The ancient Aryans certainly were familiar with and were indeed the creators of the doctrine of the ages and had a cyclical view of time.We know for certain that the ancient Greeks, Indo-Aryans and the Persians had such a doctrine.
The Greek philosopher Hesiod[8th century BCE] set out the Ages of Man in his Works and Days. The Greeks named the four ages after certain metals-gold, silver, bronze and iron. Just as the metals degrade in value from gold down to iron so does the quality of mankind degrades.
In the Golden Age man walked with the Gods. This was the age of Chronus when there was peace, plenty and harmony. The Old Testament of the Bible captures the essence of this myth with the story of the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve walked with God and enjoyed innocent communion with him. The Indo-Aryans termed this age the Satya or Krta Yuga.
In the Silver Age the rule of Chronus was replaced by that of Zeus and death entered into the world just as in the Garden of Eden with Adam`s eating of the forbidden fruit he lost his immortality and became subject to decay and death. Not only mankind but the whole of creation began a process of decay. Men became impious and began to defy the Gods just as Adam defied his God. However men still lived long lives. The Indo-Aryans referred to this age as the Treta Yuga.
In the Bronze Age war between men became prevalent and it is from this age that we find many of our ancient Aryan heroes lived such as Hercules. The Illiad and the Odyssey recount some of the deeds of this era. However Hesiod chooses to insert an intermediary age, an Age of Heroes between the Bronze and Iron Ages. It is in this age he chooses to position the great Bronze Age heroes and he portrays this age as a temporary halt in man`s decline and Indeed as an improvement upon the previous one. This goes against the grain of the concept of man`s continual degradation and clearly is of Hesiod`s own making rather than the transmission of an ancient truth.
The Roman Ovid[first century BCE to first century CE] speaks of only four ages. The Indo-Aryans referred to this age as the Dvapara Yuga. For those who are interested in studying this subject in greater depth and scope I recommend Julius Evola`s Revolt Against the Modern World.
The last age is the Iron Age, that which the Indo-Aryans refer to as the Kali Yuga and in this age all traditional values are inverted: the good are referred to as evil and the evil good. There is constant warfare and violence between men, including those of blood kin. There is general rebellion between generations and castes and all that is good and decent is overturned. In this age men and women commit shameful acts, homosexuality and other perversions is rife. Social contracts are broken and divorce is common. Miscegination is to be found between all races and especially afflicted are the Aryan peoples who have suffered unprecedented levels of immigration from the most racially diverse peoples . Truth is presented as falsehood and lies are elevated to truth. No one can trust his neighbour and in the words of the New Testament of the Bible a man`s enemies are those of his own household.
We must remember that even in the Bible there are some great truths to be found as the Jews stole many of their concepts and stories from the Aryans who took them into captivity and amongst whom they lived, most especially the Medes and Persians and as such Aryan teaching can be found within the Bible but one must be discerning and be able to sort the wheat from the chaff. For instance it is clear that the dream of the prophet Daniel which was told to the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was clearly stolen from the Aryans and misused as Jewish propaganda.
In the dream Daniel has a vision of the four ages in the form of a great statue with a golden head, a silver chest and arms, a belly and thighs of bronze and legs of iron and its feet partly of iron and baked clay. The ancient Teutons referred to this age as the Iron or Wolf Age. Even in the Nordic Eddas we have a glimpse of these various ages. The authors of The Asatru Edda actually deliberately represent the Eddic material in four sections:
The Ur Aldr
The Gull Aldr
The Silfr Aldr
The Koppar Aldr
The Jarn Aldr
The Ulfr Aldr
The second to fourth ages relate to the Gold, Silver, Bronze and Iron Ages but they choose to insert two additional ones, the Ur Aldr or Primaeval Age and the Ulfr Aldr, the Wolf Age. Clearly the Ur Aldr and the Gull Aldr could and should be grouped together as one age or two sub divisions of one age just as the Jarn or Ulfr Aldrs should be grouped together as one age, the Iron/Wolf Age or the Kali Yuga or sub divisions of that one age.
Our observations of general everyday life and our understanding of history is sufficient for us to realise that we are indeed living in the Kali Yuga but what if anything can be done about this and what should our proper response be? I believe that the answer is to be found in Julius Evola`s Riding the Tiger:
"When a cycle of civilization is reaching its end, it is difficult to achieve anything by resisting it and by directly opposing the forces in motion. The current is too strong; one would be overwhelmed. The essential thing is not to let oneself be impressed by the omnipotence and apparent triumph of the forces of the epoch. These forces, devoid of connection with any higher principle, are in fact on a short chain. One should not become fixated on the present and on things at hand, but keep in view the conditions that mat come about in the future. Thus the principle to follow could be that of letting the forces and processes of this epoch to take their own course, while keeping oneself firm and ready to intervene when "the tiger, which cannot leap on the person riding it, is tired of running." The Christian injunction "Resist not evil" may have a similar meaning, if taken in a very particular way. One abandons direct action and retreats to a more internal position."[Chapter 2 of Riding the Tiger]
The only event which can bring this age to a close and for a new Golden Age to arise is the coming of what the Indo-Aryans call the avenger, the Kalki Avatar, the final incarnation of "He who comes back". "When justice is crushed, when evil is triumphant, then I come back. For thw protection of the good, for the destruction of evildoers, for the establishment of the Reign of Righteousness. I am born again and again, age after age."[The Bhagavad-Gita IV Verses 7 and 3]
I intend to focus more on the Kalki Avatar in a future article on this blog and how He is portrayed in different religious and mythical traditions.