Re-Defining the Hindu (Indian) Cosmology
According to the traditional view of the Hindu (Indian) Cosmology, we are at present in the Kali Yuga which is to go for many more thousands of years. All the Hindu scriptures and astronomical works say so. However, it has now been shown that we have actually crossed the Kali Yuga and have entered into the Dvapara Yuga. In order to understand the situation, we need to delve into the Hindu (Indian) Cosmology.
Regarding the Hindu Yugas, we find the following in the most sacred Hindu scripture, The Mad Bhagavat Gita:
“The duration of the material universe is limited. It is manifested in cycles of kalpas. A kalpa is a day of Brahma, and one day of Brahma consists of a thousand cycles of four yugas, or ages: Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali.The cycle of Satya is characterized by virtue and religion ...and lasts 1,728,000 years. In the Treta yuga vice is introduced and this yuga lasts 1,296,000 years. In the Dvapara yuga there is even greater decline of virtue and religion .. lasts for 864,000 years. And finally in the Kali yuga (the yuga we have now been experiencing over past 5000 years) there is an abundance of strife, ignorance, irreligion … and lasts 432,00 years. In Kali yuga vice increases to such a point that at the termination of the yuga the Supreme lord himself appears as Kalki avatara, vanquishes the demons, saves His devotees, and commences another Satya yuga. Then the process is set rolling again. These four ages, rotating a thousand times, comprise one day of Brahma, and the same number comprise one night. Brahma lives one hundred of such “years” and then dies. These 'hundred years' by earth calculations total to 311 trillion and 40 billion earth years. … In the casual ocean there are innumerable Brahmas rising and disappearing like bubble in the Atlantic.” (Mad Bhagavat Gita As Is It is – Chapter 8, Text 17, pp 519).
The Surya Siddhanta, the dominant Indian Astronomical work composed around 5th century CE confirm the above and states: The present yuga we are in right now is the Kali yuga which is said to have begun on Friday, February 18th 3102 BCE of the Julian calendar.
It seems however that the Hindu scholars might have been carried away with their imaginations with big numbers in the above view of the Hindu cosmology. Because, the above calculation has now been challenged and revised by the scholar saint Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri (1855-1936), according to whom all these calculations were wrong. This was revealed in a book ' Kaivalya Darsanam' (Sanskrit) published by the author. The original Sanskrit book has later been translated into English and published with the title 'The Holy Science' in 1949 by his disciple Paramahansa Yogananda (author of 'The Autobiography of a Yogi'). The book shows that contrary to the traditional view the Kali yuga is actually only 1200 years long and not 432,000 years, and that it has has started on 701 BCE (not 3102 BCE) and ended in 499 CE. The book has also introduced many new and revolutionary theories for the first time into the Hindu (Indian) cosmology. These revelations are based on a new perspective of the precession of the equinoxes. The book also introduced the theory that the Sun takes another 'star for its dual' and revolves around it in a binary orbit in a period of 24,000 years, which accounts for the precession of the equinox.
The following are some revelations from his book that clarify the issue with details:
The position of the world in the Dvapara yuga is not correctly shown at present in the Hindu almanacs. The traditional view guided by wrong annotations maintain that the length of Kali yuga is 432,000 years is wrong. The mistake crept into the almanac for the first time about 700 BCE during the reign of Raja Parikshit, just after the completion of the last descending Dvapara yuga. At that time Maharaja Yudhisthira, noticing the appearance of the dark Kali yuga, made over his throne to his grandson, the said Raja Parikshit. Maharaja Yudhisthira, together with all the wise men of his court retired to the Himalaya Mountains, the paradise of the world. Thus there was none in the court of Raja Parikshit who could understand the principle of correctly calculating the ages of the several yugas. Thus the mistake continued till recent times. It was at time that they made the first error in the Hindu almanac which was this: In 701 BCE when the 2400 old Dvapara Yuga was supposed to have ended, the court of Raja Parikshit out of confusion started the Kali yuga with the beginning year as 2401 year. That meant that they dragged the Dvapara yuga also into the Kali Yuga. As a result, at 500 CE when the 1200 old Kali Yuga was supposed to have ended, they found the Kali Yuga already about 3600 old. At that time the wise Hindu scholars started to enquire again, and discovered (correctly) that the Kali Yuga was supposed to be only 1200 years old. However, in an attempt to fix the almanac, they thought (wrongly) that the each 'year' in the Kali Yuga was to be a daivya year of 360 'earth year' long. Thus they calculated the Kali Yuga to be 1200 x 360 = 432,000 years long. And that was how the error crept into the almanac and which was continued till today.
According to Swami Yukteswar, the matter was clearly stated by Manu, the great Rishi of Satya Yuga thus in his Samhita:
Four thousand of years, they say, is the Satya Yuga or the Golden Age of the world. Its morning twilight has just as many hundreds, and its period of evening dusk is of the same length (i.e. 400+4000+400=4800). In the other three ages, with their ages, with their morning and evening twilights, the thousands and hundreds decrease by one (i.e.300+3000+300=3600 etc)' . That fourfold cycle comprising 12,000 years is called an Age of the Gods. The sum of a thousand divine ages constitutes one day of Brahma; and of the same length is its night.
According to Swami Yukteswar, the correct position is as follows:
The Sun with its planets and their moons, takes some star as its dual and revolves round it about 24000 years of our earth – a celestial phenomenon which causes the backward movement of the equinoctial points around the zodiac. In one revolution, the Sun completes finishes one Electric Circuit consisting of one 12000 Descending and one 12000 years in an Ascending arc of Electric Couple (Daivya yuga).. Each Daivya yuga of 12,000 years are divided into four yugas: Kali, Dvapara, Tetra and Satya each of 1200, 2400, 3600 and 4800 years respectively. The Sun also has another motion by which it revolves round a Grand Center, called Vishnunabhi, which is the seat of the creative power, Brahma, the universal magnetism.
From 11,501 BCE, when Autumnal Equinox was on the first point of Aries, the Sun began to move away from the point of its orbit nearest to the Grand Center towards the point furthest from it, and accordingly the intellectual power of man began to diminish. During the first 4800 years the Sun took to pass through one of the Satya Couples part of the orbit.
During the next 3600 years the Sun took to pass through the descending Treta yuga. The 2400 years next following the Sun passed through the descending Dvapara yuga. In 1200 more years the Sun passed through the descending Kali yuga and completes the 12000 daivya yuga. It has reached the point in its orbit which is farthest from the Grand Center when the Autumnal Equinox was on the first point of Libra. The intellectual power of man was so much diminished that it could no longer comprehend anything beyond the gross material of creation. The period around 500 CE was thus the darkest part of Kali yuga. Historical facts such as the fall of the Roman empire, the fall of the Gupta empire etc show this. The Sun then starts to move on the ascending phase of the daivya yuga of 12000 years.
The correct positions of the yugas is shown in the diagram. Please note that at present (2018) we are in the 409th year of the Dvapara yuga.
It is interesting to note that, like the Indians, some other ancient cultures also believed in a celestial cycle of time, producing alternating Dark and Golden Ages. The concept of four cosmic periods (yuga) is also found in Greek, Roman, Irish, Babylonian and other mythologies, where each age becomes more sinful and of more suffering. It is not known at this stage where from all these cultures derived the knowledge of the ages about the cosmos or if this was from a common source shared by many cultures, a source which is reminiscence of some ancient civilizations now lost and yet to be discovered. It is also not known if at some point in the past, these cultures had contacts with some aliens which was lost now. However, it seems that India is leading the group with this advanced knowledge with some specifics. Unlike the Western Judeo-Graceo-Christian views which tend to believe that the world was created about 4000 years BCE, the Indians always believed that the world was created some billions of years ago and that it will continue for many more billions of years to come. That way, the Indian cosmology is more in tune with the present views of science.
The present knowledge of Science however does not give us much light in this regards. The 'Big Bang' theory which Science postulates as the origin of the Universe does not tell us anything more than the fact that every point in the Universe should be flying apart from every other point. It has been estimated that the time elapsed from the 'Big Bang' is probably around 13.8 billion years based on the rate of expansion of the Universe. This may be compared with the Hindu (India) view of total about 156 trillion years of the present Brahma. Science also does not (cannot) tell us if the Universe will be destroyed at one point, like the view of Hindu (Indian) Cosmology, and if another Big Bang will occur to start a new creation (Brahma).
It is only about four decades ago that Science became aware that our our Solar system was moving at a great speed within our own galaxy, the Milky Way, and which in turn moved through space within the cluster of galaxies, and this cluster in turn moved through space towards yet another larger cluster of galaxies off in the direction of the constellation Virgo. We also know that the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxy are approaching each other, and that this cluster of galaxies are moving at the direction of the constellation Hydra. All total, our galaxy and the super cluster of galaxies, all are fast moving towards a huge mysterious unseen mass which the scientists would like to call the 'Great Attractor' which is some 250 light years away. According to the scientists the attraction of the 'Great Attractor' is so strong that we are being sucked into it at the rate of 600 km/s (2 million km/h). The dual star might allow the rise and fall of human consciousness to occur when the Sun (with the Earth and other planets) travels along its set binary orbital path with its companion star as it would cyclically move close to, then away from the 'Vishnunabhi'. However, that 'dual star' is yet to be discovered by Science. At present all we see is some scientific knowledge of the 'Great Attractor', and a large amount of pseudo-scientific literature being produced in an attempt to explore the subject. This 'Great Attractor', discussed by Science, (Refer, 'Voyage to the Great Attractor' written by Alan Dressler, an astronomer providing scientific data.) seems like the 'Vishnunabhi', a supposed magnetic center or 'Grand Center' discussed in Hindu (Indian) Cosmology with more specifics. This recent scientific discovery of the 'Great Attractor' suggest that the basis of the Hindu (Indian) Cosmology indeed may have a basis after all. And in this case, we may not be surprised to find that the modified Hindu (Indian) Cosmology may be ahead of Science. In fact, we may be heading into a new age where modified mythologies, such as the Hindu (Indian) cosmology. may prompt Science to explore for evidences of mythological wisdom in order for us to know our universe.
The Holly Science (Kaivalya Darsanam) - Jnaneswar Swami Yukteswar Giri (Published by Self-Realization Fellowship, (1949), California.
The Autobiography of a Yogi - Paramahansa Yogananda Self Realization Fellowship.
Mad Bhagavat Gita As It Is - Excerpts from “Srimad Bhagavatam tenth canto Part one” by A.c. Bhaktivedanta swami Prabhupada, courtesy of Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International
The Surya Siddhanta - (Transl. Rev. Ebenzer Burgess) - Motilal Banarasidas Publishers, Delhi (2000).
Lost Star of myth and Time - Walter Cruttenden – St. Lynn's Press (2006)
Galactic Alignment: The Transformation of Consciousness According to Mayan, Egyptian, and Vedic Traditions - by John Major Jenkins
Hinduism and Scientific Quest - by T. R. R. Lyengar -D.K. Printworld Publication.
The Scientific Outlook – Bertrand Russell - Routledge Press
Voyage To The Great Attractor: Exploring Intergalactic Space by Alan Drssler
Gods, Sages and Kings – David Frawley