July 25, 2020

What is Kali Yuga? Explanation of Kalki

By admin

Kali Yuga is the last of four Yugas in the cycle of nature. According to legends, Vishnu will be incarnated into his Kalki avatar at the end of Kali Yuga to restore righteousness. Kalki is the final of the Dashavatar of Lord Vishnu and is mentioned in the Kalki Purana. It is written by Sutta. The concept of Kalki is not much interpreted in the Hindu mythology as this avatar has not been taken yet. However, the time is a rotating cycle and all the four Yugas have passed previously. So let’s begin.

Kali Yuga:

Kali Yuga is the last of four Yugas described in the Hindu scriptures. The world goes through a cycle of four Yugas also known as Mahayugas. The other epochs are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dwapara Yuga. The Kali Yuga is also called the dark age and is associated with contention, conflicts, murder and all such evil forces. The ideologies of love, honesty and sacrifice are nearly absent. Evil triumphs over the good. The means of spirituality are dominated by the devilish forces. This Yuga is associated with the demon Kali who is believed to the ruler of Kali Yuga. He should not be confused with Goddess Kali. According to Puranas, the departure of Lord Krishna marked the end of Dwapara Yuga and the beginning of Kali Yuga. The last King of Dwapara Yuga was King Parikheet who was the son of Abhimanyu and Uttara. According to legends he was very righteous and charitable. He did not allow the demon Kali to establish his empire. Kali once approached King Parikheet as a person who needs shelter. Being a charitable king, he could not deny him. He sheltered demon Kali in his crown. Soon Parikheet died of a curse since he was driven by demon Kali to do wrong things. Thus Kali Yuga began with the reign of demon Kali. The Kali Yuga dates back to 3102 BCE approximately February 17 or 18. Based on the Puranic calculations and the starting year 3102 BCE the Kali Yuga is 432,000 years long that is 1200 years divine years. Roughly 5121 years ago Kali Yuga began and has 426879 years left as of 2020 CE. It will end in 428899 CE.

Surya Siddhanta: According to this text, Kali Yuga began at midnight on 18th February in 3102 BCE. This is the same date when Krishna left his earthly body to return to Vaikuntha. The temple of Bhalka where this incident took place bears inscriptions based on this information. According to Aryabhata, the great astronomer and mathematician Kali Yuga began in 3102 BCE. Aryabhata in his book Aryabhattiyam gives a clear account of the start of Kali Yuga. He mentions in his book that he wrote this book at the age of 23 in the year 3600 of the Kali age. So based on this account it was the 3600th year of the Kali age and Aryabhata was born in 476 CE. So the origin of Kali Yuga ( 3600-(476+23)+1) is equal to 3102 BCE. This is based on the fact that only one year elapses between 1 BCE and 1 CE. In terms of K.D Abhyankar Kali Yuga started at an aligned rare planetary combinations. Based on this it might have started 3104 BCE as described in the Mohenjo-Daro seals. According to Vrdhha Garga Kali Yuga preceded 500 BCE than the modern estimates. According to Swami Shri Yutkeshwar Giri Kali Yuga has ended and we are in the ascending Dwapara Yuga. He believed that the traditional chronology of the Yugas is wrong and has been formed for political reasons. However, he himself was influenced by the Jain time cycle and the European myth of progress and may have been politically inclined as well.

Mahabharata: According to Hindu beliefs human beings denim spiritually during this age. Ego, bankruptcy and other such evil forces are at its heights. Hinduism symbolises Dharma as an Indian bull. During the Satya Yuga the bull has four legs. With the advancement of ages Dharma declines. In Kali Yuga the bull of morality has only one leg symbolising the height of immortality. The decimation of the Kuravas during the battle of Kurukshetra marks the Yuga-Sandhi meaning the transition between the two Yugas. According to legends, Narada saw demon Kali coming towards the earth when Duryodhana was about to be born. Kali wanted to make Duryodhana an embodiment of arishadvargas and adharma. This was in preparation of the coming evil epoch. According to Mahabharata, in Kali Yuga the rulers would become unreasonable and levy unfair taxes. They will no longer fulfil their duties and people will start migrating. During the last years of the Kali Yuga, the existence of God will become non existent. At that time Lord Vishnu would come as a chastiser of humanity as mentioned in the Shrimad Bhagawatam. Ignorance of Dharma and lust will be prevalent. Maximum age of humans will be 50 years and many diseases will spread. Numerous fake ideologies will commence and the powerful would dominate the poor. Lord Vishnu will take the Kalki Avatar to free the earth from sins and the Bhagavata Purana will be composed.

Brahma Vaivarta Purana: According to this account, the ten thousand years of Kali Yuga, Bhakti Yogis will be present. Kali Yuga will be full of hardships and barriers for people with ideologies in terms of Krishna. Brahma Vaivarta Purana is the conversation of Krishna and Ganga just before the start of the Kali Yuga. The first 5000 years which have already passed were the golden ages of the Kali Yuga. Krishna says in Brahma Vaivarta Purana, “kalau daṣa-sahasrāṇi, haris tiṣṭhati medinī, devānām pratimā pūjyā, śāstrāni ca purāṇakam.” This means that Lord Vishnu will stay on this earth for the first ten thousand years of the Kali Yuga then the gods and the Puranas will also be present.

Other versions: According to Shaivism, the ill effects of the Kali Yuga can only be modified by Lord Shiva himself.  According to their beliefs, Lord Shiva once told Parvati that he would again come on earth in the Kali Yuga to restore righteousness. This is related with Karma yoga or hard work. Anyone engaged in hard work can attain salvation in Kali Yuga. In Sikhism Kali Yuga is a state of the world believed to be in 16th century. According to the Guru Granth Sahib one should meditate as much as possible to attain salvation. The concept of Kali Yuga is important in both Theosophy and Anthroposophy. According to many scholars like Helena Balavatsky, Julius Evola and others, Kali Yuga ended in 1900.

The concept of Kalki:

Kalki is also called Kalkin. He is the last of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. He will be born at the end of Kali Yuga and Satya Yuga will commence again. He will end Adharma. According to the Kalki Purana his mount is Devdutt the white Horse. He carries a sword in hand and will be born in Sambhala. His parents are Vishnuyash and Sumati. He has three siblings Sumant, Pragya and Kavi. His consort is Padmini who is the incarnation of goddess Lakshmi. He is portrayed as the one who destroys dark forces and upholds Dharma. He is pictured riding a horse with a fiery sword. In some texts he is an invisible force destroying the evil forces. In some he is the leader of the army of warriors. In Tibetan Buddhism, Kalki is found in the Kalachakra-Tantra. Sikhism also has a similar belief. The name Kalki is derived from the word Kal meaning time. Kalki stands for all doing which in the Avatar context does not have any meaning according to certain scholars. In terms of few scholars the original term might have been Karki as mentioned in Mahabharata where the Avatar is referred to as Karki. Kalki restarts a new cycle of time in the Puranas as a warrior. In Buddhism, the righteous kings are called Kalki who live in Sambhala. The last of these Kalkis would lead a huge army against the dark forces and destroy them. The people will restart a cycle of happiness and peace. However, the Puranas find no mention of Kalki. The term Kalmallikanam meaning brilliant remover of darkness is symbolic of Lord Shiva who will be the forerunner to Kalki. In Mahabharata Kalki appears for the first time. However, in Matsya Purana, Bhagavata Purana and Vishnu Purana his details are mentioned. According to Mahabharata, Kalki is the later manifestation of Parshurama who punishes the evil doers. However, he does not finish mankind at a go. The Avatar of Kali is not much mentioned compared to the other avatars of Lord Vishnu. According to the Vayu Purana a different character named Pramiti ends the Kali Yuga. According to certain manuscripts Kalki will be born to Awejsirdenee and Bishenjun. He will become the king and uphold Dharma. In the Kanchipuram temple, two relief Puranic panels depict Kalki, one relating to lunar (daughter-based) dynasty as mother of Kalki and another to solar (son-based) dynasty as father of Kalki.

Image of Kalki: According to the Padma Purana Kalki will gather all the Brahmanas and fight a war against the evil. He will have the power to change the course of time. He will turn the wheel of Dharma. His weapon will be gifted by Lord Shiva. He will fulfil the prophecies of Lord Shiva. His wife Padmini will be from Shimhala island. He will be an Indian but his wife will be a foreigner from an island country. According to Kalki Purana, he marries princess Padmavati the daughter of Brhadratha of Simhala. After defeating the evil forces Kalki returns to Sambhala and starts a new Yuga. Then he returns back to heaven. According to Sikh texts Kalki is the 24th avatar of Lord Vishnu who will uphold Dharma. According to Legends, the white horse Devdutt on which Kalki mounts is the incarnation of Garuda. A parrot is also granted to him by Lord Shiva. Lord Kalki is pictured as holding his brightly shining trident and bowandarrows , riding upon His victorious horse and wearing His amulet.

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