We live in the Kali Yug — in a world infested with impurities and vices. People possessing genial virtues are diminishing day by day. Floods and famine, war and crime, deceit and duplicity characterize this age. But, say the scriptures, final emancipation is possible only in this age.
The Signs of Kali Yug! : Kali Yug has two phases: In the first, humans – having lost the knowledge of the two higher selves – had knowledge of the ‘breath body’ apart from the physical self. During the second phase even this knowledge has deserted mankind, leaving us only with the awareness of the gross physical body. This explains why we are now more preoccupied with our physical self than anything else. Due to our preoccupation with our physical bodies and our lower selves, and because of our emphasis on the pursuit of gross materialism, this age has been termed the ‘Age of Darkness’ – an age when we have lost touch with our inner selves, an age of profound ignorance!
What the Epics Say : Both the two great epics – The Ramayana & Mahabharata – have spoken about the Kali Yug. In the Tulasi Ramayana, we find Kakbhushundi foretelling: “In the Kali Yug, the hot-bed of sin, men and women are all steeped in unrighteousness and act contrary to the Vedas…every virtue had been engulfed by the sins of Kali Yug; all good books had disappeared; impostors had promulgated a number of creeds, which they had invented out of their own wit. The people had all fallen prey to delusion and all pious acts had been swallowed by greed.” In the Mahabharata (Santi Parva) Yudhishthir says: “…The ordinances of the Vedas disappear gradually in every successive age…the duties in the Kali age are entirely of another kind. It seems, therefore, that duties have been laid down for the respective age according to the powers of human beings in the respective ages.” The sage Vyasa later on clarifies: “In the Kali Yug, the duties of the respective order disappear and men become afflicted by inequity.”
What Happens Next? : It is predicted that at the end of the Kali Yug, Lord Shiva shall destroy the universe and all the physical body would undergo a great transformation. After such dissolution, Lord Brahma would recreate the universe and mankind will become the ‘Beings of Truth’ once again.