Chapter

The Four Ages (<i>Yuga</i>s) and Human Rights

Arvind Sharma

in Hinduism and Human Rights

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780195665857
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199082025 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195665857.003.0006
The Four Ages (Yugas) and Human Rights

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Another well-known doctrine within Hinduism is that of the four ages (caturyuga). The four yugas are called Kṛta, Tretā, Dvāpara, and Kali. This chapter shows that the doctrine of the four yugas, as applied to the case of Śambāka, implies that Hinduism will become progressively egalitarian, and will be most so in the Kali Yuga. Not only will all the varṇas be entitled to performing tapas, including the śūdras, according to the Matsya Purāṇa there will be only one varṇa in the Kali Yuga, the śūdra. This could well be a highly convoluted Hindu way of saying that universal human rights will prevail.

Keywords: Hinduism; caturyuga; Kali Yuga; varṇas; tapas; śūdra; universal human rights

Chapter.  4663 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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