One Mr. Girdhari Lal, an old resident of Aurobindo’s Ashram, came here last evening and is staying at the Asramam. He asked Bhagavan this morning. “It is said in the puranas that the kaliyuga consists of so many thousands of years, and that so much of it has passed and that so much yet remains, etc. May I know when this yuga is to end?”
Bhagavan: I don’t consider time real. So I take no interest in such matters. We know nothing about the past or the yugas which were in the past. Nor do we know about the future. But we know the present exists. Let us know about it first. Then all other doubts will cease. After a pause he added, “Time and space always change. But there is something which is eternal and changeless. For example, the world and time, past or future, nothing exists for us during sleep. But we exist. Let us try to find out that which is changeless and which always exists. How will it benefit us to know that the kaliyuga started in such and such a year and that it would end so many years after now?”
Girdhari Lal: I know, from the standpoint of one whose level of consciousness is beyond time and space, such questions are useless. But to us, struggling souls, it may be important in this way. It is said that in the previous yugas e.g. satya yuga, man had not fallen to the low level in which he now is in this kaliyuga and that it was much easier for him then to attain liberation than now.
Bhagavan: On the other hand, it is said it is much easier to secure salvation in this yuga than in the satya yuga. Some days or hours of penance in this yuga would secure what several years of penance alone could have secured in those yugas. That is what the books say. Further, there is nothing to attain and no time within which to attain. You are always that. You have not got to attain anything. You have only to give up thinking you are limited, to give up thinking you are this upadhi or body.
Girdhari Lal: Then, why do these puranas give the exact duration of each yuga in so many years?
Bhagavan: There might be an allegorical meaning(moral story) in the number of years mentioned for each yuga. Or, the immensity of the periods of time assigned to each yuga may be a mere device to draw man’s attention to the fact that, though he should live up to his full span of a hundred years, his life would be such a trifling, insignificant fraction in the entire life of the universe, and that he should therefore take a proper view of his own humble place in the entire scheme and not go about with a swollen head, deeming himself as of great importance. Instead of saying, “What is man’s life compared to eternity?” they have taught him to consider how short his span is. Further, it is said there is a regular cycle of such yugas.And who knows how many such cycles have come and gone. Again, each yuga is sub-divided into four yugas. There is no end to all such calculations; and different schools have their theory as to when the present kaliyuga is to end. When time itself does not exist, as for instance in sleep, what is the use of bothering oneself with all such questions?
Source: DAY BY DAY WITH BHAGAVAN RAMANA MAHARSHI