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The Kali Yuga, in Hinduism, is the fourth and worst of the four yugas (world ages) in a Yuga Cycle, preceded by Dvapara Yuga and followed by the next cycle's Krita (Satya) Yuga. Kali Yuga is believed to be the present age, full of conflict and sin.
According to Puranic sources,[a]Krishna's departure marks the end of Dvapara Yuga and the start of Kali Yuga, which is dated to 17/18 February 3102 BCE. Lasting for 432,000 years (1200 divine years), Kali Yuga began 5,122 years ago and has 426,878 years left as of 2021 CE. Kali Yuga will end in the year 428,899 CE.
Yuga (Sanskrit: ), in this context, means "an age of the world", where its archaic spelling is yug, with other forms of yugam, yug?n, and yuge, derived from yuj (Sanskrit: ?, lit. 'to join or yoke'), believed derived from *yeug- (Proto-Indo-European: lit. 'to join or unite').
Who was ever ready to extricate dharma that had become sunk owing to the evil effects of Kaliyuga.-- Pikira grant of Pallava Simhavarman, line 10 (3rd plate, front)
According to the Surya Siddhanta, Kali Yuga began at midnight (00:00) on 18 February 3102 BCE. This is also considered the date on which Krishna left the earth to return to Vaikuntha. This information is placed at the temple of Bhalka, the place of this incident (see photo).
According to the astronomer and mathematician Aryabhata the Kali Yuga started in 3102 BCE. He finished his book Aryabhattiyam in 499 CE, in which he gives the exact year of the beginning of Kali Yuga. He writes that he wrote the book in the "year 3600 of the Kali Age" at the age of 23. As it was the 3600th year of the Kali Age when he was 23 years old, and given that Aryabhata was born in 476 CE, the beginning of the Kali Yuga would come to (3600 - (476 + 23) + 1 (As only one year elapses between 1 BCE and 1 CE)) = 3102 BCE.
According to K. D. Abhyankar, the starting point of Kali Yuga is an extremely rare planetary alignment, which is depicted in the Mohenjo-daro seals. Going by this alignment the year 3102 BCE is slightly off. The actual date for this alignment is 7 February 3104 BCE. There is also sufficient proof to believe that Vrdhha Garga knew of precession at least by 500 BCE. Garga had calculated the rate of precession to within 30% of what the modern scholars estimate.[better source needed]
Hindu texts describe four yugas (world ages) in a Yuga Cycle, where, starting in order from the first age of Krita (Satya) Yuga, each yuga's length decreases by one-fourth (25%), giving proportions of 4:3:2:1. Each yuga is described as having a main period (a.k.a. yuga proper) preceded by its yuga-sandhy? (dawn) and followed by its yuga-sandhya (dusk), where each twilight (dawn/dusk) lasts for one-tenth (10%) of its main period. Lengths are given in divine years (years of the gods), each lasting for 360 solar (human) years.
Kali Yuga, the fourth age in a cycle, lasts for 432,000 years (1,200 divine years), where its main period lasts for 360,000 years (1,000 divine years) and its two twilights each lasts for 36,000 years (100 divine years). The current cycle's Kali Yuga, the present age, has the following dates based on it starting in 3102BCE:
|Kali-yuga-sandhyamsa (dusk)||392,899CE – 428,899CE|
|Years: 432,000 solar (1,200 divine)|
Hindus believe that human civilization degenerates spiritually during the Kali Yuga.
Hinduism often symbolically represents morality (dharma) as an Indian bull. In Satya Yuga, the first stage of development, the bull has four legs, which is reduced by one in each age that follows. By the age of Kali, morality is reduced to only a quarter of that of the golden age, so that the bull of Dharma has only one leg.
The Kurukshetra War and the decimation of Kauravas thus happened at the Yuga-Sandhi, the point of transition from one yuga to another. The scriptures mention Narada as having momentarily intercepted the demon Kali on his way to the Earth when Duryodhana was about to be born in order to make him an embodiment of arishadvargas and adharma in preparation of the era of decay in values and the consequent havoc.
In relation to rulers, it lists:
With regard to human relationships, Markandeya's discourse says:
The Brahma Vaivarta Purana (related to Rathantara kalpa) mentions a ten thousand-year period, starting from the traditional dating of the Kali Yuga epoch, during which bhakti yogis will be present. Krishna foretold that Kali Yuga will be full of extreme hardships for people with ideals and values.
The Brahma-vaivarta Purana has words spoken by Krishna to Mother Ganga just before the beginning of the Kali Yuga (the age of quarrel and strife). The Kali Yuga began approximately five thousand years ago, that golden age is being described below by Krishna. Predicted in Brahma-vaivarta Purana 4.129. The fourth part of the Brahma-vaivarta is called Ka-janma-khanda. Chapter 129 is called Golokarohanam, because it describes how Krishna returns to His abode. This specific dialogue is between Krishna and Mother Ganga. Verse 49 is a question by Ganga, verses 50-60 are Krishna's answer.
This text is taken from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana  Text 59:
madbhakt santi bh?tale
madbhakte?u gate?u ca
"For 10,000 years of Kali such devotees of Mine will be present on earth. After the departure of My devotees there will be only one varna."
The above is supported in 4.90.32-33:
haris tihati medin?
dev?n?m pratim? p?jy?
str?ni ca purakam
Kali is the reigning lord of Kali Yuga and his nemesis is Kalki, the tenth and final Avatar of Vishnu. According to the Vishnu Purana, Kali is a negative manifestation working towards the cause of 'the end' or rather towards eventual rejuvenation of the universe.[failed verification]
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Shastriji, one of the followers of Haidakhan Babaji, gave the following narration: "Once Parvati asked Lord Shiva, her husband: "You have done good work for the people in all ages, but I am afraid for the people in the Kali Yuga; how will they safeguard themselves?",[check quotation syntax] then Lord Shiva told Parvati: "I will appear in the Kali Yuga and I will create a new state, a new centre of religion - a most important place, where I will live and establish all the Gods there."[check quotation syntax]
Shastriji went further to suggest that this promise manifested through the person of Haidakhan Babaji. One of the central tenets of Haidakhan Babaji's teachings is the message of Karma Yoga or hard work. In the context of Kali Yuga Haidakhan Babaji explained: "As I have told you before, the thing needed in this Age is work (karma). In every Age people have reached salvation through different types of action and sadhana (spiritual discipline), but in this Age one can reach liberation only through hard work. I want real, practical human beings and only he is a true human being who lives in accordance with this Age. We need not consider religion or caste, but look only to hard work."
In Sikhism, Kali Yuga is metaphorically used to describe the state of the world as was commonly understood in the 16th century. It is stressed that one should meditate as much as possible to reach the state of mukti and be liberated or be one with God.
ab kaloo aaeiou rae : Now, the Dark Age of Kali Yuga has come.
eik naam bovahu bovahu : Plant the Name, the Name of the One Lord.
an rooth naahee naahee : It is not the season to plant other seeds.
math bharam bhoolahu bhoolahu : Do not wander lost in doubt and delusion.
The Kali Yuga is an important concept in both Theosophy and Anthroposophy, and in the writings of Helena Blavatsky, W.Q. Judge, Rudolf Steiner, and Traditionalist philosophers such as René Guénon and Julius Evola, among others. Rudolf Steiner believed that the Kali Yuga ended in 1900.
On the very day, and at the very moment the Lord [Krishna] left the earth, on that very day this Kali, the source of irreligiousness, (in this world), entered here.
The Parijata tree proceeded to heaven, and on the same day that Hari [Krishna] departed from the earth the dark-bodied Kali age descended.
It was on the day on which Krishna left the Earth and went to heaven that the Kali age, with time for its body set in.
The [Kali yuga] epoch arrived at ... was midnight of February 17/18 in 3102 BC according to the midnight (ardharatika) school, and the sunrise of February 18 (Friday) of the same year according to the sunrise (audayika) school.
* HINDUISM: Myths of time and eternity:... Each yuga is preceded by an intermediate "dawn" and "dusk." The Krita yuga lasts 4,000 god-years, with a dawn and dusk of 400 god-years each, or a total of 4,800 god-years; Treta a total of 3,600 god-years; Dvapara 2,400 god-years; and Kali (the current yuga) 1,200 god-years. A mahayuga thus lasts 12,000 god-years... Since each god-year lasts 360 human years, a mahayuga is 4,320,000 years long in human time. Two thousand mahayugas form one kalpa (eon) [and pralaya], which is itself but one day in the life of Brahma, whose full life lasts 100 years; the present is the midpoint of his life. Each kalpa is followed by an equally long period of abeyance (pralaya), in which the universe is asleep. Seemingly the universe will come to an end at the end of Brahma's life, but Brahmas too are innumerable, and a new universe is reborn with each new Brahma.
* YUGA: Each yuga is progressively shorter than the preceding one, corresponding to a decline in the moral and physical state of humanity. Four such yugas (called... after throws of an Indian game of dice) make up a mahayuga ("great yuga")... The first yuga (Krita) was an age of perfection, lasting 1,728,000 years. The fourth and most degenerate yuga (Kali) began in 3102 BCE and will last 432,000 years. At the close of the Kali yuga, the world will be destroyed by fire and flood, to be re-created as the cycle resumes. In a partially competing vision of time, Vishnu's 10th and final AVATAR, KALKI, is described as bringing the present cosmic cycle to a close by destroying the evil forces that rule the Kali yuga and ushering in an immediate return to the idyllic Krita yuga.
Paraphrased: Deva day equals solar year. Deva lifespan (36,000 solar years) equals 100 360-day years, each 12 months. Mahayuga equals 12,000 Deva (divine) years (4,320,000 solar years), and is divided into 10 charnas consisting of four Yugas: Satya Yuga (4 charnas of 1,728,000 solar years), Treta Yuga (3 charnas of 1,296,000 solar years), Dvapara Yuga (2 charnas of 864,000 solar years), and Kali Yuga (1 charna of 432,000 solar years). Manvantara equals 71 Mahayugas (306,720,000 solar years). Kalpa (day of Brahma) equals an Adi Sandhya, 14 Manvantaras, and 14 Sandhya Kalas, where 1st Manvantara preceded by Adi Sandhya and each Manvantara followed by Sandhya Kala, each Sandhya lasting same duration as Satya yuga (1,728,000 solar years), during which the entire earth is submerged in water. Day of Brahma equals 1,000 Mahayugas, the same length for a night of Brahma (Bhagavad-gita 8.17). Brahma lifespan (311.04 trillion solar years) equals 100 360-day years, each 12 months. Parardha is 50 Brahma years and we are in the 2nd half of his life. After 100 years of Brahma, the universe starts with a new Brahma. We are currently in the 28th Kali yuga of the first day of the 51st year of the second Parardha in the reign of the 7th (Vaivasvata) Manu. This is the 51st year of the present Brahma and so about 155 trillion years have elapsed. The current Kali Yuga (Iron Age) began at midnight on 17/18 February 3102 BC in the proleptic Julian calendar.
... their children are, Kali (wickedness) and Durukti (evil speech)...
The dictionary definition of Kali Yuga at Wiktionary