From AnthroWiki

A Kalpa (Sanskritकल्प "ritual, a long period of time, aeon"), originally a condensed form of Hindu ritual literature for practical use by Brahmins, stands for a great world age in Hindu cosmology. The term is also used in this sense in Buddhist cosmology.

A Kalpa represents a day of Brahma, a Brahma day, which comprises 1000 Maha-Yugas. Each maha-yuga is in turn divided into four world ages, the four Yugas. The first of these yugas lasts four times, the second three times and the third twice as long as the last, most imperfect age, so that the whole maha-yuga lasts ten times (4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 10) as long as the last age.

According to the "Code of Manu", the Manusmriti, is believed to be the first ancient legal text of Hinduism, the four Yugas last 4000, 3000, 2000 and 1000 years, each preceded or followed by a transitional period of 400, 300, 200 and 100 years respectively. This makes the duration of the Kali Yuga 1000 + 100 + 100 = 1200 years. The corresponding maha-yuga therefore lasts 12,000 years.[1] Rudolf Steiner, however, gives 5000 years for the duration of the Kali-Yuga; it began in 3101 BC[2] and ended at the end of 1899.

According to the Bhagavata Purana, however, the times for the yugas are to be understood as god-years, with one god-year corresponding to 360 human years. The above figures should therefore be multiplied by 360:

  • Kali-yuga: 1200 × 360 = 432,000 years
  • Dvāpara-Yuga: 2400 × 360 = 864,000 years
  • Tretā-Yuga: 3600 × 360 = 1,296,000 years
  • Satya-Yuga: 4800 × 360 = 1,728,000 years

A Maha-Yuga thus comprises 4,320,000 years. 1000 Maha-Yugas form a Kalpa, i.e. a Brahma day, which therefore lasts 4,320,000,000, i.e. 4.32 billion years. The Brahma day is followed by an equally long Brahma night, i.e. a total of 8,640,000,000 = 8.64 billion years. The entire life of a Brahma, a Maha-Kalpa, lasts 100 Brahma years of 360 such days and nights each, i.e. 8,640,000,000 x 100 x 360 = 311,040,000,000 = 311,400 billion human years, which is 864,000,000,000 = 864 billion god-years. Everything then disappears for another 100 Brahma years in a state of complete formlessness. After that, from the navel of Vishnu, a new world, a new Brahma is born.

In the Secret Doctrine of H. P. Blavatsky, the following identical information can be found:

„To make this still clearer in its details, the following computations by Rao Bahadur P. Sreenivas Row, are given from the "Theosophist" of November, 1885.

Mortal years.
360 days of mortals make a year 1
Krita Yuga contains 1,728,000
Treta Yuga contains 1,296,000
Dwapara Yuga contains 864,000
Kali Yuga contains 432,000
The total of the said four Yugas constitute a Maha Yuga 4,320,000
Seventy-one of such Maha-Yugas form the period of the reign of one Manu 306,720,000
The reign of 14 Manus embraces the duration of 994 Maha-Yugas, which is equal to 4,294,080,000

Add Sandhis, i.e., intervals between the reign of each Manu, which amount to six Maha-Yugas, equal to 25,920,000
The total of these reigns and interregnums of 14 Manus, is 1,000 Maha-Yugas, which constitute a Kalpa, i.e., one day of Brahma 4,320,000,000
As Brahma's Night is of equal duration, one Day and Night of Brahma would contain 8,640,000,000
360 of such days and nights make one year of Brahma make 3,110,400,000,000
100 such years constitute the whole period of Brahma's age, i.e., Maha-Kalpa 311,040,000,000,000

“ (Lit.: H. P. Blavatsky: The Secret Doctrine, Volume 2, p. 69f)


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
Email: verlag@steinerverlag.com URL: www.steinerverlag.com.
Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold
steinerbooks.org - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.


  1. Manusmriti I,68-71
  2. According to H. P. Blavatsky and also according to Hinduist tradition, the dark ages began as early as 18 February 3102 BC with the death of Krishna.