There have been many discussions and debates over the beginning and the end of the world till date. It is said that the world will end one fine day and mankind will be completely washed off forever. Now, can this really happen? What would the world be without mankind and living beings surviving in it? How would Earth breathe without humans in it?
According to Hindu philosophy, the world is made up of four main “Yugas” -also known as ages, epochs or cycles of time – each made up of tens of thousands of human years. These 4 yugas are namely:
Kali Yuga (the present world)
According to the laws of Hindu cosmology, the Universe is created wholly, only to be destroyed entirely once in every “4.1 to 8.2 billion” years. This is believed to constitute one full day and night for Lord Brahma, the Creator of the Universe. One Brahma’s lifetime is considered to be around 311 trillion and 40 billion years. These Yugas are believed to repeat themselves in cyclical patterns, much like the waxing and waning of the moon; like the four seasons; like the rising and ebbing of tides.
Each of these four Yugas involves stages of change of evolution; one in which not only the physical universe undergoes change but the whole thought process and consciousness of mankind metamorphoses either for better or for worse, depending upon that particular Yuga. The entire cycle of a Yuga starts from its highest point, the Golden Age of enlightenment (Satya Yuga). From there, it gradually proceeds stage by stage, till it reaches a Dark Age of evil and ignorance (Kali Yuga) again moving ahead towards positivity, reaching back to the Golden Age, in order to complete the cycle. One entire cycle of the Yuga, Hindus believe, denotes the time the solar system takes to revolve around another star.
Before going ahead with the discussion, for all those who are unaware about the fact, let me tell you people, we are now presently living in the “Kali Yuga”.
In spite of the elaborate theological framework which describes the characteristics of this age, the start and end dates of the Kali Yuga remains shrouded in mystery. The popularly accepted date for the beginning of the Kali Yuga is “3102 BC i.e. 35 years after the conclusion of the great battle of Mahabharata!”
According to “Hindu cosmology”, the universe is said to be cyclically created and destroyed. Its cosmology divides time into four epochs or Yuga, of which the current period is the Kali Yuga. According to Hindu Vedic cosmology, there is no absolute start to-time, as it is considered infinite and cyclic! Similarly, space and universe has neither a start nor an end, rather it is cyclical. The current universe is just the start of a present cycle preceded by an infinite number of universes and to be followed by another infinite number of universes.
So will the Ramayana and Mahabharata happen again?
The answer to this question is “both partially No and partially Yes”. They will repeat but they will not be the same as that of those happened in past cycle of time.
The renowned Sanskrit scholar and nationalist leader of India, B.G.Tilak had mentioned in his book, The Arctic Home in the Vedas (1903), that:
“The writers of the Puranas, many of which appear to have been written during the first few centuries of the Christian, era, were naturally unwilling to believe that the Kali Yuga had passed away…An attempt was, therefore, made to extend the duration of the Kali Yuga by converting 1000 (or 1200) ordinary human years thereof into as many divine years, a single divine year, or a year of the gods, being equal to 360 human years…this solution of the difficulty was universally adopted and a Kali of 1200 ordinary years was at once changed, by this ingenious artifice, into a magnificent cycle of as many divine, or 360 × 1200 = 432,000 ordinary years.”
A span of each Yuga has also been mentioned in the scriptures:
Kali Yuga is the shortest, with 4,32,000 human years.
Dwapara Yuga is twice as long as Kali Yuga, 4,32,000 X 2 = 8,64,000 years
Treta Yuga is thrice as long as Kali Yuga 4, 32,000 X 3 = 12, 96,000 years
Satya Yuga is four times as long as KaliYuga 4, 32,000 X 4 = 17, 28,000 years
Together the four Yuga’s make 43, 20,000 years in one Mahayuga (Chaturyug). This Mahayug is then repeated for 71 times. Yeah, right 71 times.
So incidents like Mahabharata and Ramayana will happen again, in each next respective yugas but they will be completely different according to the situation of that kaala (Time). It’s like a Cricket World-Cup which happens after every 4 years, each time the story is different, the challenge is different, and the team which plays the best will win.
By this logic people in each cycle would be required to be taught about dharma and Satya. They must be shown the right way and evil should be destroyed. This is the reason why Ramayana and Mahabharata happened. It was God’s wish and the God took avatars in respective yugas to eliminate evil and preserve dharma.
When the Kali Yuga is estimated to end, none of us can estimate about it. I would say it is beyond human calculations and indeed a supernatural phenomenon! What happens in previous yugas is a lesson for people in next Yuga. They should follow this lesson and this will lead them to right path.