Yuga; 14 Definition(s)


Yuga 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


[Yuga in Purana glossaries]

Yuga (युग).—See under Manvantara.

(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

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
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.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

[Yuga in Dharmashastra glossaries]

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
Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

[Yuga in Jyotisha glossaries]

Yuga (युग).—1. A calendar intercalation cycle. 2. A cosmological time interval, especially a mahāyuga. 3. A period of 4,320,000 years. Note: 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.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[Yuga in Hinduism glossaries]

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

General definition (in Buddhism)

[Yuga in Buddhism glossaries]

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

India history and geogprahy

[Yuga in India history glossaries]

Yuga is the name of a land granted by king Subhikṣa (for the merit and fame of his parents and himself) as recorded in the “Plate of Subhikṣarājadeva” (10th century A.D.). It measured one Droṇavāpa. Yuga was dedicated to the goddess Nārāyaṇa-bhaṭṭāraka (Nārāyaṇa) who is said to have been installed on the bank of the Viṣṇugaṅgā.

This inscribed copper plate (mentioning  Yuga) is preserved in the temple of Yogabadarī (one of the Pañcabadarī) at Pāṇḍukeśvar (Pāṇḍukeśvara). It records the grant of many pieces of land, situated in the viṣayas (districts) of Ṭaṅgaṇāpura and Antaraṅga made by king Subhikṣa in favour of three deities.

(Source): What is India: Epigraphia Indica volume XXXI (1955-56)
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.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[Yuga in Pali glossaries]

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
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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.

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Marathi-English dictionary

[Yuga in Marathi glossaries]

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

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

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Yuga in Sanskrit glossaries]

Yuga (युग).—1 A yoke (m. also in this sense); युगव्यायतबाहुः (yugavyāyatabāhuḥ) R.3.34;1.87; Śi.3.68.

2) A pair, couple, brace; कुचयोर्युगेन तरसा कलिता (kucayoryugena tarasā kalitā) Śi.9.72; स्तनयुग (stanayuga) Ś.1.19.

3) A couple of stanzas forming one sentence; see युग्म (yugma).

4) An age of the world; (the Yugas are four:-kṛta or satya, tretā, dvāpara and kali; the duration of each is said to be respectively 1,728,; 1,296,; 864.; and 432, years of men, the four together comprising 4,32, years of men which is equal to one Mahāyuga q. v.; it is also supposed that the regularly descending length of the Yugas represents a corresponding physical and moral deterioration in the people who live during each age, Krita being called the 'golden' and Kali or the present age the 'iron' age); धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय संभवामि युगे युगे (dharmasaṃsthāpanārthāya saṃbhavāmi yuge yuge) Bg.4.8; युगशतपरिवर्तान् (yugaśataparivartān) Ś7.34.

5) (Hence) A long period of years (kālacakra); युगं वा परिवर्तेत यद्येवं स्याद् यथाऽऽत्थ माम् (yugaṃ vā parivarteta yadyevaṃ syād yathā''ttha mām) Mb.5.16.99.

6) A generation, life; आ सप्तमाद् युगात् (ā saptamād yugāt) Ms.1.64; जात्युत्कर्षो युगे ज्ञेयः पञ्चमे सप्तमेऽपि वा (jātyutkarṣo yuge jñeyaḥ pañcame saptame'pi vā) Y.1.96. (yuge = janmani Mit.).

7) An expression for the number 'four', rarely for 'twelve',

8) A period of five years.

9) A measure of length equal to four Hastas.

1) A part of a chariot or plough.

11) Name of a particular configuration of the moon.

Derivable forms: yugam (युगम्).

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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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.

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Relevant definitions

Search found 233 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Kaliyuga (कलियुग) refers to a time period consisting of 32,000 years according to the Nīla...
Satyayuga (सत्ययुग).—Another name of Kṛtayuga. (See under Kṛtayuga).
Tretāyuga (त्रेतायुग) refers to a time period consisting of three times the amount of one ...
Dvāparayuga (द्वापरयुग) refers to a time period consisting of two times the amount of one ...
Caturyuga (चतुर्युग) refers to a time period consisting of four times the amount of one Ka...
Kṛtayuga (कृतयुग).—the first (golden) of the four ages. Derivable forms: kṛtayugam (कृतयुगम्).K...
Triyuga (त्रियुग).—an epithet of Viṣṇu; धर्मं महापुरुष पासि युगानुवृत्तं छन्नः कलौ यदभवस्त्रियु...
Daityayuga (दैत्ययुग).—an age of the demons consisting of 12 divine years.Derivable forms: dait...
Devayuga (देवयुग).—1) the first of the four ages of the world; also called कृतयुग, सनत्कुमारो भ...
Mahāyuga (महायुग).—A cosmological time span equal to 4,320,000 years. Note: Mahā-yuga is a Sans...
Yugādyā (युगाद्या).—the first day of a Yuga. Yugādyā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the t...
Nāsatyauyuga (नासत्यौयुग).—1) the Satya yuga. 2) the two Aśvins; N.1.45;17.146.Nāsatyauyuga is ...
Daivayuga (दैवयुग).—'a Yuga of the gods' said to consist of 12 divine years, but see Kull. on ए...
Yugapurāṇa (युगपुराण) refers to the “purāṇa of the yugas” and is the name of the forty-first ch...
Dharmayuga (धर्मयुग).—the Kṛta age; अथ धर्मयुगे तस्मिन्योगधर्ममनुष्ठिता । महीमनुचचारैका सुलभा न...

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