Characteristics of Yugas ||32||

1Vayu said: Henceforth I shall explain the decisive nature of omkara as the imperishable Brahman. It shall be remembered at the beginning that it consists of three letters.
2In accordance with the letters, the presiding deities are ordained. There are Rik, Yajur, Saman (Vedas), Vayu (the Wind god), the Fire-god and water.
3It is from the Akshara that the fourteen noble Atmans, the deities of the Devas, originated.
4Among these letters (omkara) is omnipresent, all-permeating, the knower of all Yogas. It is lettered at the beginning, middle and the end for the bliss of the people.
5Seven sages, Indras, Devas, as well as Pitris—all who are evolved out of the letter, have (really) come out of Mahesvara (Siva), the God of gods.
6For the benefit here and hereafter, they speak of it as the greatest region. Kala, known as Yuga, has already been mentioned to you by me.
7The Yugas are Krita, Treta, Dvapara and Kali. They move in cycles like a wheel.
8Devas, being subject to the control of Kala, felt dejected. They could not adjust to his magnitude and control.
9-10Terrified by Kala, the sages, Devas and Indra of great penance, restrained their speech, controlled their minds severely for a thousand years in the beginning of the Manvantara and resorted to the great lord (Siva).
11They said to the lord, “O great Lord! This Kala is the lord of Devas. He has four faces and four forms. Who can comprehend him? He is too deep.”
12Then looking at Kala of four faces, the great Lord said to Devas, “You need not be afraid. What desire of yours shall I grant You?
13I shall do everything for you. Your endeavour will not go in vain.” Himself being the unconquerable Kala, the lord spoke again.
14“This white face of his, seen with four tongues, is the face of Kala and is called Krita Yuga. This god Brahma, the most excellent among gods, and Vaivasvata is (this) face.
15What I called the third—this blood-red coloured (face) with three licking tongues, is the Treta Yuga, O Brahmanas.
16In this age the institution of sacrifice is initiated from great Lord Siva and is worshipped in this age. The three tongues are the three fires (Garhapatya, Ahavaniya and Daksina). After worshipping the fires, O Brahmanas, the tongue of Kala begins to function.
17This terrible face of reddish-tawny colour with two tongues is the Dvapara age. I will remain two-footed in this age.
18-19This fourth face of black colour and red eyes, the single-tongued, dark and huge, licking like a serpent again and again, is the terrible Kali age. It is terrifying to all the worlds. It is the fourth terrible face of the Kala.
20In this age, neither happiness nor salvation comes into being. The subjects are devoured by Kala.
21Brahma shall be worshipped in the Krita age; in the Treta, it is sacrifice; Vishnu in Dvapara; and I in all the four ages.
22Brahma, Vishnu and sacrifice are the three parts of Kala itself. But in all ages, the four-formed great Lord is the very Kala itself.
23I am the progenitor of Kala, the initiator of Kala.
24-25O Excellent Devas of great power, you need not be afraid of the advent of Kali. For the welfare of the worlds, and for offering protection to the people and Devas, I shall be born (in Kali age) and be worshipped.”
26Thus addressed, Devas and the sages bowed to the Lord of the universe with bent heads. They spoke to him again.
27The gods and sages enquired: How is this Kala, of great splendour, huge body, great prowess and four faces terrible to living beings?
28The great Lord said: “This Kala has four forms, four fangs and four faces. For protecting the universe, he goes beyond, on all sides.
29There is nothing impossible for him in the universe consisting of the mobile and immobile beings. Kala creates the living beings and gradually annihilates them.
30All are subject to the control of Kala. Kala is not subject to anyone. Kala always reckons (controls) all living beings.
31He takes seventy-one steps, as mentioned before, which constitute a Manvantara with as many cycles of the sets of four Yugas.
32Over-stepping one, when Kala completes a set of seventy-one steps, the Manvantara terminates.”
33Having spoken thus to Devas, sages, Pitris and Danavas, the lord vanished there itself, after being bowed to by them.
34Thus the lord creates, annihilates Devas, sages, Pitris and Danavas in course of Time (Kala) again and again.
35Hence, due to the fear of Kala, the great Lord is worshipped in every Manvantara by Devas, sages, Pitris and Danavas.
36-37Hence in the Kali age, a Brahmana should perform penance strenuously. The fruit of the merit of a person resorting to the great Lord is very great. Hence abandoning the heaven and descending to the earth at the advent of the terrible Kali, Devas and the sages desire to perform penance. They are engrossed in holy rites. The Lord too takes incarnation frequently in the Kali age.
38-39Thousands of Devas, saints and kings have passed away in course of time, in Vaivasvata Manvantara. Devapi, the king in the race of Puru, Manu and his descendants in the family of Iksvaku are endowed with great Yogic strength. They wait for the change in Kala.
40When the Kali age terminates, and Treta Yuga arrives, in that future Treta Yuga along v/ith the seven sages, the gotras of Ksattriyas will be established. They are narrated.
41The Ksattriyas become firmly established at the end of Dvapara, along with the sages. When Krita, Treta and Dvapara pass away, the Kali age arrives, wherein sinful men pass their time.
42Srutis and Smrtis record the (completion and) passing away of the seven Manvantaras. The serial order of the termination of Yugas is the same in all these.
43The rise of Brahmanas and Kshatriyas is mutual along with that of the Yugas. Just as they come into existence from them, those that have come into being pass away along with them.
44When the Ksattriyas were exterminated by Rama, son of Jamadagni, the widows were made unchaste by the rulers of the earth. Now I shall tell you about those that have gone to heaven. Understand.
45They mention Aida i.e. Aila (Pururavas) as the founder of Iksvaku race. There was a line of other Ksattriya kings on the earth.
46-47Iksvaku kings were born in the race of Aila; full hundred kings of that family were crowned; the extent of the Bhoja family of kings is twice that number. There were three hundred Ksattriya kings divided into four lines as I have already mentioned (?)
48-49Now hear about the kings that have gone before, as I mention about them. There were a hundred Prativindhyas, a hundred Haihayas, a hundred Dhartarastras, eighty Janamejayas, a hundred families of very powerful kings.
50There were a hundred Paulas; Kasi, Kusa and others were a hundred. Sasabindus who have gone, constitute a thousand. These performed horse-sacrifices wherein thousands and thousands (of gold coins) were given as gifts.
51Thus, all the saintly kings who passed away in the previous Yugas, have been mentioned briefly. They cannot be mentioned in detail.
52These have made the race of Yayati flourish. Sustaining the worlds, these have been glorified as lustrous.
53-54Those who hear and retain in memory their account get the five rare boons of Brahmaloka, viz. longevity, sons, wealth, fame and prosperity and they go to the region of Brahma.
55Four thousand years, they say, constitute the Krita Yuga. Four hundred years constitute Sandhya (transitional period) and four hundred years the part of Sandhya (Sandhyamsa).
56The Krita yuga, the Prakriyapada (the preliminary period) consists of four thousand years. Out of it, four hundred years constitute the transitional period (at the beginning and at the end of the yuga).
57In the Treta age the period is three thousand years with three hundred years of Sandhya (twilight period) and three hundred years of Sandhyamsa (transitional period).
58Treta age, the Anusahgapada (of the Caturyuga) consists of three thousand years and two thousand years period is proclaimed for Dvapara Age.
59The twilight period (Sandhya) consists of two hundred years and the transitional period (Sandhyamsa) is of the same duration. The third pada (of Caturyuga) called Upodghatapada is in Dvapara Age.
60Persons expert in calculation opine one thousand years (as the period) of Kali age. Its Sandhya period is of hundred years and Sandhyamsa period is also of a hundred years.
61The fourth, Samhara (Upa-samhara) pada, is stated to be in Kali Age. Four Yugas have (each of them) the twilight and transitional periods.
62-63(This totals upto twelve thousand.) Thus learned men knew that this Purana (also) consists of twelve thousand verses.
64Just as Vedas are divided into four Padas, a Yuga also has four Padas. Just as god Brahma ordained a Yuga to consist of four parts (feet), so he has ordained four parts (Padas—feet) to this Purana as well.