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DROUGHTS AND RAMPANT FAMINE
The Srimad-Bhagavatam (12.2.6) explains that as Kali-yuga progresses the goal of life will be simply to fill the belly. Unfortunately, this will not be so easy. As I have pointed out earlier, many people will be forced to move to the mountains and hills to try to live there, out of the easy reach of criminals, wicked rulers, and oppressive government. Others will remain to struggle in the cities. It is stated (Bhag. 12.3.32) that the cities will be dominated by crooks and rogue politicians who will ruin the conditions of the communities and control the citizens. No one will be able to live peacefully. There will be one social disaster after another. In fact, it is also related (Bhag.3.17.5) that natural disturbances, whether it is too much heat, snow, earthquakes, volcanoes, cyclones, tornadoes, or other storms, portend that the demoniac population in the world is increasing. Therefore, when this happens it is merely the acts of nature that reflect the consciousness and collective karma of those who inhabit this planet.
It is also said that as the nefarious and sinful activities of the rulers and citizens increase, rain will also become increasingly scarce. Drought will be rampant around the world, which will allow for no production of food. Even good people will be forced to leave their homes because of being harassed by high taxes, drought, and famine. They will try to find whatever facility they can in the mountains. In this way, we can see that one of the prime ways of surviving the future will be to get accustomed to an agrarian lifestyle. As the world continues to change, it will be important for communities or individuals who are seeking to be self-sufficient to learn to farm and produce their own food. Farming and self-sufficiency will be a basic need for the continuation of society through the coming changes. Unfortunately, the Vishnu Purana (Book Four, Chapter 38) relates that in Kali-yuga farmers will give up agriculture and commerce to seek livelihoods in doing mechanics or engaging in servitude to others [which we can presently see happening as the farmers sell their land and move to the cities]. People will always live in dread of drought, famine, and scarcity, and will always be looking to the skies watching the weather. There will never be abundance in the age of Kali. Men will always be lacking in pleasure and happiness.
The Narada Purana (1.41.76-77) also states that in Kali-yuga men will become extremely fearful of hunger and drought, and will always watch the sky for rain. Because of the absence of rain, men will be in extreme anxiety trying to live off whatever roots, leaves, and fruits they can find. And (1.41.42) the earth will lose its fertileness and the seeds and flowers will perish. Many other Puranas also support this view of the future. The Kurma Purana (1.30.2) states that there will be continuous fear of hunger, starvation, droughts, epidemics of fatal disease, and countries being destroyed in the age of Kali. The Brahmanda Purana (188.8.131.52) also says that there will be calamities in all the countries and there will be terrific fear of drought.These days may not be as bad as the Vedic prophecies foretell, but we must remember that though we can work to right many wrongs in the way we are taking care of the planet, the ecosystem is very carefully balanced. If we tilt that balance too far one way or the other, it will become impossible to bring it back. As we see the way big companies tear away at the earth, the forests, and the farmland, it becomes obvious that in due course the delicate balance of nature will be so damaged that it will never be the same. At that time, the Vedic prophecies will begin to manifest faster than ever. Furthermore, men may engage in mechanics and the production of machines, but when there is a scarcity of water and natural resources, such as oil and its by¬products (as is predicted to be if we keep our present rate of consumption), machines will do us little good. We cannot eat nuts and bolts. When we lose our farmland or the ability to farm, then all of the technological advancements we have made will seem useless if we do not have enough to eat. And that is what the Vedic prophecies say will happen.
It is also mentioned (Bhag. 1.4.17-18) that as Kali-yuga progresses everything material will deteriorate and lose its potency. In this case, the land will not provide the necessary food as it did before. Due to weather conditions, drought, and the soil being depleted of nutrients, food will become more and more scarce. People will be forced to struggle so hard to find enough to eat, especially in the cities. They will become like scavengers, eating whatever they can find no matter whether it is good or abominable. The Mahanirvana Tantra (4.53) further relates that the earth will have little fertility and will yield poor harvests. Clouds will give little rain, and trees will provide meager fruit. The Vayu Purana (58.46, 55-56) also explains that as the end of Kali-yuga approaches, the earth will yield little food. The rains will fall in a mysteriously haphazard way and the earth will be less fertile and have a shortage of water. The Padma Purana (7.26.27-28) agrees and states that the earth will have few crops. Clouds will have increasingly less water, or will pour too much water at wrong times. In Kali-yuga cows will give little milk, of poor quality, and will eat feces.
The last statement here is significant in light of the recent disaster regarding the feeding of animal feces to cows in England. This resulted in the "Mad Cow Disease" scare, in which they calculated that hundreds of thousands of cows were sick or possibly contaminated with this disease caused by eating feces from other diseased animals. This is a practice that goes on in other countries as well, including the United States, though smaller in scale. It is a practice in which these Kali-yuga businesspeople and fanners try to recycle waste because they want to make extra profits by cheating nature, more or less. By not giving the proper feed to the cows, they caused thousands of cows to become diseased. This has brought further controversy because the farmers wanted to slaughter all of the contaminated cows. This only shows the foolishness to which men will resort in their attempt to make more money. This is typical of the Kali-yuga form of intelligence that paves the way for further problems with food shortage and in the way men abuse animals and nature. In the end, it just backfires in their faces. As people become more engrossed in chasing after their desires, there will be less and less peace in the world. Society will become more violent, angry, and selfish. Large scale wars are declared, even women and children are maimed and killed. This violence is reflected and perpetuated by the many slaughterhouses that are opened to kill hundreds of millions of innocent creatures each year for the sake of satisfying the desires of humans, specifically the lump of flesh known as the tongue. For that, so many living beings are put to death, slaughtered, or boiled alive. This puts an incredible amount of violence into the atmosphere, and where do you think it goes? A basic law of physics is that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. On a universal level, they call this same law the law of karma. What we do comes right back to us. And karma refers to those reactions accumulated by an individual, community, or even a whole nation. So is there any wonder why there is increasingly less peace in this world when humankind resorts to this level of selfish violence?
Another reason for the food shortages, droughts, and less fertile farmlands, is said (BhagA. 18.6-7) to be due to the misuse of the land and natural resources by people who have no spiritual understanding. People who have no knowledge of the real purpose of life will not maintain the earth properly. The Vishnu Pur ana (Book Four, Chapter 24) confirms that the earth planet will receive respect only for the minerals and resources men can get from it. The Vedas describe the earth planet as a living being, a personality who gives in return for being properly treated. When she is neglected or misused, she is not able or willing to produce all of the necessary resources. In other words, there is a way to farm and do things in a natural way to protect the earth from being damaged by our actions and still produce enough to feed all of its inhabitants. But this means there must be proper management by people who have firm spiritual understanding and knowledge of the true goal of life for spiritual advancement. In Vedic times, such persons were the brahmanas, the spiritual guides for society. When there are no real spiritual authorities, society becomes headless, without a brain. A headless society does not know what the real goal of life is or the best things to do. If nonspiritually oriented beings misuse the earth and its resources, all real progress is stopped. Nature becomes out of balance. Then by natural reactions the rains cease to pour and the earth no longer provides all that we need. Thus, it is predicted that there will be a time when there will be no grains, fruits, flowers, metals, or gold, not to mention enough water and grains to support cattle and animals for those who wish to eat meat.
It is predicted that in the distant future, as food becomes more scarce, the thieves and rogues will be forced to hunt and eat each other. Then not only will you have to guard yourself from crooks, rapists, kidnappers, rogue politicians who will take your property and your wives, plus high taxes, cheating businessmen, and a legal and economic system that works only for the wealthy, but you will also have to struggle against starvation, watching out for those who will want to eat you for food. People will be so overcome by hunger and will be so mentally slow that the need to feed will make them turn on each other even to the point of eating their own family members and children if necessary.
In many ways, in the distant future of Kali-yuga, the inhabitants of the planet will be like a society of rats, scurrying everywhere, scavenging for food. They will be malnourished and mentally deficient to the point that they will not recognize their own family members. There will be no relations other than sex, even with other family members, because they will be blinded by lust and not have enough sense to know better.People who read this may find it shocking to hear the way the Vedic literature describes the distant future, and that there will be a time when it will be common for people to eat each other. But this is no different than the way the sages of many years ago were shocked to learn from the Vedic prophecies that people of Kali-yuga would raise and cultivate cows simply for slaughter and meat consumption. At the time, this was unthinkable. Even now, humans eating humans is unthinkable, but it is just another level of the deteriorating standard in society as Kali-yuga progresses. What is unacceptable now later becomes the norm.