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The Dvapara Yuga (Sanskrit: द्वापर युग, romanized: dvāpara-yuga), also spelled as Dwapara Yuga, is the third out of four Yugas, or ages, described in the scriptures of Hinduism. Dvapara in Sanskrit literally means "two ahead", that is, something in the third place. The Dvapara Yuga follows the Treta Yuga and precedes the Kali Yuga. According to the Puranas, this yuga ended at the moment when Krishna returned to his eternal abode of Vaikuntha. According to the Bhagavata Purana, the Dvapara Yuga lasts 864,000 years or 2400 divine years.
There are only two pillars of religion during the Dvapara Yuga: compassion and truthfulness. Vishnu assumes the colour yellow and the Vedas are categorized into four parts: Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. During these times, the Brahmins are knowledgeable of two or three of these but rarely have studied all the four Vedas thoroughly. Accordingly, because of this categorization, different actions and activities come into existence.
The roles of the classesEdit
All people in the Dvapara Yuga are desirous of achievement of the scriptural dharma that is prescribed to each class, valiant, courageous and competitive by nature and are engaged only in penance and charity. They are kingly and pleasure-seeking. In this era, the divine intellect ceases to exist, and it is therefore seldom that anyone is wholly truthful. As a result of this life of deceit, people are plagued by ailments, diseases and various types of desires. After suffering from these ailments, people realize their misdeeds and perform penance. Some also organize Yagya for material benefits as well as for divinity.
In this Yuga, the Brahmanas are involved in Yagya, self-study and teaching activities. They attain celestial bliss by engaging in penance, religion, control of senses, and restraint.
The duties of Kshatriyas are the protection of their subjects. In this era, they are humble and perform their duties by controlling their senses. The Kshatriyas honestly execute all policies of law and order without being angry or cruel. They are devoid of injustice towards the ordinary citizens and consequently attain bliss.
The king avails the advice of the learned scholars and accordingly maintains law and order in his empire. The king who is addicted to vices will definitely end up defeated. That is why Yudhisthira never got defeated as he had no vices despite being only a Rathi and other kings being Atirathis and Maharathis, some Atimaharathis also. One or two or all from Sāma, Dāna, Danda, Bheda and Upeksha is/are brought into use and help attain the desired. Kings are diligent in maintaining public decorum and order.
A few of the kings, however, surreptitiously plan a conspiracy along with the scholars. Strong people execute work where execution of policies is involved. The king appoints priests, etc. to perform religious activities, economists and ministers to perform monetary activities, impotents to take care of women, and cruel men to execute heinous activities.
There are two kshatriya dynasties, namely 'Surya (solar) Vansha' and 'Chandra (lunar) Vansha'.
Vaishyas are mostly landowners and merchants. The duties of Vaishyas are trade and agriculture. Vaishyas attain higher planes through charity and hospitality.
The duty of Shudras is to perform tasks that demand highly physical work. Vedas says everyone is a born shudra and with their deeds, they can become a kshatriya, brahman, or vaishya. For political reasons Shudras had difficulty going up the ranks unless they were extraordinary. Vidura, the famous Prime Minister of Hastinapura was born in the Shudra community and attained the status of a Brahmin due to his wisdom, righteousness, and learning.
In modern cultureEdit
In 1894, Swami Sri Yukteswar, with his book The Holy Science, broke from Hindu tradition in stating that the Earth is not in the age of Kali Yuga, but has advanced to Dvapara Yuga. His proof was based on a new perspective of the precession of the equinoxes, correcting what he believed was an error in interpretation by the ancient sages.