Treta Yuga - The Age of Triads•
Posted on October 22 2021
The Treta Yuga is the second in the four Yugas, preceded by the Satya Yuga and followed by the Dwapara Yuga. The word means ‘age of three or collection of three things.’ The length of the Treta Yuga is three times that of the Kali Yuga and it lasted 3600 divine years or 1296000 earth years.
The Treta Yuga saw three incarnations of Lord Vishnu- Vamana (dwarf), Parashurama (immortal) and Lord Rama upon whom the epic Ramayana is based. This yuga saw a decline in spirituality and in the power of mankind. People became focused on material possessions and illnesses increased. There was also a rise in wars as people started following discriminatory practices and committing sins. On the positive side the yuga saw a rise in agriculture and mining. People began to roam the earth to figure out ways of gaining sustenance from the land. Climate changes started which resulted in deserts and oceans forming.
In this yuga, the bull symbolising Dharma stood on three legs, reflecting a decline in moral values. Truth was diminished and people started indulging in lying and cheating. The Treta Yuga is known as the Age of Mankind or the Silver Age. Rules and regulations were introduced to keep people and society in check. In each subsequent yuga, the influence of religion was reduced due to an increase in discontent. People moved away from meditation and introspection and started looking toward external factors for happiness.
People in this age achieved prosperity by following the principles laid out in the three Vedas- Rig, Sama and Yajur. There was an increase in ritualistic practices in the worship of gods. People began to understand the forces of nature and the characteristics of the universe, because of the introduction of the concept of universal magnetism.
One of the important events of this yuga was the meteoric rise of the powers of the demon king Ravana of Lanka. His evil forces were legendary and feared. Lord Ram who was created with the purpose to defeat Ravan and restore order. He was the embodiment of truthfulness and morality.
It is believed that the divisions of classes and castes was created in Treta yuga. Society was demarcated into four groups- Brahmins (intellectuals), Kshatriyas (kings and warriors), Vaishyas (farmers and working class) and Shudras (labourers). The kings of this age became so power-hungry that Lord Vishnu was forced to take the avatar of Parashurama, who proceeded to destroy the ruling kshatriya class for 21 generations.
The most widely followed religious practice of the Treta Yuga was yajna. Kings and sages organised Vedic sacrifices and yajnas on a large scale to appease the gods. The average lifespan was 10,000 years.
Beauty, intelligence, strength and health were the hallmarks of this age.
Written by Aarti Natarajan Sharma