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yajvan
02 January 2007, 11:10 PM
Hari Om
~~~~~

I ask this question on Purnima, while Chandra is in Gemini owned by Mercury and the intellect -buddhi ( one of thought, intellectual inquiry and the like)…

This is something I have pondered for some time…any one care to help me in my comprehension is welcomed to participate.

Here's my quandary: From a historical perspective, we have been around for some time if we use the time scale of the 4 yugas and one day of Brahman as a reliable scale. ( this is at the bottom of this post as an fyi for easy reference. Its from a previous post, Time - the yardstick for the infinite).
We are knowledgeable spiritual people, more so in other ages then kali, yet knowing about the Veda, an age-old, even beyond time, knowledge level. Yet, when we look to what scientist suggest, even on a good day, it dates us back to 5 Million BC.
http://www.mnh.si.edu/anthro/humanorigins/ha/a_tree.html (http://www.mnh.si.edu/anthro/humanorigins/ha/a_tree.html)

So here's where I start scratching my head:
Quandary #1
That is, science see's primitive man several million years ago, one with little skills ...fire is a big thing, as is a club perhaps and the ability to sharpen a stone for utility. Yet, if we add up the numbers for 1 Mahayuga that = 4.32 Million years, and look back at this time from our present day, it suggests humanity was in Sat yuga, or close to it. Yet scientist suggest that was prehistoric times.
How does this add up? If we look back only 200,000 to 300,000 years, we see the most noted modern man a.k.a. Homo-sapiens ( which happens to mean "wise man") , Homo-habilis- means "handy man" or man with ability 2 million years ago used stone tools Homo-erectus- means "the man who walks erect". Where is the enlightened? And the records thereof?

How does one rationalize past times that are spiritual by nature ( Sat yuga, Treta, Dvapara), yet comprehend 'cave men' animal like people - could they have been jivanmukti and muni's?

Quandary #2
Here's my conundrum… when we cycle though various yuga's, are we penalized to start all over again and start the evolutionary growth cycle from cave man to modern man again? So, along the way of our evolution via the golden ages erode (sat yuga), then we have various levels of pralaya ( from li to dissolve + pra or away) and we start back at square 1?

Not just in knowledge ( that of the Divine), but in physical appearance, behaviors, more animal like? Is there a time were what we learned rolls over? Or is each Mahayuga a 'new day', square one of the evolutionary time line?

If you have seen the movie Ground Hog Day with Bill Murray this is the perfect example of the above.
Any insights are welcomed.

pranams,
----------------------------------------------------------------
The 4 Yugas
Sat Yug 1,728,000
Treta Yug 1,296,000
Dvapara Yug 864,000
Kali Yug 432,000 ( each Yug above is a multiple of kali yug)
One Kalpa
One Day of Brahma = 1 Kalpa 1,963,008,000
Manu 490,752,000
Manvantara 490,752,000
One Chaturyugi 6,912,000 ( this = 4 X sat yuga period)

Agnideva
03 January 2007, 12:25 PM
Namaste Yajvan,

What you ask here are important and pertinent questions. Perhaps this ought to be a topic-of-the month in the series Satay suggested - how to reconcile the differences between Hinduism and science, especially in terms of evolution and time scales. Here are my thoughts on this subject. These are not insights, but mostly questions/thoughts that spring to mind as I think of the subject.

Many times I read from Hindu authors who speak of a mental or spiritual evolution of humans. Iím inclined to believe in that theory. As you know, Sri Aurobindo has predicted that a greater race of humans shall inhabit the earth in the future. So, I ask myself whether humans have been the same all throughout the past, the many previous yugas. Is there any reason to believe that humans have always been the same as us, mentally, physically or evolutionarily, in different yuga cycles? Did we necessarily start from square one in every cycle? Enlightenment for humanity through different satya yugas may have meant different things, it may be progressive. At some point, humans started using the brain more than purely relying on the senses, as animals do. Could this be called a form of enlightenment? Could we be developing further though the mahayuga cycles? Going back to Sri Aurobindo, weíve already made the transition going from instinct to intellect, and are in the process of going from intellect to intuition.

Another thing I would say here is something you introduced in a previous post regarding Sri Yukteshwar GiriĎs interpretation of yuga cycles. I think he may have had a point when he claimed that the puranic writers have taken human years and misconstrued them for deva years (factor of 360), so Kailyuga, for example, became 432,000 years instead of 1,200. As you know, he went on to speak about ascending and descending yuga cycles and linked that to his version of the precession constant and sunís rotation around Vishnunabhi. He claimed that during the ascending phase, human consciousness is on the rise, and on the fall during the descending phase. Itís a compelling theory worth considering, but I am not so certain I accept it fully.

Well, as for your question on pralaya, there are layas, pralayas and the ultimate mahapralaya. If we look back in time, there have been many devastating events on earth. The asteroid hitting the earth leading to the demise of the dinosaurs could be thought of as a major laya event; the recent tsnumai, the eruptions of mount krakatoa, explosions of massive super-volcanos, sinking of dwaraka, atlantis, lemuria, kumari-kandam Ö all these are layas. In 4.5 billion years or so, the sun will become a red giant and engulf the earth Ö this is like a pralaya. I know all these events donít match hindu time scales and descriptions exactly, but I think they could be ways of thinking about things and putting them into perspective.

OM Shanti,
A.