The Yugas

Keys to Understanding Our Hidden Past, Emerging Energy Age, and Enlightened Future
Authors, Joseph Selbie and David Steinmetz — Foreword by Swami Kriyananda

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“An amazing, mind-expanding investigation of the hidden cycles underlying the rise and fall of civilizations. Despite the dark signs of the times we live in there is hope here for all of us.
—Graham Hancock, author of Fingerprints of the Gods

Today’s view of history cannot account for ancient anomalies, such as the Pyramids and advanced knowledge contained in India’s Vedas, but in 1894 an Indian sage gave us an explanation not only for our hidden past, but for the trends of today, and for our future enlightenment — the 24,000 year yuga cycle.

Millions are wonder if we are due for a world-changing global shift, and what the future holds for mankind. Paramhansa Yogananda (author of the classic Autobiography of a Yogi) and his teacher, Sri Yukteswar, offered key insights into this subject nearly a century ago. They presented a fascinating explanation of the rising and falling eras that our planet cycles through every 24,000 years.

According to their teachings, we have recently passed through the low ebb in that cycle and are moving forward to a higher age — an Energy Age that will continue to revolutionize the world. They declared that we would live in a time of great social and spiritual change, and that much of what we believe to be fixed and true — our entire way of looking at the world — would ultimately be transformed and uplifted. In The Yugas, Joseph Selbie and David Steinmetz present substantial and intriguing evidence from the findings of historians and scientists that demonstrate the truth of Yukteswar’s and Yogananda’s revelations.


“An amazing, mind-expanding investigation of the hidden cycles underlying the rise and fall of civilizations. I found The Yugas not only intellectually convincing but also spiritually and emotionally uplifting and deeply healing as well. Despite the dark signs of the times we live in there is hope here for all of us.”    

Graham Hancock, author of Fingerprints of the Gods    

“The concept of the yugas is critically important for a clear understanding of humankind’s ancient past, our potential future, and the way the larger cosmic environment influences humanity’s changing consciousness. The conventional mainstream view of an overall linear progression in human history is no longer tenable; it is now clear that the ancients of 10,000 to 15,000 years ago were not ‘primitives’ and we have much to learn from them. Based on the teachings of Sri Yukteswar, The Yugas by Joseph Selbie and David Steinmetz provides a perceptive analysis of history from the height of the last Satya Yuga (Spiritual Age) of circa 11,500 B.C. to our present age. Just as importantly, the authors discuss trends and developments that we may anticipate over the next 10,000 years as the cycle of the yugas comes full circle. The Yugas integrates and synthesizes disparate facts and apparent anomalies that are often ignored. This is a profound book on a profound subject. Intelligently written and fascinating, it provides new revelations on the unfolding of human potential over the course of millennia.    

—Robert M. Schoch, PhD, author of Pyramid Quest: Secrets of the Great Pyramid and the Dawn of Civilization    

“Move over Copernicus, another revolution is underway! The Yugas will not only change the way we look at history, it will change the way we see ourselves and the world around us. This is a wisdom whose time has come. The startling revelations and sweeping vision of Selbie and Steinmetz deliver a story so timeless it will challenge and inspire generations to come!    

“Our forefathers etched the phrase ‘Novus Ordo Seclorum’ (‘New Order of the Ages’) on the Great Seal of our new nation, but few historians have understood its meaning. By resurrecting a lost knowledge, with exquisite and provocative detail, Selbie and Steinmetz unleash its full power and promise. The Yugas . . . I absolutely loved this book!”    

—Walter Cruttenden, author of The Lost Star of Myth and Time

“Selbie and Steinmetz have, in my opinion, produced a work of genius. If you aren’t satisfied with what you’ve read, or been taught, about the linear development of civilization, you will find in this book an alternate picture of our Earth’s history that will, I think, thrill you.”    

–J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda), author of The New Path     

“Selbie and Steinmetz have produced a comprehensive and in-depth study of the yuga theory of Hindu and yogic thought. They have based their research upon the writings of Sri Yukteswar, the venerable guru of famed Yoga master Paramahansa Yogananda, and his profound insight. The book covers all aspects of the yugas, including the secret of what world age humanity currently resides in and what we can likely expect for the future.    

“The book casts an important new light on the history and evolution of the human race and the mysteries of the great cycles of time that we must all honor. All those who want to understand our species and the hidden cosmic influences that govern our lives will benefit from its detailed examination. Those who study the book carefully will come away with a transformed vision of our world and its spiritual potentials.”    

—David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri), author of Astrology of the Seers and Yoga and Ayurveda    

The Yugas presents us with a glimpse into the future.  Not only mankind’s future, but also our own personal future, as we journey through our way to enlightenment.  An understanding of these cycles of Yugas as a natural process of growth and development, and not of wars and perpetual suffering, un-blurs our vision of our inner potential.  Taken from the teachings of Sri Yukteswar and his student, Paramhansa Yogananda, The Yugas is a profound gift from a great master and his beloved disciple.”    

— Robert R. Hieronimus, PhD, host of 21st Century Radio, author of United Symbolism of America    

“This potentially transformational book, The Yugas by Joseph Selbie and David Steinmetz, contains the most incisive and useful information on these cosmic epochs that I have ever seen.    

“Backgrounded by interpretations by the great masters Sri Yukteswar and Paramhansa Yogananda, and further supported by guidance from Selbie’s and Steinmetz’s teacher, Swami Kriyananda, these chapters shed revealing light on the meaning of these cosmic periods.    

“Information is power, and in this case, interpretation and explanation is power—power toward personal transformation. The great wisdom of Yukteswar and Yogananda, which has been revered and uplifted by Yogananda’s disciple Kriyananda, is thus passed down through the ages.    

“These two authors deserve our great thanks for their deep and informed look at the yugas. And the book’s appearance reminds me to be thankful to Swami Kriyananda for passing down the work of his master Yogananda, and now through his (Kriyananda’s) students.”    

—Katherine Diehl, journalist    

“This book may change your view of history and your understanding of the future. The Yugas by Joseph Selbie and David Steinmetz reveals the little known teachings of Sri Yukteswar and Paramhansa Yogananda regarding the cycles of humankind’s cultural, social, and spiritual evolution–which differs greatly from the history of civilization to be found in our present textbook dogmas. The cycles of enlightenment that Sri Yukteswar began teaching nearly 120 years ago—and many of the discoveries that he predicted—are now being verified by modern science. The coming of the great Energy Age taught by the master teacher Sri Yukteswar and his most famous disciple Paramhansa Yogananda promises an enlightened future for all who recognize the coming of a raising of consciousness for the human species. Selbie and Steinmetz have produced a text that is both well-researched and an exciting, informative read.”    

—Brad Steiger, author of Worlds Before Our Own and Sherry Steiger, author of Indian Wisdom and Its Guiding Power    

The Yugas is a great and important book that will undoubtedly revolutionize our view of history and how it plays out.    

“Selbie and Steinmetz have done a terrific job in demonstrating the scientific evidence of rising and falling ages of man, as opposed to the linear development of civilization favored by most historians.    

“Before reading The Yugas, I was familiar with Sri Yukteswar’s and Paramhansa Yogananda’s concept, on which the book is based. After reading The Yugas, I understood more deeply this concept’s sometimes-surprising foundations in the past and its all-penetrating ramifications for the future.    

“Reading this book was like being given a glimpse of the sweeping panorama of the ages. My mind shifted. My consciousness was transformed.    

“I think The Yugas should be employed as a university textbook. If you are at all interested in where humanity has been and where we are headed, I highly recommend that you read this book.”    

—Richard Salva, author of The Reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln and Walking with William of Normandy    

“We ‘moderns’ tend to believe we know more than those who have lived before us, especially those of earlier millennia. In its detailed research and fascinating revelations, this book pricks the bubble of that linear conceit with its wealth of extraordinary insights and evidence to the contrary. Here is proof once again that ancient wisdom and truth, though often overlooked or long forgotten, is never superceded.    

“As we learn in this brilliant detective-like study that probes the arc of time, greater civilizations than ours have preceded and exceeded us, more advanced in spirituality as well as science, borne to higher awareness by a cyclical dance of cosmological forces. Contained in this ‘new’ history of humankind is a divinely inspired examination of why we were as we were in ages past, why we are as we are in this ascending age of energy and understanding, and what we can anticipate about ourselves and our world in ages yet to come. Selbie and Steinmetz have given us a thesis that is uncompromisingly accurate in its chronicle of significant events and their correspondence to the yugas – cycles of human consciousness – in which they occurred. What emerges is an astonishing, compelling and altogether enlightened view of evolution itself.”    

—James Surendra Conti, Manager, East-West Bookstore    

“This consciousness-raising study, which presents a profound and necessary challenge to conventional science, is a vital addition to the growing recognition among independent researchers that ancient civilizations were often far more technologically or spiritually advanced than we are today. In Sri Yukteswar’s concept of the yugas, charting the 24,000-year cyclic rise and fall of human endeavor throughout history and into an inspirational future, we have the East’s counterpart to the Platonic Year, more familiar to Westerners as signaling the Aquarian Age. In an indispensable work, both intellectually and emotionally satisfying, Selbie and Steinmetz bring us a stirring new paradigm which reveals how our power to transform ourselves is the measure of our power to transform the world in accordance with the cosmic pattern.”    

—Geoff Ward, host of Mysterious Planet, author of Spirals: the Pattern of Existence    

 “David Steinmetz and Joseph Selbie are to be congratulated in their brilliant attempt to change the course of our stereotyped thinking about cosmology, ancient history and modern science. Though their views are based on Sri Yukteswar’s immortal classic and the works of Sri Paramhansa Yogananda, yet they have given a beautiful new angle on their opinions which will be most appealing to modern readers. All over the ancient world we find quantum leaps of the intellect far beyond the concepts we have about that age. How and why do these occur? The authors of this book have delved deep into the esoteric secrets of many ancient traditions and come up with their own unique contribution to the nature of these strange occurrences.    

“In Hinduism science and religion, or jnana and vijnana, have always gone hand in hand. The ancient rishis of India realised that though religion could exist without science and science without religion, the fact was that the human being needed both. The body and spirit have to be nourished in order to get a fulfilled human being and hence we find that in all the ancient cultures the priests themselves were the greatest scientists. Hence those cultures came up with the most fantastic innovations in the physical world which were only discovered in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The fascinating and novel reasons for this have been made explicit in a very lucid fashion in this book which makes it very easy to read and appreciate. It takes our minds from the fantastic to the mundane with ease and clarity.”    

–Mata Devi Vanamali, Vanamali Ashram, Rishikesh   

After years of intensive research, Selbie and Steinmetz have turned their findings into a complete and comprehensive whole with some amazing and revolutionary looks on human history—and have brought to light long-forgotten wisdom of ancient civilizations far more advanced than previously thought in spirituality, philosophy, and maybe even science. If you are interested in the history of humanity and the anticipations and possible enrichments that their teachings might bring us, both now and in the future, then this book is definitely a must-read.    

—A. G. Pietnow, Founder of  

The Yugas is a brilliantly written text based on extensive historical research validating the theory of the ages of human development proposed by Swami Sri Yukteswar in The Holy Science. This book provides us with an optimistic view of our future as we leave the remnants of Kali Yuga or the dark age in our past. The Yugas explores the current electrical age of Dwapara Yuga. This enlightening age brings the opportunity of illumination and peace on our planet as we navigate toward the divine light of the central Sun.  

–Dennis M. Harness, Ph.D, Vedic Astrologer