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THE BASIC PATTERN OF EVENTS FOR THE FUTURE IN KALI-YUGA
Anyone can look around and see the general pattern of events unfolding as the age of Kali-yuga progresses. The patterns become quite evident simply by understanding the above descriptions of the economic arrangements and the increasing presence of the principles of quarrel and confusion and irreligiosity brought by the age of Kali. Kali-yuga is the advancement of the modes of passion and ignorance, which causes people to become further disconnected from their real identity as spiritual beings. Kali-yuga is a time when there is widespread struggle for economic development. As Kali-yuga progresses, people will be struggling to maintain themselves by any means, good or bad. People will become extremely greedy due to the ignorant notions that this earthly life is all there is, that satisfying the mind and body is the primary goal of life. In this way, advancement in society will be centered around economic development, the standard of the mode of passion The accumulation of goods, great production, great endeavor and enterprises, engagements for profit, fame and adoration, etc., is all considered development in the mode of passion. Before the age of Kali, advancement was focused on the mode of goodness-stability, balance, endurance, maintenance, preservation, and harmony with God and nature. In goodness, not a lot seems to happen or change, except within oneself in terms of the development of spiritual progress and wisdom. Thistype of advancement is real evolutionary development, not simply technological advancement which may bring about many comforts and facilities, but only at the cost of using up all of our natural resources; destroying the earth and society with its pollutants.
The development of huge cities is a sign of advancement of civilization in the mode of passion. Building as many highways, vehicles, planes, and buildings, is the American dream; the dream to make lots of money through such development. This is the standard of the mode of passion. But with this is also an accumulation of the mode of ignorance, which is a problem. This manifests when our endeavors in the mode of passion cause unwanted results in the mode of ignorance. A prime example of this is the business of oil production, which is enormously profitable (in the mode of passion), but results in exhaust fumes and oil spills that do so much environmental damage (in the mode of ignorance). Remember, when Kali-yuga begins, matter or material things lose their potency. For example, food is no longer as full of nutrients as it used to be. The soil no longer produces the same amount of plants and eatables. People are so greedy for money that they use anything to get more food production from the soil. This endeavor in the mode of passion leads to the use of chemical fertilizers which may help to produce more food but ultimately destroys the earth. This produces food that is even less helpful for our physical and mental development. Thus, the process of losing the ability to produce good food is perpetuated. Then you have the side effect or result in the mode of ignorance, that everyone becomes affected because they pollute the soil, air, and water, and the food lacks the proper nutrients to develop the brain and body to its fullest capacity. In essence, people and animals become brain damaged, even deformed, depending on their exposure to pollutants and their inability to get proper nutrients in their food. Thus, people's level of intelligence goes down as Kali-yuga progresses. And as more pollutants enter the soil and atmosphere, additional diseases and deformities affect more animals and people. More specific examples of what happens in the future of Kali-yuga will be given in the next chapter.
Because of the upsurge of the modes of passion and ignorance, and how people become affected by them, the ability to understand higher philosophical knowledge is reduced, even eliminated in an increasing number of people. What happens is that places of knowledge, such as schools and colleges, become places of business and advancement of economic development—the mode of passion. Thus, places like universities and the domain of intellectuals become degraded. Where such passionate endeavors exist means that educational institutions become places of intoxication and parties for sexual encounters, etc. These places become preoccupied with presenting the goal of increasing one's ability to compete in the pursuit of adoration and distinction for personal profit and fame. The better they become at presenting their facilities for pursuing and achieving this goal, the more students they get. The more students they get, the more profits they make. And this becomes the bottom line for such educational institutions. Thus, the higher reasoning abilities of the individual and the philosophical understanding that used to be provided or developed by such institutions become a thing of the past. No matter how good an education a person may have, if he still does not know who or what he is by the attainment of spiritual knowledge, he will not truly know what to do with himself or where he fits into the scheme of things. Such a person often feels like there is something still missing in his life, but he does not know what it is. Therefore, he may not have the peace of mind or contentment in life that he wishes to find, and this becomes the standard throughout society.
In Vedic times, it used to be the intellectuals who understood spiritual knowledge and the Absolute Truth, and had direct experience of it. Such people had the practical knowledge to give direction and bring stability to society; to give society a brain. A brainless society is without real direction. In such a society, everyone works in any way possible for economic development, acquiring whatever superficial prizes and heights that mean the most, while being ignorant of the true goal of life. This becomes the norm in Kali-yuga. Kali-yuga is also the age when pollution becomes rampant. However, the planet only reflects the consciousness of those who inhabit it. Outer environmental pollution is merely a reflection of humanities' internal pollution of consciousness. This inner pollution is society's perverted mental habits, desires, and thought patterns. Outer pollution begins with the original pollution of our consciousness. As we become polluted internally and act to satisfy those polluted desires, based on gaining money, power, distinction, adoration, and sensual gratification, we act in selfish ways for high positions or rapid and easy profits and pleasures. This is the materialistic form of consciousness. This easily leads to activities that may pollute the earth and its atmosphere, not only environmentally but also morally, economically, politically, and in so many other ways. It does not matter how small or big we are, or whether we are running a large corporation or just a household. Our consciousness will determine our decisions, which affects all of those around us. Thus, in some way, the whole world becomes affected.
Thousands of years ago Lord Krishna gave the warning to Arjuna about the dangers of materialistic consciousness and the implications such mental pollution can have in the world. He said in Bhagavad-gita (16.8) that materialists, "say that this world is unreal, with no foundation, and no God in control." Because of this, they feel justified in doing whatever they like in order to lead a pampered life, or to attain instant sensual pleasure and quick profits. However, Krishna goes on to explain (fig. 16.11): "They believe that to gratify the senses is the prime necessity of human civilization." So this is their motivation in life, but because of this, "until the end of life their anxiety is immeasurable." Why? Because they are, "bound by a network of hundreds of thousands of desires." (5g.16.12) It is because of these numerous material desires that such people become relentless in trying to achieve what they want and will, "engage in unbeneficial, horrible acts, meant to destroy the world." (fig. 16.19) Therefore, the more materialistic people get, the more polluted society becomes. As the pollution of materialistic consciousness increases, the stronger will be the socially deteriorating effects of Kali-yuga. Pollution also is the art of propaganda, the art of creating desires in the minds of people through exaggeration and lying in commercials and politics. They design such propaganda to cheat those against whom it is used. They take your money and give you less than what you are promised. The basis of this sort of pollution lies in being expert in the art of lying and persuasion. We especially see this in politics. In Kali-yuga there are no real leaders, and no one really likes politicians. Actually, most people vote not for the persons they want in office but for the ones that are most likely to do the least damage. And that is judged according to who gives the most convincing propaganda.
The bottom line is that now, at the end of this 20th century, things are getting so bad that such problems are beyond the hope of material solutions. By studying this chapter anyone will be able to see the basic pattern of events that the future of Kali-yuga holds as the influence of the modes of passion and ignorance increase. Anyone with a little understanding can see that at this point only divine
intervention or spiritually based resolutions will help change things and solve our problems. This is especially possible in the period of time known as "The Golden Age in Kali-yuga." This is predicted to begin in the first part of Kali-yuga, which we are in right now. This will continue for another 10,000 years. During this period spiritual knowledge can become widespread and produce many benefits for
the people of this age. This is explained more thoroughly in Chapter Five. However, this will help only to the degree in which we use it. Otherwise, the forces of darkness or spiritual ignorance we increase.
Ignorance is the cause of all the anomalies in human society that Maharaja Yudhisthira could perceive at the onset of Kali-yuga. Thus, the most important thing we can do is to counteract the effects of such ignorance by spreading real knowledge and solutions based on true spiritual understanding. The higher energies and understanding of life, along with spiritual awareness, must be brought in. That can at least delay the effects of Kali-yuga and the many earth changes predicted to happen. As people become more focused on true spiritual understanding and how to perceive their spiritual identity, the more we can change things, and the more people will want to change in the right direction. A world of darkness can become a world of light.