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The symptoms of Kali-yuga
By the powerful influence of the age of Kali- religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, tolerance, mercy, duration of life, physical strength, and memory will diminish- day by day.
Without the propagation of genuine Vedic knowledge, science has become grossly materialistic, and religion has become dominated by irrational fanatics.
In Kali-yuga, wealth alone will enable one to be considered high-class, or a gentleman. Justice will be awarded only on the basis of one’s position in society.
Men and women will live together simply on the basis of mutual attraction. Success in business will depend upon one’s expertise in deceiving others. A man or woman’s stature will be judged primarily on his or her sex appeal, and a man will be known as a brahmana simply by wearing a thread.
A person’s spiritual position will be judged merely by the external symbols he adopts. A person’s integrity will automatically be questioned if he doesn’t earn much. And, simply by being very clever at juggling words, one will be considered a great scholar.
Indeed, a person will be judged as useless if he is poor. Hypocrisy will flourish, under the guise of verbal piety. Marriage will take place by simple agreement, and one will be fortunate just to be able to bathe properly.
People will value highly a sacred place, if it is far away and they can bathe in the river. A major pastime will be the endless arranging and re-arranging of hairstyles, in the hopes of enhancing one’s beauty. Most people will feel that the goal of life is just to fill their bellies. Those who can maintain their families nicely will be hailed as very expert. The principles of religion will be observed only for the sake of gaining reputation.
As the earth becomes overcrowded with such a degraded population, whoever is strongest will gain political power. Indeed, such rulers will come to behave no better than common thieves. After losing their wives and property to such merciless politicians, the citizens will flee to the forest and mountains. Being harassed by famine and excessive taxes, the people will resort to eating leaves, flowers, seeds and roots. Because of drought, vast numbers of people will starve.
Climatic conditions will also deteriorate and because of this, the population will suffer greatly due to cold, wind, rain and snow. Furthermore, because of impiety, people will also be tormented by quarrels, hunger, thirst, disease and anxiety. The maximum duration of life will decrease to about fifty years.
At the end of Kali-yuga, the bodies of all creatures will be greatly reduced in size. The path of Vedic understanding will be completely forgotten in human society, and whatever so-called religion remains will be actually atheistic. The occupation of most people will be based on stealing, lying and needless violence. Cows will come to look like goats, and spiritual ashramas will be no different from ordinary houses. Family ties will extend no further than the bond of marriage. Trees will become like dwarves and plants will be tiny. Indeed, most human beings, at the end of Kali-yuga, will be no better than donkeys.
At that time Lord Vishnu will appear as Kalki-avatara, in the village of Sambhala, as the son of the foremost of brahmanas, Vishnuyasha. Mounting His horse, Devadatta, with sword in hand- Lord Kalki will travel over the earth, displaying His unparalleled opulence. While manifesting unequalled effulgence and riding at great speed, Lord Kalki will kill millions of thieves who had dared to dress as kings.
Some people claim that descriptions of God are anthropomorphic (a concoction of those who need to believe in a superior being). But truthful logic is this- whatever we need, actually exists. We need food, water and air, and, in fact, all of these things are there. That we seem to need God would then logically indicate that He exists.
After all of the imposter kings are killed, the people of the earth will feel nice breezes, carrying the fragrance of sandalwood paste that decorates the body of the Lord. By smelling this fragrance, everyone’s minds will become transcendentally pure. Satya-yuga will then commence, and the purified human society will bring forth progeny in the mode of goodness. (Here, the astrological conditions for the advent of Satya-yuga are given.)
As long as Lord Krishna was present on the earth, Kali remained powerless. But, as soon as Lord Krishna returned to the spiritual sky, Kali entered this world and thus, people began to take pleasure in sinful activities. The age of Kali comprises 1200 years of the demigods, or 432,000 earth years.
Devapi, the brother of Maharaja Shantanu- and Maru, a descendent of Ikshvaku- both possess great mystic potency and they reside even now in the village of Kalapa. At the end of Kali-yuga, these two kings, after receiving instructions from the Supreme Lord, will return to human society and re-establish varnashrama dharma.
Shukadeva Gosvami said, “My dear King Parikshit, everyone comes to this world and stakes their claims. But, even if one’s body now has the designation, ‘king’, in the end, its name will become ‘worm’, ‘stool’, or ‘ashes’. What can a person who injures others for the sake of his own body know about his self-interest? His activities are simply leading him to hell. A materialistic king thinks, ‘This earth was ruled by my predecessors, and is now under my sovereignty. How can I arrange for it to remain in the hands of my sons and grandsons?’ Such foolish kings accept the body made of earth, water and fire as ‘me’ and their kingdom as ‘mine’. And yet, in every case, they had to abandon both body and earth, and pass into oblivion. All that remains is one name in a long list of names, and a lot of historical accounts.”