The Buddhist calendar is a set of lunisolar calendars used in mainland Southeast Asian countries of Cambodia, Laos and Thailand as well as in Sri Lanka and Chinese populations of Malaysia and Singapore for religious or official occasions. While the calendars share a common lineage, they have minor but important variations such as intercalation schedules, month names and numbering, use of cycles, etc. In Thailand, the name Buddhist Era is a year numbering system shared by the traditional Thai lunisolar calendar and by the Thai solar calendar; the Southeast Asian lunisolar calendars are based on an older version of the Hindu calendar, which uses the sidereal year as the solar year. One major difference is that the Southeast Asian systems, unlike their Indian cousins, do not use apparent reckoning to stay in sync with the sidereal year. Instead, they employ their versions of the Metonic cycle. However, since the Metonic cycle is not accurate for sidereal years, the Southeast Asian calendar is drifting out of sync with the sidereal one day every 100 years.
Yet no coordinated structural reforms of the lunisolar calendar have been undertaken. Today, the traditional Buddhist lunisolar calendar is used for Theravada Buddhist festivals, no longer has the official calendar status anywhere; the Thai Buddhist Era, a renumbered Gregorian calendar, is the official calendar in Thailand. The calculation methodology of the current versions of Southeast Asian Buddhist calendars is based on that of the Burmese calendar, in use in various Southeast Asian kingdoms down to the 19th century under the names of Chula Sakarat and Jolak Sakaraj; the Burmese calendar in turn was based on the "original" Surya Siddhanta system of ancient India. One key difference with Indian systems is that the Burmese system has followed a variation of the Metonic cycle, it is unclear from where, how the Metonic system was introduced. The Burmese system, indeed the Southeast Asian systems, thus use a "strange" combination of sidereal years from Indian calendar in combination with the Metonic cycle better for tropical years.
In all Theravada traditions, the calendar's epochal year 0 date was the day in which the Buddha attained parinibbāna. However, not all traditions agree on when it took place. In Burmese Buddhist tradition, it was 13 May 544 BCE, but in Thailand, it was 11 March 545 BCE, the date which the current Thai lunisolar and solar calendars use as the epochal date. Yet, the Thai calendars for some reason have fixed the difference between their Buddhist Era numbering and the Christian/Common Era numbering at 543, which points to an epochal year of 544 BCE, not 545 BCE. In Myanmar, the difference between BE and CE can be 543 or 544 for CE dates, 544 or 543 for BCE dates, depending on the month of the Buddhist Era. In Sri Lanka, the difference between BE and CE is 544; the calendar recognizes two types of months: sidereal month. The Synodic months are used to compose the years while the 27 lunar sidereal days, alongside the 12 signs of the zodiac, are used for astrological calculations; the days of the month are counted in two halves and waning.
The 15th of the waxing is the civil full moon day. The civil new moon day is the last day of the month; because of the inaccuracy of the calendrical calculation systems, the mean and real New Moons coincide. The mean New Moon precedes the real New Moon; as the Synodic lunar month is 29.5 days, the calendar uses alternating months of 29 and 30 days. Various regional versions of Chula Sakarat/Burmese calendar existed across various regions of mainland Southeast Asia. Unlike Burmese systems, Lan Na, Lan Xang and Sukhothai systems refer to the months by numbers, not by names; this means reading ancient texts and inscriptions in Thailand requires constant vigilance, not just in making sure one is operating for the correct region, but for variations within regions itself when incursions cause a variation in practice. However, Cambodian month system, which begins with Margasirsa as the first month, demonstrated by the names and numbers; the Buddhist calendar is a lunisolar calendar in which the months are based on lunar months and years are based on solar years.
One of its primary objectives is to synchronize the lunar part with the solar part. The lunar months twelve of them, consist alternately of 29 days and 30 days, such that a normal lunar year will contain 354 days, as opposed to the solar year of ~365.25 days. Therefore, some form of addition to the lunar year is necessary; the overall basis for it is provided by cycles of 57 years. Eleven extra days are inserted in every 57 years, seven extra months of 30 days are inserted in every 19 years; this provides 20819 complete days to both calendars. This 57-year cycle would provide a mean year of about 365.2456 days and a mean month of about 29.530496 days, if not corrected. As such, the calendar adds an intercalary month in leap years and sometimes an intercalary day in great leap years; the intercalary month not only corrects the length of the year but corrects the accumulating error of the month to extent of half a day. The average length of the month is further corrected by adding a day to Nayon
Vikram Samvat. It uses solar sidereal years; the Vikram Samvat is notable because many medieval era inscriptions use it. It is said to be named after the legendary king Vikramaditya, but the term "Vikrama Samvat" does not appear in the historical records before the 9th century, rather the same calendaring system is found by other names such as Krita and Malava. In the colonial era scholarship, the era was believed to be based on the commemoration of King Vikramaditya expelling the Sakas from Ujjain; however epigraphical evidence and scholarship suggest that this theory has no historical basis and likely was an error. Starting in the 9th century and thereafter, epigraphical artwork uses Vikrama-Samvat, suggesting that sometime around the 9th-century, the Hindu calendar era, in use became popular as Vikram Samvat, while Buddhist and Jain epigraphy continued to use an era based on the Buddha or the Mahavira. According to popular tradition, the legendary king Vikramaditya of Ujjain established the Vikrama Samvat era after defeating the Śakas.
Kalakacharya Kathanaka by the Jain sage Mahesarasuri gives the following account: Gandharvasena, the then-powerful king of Ujjain, abducted a nun called Sarasvati, the sister of the monk. The enraged monk sought the help of the Śaka ruler King Sahi in Sistan. Despite heavy odds but aided by miracles, the Śaka king defeated Gandharvasena and made him a captive. Sarasvati was repatriated; the defeated king retired to the forest. His son, being brought up in the forest, had to rule from Pratishthana. On, Vikramaditya invaded Ujjain and drove away from the Śakas. To commemorate this event, he started a new era called the "Vikrama era"; the Ujjain calendar started around 58–56 BCE, the subsequent Shaka era calendar was started in 78 CE at Pratishthana. The association of the era beginning in 57 BCE with Vikramaditya is not found in any source before the 9th century CE; the earlier sources call this era by various names, including Kṛṭa, the era of the Malava tribe, or Samvat. The earliest known inscription that calls the era "Vikrama" is from 842 CE.
This inscription of Chauhana ruler Chandamahasena was found at Dholpur, is dated Vikrama Samvat 898, Vaishakha Shukla 2, Chanda. The earliest known inscription that associates this era with a king called Vikramaditya is dated 971 CE; the earliest literary work that connects the era to Vikramaditya is Subhashita-Ratna-Sandoha by the Jain author Amitagati. For this reason, multiple authors believe that the Vikram Samvat was not started by Vikramaditya, who might be a purely legendary king or the title adopted by a king who renamed the era after himself. V. A. Smith and D. R. Bhandarkar believed that Chandragupta II adopted the title Vikramaditya, changed the name of the era to "Vikrama Samvat". According to Rudolf Hoernlé, the king responsible for this change was Yashodharman: Hoernlé believed that he conquered Kashmir, is the same person as the "Harsha Vikramaditya" mentioned in Kalhana's Rajatarangini. Earlier, some scholars believed that the Vikrama Samavat corresponded to the Azes era of the Indo-Scythian king King Azes.
However, this was disputed by Robert Bracey following the discovery of an inscription of Vijayamitra, dated in two eras. The theory seems to be now discredited by Falk and Bennett, who place the inception of the Azes era in 47–46 BCE; the traditional New Year of Vikram Samvat is one of the many festivals of Nepal, marked by parties, family gatherings, the exchange of good wishes, participation in rituals to ensure good fortune in the coming year. It occurs in mid-April each year, coincides with the traditional new year in Assam, Burma, Kerala, Manipur, Punjab, Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Thailand. In addition to Nepal, the Vikram Samvat calendar is recognized in North and East India, in Gujarat among Hindus. Hindu religious festivals are based on a Luni-Solar calendar, not Solar calendar, based on Vikram Samvat. In North India, the new year in Vikram Samvat starts from the first day of Chaitra Skukla paksha. In Buddhist communities, the month of Baishakh is associated with Buddha's Birthday, it commemorates the birth and passing of Gautama Buddha on the first full moon day in May, except in a leap year when the festival is held in June.
Although this festival is not held on the same day as Pahela Baishakh, the holidays fall in the same month of the Bengali and Theravada Buddhist calendars, are related through the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent. In Gujarat, the day after Diwali is celebrated as the first day of the Vikram Samvat calendar, the first day of the month Kartik; the Vikrami era is an ancient calendar and has been used by Hindus and Sikhs. It is one of the several regional Hindu calendars that have been in use on the Indian subcontinent, it is based on twelve synodical lunar months and 365 solar days; the lunar new year starts on the new moon in the month of Chaitra. This day, known as Chaitra Sukhladi, is a restricted holiday in India; the Vikrami Samvat has been in use in the Indian subcontinent since ancient times, remains in use by the Hindus in north, w
The 6th century is the period from 501 to 600 in line with the Julian calendar in the Common Era. In the West, the century marks the beginning of the Middle Ages; the collapse of the Western Roman Empire late in the previous century left Europe fractured into many small Germanic kingdoms competing fiercely for land and wealth. From the upheaval the Franks rose to prominence and carved out a sizeable domain covering much of modern France and Germany. Meanwhile, the surviving Eastern Roman Empire began to expand under Emperor Justinian, who recaptured North Africa from the Vandals and attempted to recover Italy as well, in the hope of reinstating Roman control over the lands once ruled by the Western Roman Empire. In its second Golden Age, the Sassanid Empire reached the peak of its power under Khosrau I in the 6th century; the classical Gupta Empire of Northern India overrun by the Huna, ended in the mid-6th century. In Japan, the Kofun period gave way to the Asuka period. After being divided for more than 150 years among the Southern and Northern Dynasties, China was reunited under the Sui Dynasty toward the end of the 6th century.
The Three Kingdoms of Korea persisted throughout the century. The Göktürks became a major power in Central Asia after defeating the Rouran. In the Americas, Teotihuacan began to decline in the 6th century after having reached its zenith between AD 150 and 450. Classic Period of the Maya civilization in Central America. Early 6th century – Ah Suytok Tutul Xiu founds Uxmal. Early 6th century – Archangel Michael, panel of a diptych from the court workshop at Constantinople, is made, it is now kept at London. Early 6th century – Page with Rebecca at the Well, from "Book of Genesis" made in Syria or Palestine, is made, it is now kept at Vienna. By 6th century – Shilpa Shastras is written. Early 6th century – first academy of the east the Academy of Gundeshapur founded in Iran by Khosrau I of Persia. Early 6th century – Irish colonists and invaders, the Scots, began migrating to Caledonia. Migration from south-west Britain to Brittany. Early 6th century – Glendalough monastery, Wicklow Ireland founded on St. Kevin.
Many similar foundations in Ireland and Wales. Early 6th century – Zen Buddhism enters Vietnam from China. Early 6th century – Haniwa, from Kyoto, is made during the Kofun period Early 6th century – Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe's apse's mosaic is completed. 502: Chinese annals mentioned the existence of the Buddhist Kingdom, Kanto Lim in South Sumatra in the neighborhood of present-day Palembang. 507: Battle of Vouillé 518: Eastern Roman Emperor Anastasius I dies and is succeeded by Justin I. 522: Byzantines obtain silkworm eggs and begin silkworm cultivation c. 524: Boethius writes his Consolation of Philosophy. 525: Having settled in Rome c. 500, Scythian monk Dionysius Exiguus invents the Anno Domini era calendar based on the estimated birth year of Jesus Christ. 527: Justinian I succeeds Justin I as Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire. 529: Saint Benedict of Nursia founds the monastery of Monte Cassino in Italy. 532: Nika riots in Constantinople. They are put down a week by Belisarius and Mundus.
535: Postulated volcanic eruption in the tropics which causes several years of abnormally cold weather, resulting in mass famine in the Northern Hemisphere. 537: Battle of Camlann, final battle of legendary King Arthur. 541–542: First pandemic of bubonic plague hits Constantinople and the rest of Byzantine Empire. 543/544: One of Justinian's edict leads to the Three-Chapter Controversy 545: Nubian Kingdom of Nobatia converts to Christianity. Mid-6th century – Cassiodorus founds a cenobitic monastery and scriptorium at Vivarium in Italy Mid-6th century – Buddhist Jataka stories are translated into Persian by order of the Zoroastrian king Khosrau. Mid-6th century – Cave-Temple of Shiva at Elephanta Caves, India, is built. Post-Gupta period. Mid-6th century – Eternal Shiva, rock-cut relief in the Cave-Temple of Shiva at Elephanta Caves, is made Second half of 6th century – Virgin and Child with Saints and Angels, icon, is made, it is now kept at Egypt. 550: Kingdom of Funan dies out. 551: Bumin Khagan founded the Turkic Khaganate in the Central Asia 552: Buddhism introduced to Japan from Baekje during the Asuka period.
553: Second Council of Constantinople 554: Eviction of the Ostrogoths from Rome, the re-unification of all Italy under Byzantine rule. 561 to 592: Buddhist monk Jnanagupta translates 39 sutras from Sanskrit to Chinese. 563: The monastery on Iona is founded by St. Columba. 566: Birth of Lǐ Yuān, founder of the Tang Dynasty and Emperor of China under the name of Gaozu 568: Lombards invade Italy and establish a federation of dukedoms under a king. 569: Nubian kingdom of Alodia converts to Christianity. 569: Nubian kingdom of Makuria converts to Christianity. 570: Birth of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. 574: The Byzantine empire is invaded by various Slavs, the Balkans are plundered by the Slavs. 577: China's Chen Dynasty invents matches. 579–590: Reign of Persian Shah Hormizd IV. 582–602: Reign of Byzantine Emperor Maurice. 585: Suebian Kingdom conquered by Visigoths in Spain. 587: Reccared, king of the Visigoths in Spain, converts to Catholicism. 588: Shivadeva ascends the throne of the Lichchhavi dynasty in Nepal.
589: Third Council of Toledo adds the "filioque" clause to the Nicene Creed in Spain. 589: China reunified under the Sui Dynasty. 590: Gregory the Great succeeds Pope Pelagius II as the 64th pope. 594: Beginning of the Bengali Calendar or
Indian national calendar
The Indian national calendar, sometimes called the Shalivahana Shaka calendar. It is used, alongside the Gregorian calendar, by The Gazette of India, in news broadcasts by All India Radio and in calendars and communications issued by the Government of India; the Saka calendar is used in Java and Bali among Indonesian Hindus. Nyepi, the "Day of Silence", is a celebration of the Saka new year in Bali. Nepal's Nepal Sambat evolved from the Saka calendar. Prior to colonization, the Philippines used to apply the Saka calendar as well as suggested by the Laguna Copperplate Inscription; the term may ambiguously refer to the Hindu calendar. The historic Shalivahana era calendar is still used, it has years. The calendar months follow the signs of the tropical zodiac rather than the sidereal zodiac used with the Hindu calendar. Chaitra has 30 days and starts on March 22, except in leap years, when it has 31 days and starts on March 21; the months in the first half of the year all have 31 days, to take into account the slower movement of the sun across the ecliptic at this time.
The names of the months are derived from older, Hindu lunisolar calendars, so variations in spelling exist, there is a possible source of confusion as to what calendar a date belongs to. Years are counted in the Saka era. To determine leap years, add 78 to the Saka year – if the result is a leap year in the Gregorian calendar the Saka year is a leap year as well, its structure is just like the Persian calendar. Senior Indian Astrophysicist Meghnad Saha was the head of the Calendar Reform Committee under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. Other members of the Committee were: A. C. Banerjee, K. K. Daftari, J. S. Karandikar, Gorakh Prasad, R. V. Vaidya and N. C. Lahiri, it was Saha's effort. The task before the Committee was to prepare an accurate calendar based on scientific study, which could be adopted uniformly throughout India, it was a mammoth task. The Committee had to undertake a detailed study of different calendars prevalent in different parts of the country. There were thirty different calendars.
The task was further complicated by the fact that religion and local sentiments were integral to those calendars. India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in his preface to the Report of the Committee, published in 1955, wrote: “They represent past political divisions in the country.... Now that we have attained Independence, it is desirable that there should be a certain uniformity in the calendar for our civic and other purposes, this should be done on a scientific approach to this problem.” Usage started at 1 Chaitra 1879, Saka Era, or 22 March 1957. Report of the Calendar Reform Committee – online link. Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History by E. G. Richards, 1998, pp. 184–185. Calendars and their History Indian Calendars Positional astronomy in India Indian National Calendar abstract
The Hebrew or Jewish calendar is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions and daily Psalm readings, among many ceremonial uses. In Israel, it is used for religious purposes, provides a time frame for agriculture and is an official calendar for civil purposes, although the latter usage has been declining in favor of the Gregorian calendar; the present Hebrew calendar is the product including a Babylonian influence. Until the Tannaitic period, the calendar employed a new crescent moon, with an additional month added every two or three years to correct for the difference between twelve lunar months and the solar year; the year in which it was added was based on observation of natural agriculture-related events in ancient Israel. Through the Amoraic period and into the Geonic period, this system was displaced by the mathematical rules used today; the principles and rules were codified by Maimonides in the Mishneh Torah in the 12th century.
Maimonides' work replaced counting "years since the destruction of the Temple" with the modern creation-era Anno Mundi. The Hebrew lunar year is about eleven days shorter than the solar year and uses the 19-year Metonic cycle to bring it into line with the solar year, with the addition of an intercalary month every two or three years, for a total of seven times per 19 years. With this intercalation, the average Hebrew calendar year is longer by about 6 minutes and 40 seconds than the current mean tropical year, so that every 217 years the Hebrew calendar will fall a day behind the current mean tropical year; the era used. As with Anno Domini, the words or abbreviation for Anno Mundi for the era should properly precede the date rather than follow it. AM 5779 began at sunset on 9 September 2018 and will end at sunset on 29 September 2019; the Jewish day is of no fixed length. The Jewish day is modeled on the reference to "...there was evening and there was morning..." in the creation account in the first chapter of Genesis.
Based on the classic rabbinic interpretation of this text, a day in the rabbinic Hebrew calendar runs from sunset to the next sunset. Halachically, a day ends and a new one starts when three stars are visible in the sky; the time between true sunset and the time when the three stars are visible is known as'bein hashmashot', there are differences of opinion as to which day it falls into for some uses. This may be relevant, for example, in determining the date of birth of a child born during that gap. There is no clock in the Jewish scheme. Though the civil clock, including the one in use in Israel, incorporates local adoptions of various conventions such as time zones, standard times and daylight saving, these have no place in the Jewish scheme; the civil clock is used only as a reference point – in expressions such as: "Shabbat starts at...". The steady progression of sunset around the world and seasonal changes results in gradual civil time changes from one day to the next based on observable astronomical phenomena and not on man-made laws and conventions.
In Judaism, an hour is defined as 1/12 of the time from sunrise to sunset, so, during the winter, an hour can be much less than 60 minutes, during the summer, it can be much more than 60 minutes. This proportional hour is known as a sha'ah z'manit. A Jewish hour is divided into parts. A part is 1/18 minute; the ultimate ancestor of the helek was a small Babylonian time period called a barleycorn, itself equal to 1/72 of a Babylonian time degree. These measures are not used for everyday purposes. Instead of the international date line convention, there are varying opinions as to where the day changes. One opinion uses the antimeridian of Jerusalem. Other opinions exist as well; the weekdays proceed to Saturday, Shabbat. Since some calculations use division, a remainder of 0 signifies Saturday. While calculations of days and years are based on fixed hours equal to 1/24 of a day, the beginning of each halachic day is based on the local time of sunset; the end of the Shabbat and other Jewish holidays is based on nightfall which occurs some amount of time 42 to 72 minutes, after sunset.
According to Maimonides, nightfall occurs. By the 17th century, this had become three-second-magnitude stars; the modern definition is when the center of the sun is 7° below the geometric horizon, somewhat than civil twilight at 6°. The beginning of the daytime portion of each day is determined both by sunrise. Most halachic times are based on some combination of these four times and vary from day to day throughout the year and vary depending on location; the daytime hours are divided into Sha'oth Zemaniyoth or "Halachic hours" by taking the time between sunrise and sunset or between dawn and nightfall and dividing it into 12 equal hours. The nighttime hours are s
The Dragon is the fifth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Dragon is associated with pronounced chen, it has been proposed by one academic researcher that the Earthly Branch character may have been associated with scorpions. In the Buddhist calendar used in Thailand, Laos and Sri Lanka, the Dragon is replaced by the nāga. In the Gurung zodiac, the Dragon is replaced by the eagle. People born within these date ranges can be said to have been born in the "Year of the Dragon", while bearing the following elemental sign: There are marked spikes in the birth rates of countries that use the Chinese zodiac or places with substantial Overseas Chinese populations during the year of the Dragon, because such "Dragon babies" are considered to be lucky and have desirable characteristics that lead to better life outcomes; the recent phenomenon of planning a child’s birth in the Dragon year has led to hospital overcapacity issues and an uptick in infant mortality rates toward the end of these years due to strained neonatal resources.
Among the 12 animal signs, the Monkey has the most tacit understanding with the Dragon people. The cunning Rat can be a good partner with the Dragon to make something big; the Dragon people can live with the Snake, for the Snake can prevent the Dragon from behaving outrageously. People under the signs of the Rooster, Rabbit, Goat and Horse like to be friends with the Dragon, as they admire the Dragon's beautiful bearing and strength. Two Dragons can get along well with each other. However, the relationship between the Dragon and the Ox people is tense, because both of them are majestic; the people whom the Dragon feels headaches with the most are the Dog people. They feel uncomfortable due to the Dog's close guard
Kali Yuga in Hinduism is the last of the four stages the world goes through as part of a'cycle of yugas' described in the Sanskrit scriptures. The other ages are called Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga. Kali Yuga is associated with the demon Kali; the "Kali" of Kali Yuga means "strife", "discord", "quarrel" or "contention". According to Puranic sources, Krishna's departure marks the end of Dvapara Yuga and the start of Kali Yuga, dated to 17/18 February 3102 BCE. According to the Surya Siddhanta, Kali Yuga began at midnight on 18 February 3102 BCE; this is considered the date on which Lord Krishna left the earth to return to Vaikuntha. This information is placed at the temple of the place of this incident. According to the astronomer and mathematician Aryabhatta the Kali Yuga started in 3102 BCE, he finished his book "Aryabhattiya" in 499 CE, in which he gives the exact year of the beginning of Kali Yuga. He writes that he wrote the book in the "year 3600 of the Kali Age" at the age of 23; as it was the 3600th year of the Kali Age when he was 23 years old, given that Aryabhatta was born in 476 CE, the beginning of the Kali Yuga would come to 3102 BCE.
According to KD Abhyankar, the starting point of Kali Yuga is an rare planetary alignment, depicted in the Mohenjo-Daro seals. Going by this alignment the year 3102 BCE is off; the actual date for this alignment is 7 February of 3104 BCE. There is sufficient proof to believe that Vrdhha Garga knew of precession at least by 500 BCE. Garga had calculated the rate of precession to within 30 % of; the common belief until Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri had analyzed the dating of the Yuga cycles was that the Kali Yuga would last for 432,000 years after the end of the Dwapara Yuga. This originated during the puranic times when the famous astronomer Aryabhatta recalculated the timeline by artificially inflating the traditional 12,000 year figure with a multiplication of 360, represented as the number of "human years" that make up a single "divine year"; this was a purposeful miscalculation due to conflicts with one of the preeminent astronomer of the time Brahmagupta. However, both the Mahabharata and the Manu Smriti have the original value of 12,000 years for one half of the Yuga cycle.
Contemporary analysis of historical data from the last 11 millennia matches with the indigenous Saptarishi Calendar. The length of the transitional periods between each Yuga is unclear, can only be estimated based on historical data of past cataclysmic events. Using a 300 year period for transitions, Kali Yuga has either ended in the past 100 to 200 years, or is to end soon sometime in the next 100 years. Other authors, such as the revered Hindu guru Swami Sri Yukteswar in his book The Holy Science, as well as the influential Yogi Paramhansa Yogananda, believe that the Kali Yuga has ended, that we are now in an ascending Dvapara Yuga; this calculation is supported by modern day spiritual masters such as Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. Hindus believe that human civilization degenerates spiritually during the Kali Yuga, referred to as the Dark Age because in it people are as far away as possible from God. Hinduism symbolically represents morality as an Indian bull. Common attributes and consequences are spiritual bankruptcy, mindless hedonism, breakdown of all social structure and materialism, unrestricted egotism and maladies of mind and body.
In Satya Yuga, the first stage of development, the bull has four legs, but in each age morality is reduced by one quarter. By the age of Kali, morality is reduced to only a quarter of that of the golden age, so that the bull of Dharma has only one leg; the Mahabharata War and the decimation of Kauravas thus happened at the "Yuga-Sandhi", the point of transition from one yuga to another. The scriptures mention Sage Narada to have momentarily intercepted the demon Kali on his way to the Earth when Duryodhana was about to be born in order to make him an embodiment of arishadvargas and adharma in preparation of the era of decay in values and the consequent havoc. A discourse by Markandeya in the Mahabharata identifies some of the attributes of Kali Yuga. In relation to rulers, it lists: Rulers will become unreasonable: they will levy taxes unfairly. Rulers will no longer see it as their duty to promote spirituality, or to protect their subjects: they will become a danger to the world. People will start seeking countries where wheat and barley form the staple food source.
"At the end of Kali-yuga, when there exist no topics on the subject of God at the residences of so-called saints and respectable gentlemen of the three higher varnas and when nothing is known of the techniques of sacrifice by word, at that time the Lord will appear as the supreme chastiser." (Srimad-Bhagavatam With regard to human relationships, Markandeya's discourse says: Avarice and wrath will be common. Humans will display animosity towards each other. Ignorance of dharma will occur. People will see nothing wrong in that. Lust will be viewed as acceptable and sexual intercourse will be seen as the central requirement of life. Sin will increase exponentially, while virtue will cease to flourish. People will become addicted to intoxicating drugs. Gurus will no longer be respected and their students will attempt