This is the third article in our Yuga series, where we narrate the qualities, timelines, and various other aspects of the Treta Yuga. After the end of Satya Yuga, the second in the cycle of Maha Yuga is the Treta Yuga and it lasts for 1,296,000 human years. One of the strange things about the order of the Yugas is that Treta comes before Dwapar, even when Dwapar means two and Treta means three. In this Yuga virtue has declined by a quarter of Satya Yuga by the advent of Treta Yuga, the presence of Satya in Human nature had slowly started to diminish, whatever amount of goodness they retained in their virtue was now accompanied by the ever-increasing amount of Tamas and Rajas.
1. Tamas and Rajas in Treta Yuga
Tamas represent the darkness in human nature and rajas constitute all of the passion a human could conjure. Our consciousness in Treta Yuga becomes a little more dualistic, which has greater implications through other Yuga cycles. People in this age are slowly growing, more materialistic, and less inclined towards spirituality, though, keep in mind, this was a slow decline.
2. The Gradual Change in Treta Yuga
Wars begin to emerge and become a part of our dualistic consciousness. The weather begins to change drastically, giving rise to the formation of oceans and deserts. Agriculture and mining come into existence along with rules and regulations to keep society under control.
Despite all of these seemingly negative effects caused by our slowly growing dualistic consciousness, Treta Yuga brought forth the knowledge of universal magnetism and allowed humans to understand the forces of nature and the nature of the universe from a logical perspective, While Treta Yuga saw a slight decline in the overall quality of life, it was still a glorious age in itself. The dharma bull stood on three legs during this period.
3. The Mental and Physical Powers got Lost in Treta Yuga
Treta Yuga was most prominently the mental age in which psychic power was harnessed. Many inventions resulted from this power which was used to dissolve the illusion of time, as, in the Satya Yuga, religion still flourished and fittingly the virtue accorded the highest value in this age is Yajna or sacrifice. Many social and planetary shifts happen within Treta Yuga. By now, people had nurtured an acute level of intellect, but they had also lost a good deal of control over their body and its physiology. The body stature was now lesser than that in the Satya Yuga.
4. Humans in Treta Yuga
An average human was around 14 cubits tall, but some exceptional beings had attained godly built, and divine personas to name the likes as Ram, Lakshman, Ravana, and Hanuman were considered godlike for their extraordinary strength and inimitable intellect. This Yuga saw the incarnation of the first human avatars of Vishnu, like Vamana, Parashurama, and Rama. In the Vamana avatar, Vishnu appeared in the most beautiful form of a brahmana dwarf named Varman to save the devas and prevent asura king Bali from conquering all the three worlds.
5. Lord Vishnu’s avatar in Treta Yuga
In the Parashurama avatar, he was born to a pious sage, Jamadagni, and Renuka. Vishnu incarnated himself as a brahmana priest and is the only incarnation that is immortal. He is said to be one of the seven Chiranjeevis (Immortals) and will be alive till the end of Kali Yuga on earth. Parashuram chose the life of a warrior to fight and destroy the abuse of the Kshatriyas who, at the time, were misusing their powers to hurt the innocent.
In the seventh incarnation Lord Vishnu, in the form of Rama, saved the land from evil forces and destruction and established dharma or righteousness by killing Raksha's king Ravana in a war. Although this age was not usually marked by warfare, it was during this period when the war that is recounted in the Ramayana allegedly occurred, wherein Rama conquered the evil King Ravana.