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Kali Yuga

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Yugas 19508.jpg

Kali Yuga (Devanāgarī: कलियुग [kəli juɡə], lit. "age of [the demon) Kali", or "age of vice") is the last of the four stages the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures. The other ages are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga.

Kali Yuga is associated with the apocalyptic demon Kali, not to be confused with the goddess Kālī (read as Kaalee) (these are unrelated words in the Sanskrit language). The "Kali" of Kali Yuga means "strife, discord, quarrel, or contention."

Current Yuga

The duration and chronological starting point in human history of Kali Yuga has given rise to different evaluations and interpretations. According to the Surya Siddhanta, Kali Yuga began at midnight (00:00) on 18 February 3102 BCE in the proleptic Julian calendar, or 14 January 3102 BC in the proleptic Gregorian calendar. This date is also considered by many Hindus to be the day that Krishna left Earth to return to his abode.

Most interpreters of Hindu scriptures believe that Earth is currently in Kali Yuga. Other authors such as Swami Sri Yukteswar, and Paramhansa Yogananda believe that it is now an ascending Dvapara Yuga, indicating levels of cycles within each major Yuga period as each being a development, the smaller cycles within cycles eventually leading to full development of the qualities of the ages. Aurbindo Ghosh has written that Kali Yuga is now over. The Kali Yuga is sometimes thought to last 432,000 years, although other durations have been proposed.

Attributes of Kali Yuga

Hindus believe that human civilization degenerates spiritually during the Kali Yuga, which is referred to as the Dark Age because in it people are as far away as possible from God. Hinduism often symbolically represents morality (dharma) as a bull. In Satya Yuga, the first stage of development, the bull has four legs, but in each age morality is reduced by one quarter. By the age of Kali, morality is reduced to only a quarter of that of the golden age, so that the bull of Dharma has only one leg.

References in the Mahabharata

The Mahabharata War and the decimation of Yadavas thus happened at the Yuga-Sandhi, the point of transition from one yuga to another. The scriptures mention Sage Narada to have momentarily intercepted the demon Kali on his way to the Earth when Duryodhana was about to be born...to make him an embodiment of 'arishadvargas' and adharma in preparation of the era of decay in values and the consequent havoc.

Prophesied events during a Kali Yuga

A discourse by Markandeya in the Mahabharata identifies some of the attributes of Kali Yuga. In relation to rulers, it lists:

With regard to human relationships, Markandeya's discourse says:

10,000 year "Golden Age"

The Brahma Vaivarta Purana (related to Rathantara kalpa) mentions a ten thousand year period, starting from the traditional dating of the Kali Yuga epoch (for this one it is January 14 or 2:27 AM on February 18, 3102 BC/BCE), during which bhakti yogis will be present.

Lord Krishna foretold that Kali Yuga will be full of extreme hardships for people with ideals and values.

A special 10,000 year "Golden Age" period within Kali Yuga occurs only in this Maha Yuga Cycle.

In the Brahma-vaivarta Purana has words spoken by Lord Krishna to Mother Ganga just before the beginning of Kali yuga (the age of quarrel and strife). Kali yuga began approximately five thousand years ago, and it has a duration of 432,000 years, leaving us with 427,000 till the end of the present age. Within this 432,000 year period, there is a period of 10,000 years that will be a golden age. That golden age is being described below by Lord Sri Krishna.

Predicted in Brahma-vaivarta Purana 4.129. The fourth part of the Brahma-vaivarta is called Krsna-janma-khanda. Chapter 129 is called Golokarohanam, because it describes how Krishna returns to His abode. This specific dialogue is between Lord Krishna and Mother Ganga. Verse 49 is a question by Ganga, verses 50-60 are Lord Sri Krishna's answer.

This text is taken from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana

Text 59:

kaler daSa-sahasraaNi
madbhaktaaH saMti bhu-tale
ekavarNaa bhaviSyaMti
madbhakteSu gateSu ca

"For 10,000 years of Kali such devotees of Mine will be present on earth. After the departure of My devotees there will be only one varna, Outcaste."

The above is supported in 4.90.32-33:

kalau dasa-sahasrAni
haris tiSThati medinI
devAnAM pratimA pUjyA
sAstrANi ca purANakam

"(Sri Krisna said:) Lord Hari will stay on this earth for the first ten-thousand years of Kali-yuga. Till then gods will be worshipped and the {{Wiki|Puranas]] and scriptures will also be present."

The great Vaishnava Saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu exhorted, "Krishna Nama Sankirtan" i.e. the constant chanting of the Lord's name is the supreme healer in this age. It destroys sins and purifies the hearts through Bhakti ensures universal peace.

Personification

Kali is the reigning lord of Kali Yuga and his nemesis is Sri Kalki, the tenth and final Avatar of Lord Vishnu. According to the Vishnu Purana, Kali is a negative manifestation working towards the cause of 'the end' or rather towards eventual rejuvenation of the universe. Kali also serves as an antagonistic force in the Kalki Purana. It is said that towards the end of this yuga, Kalki will return riding on a white horse to do battle with Kali and his dark forces. The world will suffer a fiery end that will destroy all evil, and a new age, Satya Yuga, will begin.The Satya Yuga of second cycle will be known as Panchorath yug.

In Sikhism

In Sikhism, it is believed that one should meditate on God as much as possible because of the world being in Kali Yuga. Because of Kali Yuga, it is stressed that one should meditate as much as possible to reach the state of Nirvana and be liberated or be one with God. Guru Granth Sahib Ji on Ang:1185 says:

    ab kaloo aaeiou rae

        Now, the Dark Age of Kali Yuga has come.

    eik naam bovahu bovahu ||

        Plant the Naam, the Name of the One Lord.

    an rooth naahee naahee ||

        It is not the season to plant other seeds.

    math bharam bhoolahu bhoolahu ||

        Do not wander lost in doubt and delusion.

Source

Wikipedia:Kali Yuga