The Yugas and the Importance of Understanding Them Correctly

“The Vedic worldview, as taught to me by the great legendary masters of our tradition, is not that, “this is all once upon a time.” These layers of knowledge…are going on right now inside human consciousness, but you have to transcend the surface in order to harvest the knowledge from the deepest possible layer. That layer of human consciousness which is the Unified Field of consciousness that is the fountainhead of all knowledge, all wisdom and all time.”

Thom Knoles

We learned recently on the podcast that knowledge is structured in consciousness. From this we can deduce that our understanding of Veda is dependent on our level of consciousness. It’s not just our intellectual understanding though, it’s also our ability to ‘perceive’ Veda.

One example of this is the perception of ‘Yugas,’ epochs or periods of time that are referenced frequently in the various Vedic texts.

When taken at face value, these Yugas appear to be linear periods, happening in a particular sequence, but, as Thom explains in this episode, there is more to the Yugas than meets the eye…

NB – At the conclusion of the episode you will find mention of Thom’s popular course, Exploring the Veda – You can find teachers facilitating this course around the world at this link –

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Episode Highlights


What are the Yugas



Veda Cannot Be Deeply Understood by English Alone



Four Major Divisions of Veda



Ritambhara Pragya



Awakening the Sequential Elaboration of Sound



Chronology of the Yugas



Divisions and Subdivisions of Veda



Veda of the Treta Yuga



Dwapara Yuga – Home of the Great Epics of India



The Yuga Cycle



The Vedic Idea of Time



The Linear Approach to Understanding the Yugas



Satya Yuga — The Age of Truth



Ayurveda – Self Healthcare



Gandharva Veda – The Sound Dynamic



Dhanur Veda – The Supreme Arts of Governance



Sthapatya Veda – Science of Architecture



The Treta Yuga Layer of Human Consciousness



The Dwapara Yuga Layer of Human Consciousness



The Fall From the Status Quo



The Saw-toothed Evolutionary Process



Understanding the Pattern



Trapped in Kali Yuga



The World of Constant Change



Escaping Kali Yuga Through Vedic Meditation



The Purpose of Vedic Meditation



More Than a Bunch of Fairy Tales



Exploring the Veda – Course Available Worldwide


Jai Guru Deva


The Yugas and the Importance of Understanding Them Correctly

Jai Guru Deva. Welcome to my podcast, The Vedic Worldview. I’m Thom Knoles.

What Are the Yugas?

[00:56] Today, I’d like to share with you what I learned from my teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, on the subject of what is called the Yugas, Y-U-G-A, Yuga singular, and then we’re going to give it the English plural by adding an s to it, Yugas.

[00:01:19] A Yuga is considered to be a delineation of a particular time, an era, an epoch of time. But, as we’re going to learn, time can be looked at in two different ways. First of all, let’s look at what is the conventional understanding of a Yuga.

[00:01:46] I won’t go into all of the sets and subsets of time that are described in the Vedic literature because it will distract us from our main point, and if we do, it’ll be really rather making the haystack even larger in which we wish to find the needle that we’re looking for.

[00:02:08] So rather than doing that, let’s just say that, and we’ll give examples of how one reads the Indian literature, most of which falls under the heading of Itihasa. Itihasa, I-T-I-H-A-S-A, Itihasa.

[00:02:32] In Sanskrit, Itihasa means history, but these are not histories in the usual sense. We think of history as being a chronological set of reports upon things that happened prior to an era in which we exist. And history, of course, can go right up to this morning, whatever happened right up till today, till the present moment. History.

[00:03:05] History from the Sanskrit literature point of view is not really a chronological history of, “This happened, and that happened, and that happened, and that happened…”

Veda Cannot Be Deeply Understood by English Alone

[00:03:21] When Westerners first came across the Vedic literature, they came across large sections of material. It has to be said first that, to give you an idea of the size of the Vedic literature, the first aspect of the Veda is called Rig Veda.

[00:03:46] And Rig Veda, meaning the encyclopedic body of Vedic knowledge, is a body of works encompassing 10,000 verses. And when you read it in English translation, it may not seem to make a lot of coherent and cohesive sense, in a sense of trying to describe what it is that it’s teaching you.

[00:04:17] I’ll give you an example of how the English, on its own, of the Veda does not really bring us a deep understanding of the Veda.

[00:04:31] We need to really just pick, and I’m picking here just at random, the tenth mandala of Rig Veda. Rig Veda is divided into ten large circles— a mandala is a circle— and the tenth mandala, the fifth anuvaka, meaning the fifth major chapter section and the sixth verse, “I invoke for the success of the sacrifice, the Gods who bestow abundant food, the diffusers of light, the extremely wise who flourish mightily, abounding in all riches, having Indra as their chief, immortal, augmented by sacrifice.”

[00:05:18] Alright, so you read that, and you think, “All right, well, what am I supposed to do? How is this a philosophy? How is this telling of situations that I have and who is this Indra that we’re referring to?”

Four Major Divisions of Veda

[00:05:33] And so, first of all, looking at the Vedic literature with the Veda itself, Rig Veda, there’s four major divisions of The Veda: Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda.

[00:06:00] When we look at those four Vedas, those four subdivisions of the overall, the umbrella, would be called The Veda, and that’s very typical what I just read to you, the kind of thing that you’ll read in there. It’s very hard to actually derive a philosophy from it.

[00:06:20] And that is because the words, giving a sequential expression to something that somebody does, “I invoke the Gods, I invoke Indra,” and so on, “who can bring me things,” is, in fact, a distraction technique used by the great masters to distract those who are looking for philosophy in a superficial way from the actual true value of the Veda.

[00:06:56] Veda does not have its power in the sequential elaboration of ideas. It has its power in the sequential elaboration of sounds. The sounds: agnimile purohitam yajnasya devam rtvijam hotaram ratnadhatamam.

[00:07:23] Now we could translate that. “I adore Agni. I adore the Agni. I, who am the purohita, the kindler of the fire. I view you as the access point to all the Devas and the bestower of all abundance.” That’s the translation of what I just said to you in Sanskrit. You’re not going to find a philosophy in that.

Ritambhara Pragya

[00:07:52] However, if you attain to your subtlest consciousness state, the place where your mind is right on the cusp of transcending, that deepest place. When we practice Vedic Meditation, we use our specifically selected mantra that’s given to us by a qualified Vedic Meditation Initiator, someone who knows how to teach someone the technique, and, effortlessly using the mantra, the mind is drawn inward away from external values and into the abstract, until a point is reached where the mind almost is in pure transcendence.

[00:08:37] Pure transcendence will be described as Being, that state of consciousness where Consciousness has been isolated. Consciousness is experiencing Consciousness by virtue of being conscious. It is not a thought of a thing, it is the direct experience of Consciousness in its pure state.

[00:09:01] Our technique draws us into that condition. Just before arriving in pure transcendence, there’s a layer which is known in the Vedic literature as Ritambhara Pragya.

[00:09:16] We shorten it to Ritam, which means the place where the Truth resides, the whole Truth. And in this place, our individuality has almost been transcended. The Absolute is the next experience beyond all thought whatsoever, beyond individuality, pure universality, but we’re right on the cusp of that.

Awakening the Sequential Elaboration of Sound

[00:09:44] If one hears the first verse of the first mandala of Rig Veda in that consciousness state, supposing you were sitting with a great pandit who knew how to recite it with pronunciation accuracy, and you heard; agnimile purohitam yajnasya devam rtvijam hotaram ratnadhatamam.

[00:10:10] What would happen would be your awareness would be awakened to the blueprint of the process of manifestation of all the laws of Nature. You wouldn’t be sitting and thinking to yourself, “Oh, Agni, I adore you. I am the purohita, the kindler of the fire. I consider you to be the doorway to all the Gods and the one who bestows upon me all abundance.” You wouldn’t be thinking that at all.

[00:10:46] That word meaning is not the value of the Veda. The value of it is in the sound. Agnimile purohitam yajnasya devam rtvijam hotaram.

[00:11:02] The words, translated, don’t give us the value. The sound of the words in sequential elaboration awaken inside of human consciousness, knowledge of how the laws of Nature operate.

[00:11:18] And so we can’t, in fact, ignore the word value of Veda. We can ignore it, provided that we have access to that state of consciousness, the least-excited state, least-excited state of human consciousness.

[00:11:37] When we experience Veda, either chanted by someone who’s sitting outside of us or just within our own consciousness, we awaken that sequential elaboration of sound.

[00:11:51] What happens is the blueprint of how it is that laws of Nature move from unmanifest into manifest and the realization of the entire purpose of there being a sequential elaboration of laws of Nature, the purpose being the ever-increasing sophistication brought about by progressive change, by evolution, progressive change, and what each of the ingredients are in the recipe of creating evolution, we awaken to that.

Chronology of the Yugas

[00:12:30] We refer to The Veda as “the oldest” of the Vedic literature. Rig Veda is supposed to be the oldest. And so when you ask, “Where did it come from?” People in India will say to you, it came from Satya Yuga.

[00:12:49] Satya is the word in Sanskrit for Truth, the truth layer. And Satya is shortened to the word Sat, which also means absolute, absolute non-changing, the non-changing time. It came from Satya Yuga. Yuga, a time, a long time ago, Satya Yuga.

[00:13:15] And then the next yoga after Satya Yuga is known as Treta Yuga, T-R-E-T-A, Treta, Treta Yuga. And this is commonly thought to be an epoch of time that is three-quarters the length of time of Satya Yuga.

[00:13:40] Satya Yuga is supposed to last a long, long, long time. We’ll get into the multiples of, of hundreds of thousands of years in a moment.

[00:13:52] Treta Yuga came next, and out of Treta Yuga came certain other bodies of Vedic literature, things that began to happen where there are characters and mythos, the legendary telling of great tales, The Upanishads, are said to have come out of Treta Yuga.

Divisions and Subdivisions of Veda

[00:14:17] Some of the primordial documents of Vedic literature, we talked about how the Veda is divided into four major subdivisions Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda; each one of those has a subordinate Veda.

[00:14:34] They are, in progression: Rig Veda has a subordinate Veda known as Ayurveda, the Veda of relevant longevity, self health care and so on; Sama Veda has a Veda that emerges from it called Gandharva Veda; and then next is Yajur Veda, which has another Veda subordinate to it called Dhanur Veda; and then Atharva Veda, which has a subordinate Veda of Sthapatya Veda.

[00:15:06] So these subordinate Vedas Ayurveda and Gandharva Veda and Dhanur Veda and Sthapatya Veda. Ayurveda is all about health, and Gandharva Veda is all about music and instrumentation, and the way that music works and what effect it has, and vocal singing. And then Dhanur Veda is all about the successful diplomacy and, if needed, the arts of war.

[00:15:45] And Atharva Veda has its subordinate Veda in Sthapatya Veda, which is all about architecture, all about how, when, where, you place a building and how, and with what materials you design it and create it with reference to all the laws of Nature, like the movement of the sun, the moon, the lighting, and all desirable effects that you want from creating a building; architecture, Sthapatya Veda.

[00:16:17] So this subordinate Veda level are all supposed to come out of Treta Yuga, which, supposedly, was the next period of time after Satya Yuga, in which The Absolute produced the Veda, the Veda Rig, Sama, Yajur, and Atharva.

Veda of the Treta Yuga

[00:16:39] Next came Treta Yuga, and out of Treta Yuga came all the subordinate Vedas. A period of time in which there was exploration of the science of perfect health, of the science of music and singing and culture, of the science of diplomacy, getting along with other people and what to do if they attack you and you don’t get along with them very well, the arts of war, Dhanur Veda.

[00:17:08] And then the architecture, how to create structures, so you’re not just wandering around the earth all the time, but you can stay in places and see it through a winter without having to migrate away from the winter. You can stay in place and be there when the spring arrives and have your crops, and then agriculture also springs forth from Sthapatya Veda.

[00:17:33] Instead of chasing around the berries and whatnot, wherever they might be growing and being a hunter-gatherer, one can stay put, live in a comfortable house and grow the fruit trees that you like right outside, and get involved in husbandry.

[00:17:50] So, like that, this was supposed to come out of Treta Yuga.

Dwapara Yuga – Home of the Great Epics of India

[00:17:54] Next we have Dwapara Yuga. Dwapara is spelled D-W-A-R-A, Dwapara. The A on the end is optional Dwapara, is Dwapar; you drop the A on the end in most Sanskrit words. Dwapara Yuga.

[00:18:15] And then, in Dwapara Yuga, at the beginning of it, we have all of this mythological behavior and legendary stories of a variety of characters, the famous Ra-ma-ya-na. Ramayana, which came as soon as Treta Yuga, turned into Dwapara Yuga.

[00:18:35] The whole story of Ramayana, an ancient kingdom of India which, when, the Vedic telling of the stories, the known world was the entire Indian subcontinent, stretching on the farthest of the west past, just past Afghanistan, as we call it today, which was part of India in those days, and all the way on the east, far over into Cambodia, which in those times was the farthest reach of the then-known world, the known world, which went then from Cambodia on the farthest east all the way to Western Afghanistan on the west, north to and not beyond the Himalaya.

[00:19:23] The Himalayan ranges, stretched like a canopy on a map over the top of the Indian subcontinent. An impenetrable barrier of some two or 300 miles in depth and in width, an entire arc, thousands of miles, preventing India from knowing anything north of that, and anyone from the north of that crossing the Himalaya, almost an impossibility to get to that which is south of it.

[00:19:54] And then to the south of India, the great oceans. The great oceans, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, demarking the limitations of human knowledge at that time.

The Yuga Cycle

[00:20:08] And all of the adventures and misadventures and movements of the tribes and movements of agriculture and architecture and all of that, as known during Dwapara Yuga, that era of time that was supposed to be about 10,000 years ago.

[00:20:30] And then, progressing through that to the end of that Yuga, Dwapara Yuga then evolves into Kali Yuga. Kali Yuga was supposed to have started about 5,000 years ago.

[00:20:46] Dwapara Yuga is a period of time that is about one-half the amount of time of Satya Yuga. Satya Yuga, a certain number of years, and then Treta Yuga, three-quarters of that number of years, Dwapara Yuga one-half of Satya Yuga, and then Kali Yuga, one-quarter the length of time of Satya Yuga.

[00:21:12] Kali Yuga was supposed to have started about 5,000 years ago, and Kali Yuga is supposed to last 432,000 years. So, there’s 428,000 years of it left and, even though it’s been going for 5,000 years, Kali Yuga is supposed to be the shortest of the four Yugas, and there’s another 428,000 years of it left because it’s 432,000 years in length.

[00:21:44] And so then, we can look at these Yugas as periods of time, epochs. Rig Veda came from Satya Yuga, and then the Upavedas and the Aranyakas and all other sub-subordinate branches Veda came during Treta Yuga. And then came Dwapara Yuga the stories, The Ramayana and then toward the end of Dwapara Yuga, on the cusp of Kali Yuga beginning, The Mahabharata.

The Vedic Idea of Time

[00:22:14] Ramayana is often pronounced in the west as Rama-yana , that’s a mispronunciation, but we say Ramayana [Ra-my-ya-na] in the Vedic language. Mahabharata, which, in the west, people often say The Ma-ha-ba-ra-ta, but that’s a mispronunciation it’s Mahabharata [Maha-bharata].

[00:22:34] And The Mahabharata is known, its central chapters are a famous text known as The Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita the song of the Lord. Bhagavad means The Lord, Gita means song. It is the singing of Lord Krishna to Arjuna on a battlefield, all of the wisdom of how to transcend, go beyond thought.

[00:22:59] Then Kali Yuga starts straight after The Mahabharata, and Kali Yuga, the first 5,000 years of it are the last 5,000 years that we’ve known in human civilization, and then it has another 428,000 years to go.

[00:23:17] And so then what is it that is the Vedic idea of time? That’s supposed to be it, the linear time of these four Yugas. And then the four yugas repeat and repeat, and each one of the repetitions of them has a name, and there are larger cycles and larger cycles that play into an entire creation cycle, how long a universe, a manifest universe, lasts before it goes unmanifest again. From the time of The Big Bang to throughout the whole of time, and so on.

The Linear Approach to Understanding the Yugas

[00:23:53] Now, this linear approach to understanding the Yugas, Yuga, meaning an epoch or an era, Satya Yuga followed by Treta Yuga followed by Dwapara Yuga followed by Kali Yuga… this is, in fact, not accurate.

[00:24:15] What is it actually? The proper understanding of these four Yugas is not, “Once upon a time, a long time ago…” but we take the entire linear version; let’s go, as we do in most Western languages, from left to right.

[00:24:35] If, on our far left, we have Satya Yuga with Rig Veda in it. And then the next notch of time, we have Treta Yuga with all of the subordinate Vedas and subordinate Vedic knowledge in it. And then we move one more notch, and we have the legendary era, Dwapara Yuga, which has all of the events of The Ramayana and all of the events of The Mahabharata in it and all the knowledge that came out of that. And then we moved forward one notch, and we have the age of ignorance, Kali Yuga. The age in which foggy thinking and lack of clarity defines it.

[00:25:21] All right. So we have Satya on our far left, next we have Treta, next we have Dwapara, and next we have Kali, where we are now.

[00:25:33] All right. Let’s take our linear thing, our left-to-right thing, and we’re going to turn it vertical. Now, we have a line that goes vertically. The bottom of our chart, we have Satya Yuga, and then next coming up the line Treta. Next, coming up the line Dwapara. Next, coming up the line Kali.

Satya Yuga — The Age of Truth

[00:26:02] Let’s turn these into planes. So, there is a plane or a stratum, a level known as the Satya Yuga level. The next level up from there, Treta Yuga, with all the subordinate Vedas in it. Next level up from there, we have Dwapara Yuga. Next level up from there, we have the Kali Yuga layer.

[00:26:31] Now, we’re going to turn these into layers of consciousness. Layers of consciousness that can be accessed by the human mind. At the deepest layer of human consciousness, we have The Absolute, the non-changing, the timeless zone.

[00:26:56] The first thing to spring forth out of the timeless zone is the Satya, the truth. Satya Yuga, that layer deep inside our own consciousness where the primordial sounds of the Veda are experienceable. Agnimile purohitam yajnasya devam rtvijam hotaram ratnadhatamam.

[00:27:20] We talked about that, the first sounds of the first verse of the first mandala of Rig Veda that starts with Agni, the word Agnim. Agnim, this is perceptible and experienceable, cognizable inside your own consciousness, in the Satya Yuga layer of your consciousness.

Ayurveda – Self Healthcare

[00:27:47] Coming up from the quietest least-excited consciousness layer to the next consciousness layer, we’re going to see the sequential elaboration of the blueprint of creation that was created by Rig Veda, and we’re going to begin experiencing the ability to cognize Ayurveda, the self healthcare system, the way that humans interact most successfully with all the other elements of Nature.

[00:28:21] What is it that is your particular psychophysiological profile? How does your body react in interaction with different foods, with herbs, in interaction with different seasons, interaction with different elevations, with interaction with different geographic settings, with interaction with different humidities, with interaction with different people, in interaction with all the various elements?

[00:28:48] This is Ayurveda. Understanding it all gives you also understanding of balance, how to keep your life balanced. This is all in the Treta Yuga layer of your consciousness, accessible to you.

Gandharva Veda – The Sound Dynamic

[00:29:03] Let’s move to Sama Veda. Sama Veda in the Satya Yuga level. In the Treta Yuga it evolves into accessible knowledge about music, instrumentation, sound, sound sequence, sound dynamic, that’s volume, how high, how low.

[00:29:23] An understanding of what kinds of sound’s made, and what kinds of waves create what kinds of mental states. What kinds of emotion. What is expressive of emotion? What is causative of emotion? What is it that expresses and underscores the perceptible reality? What is it that is causative of these underlying realities? If you wish to cause them, you can do it with music.

[00:29:51] This is what movie score writers know all about. You take a particular scene. If you want to make it feel like a premonition of danger, then you use minor chords, and with the song, with the sound of the music, descending on the left hand, on the piano. Every score writer knows that technique.

[00:30:13] If you want to make it happy and cheerful, you underscore the same scene with cheerful music, and something very cheerful seems to be happening. We don’t realize it, but every time we watch a movie, we are having our emotions keyed in by the score writer, who creates a musical score to underscore the scene and to give you an invitation to experience it with a particular emotion.

[00:30:39] All of that knowledge comes out of Gandharva Veda at the Treta Yuga layer of human consciousness.

Dhanur Veda – The Supreme Arts of Governance

[00:30:48] Yajur Veda in the Satya Yuga level, in the Treta Yuga level, turns into the Dhanur Veda. Dhanur Veda has all to do with human diplomacy. The supreme arts of governance, how to provide leadership, the principles of victory before war. Victory before war. Being able to have friendship, friendliness, and compassion. Be the driving force of our interactions with other groups of humans; all of this is in Dhanur Veda.

[00:31:37] And how to bring any violence to an end quickly, with minimal loss, damage to life and property, all in Dhanur Veda. This comes up in the Treta Yuga level of consciousness.

Sthapatya Veda – Science of Architecture

[00:31:56] Architecture, Sthapatya Veda, comes out of the Satya Yuga layer of human consciousness, Atharva Veda, and out of it comes the practical application, Sthapatya Veda. Every architect who’s ever had a spontaneous aha moment, “Eureka. I’ve got it!” The solution to a particular problem.

[00:32:22] Problem may be, how do I capitalize on a fabulous view on a given piece of land to which I have access, and I wish to build a dwelling there or a functional building? How do I make that building completely minimizing whatever damage it brings to the environment? How do I capitalize on a fabulous view?

[00:32:47] How do I get the right amount of sunshine in the right season into various rooms? How do I minimize the distraction of too much sunlight? What about the moon? What about the stars? What about seeing the river below? What about all of that?

[00:33:06] Sthapatya Veda, which has to do with where to position, which we call Vastu in Sanskrit, and then how to position. This is all the knowledge of Sthapatya Veda.

[00:33:20] What kinds of materials create what effect in interaction with human consciousness? What effect does oak wood have? What about cypress wood? What about cedarwood? What about pine wood and so on and so forth?

[00:33:39] What about concrete? What about mud brick? What about the use of other natural materials? Bamboo? What vibrational effect do they have in interaction with the human condition? What about their vibrational effect in particular environments? At what elevation? In what place? In what level of dryness or humidity versus very humid versus very dry?

[00:34:08] What about, what kind of quality of sound you wish to have reflecting around the walls when you make use of your Gandharva Veda knowledge?

The Treta Yuga Layer of Human Consciousness

[00:34:17] So all of this, the ability to cognize perfect health, Ayurveda, the ability to cognize all of the impact of music and singing, all of that, Gandharva Veda, and then the ability of supreme knowledge of governance and diplomacy, and interacting with other groups of humans in a way that’s harmonious and helpful to all, Dhanur Veda.

[00:34:46] And then finally, Sthapatya Veda, the creation of structures that minimize any damage to the environment and maximize all potentials in all desirable things for the humans who spend time in those structures. Architecture, Sthapatya. All of this comes out of the Treta Yuga layer of consciousness.

[00:35:09] So, you see here, we’re not talking about, “Once upon a time there was Treta Yuga.” It is “once upon a layer.” There’s a layer of your consciousness in which you can learn to hover. In your deep meditation, you can learn to hover in the Treta Yuga layer and begin cognizing the knowledge that’s available there.

The Dwapara Yuga Layer of Human Consciousness

[00:35:32] Let’s come up one layer back toward the conscious-thinking layer. We come back up one layer, we’re in the Dwapara Yuga layer of human consciousness.

[00:35:45] The Dwapara Yuga layer is just subtextual to the conscious-thinking layer. Subtextual to that is the legendary field of life. Legendary interactions between the elements of the world, which are the creation-operator elements, the maintenance-operator elements, the destruction-operator elements.

The Fall From the Status Quo

[00:36:15] Creation, maintenance, and destruction, these are the three things that go into the evolutionary process. In any kind of storyline, we have to begin with a status quo. And there’s the status quo described, and then we have to have a fall from the status quo.

[00:36:35] You thought this was going on, and you thought that was going on, everything seemed to be progressing along beautifully, and then, suddenly, expectations were not met anymore and things changed.

[00:36:46] Something that you didn’t expect appeared on the scene and caused the status quo to disintegrate. Status quo is known as maintenance-operator function. Disintegration from status quo is known as disintegration function or destroyer function. Destruction function.

[00:37:08] Then, having fallen from the status quo, there is a sudden acquisition of new knowledge, an acquisition of creativity, inventiveness, innovation, and improvisation. And there is a rise from despair, above the level of the previous plateau and into a whole new level of understanding, exploration, discovery, adventurousness, and a new plateau, the new status quo.

[00:37:47] So we have plateau, fall from plateau, rise beyond the previous plateau to the new plateau. Plateau, maintenance operator, fall, destruction operator, rise, creation operator, new plateau, maintenance operator again.

The Saw-toothed Evolutionary Process

[00:38:05] The play and display of the maintenance, of the destruction, of the creation, of the new maintenance, the new destruction, the new rise, this is the saw-toothed evolutionary process. When we average out the way that the plateau turns into destruction, turns into a rise beyond the previous plateau, into a new plateau, to a new destruction, to a new rise, when we average them all out, using geometric formulas, we see a curve, and the curve is an upward curve at all times.

[00:38:40] Everything curving upward. What’s moving upward? Greater and greater knowledge, greater wisdom, greater understanding of how all of these different elements always interact in very patterned ways. And if you can understand the pattern, you don’t despair. You can understand the pattern, you know what’s coming next.

Understanding the Pattern

[00:39:00] When you can understand the pattern, you know that everybody plays different roles in all of these stories. And all of the legendary behaviors of all human beings, this is the Dwapara Yuga layer of human consciousness.

[00:39:18] Dwapara Yuga layer, in which legendary portrayals of the interactions of all different states of consciousness, people in very heightened consciousness states, people in very primal consciousness states, still on a sharp learning curve, and the way that they all interact with each other to create storyline.

[00:39:43] And then we have Kali, the Kali Yuga layer. And what’s Kali Yuga? Read the newspapers, we don’t call them papers anymore because nobody has a piece of paper in their hand, but we still call them newspapers.

[00:39:56] Read the Washington Post, the New York Times, the New York Post, read the Los Angeles Times. And if you’re outside the United States, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Adelaide Advertiser. And if you’re in Europe, all of the different magazines and news formats. Watch the news. This is all Kali.

Trapped in Kali Yuga

[00:40:16] Gas prices going up. Russia attacking Ukraine, the war here, the war there, Supreme courts changing their minds about stuff and all of that, everything. What’s the latest goss? What’s the latest news? What happened when somebody divorced somebody else and who gets what? And what are you having for lunch? And what did it cost compared with last week?

[00:40:39] And what are you feeling like? You’ve got some strange thing going on in your body, and you don’t really know how to describe it or understand it.

[00:40:48] So then, when we find ourselves trapped in the Kali Yuga, this is the world of constant change. Anything that you thought was stable, that thing’s going to change in a matter of days. Anything that you thought was true, that truth is going to be subject to change in a matter of days. A new truth will replace it.

The World of Constant Change

[00:41:07] So temporary truth being replaced by other temporary truths. Lots of temporary truths, all of them true, but for a very short period of time, this is Kali Yuga. The world of constant change.

[00:41:22] “I thought I was a this, and then I was a that. And I thought I was one letter of the alphabet, now I’m a different letter of the alphabet. And, I can describe myself this way. I can describe myself that way. This is the way I was when I was a teen. This is the way I was as a later teen.

[00:41:35] “This is the way I was in my early twenties. This is the way I was in my mid-twenties. What about my late twenties? What about my early thirties? What about this?” Who are you? What are you? Something different every few minutes.

Escaping Kali Yuga Through Vedic Meditation

[00:41:46] Kali Yuga, Kali Yuga the world of constant change. The surface of the ocean, where all the waves are moving around in response to wind blowing or wind not blowing. And all the surface changes, everything changing all the time, Kali Yuga.

[00:42:03] The Kali Yuga layer, the layer in which nothing seems to be true for very long. You thought something was true, and then it wasn’t true for very long, Kali Yuga.

[00:42:16] So, what does the Veda say to us about the Yugas? When you find yourself trapped in Kali Yuga, you need to learn Vedic Meditation.

[00:42:27] Vedic Meditation, making use of our beautiful classical technique, takes the mind from the Kali Yuga layer of consciousness, and it takes you down deeper into the legendary layer of all of the legendary stories that are going on right now in your own consciousness state.

[00:42:57] Nothing is new under the sun; every kind of interaction between every other kind of person has already gone on somewhere in the world, in the legendary field. This is the Dwapara Yuga layer.

[00:43:12] But we’re not satisfied with only going there. We want to go deeper. And so we go to that layer where the cognition of the practical applicable knowledge is occurring, into the Treta Yuga layer, beyond Dwapara into Treta Yuga.

[00:43:29] Not satisfied with that alone, we move beyond Treta Yuga, deeper in meditation, into the Satya Yuga layer. Satya Yuga layer is the layer where primordial knowledge is issuing forth from the underlying transcendental field.

[43:50] The Purpose of Vedic Meditation

[00:43:50] The Veda, the sounds of the blueprint of creation, are perceptible and cognizable. But not satisfied with the least-excited state, we go beyond that into the transcendent. The transcendent, the home of all knowledge, the home of all the laws of Nature. We become one with that which is the Knower of all things, the absolute consciousness field.

[00:44:21] This is the purpose of Vedic Meditation. And this is the lie of the land with regard to the Yugas.

[00:44:29] Yugas, thought about merely as “once upon a time,” not very helpful to us, and also not very scientific because we’re expected, if we believe that Satya Yuga occurred millions of years ago, and we know from modern science that millions of years ago, those of us who are now upright neurocentric anthropods, human beings, we are really the product of only, depending on which anthropologist you like to read, somewhere in the last three million years.

More Than a Bunch of Fairy Tales

[00:45:00] So, that the idea that there were things going on millions and millions of years ago, at the human layer, is not really feasible scientifically. And right away, people feel like just dismissing that as a bunch of fairy tales that people have been telling to each other for thousands of years.

[00:45:17] In fact, the Vedic worldview, as taught to me by the great legendary masters of our tradition, is not that, “this is all once upon a time.” These layers of knowledge which I described, are going on right now inside human consciousness, but you have to transcend the surface, in order to get to the depth, in order to harvest the knowledge that can be harvested from the deepest possible layer, that layer of human consciousness, which is the Unified Field of consciousness, that is the fountainhead of all knowledge, all wisdom and all time.

[00:46:01] Jai Guru Deva.

Exploring the Veda – Course Available Worldwide

[00:46:02] Before we finish this episode, if you want to dig deeper into this subject matter, we encourage you to take Thom’s course, Exploring the Veda. This course contains over 75 hours of audio lectures with Thom explaining Vedic wisdom at the deepest and most profound level. This course is delivered by Vedic Meditation Initiators around the world, and is open to all students who have completed a four-day in-person course of Vedic Meditation.[00:46:36] You can find your closest teacher by following the link in the show notes.

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