The Hindu dharma, the origin of which cannot be attributed to a fixed point on the Geological time-scale, rather than merely another religion with narrowed perceptions, is a prodigious civilization with a lot from its past to boast of. The wide-ranging scriptures of the dharma boast of sundry stuff- from the metaphysical, the origin of the universe and the existence of God itself to the righteous wars, and the valiant warriors who fought them on moral grounds.
That said, the scriptures must have a take on the occurrence of ice age, about which the modern-day geologists say, the last one occurred about 2.6 million years ago in the Pleistocene epoch, it marked the end of the age of the giant mammals, the dinosaurs, and paved the path for the evolution of Homo Sapiens, or the humans. As the scientists claim, there have been at least five documented major ice ages during the 4.6 billion years since the Earth was formed — and most likely many more before that have not been documented; that is one bold claim, what do the scriptures of the Hindu dharma say about it?
Ice-Age At The End of Chatur yuga
The Hindu dharma postulates its claims in the mention of Yugas; an epoch or era with four-age cycles, and at the end of the Chatur yuga the inevitable Pralaya or apocalypse wipes out the entire human civilization, often it is also marked by the drastic weather changes and even massive floods. The inevitable apocalypse at the end of Mahayuga or Chatur yuga, meaning the four yugas, often referred to as ice-age seems fair-minded and even equitable when aided by the Vedic explanation of the Yugas.
The Four Yugas (Mahayuga) in comparison to The Four Ages
The well-known four yugas, comprising the Chatur Yuga or Mahayuga are namely Satya or Krita, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali; in the modern-day conventional translation also referred to as the Golden, Silver, Bronze and Iron age respectively; the epithets to these four Yugas in itself speaks for the eminence of each of them. The four-yugas combined or the Mahayuga, rotate in cyclical order, their time-span being in the ratio of 4:3:2:1. To be precise, the length of Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali yugas is in years 4800, 3600, 2400 and 1200.
As it progresses from Satya through Treta and Dvapara to kali yuga, there is a decline of man in all respects; physical, mental, moral, spiritual and intellectual. Accordingly, Satya yuga, when the level of true intelligence is said to be at its highest peak, or more conventional a 100%, is known as the golden age, Treta yuga, when the level of consciuousness or true-intelligence is said to have declined by a quarter, as the silver age, Dwapara where the caliber of true intelligence dips by another quarter as the bronze age and Kali yuga, when the level of true-intelligence is a mere 25% of what it was in the Satya Yuga, as the iron age.
Also, as the Mahayuga moves on cyclically in ascending order, from kali we progress upward in ascending order through Dvapara and Treta to Satya Yuga when in ascending order man goes on excelling in all respects till he reaches the pinnacle of development in Satya Yuga. This cyclical process goes on ad infinitum, the Latin phrase for fore-ever.
An Avatar of God Descends at the End of Each Kali-Yuga
At the end of the each Kali-Yuga, an incarnation or an avatar of God is said to come down to the earth, the raging yet revered avatar is said to bring down to the earth an apocalypse which destroys all the evil, and in doing so paves the path for an invigorating dawn of Satya Yuga or the Golden age. This event of massive destruction often marked by great floods and drastic weather-changes in patterns unfathomable finds its analogy with the modern-age concept of Ice-age. Very much true to the virtue of mass destruction, the progress of the human civilization ceases and the surviving ones have to start from the scratch the re-building of them to be the all eminent civilization.
The submerged city-stations of Ancient Dwarka, the Capital of Lord Krishna’s Kingdom, in the Arabian sea among many provide prominence to the speculations in the scriptures of the Hindu dharma, and elevate their status from being mere tales, and even confirm the occurrence of cyclic devastations, or the ice-ages.