-(419) Complete circle has 27 Nakṣatras. Saptarṣis cover that by remaining for 100 years in each. Yugas of Saptarṣis is counted in Divya measure. (420) Divya measure of Saptarṣis is 6 Divya months and 7 Divya years.

त्रीणि वर्ष सहस्राणि मानुषेण प्रमाणतः ।
त्रिंशदधिकानि तु मे मतः सप्तर्षि वत्सरः॥ (ब्रह्माण्ड पुराण, १/२/२९/१६, वायुपुराण, ५७/१७)

= Saptarṣi year is of 3030 Mānuṣa years.
सप्तविंशति पर्यन्ते कृत्स्ने नक्षत्र मण्डले ।
सप्तर्षयस्तु तिष्ठन्ते पर्यायेण शतं शतम्॥ (वायु पुराण, ९९/४१९, ब्रह्माण्ड पुराण २/३/७४/२३१)
= Saptarṣis cover entire zodiac in reverse motion by remaining for 100 years in each Nakṣtra.
Here, Mānuṣa year = 12 rotations of moon = 27.3 x 12 = 327.5364 days.
3030 Mānuṣa years = 2727 Solar years (of 365.25 days each).
Stars are almost fixed (their very slow motion not seen), so they are called Nakṣatra. But the line joining 2 stars (Pulaha, Kratu) in east end of Saptarṣi meets Zodiac at a point whose Nakṣatra is called Nakṣatra of Saptarṣi-
सप्तर्षीणां तु यौ पूर्वो दृश्येते ह्युदितौ दिवि। तयोऽस्तु मध्ये नक्षत्रं दृश्यते यस्तमं निशि॥१०५॥
तेन सप्तर्षयो युक्ता तिष्ठन्त्यब्दशतं नृणाम्॥

(विष्णु पुराण ४/२४/१०५, वायु पुराण ९९/४२१, ४१२, ब्रह्माण्ड पुराण २/३/७३/२३३, २३४)

(7) ब्रह्माण्ड पुराण (१/२/२९)-चत्वारि भारते वर्षे युगानि कवयोऽब्रुवन्। कृतं त्रेता द्वापरं च कलिश्चेति चतुष्टयम्॥२३॥
चत्वार्याहुः सहस्राणि वर्षाणां च कृत युगम्। तस्य तावच्छती सन्ध्या सन्ध्यांशः सन्ध्यया समः॥२५॥
इतरेषु ससन्ध्येषु ससन्ध्यांशेषु च त्रिषु। एकन्यायेन वर्तन्ते सहस्राणि शतानि च॥२६॥
त्रीणि द्वे च सहस्राणि त्रेता द्वापरयोः क्रमात्। त्रिशती द्विशती सन्ध्ये सन्ध्यांशौ चापि तत् समौ॥२७॥
कलिं वर्ष सहस्रं तु युगमाहुर्द्विजोत्तमाः। तस्यैकशतिका सन्ध्या सन्ध्यांशः सन्ध्यया समः॥२८॥
Brahmāṇḍa purāṇa (1/2/29)-(23) Scholars describe 4 yugas only in Bhārat. Note-Meanings indicate that it is in reverse order of names. That should be in Avasarpiṇī (descending order).
(25) Kṛta has 4000 years. It has Sandhyā and Sandhyāmśa (junction periods at start and end) each of 400 years. (26) Other yugas also have years in thousands and junction periods in hundreds-3 for Tretā, 2 for Dvāpara. (28) Dvijas have stated 1000 years of Kali with 2 junction periods of 100 years each.
(8) Start of this Kalpa of Brahmā after glacial floods (31000 BC as per geological estimate)-ब्रह्माण्ड पुराण (१/२/६)-अस्मात् कल्पात्ततः पूर्वं कल्पातीतः पुरातनः॥ चतुर्युगसहस्राणि सह मन्वन्तरैः पुरा॥१५॥
= Before our Kalpa, the ancient Kalpa also had 4 yugas and Manvantara.
क्षीणे कल्पे ततस्तस्मिन् दाहकाल उपस्थिते। तस्मिन् काले तदा देवा आसन् वैमानिकस्तु वै॥१६॥
एकैकस्मिंस्तु कल्पे वै देवा वैमानिका स्मृताः॥१९॥आधिपत्यं विमाने वै ऐश्वर्येण तु तत्समाः॥३२॥
ते तुल्य लक्षणाः सिद्धाः शुद्धात्मनो निरञ्जनाः॥३८॥
= Towards end of that Kalpa, burning period (Global warming?) started. In that era, Devas were using planes. In that single Kalpa only, Devas were using planes. They were as prosperous as in use of Aeroplanes. They were Siddhas (Adepts) with pure minds and Niranjana (without attachments).
ततस्तेषु गतेषूर्ध्वं त्रैलोक्येषु महात्मसु। एत्तैः सार्धं महर्लोकस्तदानासादितस्तु वै॥४२॥
तच्छिष्या वै भविष्यन्ति कल्पदाह उपस्थिते। गन्धर्वाद्याः पिशाचाश्च मानुषा ब्राह्मणादयः॥४३॥
= Among them, prominent persons went to Maharloka (China on earth) at time of deluge. At time of burning of Kalpa, Gandharvas, Piśācha, Manuṣyas, Brāhmaṇas accompanied them.
सहस्रं यत्तु रश्मीनां स्वयमेव विभाव्यते। तत् सप्त रश्मयो भूत्वा एकैको जायते रविः॥४५॥
= Sun shines with thousand rays (up to 1000 diameters from it its rays are bright, carry charged particles, called Sahasrākṣa, or solar wind region). Then its rays increased 7 times.
क्रमेणोत्तिष्ठमानास्ते त्रींल्लोकान्प्रदहंत्युत। जंगमाः स्थावराश्चैव नद्यः सर्वे च पर्वताः॥४६॥
= They started burning 3 lokas one by one including moving, static, rivers and mountains.
शुष्काः पूर्वमनावृष्ट्या सूर्य्यैस्ते च प्रधूपिताः। तदा तु विवशाः सर्वे निर्दग्धाः सूर्यरश्मिभिः॥४७॥
= First the regions dried up, then burnt by sun. All were helpless before burning sun.
जंगमाः स्थावराश्चैव धर्माधर्मात्मकास्तु वै। दग्धदेहास्तदा ते तु धूतपापा युगान्तरे॥४८॥
= Living and non living pious or crooked-all burns at end of that era.
उषित्वा रजनीं तत्र ब्रह्मणोऽव्यक्तजन्मनः। पुनः सर्गे भवन्तीह मानसा ब्रह्मणः सुताः॥५०॥
After that night (deluge or dark time) Brahmā of mysterious birth appeared and created mental sons (followers) for sarga (start of civilisation)
ततस्तेषूपपन्नेषु जनैस्त्रैलोक्यवासिषु। निर्दग्धेषु च लोकेषु तदा सूर्य्यैस्तु सप्तभिः॥५१॥
= They guided persons in 3 lokas burnt by 7 suns (7 times normal radiation).
वृष्ट्या क्षितौ प्लावितायां विजनेष्वर्णवेषु च। सामुद्राश्चैव मेघाश्च आपः सर्वाश्च पार्थिवाः॥५२॥
= By profuse rains whole earth was drenched including isolate zones, oceans rose by incessant rains.
(9) Saptarṣi or Laukika era started when Yudhiṣṭhira died in Kashmir in Kali year 25 (3076 BC)- (राजतरङ्गिणी, तरङ्ग १)-कलैर्गतैः सायकनेत्र (२५) वर्षैः युधिष्ठिराद्याः त्रिदिवं प्रयाताः।
At the time of writing of Rājatarangiṇī, Laukika year was 24 (century years not written) and 1070 years had passed from start of Śālivāhana Śaka (78 AD)-
लौकिकाब्दे चतुर्विंशे शककालस्य साम्प्रतम्। सप्तत्याभ्यधिकं यातं सहस्र परिवत्सराः॥ (राजतरङ्गिणी १/५२)
Śālivāhana Śaka started in 78 AD, 1070 years after that Laukika years were 3076 + 78 + 1070 = 4224. After omitting 4200 (century years), it comes to 24 year in Laukika era.
(10) Dhruva and Kārtikeya era- Till the time of death of Yudhiṣṭhira, Saptarṣis were in Maghā. 2700 years after that, one cycle was completed (376 BC which has been towards end of Āndhra rule, lasting till 327 BC)
नव यानि सहस्राणि वर्षाणां मानुषाणि तु। अन्यानि नवतिश्चैव क्रौञ्चः संवत्सरः स्मृतः॥१८॥(वायु पुराण, अध्याय ५७)
= Krauñcha Samvatsara is of 9090 Mānuṣa years (3 times Saptarṣi years)
नव यानि सहस्राणि वर्षाणां मानुषाणि तु। अन्यानि नवतिश्चैव ध्रुवः संवत्सरः स्मृतः॥ (ब्रह्माण्ड पुराण, १/२/२९/१८)
= Dhruva Samvatsara is of 9090 Mānuṣa years
सप्तर्षयस्तदा प्राहुः प्रदीप्तेनाग्निना समाः। सप्तविंशति भाव्यानां आन्ध्रान्तेऽन्वगात् पुनः॥ (मत्स्य पुराण, २७३/३९)
सप्तर्षयस्तदा प्राहुः प्रतीपे राज्ञि वै शतम्। सप्तविंशैः शतैर्भाव्या आन्ध्रान्तेऽन्वयाः पुनः॥ (वायु पुराण, ९९/४१८)
सप्तर्षयस्तदा प्राप्ताः पित्र्ये (मघा) पारीक्षिते शात्म्। सप्तविंशैः शतैर्भाव्या आन्ध्राणां तेऽन्वयाः पुनः॥ (ब्रह्माण्ड पुराण, ३/७४/२३०)
सप्तर्षयो मघायुक्ताः काले पारीक्षिते शतम्। आन्ध्रांशे स-चतुर्विंशे (सप्तविंशे?) भविष्यन्ति शतं समाः॥
(मत्स्य पुराण, २७३/४४-४५, वायु पुराण, ९९/४२१, ब्रह्माण्ड पुराण, ३/७४/२३६)
= Saptarṣis were in Maghā when Parīkṣita became king. One cycle of 2700 years was completed towards end of Āndhra rule.
3 Saptarṣi era = 1 Dhruva or Krauñcha era = 8100 solar years.
3 Dhruva cycles before start of Laukika or Saptarṣi era in 3076 was in 27,376 BC. That appears to be death of Dhruva who was descendant of Svāyambhuva Manu and son of Uttānapāda. One cycle after that was complete in 19,276 BC. That could be start of dominance of Krauñcha Dvīpa (north America, east of Meru, both Krauñcha Dvīpa and Krauñcha mountain are in shape of flying bird). Kārttikeya ended that supremacy in about 15,800 BC when north pole shifted from Abhijit (Vega star) and rains were from Dhaniṣṭhā (β Delphini).
महाभारत, वन पर्व (२३०/८-१०)-
अभिजित् स्पर्धमाना तु रोहिण्या अनुजा स्वसा। इच्छन्ती ज्येष्ठतां देवी तपस्तप्तुं वनं गता॥८॥
तत्र मूढोऽस्मि भद्रं ते नक्षत्रं गगनाच्युतम्। कालं त्विमं परं स्कन्द ब्रह्मणा सह चिन्तय॥९॥
धनिष्ठादिस्तदा कालो ब्रह्मणा परिकल्पितः। रोहिणी ह्यभवत् पूर्वमेवं संख्या समाभवत्॥१०॥
= Mahābhārata, Vana Parva (230/8-10)-Abhijit moved towards Rohiṇī, which went to forest with younger sisters ?). (Indra told) I am perplexed that Abhijit has fallen; Skanda! consult Brahmā (7th Brahmā Apāntaratamā, son of Hiraṇyagarbha-Vāṇī on banks of Gautamī = Godāvarī) to decide next time measure. Then Brahmā started year with Dhaniṣṭhā (Māgha month as in Vedānga jyotiṣa). That was Asura supremacy period whose year started withstart of south motion of sun, i.e. from rains (Varṣā). So, year was called Varṣa (or synonym Abda = giver of Ap or water). Natural region of a country is Varṣa which is zone of a single rain system bounded by a major mountain called Varṣa-parvata. Fall of Abhijit started in about 16400 BC. Rains started from Dhaniṣṭhā in 15800 BC-time of Kārttikeya.
Second cycle of Dhruva era ended in 11,176 BC after which glacial floods started. That was period of Vaivasvata Yama in whose period it started and marked end of another era. ब्रह्म पुराण, अध्याय ४३-इन्द्रनीलमयी श्रेष्ठा प्रतिमा सार्वकामिकी॥७१॥
यम तां गोपयिष्यामि सिकताभिः समन्ततः॥७४॥ लुप्तायां प्रतिमायां तु इन्द्रनीलस्य भो द्विजाः॥७७॥
Zend Avesta also tells floods in time of Jamshed (Vaivasvata Yama).
(11) By taking cycle of 24,000 years instead of 26,000, there has to be correction in cycle of 24,000 years, called Bīja-sanskāra by Brahmagupta in his Brāhma-sphuţa-siddhānta (1902 edition), madhyamadhikāra, 61. Bhāskarāchārya-2 has in his Siddhānta-śiromaņi, bhū-paridhi, 7-8 has stated in his comments that he does not know the logic, it was since āgama (purāņa tradition).
खाभ्रखार्क (१२०००) हृताब्देभ्यो गत-गम्या-ल्पाः ख-शून्य-यमल (२००) हृताः।
लब्धं त्रि(३) सायकं (५) हतं कलाभिरूनौ सदार्केन्दू॥६०॥
शशिवत् जीवे द्विहतं चन्द्रोच्चे तिथि (१५) हतं तु सितशीघ्रे।
द्वीषु (५२) हतं च बुधोच्चे, द्वि (२) कु (१) वेद (४) हतं च पात कुज शनिषु॥६१॥
ब्रह्मगुप्त, ब्राह्म-स्फुट-सिद्धान्त, सुधाकर द्विवेदी संस्करण १९०२, मध्यमाधिकार)
खाभ्रखार्कै (१२०००) हृताः कल्पयाताः समाः शेषकं भागहारात् पृथक् पातयेत्।
यत्तयोरल्पकं तत् द्विशत्या (२००) भजेल्लिप्तिकाद्यं तत् त्रिभिः (३) सायकैः(५) ॥
पञ्च (५) पञ्चभूमिः (१५) करा (२) भ्यां हतं भानु चन्द्रेज्यशुक्रेन्दुतुङ्गेष्वृणम्।
इन्दुना (१) दस्र-बाणैः (५२) करा (२) भ्यां कृतै-र्भौम-सौम्ये-न्दु-पाता-र्किषु स्वं क्रमात्॥
(भास्कराचार्य-२, सिद्धान्त शिरोमणि, भू-परिधि-७-८)
स्वोपज्ञ भाष्य-अत्रोपलब्धिरेव वासना। यद्वर्षं सहस्रषट्कं याव-दुपचय-स्ततो ऽपचय इत्यत्रागम एव प्रमाणं नान्यत् कारणं वक्तुं शक्यत इत्यर्थः।
(12) There were 28 Vyāsas starting from Brahmā (Svāyambhuva Manu) in 29102 BC till Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa in 3102 BC (26000 years period). The parts are called Yuga, Dvāpara or Tretā. Later yugas are just 1 Divya samvatsara of 360 years. There was large gap from Brahmā till Kaśyapa. In that period, civil year of Devas started with Punarvasu Nakṣtra, so its lord is called Aditi (17500 BC). Ratha-yātrā or return yātrā is done when sun is in Punarvasu.
अदितिर्जातमदितिर्जनित्वम् (ऋग्वेद १/८९/१०, अथर्व ७/६/१, वाजसनेयि सं. २५/२३, मैत्रायणी सं. ४/२४/४).
This Kalpa starting with Brahmā is called Śveta-Vārāha-
यश्चायं वर्तते कल्पो वाराहः साम्प्रतं शुभः। (ब्रह्माण्ड पुराण १/२/६/६-८)
List of Vyāsas is in many purāṇas.
(a) वायु पुराण, अध्याय २३-चतुर्बाहुश्चतुष्पादश्चतुर्नेत्रश्चतुर्मुखः।
तदा सम्वत्सरो भूत्वा यज्ञरूपो भविष्यति। षडङ्गश्च त्रिशीर्षश्च त्रिस्थानस्त्रिशरीरवान्॥१०४॥
कृतं त्रेता द्वापरं च कलिश्चैव चतुर्युगम्। एतस्य पादाश्चत्वारः अङ्गानि क्रतवस्तथा॥१०५॥
भुजाश्च वेदाश्चत्वार ऋतुः सन्धिमुखानि च। द्वे मुखे द्वे च अयने नेत्राश्च चतुरस्तथा॥१०६॥
शिरांसि त्रीणि पर्वाणि फाल्गुन्याषाढकृत्तिकाः। दिव्यान्तराक्षि भौमानि त्रीणि स्थानानि यानि तु॥
सम्भवः प्रलयश्चैव आश्रमौ द्वौ प्रकीर्तितौ॥ १०७॥
=Brahmā appeared with 4 hands, 4 feet, 4 eyes and 4 mouths. He started Yajña in cycle of Samvatsara with 6 limbs (seasons?), 3 heads, 3 places and 3 bodies. Created 4 yugas-Kṛta, Tretā, Dvāpara, Kali. These are 4 feet with limbs and stages of Kratu. His 4 hands are 4 Vedas, seasons and junction periods. 2 mouths are 2 Ayanas of year, it has 4 eyes (4 main sankranti) and 3 heads. 3 Parva (junctions) are Phālgunī, Āṣāḍha, Kṛttikā. 3 places are space, earth, inner world (within human body) called Ādhidaivika, Ādhibhautika, Āhyātmika.
पुनस्तु मम देवेशो द्वितीय द्वापरे प्रभुः॥११९॥ तृतीये द्वापरे चैव यदा व्यासस्तु भार्गवः॥१२३॥
Again in second Dvāpara (era) lord of Devas (and Asuras) Kaśyapa was Vyāa. In third Dvāpara Bhārgava (Śukrāchārya) was Vyāsa.
चतुर्थे द्वापरे चैव यदा व्यासोऽङ्गिरा स्मृतः॥१२६॥
Angirā has been called Vyāsa of fourth Dvāpara.
परिवर्ते पुनः षष्ठे मृत्युर्व्यासो यदा विभुः॥१३३॥ सप्तमे परिवर्ते तु यदा व्यासः शतक्रतुः॥१३६॥
In sixth Parivarta Mṛtyu (Vaivasvata Yama, Jamshed) was Vyāsa. In seventh Parivarta, Śatakratu (one of 14 main Indras, probably Vaikuṇṭha) was Vyāsa.
यदा व्यासः सुरक्षस्तु पर्यायश्च चतुर्दश॥१६२॥ परिवर्ते चतुर्विंशे ऋक्षो व्यासो भविष्यति॥२०६॥
Surakṣa was Vyāsa in 14th Paryāya (cycle). Ṛkṣa (Vālmīki) was Vyāsa in 24th Parivarta.
अष्टाविंशे पुनः प्राप्ते परिवर्ते क्रमागते। पराशरसुतः श्रीमान् विष्णुर्लोक पितामहः॥२१७॥
यदा भविष्यति व्यासो नाम्ना द्वैपायनः प्रभुः॥२१८॥
At the time of 28 Parivarta in order Viṣṇu appeared as son of Parāśara with name Dvaipāyana and became Vyāsa.
(b) वायु पुराण (अध्याय ९८)-यज्ञं प्रवर्तयामास चैत्ये वैवस्वतेऽन्तरे॥७१॥
प्रादुर्भावे तदाऽन्यस्य ब्रह्मैवासीत् पुरोहितः। चतुर्थ्यां तु युगाख्यायामापन्नेष्वसुरेष्वथ॥७२॥
सम्भूतः स समुद्रान्तर्हिरण्यकशिपोर्वधे द्वितीयो नारसिंहोऽभूद्रुदः सुर पुरःसरः॥७३॥
= Yajña system started after Vaivasvata Manu in which Brahmā himself became Purohita. In fourth yuga (before him) Asuras became dominant, then Viṣṇu appeared in ocean (Varāha killing Hiraṇyākṣa in Puṣkara = south America). Then as Narasimha, killed Hiraṇyakaṣipu at end of ocean (south of Mediterranean)
बलिसंस्थेषु लोकेषु त्रेतायां सप्तमे युगे। दैत्यैस्त्रैलोक्य आक्रान्ते तृतीयो वामनोऽभवत्॥७४॥
Third Vāmana incarnation was in seventh yuga when Lokas were captured by Bali.
एतास्तिस्रः स्मृतास्तस्य दिव्याः सम्भूतयः शुभाः। मानुष्याः सप्त यास्तस्य शापजांस्तान्निबोधत॥८७॥
These 3 incarnations were Divya (before Vaivasvata Manu). Next 7 were in human period.
त्रेतायुगे तु दशमे दत्तात्रेयो बभूव ह। नष्टे धर्मे चतुर्थश्च मार्कण्डेय पुरःसरः॥८८॥
In 10th Tretā Dattātreya appeared who restored Dharma with help of Mārkaṇḍeya etc.
पञ्चमः पञ्चदश्यां तु त्रेतायां सम्बभूव ह। मान्धातुश्चक्रवर्तित्वे तस्थौ तथ्य पुरः सरः॥८९॥
In 15th Tretā Chakravartī Māndhātā appeared.
एकोनविंशे त्रेतायां सर्वक्षत्रान्तकोऽभवत्। जामदग्न्यास्तथा षष्ठो विश्वामित्रपुरः सरः॥९०॥
चतुर्विंशे युगे रामो वसिष्ठेन पुरोधसा। सप्तमो रावणस्यार्थे जज्ञे दशरथात्मजः॥९१॥
In 19th Tretā, son of Jamadagni (Paraśurāa) was 6th incarnation who eliminated Kṣatriyas (their rule, called period of democracy by Greek authors). In 24th Tretā, 7th incarnation as son of Daśaratha (Rāma) appeared who was guided by Viśvāmitra and then by Vasiṣṭha and killed Rāvaṇa.
(c) Brahmāṇḍa purāṇa (1/2/34) also describes. Kūrma purāṇa, part 1, chapter 50 calls period of each Vyāsa as Dvāpara. In chapter 10, it gives list of 28 Vyāsas as incarnation of Śiva. Viṣṇu and other purāṇas also give list.
कूर्म पुराण, पूर्व भाग, अध्याय ५०-द्वापरे प्रथमो व्यासो मनुः स्वायम्भुवो मतः॥१॥
द्वितीये द्वापरे चैव वेदव्यासः प्रजापतिः॥२॥
तृतीये चोशना व्यासश्चतुर्थे स्याद् बृहस्पतिः। सविता पञ्चमे व्यासःषष्ठे मृत्युः प्रकीर्तितः॥३॥
सप्तमे च तथैवेन्द्रो वसिष्ठश्चाष्टमे मतः। सारस्वतश्च नवमे त्रिधामा दशमे स्मृतः॥४॥
एकादशे तु त्रिवृषः (ऋषभ देव) शततेजास्ततः परः। त्रयोदशे तथा धर्मस्तरक्षुस्तु चतुर्दशे॥५॥
त्र्यारुणिर्वै पञ्चदशे षोडशे तु धनञ्जयः। कृतञ्जयः सप्तदशे ह्यष्टादशे ऋतञ्जयः॥६॥
ततो व्यासो भरद्वाजस्तस्मादूर्ध्वं तु गौतमः। राजश्रवाश्चैकविंशसतस्माच्छुष्मायणः परः॥७॥
तृणविन्दुस्त्रयोविंशे वाल्मीकस्तत्परः स्मृतः। पञ्चविंशे तथा शक्तिः षड्विंशे तु पराशरः॥८॥
सप्तविंशे तथा व्यासो जातूकर्णो महामुनिः। अष्टाविंशे पुनः प्राप्ते ह्यस्मिन् वै द्वापरो द्विजाः।
पराशरसुतो व्यासः कृष्णद्वैपायनो हरिः॥१०॥
=Svāyambuva appeared in first, Prajāpati in second, Uśanā (Śukra) in third, Bṛhaspati in fourth, Savitā (Vivasvān, father of Vaivasvata Manu) in fifth, Mṛtyu in sixth, Indra in seventh, Vasiṣṭha in eighth, Sārasvata (Apāntaratamā) in ninth, Tridhāmā in tenth, Trivṛṣa (Ṛṣabha deva) in eleventh, Śatateja in next, Dharma in 13th, Tarakṣu in 14th, Tryāruṇi in 15th, Dhanaňjaya in 16th, Kṛtaňjaya in 17th, Ṛtuňjaya in 18th Dvāpara, then Bharadvāja, Gautama followed. Rājaśravā in 21st, then Śuṣmāyaṇa, Tṛṇaviindu in 23rd, Vālmīki in next, Śakti in 25th, Parāśara in 26th, Jātūkarṇa in 27th, and Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Hari was in 28th Dvāpara.

MM:

4 युग = 1 चतुर्युगी
1 मन्वन्तर = 71 चतुर्युगी
1 कल्प = 1000 चतुर्युगी
1 कल्प = 1 ब्रह्मदिन
सतयुग = 1728000 वर्ष
त्रेतायुग = 1296000 वर्ष
द्वापरयुग = 864000 वर्ष
कलियुग = 432000 वर्ष
चतुर्युगी = 4320000 वर्ष

इस कल्प के 6 मन्वन्तर बीत चुके, 7वाँ वैवस्वत मन्वन्तर चल रहा है, 7 मन्वन्तर आगे होंगे।
7 वें मन्वन्तर की 28वीं चतुर्युगी का कलियुग इस समय चल रहा है। यह वैदिक काल गणना है जो सभी शास्त्रों, सनातनी सम्प्रदायों और सनातनी आचार्यों को मान्य है। इसी के अनुसार पंचांग बनते हैं। सनातन ज्योतिष पद्धति इसी काल गणना पर चलती है। आपके द्वारा जो युगों की अलग अलग परिभाषा की बात कही गई है उसका कोई ठोस आधार नहीं है। आपने ऊपर जो प्रमाण दिए हैं वह भी कुछ खास नहीं।

प्रथम आपको यह पता ही होगा कि पुराण से स्मृति का प्रमाण प्रबल है और स्मृति से श्रुति का प्रमाण प्रबल है। मैंने जो ऊपर मनुस्मृति का प्रमाण दिया है सभी पुराणों में उसी काल विभाग की रक्षा की गई है। अस्तु, मत्स्य पुराण का जो सन्दर्भ आपने दिया है उससे भी आपकी युगों की अलग अलग परिभाषा की बात सिद्ध नहीं होती क्योंकि जो गणना मैंने बताई है वह मत्स्य पुराण में ऐसी की ऐसी दी हुई है। प्रमाण : “चतुर्युग मान वर्णन” अध्याय 56, यह पूरा अध्याय ही युगमान गणना को समर्पित है जिसमें मनुस्मृति का ही अनुसरण करके स्पष्ट रूप में ऊपर मेरे द्वारा दी हुई गणना दी गयी है। इसके बाद भी आपके द्वारा जो प्रमाण रूप श्लोक दिए गए हैं उसके पीछे के श्लोक देखिए (श्लोक संख्या 46)
प्रतिपन्ने कलियुगे प्रमाणं तस्य मे श्रुणु।
चतुः सहस्रन्तु वर्षाणां वै स्मृतं बुधै:।।

फिर श्रीमद्भागवत पुराण द्वितीय स्कन्ध, एकादश अध्याय में मन्वन्तर आदि काल विभाग का वर्णन है उसमें भी जो ऊपर मैंने काल गणना दी गयी है वही प्रोक्त है।

फिर ब्रह्मवैवर्त पुराण, ब्रह्मखण्ड, अध्याय 5 में भी कल्पादि की यही व्यवस्था दी हुई है।

फिर पद्म पुराण देखिए, सृष्टि खण्ड, द्वितीय अध्याय, उसमें भी बड़े विस्तार से काल गणना की यही रीति दी हुई है।

इसी प्रकार सभी पुराणों में यही गणना वर्णित है। प्रक्रिया चाहे भिन्न हो पर उन सबका समन्वय हो जाता है। युगों की वैदिक गणना के संदर्भ में प्रचुर प्रमाण, समस्त आचार्यों की सम्मति होने पर भी भ्रम करना ठीक नहीं। पुराणों ने मनुस्मृति वर्णित युगमान गणना का ही निर्वाह किया है। इस सन्दर्भ में आप बिहार राष्ट्रभाषा परिषद से प्रकाशित श्री गिरिधर शर्मा चतुर्वेदी की पुस्तक ‘पुराण परिशीलन’ पढ़ सकते हैं। उसमें सविस्तर पुराण की प्रक्रियाओं का समन्वय है। साथ ही भारत के सर्वश्रेष्ठ ज्योतिषियों में से एक आचार्य विनय झा जी की पुस्तक का भी अवलोकन करें। धन्यवाद।

NO: In spite of these variations (and incomprehensibility) if you still claim that all of them are saying the same and that agrees with your single definition of yuga.. then next challenge for you (assuming you understand the force of Pratyaksha-Anumana-Agama validation, is to explain other observations (astronomy, hydrology, and other evidence) of the epics for your timeline.

MM: I can’t force you to accept the authentic definition of Yugas etc. Everyone interprets Shastras in a manner that suits them, but actual essence and substance of shastra can be imbibed only through authentic guru parampara, tapa, considering purvapar sambandh and validating through other superior Vedic Pramanas. Puranas have followed the definition of Manusmriti only, which is higher in Pramana hierarchy. Also, there may be some confusing situations in shastras which are due to, ‘परोक्षप्रिया वै देवाः प्रत्यक्षद्विष:’, and this lock of pratyaksha and apratyaksha can be opened through the key of parampara shakti and tapa. Puranas also have some interpolations which are examined by many Vedic Scholars. My definition is the definition accepted and authenticated through Shaankar Sampradaya, Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya, Sri Sampradaya and others like Arya Samaj as well. All the Acharyas including Swami Dayanand, Swami Prabhupada, DharmaSamraat Karpatri Ji Maharaj, Shriram Sharma Acharya, Gita press, and other Shankaracharyas etc have more powerful authority to comment on Shastra. Also, not only greatest but almost all Vedic Jyotishis of India also follow this definition of Yuga only which I have mentioned above. Your assumptions and timeline calculation of Shri Rama are not challenging me, but the whole Sanatan Dharmacharyas and Shastra as well. Because that calculation can easily be broken through Shastra, like I have given proof of Shri Ram ruled the régime for 11 thousand years (Valmiki Ramayana) etc. Manipulating shastras just to prove our observation is not a Vedic tradition. I will not indulge in discussion anymore because I have clearly stated the authentic sources. I have also given references to the books by authentic Dharmacharyas :
1) Itihasa ka Uphasa by Acharya Vinay Jha.
2) Puraan Parisheelan by Pandit Giridhar Sharma Chaturvedi.

I don’t have to do further research on the topic because I have found appropriate pramanas and I have full faith in Sanatan Acharyas, Shastra and Parampara. So, I will kindly ask you to challenge not me but these all Acharyas only and the foundational Sampradayas. It went a good discussion and I really gained a lot through it. Thanks.

NO: If I understand your comments, you are saying that authority of Sampradaya is sufficient for you. We all make our choices. Yes, it was a good discussion and I gained a lot, too. I also hope others here, reading on the sidelines, also gained something. Thanks.

MM: I have not mentioned a particular Sampradaya but all Pramanik Sampradayas that means I am not bounded within a Sampradaya.
I have also mentioned that I have examined sufficient Shastra Pramanas.
1) Strong back from Pramanik Sampradayas.
2) Strong back from great Vedic scholars like Swami Dayanand, Swami Karpatriji, Giridhar Sharma ji etc.
3) Strong back from prominent Jyotish Acharyas like Vinay Jha Ji.
4) Most importantly clear ample amount of pramanas from Shastras including Manusmriti.
These all are sufficient for me.

NO: That is exactly what I understood, i.e. what you meant. I am very glad that we could do our dialogue in a mutually respectful manner, by clearly stating our disagreements. This is a rare occurrence these days, where folks run into digressions at a drop of a hat.

As they say .. “It is better to not settle the matter after a debate, rather than settling the matter without a debate”.

Dhanyavad. Sadhu Sadhu. Warm regards,

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