The Cycles of Time
This is all summarized from Bibhu Dev Misra's excellent article on Graham Hancock's website.
Contrary to the mainstream view of linear progress, the Vedas, the ancient texts of the Hindus, tell us that human consciousness goes in cycles called yugas. We are currently in the Kali Yuga, the Iron Age, in which moral virtue and mental capabilities are at their lowest point. According to many, we are in the ascending cycle now and nearing the end of the yuga, so we will transition next to the ascending Treta Yuga (silver age), then Dwapara Yuga (Bronze Age) then to the Satya Yyga (Golden Age), after which we will start to decline into the descending Satya, descending Dwapara, descending Treta, descending Kali, after which we begin a new ascending cycle.
In the Golden Age, according to the Vedas, there were no poor or rich; no disease; no hatred, sorrow or fear; no need to labor, because they could get everything through power of will.
Much of this ancient knowledge has been lost, and possibly even deliberately obfuscated either for protection or by people seeking control, so few scholars agree how long each age is. Many agree that our current cycle of Kali Yuga began in 3102 BC, which is close to the proposed beginning of the current “Great Cycle” in the Mayan Long Count Calendar, 3114 BC. It is also right around the time of the start of dominator culture — wars, empires and male dominance.
Certain texts of the Vedas, such as the Mahabharata and the Laws of Manu, still retain the original value of the Yuga Cycle as 12,000 years. Many other ancient cultures — the Chaldeans, Zoroastrians Jains, and Greeks — also believe in a 12,000 year cycle. The ascending and descending cycles taken together take 24,000 years which closely matches the cycle of precession, 25,765 years, which is the time the sun takes to move backwards through the 12 zodiac constellations.
At the start and end of each cycle are This gives us 3000 years per yuga, 300 years of which are the dawn (Sandhya) or twilight (Sandhyansa)
This chart shows the timeline of this age:
Bibhu Dev Misra goes on to say: “According to the Yuga Cycle doctrine, the transitional periods between Yugas area always associated with a worldwide collapse of civilizations and severe environmental catastrophes, which wipe out virtually every trace of any human civilization. The new civilization that emerges in the new Yuga is guided by a few survivors of the cataclysm, who carry with them the technical and spiritual knowledge of the previous epoch. Many ancient sources tell us of the enigmatic group of “Seven Sages” (“Saptarsi”) who are said to appear at the beginning of every Yuga and promulgate the arts of civilization. We find them in myths from across the world - in Sumeria, India, Polynesia, South America and North America.” The Golden Age of this cycle ended in 9976, which is the time when the Ice Age suddenly ended, and many large mammals such as the woolly mammoth becaome extinct. Science is finding that a massive global flood happened at this time, which accords with many ancient legends.
The transitional period between the Silver Age and Bronze age from 6976 BC to 6676 BC coincides with the Black Sea Catastropohe, when the Black Sea, then a freshwater lake, overflowed with melted glacial waters through the Bosphorous into the Black Sea, which flooded 60,000 square miles. There were other catastrophes around the world.
The transition between Bronze Age and the current Iron Age from 3976 BC to 3676 BC saw severe flloding as well but also intense desertification and world wars. The Mahabharata War of India, the Trojan War. Civilization collapsed worldwide: Greece (the Mycenean era collapsed, ushering in the dark ages in which writing was lost), Hittites, the Indus Valley, the Olmecs. Egypt fell to outsiders.
During this dark age between the descending and ascending Kali Yugas, knowledge, traditions and skills were lost. Pottery and languages were simplified, sciences and arts forgotten. For the first time people started to write things down, where before they had perfect oral memories and didn’t need to. Perhaps to try to help, a number of prophets appeared at this time: Buddha, Pythagoras, Zoroaster, and Mahavir Jain.
This means that as we near the end of this age we should expect catastrophes and break-downs, as many suspect. The earth’s sun cycles and seismic activity are showing signs. We won’t be alive to see the next age, but it will be fundamentally different, in a good way. This internet technology probably won't survive into the next age, but I can dream that an archaeologist in the distant future is reading this. Hello from the Kali Yuga!