Dvapara Yuga
   In the Indian tradition the YUGAS, or ages, refer to throws in an ancient dice game. Dvapara is named after the throw “two” (dvi), which is the third best throw or the second worst throw. Dvapara Yuga is 864,000 years in duration. In Dvapara the deterio-ration in human and worldly life continues. Pas-sion, strife, greed, and war develop, and truth is no longer adhered to in the same way. In Dvapara Yuga, the once-unified VEDA was divided into four parts by VYASA. Because differences of opinion had arisen, the different Vedas (RIG, SAMA, YAJUR, ATHARVA) developed distinctions. Death arose among humankind, as well as disgust with exis-tence, calamity, suffering, and disease. In dvapara a notion of “wisdom” became necessary as a result of the perception of the faults that now existed. Dvapara Yuga 141 J
   Whereas in the Treta Yuga SATTVA, the pure aspect of nature (PRAKRITI) tended to prevail, in Dvapara Yuga, rajas (impure) and tamas (contaminated) aspects of nature emerged. Ritual sacrifice became a predominant feature of Dvapara; it had not been important before. VISHNU is said to preside over Dvapara, because of the need for order.
   Further reading: Cornelia Dimmitt and J. A. B. van Buitenen, Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1978); W. J. Wilkins, Hindu Mythology, Vedic and Puranic, 2nd ed. (Calcutta: Rupa, 1973).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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