Re: Tidbits From The Talmud
Hi Draken:
There are many theories about the durations of time cycles, but I go by what Swami Sri Yukteswar (the Guru of Paramahansa Yogananda) says, since it not only makes logical sense, but also correlates very well with the microcosmic processes.
Here's a passage from Chapter 16, Autobiography of a Yogi (by Paramahansa Yogananda), that describes this:
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Sri Yukteswar discovered the mathematical application of a 24,000year equinoctial cycle to our present age. The cycle is divided into an Ascending Arc and a Descending Arc, each of 12,000 years. Within each Arc fall four Yugas or Ages, called Kali, Dwapara, Treta, and Satya, corresponding to the Greek ideas of Iron, Bronze, Silver, and Golden Ages.
My guru determined by various calculations that the last Kali Yuga or Iron Age, of the Ascending Arc, started about A.D. 500. The Iron Age, 1200 years in duration, is a span of materialism; it ended about A.D. 1700. That year ushered in Dwapara Yuga, a 2400year period of electrical and atomicenergy developments, the age of telegraph, radio, airplanes, and other spaceannihilators.
The 3600year period of Treta Yuga will start in A.D. 4100; its age will be marked by common knowledge of telepathic communications and other timeannihilators. During the 4800 years of Satya Yuga, final age in an ascending arc, the intelligence of a man will be completely developed; he will work in harmony with the divine plan.
A descending arc of 12,000 years, starting with a descending Golden Age of 4800 years, then begins for the world; man gradually sinks into ignorance. These cycles are the eternal rounds of maya, the contrasts and relativities of the phenomenal universe. Man, one by one, escapes from creation's prison of duality as he awakens to consciousness of his inseverable divine unity with the Creator.
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And here's a footnote about a larger time cycle:
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The Hindu scriptures place the present worldage as occurring within the Kali Yuga of a much longer universal cycle than the simple 24,000year equinoctial cycle with which Sri Yukteswar was concerned. The universal cycle of the scriptures is 4,300,560,000 years in extent, and measures out a Day of Creation or the length of life assigned to our planetary system in its present form. This vast figure given by the rishis is based on a relationship between the length of the solar year and a multiple of Pi (3.1416, the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle).
The life span for a whole universe, according to the ancient seers, is 314,159,000,000,000 solar years, or "One Age of Brahma."
Scientists estimate the present age of the earth to be about two billion years, basing their conclusions on a study of lead pockets left as a result of radioactivity in rocks. The Hindu scriptures declare that an earth such as ours is dissolved for one of two reasons: the inhabitants as a whole become either completely good or completely evil. The worldmind thus generates a power which releases the captive atoms held together as an earth.
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From what I understand, we are in Kali Yuga in the larger cycle of 4,300,560,000 years. And this Kali Yuga will be followed by Satya Yuga again (as you had said) after thousands, maybe millions of years. But in the smaller equinoctial cycle of 24,000 years, we have already passed the Kali Yuga of the ascending arc, and it goes in the reverse direction in an ascending cycle. Some people say that it's 25,920 years, instead of 24,000. If we assume that 24,000 is a correct number, then this is what it comes down to:
 The precision of the equinoxes took place in 499 AD.
 The ascending Kali Yuga would be from 499 to 499+1200 = 1699 AD. This implies that the Dwapara Yuga began in 1699 AD.
 The Dwapara Yuga has a twilight period of 1/12 of its total duration. Hence the twilight period would last for 200 years. This means that the twilight period woulf get over in 1699 + 200 = 1899 AD.
The traditionalists, however, state that the Yugas are of the following durations:
Satya Yuga = 1,728,000 years
Treta Yuga = 1,296,000 years
Dwapara Yuga = 864,000 years
Kali Yuga = 432,000 years
According to Sri Yukteswar (in "The Holy Science", of which he is the author), the traditionalist view is based on a misunderstanding. He says that at the end of the last descending Dwapara Yuga (about 700 BC) "Maharaja Yudhisthara, noticing the appearance of the dark Kali Yuga, made over his throne to his grandson [and]...together with all of his wise men...retired to the Himalaya Mountains...Thus there was none in the court...who could understand the principle of correctly accounting the ages of the several Yugas."
Nobody wanted to announce the bad news of the beginning of the descending Kali Yuga, so they just kept adding years to the Dwapara date (at that time 2400 Dwapara). By the deepest point of the Kali Yuga (around 500 BC) that made the date 3600. As the Kali began to ascend again, scholars of the time recognized that there was a mistake in the date (then being called 3600+ Kali, although their texts said Kali had only 1200 years). "By way of reconciliation, they fancied that 1200 years, the real age of Kali, were not the ordinary years of our earth, but were so many daiva years ("years of the gods"), consisting of 12 daiva months of 30 daiva days each, with each daiva day being equal to one ordinary solar year of our earth. Hence according to these men 1200 years of Kali Yuga must be equal to 432,000 years of our earth." This is really how the error came about.
Perhaps you can read the book "The Holy Science", and it gives very insightful information that also logically backs up the validity of the equinoctial cycles.
I hope this has been helpful. I'll write more about this later. In the meanwhile, you can also look through the following link for more information:
http://www.adesha.com/autobiography/chap16/chap16.html
Good luck!
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\"Fly with the eagles or scratch with the chickens\"
