Treta Yuga
   All of the Yugas, or Ages in the Indian tradition, refer to throws in an ancient dice game. Treta Yuga is named after the 3, the second best throw. It always follows the KRITA, or SAT YA, YUGA (the Golden Age of Truth). It is 1,296,000 years in duration. The Sun God is its presiding divinity. Where in Krita Yuga pleasure was spontaneous, this ends in Treta Yuga. Where there were no per-manent homes in the Krita Yuga, in the Treta Yuga trees become the homes for people. A beautiful honey (not made by bees) could be found in holes in the trees and was all the food people needed. People were all happy, well fed, and healthy.
   However, passion and greed began to increase in this age. People remained truthful, but they focused on worldly success. As people cycled between greed and virtue, the trees would dis-appear and reappear. In their absence, people suffered from cold and heat and had to build shelters.
   Toward the end of the Yuga, people grew more angry and more greedy, and men tried to possess each other’s wives and wealth. In response, Lord BRAHMA emitted the warrior class, the KSHATRIYAS, to set limits in the world. Equality vanished as classes were formed.
   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, 2d ed. (Calcutta: Rupa, 1973).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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