Simon Brodbeck

Jan 12, 2023

Divine Descent and the Four World-Ages in the Mahābhārata

Or, Why Does the Krsna Avatāra Inaugurate the Worst Yuga?

Cardiff University Press 2022

Divine Descent and the Four World-Ages in the Mahābhārata reflects on the theology of time in this early Hindu text and poses the key question: why does the Krishna avatāra inaugurate the worst yuga? The Sanskrit Mahābhārata describes a massive war facilitated by God and the gods. That war took place between the third and the last ages of a 12,000-year cycle; within the cycle, moral behaviour and human lifespan always decrease in steps before being rebooted for the next cycle (initial lifespan 400 years). Divine Descent and the Four World-Ages in the Mahābhārata-Or, Why Does the Krsna Avatāra Inaugurate the Worst Yuga? (Cardiff UP, 2022) describes and discusses this cycle and tries to explain why God and the gods are said to have descended and acted at that particular point within it. The trigger was the complaint of the Earth, who was suffering on account of the human beings upon her.

This book is available open access here

Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see rajbalkaran.com.

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Raj Balkaran

Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see rajbalkaran.com.

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