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Yuga – Cycle Of Time In Hinduism And Throw of Dice

Krita, Treta, Dwapara and Kali are four yugas (Taittiriya Samhita IV.3.3). These four names are connected initially with different throws of dice in the game of gambling: vocable krita occurs in Rig Veda 10.34.6, where it signifies “a lucky throw”, “the highest throw”, “victorious throw.” An unlucky throw is known as kali and is referred to in the Rig Veda 10.34.2 by the word eka-para indirectly. In the Mahabharata also, they signify throws of dice. These terms were used, it appears, in the sense of various throws of dice, even up to the latest period of Vedic literature.

15th Century Temple At Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan

The word yuga is derived from yuj (to connect), and it has several semantic nuances. It occurs 33 times in Rig Veda. In some places it means ‘yoke’ (Rig Veda In some other places it signifies a period of time. The concept of yuga as a period of five years is indicated in some later texts, eg Arthashastra of Kautilya, the Mahabharata, Vayu Purana and Vedanga Jyotisha of Rig Veda. In Atharva Veda (8.2.21) it signifies a period of several thousand years.