Kali Yuga – When Did it End and What Lies Ahead?
Cycles in the Sky and in the Human Body
Sadhguru: In the yogic astronomy, we divide the orbit of the Earth around the Sun into 27 segments, called nakshatras. Each nakshatra is further divided into four equal sectors called padas or steps. Multiply 4 by 27 and it equals 108. These 108 units mark the 108 steps that the Earth takes through space. Each nakshatra corresponds to one half of the lunar orbit around the Earth. The cycles within the human body respond and correspond to that.
The Nakshatras and Padas
In a woman’s body, there are very obvious cycles of 27.55 days if she is perfectly healthy. In a man’s body, the cycles are less obvious and pronounced – they happen in a different way and are of a larger span of time. In any case, these cycles are happening all the time in the solar system and the larger universe. The microcosm and the macrocosm both are playing the same game. But who should play whose game? If you think the macrocosm is going to play your game, you will waste your life. If you play the macrocosm’s game, your life will be beyond your expectations.
The Cycle of Four Yugas
The precession (caused by gradual rotation of the Earth’s axis) of the equinoxes is the period of time that it takes the Earth’s axis to pass through one complete cycle of the zodiac. It takes the planet 72 years to pass through one degree of the zodiac and 25,920 years to complete one full circle of 360 degrees. One half of the journey takes 12,960 years and covers the four yugas. Satya Yuga lasts 5184 years. Treta Yuga lasts 3888 years. Dwapara Yuga lasts 2592 years. Kali Yuga lasts 1296 years. These four yugas taken together come to a total of 12,960 years
When did Kali Yuga start?
The story of Mahabharat needs to be seen in a certain context. In 3140 BCE, the Kurukshetra War ended, and in 3102 BCE, Krishna left his body. Three to four months after the war, the Kali Yuga began. As of 2012 AD, Krishna’s era ended 5,114 years ago. If you subtract 2592, which is the cumulative number of years of the two Kali Yugas that are at the bottom of the ellipse which describes the axial precession, you arrive at 2522 years. That means we have already completed 2522 years of Dwapara Yuga, and since its total duration is 2592 years, we still have 70 years until its completion. In the year 2082, we will complete Dwapara Yuga and move on to Treta Yuga. The world will go through another upheaval, not necessarily in terms of war but probably in terms of population explosion and natural calamities, before moving on to this new era of wellbeing and upward movement of human consciousness.
Yugas and Human Consciousness
The solar system with the Sun and the planets around it is moving in the galaxy. It takes 25,920 years for our solar system to complete one cycle around a larger star. From the effects upon the planet, we believe this big star or big system that our system is going around is not located in the center of the orbit but somewhere to the side. Whenever our solar system comes closer to this big system, all the creatures living in our system rise to greater possibilities. Whenever our system moves away from it, the creatures living in our system come to the lowest level of possibility – we say this is Kali Yuga.
When our solar system is closer to the “Super Sun,” Satya Yuga will begin. The human mind will be at its highest capability. People’s ability to know life, people’s ability to communicate, people’s ability to live joyfully will be at its highest. Or in other words, we will have sensible people. All it takes to live well on this planet is a bunch of sensible people.
In Satya Yuga, human ability to communicate will be at its best because the ether will be very close. Right now, the etheric sphere of the planet is raised to a certain point. There was a time when it was much higher – now it has come a little closer. When the ether is very close and I want to convey something to you, I do not have to say it. Even when my eyes are closed, you will know what I want to say. When the ether rises a little bit but is still at a certain distance, if I close my eyes, you will not know, but if I open my eyes and look at you, you will know what I want to convey.
The Ether and Spiritual Possibilities
If the ether rises some more, you can know by breath. If you go into the forest, you will see, because your vision is blocked to some extent, after some time, the most significant way of knowing things is by smell. Most animals that live there know things only by smell. Because of such concentrated life energy, the ether is high. Because the ether is high, they do not have to see. If you talk, they will get confused. When the ether is very low, you have to talk all the time – otherwise, people will not get it. Even if you talk, they will not get it. You have to knock and talk continuously to make them get it. The etheric content in the atmosphere determines how sensitive you are in terms of your ability to communicate.
At the same time, no matter which time, which yuga, which planetary position we are in right now, still, individual human beings can rise above all this. Still, individual human beings can live in a golden time within themselves. Even in the worst of times, the possibility to be well above it is always there for an individual human being.
There are many things one can do to enhance the ether or create etheric content. This is why Krishna said, in Kali Yuga, which is down there, far away from the Super Sun, the ether will be so low that there is no point in trying to teach them yoga, meditation, mantras, or yantras – they will not get it. Just teach them devotion. If they are devout, they will generate their own ether. And because of this etheric content in the atmosphere, they will perceive. Devotion is not for the dumb – but even if you are the dumbest, you can still get it.
Thousands of years ago, they said that as the solar system moves closer to the Super Sun, human intelligence will blossom. As the solar system moves closer, the realization that the whole body and the whole universe are electric structures will come naturally. Right now, we are moving towards Treta Yuga, which is the second best time that can happen in a cycle of yugas.
Krishna also said that after over 5000 years, there will come a many thousand year period of time that will be fabulous. We will not make it there, but we can set the foundations for it and have the joy of creating an atmosphere for a stretch of thousands of years of golden time upon the planet. This is not all predictions and conjecture – this is based on a deep-rooted understanding about what happens with the human mind in relation to the planet on which we live. We do not only live on this planet – we are the planet. If you do not understand this today, you will understand this when you are buried. The planet understands that you are a part of it – only you think something else of yourself.
Mahabharat – The Story of Every Human Being
The story begins because you have false ideas about yourself. Mahabharat represents the grand misconception of human beings about life; their sufferings, their rises and falls. It goes on and on, simply because human beings are struggling to come in tune with life. Whatever someone who is in tune with it tries to say, everyone else will misunderstand. Light cannot be put in words, but if you open your eyes, you can see the light. Similarly, if this life that you are opens up, it can feel life, it can become life.
Life cannot be told. Telling is only to inspire, to de-mesmerize you from your own self-mesmerism. Every human being has hypnotized himself or herself into their own limitations and they believe this is it. If you undo that hypnotism, they will feel fearful because existence is limitless. Therefore, if they are spinning one way, you have to spin them the opposite way for some time for them to feel they are going somewhere.
The whole Mahabharat is just this effort. No matter what they are doing, everyone thinks they are doing it for the good. Whether it is “my good,” “your good,” someone else’s good, or everyone else’s good – whatever kind of good, everyone thinks they are doing it for the good. But everyone is neither good nor bad, neither right nor wrong – the story just goes on.
The story is not about a particular person – Mahabharat comes under the classification of Itihasa. In India, there are three categories of great texts: Itihasa, Purana, Veda. Vedas are full of abstract ideas, scientific theories, and explanations for celestial happenings. Puranas are stories of beings who are not human. Itihasa is the story of the human being, not in terms of history, though there is a historic element to it. The facts are rooted in history, but this is the story of every human being – it is about the meaning of your life. Only if it is your story, it can be a process of growth for you.