Yuga; 10 Definition(s)


Yuga means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, 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


1a) Yuga (युग).—The intervening time between one yuga-sandhyapūrva and sandhyāṃśa; four in number; Kṛta, Treta, Dvāpara and Kali. The extent is of 12,000 years of celestial measure; the duration of the yugas includes sandhya, 12,000 divine years, 1,000 caturyugas make a day of Brahmā.1 A yugam of five years, commencing with śravaṇa and ending with dhaniṣṭhā nakṣatra—the five years are respectively Agni, Sūrya, Soma, Vāyu and Rudra; consists of Samvatsara, Parivatsara, Idvatsara, Anuvatsara and Vatsara; revolves like the wheel owing to the movement of the Sun.2 Social conditions in;3 of Śaptaṛṣis.4

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 8. 17; III. 11. 18; XII. Ch. 4 (whole) ; Vāyu-purāṇa 7. 22; 23. 83; 24. 1; 31. 21; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 3. 11-15.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 13. 115, 147; 21. 131; 24. 57 and 144; 28. 22; Vāyu-purāṇa 31. 28, 49; 32. 57-65; 50. 182; 53. 116; 56. 21; Viṣṇu-purāṇa II. 8. 72.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa Ch. 165.
  • 4) Vāyu-purāṇa 99. 419.

1b) A measurement equal to four hastas or dhanus; equal to a dhanurdaṇḍa.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 7. 100; Vāyu-purāṇa 8. 106; 101. 125.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
context information

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Dharmaśāstra (religious law)

Yuga (युग) is a Sanskrit technical term referring a “piece of wooden pole”, of a chariot (yāna). The word is used throughout Dharmaśāstra literature such as the Manusmṛti. (See the Manubhāṣya, verse 8.291-292)

(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra
Dharmaśāstra book cover
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Dharmaśāstra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharma-shastra) is a category of Hindu literature containing important instructions regarding religious law, ethics, economics, jurisprudence and more. It is categorised as smṛti, an important and authorative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

General definition (in Hinduism)

1) Yuga (युग) in the Rigveda and later denotes ‘yoke’. Cf. Ratha.

2) Yuga (युग) in the Rigveda frequently denotes a ‘generation’; but the expression daśame yitge applied to Dīrghatamas in one passage must mean ‘tenth decade’ of life.

(Source): archive.org: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

There are four yuga's, 1. Kṛta or Satya, 2. Tretā, 3. Dvāpara, 4. Kali, of which the first three have already elapsed, while the Kali, which began at midnight between the 17th and 18th of Feb. 3102 BC. The duration of each yuga is said to be respectively 1,728,000, 1,296,000, 864,000, and 432,000 years of humanity, the descending numbers representing a similar physical and moral deterioration of men in each age. (excerpt from nāma 154)

(Source): Manblunder: Viṣṇu-sahasranāma > detail page

Yuga (युग) in Hindu philosophy is the name of an epoch or era within a four age cycle. According to Hindu cosmology, life in the universe is created and destroyed once every 4.1 to 8.2 billion years, which is one full day (day and night) for Brahma. The lifetime of a Brahma himself may be 311 trillion and 40 billion years. The cycles are said to repeat like the seasons, waxing and waning within a greater time-cycle of the creation and destruction of the universe. Like Summer, Spring, Winter and Autumn, each yuga involves stages or gradual changes which the earth and the consciousness of mankind goes through as a whole. A complete yuga cycle from a high Golden Age, called the Satya Yuga to a Dark Age, Kali Yuga and back again is said to be caused by the solar system's motion around another star.

The ages see a gradual decline of dharma, wisdom, knowledge, intellectual capability, life span, emotional and physical strength.

  • Satya Yuga (Virtue reigns supreme),
  • Treta Yuga (3 quarter virtue & 1 quarter sin),
  • Dwapar Yuga (1 half virtue & 1 half sin),
  • Kali Yuga (1 quarter virtue & 3 quarter sin).
(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism


yuga : (nt.) a yoke; a pair; a couple; an age or generation.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Yuga, (nt.) (fr. yuj; Vedic yuga (to which also yoga)= Gr. zugόn; Lat. jugum=Goth. juk; Ohg. juh; E. yoke; Lith. jungas) 1. the yoke of a plough (usually) or a carriage DhA. I, 24 (yugaṃ gīvaṃ bādhati presses on the neck); PvA. 127 (ratha°); Sdhp. 468 (of a carriage). Also at Sn. 834 in phrase dhonena yugaṃ samāgamā which Bdhgh. (SnA 542) expls as “dhuta-kilesena buddhena saddhiṃ yugaggāhaṃ samāpanno, ” i.e. having attained mastery together with the pure Buddha. Neumann, Sn. trsln not exactly: “weil abgeschüttelt ist das Joch” (but dhona means “pure”). See also below °naṅgala.—2. (what is yoked or fits under one yoke) a pair, couple; appld to objects, as —°: dussa° a pair of robes S. V, 71.; DhA. IV, 11; PvA. 53; sāṭaka° id. J. I, 8, 9; PvA. 46; vattha° id. J. IV, 172.—tapassi° a pair of ascetics Vv 2210; dūta° a pair of messengers S. IV, 194; sāvaka° of disciples D. II, 4; S. I, 155; II, 191; V, 164; in general: purisa° (cattāri p.—yugāni) (4) pairs of men S. IV, 272 sq. =It. 88; in verse at Vv 4421 and 533; expld at Vism. 219 as follows: yugaḷa-vasena paṭhamamagga-ṭṭho phala-ṭṭho ti idam ekaṃ yugaḷan ti evaṃ cattāri purisa-yugaḷāni honti. Practically the same as “aṭṭha purisa-puggalā. ” Referring to “pairs of sins” (so the C.) in a somewhat doubtful passage at J. I, 374: sa maṅgala-dosa-vītivatto yuga-yog’âdhigato na jātum eti; where C. expls yugā as kilesā mentioned in pairs (like kodho ca upanāho, or makkho ca paḷāso), and yoga as the 4 yojanas or yogas (oghas?), viz. kāma°, bhava°, diṭṭhi°, avijjā°.—Also used like an adj. num. in meaning “two, ” e.g. yugaṃ vā nāvaṃ two boats Dpvs. I, 76.—3. (connected by descent) generation, an age D. I, 113 (yāva sattamā pitāmahā-yugā “back through seven generations. ” Cp. DA. I, 281: āyuppamāṇa); KhA 141 (id.); J. I, 345 (purisa°). There are also 5 ages (or stages) in the (life of the) sāsana (see Brethren, p. 339): vimutti, samādhi, sīla, suta, dāna.

—anta (-vāta) (storm at) the end of an age (of men or the world), whirlwind J. I, 26.—ādhāna putting the yoke on, harnessing M. I, 446.—ggāha “holding the yoke, ” i.e. control, dominance, domineering, imperiousness; used as syn. for palāsa at Vbh. 357=Pug. 19 (so read for yuddha°), expld by sama-dhura-ggahaṇaṃ “taking the leadership altogether” at VbhA. 492. See further Nd1 177; VvA. 71 (yugaggāha-lakkhaṇo paḷāso); SnA 542; DhA. III, 57 (°kathā=sārambhakathā).—°ṃ ganhāti to take the lead, to play the usurper or lord J. III, 259 (C. for T. palāsin); DhA. III, 346.—ggāhin trying to outdo somebody else, domineering, imperious VvA. 140.—cchidda the hole of a yoke Th. 2, 500 (in famous simile of blind turtle).—naṅgala yoke and plough (so taken by Bdhgh. at SnA 135) Sn. 77= S. I, 172 (“plough fitted with yoke” Mrs. Rh. D.).—nandha (with v. l. °naddha, e.g. at Ps. II, 92 sq.; KhA 27 in T.) putting a yoke on, yoking together; as adj. congruous, harmonious; as nt. congruity, association, common cause Ps. II, 98=Vism. 682; Ps. II, 92 sq. (°vagga & °kathā); KhA 27 (nt.); Vism. 149 (°dhammā things fitting under one yoke, integral parts, constituents).—mattaṃ (adv.) “only the distance of a plough, ” i.e. only a little (viz. the most necessary) distance ahead, with expressions of sight: pekkhati Sn. 410 (“no more than a fathom’s length” Rh. D. in Early Buddhism 32); pekkhin Miln. 398; °dassāvin Vism. 19 (okkhitta-cakkhu+) pekkhamāna SnA 116 (as expln of okkhittacakkhu).—sāṭaka (=s.—yuga) a pair of robes, two robes Dpvs VI, 82. (Page 556)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

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.

General definition (in Buddhism)

Yuga (युग) or Caturyuga refers to the “four ages” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 88):

  1. kṛta-yuga (the accomplished age),
  2. tretā-yuga (the threefold-life age),
  3. dvāpara-yuga (the twofold age),
  4. kali-yuga (the dark age).

The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., yuga). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

yuga (युग).—n An age; the period comprising the four ages. A yoke. A pair.

(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.

Relevant definitions

Search found 195 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Kaliyuga (कलियुग) or simply Kali refers to the “dark age” and represents the last of the “four ...
Tretāyuga (त्रेतायुग) or simply Tretā refers to the “threefold-life age” and represents the sec...
satyayuga (सत्ययुग).—n The first of the four ages, the golden age.
Dvāparayuga (द्वापरयुग) or simply Dvāpara refers to the “twofold age” and represents the third ...
Kṛtayuga (कृतयुग) or simply Kṛta refers to the “accomplished age ” and represents the first of ...
Caturyuga (चतुर्युग) or simply Yuga refers to the “four ages” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha...
Triyuga (त्रियुग).—A name of Viṣṇu meaning one who appears in only three yugas.
Daityayuga (दैत्ययुग).—an age of the demons consisting of 12 divine years.Derivable forms: dait...
Yugapurāṇa (युगपुराण) refers to the “purāṇa of the yugas” and is the name of the forty-first ch...
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Yugapatra (युगपत्र).—the mountain ebony. Derivable forms: yugapatraḥ (युगपत्रः).Yugapatra is a ...
Yuga Dharma
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Kalpa (कल्प) or Caturkalpa refers to the “four aeons” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (sectio...
Tapasya (तपस्य).—a. Produced by heat.-syaḥ 1 The month of Phālguna; Bhāg. An epithet ...
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