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The Yugas - From my book Kriya Secrets Revealed J.C.

The book from which this article comes is called Kriya Secrets Revealed.

Yogic Wisdom The Yugas

Lahiri wrote the following, rather startling and simplistic, interpretation of the Yuga
scriptures in the Bhagavad Gita (c. 1885, Arya Mission Institution publishers):
Satya Yuga is to hold onto the Kutastha, or the inner Self.
Treta Yuga is to see the Kutastha.
Dwapara Yuga is to generate Happiness through Kriya practice.
Kali Yuga is to initiate into Kriya (1:86 Manusanghita).
Originally the Yugas were defined as simple units of time, which evolved in later
writings into periods of rising and declining virtue in mankind. More recently, Swami
Sri Yukteswar added his own interpretation in a book first published in 1894 entitled
The Holy Science. Manusanghita, or the Laws of Manu Commentary by Yogiraj
Shyama Charan Lahiri was published several years earlier; however, it is not clear that
Sri Yukteswar was even aware of its existence, as he never mentioned it, and had
instead offered a totally different and extremely controversial alternate interpretation.
Yukteswar made the following three controversial claims:
1. The Yugas were measured in years, not years of the gods as commonly
understood by scholars.
2. The precession of the equinoxes is actually tied to the cycle of the Yugas. Even
though the period of precession is currently accepted as lasting 25,772 years,
Yukteswar claimed that this number was a miscalculation by modern science,
and that the length is exactly 24,000 years. He explains this by saying the period
of Earths rotation slows up and speeds down to accommodate this difference.
3. The cause of precession is the rotation of our sun around a dual.
The first controversial claim was that, in fact, the years mentioned in the Laws of Manu
were not years of the gods, but years of man. One divine year is equal to 360 human
years. The following table illustrates the differences in Sri Yukteswars system versus
common belief, and later writings found in other Indian texts.

Common interpretation in

Sri Yukteswars interpretation in


When reading the Laws of Manu as original text it is easy to find the ambiguity; and
thus it is not so farfetched to come to Sri Yukteswars conclusion.
From the first chapter of the Laws of Manu (c. 1500 BCE):
65. The sun divides days and nights, both human and divine, the night (being intended)
for the repose of created beings and the day for exertion.

66. A month is a day and a night of the manes, but the division is according to
fortnights. The dark (fortnight) is their day for active exertion, the bright (fortnight)
their night for sleep.
67. A year is a day and a night of the gods; their division is (as follows): the half year
during which the sun progresses to the north will be the day, that during which it goes
southwards the night.
68. But hear now the brief (description of) the duration of a night and a day of Brahman
and of the several ages (of the world, Yuga) according to their order.
69. They declare that the Krita age (consists of) four thousand years (of the gods); the
twilight preceding it consists of as many hundreds, and the twilight following it of the
same number.
70. In the other three ages with their twilights preceding and following, the thousands
and hundreds are diminished by one (in each).
71. These 12 thousand (years) which thus have been just mentioned as the total of four
(human) ages, are called one age of the gods.
72. But know that the sum of one thousand ages of the gods (makes) one day of
Brahman, and that his night has the same length.
73. Those (only, who) know that the holy day of Brahman, indeed, ends after (the
completion of) one thousand ages (of the gods) and that his night lasts as long, (are
really) men acquainted with (the length of) days and nights.
The words in parenthesis are not in the original text. If we look at line 69 in the
Sanskrit, it actually reads:
69. They declare that the Krita age is four thousand years; the twilight preceding it
consists of as many hundreds, and the twilight following it of the same number.
Since the Laws of Manu are the basis of later texts which refer to Yugas, Sri
Yukteswars hypothesis that the years delineated are human and not divine years
seemingly stands on solid ground.
Just from a practical point of view, since the Yugas are associated with the decline and
rise of mental virtue, times spanning millions of years makes little sense for a race
which has not even existed so long. Even if one believes for whatever reason that the
human race has been around much longer than the archaeological records support,
recent history shows that attitudes and civilizations shift much faster than that. Even
24,000 years may be too long.
The next claim by Sri Yukteswar is that the precession of the equinoxes is tied to the
Yugas, and that the 25,772 year cycle is in fact a 24,000 year cycle. This is a difference
of 7% which is extremely significant. His claim that Earths rotations slows down
during the ascending arc of the Yugas does not seem to be observed in the degree
required to fit this discrepancy. The Earths rotation is slowing down. The average
length of a day has increased by 17 milliseconds over the past century. If we assume a
linear slowing, then this would mean the length of the day will increase to a little over 2
seconds in 12,000 years to what it is now. However, a year is not measured by the
number of days, but rather from solstice to solstice. Even if the Earths rotation slowed
by 7% each year, it would still take a year because its duration has nothing to do with
the length of a day, but rather the radius of its orbit. In order for Sri Yukteswars
hypothesis to be true, the Earth would need to move farther away from the Sun and then
closer every 24,000 years. Besides being against well-established laws of physics and

every laboratory and real world observation ever made since the beginning of time, this
was not the explanation given by Sri Yukteswar.
It seems this particular claim by Sri Yukteswar could not possibly be valid, even from a
purely logical point of view. This may be because Sri Yukteswar, by his own omission,
did terribly in science, even dropping out of college because he had difficulty in his first
physics class. He decided after that point that astrology was better suited to his
And so, we are then left with only three possibilities: (1) The Laws of Manu are faulty
by 7% in the number of years; (2) The Yugas have nothing to do with the precession of
the equinoxes; or (3) The Yugas as presented in the Laws of Manu are a hoax. At this
point, any of these three explanations are possible.
Until Sri Yukteswar wrote the Holy Science, scholars had never made the correlation
between the precession of the equinoxes and the Yugas. Frankly, because, even in the
ancient world, it was known that this precession occurs much faster than the several
millions of years required to pass through an entire cycle.
The third controversial claim is that the Yugas, the precession of the equinoxes, and
mans spiritual state are all linked by our movement through space around a yet-to-bediscovered dual star. (Some claim this is actually a central sun, Alcyon, located 400
light years away.)
To be clear, science has yet to discover this star; furthermore, if it did exist, it is
expected to be much farther away, and therefore have a much longer orbital period than
simply 24,000 years. It would also need to be a brown dwarf which would mean that its
gravitational pull would be very weak. It must also be weak, because we would have
detected it already if it were not.
But the nail in the coffin to Sri Yukteswars claim is not that the dual star does not exist,
but that, in fact, it in no way could be the cause of the precession. The cause of
precession has long been known to be caused by the gravitational pull of the Sun and
Moon with insignificant contributions from the other planets. This has been known
since 1600 when Isaac Newton made the calculations in his monumental work,
Principia (1687). A spinning body when left on its own without outside forces will
continue to spin in the same direction; its axis will always point in one direction in
space. To illustrate this, take a top and spin it on the floor. If the axis is tilted, you will
notice that it will precess or make a small circle with its axis. This is because the
gravitational force of the Earth is causing precession. In the same way, the Sun and
Moon are causing the Earth to precess. There is no other way that precession can occur.
This is the only mechanism without question.
And so if a dual star did significantly contribute to precession, it would mean that its
gravitational pull on the Earth would have to be at least to within a fraction of that
caused by the Sun and Moon. However, we know from observations that this is not
occurring simply by looking at the tides. We also know this is not the case by observing
the orbits of all the planets in the solar system. We are rotating around the center of the
galaxy every 250 million years. Some alternatively claim we are rotating around a
galactic arm or a central sun such as Alcyon; however, this would be easily observable,

as we would need to be travelling at 10% the speed of light in order to complete one
orbit within the required 24,000 years.
Therefore, none of these explanations given by Sri Yukteswar and others has anything
to do with observed precession, which is clearly caused by the Sun and Moons
gravitational effect upon the Earth. Sri Yukteswars explanation that we are moving
closer and farther from the galactic center just is not observed in even the slightest. This
third claim in his theory is actually not only illogical but against all known wellestablished laws of physics and centuries of careful observation. If he had completed his
first physics class, he would have come to that understanding.
Is it possible then that Sri Yukteswar was only partly correct about the Yugas? Yes. It
does appear that the Yugas are more likely in the thousands and not millions of year
ranges. However, he was clearly mistaken about the link between precession and the
Yugasnot only because the time scale is off, but because we would need to break
well-established laws of physics. These are not just established laws of physics, but of
logic and observation which anyone can make when they spin a top, or use an amateur
telescope, or measure the tides.
Since Yukteswar was wrong about the solar system moving closer and farther from the
Seat of Brahma (that which theoretically controls mans virtue), then what is the
explanation for the rising and declining virtue in man? According to science, it has
everything to do with changing influences over time. In fact, man may not be getting
more but rather less intelligent as technology lessens the pressure of survival. In fact the
Laws of Manu mentioned the Yugas as an answer to the question: Why is man
becoming less spiritual? Why was he becoming more material? The real answer may
have nothing to do with hidden, unseen rays coming from the center of the galaxy, but
more to do with the rise of technology, and agriculture replacing mans reliance upon
his divine inner voice. The logical trappings of the material world had busied him.
Instead of relying upon intuition to know when to plant his crop or hunt, he now used
the almanacs and levies to control water flow. There were more mouths to feed and less
time to contemplate spiritual issues. Intuition was a necessity, but with material
abundance had become a luxury.
In conclusion, we really need to ask ourselves as Kriyabans why it even matters if we
are moving through the cycles of the ages. Since we are allotted such a short period of
time on Earth, perhaps the answer is No, it does not. The concept of cyclical ages
does bring us some sense of certainty in a world of change as was the original intention
of the Laws of Manu. However, a Kriyaban should not welcome nor relish certainty. He
or she should be rather disinterested in everything outside other than that which fulfills
his Sadhana; therefore, the genius of Lahiris interpretation of the Yugas. Only Kriya is
Truth; the rest is false. Trust nothing external to yourself, even if donning the Swami
robe and claims of avatarship.