Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why Tretayug after Satyug and not Dwaparyug? Isn’t that strange?

According to Hindu mythology there have been four Yugas , namely:
1. Satyuga
2. Tretayuga
3. Dwaparyuga
4. Kalyuga

Three Yugas viz. Satyuga, Tretayuga and Dwaparyuga have already passed and the Yuga in which we are living is the Kalyuga. Ancient scripts stated that Satyuga was of the longest duration, then Tretayuga, then Dwaparyuga and Kalyuga with smallest duration. Kalyug is 1/4th duration of Satyuga, 1/3rd duration of Tretayuga and 1/2 duration of Dwaparyuga.

If we look into the ordering , Satyuga was the first one in which Goddess Sati was married to Lord Shiva. Then came the Tretayuga in which Ramayana took place. Thereafter we had the Dwaparyuga in which the famous battle Mahabharata took place and now its is the Kalyuga at last. But if we notice carefully, we find a certain strange thing in the ordering of the Yugas. In Sanskrit, the word ‘Dwapar’ means ‘Second’ and the word ‘Treta’ means ‘Third’, then how come Tretayuga came before Dwaparyuga? In fact, Dwaparyuga should have been before Tretayuga. Why so starnge ordering. I have the answer for it! Hindu mythology says that the Yugas were decided in the order of Satyuga, Dwaparyuga, Tretayuga and Kaliyuga only but there is a story behind shifting Tretayug before Dwaparyuga.

During Satyuga, a beautiful women named Ahilaya was married to a famous saint having knowledge of all Vedas, Shri Gautam Rishi. Ahilaya was among the most attractive women in the universe at that time. Lord Brahma had given Ahilaya’s hand to Gautam Rishi because of his rich knowledge and pious character. Lord Indra was very much attracted by Ahilaya. Like every morning, Gautam Rishi got up before dawn and went to the lake away from his Asharam to take bath. Indra thought it the best opportunity to go in the Gautam Rishi’s Ashram as Ahilaya would be alone. Indra disguised himself like Gautam Rishi and went inside the Ashram. Ahilaya could not recognize that it was the Indra under the guise of Gautam Rishi.

Gautam Rishi

It is said Indra created physical relationship with Ahilaya and as he was going out he returned to his original appearance. Gautam Rishi, returning from bath just saw, Indra coming out from the hut and lost temper. He immediately went inside and blamed Ahilaya and without listening a word of her cursed her that she will turn into a statue of stone. The power of Gautam Rishi’s words was so powerful that Ahilaya immediately turned into stone.

Then, from the stone statue, Ahilaya told the whole story that she was fooled by Indra’s deception and asked Gautam Rishi to get her rid from the punishment of stone statue. Listening to Ahilaya’s story, Gautam Rishi melted and said that he has no immediate solution to recover her from the curse. But he assured her that during Tretaparyug, when Lord Rama ( Vishnu’s Avtaar), will come and touch her with their feet, she will be back into life from the lifeless stone. Listening to this solution of Gautam Rishi, Ahilaya said that presently it was Satyug going on and it will take thousand of years to complete. Thereafter, Dwaparyuga will come which will take million more years to finish and after that Tretayuga will begin. It will be very long for her to remain as a stone statue for such a long period of time.

It is said that, hearing to the requests of the poor Ahilaya, Gautam Rishi changed the ordering of the Yugas. With his power he rotated the time span as such that Dwaparyuga came before Tretayuga. He did this so that Ahilaya could get relieved from the curse as soon as possible.


  1. Well its not True
    Whole Ancient Hindu History has been manipulated

    Sharing my point of view by reading many Blogs on various sites

    All the Yuga are more or less related to Lord Vishnu's incarnations (Avtaars)

    Treta means 'a collection of three things' in Sanskrit, and is called so because during the Treta Yuga, there were three Avatars of Vishnu that were seen, the fifth, sixth and seventh incarnations as Vamana, Parashurama and Rama respectively.
    The name could also be derived from the fact that the Treta Yuga lasts 3,000 divine years. It does not mean third yuga.

    Dwapara Yuga, is the third out of four Yugas. Dvapara in Sanskrit literally means "two ahead", that is, something in the third place. The Dvapara Yuga follows the Treta Yuga. It does not mean second yuga. It is the third yuga after satyuga and tretayuga.

    The bull of dharma stands on 4 legs in satyuga when gods were created, on 3 legs in tretayuga, on 2 legs in dwaparayuga, and in the immoral age called Kaliyuga, it stands on just one leg.

    1. Your explanation of the names of Yuga appears apt. But I will advice against pushing aside the above story as incorrect. We have had lot of instances where stories like these were included later to explain more serious reasons. This just explains how Hindu scriptures have something for everyone. A simple uneducated man just needs the above story to explain the names of the yuga. An educated, scholarly man like you would understand a more esoteric explanation. There might be some explanations, so complex, that could only be understood by the rishis themselves and we couldn't fathom to understand.

  2. I respect all gods and religions.

    But i have some point to mention abouth the main story which is published here to justify the order sense of yugas

    First, according to Hinduism in SATYUG everything was perfect and Every one was in peace, so how come INDRA had done a wrong act of engaging in a wrong relationship.

    Second, when Gautam Rishi was so powerful and so knowledgeable ( who can even change the order of yugas) he can not simply control his anger and listen to his wife ( in satyug it was claimed that there was no anger, so how come such a great RISHI becomes anger)

    Third, The gautam rishi had no power of turning back his stoned wife, but he has the power of changing the order of yugas, what a fake story.

    No one really knows what had happened to such times, is these yugas really was existed or not. We are just believing on various written books thats all (which already contradicts to their points).

    1. There are some misconceptions in your understanding.

      SATYUG was perfect compared to the current yuga. It is not that there was no adharma done but it was rare. Also person who committed adharma was extremely powerful and knowledgeable persons. That was the reason for Vishnu to avatars to establish dharma even in those yugas.

      Rishis in every age are known to be angry (infact very few could control their anger). As we dont have much information about the lifestyle of those times, we can only speculate. It is quite possible the strict religious practice that they undergo, sensitizes them to emotions. Or probably, they are needed to get angry by providence to fulfill some prophecy.

      Any curse given by a rishi cannot be turned back (without being exhausted by living out the curse). This has something to do with the yuga. In the Kalyuga (the current age), there are lot of tasks that we regret but we are not able to revert back as the physical action is taken. In a purer age, even a subtler action like words or thought once implemented cannot be taken back and have to live out the consequences. Well versed in Vedas and knowledgeable doesn't mean that the person can do anything. It is more like a very knowledgeable and resourceful scientist. There are lot he could accomplish but still lot that he cannot.

      These stories are from the Puranas, which was basically written down to explain the complex concepts of Vedas to simple people using simple stories. Some of these stories might be inspired from actual real events in history but cannot be depended on for chronological validation.

      There are lot of teachings that common simple minded people can get from these stories (even if they are not spiritually uplifted). One of the most important and relevant even today is not to make decisions when you are angry.

  3. We are taught that there are four Yugas—Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga, and Kali Yuga. Yet the very naming of 2nd Yuga as Treta Yuga (literally 3rd Yuga) suggests that there are totally five yugas with obviously one preceding the Satya Yuga, that exists in cognito. Similarly, we have been taught there are four castes, but in fact there are five castes—Brahmins, Deities, Kshatriyas, Vysyas, and Shudras. And they are not like water-tight compartments, but they are evolution of Brahmins through history and final evolute is Shudra. In other words, when history begins, all are Brahmins (brh = great + ma = mind; hence those having great mind of treating everyone as children of God), then in the second phase of the history they live as deities for whom the divine qualities come naturally. Then in the third phase of history they evolve into Kshatriyas (those for whom divine qualities come after struggle, or they have to fight with themselves to manifest their divine qualities. Then in the fourth phase of history they evolve into Vysyas (those who behave like vesyas—always thinking in commercial terms—what I will get if I do this). Such me-first attitude give rise to competition and conflict, and all Vysyas evolve into Shudras (those giving and receiving shok = sorrow) which is the fifth phase of the history. In other words, entropy rules the world.
    When the whole world passes through sorrow and when moral decay reaches its climax, God takes measures to elevate willing humans to Brahmins. (Gita 4:7) This short period when God Almighty (Shiva) plays His role as the Hero of the History is the First Age. Then the pralaya (with a real Mahabharat War or Third World War in which all weapons humans have amassed will be used, civil wars and natural calamities) happens, all souls return to Paramdham, the original home of all souls. Then God recreates heaven on earth, those souls who had a past history of cooperating with God in concluding phase of each Kalpa (cycle of 5000 years) start descending and take birth in the recreated heaven on earth to enjoy the fruits of their living as Brahmins in the past, thus they live as deities. Thus 2nd Age or Satya Yuga (Golden Age) begins and lasts for 1250 years, and ruler in this period is known as Krishna/Narayana. Then they evolve into Kshatriyas and thus 3rd Age or Threta Yuga (Silver Age) begins, and ruler in this period is known as Rama. Thus first half (2500 years) of the Kalpa is over and quality-wise it is known as DAY or Heaven on earth. Then they evolve into Vysyas and then into Shudras. This is second half of the Kalpa, and quality-wise it is known as NIGHT or Hell on earth. Thus history of DAY and NIGHT following each other goes on eternally just like everything is cyclic—atom, heavenly bodies, solar system, seasons …. Thus history is an endless cycle of dissolution (layam) and recreation (agamam), parts of which makes the word LINGAM which symbolizes two major roles God Shiva plays. Thus each Kalpa is only 5000 years—a fact we can know from the way population seen doubling every 50 years. [For example, the projected world population for the year 2026 is 8 Billion; it was 4 Billion in 1974, and 2 Billion in 1927, according to United States Census Bureau. If we make a chart backward like 1 Billion in 1874, ½ Billion in 1827 …. you will very soon reach the number of population as just two in less than a few thousand years! To accommodate people killed prematurely in incidents such as wars, epidemics, accidents …. if we give 150 years (instead of 50 years) for population to double, still it would take only less than a period of 5000 years to reach the present population from two people.]
    I got this information from Brahmakumaris

  4. In other words, First Age (known as Sangama Yuga or Confluence Age) comes between Two Ages—Satyayuga and Kaliyuga. People who are trained directly by God Shiva becomes so strong that they are like diamond that only shatters the hammer that strikes it. Hence, quality-wise this First Age could be called Diamond Age. And this Age had its inception in 1936 when God Shiva started His training programme on earth. It means First Age is already underway, soon to be followed by Golden Age (2nd Age). When Golden Age progresses other souls from Paramdham will also start descending number-wise, according to the merit they had gained from living in the previous Kalpa (cycle of 5000 years) and those who are already in the Golden Age will continue to reincarnate. These two processes will steadily increase the population which will continue till the end of Kaliyug.