In Hindu Vedic and Puranic cosmology, a yuga is an extremely long time period, especially when measured on the human scale.
The Hindu conception of the yuga suggests that time itself differs for gods and humans.
In the Mahabharata an entire human year translates into a single day for the devas.
Each of the four different Yugas represent four general ages of the devas.
As with the ancient Greek and Hebraic sense of time, these ages progress from an initial, ideal Golden Age (Krita yuga) to increasingly corrupted ages.
The four Yugas and their human equivalents
|Yuga||Deva Years||Human Years|
|Mahayuga (Great Yuga)*||12,000||4,320,000|
A single day for the god Brahma is 1,000 Mahayugas (4,320,000,000 human years). One year for Brahma is 1,555,200,000,000 human years. Brahma’s life span is 155,520,000,000,000 human years.
All this indicates that Brahma exists in an entirely different time frame than human beings.
An arguably mythical, quasi-scientific scheme like this may seem irrelevant to contemporary thinkers but it points to the notion, worth considering, that the universe contains different yet interacting regions of space-time, each region containing its own unique properties and beings. » Mahabharata, Puranas, Ragnarok, Veda
*A Mahayuga (Great Yuga) is one complete cycle of the four Yugas.
Table condensed from Keith R. Crim (ed.) The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions. New York: Harper & Row, 1989, pp. 818-819.
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