I have been brought up by someone who was an atheist but a strong follower of the principles of life laid out in the Bhagavad Gita, so having said that while I have not read the Bhagavad Gita myself, I do follow a lot of interesting articles and blogs related to it.
As we are all reeling in the pandemic, I ended up revisiting a few articles I had a read a couple of years ago about the 4 Yugas of Human Kind.
Let me start at the very beginning by explaining what is the Yuga, the 4 stages and what stage are we at today….
Yuga and the 4 Yugas – Meaning
Yuga, in Hindu cosmology, an age of the humankind. As a Yuga cycle progresses, each yuga’s length and humanity’s general morale and physical state within each yuga decreases by one-fourth.
Four such yugas namely, Krita, Treta, Dvapara and Kali.
Krita Yuga : The first and best yuga in a cycle. It is the age of truth and perfection. This yuga has no crime and all humans are kind and friendly. The Krita Yuga is so named because humans are long living, powerfully built, honest, youthful, vigorous, erudite and virtuous. The four Vedas are one. All mankind can attain to supreme blessedness. There is no agriculture or mining since the earth yields those riches on its own. Weather is pleasant and everyone is happy. There is no disease, decrepitude, or fear of anything.
Treta Yuga: In this age, virtue diminishes slightly. At the beginning of the age, many emperors rise to dominance and conquer the world. Wars become frequent and weather begins to change to extremities. Agriculture, labor and mining become existent.
Dvpara Yuga : In this age, people become tainted with qualities and aren’t as strong as their ancestors. Diseases become rampant. Humans are discontent and fight each other. The Vedas are divided into four parts. People still possess characteristics of youth in old age.
Kali Yuga: It is the age of darkness and ignorance. People stop following dharma and lack virtue. They become slaves to their passions and are barely as powerful as their earliest ancestors of Satya Yuga. Society falls into disuse and people become liars and hypocrites. Knowledge is lost and scriptures are diminished. Humans eat forbidden and dirty food. The environment is polluted causing a scarcity in food and water. Wealth is heavily diminished. Families become non-existent. And this is the current yuga we are in!
Diving deep into Kali Yuga….
Hinduism believes that humanity is in the darkest age. This period in time is known as Kaliyuga. Kaliyuga is characterized by sin, corruption, misery and evil all around.
In the Kaliyuga, as per Lord Krishna, the world loses all its righteousness; people are corrupt and perform evil on a daily basis. Diseases and afflictions plague every human. No one knows the vedas in its entirety and in its true essence. People fight over petty things like religion and land. Even hard work refuses to pay good results and people who perform bad deed sit on the top of the societal ladder.
Bhagavad Gita verses and their translation – Kali Yuga
tataś cānu-dinaṁ dharmaḥ satyaṁ śaucaṁ kṣamā dayā kālena balinā rājan naṅkṣyaty āyur balaṁ smṛtiḥ
Religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, tolerance, mercy, duration of life, physical strength and memory will all diminish day by day because of the powerful influence of the Age of Kali.
vittam eva kalau nṝṇāṁ janmācāra-guṇodayaḥ dharma-nyāya-vyavasthāyāṁ kāraṇaṁ balam eva hi
In Kali-yuga, wealth alone will be considered the sign of a man’s good birth, proper behavior and fine qualities. And law and justice will be applied only on the basis of one’s power.
dāmpatye ’bhirucir hetur māyaiva vyāvahārike strītve puṁstve ca hi ratir vipratve sūtram eva hi
Men and women will live together merely because of superficial attraction, and success in business will depend on deceit. Womanliness and manliness will be judged according to one’s expertise in sex, and a man will be known as a brāhmaṇa just by his wearing a thread.
liṅgam evāśrama-khyātāv anyonyāpatti-kāraṇam avṛttyā nyāya-daurbalyaṁ pāṇḍitye cāpalaṁ vacaḥ
A person’s spiritual position will be ascertained merely according to external symbols, and on that same basis people will change from one spiritual order to the next. A person’s propriety will be seriously questioned if he does not earn a good living. And one who is very clever at juggling words will be considered a learned scholar.
anāḍhyataivāsādhutve sādhutve dambha eva tu svīkāra eva codvāhe snānam eva prasādhanam
A person will be judged unholy if he does not have money, and hypocrisy will be accepted as virtue. Marriage will be arranged simply by verbal agreement, and a person will think he is fit to appear in public if he has merely taken a bath
dūre vāry-ayanaṁ tīrthaṁ lāvaṇyaṁ keśa-dhāraṇam udaraṁ-bharatā svārthaḥ satyatve dhārṣṭyam eva hi dākṣyaṁ kuṭumba-bharaṇaṁ yaśo ’rthe dharma-sevanam
A sacred place will be taken to consist of no more than a reservoir of water located at a distance, and beauty will be thought to depend on one’s hairstyle. Filling the belly will become the goal of life, and one who is audacious will be accepted as truthful. He who can maintain a family will be regarded as an expert man, and the principles of religion will be observed only for the sake of reputation.
evaṁ prajābhir duṣṭābhir ākīrṇe kṣiti-maṇḍale brahma-viṭ-kṣatra-śūdrāṇāṁ yo balī bhavitā nṛpaḥ
As the earth thus becomes crowded with a corrupt population, whoever among any of the social classes shows himself to be the strongest will gain political power.
śāka-mūlāmiṣa-kṣaudra- phala-puṣpāṣṭi-bhojanāḥ anāvṛṣṭyā vinaṅkṣyanti durbhikṣa-kara-pīḍitāḥ
Harassed by famine and excessive taxes, people will resort to eating leaves, roots, flesh, wild honey, fruits, flowers and seeds. Struck by drought, they will become completely ruined.
śīta-vātātapa-prāvṛḍ- himair anyonyataḥ prajāḥ kṣut-tṛḍbhyāṁ vyādhibhiś caiva santapsyante ca cintayā
The citizens will suffer greatly from cold, wind, heat, rain and snow. They will be further tormented by quarrels, hunger, thirst, disease and severe anxiety.
By the time the Kaliyuga ends, the bodies of all creatures will be greatly reduced in size. The path of the Vedas will be completely forgotten in human society, and so-called religion will be mostly atheistic. The occupations of men will be stealing, lying and needless violence, and all the social classes will be reduced to the lowest level of śūdras. Cows will be like goats, spiritual hermitages will be no different from mundane houses, and family ties will extend no further than the immediate bonds of marriage. Homes will be devoid of piety.
What after Kaliyuga – As explained in the Bhagavad Gita
carācara-guror viṣṇor īśvarasyākhilātmanaḥ dharma-trāṇāya sādhūnāṁ janma karmāpanuttaye
At that time, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will appear on the earth. Acting with the power of pure spiritual goodness, He will rescue eternal religion. Lord Viṣṇu — the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the spiritual master of all moving and nonmoving living beings, and the Supreme Soul of all — takes birth to protect the principles of religion and to relieve His saintly devotees from the reactions of material work.
śambhala-grāma-mukhyasya brāhmaṇasya mahātmanaḥ bhavane viṣṇuyaśasaḥ kalkiḥ prādurbhaviṣyati
Lord Kalki will appear in the home of the most eminent brāhmaṇa of Śambhala village, the great soul Viṣṇuyaśā. Lord Kalki, the Lord of the universe, will mount His swift horse Devadatta and, sword in hand, travel over the earth exhibiting His eight mystic opulences and eight special qualities of Godhead. Displaying His unequaled effulgence and riding with great speed, He will kill by the millions those thieves who have dared dress as kings.
After all the impostor kings have been killed, the residents of the cities and towns will feel the breezes carrying the most sacred fragrance of the sandalwood paste and other decorations of Lord Vāsudeva, and their minds will thereby become transcendentally pure. When Lord Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appears in their hearts in His transcendental form of goodness, the remaining citizens will abundantly repopulate the earth.Satya-yuga will begin, and human society will bring forth progeny in the mode of goodness.
What stage are we at in the Kaliyuga? In my opinion we are almost at the end of it, the pandemic, earthquakes, cyclones – are they a sign.
Honestly I couldn’t agree more with what is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita.
Disclaimer : This article is purely my opinion and is not intended to undermine any other religion beliefs.