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Yuga (Skt.). An ‘age’ in Hinduism, one of the four periods into which a world cycle is divided: (i) kṛta (or satya)-yuga, the golden age when there is unity (one god, one veda, one ritual), in which the varnas perform their roles without oppression or envy; (ii) tretā-yuga when righteousness begins to decline by a quarter and sacrifice begins; (iii) dvāpara-yuga, when righteousness again declines by a quarter, the Vedas split into four, and few study them; (iv) kali-yuga, further decline by a quarter, when disease, despair, and conflict dominate. At present, we are in (iv), which began 3102 BCE, so that one should not be optimistic about the general prospect for the world.

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yuga in Hindu belief, any of the four ages of the life of the world.

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