The end of the Kali Yuga in 2025: Unraveling the mysteries of the Yuga Cycle
By: Bibhu Dev Misra (IIT, IIM)
Part 2: The archaeological and historical evidence
According to the Yuga Cycle doctrine, the transitional periods between Yugas are 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. They possessed infinite wisdom and power, could travel over land and water, and took on various forms at will.
Were they the survivors of the previous Yuga or visitors from outer space?
Opinions differ on this point, but surely neither option can be discarded without proper scrutiny. In any case, the main point is that the transitional periods between Yugas must necessarily correlate with the severe cataclysmic events that regularly impact our planet, as reflected in the archeological records. As we shall see, the Yuga Cycle timeline proposed here correlates with these catastrophic events with a stunning accuracy. In addition, the transitional periods can also be correlated with dates recorded in various ancient calendars and traditions.
The first transitional period in the 12,000 year descending Yuga Cycle is the 300 year period at the end of the Golden Age from 9976 BC -- 9676 BC. This is the time when the last Ice Age came to a sudden end; the climate became very warm quite abruptly, and several large mammalian species such as the woolly mammoth became extinct. A number of scientific studies show that a devastating global flood occurred at around 9600 BC. This is in accordance with many ancient traditions and legends.
In the Timaeus, Plato talks of the mythical island of Atlantis, which was swallowed up by the sea in a "single day and night of misfortune" in c.9600 BC. This event has also been recorded in the flood myths of many ancient cultures, which almost uniformly talk of enormous walls of water that submerged the entire land to the highest mountain tops, accompanied by heavy rain, fireballs from the sky, intense cold and long periods of darkness. In the Indian tradition, this flood took place at the end of the Satya Yuga (Golden Age). The survivor of this great deluge was Manu, the progenitor of mankind, who is placed at the head of the genealogy of Indian kings.
What could have led to this sudden worldwide deluge?
Archaeologist Bruce Masse of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico had examined a sample of 175 flood myths from different cultures around the world and concluded that the environmental aspects described in these events, which is also consistent with the archaeological and geophysical data, could have only been precipitated by a destructive, deep-water, oceanic comet impact.
In 2008, a team of Danish geologists from the Niels Bohr Institute (NBI) in Copenhagen studied the ice core data from Greenland, and concluded that the ice age ended exactly in 9703 BC. Researcher Jorgen Peder Steffensen said that, "in the transition from the ice age to our current warm, interglacial period the climate shift is so sudden that it is as if a button was pressed".
More recently, in 2012, an international team of scientists concluded that the earth was bombarded by a meteorite storm nearly 12,000 years ago, which effectively ended the ice age, and led to the end of a prehistoric civilization and the extinction of many animal species. It is interesting to note that the 9703 BC date for the sudden climate shift falls within the 300 year transitional period at the end of the Golden Age from 9976 BC -- 9676 BC, and as such, it provides the first important validation of the Yuga Cycle timeline identified here.
The 300 year transitional period between the Treta Yuga (Silver Age) and the Dwapara Yuga (Bronze Age) from 6976 BC -- 6676 BC also coincides with a significant environmental event -- the Black Sea Catastrophe which has recently been dated to 6700 BC.
The Black Sea once used to be a freshwater lake. That is, until the Mediterranean Sea, swollen with melted glacial waters, breached a natural dam, and cut through the narrow Bosphorous Strait, catastrophically flooding the Black Sea. This raised the water levels of the Black Sea by several hundred feet, flooded more than 60,000 square miles of land, and significantly expanded the Black Sea shoreline (by around 30%).
This event fundamentally changed the course of civilization in Southeastern Europe and western Anatolia. Geologists Bill Ryan and Walter Pitman of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York, who had first proposed the Black Sea Catastrophe hypothesis, have gone to the extent of comparing it to Noah's Flood.
Similar major flooding events were taking place in many parts of the world, as massive glacial lakes, swelled by the waters of the melting ice, breached their ice barriers, and rushed into the surrounding areas. In the book Underworld, Graham Hancock has described some of the terrible events that ravaged the planet during that time. Sometime between 6900 BC -- 6200 BC the Laurentide ice-sheet disintegrated in the Hudson Bay and an enormous quantity of glacial waters from the inland Lake Agassiz/Ojibway discharged into the Labrador Sea. This was possibly the "single largest flood of the Quarternary Period", which may have single-handedly raised global sea-level by half a metre.
The period between 7000 BC -- 6000 BC was also characterized by the occurrences of gigantic earthquakes in Europe. In northern Sweden, some of these earthquakes caused "waves on the ground", 10 metres high, referred to as "rock tsunamis". It is possible that the global chain of cataclysmic events during this transitional period may have been triggered by a single underlying cause, which we are yet to find out.
Fig 5: The Black Sea catastrophe, before and after [right]. The water from the Mediterranean (Aegean) Sea, cut through a narrow Gorge (now known as the Bosphorous Strait), and plunged into the Black Sea (whose water level was 80 m below sea level) creating a gigantic waterfall. Every day for two years, 42 cubic km of sea water cut through the narrow channel and plunged into the lake -- more than 200 times the flow over Niagara Falls. Source: NASA
The transitional period between the Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga, from 3976 BC -- 3676 BC was again marked by a series of environmental cataclysms, whose exact nature remains a mystery. It is referred to in geology as the 5.9 kiloyear event, and it is considered as one of the most intense aridification events during the Holocene period. It occurred around 3900 BC, ending the Neolithic Subpluvial and initiated the most recent desiccation of the Sahara desert. At the same time, between 4000 BC -- 3500 BC, the coastal plains of Sumer experienced severe flooding, which "was the local effect of a worldwide episode of rapid, relatively short-term flooding known as the Flandrian transgression -- which had a significant impact not only along the shores of the Gulf but in many other parts of Asia as well." This catastrophic flooding event led to the end of the Ubaid period in Mesopotemia, and triggered a worldwide migration to river valleys.
This transitional period between the Yugas is recorded in many ancient calendars, as we find a clustering of important dates around this epoch. For a very long time, there was a prevalent belief in the western world that the world was created in 4004 BC. This date comes to us from the genealogies of the Old Testament. This date is just 28 years prior to the end of the Dwapara and the beginning of the transitional period.
A Saptarsi Calendar, still in use in India, counted time in the Kali Yuga starting from 3976 BC, which coincides with the beginning of the transitional period. The year of world creation in the Jewish religious calendar is 3761 BC, which is in the middle of the transitional period.
The famous Mahabharata War of the Indian subcontinent, which took place during the transitional period between Yugas, 35 years prior to the beginning of the Kali Yuga, can now be dated to 3711 BC. The Mahabharata mentions that the Dwapara Yuga ended and the Kali Yuga started as soon as Krishna left this world; and then the seas swelled up and submerged the island-city of Dwarka, which was located off the coast of western India.
In 2002, the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIO), India, discovered two cities submerged in the Gulf of Cambay, at a depth of 120 feet. These mysterious submerged cities were laid out in a grid, had towering walls, massive geometrical buildings and huge engineering works such as dams, and they stood entirely above water around 7,000 years ago. Nearly 2,000 man-made artifacts were recovered from the sites, some of which have been carbon dated to 6500 BC --7500 BC, indicating their existence in the Dwapara Yuga.
Fig 6: The underwater ruins of the fabled city of Dwarka [above], off the coast of western India, at a depth of 170 feet below the Arabian Sea. Source: The Lost City of Dvaraka - By S.R. Rao
As per the ancient traditions, the descending Kali Yuga, which was referred to by Hesiod as the "Age of Heroes", came to an end with the battle fought on the plains of Troy. The Yuga Cycle timeline indicates that the 300 year intervening period between the descending and ascending Kali Yuga extended from 976 BC--676 BC; and very interestingly, this overlaps with the 300 year period from 1100 BC to 800 BC which is referred to by historians as the Greek Dark Ages!
The archaeological evidence shows that tremendous destruction visited the Greek isles at this time. The great Mycenaean cities and palaces collapsed. Villages and towns were burnt, destroyed and abandoned. The population of the cities reduced drastically, there was widespread famine and people lived in isolated, small settlements. Such was the magnitude of the cataclysms that ancient Greeks entirely forgot the art of writing which they had to re-learn from the Phoenicians in the 8th century! The ancient trade networks were disrupted and came to a grinding halt.
However, this was not just a collapse of the ancient Greek civilization; there was a worldwide collapse of civilizations during this period.
The Hittites suffered serious disruption and cities from Troy to Gaza were destroyed. Egypt too lost control over its kingdom. The period from 1070 BC -- 664 BC is known as the "Third Intermediate Period" of Egypt, during which time Egypt was run over and ruled by foreign rulers, and there was political and social disintegration and chaos. Egypt was increasingly beset by a series of droughts, below-normal flooding of the Nile, and famine. In India, the Indus Valley civilization finally ended at around 1000 BC. Catastrophe also struck the ancient Olmec civilization of Mesoamerica at this time. The first Olmec center, San Lorenzo, was abandoned at around 900 BC. A wholesale destruction of many San Lorenzo monuments also occurred in c.950 BC, and scholars believe that drastic environmental changes may have been responsible for this shift in Olmec centers, with certain important rivers changing course.
Once again we don't know what may have triggered this calamitous turn of events across the world. Historians speculate about a combination of catastrophic climatic events. Egyptian accounts tell us that, "something in the air prevented much sunlight from reaching the ground and also arrested global tree growth for almost two full decades until 1140 BC."
One proposed cause is the Hekla 3 eruption of the Hekla volcano in Iceland, but the dating of that event remains in dispute. However, since the descending and ascending Kali Yuga are not so different in terms of their qualitative aspects, the level of devastation during this transitional period was perhaps not as severe as the previous one, as a result of which some aspects of civilization survived.
When the ascending Kali Yuga began in 676 BC, much of the knowledge, traditions and skills from the descending Kali Yuga were lost. In Greece, the construction of monumental architecture ceased. The cavalry was replaced by foot soldiers. Pottery styles were simplified. In India, the use of Sanskrit as the means of communication was replaced by the language of the common masses -- Pali and Prakrit. Knowledge of the ancient scriptures, sciences and arts had been all but forgotten. Possibly in response to this grave social crisis, a number of philosophers and prophets appeared at this time, trying to re-discover the lost wisdom, and spread it amongst the ignorant masses. Among them were Buddha (623 BC), Pythagoras (570 BC), Zoroaster (600 BC), and Mahavir Jain (599 BC).
People were so perturbed by the calamities of the previous centuries that they began a vigorous attempt to finally document the ancient scriptures, which were till then being transmitted in a purely oral fashion. It was in this grave social and cultural milieu that the Mayans re-calculated and re-calibrated their calendric system at Izapa sometime after 400 BC.
And a few centuries later Aryabhatta and others attempted to fix the beginnings of the Kali Yuga. Such an effort would have been quite un-necessary if the cataclysms of the previous centuries had not disrupted the flow of the rich oral traditions. However, much of the knowledge from the previous epoch was irretrievably lost. For instance, the original Vedas were comprised of 1,180 sakhas (i.e. branches), of which only 7 or 8 sakhas (less than 1 %) are remembered now. As a result, it is only natural to expect that even within the texts that were finally documented, various errors and omissions had crept in. The mistakes in the Yuga Cycle doctrine were some of them.
The Yuga Cycle timelines proposed here accurately mirrors the worldwide environmental catastrophes that accompanies the transitional periods between Yugas. The four key transitional periods, since the end of the Golden Age, have been summarized here:
This recurrent pattern of devastation is clearly discernible in the archaeological records. Every 2,700 years our planet is impacted by a series of cataclysmic events for a period of a few hundred years, which brings about a total or near total collapse of civilizations across the world. In all the cases, however, we find that civilization restarts immediately after the period of destruction.
In recent years, many independent historians and researchers have realized that the concept of a Yuga Cycle is a far better descriptor of ancient history, than the model of linear progress favored by mainstream historians. Egyptologist John Anthony West, whose seminal work on the dating of the Sphinx has won him worldwide acclaim, mentions in his article "Consider the Kali Yuga" that:
"Since Egypt's Old Kingdom, up until very recently... civilization has been going down, not up; simple as that. We can follow that degenerative process physically in Egypt; it is written into the stones and it is unmistakable. The same tale is told in the mythologies and legends of virtually all other societies and civilizations the world over...It is evident that the original Yuga Cycle was based on the Saptarsi Calendar. It was of 12,000 years duration, comprised of four Yugas of equal duration of 2,700 years each, separated by transitional periods of 300 years. The complete Yuga Cycle of 24,000 years was comprised of an ascending and descending Yuga cycle, which followed each other for eternity like the cycles of day and night.
For the past 2,700 years we have been evolving through the ascending Kali Yuga, and this Yuga is coming to an end in 2025.
The end of the Yuga will inevitably be followed by cataclysmic earth changes and civilization collapses, as is characteristic of the transitional periods. The Dwapara Yuga is fundamentally different from the Kali in its spiritual and material dimensions, as can be gleaned from the ancient texts. Hence, we may anticipate far-reaching changes in our environment, and possibly in our cosmic neighborhood, as we transition to this period of enhanced consciousness. The current upswing in tectonic activities and the increased incidence of extreme weather phenomena may be indicative of the fact that we are slowly entering into a period of volatile earth changes. We need to be aware of these greater cycles of time that govern human civilization, and the changes that are looming in the horizon.
About the author: Bibhu Dev Misra is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Management and has been working as an Information Technology consultant for more than 14 years. He is also an independent researcher and writer on topics related to ancient civilizations, myths, symbols, science and religion. His research has taken him to many places of historical interest across the globe. His articles have appeared in different journals, magazines, and websites including the New Dawn, Science to Sage, Comsomath, Graham Hancock Forum, Viewzone, Esamskriti and others. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and via his personal blog: http://bibhudev.blogspot.com
 Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, The Arctic Home in the Vedas, Messrs. TILAK BROS, Gaikwar Wada, Poona City,1903
 Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, The Arctic Home in the Vedas, Messrs. TILAK BROS, Gaikwar Wada, Poona City,1903