KRTA (YUGA) – WIN, KALI (YUGA)-LOSS! (Post No.8797)


Post No. 8797

Date uploaded in London – –10 OCTOBER 2020   

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Hindus divided the ages into four. They are called Krta Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga.

Of these two are based on Numbers  Treta =3 and Dwapra=2. Of the four Ages/Yugas Krta is the first and so it must be Four (4). So they are in descending order 4,3,2,1. But Kali yuga is  1 and 0.

The reason for this descending order is given in Dharma Shastras/ Hindu Law Books. They imagined Dharma as a cow with four legs. In the first age which is called as Satya Yuga, Golden Yuga etc Dharma was described a cow with four legs. In Treta Yuga it lost 25% of dharma/honesty and so it is named Number 3. In Dwapara Yuga it lost 50% of honesty, i.e. two legs/feet. So it is Dwapara (2) Yuga. In Kaliyuga , Dharma lost one more feet and so only one foot, I.e.25%  alone is left. In other words Dharma is on shaky foot.

So, Kali may be called 25% Yuga with one leg. It is struggling to preserve dharma. In other words it is going to lose.

When the world is finished Kaliyuga would have finished and  a new era would dawn. Hindus believed in cyclical time.

All these numbers are in gambling. We don’t know whether the Yugas came first or Gambling Numbers came first.

Here is the jargon in gambling:

Dicing is mentioned as a game from the time of the Rig Veda onwards. 2000 year old Sangam Tamil literature mentioned the dicing. When a Brahmin and a king played dicing they became angry and threw coins at one another. Then they came to compromise according to a verse in Purananuru. Post Sangam period has the Tamil Veda Titukkural which has a full chapter on Dyuta (Soothu in Tamil). Tamil word for dicing is derived from Sanskrit word Dyuta. This shows the 3000 year long history on this game. Manu and other law makers brand this game as a vice. Whole of India knew that the greatest epic of Hindus , Mahabharata is based on dicing.

2700 year old Ashtadhyayi of Panini mentioned it in 4-4-19 and 3-3-37 Aksha Dyuta or simply Dyuuta.

Panini and Patanjali give more details and more words regarding this game. We see them in Mahabharata as well.

Nowadays two pieces are used to play this game. But in the ancient period, five coins/pieces  were used according to Taittiriya Brahmana . Vedic Index gives the names of five pieces as :–

Aksharaja, Krita ,Treta ,Dwapara and Kali .

From the period of Panini till the latest commentary Kasika , they used Paanchikaa Dyuuta.

Gambler was called Kitava . When all the five pieces fall with faces turned upwards, or all the five pieces fall face down the thrower wins the game; when the fall is otherwise , he loses it.

When four pieces fall alike and one is different, the dicer exclaims


Salakaa pari


It means missed by one aksha or a by a single salaka.

If the throw fell amiss  by two, it is called dwipari, three -tripri and four- chatuspari

When all the five pieces fell uniformly the throw was called a winning throw and the technical term for it is

Krita ; the name for the losing throw is Kali .

Buddhist Veda Dhammapada called a deceitful player kitavo satho. He tries to conceal his losing or kali throw- verse 252-. Chandogya Upanishad also called the winning throw krita.

In the sabhaparva of Mahabharata sakuni is described  by vidura as krita—hasta- man of winning throws.

Panini also mentioned krita and kali throws 3-1-21

Vidura pandita Jataka tale –545—used the same words.

Later only four pieces were used

But whether it is 4 pieces or five pieces, Krita meant win and Kali meant loss.

We get more information from Mahabharata that it is played in Sabhas (sort of Casinos) . Kautilya also confirms it.

Panini even mentioned wager or stake money – satasya divyati ,satasya pratidivyati- 2-3-57, 2-3-59 all denoting he stakes a hundred rupees.

This shows that India had decimal coin/currency system 2700 years ago, even before the Greeks .

-tags– Dice, Dice pieces, Krita, Kali


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1 Comment

  1. R Nanjappa

     /  October 10, 2020

    As a matter of fact, the concept of the four Yugas is not peculiarly Indian as many think. All the ancient civilizations of the world believed in the progressive decline of morality , religion and ethics. In fact, all the religions of the world look to the ancient past as the golden period and only attempt to restore it!
    The closest ancient Western idea to our own concept of yuga is that of the Greeks. They spoke of the four ages of mankind as Golden, Silver, Copper and Iron! In all the ancient civilizations, the remotest past was not considered one of savagery, but of the greatest nobility! It was only in the 19th century that with the half-baked ideas of charlatans like Darwin and the advances in the mechanical sciences that we have come to believe in the distinct concept of “Progress” and regard the past as backward. It is really amusing and also painful to think that with all the talk of progress, humanity displays the greatest savagery now, with all the weapons of war in producing which all the mechanical sciences of man have richly contributed! Just see in how many places war is actually takig place now, or nations are preparing for war!
    Hindus have preserved their sources well, but they lack in understanding their own works! There is lot of symbolism behind the concept of the four yugas, and also the number of years involved! Carl Sagan related it to the Big Bang, but we have to be wary of such attempts as the BIg Bang is only a theory, and not a proven scientific fact.
    Arthur Osborne gave a series of lectures in the Madras University in the 50s on the idea of ‘Progress’. Osborne was essentially a professor of History. He explained these ideas well in his lectures, which have been published in book form as ” The Question of Progress”. His other book “The Rhythm of History ” may also be seen.
    India and Hindus are not alone in thinking of the four yugas as a saga of general decline; but they are alone now as the repository and guardians of this ancient Wisdom .
    While modern thought in all branches ignores religion as the foundation of real human welfare, it was Arnold Toynbee alone who valued the role of religion and pointed to the role of Hindu India as source of Wisdom required for the survival of humanity.

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