- Age of enlightenment
- Age of meditation. These two ages comprise the Former Day of the Law
- Age of reading, reciting, and listening
- Age of building temples and stupas. These two ages comprise the Middle Day of the Law
- Age of conflict , an age characterized by unrest, strife, famine, and other natural and human-made disasters. This age corresponds to the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law when the (historical) Buddha's teachings would lose all power of salvation and perish and a new Buddha would appear to save the people.
The three periods and the five five-hundred year periods are described in the Sutra of the Great Assembly.