Kaliyuga, aka: Kali-yuga; 14 Definition(s)

Introduction

Kaliyuga means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Purana

Kaliyuga (कलियुग) refers to a time period consisting of 32,000 years according to the Nīlamatapurāṇa. The passage of the sun through one sign of the zodiac, we are informed, is called a solar month. Two months make a season, three seasons an Ayana and two Ayanas a year. Four lacs and thirty two thousand years make Kaliyuga. Twice as much as Kaliyuga is Dvāpara, thrice is Tretā and four yugas make one Caturyuga and seventy one Caturyugas make one Manvantara.

(Source): archive.org: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

Kaliyuga (कलियुग).—See under Manvantara.

(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Kaliyuga (कलियुग).—The features of the yuga, and its discontents. Removed by hearing the story of Kṛṣṇa, as the Ṛṣis did in the Naimiṣa forest. The source of unrighteousness.1 Form of Hari worshipped in.2 Reflections on the conduct of castes and observance of dharma by persons. kali becomes kṛta after the avatār of Kalki. When the Saptaṛṣis traverse Maghas, and on the day when Kṛṣṇa left the earth for Heaven then began Kali of 1200 divine years. Grows in strength commencing with Nanda. The actual beginning was when Kṛṣṇa left for Vaikuṇṭha; a description of the yuga. Worship of Hari by kīrtana.3 Its advent was recognised by Mucukunda from the smallness of the men, plants, trees, etc., which he saw after he woke up from his long sleep.4 Deterioration of Vedic dharma and rise of Pākhaṇḍas. Incarnation of Pramati in the form of a horse who puts down all heretics and the unrighteous.5 Predominance of heretics and Śūdras in;6 106,000 or 360,000-duration of; its sandhyāṃśa 1,000 years.7 Noted for theft; see tṛṣya;8 dāna the chief act and tamas the chief quality.9 description of the evils of: bad rule and decay of civilization and morality; age of man 23 years; began with Parīkṣit when the two first stars of seven Ṛṣis were in Magha; its duration according to the calculation of men 360,800. Then comes kṛta.10

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 1. 10, 16 & 21; 12. 26; 15. 36-7; XI. 5. 20, 31-42; Vāyu-purāṇa 58. 30-73.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 142. 17-27; 273. 49; Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 429.
  • 3) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. chap. 2 & 3.
  • 4) Ib. X. 52. 2.
  • 5) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 29. 23-34; 31. 5-102; III. 14. 46. 74. 207-241; Matsya-purāṇa 144. 30-88.
  • 6) Vāyu-purāṇa 78. 36.
  • 7) Vāyu-purāṇa 32. 63; 99. 264; 102. 4. Matsya-purāṇa 273. 27-33, 45. 50.
  • 8) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 7. 59.
  • 9) Vāyu-purāṇa 8. 66.
  • 10) Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 24. 71-96, 97, 109. 114-15.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

In Kali-yuga, as stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (12.2.13), dasyu-prāyeṣu rājasu: the ruling class (rājanya) will be no better than plunderers (dasyus) because the third-class and fourth-class men will monopolize the affairs of the government. Ignoring the religious principles and brahminical rules and regulations, they will certainly try to plunder the riches of the citizens without consideration.

(Source): VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam
Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Kaliyuga (कलियुग).—The last of the four ages in a mahāyuga, equal to 432,000 years. Indian cosmology holds that the current Kaliyuga began on 18 February 3102 BCE. Note: Kali-yuga is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

(Source): Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms
Jyotisha book cover
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Jyotiṣa (ज्योतिष, jyotisha or jyotish) basically refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents one of the six additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas. Jyotiṣa concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Kalī Yuga (कली युग): Kalī Yuga (lit. Age of Kali, also known as The Age of Darkness), is one of the four stages of development that the world goes through as part of the cycle of Yugas, as described in Hindu scriptures, the others being Dwapara Yuga, Treta Yuga, and Satya Yuga.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

Kaliyuga (कलियुग) or simply Kali refers to the “dark age” and represents the last of the “four ages” (yuga) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 88). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., kali-yuga). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

India history and geogprahy

The kaliyuga refers to the last of the four yugas.—The anniversary of the first day of the Kali-yuga is the full-moon day in Magha. Kalki will be the incarnation in this age. On all these anniversary days a bath in some sacred river and charity are enjoined. On these days water mixed with sesamum seeds should be regularly presented to the progenitors of mankind (Pitris).

The complete year of the Kaliyuga passed, is arrived at by adding 3101 to the Christian year. Further by adding 3044 to the year in the Vikrama era and 3179 to the year in the Saka era the corresponding Kaliyuga year is arrived at.

(Source): archive.org: South Indian Festivities

Epoch of Kaliyuga.—Since Surya Siddhanta gained popularity after 5 th century BCE, Indians started believing that the epoch of Kaliyuga commenced in 3102 BC. In fact, Latadeva proposed the epoch of Kaliyuga (3102 BC) in his Surya Siddhanta considering the great conjunction. Mahabharata text and Aryabhata clearly inform us that the epoch of Kaliyuga commenced before Mahabharata war. Evidently, the ancient epoch of Kaliyuga commenced in 3176 BCE when the Saptarshis entered Magha nakshatra. Bhagavata tradition firmly believed that Kaliyuga cannot begin during the lifetime of Sri Krishna. Therefore, Bhagavata Purana proposed that Kaliyuga commenced after the death of Sri Krishna. Evidently, Bhagavata Purana’s epoch of Kaliyuga was mythical and not traditional.

(Source): academia.edu: Who were the Hunas

Kaliyuga (कलियुग) is mentioned in the “Ṭhāṇā plates of Arikesarin”.—Accordingly, “In Kṛta. Treta and Dvāpara Ages penance is highly praised. (But) in the Kali Age (yuga), sages recommend only charity... The sages say that in the Kali Age neither knowledge nor penance is as fruitful as charity... And it has been declared by Vyāsa: Gold was the first product of fire, land belongs to Viṣṇu, and cows are offsprings of the Sun. He who gives gold, a cow and land gives thereby the three worlds (of Fire, Viṣṇu and the Sun.).”.

These copper plates (mentioning Kaliyuga) were found in digging for some works at the Fort of Tanna (Ṭhāṇā) the capital of Salset. The object of the present plates was to record the grant, by the Śilāhāra king Arikesarin, of three villages in the Vatsarāja-viṣaya to the family priest and teacher Tikkapaiya on the occasion of a lunar eclipse which occurred on the fifteenth tithi of the bright fortnight of Kārttika in the Śaka year 939.

(Source): What is India: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras
India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

kaliyuga : (m.) the age of vice and misery, i.e. the last of the four period of an aeon.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

Marathi-English dictionary

kaliyuga (कलियुग).—n (S) The fourth age. See kali.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kaliyuga (कलियुग).—n The 4th age.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kaliyuga (कलियुग).—the Kali age; Ms.1.85.

Derivable forms: kaliyugam (कलियुगम्).

Kaliyuga is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms kali and yuga (युग).

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

Relevant definitions

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Kali
Kali (कलि) or Kalirāja is the name of a king who tested Kṣāntirṣi as mentioned in the Mahāprajñ...
Yuga
Yuga (युग).—1. A calendar intercalation cycle. 2. A cosmological time interval, especially a ma...
Bhadrakali
Bhadrakālī (भद्रकाली) is the name of a Goddess that was once worshipped in ancient Kashmir (Kaś...
Tretayuga
Tretāyuga (त्रेतायुग) refers to a time period consisting of three times the amount of one ...
Satyayuga
Satyayuga (सत्ययुग).—the golden age; the first or कृतयुग (kṛtayuga); see सत्यम् (satyam) (6) ab...
Mahakali
Mahākālī (महाकाली).—an epithet of Durgā in her terrific form. Mahākālī is a Sanskrit compound c...
Dvaparayuga
Dvāparayuga (द्वापरयुग) refers to a time period consisting of two times the amount of one ...
Caturyuga
Caturyuga (चतुर्युग) refers to a time period consisting of four times the amount of one Ka...
Gandhakali
Gandhakālī (गन्धकाली).—Another name of Satyavatī. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 48).
Kritayuga
Kṛtayuga (कृतयुग) or simply Kṛta refers to the “accomplished age ” and represents the first of ...
Kalikhajuri
kāḷī-khajurī (काळी-खजुरी).—f, kāḷī khajūra m, kāḷī khārīka f A drug. It is a fruit resembling t...
Triyuga
Triyuga (त्रियुग).—A name of Viṣṇu meaning one who appears in only three yugas.
Daityayuga
Daityayuga (दैत्ययुग).—an age of the demons consisting of 12 divine years.Derivable forms: dait...
Kalidruma
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Mahayuga
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