From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Yugapurāṇa forms the 113th chapter of the treatise Gārgi Samhitā, a work on astrology. It is sometimes called Skanda-purāna.</ref>It should not be confused with the well-known bigger work probably because it begins with a question by Skanda to Śiva.</ref> It is placed at 100 B. C.

Content of Yugapurāṇa

  • Couched in the style of the purāṇas it deals mainly with the characteristics of the four yugas of Kaliyuga resembling closely with the one given in the Vanaparva.[1] These four yugas are:
  1. Kṛta
  2. Tretā
  3. Dvāpara
  4. Kali
  • The attack on Sāketa and Pāṭālīputra by the kings of Pāñcāla and Mathurā along with the Yavanas gets a prominent place.
  • The depredations of the enemy armies and destruction of the civilian population make a dismal reading.


  1. Mahābhārata Chapter 188, verses 30-64
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

By Swami Harshananda

The concept of kāla or time as evolved by the scriptures from the smallest unit to colossal limits is mind-boggling. Nimeṣa, the time taken for winking the eyelids once is taken as the smallest unit. The biggest unit, for the purpose of expounding the concept of yuga, can be taken as one day of Brahmā, the four-faced creator. It is called kalpa. In terms of human years it is 4.32 billion[1] years. This kalpa includes 1000 mahāyugas. Each mahāyuga, also called caturyuga, consists of the four well-known yugas:

  1. Kṛta
  2. Tretā
  3. Dvāpara
  4. Kali

Overview of Yugas

The following table gives an idea of these four yugas in terms of divine and human years, the divine year being 360 times the human year:

Yugas Divine Years Human Years
Kṛtayuga 4800 17,28,000
Tretāyuga 3600 12,96,000
Dvāparayuga 2400 8,64,000
Kaliyuga 1200 4,32,000

Span of Each Yuga

Each of these yugas is preceded by a short period called sandhyā and followed by another, called sandhyāṅiśa.

  • The Kṛtayuga is preceded by 400 divine years[2] and followed by another 400 divine years.[3]
  • The Tretāyuga is preceded by 300 divine years and followed by another 300 years.
  • The Dvāparayuga is preceded by 200 years and followed by 200 years.
  • The Kaliyuga is preceded by 100 years and followed by 100 years.

Description of Yuga

  • The descriptions given so far are based on the ones commonly found in the epics and the purāṇas.[4]
  • However, the meaning and concept seem to have undergone quite a few changes in course of time.
  • In the Vedāñga- jyautiṣa[5] it is a duration of five years.
  • In the Ṛgveda[6] it means just a day or a very short period.
  • In other places, the names Kṛta and so on have been used to indicate a number got by the throw of dice.[7]


  1. It can be calculated as 4.32 x 109.
  2. It is called sandhyā.
  3. It is called sandhyāṅiśa.
  4. Visnupurāna 1.3; 6.3
  5. Vedāñga-jyautiṣa verse 5
  6. Ṛgveda 3.26.3
  7. Chāndogya Upanisad 4.1.4
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore