# yuga, VarNa and colour

Patricia Meredith Greer pmg6s at server1.mail.virginia.edu
Sun May 18 14:33:29 UTC 1997

```And what can we make of the fact that the sum of the units
in each of these numbers = 9? eg. 1 728 000 =
1+7+2+8=18=1+8=9?  This is true of so many of the "indic"
numbers we come across -- the japa mala of 108 beads,etc.
Are there any specific references to this number in the
ancient literature? Or should we look to the 3?

On Sat, 17 May 1997 22:28:07 BST Luis Gonzalez-Reimann

> I apologize for mistakenly mailing an incomplete version of this posting
> earlier.  This is the complete one.
>
> Luis
>
>
>
> At 03:25 PM 5/17/97 BST, Dominique THILLAUD wrote:
>
>
> >	I know kRta the better and kali the worst, but what about treta and
> >dvApara ?
> >	Regards,
> >Dominique
>
>
>
> The names of the dice throws, K.rta TretA, DvApara, and Kali, are associated
> with the descending numerical sequence 4-3-2-1 (like the Pythagorean
> tetraktys).  TretA comes from tri (3), and DvApara from dva (2).  They are
> obvious cognates of other IE names for the same numbers.  K.rta is the past
> passive participle of the root k.r, "to do" (Pisani has a different
> etymology for K.rta that connects it with 4, see Mayrhofer).  It means
> "done" and, by extension, "well done" or "good."  So K.rta is the winning
> throw, TretA is the next one down, then comes DvApara, and the worst (and
> losing) throw is Kali.  Kali means conflict, bad luck; but whether this
> meaning is derived from the dice throw or it informed it, is no perfectly clear.
> These names were used to rate things from good to bad on a descending scale.
> They were so used to name the four yugas, so K.rta became the best one, and
> so on.  The 4-3-2-1 sequence became fundamental to the yugas, as they were
> said to last for 4 000, 3 000, 2 000, and 1 000 years respectively; with
> sandhis of 400, 300, 200, and 100 years.  The cow of dharma was said to
> stand on 4 feet in K.rta, 3 in TretA, and so on.
>
> If you apply the 4-3-2-1 sequence to the circumference, with its 360
> degrees, you will get 4 arcs of 144, 108, 72, and 36 degrees respectively.
> This is how the "divine years" of the yugas were turned into "human years,"
> as a divine year was said to equal 360 human years.
> So, for example,
>
> K.rta is 4 000 divine yrs.  x  360 = 1 440 000 + (144 000 x 2) = 1 728 000
> human yrs.
>
> 144 000 is one sandhi in human years (400 x 360).
>
> By this procedure the total number of human years in the four yugas is 4 320
> 000.  Take away a few zeros and you have 432 000, which is the duration of
> the Kali yuga.  But add zeroes and you get the duration of the kalpa: 4 320
> 000 000.
>
> 432 000 is a very important number, as it is the result of 120 x 3 600.
> According to the Satapatha BrAhmaNa the Rg Veda has 12 000 verses of 36
> syllables = 432 000 total.
>
> I hope this helps.
>
> Luis Gonzalez-Reimann
> University of California, Berkeley
>
>

________________________________
Patricia M. Greer
Department of Religious Studies
Cocke Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22901

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