Anomalies in the Kali Age

Srimad Bhagavatam

The great sage Vyāsadeva saw anomalies in the duties of the millennium. This happens on the earth in different ages, due to unseen forces in the course of time.

The great sages like Vyāsadeva are liberated souls, and therefore they can see clearly past and future. Thus he could see the future anomalies in the Kali age, and accordingly he made arrangement for the people in general so that they can execute a progressive life in this age, which is full of darkness. The people in general in this age of Kali are too much interested in matter, which is temporary. Because of ignorance they are unable to evaluate the assets of life and be enlightened in spiritual knowledge.

…The unmanifested forces of time are so powerful that they reduce all matter to oblivion in due course. In Kali-yuga, the last millennium of a round of four millenniums, the power of all material objects deteriorates by the influence of time. In this age the duration of the material body of the people in general is much reduced, and so is the memory. The action of matter has also not so much incentive. The land does not produce food grains in the same proportions as it did in other ages. The cow does not give as much milk as it used to give formerly. The production of vegetables and fruits is less than before. As such, all living beings, both men and animals, do not have sumptuous, nourishing food. Due to want of so many necessities of life, naturally the duration of life is reduced, the memory is short, intelligence is meager, mutual dealings are full of hypocrisy and so on.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto One, Chapter 4, Texts 16, 17-18

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Predictions for the Age of Hypocrisy (Kali-yuga)

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Predictions for the Age of Hypocrisy
Fifty centuries ago a great sage looked into the future and told us just what to expect. . .
An address based on the Srimad-Bhagavatam of Krsna-Dvaipayana Vyasa, given by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in Los Angeles during the summer of 1974.
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine

tatas canu-dinam dharmah
satyam saucam ksama daya
kalena balina rajan
nanksyaty ayur balam smrtih

“My dear King, with each day religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, forgiveness, mercy, duration of life, bodily strength, and memory will all decrease more and more by the mighty force of time.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.2.1)

This description of the Kali-yuga [the present Age of Quarrel and Hypocrisy] is given in the Twelfth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Srimad-Bhagavatam was written five thousand years ago, when the Kali-yuga was about to begin, and many things that would happen in the future are spoken of there. Therefore we accept Srimad-Bhagavatam as sastra [revealed scripture]. The compiler of sastra (the sastra-kara) must be a liberated person so that he can describe past, present, and future.

In Srimad-Bhagavatam you will find many things which are foretold. There is mention of Lord Buddha’s appearance and Lord Kalki’s appearance. [Lord Kalki will appear at the end of the Kali-yuga.] There is also mention of Lord Caitanya’s appearance, although the Bhagavatam was written five thousand years ago. Tri-kala-jna: the writer knew past, present, and future.

So here Sukadeva Gosvami is describing the chief symptoms of this age. He says, tatas canudinam: with the progress of this age (Kali-yuga), dharma, religious principles; satyam, truthfulness; saucam, cleanliness; ksama, forgiveness; daya, mercifulness; ayur, duration of life; balam, bodily strength; smrti, memory—these eight things will gradually decrease to nil or almost nil.

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The End of the World?

12-21-2012

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Is It The End of The World or Just Kali Yuga?

As devotees, or rather as disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, we do not accept the theory of “The End of the World”. There is too much scriptural evidence to counter such a speculative conclusion. There is ample description of “Time”, as given in the Vedic Scriptures such as the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam to confirm that there is no end to this age for another 427,000 years.

Once when Srila Prabhupada was asked by one devotee…

Lokamangala dasa: In your books you explain that we are in the Kali-yuga age. Is the Kali-yuga age coming to a close now?

Srila Prabhupada: No. It will continue for another 427,000 years. The duration of Kali-yuga is 432,000 years. Out of that, we have passed only 5,000 years. The balance is 427,000 years. And during this time the condition of society will be worse-not better but worse. In the last stage of Kali-yuga there will be no food grains, no milk, no fruits. It will be a very horrible time. People will kill their own children and eat them, just like animals. The last stage of Kali-yuga will be like that. So before coming to that stage, better to take Krsna consciousness and go back to Krsna. That is our program. We don’t wish to wait for the worst things. The worst things are already happening, and it will be still worse. Instead of waiting for that time, better to become perfect by chanting Hare Krsna and go back home, back to Godhead. That is our position.

Also in the books we find:

At the present moment we have just passed through five thousand years of the Kali-yuga, which lasts 432,000 years. Before this there was Dvāpara-yuga (800,000 years), and before that there was Tretā-yuga (1,200,000 years). Thus, some 2,005,000 years ago, Manu spoke the Bhagavad-gītā to his disciple and son Mahārāja lkṣvāku, the King of this planet earth. The age of the current Manu is calculated to last some 305,300,000 years, of which 120,400,000 have passed. (Bhagavad-gita 4.1)

The duration of the material universe is limited. It is manifested in cycles of kalpas. A kalpa is a day of Brahmā, and one day of Brahmā consists of a thousand cycles of four yugas or ages: Satya, Tretā, Dvāpara, and Kali. The cycle of Satya is characterized by virtue, wisdom and religion, there being practically no ignorance and vice, and the yuga lasts 1,728,000 years. In the Tretā-yuga vice is introduced, and this yuga lasts 1,296,000 years. In the Dvāpara-yuga there is an even greater decline in virtue and religion, vice increasing, and this yuga lasts 864,000 years. And finally in Kali-yuga (the yuga we have now been experiencing over the past 5,000 years) there is an abundance of strife, ignorance, irreligion and vice, true virtue being practically nonexistent, and this yuga lasts 432,000 years. In Kali-yuga vice increases to such a point that at the termination of the yuga the Supreme Lord Himself appears as the Kalki avatara, vanquishes the demons, saves His devotees, and commences another Satya-yuga. Then the process is set rolling again. These four yugas, rotating a thousand times, comprise one day of Brahmā, the creator god, and the same number comprise one night. Brahmā lives one hundred of such “years” and then dies. These “hundred years” by earth calculations total to 311 trillion and 40 million earth years. By these calculations the life of Brahmā seems fantastic and interminable, but from the viewpoint of eternity it is as brief as a lightning flash. In the causal ocean there are innumerable Brahmās rising and disappearing like bubbles in the Atlantic. Brahmā and his creation are all part of the material universe, and therefore they are in constant flux. (Bhagavad-gita 8.17)

There are four yugas: Satya-yuga, Tretā-yuga, Dvāpara-yuga and Kali-yuga. During the first yuga, Satya-yuga, people were very pious. Everyone practiced the mystic yoga system for spiritual understanding and realization of God. Because everyone was always absorbed in samādhi, no one was interested in material sense enjoyment. During Tretā-yuga, people enjoyed sense pleasure without tribulations. Material miseries began in Dvāpara-yuga, but they were not very stringent. Stringent material miseries really began from the advent of Kali-yuga. (Srimad Bhagavatam 5.17.12)

After the Battle of Kurukṣetra, at which Bhagavad-gītā was spoken, Kali-yuga continues for 432,000 years, of which only 5,000 years have passed. Thus there is still a balance of 427,000 years to come. Of these 427,000 years, the 10,000 years of the saṅkīrtana movement inaugurated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu 500 years ago provide the opportunity for the fallen souls of Kali-yuga to take to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and thus be delivered from the clutches of material existence and return home, back to Godhead. (Srimad Bhagavatam 8.5.23)

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Transcendental Vision

…The unmanifested forces of time are so powerful that they reduce all matter to oblivion in due course. In Kali-yuga, the last millennium of a round of four millenniums, the power of all material objects deteriorates by the influence of time. In this age the duration of the material body of the people in general is much reduced, and so is the memory.

The great sage Vyāsadeva could see this by his transcendental vision. As an astrologer can see the future fate of a man, or an astronomer can foretell the solar and lunar eclipses, those liberated souls who can see through the scriptures can foretell the future of all mankind. They can see this due to their sharp vision of spiritual attainment. (from purport to SB 1.4.17-18)

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Self Realization in the Age of Kali

By human calculation, a thousand ages taken together is the duration of Brahmā’s one day. And such also is the duration of his night.

…This age of Kali is not at all suitable for self-realization as was Satya-yuga, the golden age, or Tretā- or Dvāpara-yugas, the silver and copper ages. For self-realization, the people in Satya-yuga, living a lifetime of a hundred thousand years, were able to perform prolonged meditation. And in Tretā-yuga, when the duration of life was ten thousand years, self-realization was attained by performance of great sacrifice. And in the Dvāpara-yuga, when the duration of life was one thousand years, self-realization was attained by worship of the Lord. But in the Kali-yuga, the maximum duration of life being one hundred years only and that combined with various difficulties, the recommended process of self-realization is that of hearing and chanting of the holy name, fame, and pastimes of the Lord.

The sages of Naimiṣāraṇya began this process in a place meant specifically for the devotees of the Lord. They prepared themselves to hear the pastimes of the Lord over a period of one thousand years. By the example of these sages one should learn that regular hearing and recitation of the Bhāgavatam is the only way for self-realization. Other attempts are simply a waste of time, for they do not give any tangible results. Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu preached this system of Bhāgavata-dharma, and He recommended that all those who were born in India should take the responsibility of broadcasting the messages of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, primarily the message of Bhagavad-gītā. And when one is well established in the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā, he can take up the study of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam for further enlightenment in self-realization.

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The Earth is Never Overburdened.

…The earth is never overburdened. The heaviest mountains and oceans on the face of the earth hold more living entities than there are human beings, and they are not overburdened. If a census were taken of all the living beings on the surface of the earth, certainly it would be found that the number of humans is not even five percent of the total number of living beings.

…The material creation is meant for fulfilling the desire of the Lord, and His desire is that the conditioned souls who are unfit to enter into the kingdom of God have a chance to improve their conditions for entering. The entire process of cosmic arrangement is intended just to give a chance to the conditioned souls to enter the kingdom of God, and there is an adequate arrangement for their maintenance by the nature of the Lord…

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Third Canto, Chapter 3, Text 14

kiyān bhuvo ’yaṁ kṣapitoru-bhāro
yad droṇa-bhīṣmārjuna-bhīma-mūlaiḥ
ṣṭādaśākṣauhiṇiko mad-aṁśair
āste balaṁ durviṣahaṁ yadūnām

kiyān—what is this; bhuvaḥ—of the earth; ayam—this; kṣapita—abated; uru—very great; bhāraḥ—burden; yat—which; droṇa—Droṇa; bhīṣma—Bhīṣma; arjuna—Arjuna; bhīma—Bhīma; mūlaiḥ—with the help; aṣṭādaśa—eighteen; akṣauhiṇikaḥ—phalanxes of military strength (vide Bhāg. 1.16.34); mat-aṁśaiḥ—with My descendants; āste—are still there; balam—great strength; durviṣaham—unbearable; yadūnām—of the Yadu dynasty.

[After the end of the Battle of Kurukṣetra, the Lord said:] The abatement of the earth’s great burden, eighteen akṣauhiṇīs, has now been effected with the help of Droṇa, Bhīṣma, Arjuna and Bhīma. But what is this? There is still the great strength of the Yadu dynasty, born of Myself, which may be a more unbearable burden.

Purport

It is a wrong theory that due to an increase in population the world becomes overburdened and therefore there are wars and other annihilating processes. The earth is never overburdened. The heaviest mountains and oceans on the face of the earth hold more living entities than there are human beings, and they are not overburdened. If a census were taken of all the living beings on the surface of the earth, certainly it would be found that the number of humans is not even five percent of the total number of living beings. If the birthrate of human beings is increasing, then the birthrate of other living beings is increasing proportionately. The birthrate of lower animals—beasts, aquatics, birds, etc.—is far greater than that of human beings. There is an adequate arrangement for food for all the living beings all over the earth by the order of the Supreme Lord, and He can arrange more and more if there is actually a disproportionate increase of living beings.

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Symptoms of Men in the Age of Quarrel of Kali

One day after finishing their morning duties by burning a sacrificial fire and respectfully offering a seat to Srila Suta Goswami. the great sages, headed by Saunaka Rsi, earnestly addressed him: “Respected Suta Goswami, you are completely free from all vice. You are well versed in all the scriptures famous for religious life, and in the Puranas and the histories as well, for you have gone through them under proper guidance and have also explained them. Being the eldest learned Vedantist, O Suta Goswami, you are acquainted with the knowledge of Vyasadeva, who is the incarnation of Godhead, and you also know other sages who are fully versed in all kinds of physical and metaphysical knowledge. And because you are submissive, your spiritual masters have endowed you with all the favors estowed upon a gentle disciple. Therefore you can tell us all that you have scientifically learned from them”

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter 1, Text 10

prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ sabhya
kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ
mandāḥ sumanda-matayo
manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ

prāyeṇa—almost always; alpa—meager; āyuṣaḥ—duration of life; sabhya—member of a learned society; kalau—in this age of Kali (quarrel); asmin—herein; yuge—age; janāḥ—the public; mandāḥ—lazy; sumanda-matayaḥ—misguided; manda-bhāgyāḥ—unlucky; hi—and above all; upadrutāḥ—disturbed.

O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.

The devotees of the Lord are always anxious for the spiritual improvement of the general public. When the sages of Naimiṣāraṇya analyzed the state of affairs of the people in this age of Kali, they foresaw that men would live short lives. In Kali-yuga, the duration of life is shortened not so much because of insufficient food but because of irregular habits. By keeping regular habits and eating simple food, any man can maintain his health. Overeating, over-sense gratification, overdependence on another’s mercy, and artificial standards of living sap the very vitality of human energy. Therefore the duration of life is shortened.

The people of this age are also very lazy, not only materially but in the matter of self-realization. The human life is especially meant for self-realization. That is to say, man should come to know what he is, what the world is, and what the supreme truth is. Human life is a means by which the living entity can end all the miseries of the hard struggle for life in material existence and by which he can return to Godhead, his eternal home. But, due to a bad system of education, men have no desire for self-realization. Even if they come to know about it, they unfortunately become victims of misguided teachers.

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Transcendental Knowledge

Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition; Transcendental Knowledge
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 4, Text 1

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha
manur ikṣvākave ‘bravīt

SYNONYMS
śrī bhagavān uvāca—the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; imam—this; vivasvate—unto the sun-god; yogam—the science of one’s relationship to the Supreme; proktavān—instructed; aham—I; avyayam—imperishable; vivasvān—Vivasvān (the sun-god’s name); manave—unto the father of mankind (of the name Vaivasvata); prāha—told; manuḥ—the father of mankind; ikṣvākave—unto King Ikṣvāku; abravīt—said.

TRANSLATION
The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikṣvāku.

PURPORT
Herein we find the history of the Bhagavad-gītā traced from a remote time when it was delivered to the royal order, the kings of all planets. This science is especially meant for the protection of the inhabitants and therefore the royal order should understand it in order to be able to rule the citizens and protect them from the material bondage to lust. Human life is meant for cultivation of spiritual knowledge, in eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the executive heads of all states and all planets are obliged to impart this lesson to the citizens by education, culture and devotion. In other words, the executive heads of all states are intended to spread the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness so that the people may take advantage of this great science and pursue a successful path, utilizing the opportunity of the human form of life.

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Kali Yuga; The Age of Quarrel and Hypocrisy

Kali Yuga; The Age of Quarrel and Hypocrisy
By A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The age of Kali is the most condemned age due to its quarrelsome features. Kali-yuga is so saturated with vicious habits that there is a great fight at the slightest misunderstanding. Those who are engaged in the pure devotional service of the Lord, who are without any desire for self-aggrandizement and who are freed from the effects of fruitive actions and dry philosophical speculations are capable of getting out of the ocean of birth and death.

The leaders of the people are very much anxious to live in peace and friendship, but they have no information of the simple method of hearing the glories of the Lord. On the contrary, such leaders are opposed to the propagation of the glories of the Lord. In other words, the foolish leaders want to completely deny the existence of the Lord. In the name of secular state, such leaders are enacting various plans every year. But by the insurmountable intricacies of the material nature of the Lord, all these plans for progress are being constantly frustrated. They have no eyes to see that their attempts at peace and friendship are failing. But here is the hint to get over the hurdle. If we want actual peace, we must open the road to understanding of the Supreme Lord Krsna and glorify Him for His virtuous activities as they are depicted in the pages of Srimad-Bhagavatam. ( SB 1.1.16 P Questions by the Sages )

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